By Hannah Patricia Abril | News Writer
Vol. XCI No. 17
Feb. 21, 2020
The 53rd Association of Philippine Medical Colleges (APMC) annual convention to be hosted by Silliman University scheduled on Feb 5-7 were canceled due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19), an estimated half a million pesos already spent.
The cancellation of the national event was declared by the executive committee of the APMC for safety measures of the participants, including faculty and students of the participating medical schools in the country.
Dr. Walden Ursos, Dean of the Silliman University Medical School (SUMS) and University Physician stated that the cancellation was caused by two confirmed cases of COVID-19.
“Some of the schools were already cautious, they’re asking whether Dumaguete is safe or not. Some really decided [to attend], a few days prior to the start of the convention. Some decided not to push through, so they backed out from attending the convention.” Dr. Ursos said.
The SUMS dean sent an advisory to all participating medical schools that Silliman will push through for the convention despite the rising epidemic. That is the university’s stand regarding the issue.
“On Friday, I sent an advisory to all participating medical schools that we will push through, because we are not afraid of the CoronaVirus. I mean, that was our stand here,” Dr. Ursos stated. “We can say na contaminate ang Dumaguete, knowing that the virus is still unpredictable. So it is prodded to be proactive, nga we will cancel nalang the convention… it would become more or less a liability to the school, not just for Silliman but for APMC, nga ngano gipadayon [on why it will continue].”
The APMC gave SU a total budget P1.2 million for the annual convention. A total budget of P1.2 milion was given by the AMPC to SU for the annual convention . The university has spent P400,000 plus solicitations, an estimated total of half a million pesos for souvenirs, kits, and giveaways which will be sent to the participants along with the money paid for pre-registration of the event.
The 53rd APMC convention will not be postponed to another date this year. Instead, it will transpire next year hosted by another medical school.
“We expressed candidly na if ingnan mi kami napud mu-host [if we were told to host again] next year, di lang sa dagway kay [we will refuse because] you know, the ordeal of the preparation ba. We don’t want to go through it again. Basin napud ba ma-postpone [It may postpone again]. Maka ingon gyud ka nga di jud [you can say that it is not] meant for Silliman.” Dr. Ursos said. “Ako man giingnan ang APMC nga [we told APMC that] we are willing to relinquish our turn for hosting. We can give it to other medical schools who are willing.”
In regards to the university’s action towards the rising epidemic, Dr. Ursos stated that post-graduates cannot afford another week of suspension which might may compromise the internship and graduation schedules.
“In other words, school has to go on for us, for all of us, life has to go on… I hope wala’y [ there is no] additional threat.” Dr. Ursos said.
Photo from su.edu.ph