BTS is here: DOTr introduces ‘Bagong Tracing System’ ‘MRT-3 Trace’

January 14, 2021 - 12:59 PM
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Graphic of the new contact tracing app of the DOTr for MRT-3 trains called "BTS" or "Bagong Tracing System" (MRT-3/Released)

The House bloc of Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig-Pateros) and his allies are not the only group that recently used “BTS” in the government.

The Department of Transportation-Metro Rail Transit Line 3 on Wednesday promoted its new contact tracing app called “MRT-3 Trace” and branded it as BTS or “Bagong Tracing System” in one of its Facebook posts.

The transport agency said the digitized version is an upgrade from the manual contact tracing process of MRT-3.

In its Facebook promotion, the DOTr-MRT-3 shared the link of the online registration for MRT-3 Trace and attached a graphic that creatively featured a line caricature of one of the members of South Korean group BTS.

“BTS is here! Gulat ka ‘no? Andito na ang Bagong Tracing System namin, ang MRT-3 Trace! Kaya’t pumunta na sa https://trace.dotrmrt3.gov.ph para mag-register. Borahae!” it said.

The branding was derived from the name of the Grammy-nominated South Korean group BTS, comprising RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jin, Jimin, V and Jungkook.

The South Korean’s group name stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan (방탄소년단) that translates to “bullet proof boy scouts.”

The MRT-3 Trace will have its soft launch on January 18.

In an earlier statement on January 12, the agency stated that the application is part of the goal of DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade to digitize all transaction processes in the transport sector to help prevent novel coronavirus transmissions and convenience.

“MRT-3 Trace is a web application that will help us and the passengers avoid further transmission of the virus through direct contact between our commuters and personnel. It will ease the process of contact tracing, and thus, prevent long queues in stations,” said MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati.

 

Capati said the new tracing system will be fully implemented in February 2021 to give time for passengers to be familiar with the new scheme.

“Starting January 18, passengers may use the DOTr MRT-3 Trace. But to give time for our passengers to familiarize themselves with the new app, full implementation will be on February 2021,” he said.

Last October train systems LRT-1, LRT-2 and MRT-3, along with some Point-to-Point (P2P) buses, modern public utility vehicles (PUV) and the EDSA buses, went cashless through the Beep card payment system.

New contact tracing system process

Passengers of MRT-3 can use the new contact tracing system by following these steps:

  1. Log at trace.dotrmrt3.gov.ph and fill out the basic information such as full name, birth date, address, and contact number.
  2. After registration, activate your smartphone location services.
  3. Before riding the MRT-3 train, you need to scan the unique quick response (QR) code located at designated areas in the station.
  4.  Present the verification message to the security personnel before entering the station
  5. If you do not have a smartphone, you can manually fill-out the health declaration forms provided by the security personnel upon entering the station.

The DOTr-MRT-3 assured the public that all personal information recorded from passengers will be protected.

“All information gathered will be transmitted to the MRT-3’s Data Center for security and easy tracing of individuals. The MRT-3 Trace is compliant with Republic Act 1017 or the Data Privacy Act,” the agency said in a release.

“The web application is contactless and only requires a one-time registration for passengers to avoid duplicate accounts. The MRT-3 Trace registration is free,” it added.

What’s with Cayetano’s ‘BTS’ bloc?

Cayetano, who vacated the speakership post in October 2020, is set to launch his own “independent bloc” called “BTS sa Kongreso” on Thursday. Its name was based from the name of the world-renowned septet.

This move drew ire from the fans of BTS who asked Cayetano to drop the unauthorized use of the South Korean boy group’s name.

They also called the attention of the BTS’ music label, Big Hit Entertainment and reported that the lawmakers violated its trademark rules.

READ: How ARMY, K-pop fans are urging Cayetano to drop ‘BTS sa Kongreso’ bloc name

In an interview with the press, the lawmaker explained that their group name means “Back to Service Congress” citing that his fellow members were also stripped off their respective posts.

In a separate report, Cayetano referred to BTS as “Bayanihan, Tapang at Serbisyo.”

He said that they did not mean to offend the fans of BTS.

Senior Deputy Speaker Doy Leachon, however, criticized the formation of the bloc and quipped that they should call themselves “Bitter Talaga Sila” instead.

“I wish them good luck, and a piece of advice — don’t ride on BTS popularity because it might connote a different meaning fitting of what they attempt to do – Bitter Talaga Sila,” Leachon said.