/ 27 January 2022

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines Diliman Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo said that the university implemented academic ease amid the pandemic.

Nemenzo issued the statement after several groups appealed for an academic ease in consideration of those affected by Typhoon Odette and spike in Covid19 cases.

“In this period of crises, we thus implement ease in the ways available to us, without being remiss in our mandates and without taking away opportunities for professional development, proper compensation, and continued learning where it can be had for those who need them,” Nemenzo said.

The university suspended synchronous classes and asynchronous submissions in the first week of the semester. Nemenzo said that students “need time to recuperate and properly prepare” for the second semester.

“We must balance the welfare and wellness of the community with the continuity of education and services and seek to pursue the latter without compromising the first,” he pointed out.

Nemenzo noted that the administration must consider “nudging the timelines” for the resumption of face-to-face classes.

“Because of the extraordinary circumstances, we cannot hit the ground running as we usually do. Let this second semester start kindly and gently for all of us,” he said.

“We cannot move our semester timeline in consideration of our delayed students who hope to graduate, our prospective students who hope to enter the university, our outgoing students who hope to take licensure exams or proceed to their professional careers, and our overworked staff who will be working triple time to evaluate the credentials of thousands of the students,” Nemenzo said.

As for the employees, Nemenzo said the administration took steps to advance the salaries of non-UP Contractual personnel for the month of January.

He added that the officials also pushed a proposal to grant five-day special leave for workers.

The school has extended work-from-home arrangements until the first week of February 2022.

“Nothing has been business-as-usual in the university for almost two years now, ever since I came into chancellorship. I know these policies of ease cannot guarantee that our lives in the university will be easy going forward. It never has been. These are great burdens on our shoulders, and we must carry them together,” Nemenzo said.