Enhanced Community Quarantine
17 March 2020
Memo to : The University Community
Subject : Enhanced Community Quarantine
The declaration on 16 March 2020 of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) covering the whole of Luzon due to COVID-19 has prompted Ateneo de Manila University to reassess and refine our current operational plans.
Classes and Learning
While Ateneo de Manila is committed to providing a feasible learning environment for our students, we recognize challenges encountered by both faculty and students in fulfilling their obligations during these uncertain times, such as coping with the personal, social and psychological impact of COVID-19; adjusting to new living arrangements due to ECQ-related government regulations; learning the ropes of online teaching and learning, to name a few.
In view of these conditions and upon consultation with our students and faculty of the different school units, I have decided to suspend online classes during the ECQ. Suspending online classes does not mean suspending online learning. Thus, during this ECQ, I am encouraging our teachers to make online material available, nonetheless, for students who have online access. I hope that these students also find creative ways of sharing these or about these materials with their offline classmates. This way all our students can learn at their own pace and time during this period.
I have instructed the schools to work on reasonable and compassionate contingency measures with respect to class requirements and grades in the current situation and in the event that the quarantine extends throughout the semester. The awareness we have of constraints to online learning calls us to flexibility and leniency.
All faculty, staff, professionals, and administrators in all campuses are now directed to work from home, if applicable, while observing strict home quarantine. All prior approved requests to enter any of our campuses are now rescinded. Those who will be required and authorized to perform online work off-campus can avail of an internet connection subsidy. Reimbursement of the subsidy will be processed when we return to normal operations.
The University will also release 25% of all employees’ 13th month pay, in accord with President Duterte’s appeal to employers to advance a prorated amount of such benefit.
For the entire ECQ period, security and emergency health workers will be stationed on campus 24/7, to ensure the safety and security of those who live on campus.
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On another note, I am glad to inform you that even as we live in this time of quarantine, our Ateneo DReaM Team (Disaster Response and Management Team) is active again, partnering with other Jesuit institutions on campus, namely, the Tanging Yaman Foundation, Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, and the Manila Observatory in order to raise funds to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to hospitals in Metro Manila as well as food for the poorer communities of Quezon City, Marikina, and parts of Rizal.
Many poor communities were caught unprepared by this ECQ. It has fallen primarily on the LGUs with their limited capabilities to feed hundreds of thousands of families daily for at least a month. We appeal to you all to please help by donating through the accounts we have indicated in our announcements.
Indeed, in trying times such as this, now more than ever, we are called to love others as we love our own, as God loves us. Let us help each other to believe that by God’s grace and our willingness, we shall heal and recover and become whole again.
God bless you and keep you strong in this time of quarantine.
Jose Ramon T Villarin SJ