Sorsogon has established its first provincial quarantine center at the Sorsogon State College (SSC) in response to the increasing number of persons under observation (PUMs) and persons under investigation (PUIs) as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit the country.
The Interagency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on March 24, 2020 stated that all local government units (LGUs) that plan to use the facilities of state universities and colleges (SUCs) need to enter a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the CHED and the SUC.
The quarantine center at the SSC was created during a teleconference meeting between CHED Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III; SSC Chairman of the Board Commissioner Aldrin A. Darilag, CHED Executive Director Cinderella Filipina Benitez-Jaro, Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero, SSC President Helen R. Lara and CHED Regional Director Freddie T. Bernal under the technical guidance of the CHED Public Health Experts Group led by Dean Jun Belizario.
“As Chairman of the Sorsogon State College Board of Trustees, I commend SSC under the very able leadership of President Helen R. Lara for opening its doors to PUIs and PUMs and allowing the use of its facilities as quarantine areas,” Darilag said. “With the leadership and cooperation between CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera and Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero, we were able to finalize an agreement that will allow the use of SSC’s premises as a quarantine center,” he added.
SSC President Helen R. Lara also expressed her optimism on the initiative as the SSC community willingly extends its support to the provincial government. “By opening the doors of the College and allowing the utilization of the facilities therein for a very noble cause, it is a strong statement and manifestation of the College community 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,” she said.
“The creation of this provincial quarantine center through CHED-LGU-SSC collaboration is a blueprint that other LGUs can now use to prepare for the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. We can succeed only if national government agencies work with LGUs, as instructed by the President, without red tape, in the spirit of partnership,” De Vera said.