UP Diliman houses COVID 19 testing center, quarantine area, offers free counseling

UP Diliman COVID 19
UP Diliman has initiated several projects to help the nation cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo from UP Diliman.

The University of the Philippines Diliman (UP Diliman) has agreed to house a COVID-19 testing Center for Quezon City, has set up a quarantine, and is offering free counseling to frontliners, patients and their families, and anyone severely affected by the health crisis.


Booths from the Quezon City Hall installed at a UP-AIT lobby. Photo courtesy of Jojo Cabangon from the UP-AIT Facebook page.

UP Diliman’s Asian Institute of Tourism compound on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City will be the City District 6 COVID-19 testing center.

UP AIT confirmed its housing the QC District 6 testing center on April 20, 2020,
located at the East wing (old AIT House hotel) of the newly renovated Asian Institute of Tourism building.

“When a request for assistance in setting up a COVID-19 testing center in Quezon City was received from [District 6 Representative] Kit Belmonte by [UP Diliman] Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo, an affirmative response was immediately given after consultations with [UP] President Danilo Concepcion and myself as the head of unit of the building that was identified as the suitable location for the purpose,” UP-AIT Dean Leticia Susan Lagmay-Solis told the UP Media and Public Relations Office which published a report on the UP Diliman testing center.

“As time is of the essence… the University extends its full support without hesitation… as it tries to find ways to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, and to find solutions to end the pandemic,” Lagmay-Solis said.

Lagmay-Solis also said all safety precautions and protocols have been put in place to ensure the welfare of all stakeholders.

The Quezon City government reported that all its testing centers including that of the UP AIT are equipped with swab booths to handle a targeted 50 tests per day, blood testing, and x-ray examination. District health officers man and supervise the booths. Specimens are forwarded to the Lung Center of the Philippines and St. Luke’s Medical Center-Quezon City for processing.


Palma Hall Lobby turned into a quarantine area. Photo from UP College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Facebook Page.

The UP campus has also designated the historic Palma Hall as a quarantine area with classrooms and lobbies converted into isolation rooms for suspected and probable COVID-19 cases.

The Kanlungang Palma operations of the UPD COVID-19 Task Force and Act as One PH prepared the quarantine rooms. The group says that Dr. Jesusa Catabui of the University Health Service is finalizing all guidelines and recruiting health and support staff as required by the Department of Health.


The UP Diliman Psychology Department is also offering Tele-psychotherapy to frontliners, PUMs and PUIs, COVID-19 positive individuals, their relatives, and others severely affected by COVID-19.

Individuals can send a text or Viber message to 09063743466 or 09167573157 with their name and concern or accomplish the form on this link to receive a call from a PsycServ volunteer. PsycServ operates from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm.

The UP free counseling says it “aims to provide support and a listening ear to those feeling anxious in quarantine with no one to talk to, those diagnosed with the disease or caring and directly working with those who were and thinking of the worst possibilities, those in anguish over a loved one who is ill or who died, and those unsettled and destabilized by the uncertainties and tragedies of the times.”

The Facebook page offers a general advice: “Halo-halong emosyon ang dala ng COVID-19 sa buhay natin: takot, lungkot, saya, galit, gulat, at marami pang iba. Alalahanin nating normal lang na maranasan ang mga ito lalo na sa panahon na ito. [COVID-19 has awoken mixed emotions in our lives: fear, loneliness, relief, anger, shock, and others. Let us remember it is normal to experience these especially at these times].”

“Indeed physical distancing is hard but we can still enable people to connect for encouragement and comfort,” said Dr. Violeta V. Bautista, PsycServ director and Clinical Psychology Program chair of the Department.

The UP Tele-Psychotherapy team is composed of licensed psychologists, experienced psychologists-in-training, clinical psychology graduate students, and trained counselors of the department.

Members of the University of the Philippines community have banded together in several initiatives to help the nation during the public health crisis brought by the coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

Among these is the development of the first Philippine-made COVID-19 test kit, the RxBox vital signs monitor, the PPE cleaning chamber, ventilators, alcohol production, Lukal health drinks for frontliners, various donations from student, faculty, staff and alumni, and the Bayanihan Na! Operations Center Hotline at the UP-Philippine General Hospital, a COVID-19 referral center.

SEND UP FIGHT CHEERS to the University of the Philippines community for taking on various initiatives to help the nation cope with the COVID-19 pandemic by housing a testing center, quarantine area, and offering free counseling.

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Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.