DOSCST frontlines against COVID-19

The Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (DOSCST) is one of the many State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in the Philippines that battles against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic through its Immediate and Early Recovery Support (IERS) Program.

As early as February 10, 2020, the college invited the City Health Office – Mati City to conduct a lecture drive on the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) information and updates. During the lecture, the team announced that the City Government of Mati had activated the Incident Management Team (IMT) to strengthen preparations for a local outbreak of the disease. 

Approximately a month later, Dr. Edito B. Sumile, OIC President of DOSCST, called for a general assembly to deliberate the guidelines for the prevention, control, and mitigation of the spread of COVID-19, which was subsequently approved on March 12 via Office Memorandum No. 21 s. 2020.

The guidelines stipulated various prevention and mitigation actions that include personal hygiene, social distancing, travel restrictions, and the postponement of curricular activities that require mass gatherings.

The work schedule of both faculty and staff were also reduced to 4 days a week before the implementation of a complete work-from-home scheme on March 19. As of the date of writing, a skeletal workforce is instituted to ensure that essential college operations are continued. These operations include the preparation of financial reports, regular remittances, payroll, monitoring and maintenance of college properties (e.g., vehicles, facilities, surroundings), among others.

Meanwhile, face-to-face classes have been suspended since March 13, urging faculty members to shift to alternative learning modalities such as using google classroom, Edmodo, Zoom, etc. However, the same was suspended on March 21. This is in consideration of the students who cannot afford the logistics of online classes.

As part of the IERS Program, DOSCST has engaged in facemask production, food packs and relief goods distribution, free shuttle service, and college-wide disinfection. Recently, the college also activated two committees – Committee on the Development of Localized Communication, Education, and Public Awareness (CEPA) Materials on COVID-19 and Committee on Psychological First Aid and Psychosocial Support.

The former is tasked to translate COVID-related advisories to local dialects to ensure acceptance and comprehension among the Davao Oriental residents. Meanwhile, the latter offers free psychological first aid and psychosocial support to individuals distressed by the pandemic.

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that is caused by a novel coronavirus first identified in 2019. It has infected a total of 1,395,136 individuals, taking the lives of 81,580 people worldwide. (Jhonnel P. Villegas, DOSCST PIO)