Due to the threat from the new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) variant, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it will rehire 15,000 contact tracers (CTs) nationwide for the next six months.
This developed as DILG’s P1.9-billion budget for the hiring of CTs in 2021 has been approved by the Department of Budget and Management.
“While the country’s Covid-19 response is significantly improving, we should sustain our contact tracing efforts especially with the reported entry of the new UK variant into the country,” Interior Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said.
“Hence, we are pleased that we have been given the funds to re-hire some 15,000 CTs this year who will continue to help us track down, monitor coronavirus cases, and cut transmission in the community,” he added.
Malaya also said that while the DILG would have wanted to rehire all the 50,000 CTs it engaged last year, budget limitations hinder it from hiring the same number of CTs this year.
The DILG will utilize P1.4-billion that constitutes the unreleased balance from Republic Act 11519 or the extension of the validity of appropriations under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act. This will supplement the P500 million that has been allocated for the hiring of CTs in the 2021 General Appropriations Act.
Malaya said the National Capital Region (2,381), Region 3 (1,504) and Region 12 (1,417) top the list of regions that will rehire the most number of CTs this year based on the prorated quota for 2021 hiring of contact tracers. The quota is based on the number of active cases in a particular region. SOVEREIGNPH