The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) deployed Wednesday a total of 1,501 contact tracers in parts of Region 12 (Soccsksargen) to assist in the tracking of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
DILG-Region 12 Director Josephine Leysa said Thursday the contact tracers were received by their assigned local government units (LGUs) and given initial instructions in simple ceremonies facilitated by the agency’s field offices.
Leysa said all of the contact tracers have already undergone the pre-deployment process, including the mandatory orientation-seminar, spearheaded by the regional office.
Last week, the office of deputy speaker for Mindanao and South Cotabato 2nd District Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez provided some 1,515 sets of hygiene kits for the contact tracers.
Based on the slots endorsed by DILG-12, a total of 480 contact tracers were deployed in South Cotabato, 401 in North Cotabato, 231 in Sultan Kudarat, 201 in Sarangani, 136 in this city and 52 in Cotabato City.
Soccsksargen was initially given 1,451 slots but it was expanded to 50 more due to the confirmed local transmission of Covid-19 in parts of the region.
In a statement, Leysa urged the contact tracers to take their assignments as an opportunity to learn, share their experiences and expertise, and at the same serve their communities.
“Do your jobs really well, put your heart into it for the benefit of our communities in Region 12,” she said.
A DILG briefer said those hired will be integrated and assigned in the contact-tracing teams of LGUs for four months and will receive a monthly salary of PHP18,784 or equivalent to Salary Grade 9.
The agency was authorized under Republic Act 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) to hire at least 50,000 contact tracers nationwide to ramp up the government’s contact tracing program.
South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr., who graced the deployment ceremony held at the South Cotabato Sports Complex in Koronadal City, lauded the DILG for responding to the need of the LGUs in the region for additional Covid-19 contact tracers.
Tamayo said the move provided an opportunity for residents of South Cotabato who had lost their jobs in other cities like Manila and Cebu due to the Covid-19 crisis.
The governor assured that the local government will provide them with the necessary support as they perform their assigned duties.
“They are considered as front-liners who have been sacrificing themselves for the safety and protection of every Filipino,” he said. (PNA)