AT LEAST 19 higher education institutions (HEIs) in Central Visayas, including 15 in Cebu, have applied for authority to hold limited face-to-face (F2F) classes.

This was confirmed by Dr. Maximo Aljibe, director of the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) office in Central Visayas.

Aljibe told SunStar Cebu that four applicants were from Negros Oriental and that as of Friday, November 19, 2021, they were also processing applications from other HEIs for evaluation.

Ched 7 has yet to release the final list of the HEIs.

Earlier, at least three universities in Cebu had already expressed their readiness to welcome their students back now that Ched has approved limited F2F classes in all college programs.

On Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, Ched Chairperson Prospero de Vera announced that colleges and universities in areas under Alert Level 2 can start applying for authorization in December this year to hold F2F classes for all degree programs.

De Vera, in an earlier report, said the rollout will be done in phases.

Phase 1 will start in December this year in all regions under Alert Level 2, while Phase 2 will start in January 2022 in all regions under Alert Level 3.

The IATF, on Nov. 2, allowed the conduct of limited in-person classes in areas under Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3.

He clarified that interested schools may apply for authorization for the expanded rollout in December, provided that their facilities have been retrofitted.

HEIs’ facilities must have adequate ventilation; table-chair layout that adheres to physical distancing of 1.5 meters; visible and readable signage of health and safety reminders, as well as markings on the floor to direct one-way foot traffic; and hand washing stations.