INTERIOR Secretary Eduardo Año yesterday said the Department of Interior and Local Government has completed the hiring of 50,000 additional contact tracers under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, or Bayanihan 2 law, to help in the government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, local government units will have to shoulder the salaries of these contact tracers because the funds allocated under Bayanihan 2 for their hiring is only good until December 31, said Año, a key member of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
“Hanggang December 31 lang yung pondo para sa bagong hire na contact tracers, pero dere-derecho lang. Iha-hire ng mga LGUs kasi binigay naman namin yan sa mga LGUs so kami lang ang nagpapasweldo. (The fund for new hires is only until December 31 but they will continue working. They will be hired by the LGUs because we turned them over to the LGUs but we shouldered their salaries,” Año said.
Bayanihan 2 earmarked P5 billion for the hiring of the contact tracers.
The DILG began the recruitment of the 50,000 additional contact tracers on September 14, to augment 97,400 contact tracers that various LGUs have hired.
Interior Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya said the contact tracers have a monthly salary of almost P19,000.
Año, asked if the LGUs have the funds for the salaries of the contact tracers, said, “They can find funds.”
Año noted that contact tracers are mostly deployed in LGUs where there are many workers, malls and business establishments but with many COVID-19 cases.
“So ibig sabihin, meron silang revenue diyan para pampa-suweldo ng mga frontliners at saka contact tracers. (This means, they have revenues so they can pay the salaries of frontliners and contact tracers,” he said.