DILG extends application period for new contact tracers

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    THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has indefinitely extended the receipt of applications for contact tracers needed in the campaign against COVID-19, which was supposed to end last Wednesday.

    Interior undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya said the DILG field offices will continue to receive applications until the 50,000 slots for additional contract tracers are already filled up.

    The recently-signed Bayanihan 2 Act has allotted P5 billion for the hiring of 50,000 new tracers, in addition to over 200,000 contact tracers, mostly volunteers, that the country has at present.

    “What’s important to us is to fill up the slots and recruit the most number of contact tracers as provided in the Bayanihan 2 law. Those who (will) meet the deadline will immediately be processed but we will continue to accept applications until we have met our targets,” said Malaya.

    Malaya could not immediately say how many have applied to become contact tracers since they began accepting applications on September 14.

    “No data yet because the hiring is decentralized (and) simultaneous all over the country.

    But we’re doing okay so far. We are confident of being able to hire all the 50,000 (contact tracers),” said Malaya.

    Malaya said 10,000 individuals have applied in Metro Manila, where the department is aiming to hire 9,600. He said the documents submitted by the applicants were incomplete.

    Malaya said they are giving the applicants more time to complete their documents on a first come, first serve basis. “As soon as they are deemed qualified by the selection board, they will be hired, trained, and deployed to the various LGUs,” he said.

    The DILG prefers applicants who have a bachelor’s degree or had some college education in an allied medical or criminology course. He said employees and Overseas Filipino Workers whose employment were disrupted by the pandemic will be given priority, if they meet the qualification.

    “While our first preference is college graduates or college level of allied medical courses or criminology, we are also open to graduates or college level of any course. So, we urge them to apply and help the country defeat COVID-19,” said Malaya.