The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday said it would hire at least 50,000 contract tracers nationwide after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” or Bayanihan 2 into law.

In a statement, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the recruitment, hiring and training of 50,000 contact tracers would begin on Sept. 15.

“We welcome the signing of Bayanihan 2 Law for it means that we can now go ahead and start the hiring process for additional contact tracers urgently needed by the various local government units (LGUs) nationwide. Again, we thank the president and Congress for allocating much-needed funds for our Covid response,” he said.

The contact tracers will be assigned to LGUs’ contact tracing teams to assist units led by the local health officers, members of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection and Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams and other volunteers.

There are 97,400 contact tracers nationwide.

“With the additional 50,000 contact tracers, we will now be able to meet the Magalong formula of tracing 37 close contacts of one Covid patient up to the 3rd degree,” Año said.

Under the DILG guidelines, the contact tracers will be paid at least P18,784 monthly in a contract of service status. 

Contact tracers’ responsibilities include conducting interviews, profiling, performing public health risk assessment and daily monitoring of Covid-19 cases and identified close contacts.

Año said applicants must be bachelor’s degree holders or have reached college level in allied medical or criminology courses. John Ezekiel J. Hirro