If you are an OFW, then almost always you have been to the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) at Port Are Manila for your Yellow Fever and other mandatory vaccination.

An OFW friend of mine relate her experience when she lost her ‘yellow card’ or vaccination card.

So she went to BoQ to request for a new card based on her previous vaccination records.

If you have been inside the BoQ office, you will see it is tastefully (or maybe, elegantly) decorated and arranged.

After waiting early in the morning (around 7 AM), she was ushered into an office. She thought she will just wait for awhile and then be given a new yellow card. To her surprise, she was given, instead, a stack of logbooks from previous years and was told to find the log entry of her first vaccination.

After browsing through the month and year where she thought she was vaccinated, she thought its not going to be done that day. Jokingly, she said she prayed to St. Anthony (patron of lost causes) for help. After three logbooks, she finally found her name entry, and got her new yellow card.

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Well, I am not saying you need to be religious if you ever lose your yellow card and have to go to BoQ to request for a new one. But with the present state of management of BoQ, you may have really have to need St Anthony’s help.

What I wonder is this, how come BoQ cannot afford to get an MS Access to log all vaccination transactions? or maybe transfer into Excel sheets everyday? Has nobody in BoQ ever suggested they ought to put into electronic database or media all their daily transactions for easier storage and search?

If cost is an issue, they can always utilize student-trainees or OJTs. They do not even need an expensive PC for it.

She also mentioned that BoQ is like the ultimate symbol of red-tape and government office indolence. In the card processing area, four people are needed to produce the card after vaccination. One to accept payment. Second, to release the yellow card. Third, to type your name on the card. Fourth, the doctor to sign it. The office can actually remove the 2 persons as the cashier can load the card in the printer so that the name will be printed there and the card given to the doctor afterwards. or maybe the card is pre-signed already by the doctor.

If you search google, this is what the “vision” of what the BoQ is supposed to be:

Vision:

A world class Bureau for local and international health surveillance in the prevention of global spread of diseases.

(http://www.doh.gov.ph/content/bureau-quarantine-and-international-health-surveillance.html)

How is this going to be achieved (world-class) with the kind management (or lack of it) there is something you can forget.

If a journalist will asked for trend as to how many were given what vaccine, for sure they cannot give it immediately because it will take a week for them to browse through the old logbooks.

World class.

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