THE difference between the old quarantine pass and the new at first glance is the size.
The old pass you can tie to a string and hang it around your neck. The new one is printed on short bond paper. Do you pin it to yourself?
A funny photo of a person with the new pass pinned to his chest was passed around on social media after the Cebu City Government presented the design in a briefing Friday, June 26, 2020. The photo became the meme of the night. There were, however, serious questions about the new pass.
City Attorney Rey Gealon, in a video explainer Friday posted on the Facebook account of the Cebu City Public Information Office, said the rule is still for people to stay at home during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Movement outside the house is limited only to buying food, medicines and other essential needs. One quarantine pass will be distributed per household. This will be used to purchase food, medicines and other essential needs from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Authorized persons to go outside the residence and those performing essential functions like working in groceries and banks are exempted from the stay-at-home order. The quarantine pass can be used only on the following days: Monday, Wednesday and Friday for those whose QR codes end in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9); Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for QR codes ending in even number (0, 2, 4, 6,. Everyone stays home on Sunday.
Gealon said the benefits of the new pass are its security features not found in the old pass.
The quick response (QR) code contains personal details of the holder and an alphanumeric sequence that will determine the days of the week when the holder is allowed to leave home. All these information on the QR code are not visible; one would need a code reader, an application that is downloaded to a mobile device. Will all residents know about this technology challenge? What kind of phone can read the code? Do I save my code to my phone?
Checkpoint officers will be armed with scanners to read the details in the QR code. I guess the big size is for ease in reading the code. For the pass holder, perhaps the rule is don’t forget your last digit in the alphanumeric sequence or save the code to your phone.
I would imagine that, in the distribution of the new pass, these would be explained to the household representative. It would take more time then to distribute these passes.
Other questions that were not answered by Gealon in his explainer and Mayor Edgardo Labella in his briefing also last Friday were those about boarders, renters in apartments or having more than one family in one house and conflicts between the days they can go out based on the pass and days they can take their vehicles based on the number coding rule. They asked if the pass can be made transferable in case the person gets sick or can have two names on it.
These questions have to be answered in the next video explainer that should happen soon.