Sotto: Learn from Baguio contact tracing

In a statement made by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, he said that the Department of Health (DOH) should effectively strategize on  resources and procedures in hiring contact tracers.

Senator Vicente Sotto III cited the contact tracing done in Baguio City as the Department of Health (DOH) plans to use a Php 11.7-B budget to hire contact tracers.

"You cannot just deploy anyone to do the job. Contact tracing can only be effective if you use people who are trained in investigation like how they handled it in Baguio. If the DOH hires people who have no experience in investigation, then the program is practically useless. The people they will hire will just ask black and white questions and get answers that will not yield the needed information to help the government track down people who might have contaminated the virus," he said.

In an online learning series held by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), through its Local Government Academy (LGA) held last April 22, 2020, the City of Baguio shared its best practices in conducting contact tracing which was a partnership between law enforcement, investigators, and health authorities of the said city.

Sen. Sotto however insisted that the DOH should recalibrate and use the budget instead to improve on the management of existing COVID-19 patients rather than spending the fund hiring people who are not trained in contact tracing.

"It will be wiser and more practical to divert the Php 11.7-B for the treatment of patients. We need funds to treat our sick kababayans. Mas mahalagang gamitin na lang ang pondong ito para sa pagbili ng mga gamot at medical equipment na makakatulong sa paggaling ng mga pasyente," Sen. Sotto said.

During the Senate inquiry on COVID-19, DOH Sec. Francisco Duque said that an amount of Php 11.7-B would be used to increase the number of contact tracers in the country.

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