MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has allowed the conduct of limited face-to-face classes in universities and colleges in areas under Alert Level 2.
Malacañang made the announcement Friday, November 5.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, however, said the IATF has set several conditions in the implementation of face-to-face classes to ensure safety and prevention of coronavirus disease infection in the schools.
“Bagama’t pupwede na po, merong kondisyones po na masatisfy bago mag face-to-face ang ating mga colleges and universities,” Roque said.
As the first condition, all students and school personnel must be fully-vaccinated.
Secondly, schools must ensure that there is proper ventilation and that facilities are retrofitted.
“Pupwede na pero meron pong kondisyon. Lahat ng propesor at estudyante bakunado, merong pagpayag ng LGUs, merong retroffiting po ng mga classrooms para masiguradong may ventilation at, pang apat, 50% lang po ang capacity ng mga classrooms,” Roque said.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said vaccination will be a mandatory requirement in all additional degree programs that will open in universities.
“Kung doon sa other degree programs the agreement in the IATF is vaccination so the students have to be vaccinated, the faculty members have to be vaccinated for the expanded face-to-face classes,” said CHED chairman Prof. Prospero De Vera.
“They should vaccinate their students as fast as they can. And they should retrofit their facilities as fast as they can it’s another incentive for the schools to do school-based vaccination,” he added.
De Vera also said that Metro Manila may possibly be included among areas that are allowed to conduct physical classes now that the region has been placed under Alert Level 2.
“Most probably that would happen in areas where vaccination rate is already high like maybe in Metro Manila yung first phase,” he said.
He, however, clarified that this must have approval from the local government units before a school is granted the authority to operate.
CHED is confident that it will reach the 3 million target student population vaccinated students before the year ends.
CHED said vaccinated students are now close to 1 million (28%), as of October 25, with the continuing school-based vaccination drive. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)