Good news to unvaccinated students

By Herbert Vego

THIS corner commends the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for lifting the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for students and personnel attending in-person classes in colleges and universities.

To quote CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera, “Students and higher education personnel, regardless of vaccination status, can now participate in face-to-face classes.”

It would be too sweeping to say he was toeing the line of Vice President and Department of Education Secretary Sara Duterte Carpio, who had earlier decided to allow unvaccinated elementary and secondary students to attend the face-to-face classes.

In fact, De Vera justified his position in a press conference when he said, “Vaccination rates have gone up. In many other countries, health and education authorities have started to take back the requirement for vaccination because the risk is now easier to control.”

There is even nothing in the expired Bayanihan law (RA 11494) — an act providing for covid-19 response and recovery interventions — that punishes acts of discrimination done against any person in relation to COVID measures.

It is possible that no less than Atty. Persida Acosta – chief of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) — had influenced De Vera to change his stand. She had sent him a letter about parents asking her office for legal assistance so that their unvaccinated children could enroll in tertiary schools

Acosta cited Republic Act 11525, stating that vaccine cards “shall not be considered an additional mandatory requirement for educational, employment, and other similar government transaction purposes.”

While this corner respects individual decisions on whether to get jabbed or not, I have always cautioned against allowing panic to cloud our sensibility; it could cause stress and, worse, depression that could lead to mental, cardio-vascular and gastrointestinal diseases.

Nobody argues that Covid-related lockdowns have harmed the economy, impoverishing employers and employees alike.

When I caught Covid-19 in March 2021 and spent 12 days in the hospital, it was not the disease that shocked me; it was the absence of medicine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I could be prescribed un-approved drugs, yes, but only if I signed a waiver absolving the hospital and doctors of culpability. I signed the waiver, took the prescribed medicines and the unprescribed ivermectin capsules — and got well.

It puzzles me that the experimental vaccines without FDA approval could be administered to everybody without need for a doctor’s prescription. One size fits all?

To this day, I have refused to be vaccinated.

Like me, you must have heard of vaccinated individuals suffering from serious side effects. If not, you may go over the World Health Organization (WHO) ads in social media and see how the readers react.



ENGR. BAILEY DEL CASTILLO, MORE Power’s deputy head of network operations, assured us that company president Roel Z. Castro is leaving no stone unturned in implementing their five-year modernization program along with the distribution utility’s expansion from in Iloilo City to Passi City and 15 towns of Iloilo province.

The company is in the process of installing the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, which is the most cost-effective solution for improving reliability, optimum operation, intelligent control and protection of a power network. It involves fast computerized data collection capabilities, thus eliminating delayed responses to impending or ongoing operational problems.

Under this system, data is transferred to the SCADA central host computer so that complete information can be provided remotely.

A remote terminal unit (RTU) refers to the real-time programmable logic controller (PLC) that is responsible for properly converting remote station information to digital form for modem to transmit the data and also converts the received signals from master unit in order to control the process equipment through actuators and switch boxes.

To put it simply, the SCADA system replaces the manual labor in performing electrical distribution tasks through automated equipment. Thus, it maximizes the efficiency of the power distribution system by providing the features like real-time view into the operations, data trending and logging, maintaining desired voltages, currents and power factors, generating alarms, etc.

The system relies on computer terminals that are networked with a central host computer. Therefore, in case of power outage, it detects the exact location of the fault and immediately alerts the personnel into implementing a response.

Meanwhile, Engr. Del Castillo revealed that in its first two and a half years of operation, MORE Power has reduced power outages by 65%.