DILG To Hire 1.5K Contact Tracers For Soccsksargen

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The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will hire around 1,500 contact-tracers for Region 12 (Soccsksargen) to boost the ongoing efforts of local government units (LGU) to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Josephine Leysa, DILG-Region 12 director, said Wednesday the recruitment process is ongoing for the contact-tracers, who will be trained and eventually deployed in the region’s four provinces and two cities.

Leysa said the region was initially given 1,451 slots but was expanded to 50 more based on an advisory from their central office.

“We haggled a bit to get additional slots since we already have (Covid-19) local transmission,” she told reporters.

A DILG briefer said those hired will be integrated and assigned in the contact-tracing teams of LGUs and will receive a monthly salary of PHP18,784 or equivalent to Salary Grade 9.

Ideal applicants are graduates or undergraduates of allied medical courses; skilled in data gathering and/or assisted in research and documentation; must be able to interview Covid-19 cases and close contacts in order to gather data on travel history and conduct health assessment; possess the ability to advocate public health education messages; and must have investigative skills.

The hired contact-tracers will undergo necessary training through the Local Government Academy.

Leysa said DILG will prioritize its own contract of service personnel, especially those who were not renewed as a result of the budget realignments due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said the priority list includes returning overseas Filipino workers who are now unemployed; terminated workers of local establishments and companies; displaced workers in the formal and informal sectors; and, barangay health workers.

Former government volunteers, members of duly-accredited civil society organizations, and parent-leaders of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, especially those from high-risk areas, may also apply as contact-tracers, she said.

Leysa said the hiring and deployment of the contact tracers are mainly based on the population size of a province or city and the number of active cases.

For instance, she said South Cotabato province, which has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the region, was initially given 469 slots.

North Cotabato received 401 slots, followed by Sarangani with 201, Sultan Kudarat with 231, this city with 136, and Cotabato City with 52.

Soccksargen’s confirmed Covid-19 cases since March already reached a total of 944 cases as of Tuesday evening, with 19 related deaths and 498 recoveries.

The majority of the 498 active cases were attributed to local transmission of the disease in the region’s four provinces and three major cities.

South Cotabato posted the most number of cases with 309, followed by this city with 189, Cotabato City with 143, Sarangani with 118, Sultan Kudarat with 96, and North Cotabato with 89. (PNA)

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