Some local gov't leaders want postponement of classes until January 2021
Several local government leaders opined on Thursday that school opening must be postponed for the next few months to keep Filipino children out of harm's way amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a Senate hearing, League of Provinces of the Philippines president and Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr. said he thinks starting the school year in August is too early.
"Sa tingin ko po kahit na maraming areas na po under GCQ at saka medyo kakaunti na po o halos wala na pong infected persons sa kaniya-kaniyang probinsya, dahil po sa pagpasok ng mga OFWs at saka locally stranded individuals ay malaki pa rin po ang risk na mayroon pong malamang pumasok eh delikado pong buksan 'yan ng August," Velasco said.
"Sa tingin ko po pwede namang mag-start kung talagang ready na ang lugar bandang November, December, o bandang January. Kung mayroon pong required number of days habulin na lang sa batas iyon," he added.
Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo Cua, president of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, also expressed that he is amenable to the postponement of classes for up to a year, if that would be needed.
"I respectfully beg our legislators and our policymakers na pag-isipan na sa tingin ko po ang mas mahalaga ay kalusugan at kapakanan ng ating mga anak for this year. Maybe we can be a little more flexible," Cua said.
"Mas mahalaga po ang buhay at kalusugan ng kabataan. Anyway hindi naman sila forever hindi mag-aaral. At most siguro baka half a year or one year po," he added.
League of Municipalities of the Philippines president Chavit Singson, mayor of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, stressed that the safety of the youth must be upheld.
"Mas importante po ang survival kaysa education. Aanhin naman ang education kung mamamatay naman ang mga bata?" he said.
"Medyo delikado po ito so pag-aralan po mabuti," he added.
Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, Senate health committee chairman, agreed that the welfare of the learners shall be carefully weighed by decision-makers.
"Unahin ang kalusugan ng ating mga anak. Kahit ayaw kong maantala ang klase nila, important safe sila. 'Yan ang unang consideration," he said.
"Let's assess first what happens in the coming days... For me, no vaccine, no physical classes na mangyayari," he added.
The senator said the opening of classes will further be discussed by President Rodrigo Duterte, Education Secretary Leonore Briones, and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III when they meet later in the day.—AOL, GMA News