DAGUPAN CITY, Sept. 25 (PIA) - With the signing of the "Bayanihan to Recover as One Act" or Bayanihan 2 Law by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the government now has the go signal to hire additional contact tracers for the contact tracing program of the country.
Provincial Director Paulino Lalata, Jr. of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said out of the 50,000 contact tracers needed for the country, 805 are allotted for Pangasinan.
"Here in Pangasinan, sa dami ng applicants, we have organized sub-cluster committees to assess and interview contact tracing applicants from Sept. 22 - 25. Pagkatapos ay magkakaroon ng deliberation," Lalata said during the Kapihan sa PIA virtual forum, Wednesday.
Applicants were interviewed in places accessible to them like in the cities of Dagupan, Alaminos, and Urdaneta and in the towns of Lingayen and Sta Maria.
Lalata said among the responsibilities of the contact tracers 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-19 response.
Overseas Filipino workers who lost their jobs were given priority if they qualified with the requirements. Medical and Criminology graduates were preferred but all qualified applicants were welcome.
"We entertained all applicants pero very crucial na 'yung aplikante ay willing to do research and investigation dahil sa contact tracing, magsasaliksik ng mga posibleng kaso ng COVID-19 sa community," Lalata told PIA.
Under the guidelines drafted by the DILG, the contact tracers will earn a minimum of PhP 18,784.00 per month in a contract of service status. They will also be provided with personal protective equipment.
Meanwhile, in a separate report, DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano said the additional 50,000 contact tracers are the game-changer in the country's COVID-response since this will allow the government to cut the transmission of the disease and ultimately defeat COVID-19. (JCR/JPD/VHS, PIA Pangasinan)