Cebu City contact tracers assured: Salaries to be released by year’s end
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Health Department has assured the public that the salaries of over 200 contact tracers hired by the city government since July 2020 will be released by the end of 2020.
Mayor Edgardo Labella said that the City Health Department was already working on the requirements for the release of the salaries of these contact tracers.
Some of the contact tracers, who are paid P450 per day, have complained that their August to October salaries have not yet been released.
This has made it difficult for them to survive in the past months despite rendering their service.
The City Health said that the delay was caused by two major factors — the reprogramming of funds in the department and the requirements needed by the Commission on Audit (COA).
The reprogramming was necessary because the allotted budget by the City Health for manpower could no longer suffice with the number of new contact tracers hired.
The City Health had to pull from the savings of other accounts such as programs postponed due to the pandemic.
The City Council recently approved of the reprogramming only on October 2020, causing a delay in the budget allocation.
Simultaneously, the City Health was also gathering all requirements needed by COA for the release of the payroll, but many contact tracers lacked some documents.
“Everytime mopass na mi naay makit-an nga sayop or kuwang sa mga requirements sa contact tracers mao na ibalik na pud namo,” Charoma Jessica Amatos, officer-in-charge for administration of the contact tracers.
(Everytime we pass the documents, we find mistakes or lack of requirements of the contract tracers that is the reason that we return them.)
Amatos said that they had been working overtime to get the payroll approved by the department heads, and even Mayor Edgardo Labella signed them ahead of time to fast-track the process.
The City Health is pleading for the patience of the contact tracers as their salaries would eventually be released by December 2020.
In particular, the August payroll is ready to be distributed with a few paperworks left to be finished.
Amatos said the City Health would want the contact tracers to receive their salaries before Christmas and the department would continuously process the requirements.
She urged the contact tracers to submit carefully checked requirements and accomplishment reports so no additional delays would be incurred.
There were a total of 204 contact tracers from July to August, and these slowly dwindled as many contact tracers transferred to the Department of Interior and Local Government team.
As of October 2020 less than 100 contact tracers are left since the number of cases has dropped, and there is no more need for a lot of contact tracing teams./dbs
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