S-PaSS or the Safe, Swift, and Smart Passage have become a household name across the nation regarding travel safety protocol adherence as well as travel management between travelers and Local Government Units (LGUs).
With the pressing need for a harmonized and well-organized nationwide travel management System during the height of the pandemic, the Department of Science and Technology Region VI (DOST VI) team of web developers and disaster management personnel, under the leadership of its Regional Director Rowen R. Gelonga, conceptualized and developed the S-PaSS.
DOST VI’s S-PaSS was conceived during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, the S-PaSS Travel Management System is a one-stop online communication and coordination platform for travelers and LGUs which caters mostly to Filipino local workers, Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs), tourists, and other travelers. Moreover, the S-PaSS platform allows travelers to check travel policies and requirements, obtain the necessary travel documents online, and receive their documents upon approval. Before S-PaSS, there was no single platform that contained all the necessary travel information and requirements, so travelers now have a centralized platform where they can create an account to access all the information they need.
In terms of travel permits, the S-PaSS platform is safer, faster, and more convenient because it allows travelers to apply for them without physically going to the Local Government Unit (LGUs) or any other offices.
As a result, the LGUs use S-PaSS to track travel data in real-time in all provinces, and also to communicate important information to our Local Chief Executives, who then implement quarantine restrictions as needed. The system also provided authorities with the opportunity to review the passengers’ documents without much exposure, since this can only be done online. Additionally, reviewing the documents beforehand allowed them to identify fake documents, such as RT-PCR results and other requirements, thereby reducing the probability of infection within their jurisdictions as well as preventing an influx of people at the border control points waiting for approval to enter.
The efficiency and convenience of the S-PaSS system caught the attention of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) who then mandated it as a one-stop-shop application and communication platform with the issuance of IATF Resolution No. 101 series of 2021.
Through the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1 series of 2022 entitled Streamlining Local Travel Requirements and Processes, S-PaSS is now adopted by all LGUs. This was made official during an online signing ceremony spearheaded by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) which was conducted on January 19, 2022.
As the S-PaSS platform expanded, it garnered the support of key stakeholders such as the League of the Provinces of the Philippines, the League of Cities, and the League of Municipalities plus National Government Agencies (NGAs), such as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Department of Transportation (DoTR), and the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT). As of this writing, there is a total of 7.8 million registered S-PaSS users nationwide with 93% of the LGUs actively using the system.
The S-PaSS’ crowning achievement was when the Department of Science and Technology Region VI (DOST VI) bagged the Agency Governance Innovation Award during the 2022 Science for the People (SFTP) Awards for the said platform on June 13, 2022.
“The S-PaSS system is used regularly across the country as LGUs find it useful and an effective tool for traveling in the new normal,” said DOST VI MIS Unit Head, Garry T. Balinon.