“No covid-19 vaccines, no classes” - solon

“No covid-19 vaccines, no classes” - solon

Deputy House Speaker and Pampanga 3rd district Representative Aurelio Gonzales proposes the deferment of the opening of School Year 2020-2021 of both public and private schools until a vaccine against COVID-19 is available in the country. 

Rep. Gonzales, on May 21, Thursday said that Resolution No. 876 calling on the postponement of classes “until and unless a vaccine against Covid-19 has been discovered and included in the Philippine national drug formulary” was referred to Covid-19 Committee co-chaired by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Majority Leader Martin Romualdez.

The Resolution No. 876, Gonzales said, seeks to express the collective sense of the House of Representatives for the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to suspend the resumption of classes “until and unless a vaccine against Covid-19 has been discovered and included in the Philippine national drug formulary.”

Gonzales said despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the DepEd has set the official opening of school year 2020-2021 on August 24, 2020 to April 30, 2021.

Gonzales said that although the DepED encourages distance learning through the Internet at the start of the classes, this is not possible in the areas where internet is weak or not available.

Even in many highly urbanized cities and towns, the lawmaker said internet and mobile phone communication is not reliable.

“Face-to-face classes would have to be conducted sooner than later if we want our children to learn. And here lies the problem, since it would be hard to require physical distancing in classrooms, especially in public schools, where a class is composed of no fewer than 40 students,” said Gonzales.

Gonzales invoked the constitutional provision mandating the state to protect the health of its citizens in seeking the postponement of the reopening of schools.

“With the growing Covid-19 threat which is still present and imminent to the safety of our citizens, especially our children, it is imperative that we take all precautions and preventive actions to protect our people from the disease,” Gonzales added.

Covered by Resolution No. 876 recommending suspension proposal are classes in all schools, whether public or private, from pre-school to college, including vocational education and training.

Source: Philippine News Agency (PNA)

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