CFRN message to UPD

4 January 2021

Dear Members of the UP Diliman Community,

As we start the new year, I wish everyone health, safety and a hope-filled 2021. To say that 2020 was tough would be an understatement, but I hope it has strengthened us to meet the challenges of 2021. In the months ahead, we will keep finding ways to thrive as a university and as a community.

Let me now focus on what is immediately in front of us. During the holiday break, health groups and public health experts had warned us about the surge in the number of COVID cases due to increased social gatherings and decreased adherence to safety protocols. We have already observed the spike in our community last December and expect the impact to register during the first weeks of January. News of a new virus strain has also been confirmed in other parts of Asia, and efforts to track it down in the country are ongoing.

To minimize the health risks to our personnel, I encourage our units and offices to implement the following guidelines:

  • Offices and units should explore a work-from-home scheme for everyone for the next two weeks. I know that many of our personnel would prefer to physically report for work to tackle our backlog, and so I leave it to the individual offices and units to determine the most feasible work arrangement for their situation.
  • Where possible, offices and units should explore reducing the number of physically-reporting personnel for the next two weeks.
  • Health and safety protocols should be strictly implemented in the offices and units. Health Liaison Officers and Post-ECQ Teams are requested to hold a new round of health and safety orientations to ensure compliance by personnel.

Lastly, I urge everyone to participate in our mass testing initiative that will be conducted for the whole month of January. This is the best time for UP Diliman to undertake the mass testing of our personnel as it will enable us to detect those who have been exposed and are sick but do not know it. It will allow us to provide care for our personnel while minimizing transmission in the workplace. Further, it will give us solid baseline information on the COVID-19 situation in our community that will serve as input into workplace policies.  As we prepare for the future reopening of the campus, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this initiative.

Like you, I look forward to the reopening of our campus in the foreseeable future. I would like to see it more dynamic, more engaged, more mindful of UP’s mission as a producer of knowledge and as a public service university. As a community, we move towards this future by strengthening our solidarity and learning – and rising – from the unique challenges of these times.

Muli, isang mapanatag, maginhawa at mayabong na bagong taon sa lahat!

 

Fidel R. Nemenzo
Chancellor

Posted: January 4, 2021 12:30