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

Robie de Guzman   •   March 3, 2021   •   486

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.

Manila City to construct three new housing projects for informal settlers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Manila City Government is set to construct three new housing projects to continue to address the plight of informal settlers.

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday (July 15) said the housing projects will be constructed in San Sebastian, San Lazaro, and Pedro Gil areas. According to Domagoso, the San Sebastian Residences, San Lazaro Residences, and Pedro Gil Residences will be a 20-storey high building with 300 units each and health center based on the ground floor.

“If Singapore did it, Manila can do it. Ang mga pinatayo nating bahay ang magbabalik ng dignidad sa buhay ng mga Manilenyo (The housing we have constructed will bring back the dignity in the lives of Manileños). There will be an opportunity for them,” he said.

Domagoso previously led the inauguration of the 42-square meters two-storey townhouse unit called BaseCommunity last July 5. The unit includes two bedrooms, one living room, one kitchen, one laundry area, one toilet and bath area.

According to the Manila Public Information Office (MPIO), the future housing projects is on top of the ongoing construction of city government’s flagship housing projects called Tondominium 1, Tondonminium 2, and Binondominium. All of which are now more than 50% complete. AAC

Proposed areas for pilot testing of in-person classes should meet conditions — Duque

Robie de Guzman   •   July 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday said that certain conditions must be met if ever the pilot testing of face-to-face classes will be allowed.

“Dapat siguraduhin muna na ang mga metrics na walang COVID cases sa isang lugar, nasa low-risk ang kanilang classification or walang reported na daily new cases for the last 28 days,” Duque said during the Laging Handa public briefing.

The local health system must also be capable of responding to and handling a surge in cases.

“Ang kanilang health system ay dapat maseguro na kung sakaling magkaroon ng surge doon sa lugar kung saan magsasagawa ng pilot test ng face-to-face classes ay dapat sapat ang support system,” Duque said.

Teachers participating in the pilot testing must also be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Mga teachers muna ang kinakailangang mabigyan ng proteksyon. Kapag sapat na ang pagbabakuna sa kanila, malamang ay mauumpisahan ng 100 paaralan ang pagsasagawa ng face-to-face classes,” the DOH chief said.

Duque, who also chairs the Inter-Agency Task Force, provided the conditions when asked about the proposal to try out face-to-face classes at the basic education level.

The Department of Education (DepEd) and other sectors previously pushed for the conduct of pilot testing of physical classes in at least 100 schools in areas that have lower COVID-19 risk.

Some sectors have expressed concern about the possible long-term impact on learning and productivity of students of the prolonged school closures.

But President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly rejected attempts to resume face-to-face classes due to the threat of the more contagious variants of COVID-19.

He previously said that he is not in favor of allowing in-person classes because he is seeking to protect the health of the students against the dangers of coronavirus disease.

He added that he would only allow students to physically return to schools when all Filipinos have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Since last year, the government has suspended in-person classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and shifted to alternative learning programs which include having students attend classes through distance learning methods such as online, printed modules, and radio and television-based instructions.

Mayor Isko orders probe vs. nurse involved in illegal sale of COVID-19 vaccine

Marje Pelayo   •   July 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso has ordered the management of Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center (GABMMC) to file administrative charges against a nurse tagged in the unlawful sale of COVID-19 vaccines.

The nurse, identified as Alexis Francisco De Guzman, was arrested during an entrapment operation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Quezon City.

Domagoso met with the hospital chief Dr. Ted Martin on Friday (July 2) and ordered him to file appropriate charges against De Guzman.

The Mayor stressed that the Manila City government’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines are “strictly regulated” and “highly controlled” by the Manila Health Department (MHD).

Based on investigation by the local government, those COVID-19 vaccines sold by De Guzman were not sourced from the inventory of the MHD.

Dr. Martin in a statement said that “such unlawful acts of Mr De Guzman have no place in the City of Manila and this institution.”

“While it is truly unfortunate that one of our own was involved in such illegal activities, this hospital and its management do not condone the acts of Mr. De Guzman,” he said.

“His actions have placed the name of this institution in a bad light and we are very willing to cooperate with any investigating authority regarding such matter,” he added.

Dr. Martin also noted that De Guzman has never been involved nor transacted with the hospital’s Pharmacy Section regarding the transport, handling and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.

Domagoso reminded the public that sale of COVID-19 vaccines for gain or profit is strictly banned in the city.

City Ordinance No. 8740 signed by Domagoso protects the general public from any person who will take advantage of the pandemic by unlawfully selling COVID-19 vaccines.

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