DOH seeks more manpower to push COVID-19 response

Published October 5, 2020, 10:38 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

The Department of Health (DOH) continues to hire additional human resources for health (HRH) as the country continues to address the COVID-19 pandemic.


In his report to Congress, President Duterte said that the DOH was able to hire 8,980 individuals of the approved 11,705 slots for emergency hiring in priority health facilities.

A total of 10,673 nurses in the Nurses Deployment Program were deployed while 4,276 other deployed HRH are currently engaged in COVID-19 response.

Based on the President’s report, the DOH has submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the cost estimates to cover the full requirement of the COVID-19 special risk allowance (SRA) and Actual Hazard Duty Pay (AHDP) of public and private health workers.

The DBM also submitted to the Office of the President proposed administrative orders providing for rates and guidelines on the grant of the said benefits.

The President’s report bared that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) continues to monitor the compliance of local government units with the directive to provide protection to medical frontliners, including the provision of temporary shelter and the issuance of appropriate ordinances to deter discrimination against them.

As of September 25, a total of 46 provinces and 726 cities and municipalities have already extended assistance to a total of 38,570 health workers.

In addition, 710 cities and municipalities and 31 provinces have already passed ordinances providing sanctions and penalties for discriminatory acts against medical frontliners.

Meanwhile, the DILG has hired an additional 9,557 contact tracers nationwide as of September 30. They will undergo training and orientation on how to efficiently trace individuals who had close contact with active or probable COVID-19 cases.

The LGUs have organized a total of 26,854 contact tracing teams with 233,266 members, 107,375 of whom were trained, and have traced and monitored 933,563 close contacts.

The current ratio for close contact tracing is 1:5, wherein for every active case, the closest five contacts are placed in isolation.