The employment of nearly 6,000 contact tracers in Metro Manila has been extended to only two months due to “inadequate funds”, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Monday.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the extension of employment was upon the request of m Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Benhur Abalos, and mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR).
He said the officials had requested to extend the contract of the 5,754 contact tracers for another three months.
Bello said the DOLE can accommodate the request but only for another two months.
“This morning (Monday) I found out that we can accommodate the request but for a limited scale for having inadequate funds. We informed the Secretary, chairman Abalos this morning we can afford to extend the services of the contact tracers by only two months not three months,” he said.
He said the department will spend more than PHP200 million for the two-month extension.
“But knowing the necessity of the contact tracers and how can I refuse chairman Abalos. So, on that basis we allowed the extension of the service of our contact tracers for another two months,” Bello said.
Last May, several LGUs in Metro Manila deployed 5,754 contact tracers under the DOLE’s emergency employment, the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program.
The contract tracers were hired to serve for three months with a PHP537 per day salary.
The program has a budget of PHP280 million.
Source: Philippines News Agency