Gatchalian suggests hiring K-12 graduates as contact tracers

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Senator Sherwin Gatchalian suggested that the government should train and hire K-12 graduates as COVID-19 contact tracers to fight the pandemic.

Gatchalian said the isolation of virus carriers would be much easier, especially since the lockdown was eased if new graduates of K to 12 were hired.

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Apart from this, it will also be an opportunity for them to have jobs.

It will be noted that in May, the Department of Health (DOH) announced that they needed 94,000 contact tracers to meet the ideal ratio of one per 800 people.

Although the DOH required the contact tracer to be a graduate of related medical courses, Gatchalian appealed to the agency to be flexible enough to accommodate K12 graduates and emulate the United States, which contact tracers are not college degree holders.

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The senator added that this way, the young people who are vulnerable now can be given jobs, and the virus can be prevented from spreading in the country.

Also read: DOH needs P11.7 billion to hire contact tracer

DILG aims to hire 100,000 contact tracers by end of July

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Friday the government targets to hire at least 100,000 contact tracers by the end of July.

DILG spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said there are a total of 54,042 contact tracers or 3,397 contact tracing teams at present nationwide.

“Araw-araw po nadadagdagan ito. May mga volunteers din po na tumutulong sa atin. Ang gusto po natin ay madoble ito, lumagpas tayo sa 100,000,” Malaya said at a Laging Handa press briefing.

“Ang target po sana ng DILG ay makapaghire kami before the end of the month dahil kinakailangan po natin itong mga contact tracers na ito, madeploy na po natin kaagad-agad,” he added.

The official added DILG is still waiting for the orders from the Department of Budget and Management as to when they could start the hiring process.

Malaya said the funds for the hiring were not yet given to DILG.

“Hindi pa namin natatanggap mula sa DBM ‘yung pondo para sa hiring,” he said.

Malaya said graduates of medical-allied professions and criminology would be prioritized in the hiring.

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