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By theWeeklySillimanian | March 14, 2021

Despite the recurring health threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the province of Negros Oriental has found its feet in the new normal– relaxing the protocols required for locals traveling to the province. In an executive order released by the Office of the Governor, An Executive Order Amending Executive Order No. 5, Series of 2021, Negros Oriental is no longer requiring local travelers to secure a negative RT-PCR test result before travel. According to Degamo, only those who exhibit #COVID19 symptoms upon arrival will be swabbed and kept in a holding facility while waiting for their results. Those who test positive will be quarantined, and those who test negative will be sent home under close supervision from their barangay health officials.

While this might be a precarious move to implement in a province where cases continue to soar, netizens have found hope to come home and revisit Negros Oriental, especially for Sillimanians who cannot wait any longer to stop by the campus. Others have planned on spending the screen break in Dumaguete City with their friends and family. While the campus entry is still limited. the Silliman University was quick to bind with the new protocols as it released an advisory last March 8 detailing the campus requirements for Silliman faculty, staff, and students traveling to Dumaguete. The advisory stated: ‘In accordance with the respective memoranda of the NIATF, PIATC and CIATF, faculty, staff and students need not go through the previously-required 14-day quarantine period. However, incoming travelers are still mandated to comply with the following:

1.     Negative RTPCR result; and

2.     Certificate of Acceptance.

For those who exhibit symptoms at the port of entry, they will be brought to a government or accredited quarantine facility for proper assessment and intervention.’

With the incoming face-to-face classes of the allied and health-related courses, the Silliman University thrives to adjust to the abrupt changes of protocols. The Weekly Sillimanian recognized the effort of the administration in this challenging and confusing time.

It was a horror for Silliman when President Duterte once again rejected the face-to-face classes on the last week of February. SU has been preparing for the face-to-face classes of the allied and health-related courses, and there were even students who already underwent quarantine on campus. Dr. Lily Ann D. Bautista, Director of the Institute of Rehabilitative Sciences expressed her sentiments, “Personally speaking, being in the health profession, I didn’t like it because I think it’s just too many things at the same time. I wish the government could have allowed us to do the limited face-to-face first, at least for a month. Kind of transition it, and then open the borders.”

The battle against the unanticipated will persist for a longer time as expected. The directives of the government and the Silliman University administration can change anytime. However, one thing is certain: the well-being of students and the general public must always be the optimum priority to take.


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