The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday said it would hire 50,000 more contact tracers before the end of July as part of continuing efforts to contain the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Ang target sana ng DILG, makapag-hire kami before the end of the month, ma-hire na po natin ito dahil kinakailangan po natin itong mga contact tracers (The DILG targets hopefully to hire these contact tracers before the end of the month because we really need contact tracers),” DILG spokesman and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a Laging Handa press briefing.
To date, Malaya said there are 54,042 contact tracers composing 3,397 teams nationwide.
“Araw-araw po nadadagdagan ito. May mga volunteers din po na tumutulong sa atin. Ang gusto po natin ay madoble ito, lumagpas tayo sa 100,000 (The numbers are increasing every day. There are also volunteers helping us. What we want is to double it, to exceed 100,000),” said Malaya.
He added that the DILG is waiting for the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the release of funds to start the hiring process.
Malaya said the DILG will prioritize graduates of medical-related courses, criminology, and similar courses in getting contact tracers.
He said those interested to apply as contact tracers may prepare their personal data sheets ahead of the start of the hiring procedure.
Last month, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the agency has proposed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) to hire and train contact tracers as part of the government’s efforts to effectively manage the Covid-19 pandemic.
The DILG is the lead agency in contact tracing pursuant to IATF Resolution No. 25.
On April 24, the DILG issued Memorandum Circular 2020-077 directing local government units to establish their own task forces against Covid-19, including contact tracing teams. (PNA)