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Review urgency, ensure accessibility of mega vax center—College of Science

According to them, the mega vaccination site “defeats the purpose of the minimum health protocols” since people have to travel from their homes to the centralized facility.

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Photo grabbed from UST-Science Facebook page

The UST College of Science (CoS) urged the national administration to evaluate the benefits of the mega vaccination center to be built in Parañaque City.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page last May 20, the CoS asked several government offices to create “safe, accessible, equitable, inclusive, and enhanced vaccination programs.”

“The College of Science of the University of Santo Tomas expresses its sentiments regarding the proposed mega vaccine center in Nayong Pilipino and urges the national government departments and agencies to review the urgency and benefits of the said infrastructure versus immediate and sufficient vaccine allocation and distribution,” they said.

The college encouraged officials to instead improve current strategies, such as accessible community-based vaccination centers, inclusive and safer vaccination facilities, resourceful vaccination sites and jobs, and immediate and cost-efficient vaccination programs.

According to them, the mega vaccination site “defeats the purpose of the minimum health protocols” since people have to travel from their homes to the centralized facility.

“The efforts and plans of the local government units for vaccination roll-out have already commenced especially in Metro Manila and its bubble regions where the transmission rate and number of active cases reflect the urgency of vaccination and the need to accelerate herd immunity,” they said.

The College added that establishing vaccination facilities at local levels would help local economies by opening jobs in the health, social, and logistics services.

They also explained that a single mega vaccination site would inflict “an incredible load on the transportation sector,” considering that people will use confined public vehicles to go to the facility.

“Gathering hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in a single location would be unwise at best and life threatening at worst,” they wrote.

The budget allotted for the mega vaccination facility, according to the College, should be used to improve the LGU’s vaccination capacity instead.

“Construction of a mega vaccine center is deemed counterproductive and not cost-efficient during the immediate and practical vaccination priorities. Current efforts on immunization should not be delayed by the construction of this facility,” they said.

A mega vaccination site will be constructed in the Nayong Pilipino grounds despite objections from the Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) and other groups.

The NPF is against the project as it could “kill the existing ecosystem.” However, the Department of Tourism claimed that “no trees will be affected” during the construction of the mega vaccination site.

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Thomasian places first in January 2022 MedTech Board Exams

Thomasian Kyle Patrick Rivera Magistrado led the recent MedTech boards with a score of 90.40 percent.

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Aliah Danseco/TomasinoWeb

The University was hailed as the fourth top-performing school in the January 2022 Medical Technology Licensure Examinations (MTLE) posted on Monday, Jan. 24, with five Thomasians making it to the top.

Thomasian Kyle Patrick Rivera Magistrado led the recent MedTech boards with a score of 90.40 percent. 

UST fielded 107 examinees, of which 86 (80.37 percent) passed. The University’s passing rate, however, dwindled to 80.37 percent, previously at 80.39 percent in the January 2021 MTLE from a total of 51 Thomasian board takers .

The national passing rate also waned to 49.9 percent or 1,307 out of 2,619 compared to last year’s result of 67.68 percent or 1,919 out of 2,835 examinees.

Saint Louis University emerged as the top-performing school after posting a passing rate of 93.98 percent.

The Professional Regulation Commission postponed the August 2021 MedTech Board Exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic and moved it to Jan 15 and 16.

Angela Gabrielle Magbitang Atejera
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‘Driven, hardworking leader’: Ex-SOCC VP dies at 23

Aldaba was a known student-leader since his senior high school years in the University. He was the Interim Executive Vice President of the Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC) in the previous academic year.

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Photo courtesy of Francis Oliver Aldaba

Francis Justine Aldaba, a fourth-year student from the College of Education, passed away on Friday, Jan. 14, after succumbing to acute respiratory failure. He was 23.

He died at Premiere Medical Center in Nueva Ecija at exactly 9:50 in the morning, his brother Francis Oliver Aldaba told TomasinoWeb

Aldaba was a known student-leader since his senior high school years in the University where he took up Health Allied as his strand. His involvement started as the Executive Assistant to the Chief-of-Staff in the Central Student Council.

He was the Interim Executive Vice President of the Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC) in the previous academic year. Prior to this, he was also the Executive Associate to the SOCC Executive Vice President.

Describing Aldaba, Rome Voltaire Gomez, former interim president and chief executive officer of SOCC, told TomasinoWeb he was “a visionary, driven, and hardworking leader.” 

“Justine was a great help to SOCC in assisting grievances of recognized Student Organizations,” he said.

Gomez, in a social media post, said: “Justine was family to the CSC/SOCC family and me. He was a strong person and a kind soul.”

“We ask for your prayers in this time for him and his family. We will certainly miss him, and in all things, we will fondly remember him. Our family may never be complete again for now, but we will always be one in spirit,” he added.

The funeral service is currently held at Funeraria Corone Memorial Chapel, T. Delos Santos, Science City of Muñoz. The internment details are yet to be announced.

Paolo Alejandrino
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National Artist F. Sionil José dies at 97

The poet was one of the most widely read Filipino authors in the English language, with works that have been translated into 28 different languages.

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Photo courtesy of People Asia

National Artist for Literature F. Sionil José passed away on Thursday night, Jan. 6, at the age of 97.

The poet died in his sleep at the Makati Medical Center where he was confined earlier for a scheduled angioplasty, according to his wife, Tessie Jovellanos José.

Hours before his death, José wrote a letter for his “brave heart.” A letter which now constitutes his final words. 

“Thank you brave heart. There are times when as an agnostic I doubt the presence of an almighty and loving God. But dear brave heart you are here to disprove this illusion, to do away with the conclusion that if you doubt Him, you kill Him. I cannot kill you dear heart; you have to do that yourself,” José wrote in a Facebook post

“For 97 years you have been constantly working patiently pumping much more efficiently and longer than most machines. Of course, I know that a book lasts long too, as the libraries have shown, books that have lived more than 300 years. Now, that I am here in waiting for an angioplasty, I hope that you will survive it and I with it, so that I will be able to continue what I have been doing with so much energy that only you have been able to give. Thank you dear brave heart and dear Lord for this most precious gift,” he added.

Before becoming a National Artist, José studied Litt. B. Journalism at the old Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University. 

He also became the editor-in-chief of The Varsitarian in 1948 and 1949.  

José earned five Carlos Palanca awards throughout his writing career.

The poet was one of the most widely read Filipino authors in the English language, with works that have been translated into 28 different languages.

He also received recognition from award-giving bodies, which include the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1980, Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Centennial Award in 1999, as well as the Pablo Neruda Centennial Award in Chile in 2004.

In his later years, José made headlines because of his support for President Rodrigo Duterte and the ABS-CBN shutdown.

He was also remembered to have criticized Maria Ressa for winning the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize saying that the Rappler chief did not deserve the award and there were no threats on press freedom because the “Philippine press is alive and well.” 

José was named National Artist for Literature in 2001 because of his great contribution to Philippine literature. 

The details of the National Artist’s wake is yet to be announced.

Justine Xyrah Rennzel Garcia
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