Department of Labor and Employment
March 30, 2021
Informal workers to be hired as contact tracers
The labor department volunteered the hiring of contract tracers under its emergency employment program to help curb the rate of Covid infection in the National Capital Region and four surrounding provinces.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he advised local government units in the bubble area through the DILG in the recent meeting of the InterAgency Task Force dealing with the Covid pandemic.
Bello said the LGUs just need to train workers to perform the task of contact tracer for a period of between 10 to 15 days in their respective communities and cities.
He said by employing displaced workers as contact tracers, LGUs will be able to augment their manpower requirement to trace and identify Covid cases.
“I was talking with Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing and he mentioned about DILG’s funding issues, that is why I volunteered the emergency employment program of DOLE”, Bello said.
To keep at pace with the expansion of testing capacity, Bello said “there is an urgent need to strengthen the contract tracing efforts in the country, and displaced and disadvantaged workers under the emergency employment program of the Department will be hired as contact tracers.”
Under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced (TUPAD) Workers Program, displaced, underemployed and seasonal workers shall be provided with emergency employment for a minimum period of 10 days and a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed.
“We will leave it [training] to the better judgement of the DILG in selecting the worker-beneficiaries as contact tracers. It will depend on the number of contact tracers each LGU will need. We have sufficient budget for that,” Bello added.
On top of the TUPAD program, Bello said the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), a one-time cash assistance program to formal workers affected by the pandemic, will soon commence and the labor department will again be accepting applications from employers in behalf of their workers.
With the observance of ECQ in the NCR plus bubble, Bello asked for more patience and understanding from the public, and urged workers and employers to continue with the strict adherence to public health and safety protocols while the Labor Department he said continues to provide the necessary assistance to affected workers and to push for the preservation of employment by businesses and enterprises. ###