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BAGUIO CITY-- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will hire 571 additional contact tracers to strengthen the capacities of local government units (LGUs).

“The contact tracers shall augment or form part of the existing Contact Tracing Team (CTT) of a local government unit (LGU),” explained Marlo Iringan, DILG Regional Director.

“They shall conduct case interviews, profiling and do an initial public health risk assessment of COVID-19 cases and their identified close contacts,” he said.

In between, the contact tracers shall also help in the advocacy campaign to remind people to faithfully follow or comply with the minimum health protocols which are wearing of mask/face shield, social distancing, washing/disinfecting of hands.

A total of 571 contact tracers shall be hired for the Cordilleras to be distributed to local government units where there are inadequate number of contact tracers.

RD Iringan said that DILG will prioritize graduates of medical-related courses, criminology, and similar courses in getting contact tracers. Hired contact tracers will render services until December 31, 2020.

He explained that the contact tracers shall be required to undergo training to prepare them for the tasks ahead. The topics shall include but not limited to the following: overview of emergency health responses; elements and associated risks of COVID 19; analyzing contact tracing tools and processes; and, cognitive interviewing technique.

 Applicants are required to submit their letter of intent, duly accomplished Personal Data Sheet (PDS), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance/ Police Clearance and drug test result.

At present, contact tracing teams are composite units led by the Municipal/City Health Officers with members from the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTS), and volunteers from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

The DILG is the lead agency in contact tracing pursuant to IATF Resolution No. 25. Hence, On April 24, the DILG issued Memorandum Circular 2020-077 directing local government units to establish their own task forces against Covid-19, including contact tracing teams. The task force would give the LGUs the authority to take the lead in contact tracing efforts. (Pamela Mariz Geminiano/DILG-CAR)