No added contact tracers in 2022 due to lack of funds — DILG
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will no longer be hiring more COVID-19 contact tracers for this year due to lack of funds, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Wednesday.
“We don’t have additional hiring for contact tracers,” Malaya said over ABS-CBN News Channel.
Malaya said only P250 million were allotted for contact tracers this year, and even this will not be enough to cover some 15,000 contact tracers hired by DILG last year.
“We added them last year, unfortunately for this year, there was a decrease in the budget in the DILG for contact tracing funds,” he said.
“Ito ang aming problem ngayon, kung papaano pagkakasiyahin ang (This is our problem right now, on how to budget) P250 million for the 15,000 we hired last year. We already talked to the local government units and asked them to absorb first the contact tracers that are now with them,” he added.
Malaya said the DILG is asking local government units (LGUs) to shoulder the expenses for contact tracing since local governments have more internal revenue allotment under the Mandanas ruling.
“I-absorb na muna nila, because under the Mandanas ruling, many LGUs have increased internal revenue allotment. So we’re asking them for the meantime those contact tracers which could not be renewed by DILG because of the slash of our budget to contact tracing,” Malaya added.
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