Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque gave this assurance Thursday, Aug. 26, that the country is “on its way” to conducting pilot face-to-face classes in schools within areas with low number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, including locations under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), although he also asked the public to let President Duterte gain confidence as far as the move is concerned.
During a virtual press briefing on Thursday, Aug. 26, Roque said,“baka i-consider na niya [Pres. Duterte] ang pilot [face-to-face classes] at least kapag marami na ang nabakunahan; at sa Metro Manila po, papunta na tayo sa 50 percent [fully-vaccinated].”
“Kinakailangan humabol iyong mga ibang rehiyon dahil outside of Metro Manila, ang pinakamataas na pong porsiyento na nabakunahan ay diyan po sa CAR [Cordillera Administrative Region]. Pero papunta na po tayo roon dahil mayroon naman talagang mga lugar na napakatagal ng MGCQ”, Roque said.
“So baka pupuwede po doon sa mga lugar na iyon [ang pilot face-to-face classes], pero hayaan po muna nating magkaroon ng kumpiyansa ang ating Presidente na hayaan ito dahil ang Presidente po mismo ay ang ama at lolo ng mga nag-aaral sa mababang paaralan,” Roque added.
We haven’t had face-to-face classes since March 2020, or a month when COVID-19 was first detected in the country. UNICEF has suggested a way-forward to address the issue.
“It’s the President who will decide”, Roque’s words when asked about when formal face-to-face classes could restart. “Sang-ayon sa batas ang Presidente po magdidesisyon at inaantay naman po ng ating Department of Education [DepEd] ang pagsang-ayon ng ating Presidente para mag-conduct ng pilot face-to-face classes”.
He said the conduct of such pilot classes will also depend on the classification risk imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on a given area, the approval of the local government unit (LGU) concerned, and the state of the economy.
The Philippines has yet to roll out vaccines on children.
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