SOME mayors in Cebu Province have requested the Cebu Provincial Government to have the Department of Education (DepEd) allow them to use the classrooms as isolation facilities for Covid-19 patients.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said mayors find classrooms more suitable as isolation centers.
Garcia said she has relayed this to DepEd provincial superintendent Dr. Marilyn Andales and DepEd 7 Director Dr. Salustiano Jimenez.
“Mayors are requested to submit their requests to Dr. Andales to be able to use those that they need, because not all are needed,” Garcia said in a press briefing on Aug. 17,2021.
Garcia assured that all district hospitals in Cebu Province are supplied with remdesivir and tocilizumab and other emergency medicines for Covid-19 patients.
She asked the mayors to source one doctor, two nursing attendants and two midwives to man the Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility in all local government units (LGUs).
In July, the DepEd issued regulations on the use of schools as isolation areas. In the memorandum, DepEd instructed schools that are recipients of infrastructure projects to decline requests for them to be used as isolation facilities.
However, there are two courses of action that a school may take if it is being used as an isolation facility.
If the school is large enough to segregate the isolation area and the construction site, the school can still house the isolation facility provided that barriers are in place.
Second, if the school has a limited area for both the isolation facility and the construction of school buildings, it must coordinate with the LGU and request the immediate transfer of the isolation facility to a nearby school that is not a recipient of infrastructure projects.
Meanwhile, Jimenez said he is just waiting for the requests of other LGUs for the temporary use of classrooms as isolation facilities.
“We’re just waiting for the other LGUs. Maybe Minglanilla, as there is already a request. Then Consolacion,” he said.
“I’m not so sure with the others. I’m still waiting because according to Gov. Gwen, there are many mayors. So I am waiting for the endorsements from the superintendents,” he said.
The endorsement from the office of the DepEd division superintendent, he said, will include other corresponding attachments like a certification from the municipal health officer that the area is suitable to be converted into a temporary isolation facility based on the Inter-Agency Task Force and Department of Health’s guidelines.
Some of the grounds to disqualify a school from being an isolation facility are if there are ongoing construction works in the school’s vicinity and if there are damaged or to be repaired facilities like comfort rooms, he said.
Salustiano also mentioned the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Naga as among the LGUs that submitted requests to them.
After the submission of documents, checking and approval of the requests, DepEd and the LGU will sign terms and conditions.
He said he does not have any problem with this measure but he also emphasized that classrooms should be the last priority to be used as isolation centers. (MVE, WBS)