Students brought back from COVID-19 affected countries

MANILA – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) have completed the safe repatriation of 13 students from Vietnam, Japan and the United Kingdom to the Philippines amidst the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) lockdown.

Among these were five BS in Hospitality Management students of the College of Management, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) who are currently interns in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The students have been safely returned to La Union and are now staying at a temporary quarantine facility for 14 days before returning to their respective residences.

Some five Aklan State University (ASU) students who are in Hokkaido, Japan for an international internship under the Student Internship Abroad Program (SIAP) arrived on Thursday (March 26) and were safely brought to a temporary accommodation for a self-quarantine protocol.

Earlier this week, the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) reported that three faculty/staff members who are scholars of the Dual PhD by Research Program of UPLB and the University of Reading (UoR) in the United Kingdom were brought to Heathrow Airport on March 17, 2020.

Upon arrival in Manila on March 18, the students underwent the required immigration procedures at the airport and were driven to their homes or temporary residences to start their 14-day self-quarantine period.

CHED has been coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Health (DOH) to inform them of the case of the students and their status as Persons Under Monitoring (PUM) and to ensure that DFA posts abroad assist the students in returning to the country.

“I would like to thank DFA Secretary Teddyboy Locsin for ordering our foreign posts to provide assistance to our returning students. I also commend the officials of ASU, DMMMSU and UPLB for their efficient tracking of their students who are stuck abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic and working with CHED, DFA and DOH so they can be reunited with their families. All other SUCs must continue to monitor their students who are still abroad and coordinate with CHED so we can assist in bringing them home, if needed,” said CHED Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III.

The Commission also lauded the efforts of the respective local government units (LGUs) and the Office of Congressman Teodorico T. Haresco, Jr. of the 2nd District of Aklan in helping the students.

“In these extremely challenging times, the good news that we are able to bring our students home is a testament that the Filipino bayanihan spirit is alive and well. The Commission will not stop until all stranded Filipino students are safely reunited with their families,” de Vera added. (CHED-PR)

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