The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Saturday “that more than 26,872 Contact Tracers (CTs)’’ have already been hired and deployed in various local government units (LGUs) nationwide.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año noted that all DILG provincial and city offices are processing applications to ensure that at least 50,000 CTs are hired, as prescribed under the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act in a bid to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in 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.
Año noted 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 (Even if the serices of the CTs are badly needed, the government wants to ensure that all those hired are qualified for the position and must show the commitment in performing their responsibilities),’’ Año emphasized.
The latest DILG data showed that 45 percent or 12,421 of the target CTs hired for Luzon have been employed; 69 percent or 6,234 for the Visayas and 62 percent or 8,217 for Mindanao including BARMM.
DILG Undersecretary 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.
As of October 9, 2020, Malaya said 62,112 applications have been received by the various DILG field offices which is “a clear manifestation that there are many Filipinos who are willing to help the government fight the unseen enemy.”
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).