/ 5 September 2020

THE UNIVERSITY of the Philippines College of Dentistry dean has announced that limited face-to-face laboratory simulation with patients for the first term of the academic year 2020-2021 will push through if the renovation of classrooms is finished by November.

“The preparation of the rooms in terms of the engineering controls, for the possible limited face-to-face laboratory sessions, is intended to provide for appropriate air exchange and ventilation to mitigate infection and transmission of the disease. “To achieve this, engineering devices are currently being procured,” said Dean Danilo Magtanong.

Based on existing government regulations, face-to-face classes are still subject to the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Commission on Higher Education.

The UP Dentistry Student Council, however, has already made its point clear that the suspension of face-to-face classes must be observed.

“Numerous points were raised during the meeting and the attendees were given the chance to hear about the progress of the preparation, if any. However, it is crucial to emphasize that only a few among the non-negotiable terms and concerns from the unacknowledged position letter of the students and parents were addressed,” the UP DSC stressed.

The student body has urged the university administration to be transparent since there is no detailed approved budget and source of funding on the reengineering plans and procurement needs such as personal protective equipment.

“There is no budget presented to the UPCD stakeholders. It is imperative to consider the transparency on the financial aspect for the reengineering and procurement since the feasibility and sustainability heavily depend on it,” the student body said.

Although the university administration highlighted that ‘source of funding’ is not a problem, the UP DSC stressed that the College will not cover the accommodation and transportation of the students even for those residing outside Metro Manila.

Similarly, the conduct of free PCR swab test will not be provided by the university as per the report of the UP DSC.

The student body also criticized the university administration for its pronouncement of not being liable or accountable should there be infected cases among the students and teaching and non-personnel.

“For the College of Dentistry’s continuation of face-to-face classes, the university admin must ensure that the students, faculty and staff are provided with extensive plans that will adhere to the body’s call for transparency, effective triage protocols, dormitories, free PPEs, and other necessary materials for its safety and well-being,” the UP DSC said.