Cayetano seeks creation of national health passport system

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Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday called on the government to create a national health passport system that would go with the national identification system and help individuals easily access their health records.

“‘Yung bill na ‘yan noong umpisa ay talagang literal na passport na parang hawak mo at nandoon ang mga impormasyon mo, and then every time na pupunta ka sa health center ay ire-record nila para lumipat ka man ng barangay o doktor, dala mo,” Cayetano said in a press conference in Baguio City on July 2 prior to the holding of the latest edition of the Sampung Libong Pag-asa live virtual program where he and his allies were set to distribute 10K Ayuda to a total of 500 beneficiaries.

(When the bill was new, it proposed a physical passport where your medical information and history are indicated. Every time you visit a health center, your passport will be updated in case you move to another barangay or doctor.)

“Ngayon, wala nang excuse dahil doon sa technology sa QR code. Actually, kung ang ating gagawin ay bibigyan ng QR code ang bawat isa, whether ‘yan ay sa pagbakuna o medical records, ay nasa cellphone mo lang ‘yang QR code, or pwede ring may physical,” he added.

(Now that we have the technology that provides us with a QR code, there is no excuse for us not to create this system. This QR code can be found in your phone or you can have a physical copy.)

Cayetano said he first filed the proposal in 1998 during his first term as congressman.

“I’m hoping na pwede nating idikit ‘yang technology na ‘yan sa national ID,” he said.

(I am hoping that we can integrate that technology with the national ID system.)

“So, ito ang proposal ng grupo: that in the next six months, magbahay-bahay with the application ng national ID at may QR code. ‘Yung national ID na ‘yun na ibibigay, itali din sa technology ng iba pang mga electronic transfer,” he added.

(So the proposal of our group is to conduct a house-to-house application for the national ID where we can also provide the QR code. The same national ID can have the technology that allows one to transact electronically.)

Cayetano said the system would not only provide the national government with a database containing the number of Filipino families per locality, it can also help individuals easily access their personal records and have an electronic account where the government can reach and transact with them.

“Ito ‘yung sinasabi ko na (this is what I keep on saying that) just because it’s pandemic, that doesn’t mean we cannot innovate. Baliktad (It should be the opposite): because of the pandemic, kailangan natin mag-isip ng mga bagong (we have to think of new) ways,” he said.

“As of now, nasa committee pa rin ito (this is still pending in the committee), but I think it’s really doable not only by itself, but idikit na sa ibang mga programa ng gobyerno kasama ‘yung national ID (together with the other programs of the government such as the national ID),” he added.

During his first day as House Speaker, Cayetano filed House Bill No. 00008 or the proposed Health Passport System Act that seeks to implement the National Health Passport System and create the Health Passport, which shall be a mobile record booklet of the patient containing information such as medical and dental history, medical and dental test results, diagnosis, and other basic medical data.

As of July 2021, the proposed bill is still pending with the Committee on Health.

In January 2021, Cayetano also called on the government to create a similar system for the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

Previously, Cayetano said the government should establish a credible “vaccine passport” to allow Filipino travelers to reconnect with the rest of the country and the world.###