Tap barangay health workers, civil society & 4Ps leaders as contact tracers, Drilon urges DILG

Published September 14, 2020, 4:42 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Monday urged the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to prioritize the hiring of barangay health workers and displaced workers as contact tracers in accordance with  the provisions of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.

(JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Drilon said priority should be given to the barangay health workers, civil society organizations and parent-leaders from the “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” or 4Ps in the government’s COVID-19 efforts.

“They are already organized and their familiarity with the communities will make contact tracing faster,” Drilon said in a statement.

The minority leader said he proposed a provision in the Bayanihan 2 to boost the country’s contact-tracing capability.

Under the law, contact tracers to be tapped may include, but are not limited to, displaced workers both in the formal and informal sectors, from existing networks of barangay health workers, parent-leaders from the 4Ps and members of duly accredited civil society organizations.

“The newly-signed Bayanihan 2 law made sure that the three T’s (test, trace, and treatment) will have ample support and funding,” he said.

“The fast contact tracing is done, the better our chance to prevent the spread of the COVID-19,” he added.

The DILG it intends to hire 50,000 contact tracers following the signing into law of the Bayanihan 2, to beef up the present 97,400 contact tracers  in the country.

These contact tracers will be assigned to different contact tracing teams of local government units (LGUs); they will earn P18,784 per month in a contract of service status.

Drilon said the hiring process alone takes time, one month being the fastest for it to be completed, but if the DILG taps barangay health workers government can save time and money.

“We can save time and resources if we give preference to them as contact tracers instead of creating a new army of contact tracers,” he said.

 
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