DILG tells LGUs to help DepEd enforce ‘new normal’ learning delivery in public schools

Robie de Guzman   •   June 30, 2020   •   1399

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday urged local government units (LGU) to assist public schools in their respective areas and support the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan of the Department of Education (DepEd).

In a statement, DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said LGUs should use the special education fund (SEF) to support the localization of DepEd’s learning continuity plan and to assist public schools in their areas in adjusting to the ‘new normal’ in learning delivery modalities.

Malaya said local chief executives should immediately convene their respective local school boards to discuss which of the new learning modalities identified by the DepEd can be utilized in their respective areas.

They should also tackle allocations for the SEF, as well as identify and provide the necessary support to their teachers and learners, stressing that there is only less two months left before the next school year starts.

“In a crisis, we need all the help that we can get at ang SEF ay tulong na itinatadhana ng ating batas para sa pagpapanatili ng matibay na pundasyon at kalidad ng edukasyon sa ating bansa,” Malaya said.

“Hinihikayat natin ang LGUs na gamitin ito ngayong malaki ang kinakaharap na pagsubok ng ating sektor ng edukasyon,” he added.

Under the Local Government Code, the local school board (LSB) is a body created on the provincial, city, and municipal levels that determines the supplementary budgetary allocation the LGU can provide for the operation and maintenance of public schools nationwide, among others.

Section 272 of the Local Government Code states that “the proceeds from the additional one percent (1%) tax on real property accruing to the SEF shall be automatically released to the LSBs.”

Malaya said that the board’s function in providing support to public schools will be a big help in the implementation of the learning continuity plan this school year which “will be more challenging in comparison to the previous ones.”

“We may have a lot on our plate nowadays pero hindi natin kailanman dapat kalimutan ang edukasyon ng ating mga kabataan,” he added.

The DILG spokesperson also urged LGUs to assist in the enrollment activities by providing kiosk or center in the barangay for the distribution and collection of enrolment forms of learners in public schools in their respective areas and assisting schools in the delivery and collection of printed modules from the homes of the students.

Senators want pilot testing of 100 schools for in-person classes

Robie de Guzman   •   February 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Several senators are pushing for the conduct of pilot testing of face-to-face classes, citing the need for immediate experience to help fine-tune the reopening of physical classes in schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Senator Francis Pangilinan urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to pilot the in-person classes to an initial 100 schools instead of the suggested 1,605.

“Kung mayroong UK variant at natatakot doon sa pagkalat, e di bawasan natin ang pilot areas, gawin nating isang daan muna. Ang importante, mayroon tayong pagkukunan ng karanasan ngayon pa lang at hindi iyong pagdating doon sa dulo saka natin gagawin dahil nakaangkla tayo sa isang libo,” Pangilinan said in a statement.

DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan earlier said that they initially chose 1,065 schools, or five schools per division, to participate in the dry run of face-to-face classes.

Malaluan said that this figure is equivalent to only over two percent of the more than 47,000 public schools in the country.

“Baka naman pupuwedeng mayroon kayong alternative just to be able to get a system going and be able to fine-tune. Ang importante napa-pilot at nakikita iyong mga gaps so that when you expand it even to 1,065, you already have the experience of 500 or 300 to work around and to work on the necessary adjustments,” Pangilinan said.

“We need the experience now, we need the lessons drawn now because we don’t have the luxury of time,” he added.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairperson of Senate committee on basic education, arts, and culture, also expressed support for the dry run of in-person classes.

“’’Di naman po ibig sabihin na kinancel yung face-to-face, titigil na rin tayo sa pilot schools. This is a good way for our scientists to study what can be done to mitigate the effects of COVID-19,” he said in a separate statement.

DepEd earlier proposed the pilot testing of limited face-to-face classes in 1,605 schools, citing an internal DepEd survey that clamor is from the learners themselves.

The pilot testing was scheduled in January but it was postponed by President Rodrigo Duterte due to the continuing threat of COVID-19.

DepEd made a fresh bid for the resumption of physical classes in areas classified as low-risk for COVID-19 transmission this month, citing a survey that showed more than 50% of students were in favor of attending face-to-face classes.

It was still rejected by Duterte as he stressed that classes will only resume once the vaccination against COVID-19 starts.

Tourism dept. backs DILG move to streamline travel requirements

Robie de Guzman   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) has expressed its support for the move of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to streamline the travel procedures and requirements being imposed by local government units (LGU).

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said her department has long been advocating for the “simplification of travel requirement as this is critical in making domestic tourism work.”

Citing a survey conducted from November 28 to December 30, 2020, Puyat said that 81 percent of respondents consider the varying LGU requirements as the factor that makes travel most inconvenient.

The survey was conducted by the DOT in partnership with the Asian Institute of Management – Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism, and Guide to the Philippines.

Among the common travel requirements being imposed by the LGUs are the medical certificate, other types of pre-travel or test-on-arrival COVID tests and quarantine.  

At the destinations, some rules that need to be standardized are those that relate to RT-PCR for children/infant, rooming or capacity limits and age restrictions vis-à-vis inter- and intra-regional movement of domestic tourists, the DOT said.

“Streamlining entry requirements will make travelling in the new normal more convenient while also protecting the public’s safety and well-being,” Puyat said.

“Furthermore, this will also help in preventing the entry of those who falsify documents by standardizing validation protocols,” she added.

The DILG earlier expressed support for proposals to place the entire country under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) classification to “harmonize” regulations being implemented by LGUs.

DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said there is a need to remove “redundancies” and impose less stringent requirements for domestic tourist travel, while managing health risks at the same time.

He, however, emphasized that the less restrictive quarantine classification would not mean abandoning health protocols but simply streamlining regulations to bring back jobs and revive the economy battered by the pandemic.

The DILG said works on streamlining regulations for domestic travel are ongoing to encourage tourism and revive the sector, as well as the country’s economy in general.

ALAMIN: Plano ng DepEd sakaling payagan ang in-person classes ng pre-schoolers

Robie de Guzman   •   February 18, 2021

Mahalaga sa paglaki ng isang bata ang pakikisalamuha o socialization sa kapwa bata.

Ayon sa US Center for Disease and Control (CDC), ito ay kasama sa mga tinatawag na developmental milestones ng bata.

“Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (like crawling, walking, or jumping),” ang pahayag ng US-CDC.

Ayon sa ahensiya, mahalagang hikayatin ang mga bata na makihalubilo sa kapwa bata dahil maaari itong makatulong upang matutunan nila ang kahalagahan ng pakikipagkaibigan at pagbibigayan.

“Encourage your child to play with other children. This helps him to learn the value of sharing and friendship,” ang pahayag ng US-CDC.

Subalit sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon kung saan nahaharap sa novel coronavirus ang buong mundo, limitado ang galaw ng mga bata dahil hindi sila pinapayagang lumabas, lalo na rito sa Pilipinas.

Hindi rin nila personal na nakikita ang kanilang mga kalaro at kamag-aral dahil sa panganib na mahawa sila ng sakit.

Bagaman may umiiral pang quarantine restrictions, sinabi ng Department of Education (DepEd) na may nakahanda na silang plano sakaling muli nang payagan ang in-person classes ng mga kabataan, pati na ng mga pumapasok sa pre-school.

Iginiit din ng DepEd na dapat masunod ang mga inilatag na panuntunan para sa posibleng pagpapatupad ng face-to-face classes:

Una, dapat anila ay aprubado ng lokal na pamahalaan ang pagsasagawa ng face-to-face classes at nasa ilalim ng modified community quarantine classification ang isang lugar.

Pangalawa, dapat may pahintulot ng mga magulang ang muling pagbabalik sa klase ng kanilang mga anak.

Kailangan ding may maayos na pasilidad at malapit sa health facility ang paaralan.

Dapat ay may maayos na water system at may nakahandang mga gamot sa mga paaralan at papasa ang mga ito sa assessment ng health department at ng Inter-Agency Task Force.

Mahalaga ring masiguro ang gagamiting transportasyon ng mga bata papunta at pauwi mula sa paaralan dahil sa banta ng COVID-19 transmission sa mga pampublikong sasakyan.

Ayon sa DepEd, isusumite nila kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang planong ito para mapag-usapan sa susunod na pagpupulong ng Inter-Agency Task Force lalo’t may mga magulang pa ring nag-aatubili sa mga panukalang face-to-face classes.

“Depende yan. Kasi yung iba it will work in high school, may iba it will work sa lower grades pero ang importante ay gagawin natin. Wala tayong one size fits all na lahat pare-pareho, we’re marching to the same draft. Hindi ganun. At saka depende also sa assessment ng ating IATF at Department of Health,” ang pahayag ni Education Secretary Leonor Briones.

Tiniyak naman ng DepEd na pinag-aaralan nilang mabuti kung alin ang mas makabubuti sa mga mag-aaral sa gitna ng kinakaharap na public health crisis. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Dante Amento)

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