The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will start tomorrow the recruitment, hiring, and training of at least 50,000 contact tracers nationwide to significantly ramp-up the country’s contact tracing program following the signing by the President of the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” or Bayanihan 2 Law.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that the additional 50,000 contact tracers are “the game-changer in the country’s COVID-response since this will allow us to cut the transmission of the disease and ultimately defeat COVID-19.”
“We welcome the signing of Bayanihan 2 Law for it means that we can now go ahead and start the hiring process for additional contact tracers urgently needed by the various Local Government Units nationwide. Again, we thank the President and Congress for allocating much-needed funds for our COVID response,” he said.
“The DILG is looking for dedicated and patriotic individuals who want to join the fight against COVID-19. If you want to take an active part in defeating the pandemic, join the DILG Contact Tracing Teams!,” he said.
He said that the 50,000 contact tracers to be hired will be assigned to the various Contact Tracing Teams (CTTs) of the Local Government Units. At present, the Contact Tracing Teams are composite units led by the Municipal/City Health Officers with members from the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTS), and volunteers from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
There are currently 97,400 contact tracers nationwide and the additional contact tracers will allow the country to reach the target of 150,000 contact tracers. “With the additional 50,000 contact tracers, we will now be able to meet the Magalong formula of tracing 37 close contacts of 1 COVID patient up to the 3rd degree,” he said.
Under the guidelines drafted by the DILG, the contact tracers will earn a minimum of P18,784 per month in a contract of service status. Among their responsibilities are to conduct interviews, profiling, 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 response.
He said that the National Capital Region (NCR) will get 19.2% of the total number of the new contact tracers to be hired for the simple reason that it remains as one of the hot spots of COVID-19. “Mas maraming naitatalang kaso, doon maglalagay ng mas maraming bagong contact tracer. A huge number of these new contact tracers will operate and work in all the regions of the country with NCR having the biggest number.”
How to be a Contact Tracer?
The DILG Chief said that to qualify, the applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree or college level in an allied medical course or criminology course. Aspirants must also be skilled in data gathering and have assisted in research and documentation; able to interview COVID-19 cases and close contacts in order to gather data; possess the ability to advocate public health education messages, and have the investigative capability.
“It is crucial that a candidate must be willing to do research and investigation because that is the very essence of the job. Iyon ang hinahanap natin, isang tao na magsasaliksik ng mga posibleng kaso ng COVID sa komunidad,” he said.
Applicants are required to submit a letter of intent, Personal Data Sheet, National Bureau of Investigation Clearance, and drug test results.
Applicants should submit their application and documents to all DILG Provincial and City Field Offices nationwide or visit their websites for the posting of vacancies. He said that contractual personnel whose employment were not renewed, Overseas Filipino Workers whose employment were disrupted, and local employees whose service have been recently terminated may be given priority in the hiring process if qualified.