Manila City OKs limited in-person classes, internships in 4 medical schools

Robie de Guzman   •   March 3, 2021   •   574

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Manila on Wednesday announced it has approved the plan of four medical schools to conduct limited face-to-face classes and clerkship programs for their health-related programs.

In a statement, the Manila Public Information Office (PIO) said these schools include Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) College of Medicine, Metropolitan Medical Center College of Arts and Sciences, Chinese General Hospital Colleges, and Manila Theological College – College of Medicine.

The PIO said that under PLM’s proposal, University President Emmanuel Leyco asked Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso to allow the gradual reopening of the clinical clerkship program in the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center.

Metropolitan Medical Center College of Arts and Sciences Executive Vice President Remedior Habacon also requested to gradually re-open its face-to-face classes and clinical clerkship under the Doctor of Medicine program.

The Manila Theological College – College of Medicine likewise asked for an approval to allow its 4th year medical students to conduct a limited in-hospital duty at Tondo Medical Center, the school’s base hospital.

For Chinese General Hospital Colleges, Domagoso approved its request to resume hands-on pre-clinical training and clinical rotation in their campus laboratory and hospital for their students under the programs of Doctor of Medicine, BS Nursing, BS Medical Technology, BS Radiologic Technology, and BS Physical Therapy.

“If you need testing for your students, we have a good capacity to test para magkaroon ng peace of mind among each other, including your professors,” Domagoso offered.

The city government earlier allowed the University of Santo Tomas and Centro Eskolar University to hold in-person classes for medical courses.

Under the guidelines issued by the Commission on Higher Education, educational institutions have to consult with their respective local government units first before submitting their official application for limited face-to-face classes.

Intramuros, other tourism sites in Manila to reopen on September 16

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat on Wednesday (September 15) announced the reopening of Rizal Park and three sites in Intramuros; namely Fort Santiago, Baluarte de San Diego, and Plaza San Luis under limited capacity and shortened operating hours on September 16.

In a statement, the DOT said that Rizal Park will be open from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. with a maximum capacity of 500 visitors at any given time.

Fort Santiago will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays with a maximum capacity of 150 visitors at any given time.

Meanwhile, Baluarte de San Diego will be operating daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will accommodate a maximum of 80 people at a time.

On the other hand, Plaza San Luis is free for those who want to visit but only from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm daily.

The tourism department, meanwhile, reiterates only those within the age of 18 to below 65 shall be allowed in both Rizal Park and the Intramuros sites.

“We continuously urge our tourists to strictly adhere to the health and safety protocols to sustain the resumption of tourism in the country,” Puyat said.

Meanwhile, the DOT said that to encourage more National Capital Region (NCR) residents to get their COVID-19 jabs, the DOT through the Intramuros Administration will set up an express lane for fully-vaccinated individuals who wish to visit Fort Santiago and Baluarte San Diego. AAC

DepEd urged to uphold safety of teachers, personnel as school year 2021-2022 opens

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to uphold the safety and welfare of teachers, non-teaching staff, and other school personnel amid the persisting threat of COVID-19.

Gatchalian made the appeal as more than 24.6 million learners resume home-based learning at the opening of the school year 2021-2022.

Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture, stressed that giving this assurance to the country’s education frontliners is the “best way to thank them for their hard work and sacrifices” to implement DepEd’s distance learning program.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa ating mga guro, mga kawani, at mga school officials dahil kung wala ang kanilang sipag, dedikasyon, at patuloy na sakripisyo, hindi natin maipagpapatuloy ang edukasyon sa gitna ng pandemya. Ngunit dahil patuloy ang banta ng COVID-19, dapat nating tiyaking protektado sila at meron silang matatakbuhan kapag sila ay tinamaan ng sakit,” he said in a statement.

Gatchalian noted that even without in-person learning, activities such as the printing and distribution of self-learning modules still expose teachers, staff, and school officials to the coronavirus disease.

While DepEd personnel who get infected with COVID-19 are covered by the package of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Gatchalian said that some of them still need to spend money out of their pockets before receiving reimbursements from the state insurer.

He urged DepEd to work with PhilHealth in creating a “special lane” to ensure the faster provision of financial aid to personnel who fell ill with COVID-19.

Gatchalian also reiterated the need to vaccinate both teachers and learners to ensure safety in the gradual reopening of schools, which should start with pilot testing in low-risk areas.

Based on the estimates of the National Economic and Development Authority, last year’s school closures will cost the country P11 trillion in the next 40 years.

Because of the learning and economic losses resulting from yearlong school closures, Gatchalian said that the country cannot handle another year without face-to-face classes.

The senator has been pushing for the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in low-risk areas for COVID-19.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier expressed “openness” to proposals to allow resumption of in-person classes in some areas but health safety should be assured to protect students from the threat of coronavirus infections.

More than 1 million fully vaccinated in Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — More than 1 million individuals have been fully vaccinated in Manila.

Based on the data from the Manila Health Department (MHD), 1,000,206 persons have now been fully vaccinated in the City of Manila against COVID-19 as of September 10 at 5:00 p.m.

Based on the Department of Health (DOH) population estimates, about 74.01% of Manila’s qualified population are already fully vaccinated.

The MHD said it has already administered 2,255,541 jabs of the COVID-19 vaccine for the qualified population since March 2021.

About 1,294,142 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. AAC



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