CONTACT tracers the Cebu City Government hired in July have only received one month’s worth of salary.

Mark, in an interview posted on the Facebook page of Bombo Radyo, said he and around 200 other contact tracers started working on July 10. But since then, he said they’ve only been paid once and that was last month.

Mark, who did not provide a last name, said he was hoping the media would help them get their salaries for the other months.

“We think it is only right that we ask the City to pay us after all this time,” Mark said in Cebuano.

Charoma Jessica Amatos, officer in-charge of the contact tracing department, said the delay was due to the reprogramming of funds, as well as the meticulous process to ensure that the payment complied with the rules of the Commission on Audit.

Another factor for the delay were the errors on documents contact tracers submitted, she said.

Amatos told the media contact tracers are entitled to P450 per day.

The City Health Department had to pull out funds from other accounts since the original budget intended for contact tracers was not sufficient.

The City Council approved the reprogrammed funds in October. With this, the City can release the rest of their salaries in December.

Due to the lack of manpower at the height of the pandemic, the City was forced to hire more contact tracers to avoid a backlog in tracing patients who might have been exposed to Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019.

As of last month, Amatos said there were fewer than 100 contact tracers under the City Government since the others were transferred to the Department of the Interior and Local Government. (JJL)