MEDICINE professors will be required to log on to a biometric “thumb-scanning” system to monitor absences and tardiness in class by August or September this year.

The new policy will require physician-lecturers to “bundy-in and bundy-out” by scanning their fingerprints on the machine to record their attendance, said Dean Ma. Graciela Gonzaga of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

But one Medicine professor complained that the system was “unfair” because it would purportedly not require administrative officials, such as department chairs and supervisors, to log on to the system.

“There should be no exemption. The biometrics should include those holding administrative positions to serve as a good example,” said the professor, who asked not to be identified for fear that supervisors might get back at her.

Gonzaga defended the biometrics system, saying it was the “fastest and more objective way” of monitoring the attendance of around 300 teachers in her faculty, the largest in the University.

“We can also save in terms of human resource because we no longer have to hire an attendance-checker,” she said in an interview, noting that she herself would log on to the system.

“Medicine doctors are very professional. Perhaps, at first, they would feel bad about it because they’re not used to it. But eventually, they would get the hang of it.”

Gonzaga acknowledged the possibility that some doctors might miss the log when attending to an emergency case at the UST Hospital.

“That, we would understand,” she said. “But of course we do not expect them to have an emergency case every day.”

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To avoid inconvenience, faculty members may also “time-in and time-out” in any of the six biometric machines installed in different locations, including the UST Hospital, out-patient department, St. Martin de Porres Building, and elevator entrances.

The implementation of biometrics, which was proposed in Medicine two years ago, was delayed to give way to the University-wide installation of close-circuit television cameras.

Aside from the University’s support staff, faculty members from the Colleges of Architecture and Fine Arts and Design have also adopted the biometric system. Daphne J. Magturo

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