MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte will carefully study the proposed class resumption in December to effectively contain the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte would study whether the proposal of the University of the Philippines’ (UP) experts to cancel classes until December would indeed be an effective way to limit further Covid-19 infections in the country.
“Iyan po’y talagang binibigyan ng atensiyon ng ating Presidente (The President would really give attention to that proposal),” Roque said in an interview with DZRH. “Talagang galing sa UP na isang eskuwelahan mismo, eh talaga pong pag-aaralang mabuti ng Presidente iyong ganiyang rekomendasyon (Since the recommendation came from UP which is a reputable university, the President will carefully study it).”
In an interview with CNN Philippines on Tuesday, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the opening of classes for the next school year may be moved to August due to the restrictions imposed by the national government to halt the spread of Covid-19.
Briones also said the Department of Education is considering holding Saturday classes to achieve its target to end the 2020-2021 academic year in March, just like in previous years.
The class suspension until December this year is among the recommendations pitched to Duterte on Monday, Dr. Mahar Lagmay of UP said on Tuesday.
Lagmay, who represented a group of scientists and academic researchers from the UP system, said the proposal was made after it was noticed that individuals aged 19 and below are most likely to have contact with the elderly and infect them.
Roque said the warning of UP experts would be thoroughly assessed.
“Ang naging konklusyon ng UP, napakaepektibo na paraan para mapabagal ang pagkalat ng Covid kung isususpinde ang mga klase at ang mga kabataan ay manatili sa kanilang mga tahanan (UP experts are saying suspending classes and letting the youth stay at home are effective ways to slow the spread of Covid),” he said.
Classes have been suspended in March following the rise in Covid-19 infections in the country.
Duterte also placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine until April 30, prompting Filipinos to observe strict home quarantine to stop the further transmission of Covid-19.
Confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Philippines have climbed to 6,710, as of Wednesday. (PNA)