MANILA — The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Thursday urged colleges and universities to have their frontline workers vaccinated against COVID-19 to ensure continued services.
CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera said higher education institutions (HEIs) should have their skeleton workforce immunized against the respiratory illness to avoid delays in the processing of students' documents, such as grades, transcript of records and diplomas.
"'Pag hindi mo vinaccinate 'yong frontliner, skeletal workforce sa universities, babagal 'yong pag-issue ng credentials ng mga estudyante... maraming estudyante ang hindi makakapag-licensure test, 'di makakakuha ng trabaho," De Vera said in a press briefing.
(If you don't vaccinate the frontliners, skeletal workforce in universities, it would slow down the release of students' credentials... many students will not be able to take licensure tests or get jobs.)
"We must make sure that the operations of universities will continue by vaccinating their skeletal workforce. Otherwise, ang implication niyan medyo masama (the implication is very bad)," he added.
Education workers recently moved up in the the government's vaccination priority list, from the B1 to the A4 cluster that is next in line to receive the jabs.
De Vera said 27 HEIs have entered into agreements with their respective local government units for their facilities to be used as COVID-19 vaccination sites, but the figure may increase in the coming months.
"There's a lot of other universities that have indicated interest and they are now working with their local governments to see if their facilities are needed [for COVID-19 vaccination]," he said.
De Vera also said more vaccination sites are needed because the government will soon start vaccinating the A4 group, composed of essential workers.
The University of the Philippines is one of the HEIs that has allowed local governments to use its campuses — notably in Quezon City and Los Baños, Laguna — to serve as vaccination hubs.
The country is targeting to vaccinate 70 million of its population by the end of the year to achieve herd immunity. As of May 4, 2.06 million doses have been administered.