For two weeks, people entering Baguio City Hall were surprised that they couldn’t enter if they were not registered in the Baguio In My Pocket app.
Many of those entering didn’t even know what BIMP was or what a QR code meant, so the queue at city hall was plugged and became as long as Pinocchio’s nose while courting a girl.
Some were flabbergasted when they were told to get their BIMP while at the city hall stairs.
Imagine being asked about your ethnicity, the names of your parents and religion, among others, just to enter the city hall.
Many of those in city hall that day were senior citizens and could no longer remember their parents.
Why are they asking, they asked.
For your COVID safety po.
What do these information have to do with the virus?
So they asked their representatives in the council who then questioned the people behind BIMP.
Councilor Betty Lou Tabanda said that some of these information have nothing to do with COVID contact tracing and are probably in violation of the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
Lester Morfe, representative of the Information Technology Business Solutions (ITBS) which created BIMP, and Philip Puzon, executive assistant of the City Mayor’s Office, said that the applicant has the option not to give these information.
“When you register using the application, there are mandatory fields and there are secondary fields. The mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk. The registration team printed the form from the app so that people could queue up at the city hall lobby and be given assistance during their registration. It was done very quickly and the team just copied all fields from the app when they printed the registration form,” Puzon said.
In other words, only those with asterisks are the ones that are required to be filled in.
But for the senior citizens, the * looked too small and so they thought they needed to answer everything.
And why would they answer these anyway if only to be used for contact tracing?
They said that anyway if you answer the unnecessary information, these will be secure with them.
They said that the cloud server they are using is the best in town.
Hoy, we are used to our clouds coming down on us. Even the best ones can be hacked.
Their PR said: BIMP is a mobile application that aims to promote an e-government ecosystem which includes hands-free transactions, citizen data management, contact tracing, and other essential services for Baguio residents.
So other than the entry to city hall, the BIMP will be used for other things. Why didn’t you consult us on this?
Because there is COVID. Another excuse.
So what is this ITBS?
“ITBS corporation is 100 percent all Filipino iSCADA and AI company with offices in Japan, Pampanga, Manila, Cebu, and General Santos Mindanao providing end-to-end solutions for government and private institutions,” their page said.
Hoy, you’re not even proud of being Filipinos because you didn’t capitalize it. And Japan is a Philippine province like General Santos Mindanao?
Sloppy copywriting and you want us to trust them?
There are other big claims by the ITBS which are not only grammar-challenged but totally unbelievable.
And then Puzon says that the BIMP will later be used for other things. Like what?
What do you really want from us?
Right now, many of us have no business going to city hall to warrant the use of BIMP.
They say that 50,000 have already registered. That is about one-seventh of the total population.
But right now, we want more answers to our queries about this unnecessary info and the ITBS and we want them before we do enter city hall by storming the gates with or without the QR code.
Baguio Chronicle, January 23, 2021
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