Hiring of contact tracers may start in September — DILG exec
MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Saturday said the agency is eyes to hire contact tracers by September once the P5 billion fund from the “Bayanihan to Recover As One Act” or Bayanihan 2 is released.
“I would presume by Monday, the House would ratify the bicam report. And it will be an enrolled bill to be submitted to the President,” DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in an interview over radio station DZBB about Bayanihan 2.
“So if the President approves it before the end of the month, siguro sa September pwede na kami mag-hire (maybe in September, we can already hire),” he added.
The DILG previously asked Congress to allocate P5 billion under the proposed Bayanihan 2, which will be used to hire and train contact tracers.
The Senate ratified the Bayanihan 2 bill on Thursday after the bicameral conference committee approved the bill’s reconciled version. Under the approved measure, it has a regular appropriation of P140 billion and P25 billion for standby funding.
Malaya added that while the DILG is awaiting for the release of funds, the agency will already prepare the guidelines on the deployment of contact tracers.
“Para pag dumating yung pondo, kaagad-agad pwede na tayo mag-hire ng mga tao,” he said.
(Once the fund is released, we can already hire people.)
And once hiring starts, Malaya said the DILG targets to hire 50,000 contact tracers.
“Since meron na tayo as of now 85,000, plus 50,000, aaabot na tayo dun sa goal natin na 135,000,” the DILG official said.
(Since we have 85,000 [contact tracers] as of now, plus 50,000, we will attain our goal of 135,000.)
“Pero ang aming priority will be Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan,” Malaya added. “Dito sigurado ako na dodoble yung existing number of contact tracers.”
(But our priority will be Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, and Bulacan. I am sure that contact tracers in these areas will double.)
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