The Philippine government on Friday set in motion a new online registration platform for incoming travelers called the eArrival Card.
The Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), in a Facebook post, said the setup integrates the quarantine and immigration requirements for arrival passengers.
The OPS said passengers visiting www.onehealthpass.com.ph website will be redirected to the new eTravel domain.
The eTravel platform provides the electronic version of the hard copy of the Arrival Card that travelers must submit upon arrival in the Philippines for immigration clearance.
The old One Health Pass domain will be deactivated starting December 5, and the Bureau of Immigration will discontinue using the paper Arrival Card on the same day, the OPS said.
The One Health Pass website was the previous domain of the first electronic health declaration for travelers. It also hosted the recently implemented eArrival card.
Early on, Senator Pia Cayetano warned on the fake and sponsored website offering electronic registration card or arrival card for US70.
Cayetano said her daughter who’s coming from abroad came upon the dubious website.
Cayetano sounded the alarm to protect travelers from being victimized by scammers, saying the overseas Filipino workers and tourists might fall prey to the rip-off.
According to the senator, this can also be considered economic sabotage.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri described the crime as a highway robbery.
For her part, Sen. Grace Poe believes it is high time that a government agency is designated to chase creators and administrators of fake websites.
Poe joined her colleagues in raising the alarm about the proliferation of websites that dupe people into paying fees in exchange for electronic registration or arrival cards.
“The e-arrival card is a relatively new document being required, at mayroon na agad mga fake website,” Poe said during the plenary session.
The chairperson of the Senate committee on public services cited duplicating functions in different government agencies.
Aside from the National Bureau of Investigation’s Cybercrime Division, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has a Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), which was given a P274.73-million budget this year.
The Philippine National Police also has an Anti-Cybercrime Group in charge of all ICT-aided crimes.
“That’s why it’s confusing, there’s no central government office that you can lodge a complaint to on particular cases like this,” Poe lamented.
The senator recalled leading a hearing on a similar issue, aimed at establishing a central complaint desk on fake websites and bank frauds.
The central government body could easily direct concerned agencies to act on the complaints based on their jurisdictions, since these fraudulent companies receive payments through credit card transactions.
“Definitely, there has to be a government agency to direct those banks and credit card companies not to accept or authorize transactions from those fraudulent companies. Maybe that’s an angle we can look at,” Poe said.