UP Cebu Contingency Action in light of the COVID-19

10 March 2020



Chancellor, UP Cebu

SUBJECT : UP Cebu Contingency Action in light of the COVID-19

Proclamation No. 922 of the Office of the President of the Philippines signed on 8 March 2020 declared the country to be in a state of public health emergency, ordering all government agencies and local government units to cooperate and mobilize necessary resources to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19). The President’s declaration was based on the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH), which raised the Philippines’ coronavirus alert system to Code Red-Sublevel 1, due to the first case of local transmission.

The DOH has noted that “Once there is sustained community transmission or increasing number of local cases whose links cannot be established, the strategy will be shifted from intensive contact tracing, to the implementation of community level quarantine or lockdown and possible suspension of work or school”.  As of writing, DOH already announced 35 confirmed cases in the country.

In light of these volatile, uncertain and complex developments, UP Cebu is elevating its pre-emptive measures to ensure that the exposure of our constituency to infection from the virus spread is further minimized. Pending further advisories from the government, we strictly enforce the following guidelines for all constituency to abide.

A. On Academic Matters

In line with Memorandum No. OVPAA 2020-31 on Academic Contingency Plan in Light of COVID-19, all UP Faculty members are required to shift to blended learning, and be able to adjust their pedagogy to virtual learning platforms in the event of class suspensions. This is based on the premise that UP ought to continue providing learning opportunities in the midst of possible class suspensions.As we prepare everyone to be able to effectively implement the virtual learning platforms, we enjoin all faculty members and students to please respond to the survey, which the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) is circulating. This is intended for us to identify the most appropriate platform to use in this state of emergency, while the OVPAA continues to explore possible institutional subscriptions for accessible video-conferencing platforms (e.g. Zoom), that will enable students to attend classes and teachers to provide inputs and respond to questions virtually.

Kindly click this short link for the survey form and respond to it on or before 5pm of 13 March 2020: https://forms.gle/85npDLzfCRwNuafd8

PE and NSTP classes and other academic activities involving potential exposure to unidentified risks in public spaces/communities, will be temporarily suspended, until further health advisory.

B. Administrative Matters

Mass gatherings and huge assemblies are highly discouraged, per advisory of the WHO. We thus, shall:

    1. Suspend all activities organized by outsiders inside the campus.
    2. Ensure that all activities organized by UP Cebu constituents will have enough space accommodation for participants thus we limit up to only 40% of the space capacity of our facilities (e.g. only 30 people in AVR 1; 120 in PAH and AS Hall).
    3. Suspend all activities involving large numbers of outsiders/non-UP participants, where individual monitoring/tracing will be difficult.

As it is, while we do our best to take institutional measures, we are once again highly advised to take personal precautions and promote everyday preventive actions including the following:

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cough etiquette: cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Maintain social distancing (e.g. hugging, hand shaking, etc.)
  • Refrain from interacting with animals. Animals will not be allowed inside the buildings.

Our Health Services Unit (HSU) is closely coordinating with the UP System public health officials and the DOH in monitoring any developments so we are all guided accordingly. The HSU will closely monitor organized activities and make appropriate recommendations. A form is to be accomplished before event approval. Organizers of activities would have to sign a conforme to abide by the guidelines and recommendations made by the HSU. Added precautionary measures may be recommended for certain activities. The HSU shall also closely monitor the strict enforcement of guidelines for concessionaires, the cafeteria and ongoing constructions.

Guests and UP constituents traveling from affected areas, are required to fill out and submit to the HSU their declaration of travel history.

The Campus Maintenance Office (CMO) shall frequently clean touched surfaces and objects daily; disinfect the rooms on a regular basis; and ensure the supply of hand soaps and alcohol. For activities involving common use of equipment/gadgets, disinfection of said equipment or gadget is necessary before and after every use.

The Safety and Security Unit (SSU) shall monitor the temperature of visitors upon entry. Persons with temperature above 37.5°C will be referred to the HSU for further evaluation. Visitors shall also duly register with SSU and fill up a declaration form, and observe their itinerary of visit.

During this emergency period, all UP Cebu constituents are expected to show their IDs upon entry.

For strict compliance.