Only 5,000 contact tracers will be hired via the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, or just a third of the previously announced 14,000.
DOLE-Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) Dir. Ma. Karina Trayvilla confirmed this on Wednesday afternoon, April 14 during an online press briefing.
She said the main reason for the “scaled down” recruitment is the clamor of the local government units (LGUs) to prolong the contact tracing activity from the original 30 days or one month to 90 days or three months.
But since the TUPAD budget of P231 million isn’t expected to get significant augmentation, DOLE and its partner agencies in the endeavor just opted to reduce the number of prospective recruits-slash-program beneficiaries.
Trayvilla said the exact number of contact tracers that can be hired using that budget on a minimum wage of P537 a day (roughly P16,000 a month) is 4,754.
However, she said that the allocation would be adjusted slightly in order to accommodate exactly 5,000 beneficiaries under TUPAD. The recruits will come from the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila.
Trayvilla noted while the contact tracers will be required to work only four hours a day, they will still receive the P537 daily wage meant for an eight-hour output.
Meanwhile, DOLE Information and Publication Service (IPS) Dir. Rolly Francia hailed TUPAD for providing timely assistance to displaced workers while at the same helping save people from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through the act of contact tracing.
Francia stressed that the hiring of contact tracers would be facilitated by the Metro Manila LGUs.