The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has allocated P205 million to hire displaced workers as contact tracers.
In a online press briefing on Wednesday, DOLE’s Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) said the fund is good to provide employment to 12,000 displaced informal sector workers for at least 30 days under its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD).
BWSC director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla explained the target number of beneficiaries can still change depending on the result of their talk with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other concerned government offices on Thursday.
Some local government units (LGU) are requesting the temporary employment be extended to three months, according to the labor official.
She said they can consider the request but they would have to reduce the number of beneficiaries to 4,000 because of their limited budget.
“Tomorrow (April 8), we will have a final discussion [on this matter] and then hopefully by next week we could come up with a policy or internal guidelines for our regional office on how they can operationalize this,” Trayvilla said.
Rehired contact tracers
Based on their initial guidelines, she said beneficiaries of the program will be given two-day online training by the DILG before they are deployed in the so-called National Capital Region (NCR) plus, which includes Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, and Cavite to help in the government’s contact tracing efforts.
The selected beneficiaries, she said, would likely help in the operation centers of contact tracing units of LGUs and the DILG.
They will be paid a minimum wage, given personal protective equipment, and micro insurance during their contact tracing stint.
BWSC is eyeing to rehire the contact tracers of DILG, who contracts were no longer renewed last year due to budget constraints.
“We could include them from the number of contact tracers that will hire. So they will not need additional training they could immediately could go about what they do,” Trayvilla said.
Out of the 50,000 contact tracers employed by DILG last year, only 15,000 has their contracts renewed this year.