The Department of Education (DepEd), through Office Memorandum OM-OSEC-2020-002, issued its Guidance to Regional Directors for Action on Requests by Local Government Units (LGUs) to use DepEd Schools as Quarantine or Isolation Areas for COVID-19.
The said memorandum delegates to the RDs the responsibility to approve or deny requests by LGUs to use DepEd schools for activities related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is based on the evaluation by the Schools Division Superintendent in consultation with the school heads.
Siaton 3 District of Division of Negros Oriental Region VII strictly adheres to the quarantine guidelines to the seven (7) schools which are being used as a temporary quarantine or isolation facility.
In this, School Readiness for COVID-19 Crisis: LGU and DepEd Partnership for Quarantine or Isolation area is created. The LGU and the schools work hand in hand in the processing of all the required documents. All the necessary requirements were submitted to the Division Office for the Schools Division Superintendent’s recommendation to the Regional Director.
After the necessary documents were granted by the Regional Director, the district in-charge and the School Heads coordinate with the LGU on the following preparations before actual use of the facility for the intended purpose:
- list of Classroom equipment, furniture and fixtures to be removed from the buildings/classroom;
- list of designated number of comfort rooms and hand washing facilities to be used;
- inventory in the safekeeping of the removed equipment, school records, learning and educational materials
- documentation of the condition of the School facilities and resources before use of the facility;
- terms and Conditions (TAC) documents; and
- other conditions and agreement aside from the TAC, a MOA was executed.
In order to make the school safe and healthy the district in-charge made an initiative of convening the six (6) barangay captains and school heads. The terms and conditions set by the DepEd in its use of the School as a temporary quarantine or isolation facility were clearly explained and discussed.
These made the barangay captains and barangay officials’ stringently cleave to the quarantine guidelines. They fully performed and executed on what are stated in the terms and conditions set by the agency such as:
1. Prepare the specified school area and facilities approved by the Regional Office to be used as temporary quarantine areas.
2. Use only the specified School area and facilities approved by the RO to be used as quarantine or isolation facility.
3. Take charge of the management and maintenance of the School used as a quarantine or isolation facility, under the supervision of the city/municipal health officer, and in accordance with the applicable guidelines of the DOH and the WHO, cited in OFFICE MEMORANDUM OM-OSEC-2020-002.
4. Cordon off the identified quarantine or isolation facility from the rest of the School premises or facilities.
5. Provide measures to ensure the safety and security of the School.
6. Provide all resources and equipment required for the use of the School as a quarantine or isolation facility.
7. Ensure that water supply will be sufficient and there will be no cooking in the School during its use as a quarantine or isolation facility.
8. Ensure compliance with the sanitation and health standards applicable to the School before, during and after its use by the LGU as a quarantine or isolation facility, including disinfecting the premises used and ensuring the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
9. Facilitate and provide for the general cleaning, maintenance and upkeep of School premises, structures, facilities, equipment, and resources, and repair and replace them if damaged, destroyed or lost as a result of their use by the LGU as a quarantine or isolation facility. Such repair and replacement shall be completed prior to the return of the use of the School to the School Head.
Based on the challenges brought by the COVID 19 pandemic the LGU and the school work together as a team in the preparation of the schools as quarantine areas. The members of the barangay council uniquely manage and enhance the school as temporary holding areas for persons under Monitoring (PUM) who will be subjected for 14-day quarantine period.
Furthermore, the LGU assured that that they will apply all the necessary measures to protect the school facility and the community living near the said school. They also promised to perform the necessary disinfection or decontamination activities after using the said facilities.
Hence, this partnership would be a great help to the program of our government, through Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), Department of health (DOH), Local Government Unit (LGU) and Department of Education ( DepEd) to fight and control the unseen enemy COVID 19.