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Metro Manila face-to-face classes under review – IATF

Republika

Malacañang Palace said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is reviewing the Metro Manila mayors’ proposal for face-to-face classes.


Not long after the pandemic started in March of 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte declared that face-to-face classes would be suspended until a Covid19 vaccine was available. Not long after, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones declared that alternative means for having classes would be explored.


Students have been under a “blended learning” system for a little over a year. It involves the use of radio, television, modular learning, and online classes. Several colleges and universities also waived their entrance exams.


Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan stated that the National Capital Region’s mayors are urging the government to allow one school per city at least for the face-to-face classes pilot run.


The economic center of the Philippines is Metro Manila. For the week of September 30 to October 6, it logged 11,786 Covid19 cases as its weekly average. Official data showed it was a considerable improvement, 5,000 to 6,000 cases down from the previous week. OCTA Research experts say that despite this, NCR is still at high risk.


“We never disregarded the appeals and recommendations of Metro Manila mayors because they are the ones implementing the policies of the IATF,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said. “So, we will listen to them.”


According to Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, Metro Manila could be included with the pilot run of face-to-face classes.

However, this is dependent on the hospital utilization rate and whether the Alert Level is downgraded to 2. Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 4, which is the second most stringent classification under the new quarantine system of the national government.


“[We’re] not talking about large areas. For example, in the National Capital Region, if there is a school in a barangay that is low risk, even if NCR is under Alert Level 4,” Vergeire clarified, “it can also be included. But for now, we are studying it thoroughly.”


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