MANILA, Philippines — The provincial government of Sorsogon is eyeing to use the Sorsogon State College as a quarantine center to house patients under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs) for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The province of Sorsogon under Governor Francis Joseph ‘Chiz’ Escudero is now in talks with CHED and the Sorsogon State College to establish a quarantine center in the premises of the college. It is expected that this facility will be ready this week,” J. Prospero De Vera III, chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education, said in a statement Monday.
De Vera revealed this as he also announced that CHED has issued guidelines to local government units (LGUs) on using certain state universities and colleges (SUCs) in their areas as quarantine centers, as some hospitals struggle from overcrowding of patients due to the pandemic.
Earlier, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases has directed that all LGUs that plan to use facilities of SUCs as quarantine centers must have a memorandum of agreement with CHED to ensure consistency and accountability in the operation of the facilities.
De Vera said CHED has organized the Public Health Experts Group led by Jun Belizario, dean of the University of the Philippines Manila-College of Public Health to provide technical assistance to both LGUs and SUCs in establishing and operating the quarantine sites.
Under the guidelines, the CHED chairman said that LGUs should ensure that the SUCs they will use as isolation centers should have spaces or venues equipped with utilities and basic amenities.
He added that required LGU personnel including sanitation officers, healthcare workers, and support staff should be deployed. Other necessities including food, sanitation, infection control, health monitoring, referral systems, security, waste management, as well as psychosocial wellness and support for PUIs and PUMs should also be ensured by the local government units, according to De Vera.
“Once compliant with the requirements, the SUC, LGU, and CHED shall sign a MOA. SUCs may also augment the logistics and shall regularly update the CHED Regional Offices (CHEDROs) regarding their status especially for breaches in protocols and other problems,” he said.
According to De Vera, CHEDROs will assist the Public Health Experts Group, the SUCs, and the LGUs in the establishment of quarantine centers.