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UP transforms buildings into health facilities 

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The University of the Philippines (UP) has transformed several buildings in its Diliman campus into testing sites, quarantine facility and living quarters for frontliners and health workers.

In a letter posted on the university’s Facebook page, UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo said he formed a task force to monitor the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation within the campus.

“I would like to report that we have transformed many of our buildings into Covid-19 facilities,” he added.

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The National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development Hostel will accommodate health workers from Quezon City and the Asian Institute of Tourism will serve as a testing center to residents from Project 6, while Palma Hall will serve as the quarantine facility for the university community.

“We hope that we will not have to use more than a few rooms of Palma Hall, but we need to be ready in case the situation escalates in the UP Diliman campus, which is surrounded by some of the city’s Covid-19 hotspots,” Nemenzo said. “These are just a few of the several Covid-19 response initiatives of UP Diliman.”

In the same letter, Nemenzo announced that students would receive a grade of “P” (passing), on the request of the University’s executive committee.

“The grading scale we used before the pandemic cannot properly measure the performance of students in a time of upheaval and disruption,” the chancellor said. “Grades lose their meaning during an existential crisis. This is why the UP Diliman Executive Committee has requested the BOR (Board of Regents) to allow faculty to give a grade of ‘P’ to students this semester.”

Nemenzo stressed that compassion and academic excellence are the university’s “twin values.”

“Our duty as a university is to provide our students with quality education,” he wrote. “However, the discharge of this duty during the pandemic must be tempered with compassion, solidarity and understanding, especially because, in this situation, our traditional tools and platforms for education do not work.”


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Photo Courtesy of Reuters/Lisa Marie David

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