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AMID COVID-19 THREAT

Navotas mayor asks DepEd to pass all students; Duque says class suspension not a good idea now


Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco has requested the Department of Education (DepEd) to pass all students in Navotas for the school year amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In an interview on Super Radyo dzBB on Saturday, Tiangco said he made the request as there are only two to three weeks left for the school year.

"Ako ay nakiusap sa DepEd na kung puwede ipasa na lang lahat ng mga bata for this school year... para wala nang pasok for the rest of the year... Mas importante naman ho siguro 'yung buhay ng mga bata kaysa 'yung ituloy pa nila 'yung two or three weeks ng pag-aaral," Tiangco said.

Tiangco said schools could just use the students' average grades for the past quarters as their final grades.

"[M]ay general average naman 'yung mga bata as of this time, so baka naman pwe-pwedeng kung ano 'yung general average nila, 'yun na lang ang maging grado nila," he said.

"Ang gusto ho natin is 'yung maging safe... doon tayo sa mas safe diba po? Alam niyo naiintindihan ko, importante [ang] aral, importante 'yung grado, sa isang taon meron pa'ng pag-kakataon, eh," Tiangco added.

Navotas earlier canceled classes in all levels for both public and private schools on Monday.

According to Tiangco, he will meet with DepEd-Navotas and the Navotas COVID-19 task force on Monday to determine how long the suspension will last.

However, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that though canceling classes was within the right of the local government, it was not recommended.

"That's their own decision but as of today, we are on sub-level 1 of code red and that is not being recommended," Duque said at a press conference on Saturday.

Tiangco said suspending classes now could be a wrong decision, but he would rather err on the side of caution.

"Ang question lang dito is, are we willing to take the risk or do we want to take precautionary measures?" he said. 

"It can be a wrong decision, but I just want to be on the safe side, no? Mas importante sa akin 'yung safety ng mga bata," the mayor later added. — Joahna Lei Casilao/MDM, GMA News