June 20, 2024

An official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government on July 15 said they have already requested additional funds for the hiring of more contact tracers as part of the country’s Covid-19 response.
“We used to have 50,000 contact tracers and because of budget constraints, we were reduced to 15,000 contact tracers now. But we made a request for more funds from the Office of the President through the Department of Budget and Management for us to be able to sustain contact tracing efforts,” DILG Asec. Odilon Pasaraba said in a briefing.
He said the government is trying its best to achieve the 1:10 contact tracing ratio, which is based on the requirement prescribed by the Department of Health.
However, some experts prescribe a higher contact tracer-individual ratio which is 1:37.
Despite the drop in the number of contact tracers, Pasaraba said the agency has logged a high contact tracing efficiency rate.
“We have logged a contact tracing efficiency rate of 90 percent. We always make sure that contract tracers should be able to contact close contacts within 24 hours,” he said.
Last year, the DILG hired 50,000 contact tracers to further contain the spread of Covid-19.
Among their responsibilities are to interview, profile, and perform an initial public health risk assessment of Covid-19 cases and their identified close contacts; refer the close contacts to isolation facilities; conduct enhanced contact tracing in collaboration with other agencies and private sectors; conduct daily monitoring of close and general contacts for at least 14 days, and perform such other tasks in relation to the Covid-19 response.
Under the guidelines drafted by the DILG, contact tracers would be hired under a contract of service status and would get a salary of around P18,000 to P19,000. – PNA