THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has resumed the hiring of contact tracers (CTs).
Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that the department this time will re-hire some 15,000 CTs who will do the job for at least six months.
Malaya said that the National Capital Region will be given the most number of slots with 2,381, followed by Region III (1,504) and Region VII (1,417) this year based on the prorated quota for 2021 hiring of contact tracers.
The Department of Budget Management (DBM) has approved a total of P1.9 billion for the hiring of CTs in 2021.
And while the country’s COVID-19 response is significantly improving, the DILG official said that the government should sustain the contact tracing efforts especially with the reported entry of the new UK variant into the country.
“Hence, we are pleased that we have been given the funds to re-hire some 15,000 CTs this year who will continue to help us track down, monitor coronavirus cases, and cut transmission in the community,” he added.
Although the Department would have wanted to rehire all the 50,000 CTs it engaged last year, Malaya pointed out that budget limitations hinder it from hiring the same number of CTs this year.
“Much as we would like to continue the services of all the 50,000 CTs hired in 2020, we need to have a more rational number of CTs and work within the available budget allotted to the Department. Hence, only 15,000 CTs will be re-hired under a six-month contract in the meantime while we wait for the release of additional funds,” he said.
The DILG will utilize P1.4 billion that constitutes the unreleased balance from RA 11519 or the extension of the validity of appropriations under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.
This will supplement the P500-million that has been allocated for the hiring of CTs in the 2021 General Appropriations Act.
“Therefore, DILG field offices and the LGUs are directed to conduct an immediate assessment of the performance of the contact tracers and proceed with the selection of those who have effectively and efficiently performed their assigned tasks,” Malaya stressed.
In a memorandum signed by DILG Officer-in-Charge Bernardo Florece, Jr., DILG regional directors were asked to advise all DILG-hired contact tracers in their respective regions to wind up their activities, process their clearances and return their identification cards to their respective local government unit (LGU) of deployment following the termination of contracts last December 31, 2020.
Florece also asked the Regional Offices to prioritize the re-hiring of contact tracers in the LGUs who have active cases and have rising active cases.
The Department also plans to rehire 1,264 CTs in CALABARZON; 1,052 in Region IX; 974 in Region VI; 813 in Region XI; 856 in Region V; 634 in Region X, 510 CTs in BARMM; and 501 CTs in Region 1.
Another 451 CTs will be hired in MIMAROPA;433 in Region VIII; 352 in Region II; and 267 in Cordillera Administrative Region.Publication Source : People's Journal