More contact-tracers needed as gov’t bats to trace COVID-19 close contacts within 24 hours

Published April 15, 2021, 3:26 PM

by Chito Chavez

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Thursday, April 15, that it would push for hiring of more contact tracers to meet with the a new guideline mandating that those who were exposed to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) carrier must be traced within 24 hours of the contact.


DILG officer-in-charge Bernardo Florece Jr. said the increase of contact tracers will be prioritized in Metro Manila which is considered as the epicenter of the COVID-19 and where the death rate due to coronavirus infection is high since last month.

“Siguro yung iba within 48 hours, 72 hours. Pero ang kautusan ngayon ng IATF ay dapat within 24 hours ma-trace yung confirmed case and then yung close contacts (Maybe some (contact tracers) are able (to contact trace) within 48 hours, 72 hours,’’ Florece explained.

Currently, Florece noted that Metro Manila has 10,097 contact tracers, is still way off the desired one is to 800 which is equivalent to the ideal 17,000 contact tracers.

Since Metro Manila is short of 7,000 contact tracers, Florece said that the department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through Secretary Silvestre Bello deployed 4,754 contact tracers in the region which will be distributed in Manila and Pateros.

In order to ensure the hiring of more contact tracers, Florece said the government came up with a new policy of accepting high school graduates. College degree is previously one of the requirements for hiring.

“But of course, we prefer (applicants) with relevant experience. Yung marunong man lang mag interview at naging ahente (those who know how to conduct interviews and were sales personnel (in previous jobs),’’ he added.

Florece said contact tracing applicants should submit their letter of applications (letter of intent), personal data sheet (PDS) and barangay resident certificate. Applicants residing in Manila or Quezon City, he added, should apply in their respective area of residence.

“Of course meron tayong nire-require na medical certificate. Napakasimple lamang po ng ating requirements at simula po bukas (April 16) open na yung ating
hiring at ito ay magtatapos sa April 22 (we will require medical certificates. Our requirements (for contact tracing applicants) are very simple and starting tomorrow until April 22 we are open for hiring,’’ Florece said.

After April 22, Florece said the applicants will pass through the “IVET (initial education and training)’’ them to the committee manned by representatives of the DILG, DOLE and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). The committee will then finalize the list wherein those who would be chosen would undergo training that will be supervised by the DILG-National Capital Region (NCR).

“Then by May 1 puwede na po sila mag umpisa ng trabaho (by May 1 the hired contact tracers may start working),’’ Florece said.