The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the City Government of Manila jointly conducted on May 18, a symbolic vaccination of higher education frontliners to highlight their importance in ensuring the continuous operation of schools in the midst of the pandemic.
CHED and Unified Student Financial System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) Board Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III joined Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Manila Vice Mayor Maria Sheilah ‘Honey’ Lacuna-Pangan, and Universidad de Manila (UDM) officials, led by University President Maria Lourdes Tiquia, in a ceremonial vaccination of 100 UDM employees to ensure that they continue to receive and process student requirements such as clearances, transcript of records, and other credentials as the academic year nears its end.
“Last April 15, 2021, I fought for the upgrading of the education frontliners from B1 to A4 in the IATF. I am happy that our celebration of National Higher Education Day includes the vaccination of 100 UDM frontliners with no less than the DOH Secretary and Manila Vice Mayor leading the effort,” De Vera said.
Lacuna-Pangan, administered the shots to five of UDM personnel composed of a janitor, security guard, information and communications director, full-time faculty and a registrar’s office employee.
The following five UDM frontliners were vaccinated: Mary Jane Quintana from the Registrar’s office; Rogelio Garado from the Facilities, Grounds and Janitorial Section; Jeffrey Litan from the Treasury Department; Marjune Del Valle from the City Security Office and; Noami Solano from the College of Arts and Sciences.
A total of 100 UDM frontliners were vaccinated after the symbolic vaccination. All are eligible under the A4 category, which is a prioritization set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) for vaccine to frontliners and skeleton workforce employees in essential sectors like education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We hope that other LGUs would follow the lead of Manila and start vaccinating their education frontliners so schools can issue the credentials of students and prepare for next school year,” De Vera said.
“Mataas ang pagkilala natin sa mahalagang kontribusyon ng mga naglilingkod sa sektor ng edukasyon at sa pagtutulungan ng national at local government ay nakatitiyak tayo na matutupad natin sa lalong madaling panahon ang herd immunity o proteksyon sa buong lungsod at sa buong bansa,” Lacuna-Pangan said.
According to Health Secretary Duque, the symbolic vaccination is also the response of the government on the dedication and services being given by the workers in the education sector; thus, their protection and safety should be ensured.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Commission on Higher Education