UST plans to start limited face-to-face classes for medical and allied health programs in March, officials said on Friday.

Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, along with Vice Mayor Honey Lacuña and representatives from the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), the Department of Health (DOH) and Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases, visited UST for a discussion on how face-to-face classes would be conducted.


According to Victor Castelo, CHEd regional supervisor, UST was “ready” to conduct limited face-to-face classes in March.

“Ang kanilang target date is March 2021. ‘Yun po ang kanilang application,” he told reporters in UST.

“Based on the documents submitted to (CHEd), sila naman po ay compliant so ang ginagawa po namin ay validation at evaluation of submitted documents,” he added.

Dr. Ma. Lourdes Maglinao, dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, said students and teachers would be kept “safe beyond acceptable standards” while on campus.

Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Prof. Cheryl Peralta said the University had crafted health protocols to ensure the safety of students and professors during face-to-face classes.

Most of the students joining face-to-face classes were in dormitories, she said.

“[A]t the moment they are already starting with their 14-day quarantine period and then they will have to undergo RT-PCR testing, [and] some final orientations… But most of them are already settled in their dormitories around the University kasi alam nga nila na anytime [classes] can start,” she told reporters.

Peralta also said 94 percent of 480 medicine students had expressed willingness to participate in face-to-face classes.

“They really recognize that face-to-face encounters with patients are very important in this profession,” she said.

Peralta added that students would be dispersed across different buildings in the University, including the St. Martin de Porres and St. Raymund de Peñafort buildings and UST Hospital.

The face-to-face classes will make use of “interactive cadavers” and other high-end simulators.

In her presentation, Peralta said face-to-face classes for the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery would serve as a benchmark in preparations for limited face-to-face classes for other health programs in UST.

The University is also ready to submit its application to hold internship programs for medical technology, physical therapy and nursing courses, Peralta said.

On Feb. 3, the Domagoso approved UST’s proposal to resume limited face-to-face classes for medical and allied health programs after meeting with UST officials, including Peralta, Maglinao and College of Rehabilitation Sciences Dean Dr. Anne Aseron.

Speaking in front of UST officials on Friday, the mayor said that UST would serve as the “testing ground for the new normal.”

President Rodrigo Duterte in January decided to allow limited face-to-face classes for medical programs to ensure that the country would not have a shortage in doctors amid the health crisis. Charm Magpali and Jacqueline Martinez



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