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Imee laments reopened cockfighting pits as face-to-face classes barred

Senator Imee Marcos on Friday lamented that face-to-face classes were still prohibited across the country while the ban on leisure activities like cockfighting was lifted.

"Talagang nadismaya ako na mas mahalaga pa pala ang sabong sa Pilipino kaysa sa edukasyon. Dalawang linggo ang nakalipas binuksan na ang sabungan pero ang eskwela sarado pa rin," Marcos said during a hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Basic Education.

"I think it's most important na bigyan natin ng kahalagahan ang edukasyon. Alam naman natin na hindi super spreader ang mga eskwlehan," she said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force allowed cockfighting in areas under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) last month, subject to the final decision of local government units.

The Department of Education, meanwhile, said it was still studying the possibility of reintroducing face-to-face classes in 2021.

Marcos underscored that parents, especially working mothers, were suffering from the physical closure of schools in the country.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian likewise believed that limited face-to-face learning could be launched through "purok workshops" in low-risk areas, as he pointed out that massage parlors had been allowed to resume operations.

"I think the situation has dramatically changed from March to date... Puwede na ho magpamasahe ngayon, DTI approves full body massage... baka nga 'yung sabong pwede pa mag-social distancing but the full body massage imposible ho mag-social distancing. It goes to show that the situation has dramatically improved," said Gatchalian.

Senator Nancy Binay stressed that while there were no classes, some learners were being allowed to travel.

"At the moment, puwede na ngang bumyahe ang mga estudyante. We allow them to go to Boracay, we allow them to go to Baguio but we don't allow them to go to school," she said.

As the country seeks to resuscitate the bogged down economy, the IATF allowed persons aged 15 to 65 years old to go out of their homes.

Local government units are allowed to impose a higher age limit for minors, depending on the COVID-19 situation in their respective jurisdictions.

Previously, persons below 21 years old, above 60 years old, pregnant women, and those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks were required to stay at home, except for accessing essential goods and services and reporting for work in permitted industries. — DVM, GMA News