COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will make a fresh bid to convince President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the holding of face-to-face classes in areas with low risk of widespread COVID-19 infections.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said that some members of the IATF-EID had approved “in principle” the preparation of a presentation to lay out why face-to-face classes can now be conducted.
The task force approved the preparation of such a presentation “maybe about three weeks ago,” said Roque.
Waiting for Duterte’s Approval
The IATF has already approved its joint circular with the health department on physical classes, but this still needs Duterte’s approval, said DepEd.
Senator Nancy Binay was visibly frustrated when DepEd officials admitted the plan has not yet been presented to Duterte, during the Senate basic education committee hearing on Wedneday.
The President has repeatedly thumbed down plans to hold pilot face-to-face classes, fearing it would lead to infections among students. His most recent decision was due to fears about the more transmissible Delta variant.
But Roque said vaccination rates have been rising, especially in Metro Manila where some 30% of the population are already fully vaccinated.
More widespread vaccination had been among Duterte’s conditions for allowing face-to-face classes.