Contact Tracing has proven its effectiveness and efficiency in the COVID-19 situation we are in now. It has been the solution posed by many countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, and the like; now, they’re able to control the spread of the virus better than other countries.
After several ideas about enhancing the Contact Tracing activity done in the country, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is looking to hire 50,000 contact tracers. According to Jonathan Malaya, the Undersecretary of the DILG, they’re expecting that this activity will be pursued around September.
In addition to that, he also said that they are hoping for the funds to be transferred to them; being able to do so can allow them to start their hiring process.
We expect this September that the funds can be transferred to us by DBM (Department of Budget and Management) so that we can start hiring.”
Destination of the 50,000 Contact Tracers
To clarify the destination of these contact tracers, Malaya said that around 20,000 out of the 50,000 would be deployed in the Luzon area; 15,000 in Visayas; and 15,000 in Mindanao. As per the Department, these figures would be the most efficient and effective because the 20,000 contact tracers in Luzon would be handling the bulk of it.
Just recently, the Congress approved the P5 billion budget for the deployment of contact tracing activities and efforts; and the DILG was the one appointed to handle it – and it’s under the Bayanihan 2 measure.
Prioritization of “Hot Spots”
The strategy that the DILG would have in the deployment of these contact tracers would be targeting the “hot spots” in the country. These hot spots are the regions and the locations where cases are abruptly growing. As per Malaya, their priority would be in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, and Bulacan.
Priority natin Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, and Bulacan.”
In Translation: Our priority would be in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, and Bulacan.
This was based on the most recent data; these were the hotspots that they would be focusing on because of the unexpected high number of cases in these regions.
As per the DILG, they are already crafting up a total of four (4) modules to train the 50,000 contact tracers they’re looking to hire. These modules would detail and outline everything that a contact tracer should know for them to be safe while on the job, and for their services to be effective.
The Local Government Academy (LGA), as well as the Philippine Safety College (PSC) would be the agencies or the organizations to start and initiate the contact tracing training for those who would be hired.
Qualifications for Contact Tracers
In the event that you show interest about the DILG’s plan on looking for contact tracers, here are the minimum qualification standards that they will be looking for:
- Bachelor’s Degree on any Allied Medical Courses or Criminology;
- Must have at least one (1) year of relevant experience in the field; and
- Must be willing to go at least four (4) hours of training
The second priority of contact tracers would be given and provided to people who meet the following qualifications:
- At least two (2) years of college education in the Medical or the Criminology program (or any related course);
- Must have relevant training and experience in the field.
With these qualifications, how much do you think would the starting salary of contact tracers be? Through the deep research done in connection to it; the DILG said contact tracers will earn a minimum of P18,784 per month. In the public sector, this is equivalent to Salary Grade 9, (SG 9) for each contact tracer.
In case you’re interested, you can contact the DILG to ask about their need of 50,000 contact tracers to be scattered all over the country.
135,000 Contact Tracers
The Philippine Government’s ultimate goal is to have a total of 135,000 contact tracers in the country. As of today, we have 85,000; and they’re looking for 50,000 more to meet this goal.
In addition to that, the DILG also said it is looking to prioritize hiring government service personnel who have been severely affected by certain negative factors such as budget realignments. Also, they would like to put the priority to help and assist returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
From the tip that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended; there should be at least one (1) contact tracer for every 800 people.
What do you think about the aspirations of the DILG to hire 50,000 contact tracers to help in fighting and in controlling the spread of the virus? Do you think that it’s going to be an effective way of helping our countrymen?