/ 22 July 2021

KABATAAN Partylist Representative Sarah Jane Elago backed the calls of  leaders of the State Universities and Colleges for a Covid19 vaccination program for students.

“We are one with Bantay Bakuna efforts to call for expedient, transparent, and accountable roll-out of the vaccination program,” Elago said.

She confirmed that they are preparing to file a bill on Ligtas na Balik-Eskwela or the Safe and Gradual Reopening of Schools, which seeks to secure a funding for the preparation of Covid19 prevention and mitigation strategies in campuses.

These strategies include building and improving facilities for water, sanitation and hygiene, and hiring of additional campus-based health personnel for Covid19 surveillance and other essential healthcare services. Also included are shortened class hours, reduced class sizes and wearing of masks and physical distancing in learning spaces.

“We also wish to emphasize that safe, gradual school reopening must be based on a thorough risk assessment and the overall public health consideration,” Elago said.

“Hence, we still need to push for the overall national strategy on mass-testing, systematic and aggressive contact tracing, and free, accessible treatment,” she added.

Elago explained that the Ligtas na Balik-Eskwela effort is also grounded on the general sentiments expressing difficulty with adjusting to the requirements and manner of distance learning and its adverse effects on the finances as well as mental health of the students.

“There is a level of uncertainty and difficulty in meeting the OJT/Internship/Practicum requirements by their respective programs, something that requires our attention and response,” she stressed.