Labor department says to hire COVID-19 contact-tracers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 09 2021 03:32 PM

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The labor department will use its funds to hire about 5,000 contact-tracers for Metro Manila and four surrounding provinces which are under the strictest quarantine level, an official said on Friday. 

Funds for the initiative would come from the agency's emergency employment program, said Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla, head of the department's Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns. 

She said the hiring of contact-tracers would "hopefully" start next week. They will get paid at the rate of the minimum wage in their regions and will be employed under the program for about 3 months. 

“Ang gusto po sana nating ma-hire dito iyong ating mga nasa informal na sector na workers at iyong mga na-displace sa trabaho, at kung maaari po, kahit ang qualification ay high school graduate ay sana tanggapin bilang isang contact-tracer,” she said in a public briefing.

(We want to hire those in the informal sector and displaced workers, and if possible, we want them to be accepted if they are high school graduates.)

Applicants must have basic knowledge in using a phone and the internet. Online training for contact-tracers will be held over one or two days, during which they will start receiving their pay, Trayvilla said. 

Those who are interested in the job opportunity should go to the labor department's nearest satellite offices or call the DOLE Hotline 1349 or telephone number 8404-3336, she added. 

The Philippines' contact-tracing strategy for COVID-19 remains far from ideal, Malacañang said in March, a year since the World Health Organization declared the respiratory disease a pandemic. 

A recent surge of coronavirus prompted the government to place Metro Manila and surrounding provinces Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces under enhanced community quarantine until April 11.