The UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies‘ Program on Social and Political Change and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance present a new discussion paper titled “Constitutional Performance Assessment in the Time of a Pandemic: The 1987 Constitution and the Philippines’ COVID-19 Response.”

For the last twenty-five years, the University of the Philippines Mindanao has made it its mission to mold learners into leaders. And every year, it is with great pride that we send off our graduates in their sablay during the commencement exercises so they can find their place in the world guided by “Honor and Excellence.”

The good news: quarantine measures have managed to decrease local transmission and flatten the curve in Western Visayas. The bad news: a surge in imported cases in the region has led to testing backlogs and strained quarantine facilities. Given this, UP Visayas researchers and ThinkWell Philippines recommend more preparations for local transmission outbreaks in the LGUs, maintenance of minimum public health standards, and a review of the repatriation protocols in terms of testing, tracing and treatment.

Figure 9. Breakdown of daily cases in NCR by LGU. The high number of cases in NCR that are not attributed to an LGU (i.e. unknown city) is not within statistical error.

The surge in COVID-19 cases in the country point to a very significant community transmission in the country, especially in the NCR and Cebu City. Because of this, the UP-OCTA research team cautions against prematurely downgrading the quarantine status in high-risk areas, as well as increase testing, boost aggressive contact tracing, improve treatment and establish more quarantine and other isolation facilities.

How successful have Philippine cities been in terms of winning the fight against COVID-19? The UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response team has launched the “CITY vs COVID” feature in the dashboard to provide information on how cities are recovering from COVID-19 based on available data.

The University of the Philippines has issued an open call for entries to the PAG-AALAY webXHIBITION & FESTIVAL, an online video festival that will showcase stories of everyday Filipino heroes. The festival welcomes entries from all, amateur or professional, Filipino filmmakers, multimedia creators, and artists whose works capture stories of resilience, inner strength, and humanity of Filipinos.

The theme for this year’s festival is “Pag-aalay sa Panahon ng Pandemya”. The Festival will accept video entries that honor, remember, and immortalize Filipinos whose stories of selfless acts amid the COVID-19 pandemic reflect our values of heroism (bayanihan) and selfless offering or oblation (pag-aalay).

Anesthesiologists are among the medical workers who serve at the frontlines in the battle against the viral pandemic. As such, they face health risks due to their exposure and close proximity to COVID-19-positive patients in enclosed spaces. How then can these medical frontliners keep themselves safe while taking care of their patients? Find out in the upcoming webinar in the UP “STOP COVID DEATHS” series on July 10, 12nn.