The mandatory S-PaSS registration for those travelling to Bohol will remain enforced to help authorities in conducting contact-tracing operations in case there will be another surge in COVID-19 cases in the province, said Governor Art Yap on Friday.
Yap, in the Capitol’s weekly online press briefing, said it was the decision of mayors to maintain the S-PaSS entry requirement.
He claimed mayors said that the S-PaSS requirement “is an inconvenience that we can adjust to.”
The governor also noted that mayors are not in favor of just using the passenger manifest in tracing arriving travelers.
“The mayors don’t want that. Mao na ang imporante makasabot ta na ang mga mayors ang naa sa frontline ug gusto nila direct application, mag resister ang incoming entrant na mo uliay sa atong lalawigan—mag apply og mag register sa ilahang focal person and that is what’s preferred by our mayors, mao na ang mas gusto sa mga kamayoran nato,” Yap said.
However, while Yap’s stand in favor of keeping the S-PaSS was purportedly based on the sentiments of mayors, only 18 of Bohol’s 48 chief executives voted in favor of the continued imposition of the S-PaSS registration.
Some 11 mayors voted against it while the rest of the 19 chief executives were not able to attend the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) meeting on November 3 in which the voting took place.
According to Yap, those who were not present will still be able to vote in the BIATF’s next meeting.
“They can still register their vote tungod kay nitambong sa meeting 29, so buot pasabot naay majority. There are 48 mayors, to constitute a quorum needed is 24. And since there was a quorum, 18 ang niboto,” said Yap.
Yap added that the Department of Interior and Local Government had also advised the provincial government to maintain the S-Pass.
The S-PaSS will help authorities carry out contact-tracing operations, particularly if the number of COVID-19 cases will surge again after the Christmas season, said Yap.
“Di nato maingon na nasulbad na nato ang problema sa COVID-19 mas maayo na naa tay sistema na ibilin for possible contact tracing just in case that there will be a surge simbako especially padung na ta sa Christmas,” he added.
Yap also explained that entering traveler would no longer need an endorsement from the provincial government and approval from the local government.
They only need to register online which he said would take “one minute,” he said.
There has been a clamor for the the S-PaSS requirement to be abolished particularly from those who do not have the technical knowledge to access the mobile phone application and those who do not have smartphones.
Last month, neighboring provinces such as Cebu and Negros Oriental eased their entry protocols by lifting the mandatory S-PaSS registration, further fueling uproar against its continued requirement in Bohol.