Contact tracing in Metro improves; getting people tested needs support of nat’l gov’t — DILG

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Saturday pointed out the improved contact tracing results in Metro Manila citing the significant increase of 1:15 in Manila.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

But, DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya noted that the local government units (LGUs) can only address contact tracing, but not testing.  The national government has to intercede when it comes to the testing for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), he said.

Stressing his point, Malaya explained that COVID-19 testing would require laboratories and Department of Health (DOH)- run hospitals, resources which the LGUs do not fully have.

“Ang hawak lang ng LGU ay ang tracing, yung testing kailangan mo ng tulong sa national government diyan (The LGUs are responsible solely for tracing, for testing they need the help of the national government for that),’’ Malaya said in an interview over GMA News.

Malaya said that the treatment of COVID-19 cases will require huge expenses and other resources like laboratories which the LGUs may lack.

Assuming the President approves and Congress signs into law the P5-billion additional funds for the hiring of contact tracers before the end of the month, Malaya said the DILG may hire the personnel for this purpose.

In the meantime, Malaya said they are preparing the guidelines and deployment process to get them ready for the hiring of the contact tracers once the funds arrive.

He added that the qualified contact tracers will receive more or less P20,000 monthly with “salary grade 9 or 10.’’

“We are looking for college level or college graduates. This is a one year engagement,’’ Malaya said.

He said the DILG will provide the qualified contact tracers with “PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)’’ and operational expenses.