CHED allows 73 universities to conduct limited face-to-face classes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 16, 2021   •   1086

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has approved the conduct of limited face-to-face classes in 73 universities.

During a virtual public briefing on Wednesday (June 16), CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera III said several universities including the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and the Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) began conducting limited face-to-face classes in January. This was after President Rodrigo Duterte approved limited face-to-face classes.

“Sa ngayon, 73 na ang mga pamantasan sa buong Pilipinas na na-inspect na ng CHED, IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force] at local government. Pinayagan na ang mag limited face to face. Mayroon pang nakapilang ibang pamantasan na ini-inspect pa ngayon,” he said.

(Now there are 73 universities in the country that were inspected by CHED, IATF, and the local government. Limited face-to-face classes are now allowed. We still have other universities lined up and are undergoing inspection)

De Vera said medical courses including Nursing, Dentistry, Physical Therapy, and Medical Technology are allowed to have limited face-to-face classes. He also reported that there were zero infections in UP College of Medicine and in OLFU after the opening of classes. The only reported cases of infection, he added, were in Region 8.

“Ibig sabihin, kung talagang tututukan ang compliance sa guidelines na ginawa ng CHED at ng DOH, health protocols at ba pa, ligtas ang mga estudyante dito sa ginagawa nating face-to-face,” he said.

(It means, if the guidelines implemented by CHED and DOH are strictly followed including health protocols, the students will be safe during face-to-face classes)

De Vera also said that the department is looking into expanding the limited face-to-face classes in other degree programs such as Engineering, Information Technology, and Maritime. However, he clarified that the final decision will still be up to President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Kung makikita natin sa datos na ligtas ang unang batch dahil sa compliance sa guidelines ay pupunta tayo kay Presidente Rodrigo Duterte at hihingi ng approval na i-expand and limited fate-to-face classes sa ibang degree program,” he said.

(If we see that the first batch is safe from infection due to compliance with the guidelines, we will go to President Rodrigo Duterte and request for his approval to expand the limited face-to-face classes in other degree programs.) AAC

Mga bata, bawal mamasyal sa dolomite Beach sa Maynila – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Muling nagpa-alala ang Malakanyang sa publiko na hindi pa maaaring magtungo sa mga pasyalan ang mga menor de edad sa kabila ng pagluluwag ng COVID-19 alert level sa Metro Manila.

Ginawa ng Palasyo ang paalala kasunod ng muling pagdagsa ng maraming tao sa dolomite beach sa Maynila nitong weekend.

Batay sa video na kuha ng UNTV drone, makikita ang kumpulan ng maraming tao sa Manila Bay pati na ang ilang pamilyang may kasama pang mga bata.

Sa dami ng taong dumagsa sa lugar, hindi na nasunod ang social distancing rule at may iba pang hindi maayos ang pagkakasuot ng face mask.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, bawal pang pumasok ang mga bata sa dolomite beach sa Manila Bay at iba pang pasyalan.

Una nang sinabi ni Roque na maaari lamang lumabas ang mga bata kung ito ay para sa pangunahing pangangailangan at outdoor exercise.

“Hindi pa po pwede talagang magpasyal-pasyal ang mga bata. So, unang-una nananawagan po kami sa ating mga kababayan, pandemya pa po,” ani Roque.

“Bagama’t bumababa po ang mga kaso natin eh nandiyan pa po si COVID-19. So, huwag po tayong magpabaya… Kinakailangan po mask, hugas, iwas at kung kakayanin na bakuna na,” dagdag pa niya.

Kasalukuyang nasa COVID-19 Alert Level 3 ang Metro Manila, na ang ibig sabihin ay mas maluwag na restriction at pagpapahintulot sa pagbubukas ng mas maraming establisimyento sa limitadong kapasidad.

Ngunit paalala ng Palasyo sa publiko, dapat pa ring mag-ingat at iwasan ang pagkukumpulan dahil sa patuloy na banta ng COVID-19 sa kabila ng mataas na vaccination rate sa rehiyon.

Dapat ring panatilihin ang pagsunod sa health protocols upang maiwasan ang super spreader events.

“Nananawagan din po kami sa kapulisan, siguro diyan po sa Maynila, kinakailangan po ipatupad natin yung social distancing,” ani Roque.

Samantala, muli ring umapela ang Department of Health (DOH) sa publiko na huwag balewalain ang ipinaiiral na health protocols upang huwag nang tumaas pa ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

“Katulad po ng lagi nating sinasabi hindi pa po tapos ang laban, andito pa po ang virus. Kailangan po tulong-tulong tayo huwag po tayong maging kampante maaaring lumabas pa ring pero kailangan mag- iingat pa rin tayo lahat,” ang paalala ni DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Samantala, sinabi naman ni Environment and Natural Undersecretary Benny Antiporda na posibleng limitahan na nila ang dami ang mga papapasuking bisita sa dolomite beach sa Manila Bay upang maiwasan ang pagdagsa ng mga tao.

“They can spend about 15 minutes and since hindi po—hindi na po 15 minutes, pinababayaan na po kahit magtagal sa loob, eh titingnan po natin at kahit tuloy-tuloy pa ho, tuloy-tuloy pa yung dating ng tao, maaari hong ibalik namin yung time limit ng pagbisita,” ang wika ni Antiporda. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

PNP to deploy more cops at Manila dolomite beach

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it will deploy more personnel at the dolomite beach in Manila after thousands of people flocked to the area over the weekend.

PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said he has tasked the Manila Police District (MPD) to closely coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), dolomite beach administrators, and the local government unit on the possibility of establishing restrictions on the number of visitors and their length of stay.

He also directed the MPD to make sure that no super spreader event will occur in the area.

“Inatasan ko na ang Director, MPD na magdagdag ng pulis sa dolomite area ng Manila Bay upang tiyakin na nasusunod ang minimum public health safety protocols. Kasama sa aking utos ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa lokal na pamahalaan upang magkaroon ng maayos na sistema, lalo na sa pagdadala ng mga bata na nakita natin sa video at sa mga litrato na kumalat sa social media,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Nauunawaan natin ang kasabikan ng ilan nating mga kababayan na lumabas dahil sa mahabang lockdown subalit hindi dahilan ito upang ipagsawalang-bahala ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa, lalo na ang mga batang isinama nila gayong malinaw sa patakaran na hindi pa puwede silang lumabas under the COVID Alert Level 3 status,” he added.

Last Sunday, the PNP said authorities temporarily stopped the entry of visitors when the crowd reached 4,000.

Video taken via UNTV drone also showed clusters of people visiting the dolomite beach, with some even violating the protocol on social distancing and wearing of face masks.

Eleazar reminded the public to strictly adhere to the health protocols against COVID-19 when visiting public areas to prevent the further spread of the disease.

The DENR earlier said it is eyeing the possibility of limiting to only 15 minutes the length of stay and the number of visitors to the area.

Vaccination, not a requirement to vote — Comelec

Maris Federez   •   October 25, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) maintains that there is no law that requires a person to get vaccinated first before he or she can vote in the May 2022 national and local elections.

According to Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Atty. Teofisto Elnas, a voter will not be asked to present his vaccination card come election day.

“Lalo na ina-anticipate natin na on election day na meron at meron pang walang vaccination or yung mga taong hindi nagpa-vaccine for whaterver reason makakaboto pa rin sila and they are not to present ‘yong vaccination card,” Elnas said.

Comelec spokesperson Director James Jimenez, meanwhile, said there is no alternative way for a confirmed COVID-19 positive patient or those in an isolation facility to vote during the elections.

“Paano naman ‘yong may mga sakit din? May pneumonia, may cancer? Hindi naman sila makakaboto. So if you’re sick, we recommend that you stay for treatment or if you are contagious, stay away from people. I think that’s, shall we say, fair,” Jimenez said.

The poll body, however, said that they are willing to extend the voting hours so that more voters will be given the opportunity to cast their votes.

“Just in case at the end of the voting hours meron at meron pa ring mga botante na nakapila or mga botante within the voting center, uubusin yan hanggang matapos yan. Tatapusin yan. So, in effect mag-i-extend tayo ng voting hours natin,” Elnas said.

Comelec reminds voters that wearing face masks and face shields will be strictly implemented on election day.

Voter registration is still ongoing until October 30.

As of September 30, Comelec has recorded 63 million registered voters. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

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