MANILA, Mar 11 (Mabuhay) — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will request additional funds from Congress for the renewal of contact tracers’ contracts, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Thursday.

Malaya said the DILG’s P500-million 2021 budget for the rehiring of contact tracers is projected to last only until June.

“Our plan is to request Congress to include an additional amount in the Bayanihan 3… so that should the situation persist, we would have enough contact tracers until the end of the year,” he said during a virtual briefing.

Malaya said the contracts of the 15,000 additional contact tracers hired at the start of the year will expire in June since the agreement is only for six months.

Among the newly hired contact tracers, 2,381 were deployed to Metro Manila; 1,504 to Region 3; and 1,407 to Region 7 to reinforce the contact tracing teams of local government units.

Malaya stressed that the government has hired ample contact tracers to meet the Department of Health (DOH)’s contact tracer to population ratio of 1:800.

“What we need for 108 million Filipinos is 135,000 contact tracers… What we have is 255,854, so our contact tracers are more than enough,” he said.

Meanwhile, the DILG said it would work with the DOH and Department of Information and Communications Technology to harmonize the contact tracing apps of the different cities in Metro Manila.

The Philippines has recorded 603,308 COVID-19 cases with 546,293 recoveries and 12,545 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon.  (MNS)

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