P2.52B for DILG to hire contact tracers already released, says DBM
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P2.52 billion, or half, of the budget to hire and train COVID-19 contact tracers under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.
DBM documents showed that the special allotment release order (Saro) for the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will cover funding to ramp up contact tracing to stop transmission of SARS Cov2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
In a text message on Friday (Oct. 2), Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado confirmed that the Saro for the DILG was approved on Oct. 1 and released Oct. 2.
The Bayanihan 2 law had set aside P5 billion for the hiring and training of 50,000 contact tracers nationwide.
The DILG had said the additional contract tracers will bring the ratio to one contact tracer for every 800 people.
With over 85,000 contact tracers to date, the Philippines needed 50,000 more to have a total of 135,000 and reach the ideal ratio.
The DILG plans to deploy 20,000 additional contact tracers in Luzon and 15,000 each in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Also on Friday, the DILG said in a statement that it already hired an initial batch of 10,136 contact tracers out of 55,000 applicants.
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