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Microsoft, Developers Connect PH create technology solutions to combat COVID-19

Among the platforms developed were RapidPassPH and TraceCovid.ph, applications that help the government identify authorized vehicles and personnel and give access to map-verified COVID-19 cases, respectively.

Together with the Department of Science and Technology and Microsoft Philippines, IT developers, entrepreneurs, students, and enthusiasts from Developers Connect Philippines (DEVCON) collaborated to develop digital solutions to address the COVID-19 situation in the country. Among the platforms developed were RapidPassPH and TraceCovid.ph, applications that help the government identify authorized vehicles and personnel and give access to map-verified COVID-19 cases, respectively.

On March 16, 2020, DevCon Philippines, one of the biggest tech developer organizations in the Philippines, called for volunteers to catalyze the creation of technology solutions and platform to support efforts against COVID-19. The first webinar held on the same day was attended by almost 200 volunteers from different parts of the Philippines. From this, the DevCon Community of Technology eXperts (DCTx) was formed and almost 1,200 people signed up to volunteer and roughly 600+ participated in the succeeding development initiatives.

“It is during these times that we are called upon as a community to address problems strategically, and build sustainable, innovative solutions to fight this pandemic. Through this collaboration, we aim to bring the brilliant ideas of Filipino innovators into real-life impact to help the country in its time of need,” DevCon Philippines President Winston Damarillo said. “We are grateful to our partners and sponsors from the government and the private sector, who generously supported this initiative and invested in the rich local tech community in the Philippines.”

Streamlined verification system for frontliners with RapidPassPH

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RapidPassPH is a virtual identification system that helps frontliners and authorized personnel through Metro Manila’s checkpoints by facilitating a fast and streamlined verification process among priority private and public vehicles.

Following a scan-and-go approach, the platform will generate and provide unique QR codes to each registered user, which will be scanned and validated by checkpoint personnel. Users can opt to present their QR codes using their mobile devices or through a printed copy.

Tasked to oversee the implementation of the RapidPass System, the Department of Information and Communications Technology encourages frontliners and companies providing goods and services to apply for quarantine passes in order to enable faster, hassle-free identification throughout the various designated checkpoints in the National Capital Region.

The system was launched on April 2, 2020. Since then, the platform has generated over 370,000 unique QR codes.  

Stay informed and track confirmed cases with TraceCovid.ph

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DCTx Project volunteers also developed TraceCovid.ph, a platform that shows DOH-verified cases in a visually consumable format, along with relevant information.

Launched on the week of April 15, 2020, TraceCovid.ph is equipped with an up-to-date list of hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 cases, as well as facilities with available COVID-19 test kits. It also allows users to anonymously contribute location data to facilitate close contact detection in case a user tests positive for COVID-19.

The applications are powered by Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, which enables developers to expand their projects and allow their apps to run on a high-volume file storage database. Under Azure, DCTx developers also ensure that all data gathered from the applications are secured and protected in compliance with the law.

“Our mission as an organization remains the same, more so now in the face of this global pandemic. Finding a solution will require massive amounts of synergy and we’re committed to providing people and organizations with the support they need to turn the tide against COVID-19–both here in the Philippines and across the globe,” said Microsoft Philippines Country General Manager Andres Ortola.

RapidPassPH and TraceCovid.ph are among the first wave of collaborative initiatives that the government, the private sector, and local IT community are doing in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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