CHED forms group to help LGUs set up quarantine centers in state universities, colleges
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) formed a Public Health Experts Group (PHEG) in a bid to ensure local government units (LGUs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) comply with standards in using school facilities as quarantine centers or community isolation units.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) instructed LGUs to identify government facilities that could temporarily serve as isolation or quarantine facilities. (READ: Gov't buildings, hotels, resorts may soon be used as quarantine sites)
Moreover, the IATF-EID required LGUs to enter into a memorandum of agreement with CHED and the SUC in using their facilities as quarantine areas for patients under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs).
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also said that through this memorandum of agreement, LGUs and the Department of Education or CHED should iron out the usage of these facilities as well as possible damage compensation.
The CHED-PHEG is led by Dr. Vicente Y. Belizario Jr, Dean of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Public Health and former Undersecretary of the Department of Health.
Members of the group include:
- Dr. Paul Michael R. Hernandez (Health and Safety)
- Dr. Maria Rosanna E. De Guzman (Mental Health)
- Dr. Emerito A. Faraon (Health Systems)
- Prof. Ernesto R. Gregorio, Jr. (Health Promotion)
- Prof. Marian F. Lomboy (Environmental Health)
- Dr. Evalyn A. Roxas (Infectious Diseases)
“The Commission tapped the public health experts from UP so LGUs and SUCs can be assisted in setting up quarantine centers. The technical guidance of Dean Jun [Belizario's] team will ensure that all quarantine centers set up by LGUs all over the country have the same standards and can take care of our PUMs and PUIs,” said CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera III in a statement.
Apart from outlining guidelines and/or standards in establishing community isolation units in public facilities, the CHED-PHEG also provides technical assistance to LGUs and SUCs in terms of assessing facilities and setting up quarantine centers and community isolation units.
In the Bicol Region, quarantine centers in 3 provinces have been set up, specifically in Sorsogon State College, Camarines Norte State College, and the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture. Five other provinces are in talks with CHED to set up similar facilities. (READ: LIST: Quarantine centers in Metro Manila, provinces, cities) – Rappler.com