Villanueva

Fund, expand contact tracing efforts — solon

August 4, 2021 Marlon Purification 196 views

SENATOR Joel Villanueva has appealed to the government to utilize the P19-billion DOLE-managed employment assistance fund to finance the additional manpower to expand its contact tracing efforts as COVID cases steadily rise.

Villanueva said the “Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged o Displaced Workers” or TUPAD program can be used to deploy a “Delta Force” that will assist in tracing the contacts and travel histories of people found positive for COVID-19.

“Yung TUPAD program, pwede pong gamitin sa pagtukoy ng mga nakasalamuha ng mga taong dinapuan ng virus, saan sila nanggaling, at saan sila maari pang nakahawa,” the chair of the Senate labor committee said.

“Lalo na ngayong may Delta variant na po sa bansa at kailangan ng mala-Delta Force na soldier-frontliner tulad ng mga contact tracers. We need all the help we can get to stop a surge from overrunning our frontlines,” he added.

Under the current year’s national budget, TUPAD is appropriated P19 billion together with the Government Internship Program, an item Villanueva proposed and defended during last year’s debates on the 2021 general appropriations bill.

The program extends emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers in a community.

They will be paid short-term for work in social, economic, infrastructure and environment projects in their own communities.

“Inaksyonan po natin itong pondo ng TUPAD, lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya kung saan marami ang nawalan ng trabaho at naghahanap ng pangtustos sa kanilang mga pamilya,” Villanueva said.

“Siniguro po nating na maitaas ito mulas sa P6 bilyon noong 2020 sa halos tatlong beses ang taas sa P19 bilyon. I believe this fund can be tapped to hire more contact tracers. Pasok na pasok po yan sa paggamit ng pondong iyan,” he added.

“Malalabanan na natin ang COVID-19, makakatulong pa po tayo sa mga nangangailangan ng trabaho,” he said.