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Some teachers have acquired COVID-19 after reporting for work, says group

Some teachers have acquired COVID-19 after reporting physically for work ahead of the opening of classes on August 24, the Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC) said on Thursday.

"Marami po sa aming report. In fact 'yung iba naman hindi namin ma-validate pero meron po kaming mga validated, confirmed cases," TDC national chairperson Benjo Basas said in a Dobol B sa News TV interview.

"One of them actually is our TDC chairman ng Metro Manila, 'yung teacher natin sa Roxas High School sa Manila. At he confirmed din na three of them doon sa kanilang school ay nag-positive after a day of physical report doon sa kanilang paaralan," Basas added, referring to Ildefonso Enguerra III, who publicly disclosed his COVID-19 status.

Quoting Enguerra, Basas said 30 teachers from the school reported back to work.

"Ang sinasabi niya hindi yata na-observe nang gaano 'yung physical distancing, 'yung protocol," he said, adding that the COVID-19 cases among teachers are "alarming."

Basas said Enguerra tested positive for COVID-19 on July 28, but was told by a doctor he no longer needed another test after his symptoms were gone.

The TDC national chairperson added other teachers tested positive at a school in Calauag, Quezon, but he claimed they were still asked to report for work by their school head.

Basas said they have already written to the Department of Education (DepEd) about the situation.

'Not ready'

The group also appealed to the department for a postponement of the opening of classes on August 24, citing the limited time to produce learning modules.

"Nag-conduct po kami ng mga survey, consultation sa aming mga guro sa lahat po ng bahagi ng Pilipinas kung saan kami may presence. Napakaliwanag po, sinasabi nila na 'yung kanilang mga lokalidad ay hindi po ready... Considering August 18 pa matatapos ang MECQ pero kahit wala sa MECQ area, ganoon po 'yung assessment ng ating teachers on the ground," Basas said.

"'Yun po ang dahilan kung bakit sa tingin natin puwedeng i-consider ng ating mahal na kalihim na i-postpone itong opening ng klase at 'yung August 24 baka pinipilit natin nang hindi uubra," he added.

GMA News Online has sought comment from the DepEd. — BM, GMA News