Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Wednesday newly hired contact tracers could start working on October 1.
“Ang target natin is October 1 mag-start na sila ng work nila. Tamang-tama naman na ‘yun din ‘yung period na mare-release ‘yung budget sa atin. So inuna lang talaga natin ma-fulfill ‘yung recruitment, maipasa nila ‘yung requirements then they can start working,” Año said at a Laging Handa press briefing.
The deadline for application for contact traces positions is on September 23. The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier said the country needs additional 50,000 contact tracers to aid the government’s efforts to fight COVID-19.
Año said most of the hired contact tracers would be assigned to Metro Manila, specifically in Quezon City where there is still a high number of active COVID-19 cases.
“Mas marami tayong ilalagay sa lugar na nangangailangan at mayroon pa rin namang maiiwan doon sa low active cases para sigurado din naman na tuloy-tuloy ‘yung pagcontact tracing,” he said.
“So kung saan ‘yung matataas like in Metro Manila, 9,285 contact tracers ‘yung ating kinuha dito at Quezon City ‘yung maraming pupuntahan din niyan sapagkat ito ‘yung marami pa rin tayong active cases,” he added.
Newly hired contact tracers to start working on October 1
Añno earlier said 20,000 contact tracers will be deployed to Luzon; 15,000 to the Visayas; and another 15,000 to Mindanao.
Earlier, the DILG said they would prioritize contractual personnel whose employment were not renewed, overseas Filipino workers whose employment were disrupted, local employees whose service have been recently terminated, and barangay health workers in the hiring for contact tracers.
The Philippine Safety College and Local Government Academy would lead the training for the new hires.
The DILG also sets the minimum qualification standards for contract tracers: must be a graduate of a Bachelor’s degree on allied medical courses or criminology; should have one-year relevant experience, and should undergo four hours of appropriate training.