Contact tracer applications, requirements can be submitted online —DILG

Published October 3, 2020, 4:57 PM

by Chito Chavez

Contact tracer applicants may apply and submit their requirements online, where the instructions are stated in the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) website.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya made this clear Saturday, Oct. 3, in an interview over GMA News. Applications for contact tracers will be accepted by the DILG provincial and city personnel selection board offices nationwide.

With this set-up, Malaya explained the scheme is not centralized and will expedite the hiring of the additional 50,000 contract tracers needed all over the country.

The DILG personnel selection board offices will then conduct “virtual or face-to-face’’ interviews with the selected applicants.

Malaya noted that the DILG will assign the more than 10,000 contact tracers currently under training in places “where they live’’ so as not to create complications.

If a contact tracer applied and is accepted in Quezon City, then that person will be deployed in the contact tracing team of the Quezon City government, Malaya explained as an example, 

Since many lost their jobs due to the pandemic, Malaya noted there are enough contact tracer applicants in the provinces.

He recounted that, on Oct. 2, Aklan Second District Rep. Nonong Haresco provided the DILG with a list of contact tracer applicants in the area.

Many of the said applicants were formerly employees of restaurants and hotels in resorts in Boracay, previously closed due to lockdowns.

Malaya saw the need for more contact tracers in the area as the island has started to open its tourism industry after months of closure. He added that the DILG will give more slots for contact tracers in Aklan if the need arises with the expected influx of tourists as businesses start to reopen in the area.

Malaya explained the DILG has two training institutes, namely a local training academy and the one conducted by the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC).

The local government academy provides training to mayors and councilors as “we repurpose them’’ for contact tracing. On the other hand the PPSC handles the training of firemen and police officers in contact tracing.

Malaya revealed that there are four modules in the training, which can be done in two to three days to speed-up deployment of contact tracers.

He added that the 1,000 hired contact tracers are now undergoing training and will be deployed by next week. Hired contact tracers stand to get more than P19,000 per month but Malaya stressed it remains unclear whether they are entitled to hazard pay or not. Nurses and other personnel in the medical field, meanwhile, are qualified to receive hazard pay, Malay explained.

He assured, however, that the DILG will provide contact tracers with personal protection equipment (PPEs) aside from being prioritized for antigens and swab tests to ensure their health and safety.