If Congress OKs P5B funds, DILG to field additional contact tracers to COVID-19 hotspots
MANILA, Philippines — More contact tracers will be deployed to virus hotspots if Congress will allocate P5 billion funds for contact tracing, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Friday.
“As of now, we have 75,000 (contact tracers) nationwide and our target is to have around 135,000 so hindi po natin madodoble buong Pilipinas dahil doon po sa probinsya mababa naman po ang kaso sa kanila so pwede doon ang existing madagdagan ng dalawa o tatlo,” Interior Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya said during a press briefing at the national advocacy campaign launch in Marikina.
(As of now, we have 75,000 contact tracers nationwide and our target is to have around 135,000 so we cannot double all the number of contact tracers nationwide because provinces have a few cases so we can just deploy two or three contact tracers there.)
“‘Yun pong mga bulto nitong mga contact tracers sa mga hot zones po natin i-de-deploy. Sa Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna. ‘Yung mga lugar na may matataas. Even perhaps Cebu, Zamboanga, yung mga lugar po na yun,” he added.
(The lump of contact tracers will be sent to hot zones. In Metro Manila, Cavite and Laguna, places where there are high cases of COVID-19. Even perhaps Cebu and Zamboanga, these kinds of areas.)
This after the DILG asked the Senate and House of Representatives to earmark P5 billion out of P162 billion under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 bill for the training and hiring of over 50,000 contact tracers this September.
Malaya said the funds would also be used for compensation and other expenses for contact tracers, who help locate possible contaminated persons.
If 50,000 contact tracers get hired, the government will meet the World Health Organization’s requirement of one contact tracer for every 800 people.
Bayanihan 2 is being tackled at a bicameral conference committee after the Senate and House of Representatives approved their own versions of the bill. The committee will study the differences in the provisions of the measure. [ac]
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