Education frontline workers have been jabbed with COVID-19 vaccines following a tie-up between the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Manila City government’s Universidad de Manila (UdM).

The educators were jabbed on Tuesday, May 18 after the national government finally approved the inoculation of members of the A4 Priority Group. The day also coincides with the National Higher Education Day as declared by Republic Act No. 1152.

The A4 Priority Group includes “frontline workers in basic education and higher education institutions and agencies.”

CHED chairperson Prospero De Vera III said the vaccination of our education frontliners will “save” the students from missing credentials due to the new set-up of education today through online classes.

“If we don’t vaccinate our education frontliners, we run the risk of students not being able to enroll next school year or having graduates who can’t take their licensure examinations or are unable to look for employment because of missing credentials,” De Vera said.

UdM was chosen as one of the five locations of the symbolic vaccination for teachers. 100 doses of Sinovac vaccine were deployed for the symbolic vaccination.

The university was tasked to identify the personnel who will be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine, and coordinate with the City’s Manila Health Department (MHD), Department of Health (DOH)-Center for Health Department (CHD) Unit for this event.

Five personnel from UdM were also part of this symbolic vaccination: Mary Jane P. Quintana, Rogelio C. Garado, Jeffrey Litan, Marjune B. Del Valle and Noami D. Solano. They were tagged as the “Symbolic Five” who received their vaccine today along with other education frontliners.

The Symbolic Five was chosen by the University’s committee for their service and commitment to their job amidst the pandemic.

Ms. Quintana has been working with UDM for 12 years in the University’s Registrar’s Office who was part of the facilitation of the enrollment even during the pandemic, while Mr. Garado has been working for 14 years in the Facilities, Grounds and Janitorial Section who made sure that everyone in the community is assured of their health and safety.

Mr. Litan who is in charge of treasury and payroll processing has been with UdM for 3 years, and Mr. Del Valle, the youngest among the five, has been working with UDM’s City Security Force for a year since March 12, 2020, just a few days before the whole country went into total lockdown.

Professor Solano, a full-time faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, has been serving the University’s studentry for the past 24 years.

Manila City Vice Mayor Maria Sheilah ‘Honey’ Lacuna-Pangan, CHED Chairman De Vera and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III joined the event together with UdM’s President Maria Lourdes “Malou” Tiquia.

UdM, one of the two local government-funded universities in the City of Manila, has adopted the UDM Moodle last year for the conduct of their online classes.

Both students and teachers underwent trainings on how to navigate this new mode of learning for them. Recently, UdM celebrated their 26th Foundation Day with activities that benefit the communities that surround them, including the UdM Community Pantry. (JKG/JNL/MPIO)