/ 28 July 2022

KABATAAN Party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel on Wednesday urged the Marcos administration to prioritize the Safe School Reopening Bill.

Manuel said while President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reiterated in his first State of the Nation Address that he wants full face-to-face classes for all students, the plans laid down are lacking if not unscientific.

The lawmaker said the rollout of booster shots is encouraged but this will not prevent outbreaks or infection.

He added that there remains a need for regular antigen testing along with contact tracing and isolation, among other safety measures that they outlined in House Bill 251 or the Safe School Reopening Bill.

The bill mandates proper ventilation of learning spaces; on-campus health facilities and supplies; hiring of human resources for health; financial support for private educational institutions to implement safety measures; Covid19 testing program for learners and education personnel and medical fund for free treatment of learners and education personnel.

“We are also concerned over how full face-to-face classes will be possible if there is no mention of student aid for financially struggling students. This is supposedly provided for in House Bill 252 or the Emergency Student Aid and Relief Bill,” Manuel said.

“We urge Malacañang once again to certify as urgent the Safe School Reopening Bill if there is any sincerity in the education plan in the SONA. We also urge fellow lawmakers to critically evaluate needed policies,” he added.