The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) continues to assist 19 state universities and colleges (SUCs) who are collaborating with its local government units to maintain quarantine centers in their facilities.
In April, CHED formed a Public Health Experts Group (PHEG) to ensure that LGUs and SUCs will comply with the country's health standards in using school facilities as quarantine centers or community isolation units.
Since the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in parts of the country, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) required LGUs to sign a memorandum of agreement with the CHED and SUCs if they intend to set up government facilities that could temporarily serve as a quarantine center.
CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III said at least 6,000 patients, identified as persons under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs), have been assisted by the 19 higher education institutions (HEIs) since March.
"As these HEIs open their doors and allow the utilization of the facilities for a very noble cause, it is a strong statement and manifestation of our 'bayanihan' spirit that we are actively joining the fight against this invisible and deadly enemy and we will continue to do so until we contain the same," De Vera said in a statement,
The SUCs which utilized their facilities to be a quarantine center are: Sorsogon State College (SSC)-Sorsogon City and Bulan Campuses; Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA); Camarines Norte State College (CNSC) Main and Labo Campuses; Isabela State University (ISU)-Cauayan and Roxas Campuses; Nueva Ecija University of Science & Technology; Bicol University; Marinduque State College; Sulu State College; Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology; University of Northern Philippines; MSU-Naawan Campus; University of Southern Mindanao; Camiguin Polytechnic State University; Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MSCAT) -Bongabong and Calapan Campuses; Bohol Island State University; Northwest Samar State University-San Jorge Campus; Occidental Mindoro State College; Basilan State College; and Catanduanes State University (CatSU).
According to CHED, these SUCs are still being used as quarantine facilities except SSC, CBSUA, CNSC, and CatSU whose contracts have ended.
The Commission explained that only selected areas of the universities are being used as isolation facilities, adding that these have to be thoroughly disinfected before opening for school operations.
"I laud these SUCs for doing their utmost best to contribute in the effort to contain the spread of the virus. It is my ardent hope that more tertiary education institutions emulate these 19 SUCs in their kindness and selfless service to the nation and its people," De Vera added.