23 March 2021
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) urged anew local government units (LGUs) to avail of its free contact tracing training program (CTTP) as the country is now experiencing a surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

It can be recalled that at the onset of the pandemic last year, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña immediately ordered for the registration of more health-related programs and tasked the agency's Qualifications and Standards Office to develop competency standards on contact tracing.

He likewise directed the TESDA Technology Institutions (TTIs) nationwide to register the program and partner with barangay health centers, LGUs, Philippine Red Cross (PRC), or Department of Health (DOH) facilities in their areas.

With this, TESDA, in September last year, has started offering free contact tracing training program to support the country's fight against the spread of the new coronavirus.

From September last year up to March this year, based on raw data gathered from the published reports of the Agency’s regional and provincial offices, at least 332 TESDA scholars have completed their training on Contact Tracing Level II.

Earlier, Lapeña expressed his optimism that this initiative will benefit the community and the LGUs particularly in the barangay level.

“It is through this program that we can produce more graduates for the LGUs to utilize as contact tracers who will work to prevent the spread of coronavirus in their respective barangays,” he had said.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. had said that contact tracing has been the weakest point of the country’s pandemic response.

Contact tracing czar and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong had said that the country needs a 1:37 patient to close contacts ratio in order to cut the transmission of the disease.

Meanwhile, the training on contact tracing, which was developed with the help of the Health Human Resources Development Bureau of the DOH and the health industry experts, runs for 15 days under blended learning modality.

Trainees for contact tracing must have completed at least 10 years basic education or holder of Alternative Learning System certificate of completion with Grade 10 equivalent and has basic communication skills.

Trainees will be given a training allowance amounting to PhP2,400 for the entire training duration, insurance coverage, and additional allowance to cover internet expenses and personal protective equipment. The graduates may apply in LGUs of their choice for possible employment after their training. ###