Training begins for first batch of 10k hired contact tracers — DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   October 2, 2020   •   500

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday said the first batch of 10,136 contract tracers from more than 55,000 applicants have already been hired.

“The hiring of contract tracers is being expedited as time is of the essence in our fight against COVID-19. Ngayon, higit sa 10k na ang ating na-hire and we intend to hit our commitment to employ the 50k CTS prescribed in the Bayanihan 2 Law before the end of this month,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

“Hindi tumitigil ang mga tanggapan ng DILG sa mga highly urbanized cities at probinsya sa pag-proseso at pagtanggap ng mga aplikante,” he added.

The DILG chief said the hiring process is now in full swing with more than 47,000 applications being processed in its field offices all over the country.

More applications are expected to be received in the coming days, he added.

Meanwhile, DILG Spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the first batch of hired contact tracers have started to undergo training prior to their deployment to communities.

“Hindi naman po natin sila isasabak nang basta-basta ng walang training,” he said.

The DILG earlier said hired contact tracers will be deployed in areas where there is still a high COVID-19 infections.

Malaya said the DILG is looking for contact tracers aged 21-45 years old with a Bachelor’s degree or college level in an allied medical course or criminology course. If there are none available, any course will do. Applicants must submit their Diploma or Transcript of Records (TOR) to prove their educational attainment.

He clarified though that in case the TOR or Diploma is not available, a certification from the university will suffice. Also, while the National Bureau of Investigation clearance is under process, he said, the DILG will accept a police clearance in the meantime.

Aspirants must also be skilled in data gathering and have assisted in research and documentation; able to interview COVID-19 cases and close contacts in order to gather data; possess the ability to advocate public health education messages; and have investigative capability.

“We are looking for the most fit and qualified individuals for the job dahil very challenging ang kanilang magiging trabaho for the next 3 months. Their work on the ground is crucial in our battle against COVID-19,” Malaya said.

Applicants are also required to submit a letter of intent, Personal Data Sheet, National Bureau of Investigation Clearance, drug test results and other documents to all DILG Provincial and City Field Offices nationwide or visit their websites for the posting of vacancies.

Shoppers pack street in Divisoria Market amid COVID-19 threat

Robie de Guzman   •   November 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Marketgoers still trooped to Divisoria in Manila on Monday despite appeals from authorities to limit their movement and observe strict health protocols amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a report in UNTV’s Ito Ang Balita by Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr., people packed Ilaya street in Divisoria where stalls were put up by the city government, not mindful of tarpaulins reminding shoppers to follow social distancing and other protocols.

Shopper Romer Camus admitted to having apprehensions at first in going to Divisoria but said he only had this time to buy some stuff in line with the upcoming holiday season.

November 30, Bonifacio Day, is a non-working holiday in the country.

“Natatakot at first pero naka-face shield naman kami, naka-face mask po. Tapos, yun nga po wala ng proper distancing po. Yun lang kasi kailangan talaga naming mamimili po. Tapos, bukas may pasok na rin kami,” he said.

Local authorities in Manila have been appealing to marketgoers to practice social distancing and to avoid conglomerating in a space.

However, they admitted to having difficulty in enforcing the protocols when the crowding of people becomes uncontrollable.

“Lagi naman ho namin silang pinapaalalahanan na magsuot ng face mask, face shield, at social distancing po. Yun nga po, hindi namin sila mapigilan,” said Manuel Villanueva, a barangay officer in Manila.

During the holiday season, many Filipinos go to Divisoria to buy goods that are sold at affordable prices. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

1,773 new COVID-19 cases reported on Nov. 30

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 30, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded 1,773 COVID-19 cases, 44 recoveries and 18 deaths as of November 30, 4:00 p.m.

The total number of cases already reached 431,630; of which, 24,580 are active.

The number of total recoveries increased to 398,658; while the death toll reached 8,392.

Based on records, 7 duplicates were removed from the total case count where 4 patients are recorded to have already recovered.

Meanwhile, the DOH said there is no need to implement a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) this holiday season.

However, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III agrees with the report of the University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research that there is a slight surge in COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks.

“Hindi naman kailangan mangangahulugan mag-MECQ itong lalo na ngayong darating na holiday season mismo. Nguni’t tama iyong sinabi ng OCTA na mayroon ngang sa ngayon bahagyang tumataas ang kaso dito sa NCR (There is no need for an MECQ this coming holiday. Although [UP-OCTA- is right about the slight increase of [COVID-19] cases in the National Capital Region)” he said.

Duque said the surge in cases might have been due to the crowded evacuation centers during the typhoon.

He also said the GCQ implementation is already enough but further easing the quarantine restrictions would probably increase the risk for the public. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)


COVID-19 health rules in events a must but hard to enforce at times, Galvez admits

Robie de Guzman   •   November 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday stressed the importance of enforcing physical distancing and other health protocols at events amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, he admitted that there are times when physical distancing is difficult to impose when the crowding of people becomes uncontrollable during public events and other instances.

“I believe in some instances, like in evacuation areas and also in some programs, we cannot really dictate the situation because sometimes, the people tend to conglomerate and to really crowd themselves,” he said in a media interview.

Galvez made the remark after events attended by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque and Senator Manny Pacquiao were criticized for allegedly breaching health protocols.

Roque was spotted addressing a large crowd in Cebu last Friday while Pacquiao distributed relief goods to calamity-hit families in Batangas. Physical distancing was allegedly not observed in both events.

Galvez said that at times like this, they remind the people to follow health protocols prescribed by authorities to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

“We are trying to really indicate and advise our people to be very careful and observe minimum health standards,” he said.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said a fact-finding initiative will be launched into the events attended by Roque and Pacquiao for alleged violations of health protocols vs COVID-19. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)


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