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School denies collecting P1-K from students for COVID jabs




THE SAN Pedro College has denied the allegation of the regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) that it was collecting P1,000 from its students intended for the vaccines against COVID-19.

In an April 21 letter addressed to Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Regional Director Maricar Casquejo, Sister Aida Frencillo, president of the institution, said that Yumang’s claim that the amount was being collected as part of miscellaneous fees was “not true.”

“This (Yumang’s claim) is not true because nothing has been collected from the students or has been charged to the students through miscellaneous fees, other fees or any name of fee for that matter,” said Frencillo in the letter, a soft copy of which was obtained by TIMES.

The letter was in answer to Yumang’s own letter on April 12 which alleged that the institution violated the DOH-NTF (National Task Force) Joint Administrative Order 2021-001 for allegedly including the amount as part of miscellaneous fees.

Frencillo also pointed out that the CHED can vouch for its position as it has not applied for the inclusion of the vaccine in its miscellaneous fees.

“In fact, in your (CHED’s) letter indorsement to San Pedro College, you stated in the first sentence of the last paragraph that `CHED has not yet approved any Other School Fee item that shall be collected by the institution from the students for the purpose of COVID-19 Vaccination”. San Pedro College has not applied for the same and has no intention whatsoever of applying for the same before the CHED,” it added.

In making the claim, Yumang, in her letter to the school, said that she based it on “some reports forwarded to me in person and raised by concerned parties during the local health board meeting of Davao City.”

“The reports allude to possible violations committed by at least two (2) tertiary education institutions against the policies governing the COVID-19 Vaccination Program currently implemented in our region,” Yumang added.

The school official added Yumang “never attached any single document relating to the report she mentioned in her letter.”

“San Pedro College has the right to be furnished with those reports to enable it to confront the allegations in the report,” she added.

“If Dr. Yumang cannot attach even one single document, then the implication is that Dr. Yumang is conducting this investigation against San Pedro College based purely on hearsay and rumors.

Frencillo, said the health official “should provide San Pedro College with copies of those reports” which she based her claim on.

She lamented that some online chat groups and social media posts have identified the schools and other institutions as being investigated on the issue. “San Pedro College, its officials, and students have been bombarded with questions, prejudged and put in ridicule in public,” she added.

“Even if San Pedro College is cleared of the allegations against it, based on `reports forwarded to Dr. Yumang in person and raised by concerned parties during the local health board meeting of Davao City,’ the honor, integrity and name of San Pedro College is forever tarnished because of the malicious accusations levelled against it,” she added.

Explaining its vaccination program plan, Frencillo said that “is purely voluntary in nature” based on the national government guidelines. In the case of its workforce, those who want to get vaccinated, she added, will not shoulder any cost.

She added that the school has started its survey on who wants to get vaccinated among its employees.

In the case of students, “specifically incoming 3rd year and 4th year students in medical allied courses, was decided considering that they will be having their duties or internship in laboratories and hospitals anytime soon after the approval by the CHED of San Pedro College’s application for limited face to face classes,” Frencillo explained in her letter.

She added that just like the employees, students will not be forced to get the vaccines if they do not want them.

Students, unlike the employees, will need to shoulder the cost of the vaccination if they want to with the consent of their parents. The survey on this was still being made to determine who among them were interested.

“During the consultations conducted (on the issue), the employees and the parents of the students were all informed that the vaccines will be procured through a tripartite agreement among the institution, the government and Unilab and in accordance with IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) rules and regulations,” she said.

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