More granular data will be made available to the public starting Monday September 14 2020 to effectively address the spread of the virus from the grassroot level. In a media forum held on Wednesday, September 9, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire elaborated that part of the intervention’s goal is to crush the clustering of COVID cases in communities through strong community engagement.

“Ang ating kalihim, si DOH Sec. Francisco T. Duque, who is the Inter-Agency Taskforce chairperson, has issued a directive na magkaroon na ng mechanism at sistema para ma-reconcile at mai-publish namin ang barangay-level data. Tayo po ay nakikipag-ugnayan ngayon sa Department of Interior and Local Government para ma-implement po ito sa barangay level.”

According to Sec. Duque, the publication of barangay-level data aims to increase citizen engagement and participation in the granular, localized implementation of the country’s COVID-19 response. Previously, this data was only available for viewing by the LGUs and key agencies that have data sharing agreements.

“Sa pamamagitan po nito, we are looking forward to our people being more engaged in the barangay-level response. They can be more vigilant in performing our minimum health standards or BIDA behaviors. Makakatulong din po ito upang mas ef ective ang health screening in our establishments and by our health care providers.” Usec. Singh-Vergeire said.

This works in synergy with a previous directive of making two critical details in contact tracing forms non-negotiables: complete address and mobile phone number.Adding these personal details as part of the required fields, according to Usec. Singh-Vergeire, will allow more effective contact tracing of individuals who had closely interacted with COVID-infected patients. The lack of these pieces of information was also the reason why contact tracing efforts were hampered, and why barangay level data was not published previously.

Back in July, less than 50% of submitted case investigation forms contained barangay data. With continued cooperation of disease reporting units and laboratories as well as improvements in the information system through the generous support of the Filinvest City Foundation, around 80% of cases now have barangay data.

“Filinvest is committed to fund the data capture improvement projects of the IATF and DOH. Accurate and timely data analytics will help our decision makers strategise their fight against COVID-19.” said Josephine Gotianun-Yap, President and CEO of Filinvest group of companies.