STATUS UPDATE ON LOCALLY-DEVELOPED COVID-19 TEST KITS
Monday, 30 March 2020
The field validation for the COVID-19 testing kits is ongoing and is expected to be finished by Wednesday, April 1.
The issuance of the Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) from the Food and Drug Administration Philippines (FDA) is expected on Friday, April 3. We have informed the FDA that requirements for CPR Certification will be submitted on Wednesday, April 1 at the latest.
The Manila HealthTek Inc. reported that the first batch of reagents has arrived which will enable them to start the manufacturing process to create additional kits that can accommodate 120,000 tests. A total of 1,300 testing kits good for 26,000 tests will be manufactured by and prioritized by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for field implementation and distribution to the Philippine General Hospital, Makati Medical Center, The Medical City, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center, and Baguio General Hospital.
From April 4 to 25, there will be a field implementation for the 26,000 tests funded under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) Project.
The remaining kits good for 94,000 tests will be sold commercially by Manila HealthTek at around P1,300 per kit which is cheaper than the units currently being used in hospitals which cost about P8,000. The Manila HealthTek said they have enough orders from the private sector who intend to donate them in turn to the Department of Health (Philippines) and hospitals. (Note: Please disregard the earlier Pr posted. Correction on the no of testing kits and the no. of testing capacity.
he Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) is opening the application for its 2020 Junior Level Science Scholarship (JLSS) Program.
The JLSS is intended for incoming regular third year college students in Academic Year 2020-2021 who are enrolled in priority science and technology courses as listed in the DOST-SEI website: www.sei.dost.gov.ph. It seeks to fast track the production of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals in the country.
Under the JLSS are three component programs: a) RA 7687 program, which provides for talented students who are under a certain socioeconomic status; b) Merit program, which gives chance to students with high aptitude in STEM; and, c) RA 10612, which aims to accelerate the production of STEM teachers in secondary schools.
Graduates of the JLSS-RA 7687 and JLSS- Merit programs are required to render service obligation by working along their fields in the country after graduation. Meanwhile, graduates of JLSS-RA 10612 will be given priority for job placement in high schools in the country – by the Department of Education (DepEd) – as a Special Science Teacher I. They shall also be allowed to teach STEM subjects even without Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) eligibility but have to pass the LET within five years from date of hiring if they opt to continue their employment with DepEd.
DOST-SEI Director Josette Biyo, a former science teacher herself, hopes that the JLSS will not only provide scholarships for qualified students but also inspire them to pursue careers in STEM.
“In this incredibly challenging time, we need a continuous supply of scientists and engineers who can use scientific knowledge to address basic human needs. We hope JLSS would also help in producing more brilliant and dedicated teachers, ensure that our students get quality science and mathematics education, and even encourage these teachers to become innovators themselves,” Dr. Biyo said.
Among the scholarship privileges are a monthly stipend at ₱7,000; tuition fee subsidy up to ₱40,000 per academic year for those enrolled in private higher education institutions; ₱10,000 book allowance per academic year; ₱1,000 graduation allowance; one economy-class roundtrip fare per year for those studying outside of their home province; ₱10,000 thesis allowance; and group accident insurance.
Interested and qualified students may apply and upload requirements via DOST-SEI’s e-application portal: https://www.science-scholarships.ph.
The deadline for filing of JLSS application is on April 30, 2020 with nationwide examination set on June 7, 2020. Further details and announcements are posted on DOST-SEI website and Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DOST.SEI.
Aside from the JLSS, DOST-SEI offers undergraduate scholarship programs for incoming first year college students, and local and foreign graduate scholarships for MS and PhD students.
Meanwhile, DOST-SEI also announced that the list of qualifiers for the 2020 S&T Undergraduate Scholarships will be released on March 29, 2020. These are for applicants who took the qualifying examination last October 20, 2019. (30)