DILG to hire contact tracers once P5-B fund is available

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Saturday it will start hiring contact tracers once the additional P5-billion fund under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) is released in September.

DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the DILG is just waiting for the ratification of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act and its passage into law to expedite the hiring of contact tracers.

If the P5-billion funding is released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Malaya said the DILG will come out with the specific qualifications for contact tracers.

“Siguro sa September puwede na kami mag-hire (Probably by September we can start hiring (contact tracers),” Malaya said.

Malaya in an interview over GMA News noted the additional P5-billion funding will ramp up the DILG’s hiring of up to 50,000 contact tracers to meet the recommended ratio for contact tracing of Baguio City Mayor and Contact Tracing Czar Benjamin Magalong of 1:30 or 1:37.

At present, Malaya estimated 85,000 contact tracers in the country with the “additional 50,000 target to be hired will reach the government’s goal of 135,000 contact tracers."

“Priority natin Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, and Bulacan (Our priority is Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan),” Malaya said.

The DILG is now drafting the guidelines on the deployment of contact tracers.

Malaya said the DILG will also conduct advance hiring to hasten the deployment of contact tracers once funds are available, according to the Interior and Local Government official.

“It is contact tracing that will cut the transmission,” he added.