Student Life

Implementing Guidelines for 2nd Semester, AY 2019-2020

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The University of the Philippines released on 23 April 2020 implementing guidelines for proceeding with the Second Semester of Academic Year 2019-2020, which has been affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon and other parts of the country.
The guidelines, issued by UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, reflect the resolution of the UP Board of Regents (BOR) in its special meeting on 16 April 2020. The resolution was based on the 13 April 2020 recommendations of UP’s President’s Advisory Committee (PAC) which, in turn, were drawn from the recommendations of the UP System Academic Affairs Committee that were based on the decisions of the Constituent Universities’ Executive Committees in consultation with College Secretaries, Graduate Program Coordinators, Deans and faculty. The PAC endorsed the following proposed policy on the Second Semester AY 2019-2020 to the BOR: 1) end the semester on 30 April 2020; 2) assure that students will not fail the course but that their grade of P (Pass) with optional adjectival remarks will be deferred until they meet adjusted course requirements by 31 May 2021; and 3) allow earlier completion of requirements by students on a CU-set deadline.
Guided equally by the UP’s mandate as the National University committed to quality education and by the extreme conditions confronting its students and faculty during the ECQ in Luzon and other parts of the country, the BOR adopted the PAC-proposed “Policy on the Second Semester AY 2019-2020 in the time of COVID-19”, dated 13 April 2020, with revision. Specifically, the Board replaced the recommended P (Pass with optional adjectival remarks) with numeric grades and granted units offering graduate courses the leeway to determine how best to proceed with learning and assessment, in consultation with their students and in consideration of the current crisis situation. 
Read the full article in the UP System webpage.

UP Mindanao Bulletin, 4-17 April 2020

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4–17 April 2020


To the UP Mindanao community:

While the word quarantine initially meant “forty days” in Italian (quarantina), I fear our quarantine might not end after forty days. The city government placed the city of Davao under quarantine last 15 March 2020; hence, we will reach our fortieth day on April 23. But the quarantine will continue on for much longer as the ECQ is extended until April 26 and CQ will be reimplemented starting April 27.

Unfortunately, this is needed to “flatten the curve.” Even our own researchers from the Interdisciplinary Applied Modeling (IAM) laboratory, which is a part of the UP System’s COVID-19 Response Team, has recommended extending the quarantine as “lifting the quarantine prematurely is very risky” ( And we hope that this extension will buy us more time to set up our proposed testing lab, which was proposed by the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao and to be implemented in partnership with government and private sectors, to augment the current diagnostic capacity of the Davao Region.

The extension of the quarantine means two things. First, work in the university will continue to be suspended until April 26 and beyond, and previous arrangements for the skeletal work force and work-from-home arrangements will remain in place ( Second, classes will remain suspended until 30 April 2020, the end of the second semester AY 2019-2020 as decided by the UP Board of Regents. The BOR has also adopted a “deferred grade” scheme for students in consideration of the current crisis, and our teaching staff are urged to prepare adjusted course requirements and to communicate these to students by 31 May 2020 (

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” wrote Charles Dickens. And while he may be talking about an altogether different kind of revolution, we cannot deny that the same can also be said with the Covid-19 pandemic that has upended everything in our society.

It is indeed the worst of times. So much so that the City Government of Davao has declared “a period of mourning and vigilance in Davao City” until 31 December 2020 to commemorate the many lives lost during the pandemic and “to impress upon everyone the value of empathy for those who are suffering and will continue to suffer the after effects of the pandemic.” This will greatly impact how we operate day-to-day for the rest of the year, and this will, I imagine, also have a profound effect on the various activities we have planned in line with our year-long celebration of our 25th Founding Anniversary.

But it can also be said the best oftimesas this pandemic has shown clearly the spirit of compassion and service of our constituents as they contribute in whatever way they can to address the challenges brought about by this pandemic. For example, as of 17 April 2020, we have amassed more than PhP 60,000 in response to our bayanihan fund drive for our security, sanitation, and nongovernment service personnel (we will be starting distribution within the week). Moreover, researchers from various units of the university have come together in response to CHED’s call for proposals to craft an initiative to produce 70% ethyl alcohol from lambanog to address shortage in supply.

For these and many other initiatives, I thank our community for your generosity, for sharing your financial resources, your time, and your expertise. Let us know by contacting the designated member of the Covid-19 response team if you have initiatives in mind that can help our university and our community. We are always open to new ideas.

But I cannot stress enough the importance of taking care of both our physical and mental health in the midst of this crisis. Hence, I invite everyone to sign up for the UP Mindanao Mental Health Helpline, which provides free mental health and psychosocial support to our constituents. This initiative is organized by our Office of Student Affairs in partnership with agencies such as the Southern Philippines Medical Center, the Philippine Mental Health Association Inc.-Davao Chapter, the Psychological Consultancy Services, and the AUPAEU – UP Mindanao Project Tambayayong. Links are given below for ease of access to interested students and employees.



Furthermore, to inform us of the health and general situation of our employees, the Human Resource and Development Office has launched the Covid-19 employees monitoring survey, available in English and Binisaya versions. I hope our employees will find the time to answer the survey as we prepare for various scenarios when the community quarantine is finally lifted.



To end this message, I would like to borrow the words of our colleague, Prof. Andrea Malaya Ragragio, in her response to my previous message: “In the midst of this pandemic, when almost all our norms, routines, institutions, values, hierarchies, established practices, plans and expectations, our sense of self and community are up in the air, this is precisely the time when we can subject ourselves and our taken-for-granted truths to a brutal re-examination.”

As we re-examine various facets of our lives, our institution, and our society, may we always be guided by the spirit of honor and excellence that has guided many other UP scholars in the past who have weathered many storms over the years but found the resolve to contribute to the betterment society.

Stay safe and know that we will get through this together!

Prof. Larry N. Digal, PhD, Chancellor

UP MINDANAO COVID-19 CASE TRACKER (as of 20 April 2020)



Suspect Case*

Probable Case*

Confirmed Case*

Students 1





Teaching staff 2





Non-teaching staff 2





Non-UP contractuals 2 (NGS, project-based personnel, etc.)





1 Based on Student Tracking Survey of the Office of Student Affairs (as of 17 Apr 2020)

2 Based on Personnel Tracking Survey of the Human Resources and Development Office (released 21 Apr 2020)

* See note below on the new DOH classification system for COVID-19-related cases

The UP System has tasked all constituent units to report on the number of COVID-19 cases among its constituents based on the new classification system adopted by the Department of Health. Hence, we are urging students, faculty, and staff of the university to answer the appropriate survey for monitoring.





*NOTE: The Department of Health has issued a new case classification based on additional epidemiological information on COVID-19, adapting certain provisions of the WHO interim guidelines on global surveyance, in its Administrative Order no. 2020-0013 (LINK:

Old Classification

New Classification

Definition based on DOH AO no. 2020-013

Persons under monitoring (PUM)

Not included in new classification system

Due to evidence of local or community transmission in the country, its residents are assumed to have been exposed to the infection.

Patients under investigation (PUI)

Suspect case

-       Individuals who have symptoms of severe acute respiratory infection (fever, cough, sore through, difficulty breathing, and severe pneumonia of unknown cause)

-       Those with influenza-like illness (symptoms include fever, cough, or sore throat) who has a history of travel to or residence in an area that reported local transmission or with contact to a confirmed or probable case

-       Those with symptoms of the disease who belong to the 60 years old and above age bracket, have preexisting health conditions, assessed as having high-risk pregnancy, and are employed as a health worker

Probable case

-       A suspect case who has not yet been tested or is awaiting test result

-       Those who received a result from a test NOT conducted at the national reference laboratory, a subnational reference laboratory, or DOH-certified laboratory testing facility

COVID-19 Positive

Confirmed case

-       Any individual, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, who was confirmed for COVID-19 at the national reference laboratory, a subnational reference laboratory, or DOH-certified laboratory testing facility


1 May 2020 | Departments shall communicate adjusted course requirements for students under the “deferred grade” scheme

30 April 2020 | End of 2nd Semester AY 2019-2020

27 April 2020 | Re-implementation of Community Quarantine in Davao City

22 April 2020 | Submission of Work Accomplishment from 01-14 April 2020 for Admin Staff and REPS

20-26 April 2020 | Extension of Enhanced Community Quarantine in Davao Region

20-30 April 2020 | Online Training Courses for UP Staff – 2nd Batch 


17 April 2020 | “UP students given options in complying with course requirements, safety nets against failing grades.”

16 April 2020 | “Davao City should consider extending community quarantine beyond April 19 and conduct more tests for COVID-19—UP Mindanao Researchers” (UP System Website).

15 April 2020 | “UPMin's mathematicians recommend continuing lockdown beyond April 19" (Mindanao Times).

15 April 2020 | OSA Mental Health Pipeline (UPMin Facebook page).

6 April 2020 | “UP COVID19-Related Initiatives revised 6 April 2020”: CU-involvement in COVID19-Related Research/Technology/Extension Activities (OVPPA).

3 April 2020 | VIDEO: “PGC UP Mindanao update on COVID-19 initiative.”

Online Portal of University of the Philippines CoViD-19 News and Information.


External Agencies

17 April 2020 | Davao City Executive Order No. 25: An Order to Declare a Period of Mourning and Vigilance in Davao City.

16 April 2020 | Davao City Executive Order No. 24: An Order Providing for the Extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine and Other Activities Thereafter.

15 April 2020 | CHED Office of the Executive Director: Submission of Reports as to the Use of SUC’s Facilities as Quarantine Areas.

13 April 2020 | CHED Advisory No. 6 Guidelines for the Prevention, Control, and Mitigation of the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Higher Education Institutions.

6 April 2020 | CHED Memorandum from the Office of the Chairperson on the Call for Proposals for the Grant of Assistance to State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) to Combat the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

UP System Memoranda and Other Releases

17 April 2020  Memorandum No. OSU 2020 01-02. Notice of Resolutions of the Board of Regents at its Special Meeting held on 16 April 2020.

UP System Policy on the Second Semester AY 2019-2020 in the Time of COVID-19.

17 April 2020 | UP System IT Online Courses for UP Staff - 2nd Batch

16 April 2020 | Office of the Staff Regent: Survey on the Work Condition of Administrative Staff and REPS during the Time of COVID-19.

15 April 2020 | Memorandum No. EEP 2020-7. Additional Data to be Included in the CU-COVID-19 Report.

15 April 2020 | Office of the President Memorandum No. TJH 2020-20. Redirection of Website Domain/ URL to the UP System Website.

14 April 2020 | Office of the President Memorandum No. TJH 2020-19. Guidelines for Coordinated Information Management and IT-related Efforts amid COVID-19 Pandemic.

14 April 2020 | Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs Memorandum No. 2020-48. Proposed UP System Policy on the Second Semester AY 2019-2020 and the Mid-Year in the Time of COVID-19.

10 April 2020Office of the Faculty Regent. Survey for Faculty on Online Teaching Readiness. (sent through email)

9 April 2020 | UP System IT: Overview of Recent Updates to Zoom (forwarded by UPMin IT Office).

7 April 2020 | UP System IT: Proper Use of University ICT Resources (email sent to all).

7 April 2020 | Memorandum No. NGY 2020-53 / Memorandum No. TJH 2020-16. Guidelines on the release of Clothing Allowance (P6,000) and Emergency Allowance (P5,000).

7 April 2020 | Office of the President Memorandum No. TJH 2020-18. Half-day Work on Wednesday, 8 April 2020.

5 April 2020 | Memorandum No. NGY 20-56. Submission of Work Accomplishment from 17-31 March 2020 and 01-14 April 2020.

UP Mindanao Memoranda and Other Releases

17 April 2020 | Memorandum No. LND 2020-049. Extension of Work and Class Suspension as per Davao City LGU EO no. 24 and UP BOR’s Decision to End Classes.

17 April 2020 | Memorandum No. LND 2020-047. Early Release of Salaries for 16-30 April 2020.

16 April 2020 | Memorandum No. LND 2020-046. COVID-19 Response Team of UP Mindanao (modified).

16 April 2020 | Memorandum no. ALVG 2020-016 Interim Arrangements for the Processing of Financial Transactions.

14 April 2020 | Memorandum No. ALVG 2020-014. Moratorium on GSIS Loan Payments.

13 April 2020 | Call for nomination for CHSS Dean-Extended until further notice (emailed to all units from chair, Prof. Noreen V. Fundandor).

6 April 2020 | Memorandum No. LND 2020-043. Davao City Mayor Calls for Volunteers to serve in the Proposed PUI Centers in the Region.

6 April 2020 | Administrative Order No. LND 2020-043. Appointment of Prof. Maria Stella R. Salazar as Officer-in-Charge of CHSS effective 7 April 2020 until a new CHSS Dean is appointed by the BOR.

5 April 2020 | Memorandum No. LND 2020-045. Request for Participation in the Consumer and Business Survey to Assess the Impact of COVID-19 and the Community Quarantine.

Reference Materials

UP System coronavirus advisories and prevention guidelines:



Lead person/s

Contact details


Prof. Larry N. Digal, PhD (Chancellor)

Instruction and academics

Prof. Nilo B. Oponda, PhD (VCAA)

Administration and finance

Prof. Aurelia Luzviminda V. Gomez, PhD (VCA)

Research and public service

Prof. Emma Ruth. V. Bayogan, PhD (CARIM Director)

Student affairs

Prof. Maria Teresa R. Escano (OSA Director)


Mr. Michael A. Gatela (Pahinungod Director)


Prof. Karen Joyce G. Cayamanda, PhD (Humanities Chair)

Mr. Michael Noel R. Bonghanoy (Info Comm Chair)

Mr. Rene A. Estremera (Public Relations Officer)

End of 2nd Sem AY 2019-2020

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UP students given options in complying with course reqs, safety nets against failing grades

April 17, 2020 | Written by Celeste Ann Castillo Llaneta (Reprinted from:
In light of the global pandemic and enhanced community quarantine declared across most of the country, the University of the Philippines has decided to end the second semester of AY 2019-2020 on April 30, 2020, instead of the original May 23, 2020.

This decision was made during a meeting of the UP Board of Regents (UP BOR) held on April 16, following deliberations and revisions of a proposal submitted by the President’s Advisory Council, a committee composed of the UP System vice presidents and the chancellors of all UP constituent units. The details of the final decision and corresponding guidelines will be issued in an official memo that will soon be made available and cascaded through proper channels.

With this decision, UP students in all constituent units are given two options. They can choose to complete their course requirements until May 31, 2021, and upon compliance shall be given a numeric grade under a “deferred grade” scheme. Instead of receiving a failing grade, students who find themselves unable to complete their course requirements by May 2021 will be considered dropped and will have to retake the course in the succeeding semester.

However, students whose circumstances allow them to work on course requirements during quarantine, can choose to complete these requirements, following the adjusted syllabus and the deadlines set by their constituent university. They will then be given a numerical grade based on faculty assessment of their performance.

Moreover, students who enrolled in a course that is a prerequisite to a higher course will be allowed to enroll in the latter for credit, despite the “deferred grade” for the prerequisite course. To help students catch up with their courses, departments, units and institutes shall offer bridging programs during the first semester of AY 2020-2021.

Departments and faculty have been urged to prepare necessary course requirements that will allow them to assess academic performance, taking into consideration the crisis conditions the students are working in. These adjusted course requirements must be communicated to the students by May 1, 2020.

For postgraduate students, their departments, units and institutions shall determine how best to proceed with the courses and how to assess students’ academic performances, in consultation with the students and in consideration of the current crisis situation.

UP is also waiving academic rules as well as policies on scholastic standing and student financial assistance.

Specifically, the deadlines for the dropping of subjects and for filing Leave of Absence for the second semester of AY 2019-2020 are lifted. As for the maximum residency rule, residence for this semester shall not be counted in the years of residence of a student.

A student who incurred a grade of incomplete (INC) during the second semester of AY 2018-2019 shall be allowed to remove the INC until first semester AY 2020-2021. Similarly, a student who incurred a grade of 4.0 during the same period shall also be allowed to remove the 4.0 until first semester AY 2020-2021.

Rules on scholastic standing (delinquency), including rules on warning, probation, dismissal and permanent disqualification, are suspended for the second semester AY 2019-2020. Policies on student financial assistance, which are tied to scholastic standing, are similarly suspended.

The University will continue to explore alternative modes of instruction, requirements and assessment methods that are consistent with its mandate as national university, and with the principles of honor and excellence, all while taking into account the extreme conditions, unequal life circumstances, and high levels of anxiety, stress and suffering that UP faculty and students are enduring.
Memorandum No. LND 2020-49
A-Memorandum No. 0SU2020-01-02_Notice of BOR Resolutions at its Special Meeting held on 16 April 2020
B-Revised_UP System Policy on the Second Semester AY 2019-2020 in the Time of COVID-19
[Browse here:
Davao City Should Consider Extending Community Quarantine Beyond April 19 and Conduct More Tests for COVID-19—UP Mindanao Researchers
A recent study by the Interdisciplinary Applied Modeling (IAM) laboratory of the University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao recommends that “the local government should consider extending the community quarantine” beyond the April 19 end date of the community quarantine in Davao City. The IAM lab is part of the UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team – Bioinformatics and Modeling Group, which is mainly composed of mathematicians across the different UP campuses.
The team headed by Dr. May Anne Mata, an associate professor in applied mathematics specializing in mathematical biology, simulated a model to predict the effect of lifting the community quarantine on April 19 and July 1 based on parameter estimates obtained by fitting an epidemiological model to the cumulative confirmed cases in the Davao Region from March 15 to April 4.
The model has five population categories, namely, Susceptible (at risk to contract the disease), Exposed (infected but not infectious), Asymptomatic Infectious (without symptoms but infectious), Confirmed Cases (assumed isolated and will not infect the susceptible), and Unreported Infectious (includes only those with symptoms).
“When CQ [community quarantine] is lifted on April 19, the infected population will continue to persist . . . For instance, we see that the exposed population is stable from May to July after it peaks during the last week of March,” the study finds. “However, if we maintain CQ at the status quo’s rates of transmission and confirmation, we observe a decreasing trend in the number of exposed individuals around mid-May.”
Dr. Mata, however, cautions that the model estimates are dependent on various assumptions and only show a possible, more likely scenario. Hence, predicting the appropriate lifting date is difficult and can only be accurately obtained by increasing the number of observations and updating parameter estimates. 
“Lifting the quarantine prematurely is very risky. To be safe, perhaps we can extend the community quarantine for 14 days. If we get 0 new cases and 0 new PUIs [persons under investigation] within that period, then we can lift the community quarantine,” Dr. Mata suggests.
The next phase of the study will fit the model on data within the duration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from April 4 to 19, covered by EO no. 23A series 2020, to see if the strategy is effective.  
Extending the community quarantine, however, has an economic tradeoff, one that is difficult to model at this time. “We just don’t have data on logistics like total budget of Davao City government for COVID-19 response, breakdown per barangay, cost of goods distribution, budget per household, just to name a few, to do a model on this. Also, this will require a different modeling strategy.” 
Using the same data, another study by the team shows the importance of testing persons under monitoring (PUMs) and persons under investigation (PUIs). “We recommend that the government should consider testing more PUMs and/or PUIs in the region for early detection of infected population so that these individuals will be isolated immediately from the susceptible pool,” the study states. This point is particularly important for asymptomatic individuals who may show no signs of disease but may freely and unknowingly spread the disease to the population.
In another study, researcher Zython Paul Lachica and other members of the IAM lab team collated available information from COVID-19 positive cases from the Department of Health within a 40-day observation period to assess the risk factors that increase a patient’s hazard rate. 
The study yielded the following preliminary findings: “Male COVID-19 positive patients are estimated to face a hazard rate of 12.79 times the hazard faced by female patients. Coughing patients face a hazard that is 28.35 times the hazard of those who have no cough. Furthermore, a patient with pre-existing condition”—such as hypertension, kidney problem, and/or diabetes—“may have a hazard rate of 2,838 times the hazard rate of patient without any preexisting conditions. On the other hand, patients who are 55 to 64 years old and 65 to 74 years old face hazard rates that are less than patients who are 75 years and older.” It should be noted that these results are based on preliminary data, and the hazard estimates will be fine-tuned once more data becomes available.
Based on these findings, the study recommends prioritizing for testing patients who are 75 years and older and those with preexisting medical conditions once they experience coughing, persons under monitoring who might be asymptomatic patients, as well as those with high exposure to the COVID-19 positive patients such as health workers. 
Setting up more testing centers in the different regions is vital to contain COVID-19 cases as the study shows that “having test results within 1 to 3 days after the onset of symptoms reduces hazard rates to almost 0%.” Survival rates decrease dramatically as the number of days before getting the test results increase.
The IAM lab was initiated by researchers from UP Mindanao’s Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science to help the government in making science-based decisions. The three studies by the lab were already sent for review to the UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team and are freely shared to local decision makers as input for strategies.
Since last March, UP Mindanao through the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao has entered into talks with the Department of Health XI, Davao del Norte LGUs, and the private sector to establish a COVID-19 testing laboratory that will be attached to the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in order to supplement the testing capacity of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in the Davao Region. 

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