DILG to ask more funds for contract tracers under proposed Bayanihan 3 | Inquirer News

DILG to ask more funds for contract tracers under proposed Bayanihan 3

/ 12:37 PM March 11, 2021
House to house tracing of possible COVID-19 patients 3

(FILE) – A contact tracing team of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) of the Quezon City government conducts house to house tracing of possible COVID-19 patients in Brgy. Baesa. INQUIRER/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Thursday it will request more funds from Congress for contact tracers, as it may need an additional P1 billion in funding to sustain them until the end of the year.

DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said they will ask Congress for additional funds under the proposed third installment of the Bayanihan law, which aims to help the country recover amid the economic crash triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Our plan is to request Congress to include an additional amount in the Bayanihan 3. Right now, Congress is considering passing a Bayanihan Act 3 for long-term stability and long-term recovery,” he said in an online press conference hosted by the Department of Health (DOH).

“The DILG will request Congress to appropriate funds for the renewal of these contact tracers so that should the situation persist, we will have enough contact tracers until the end of the year,” he added.

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According to Malaya, the country currently has 255,854 contact tracers. Of this number, 15,000 were hired by the DILG while the rest are those hired in their localities, volunteers, or personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine National Police.

Malaya said this number is enough to cover the entire Filipino population. He noted that under the standard set by the DOH, the ratio of contact tracers per population is 1:800, which means only 135,000 contact tracers are needed for 108 million Filipinos.

In 2020, the DILG was able to hire 48,000 contact tracers, but for this year, the P500 million budget and the excess funds from the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act only allowed the hiring of 15,000 personnel, Malaya said.

He said the contract for the 15,000 contact tracers will last for six months, from January to June. The P500 million funds, added Malaya, will only last within the same period.

“We would require I think more than P1 billion,” he said when asked how much budget the DILG would need for contact tracers until the end of the year.

“More or less [we may need] more than P1 billion but I just don’t have the figures right now. We will request from Congress this appropriation para makasiguro tayo (so that we will be sure) that we will have these 15,000 contact tracers until the end of the year,” he added.

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No contact tracing fund under DILG budget for 2021

/MUF

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TAGS: contact tracer, contact tracing, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Jonathan Malaya
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