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More than 20K contact tracers hired

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday said that more than 26,872 contact tracers (CTs) have already been hired and are already deployed to various local government units (LGUs) across the country.

DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that all DILG provincial and city offices are processing applications to ensure at least 50,000 CTs as prescribed under the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act will be hired by the department in order to cut the transmission of COVID-19 in all provinces of the country.

“Even prior to the signing of the Bayanihan 2 Law, the DILG field offices were already preparing for the recruitment, hiring, and training of the new contact tracers. And now, a few weeks after the signing of the law, more than 26,000 have already been hired and deployed to the various provinces,” Año said.

“I am confident that we will be able to meet the schedule of deploying the 50,000 even before the end of the month,” he added.

He said that another 12,197 applicants have met the requirements of the position and are currently being processed for employment. “Bagaman matindi ang pangangailangan ng ating pamahalaan ng mga CT ay tinitiyak namin na ang lahat ng maha-hire ay qualified sa posisyon at nagpahayag ng commitment sa pinapasok nilang responsibilidad.”

According to the latest DILG data, 45% or 12,421 of the target CTs to be hired in Luzon have been employed; 69% or 6,234 for Visayas; and, 62% or 8,217 for Mindanao including BARMM.

Makati City Pabakuna

Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya thanked all the applicants for taking an active part in the fight against COVID-19. He said that as CTs, they have become front liners and are now considered “new normal heroes” in the on-going public health emergency.

He said that as of October 9, 2020, a total of 62,112 applications have been received by the various DILG field offices which is “a clear manifestation that there many Filipinos who are willing to help the government fight the unseen enemy.”

“Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan sa buong bansa na nagpahayag ng kanilang kagustuhang magsilbi sa bayan ngayong panahon ng pandemya sa pamamagitan ng pag-aapply bilang CTs. We are grateful for your service,” Malaya said.

He assured the 50,000 CTs that as frontliners, they will be provided with all the essential equipment and tools such as complete Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); medical supplies; and other vital necessities in the performance of their duties.

Among their responsibilities are to conduct interviews, profiling, and perform an initial public health risk assessment of COVID-19 cases and their identified close contacts; refer the close contacts to isolation facilities; conduct enhanced contact tracing in collaboration with other agencies and private sector; conduct daily monitoring of close and general contacts for at least 14 days, and perform such other tasks in relation to the COVID response.

Under the guidelines set by the DILG, contact tracers will earn a minimum of P18,784 per month on a contract of service status. The CTs will be a part of the Contact Tracing Teams led by the Municipal/City Health Officers with members from the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTS), and volunteers from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

Publication Source :    People's Journal
Jun I. Legaspi
Reporter, People's Tonight