DepEd, DOH ink guidelines for pilot run of face-to-face learning

Robie de Guzman   •   September 27, 2021   •   233

MANILA, Philippines ­– The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday signed the guidelines for the pilot implementation of in-person classes in selected areas deemed as low-risk for COVID-19.

The DepEd said the guidelines contain mechanisms to ensure safety of participating learners, teaching and non-teaching staff, and their families.

“Our utmost priority is the health and safety of our learners and teachers while ensuring that learning happens and learning gaps are addressed. We have been proactive in planning for safe return to schools,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.

“The operational guideline for the pilot run of face-to-face classes is a product of our collaboration with DOH, in consultation with various stakeholders, including child health experts,” she added.

Briones stressed that the guidelines will only be applicable for schools that passed the strict vetting process of DepEd and DOH, and have the support of their respective local government units.

The pilot test will be conducted in 120 schools across the country that have passed the School Readiness Assessment conducted by DepEd and concerned local government units.

The guidelines set standards on the readiness of schools for re-opening. It implements the Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, and Reintegrate (PDITR) framework highlighting the importance of availability of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities.

The guidelines also emphasized the need for proper ventilation in classrooms, room layouts that will enable physical distancing between persons, prioritization of students who will benefit most from limited face-to-face learning modality, management of foot traffic, and conduct of simulation activities prior to implementation of the pilot, among others.

“We want to ensure that we provide safe learning spaces for children during this pandemic. The pilot run will be a shared responsibility among DOH, DepEd and local government units to ensure that mechanisms are in place from prevention of COVID-19 infection to reintegration of recovered patients,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

“It is also a shared responsibility among school management, teachers, and families for ensuring that all minimum public health standards are observed and possible COVID-19 cases are detected early through regular symptoms screening and reporting,” he added.

Teachers and school personnel participating in the program should be fully vaccinated, must be aged 65 and below, and have no co-morbidities.

“We are committed to providing additional protection for our teachers through vaccination. While vaccination is not mandatory, classroom learning will be limited to vaccinated teaching personnel. So as not to disenfranchise unvaccinated teachers, they may teach using distance or online modules. This also presents options for parents who are still hesitant to send their children to school,” Duque said.

Under the guidelines, Kindergarten class will have a maximum of 12 learners, while Grade 1 to 3 classes will have 16 students. Technical-Vocation classes in five senior high schools may have 20 learners.

Learners in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will only spend a maximum of 3 hours in school while senior high school students will have 4 hours.

The pilot will feature a combined implementation of face-to-face classes and distance learning.

DepEd assured it has drafted a contingency plan with recommended actions for various scenarios, which range from where there is a suspected case presenting symptoms, to a scenario where there is resurgence of COVID-19 cases in multiple barangays. This sets the policy on when schools should impose a lockdown.

“With the help of DOH and other local partners, we will soon orient those who will be involved in the pilot run and coordinate with them regarding the prioritization of their vaccination in case our participating teachers and other non-teaching personnel haven’t completed their vaccines yet,” Briones said.

The government has yet to announce the exact date of the pilot run for physical classes, as well as the list of participating schools.

The dry run will be carried out for two months. Its expansion will depend on the result of the evaluation of the pilot test.

COVID-19 vaccination sa mga bata, palalawigin sa 13 ospital sa Metro Manila – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Mula sa walong ospital ay palalawigin pa sa 13 ospital sa Metro Manila ang isinasagawang pediatric vaccination kontra COVID-19, partikular sa mga batang may edad 12 hanggang 17 at may co-morbidity.

Ayon kay Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, tinukoy na ng ilang local government unit (LGU) ang mga ospital na isasama na rin sa listahan ng mga pinagdarausan ng pagbabakuna.

Magsisimula aniya ang expansion sa ika-22 ng Oktubre.

“Ngayon naman po ay pupunta naman po tayo sa mga LGU-based hospitals ‘no and magdaragdag po ng thirteen additional local hospitals doon sa mga ospital na nagsimula na sa national ‘no,” ani Malaya.

“So, ito po ay magsisimula ngayong Friday hanggang October 31. So, ang bawat LGU po ay nag-identify ng isang local hospital para maisama sa pilot ng pediatric vaccination,” dagdag pa niya.

Kabilang sa mga ospital na idaragdag sa vaccination site ay ang Caloocan Medical Center, Ospital ng Parañaque, at ang Pasay General Hospital.

Ang walong ospital na kasalukuyang pinagdarausan ng pagbabakuna ay ang Philippine Children’s Medical Center,
National Children’s Hospital, Philippine Heart Center,
Pasig City General Hospital,
 Fe Del Mundo Medical Center,
 Philippine General Hospital,
 Makati Medical Center at ang St. Luke’s Medical Center sa Taguig.

Paalala ng mga otoridad sa mga magulang na nais pabakunahan ang kanilang mga anak na may co-morbidity na makipag-ugnayan sa nakakasakop na LGU at magpakita ng mga kaukulang dokumento, pati na ang parent consent.

Mula a-16 ng Oktubre ay nasa 1,509 bata na ang nakatanggap ng COVID-19 shots batay sa ulat ng Department of Health.

DOH: 1,509 minors with health risks vaccinated vs COVID-19 in first week

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines ­– A total of 1,509 children aged 12 to 17 with co-morbidities were vaccinated in the first week of the pilot implementation of the COVID-19 pediatric vaccination in Metro Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, the pilot vaccination was successful based on a three-day assessment they conducted.

Vergeire noted that four minors who received the shots reportedly experienced side effects but added that these are still being verified and assessed.

“Isang bata na nagkaroon ng pagtaas ng presyon but after 2 hours they were able to manage it, naging normal na. May nagkaroon ng allergic reaction but it was managed,” she said.

“May dalawang stress-related doon sa immunization, may anxiety sa pagbabakuna. Let me caution all of you, it’s not official yet,” she added.

Vergeire assured they are closely monitoring the condition of minors inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccination for the pediatric population was launched on Oct. 15 in eight hospitals in Metro Manila, namely:

  • Philippine Children’s Medical Center
  • National Children’s Hospital
  • Philippine Heart Center
  • Pasig City General Hospital
  • Fe Del Mundo Medical Center
  • Philippine General Hospital
  • Makati Medical Center
  • Luke’s Medical Center (Taguig)

The following medical conditions would make children aged 12 to 17 years old eligible for vaccination against COVID-19:

  • Medical complexity
  • Genetic conditions
  • Neurologic conditions
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic/endocrine
  • Obesity
  • HIV infection
  • Tuberculosis
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Renal disorder
  • Hepatobillary

Vergeire earlier said that children participating in the pilot COVID-19 vaccination program should be well-informed and must get clearance from their doctors.

 

Blue Ribbon to release initial report on ‘overpriced’ medical supplies from Pharmally

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is set to release the initial report on its investigation into the alleged overpriced medical supplies for COVID-19 procured by the government from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.

Blue Ribbon chairperson Senator Richard Gordon said they will try to release the said preliminary report within this week.

He said the committee had been very careful in preparing the report from the results of the investigations conducted in the series of hearings. He added that individuals who must take accountability for the said anomaly will be included in the report in accordance with the anti-graft law and the procurement law.

“Ang lalabas ngayon, ano ang naging resulta ng imbestigasyon. Well, mabusisi ito. Malinaw na kung anong ginawa. ‘Yun ang ipapalabas natin. Ito ang ginawa ng mga taong ‘to, ito ang mananagot sa anti-graft, ito ang mananagot sa violation ng procurement law, at sino ba talaga ang nagpaikot niyan,” Gordon said.

The senator said they will hold the twelfth hearing on the said issue on Tuesday, following its cancellation last October 12. —/mbmf (with details from UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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