Sotto proposes to move opening of classes to September amid COVID-19 worries

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2020   •   502

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday said he has filed a bill seeking to move the opening of classes in both public and private schools to September instead of June.

In a statement, Sotto said his bill seeks to adjust the opening of the next school year to ensure the welfare of students nationwide amid the continued threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In filing Senate Bill No. 1438, the lawmaker proposes to amend the Republic Act 7977 or the Act on Lengthening of School Calendar, which mandates the opening of school classes every year on the first Monday of June or not later than the last day of August.

Noting that the June school opening is just a month away, Sotto said there is a need to delay this year’s school opening amid worries over the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

He also stressed the importance of giving the Department of Education (DepEd) “more time and opportunity to prepare and adopt measures for the new normal of the education system,” considering the COVID-19 situation.

The bill also seeks to serve as the enabling law for the execution of the April 24 recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) to move the class opening to September.

“The approved recommendation of the IATF-EID runs counter to the law… To remedy the situation created by COVID-19 and consequently allow the execution of the IATF-EID recommendation, this measure is being proposed,” Sotto said.

Classes in all levels and all activities in both public and private learning institutions nationwide have been suspended since March 10 after President Duterte declared a national health emergency because of the outbreak of COVID-19.

Sotto said he would still push for the bill despite the DepEd’s announcement that the school year 2020-2021 will start on August 24.

PH COVID-19 cases exceeds 380,000; daily tally records 1,803 new cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 31, 2020

COVID-19 Testing

The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday (October 31) recorded 1,803 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the country’s total tally to 380,729 with 42,462 active cases.

The total recovery count rose to 331,046 with the addition of 606 recoveries while the death toll climbed to 7,221 with 36 new deaths reported.

From the active cases, the Health Department reported that 83.2% of them are experiencing mild symptoms, 11.3% are asymptomatic while 3.5% and 1.9% are critical and severe cases.

Rizal recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in cities and provinces with 97 new cases, followed by Davao City with 93 cases, and Quezon City with 86 cases.

Meanwhile the DOH said they removed 7 duplicates from the total case count where 3 were recovered cases. There were also 14 cases previously tagged as recovered but were reclassified as deaths.

The DOH also reported 12 labs were not able to submit their data to the COVID-19 Data Repository System (CDRS) on October 30, 2020. AAC

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Manila LGU to open drive-through RFID installation

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 30, 2020

The Manila City government is set to launch the RFID Sticker Caravan which offers drive-through installation of Radio-frequency identification stickers.

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Posted by Manila Public Information Office on Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The caravan will be held from October 31 to November 1 at the Kartilya ng Katipunan near Manila City Hall in Ermita, Manila. The drive-through RFID installation will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will accommodate class 1 vehicles which are cars, SUVs and passenger vans only.

Motorists do not need to prepare any documents but must prepare P200 for the initial load. Authorities also advised motorists to wear face masks and face shields. AAC

Davao City to reimpose 24-hour liquor ban starting Nov. 2

Robie de Guzman   •   October 30, 2020

A 24-hour liquor ban will be reimposed in Davao City from November 2 to December 31, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

Under Executive Order No. 59, Duterte ordered the ban of sale, serving, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in public effective 5 a.m. of November 2.

The reimposition of the liquor ban stemmed from the results of City Health Office contact tracing of patients positive of the coronavirus showing their exposure during drinking sessions. 

“There is an urgent need to reimpose a 24-hour liquor ban in Davao City to prevent the exposure of individuals to the COVID-19 virus because of their unbridled drinking sessions,” Duterte said in the order. 

Mayor Sara also emphasized the necessity to reimpose the 24-hour liquor ban as another preventive step to control gatherings and stop the cases from spiking because the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMFs) has reached their full occupancy of the COVID-19.

To recall, Duterte lifted the 24-hour liquor ban on September 21 after six months of restrictive community quarantine.

The city government warned to impose a one strike rule on establishments violating the liquor ban.

The city’s Vices Regulation Unit and Barangay Council were also tasked to conduct vigorous surveillance of all restaurants, fast-food, sari-sari stores, and similar establishments and must immediately move for the closure of an establishment after a single violation is properly documented.

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