/ 8 October 2021

SENATOR Nancy Binay on Thursday reiterated her call on the Department of Education to vaccinate all teachers and school personnel as the government gears up for the pilot test of face-to-face classes.

“Sa tingin ko dapat gawing accessible sa mga guro at school personnel ang bakuna, at mabakunahan ang lahat ng ating mga guro. DepEd should target a full vaccination coverage ASAP — not 30%, not 50%, but 100%,” Binay said.

“DepEd has to find ways for teachers to have full access to vaccines. I don’t understand why they are not as persistent as the transport or tourism sector given the fact that teachers are considered part of the essential workforce. ‘Di ba sila bothered na may probability na ‘yung magtuturo sa mga bata ay hindi bakunado?” the senator added.

Binay proposed that a special vaccination program for teachers, similar to what was done for the transport and tourism industry workers, should be in place to ensure safety in schools selected for pilot testing.

“Paano natin sisimulan ‘yung (vaccination ng) mga estudyante kung ‘yung teacher mismo hindi bakunado? The concern here is baka ‘yung teachers natin they are not getting access to vaccination and feeling ko baka it’s not hesitation but more of access to vaccine,” she said.

“Baka kailangan nating magkaroon ng event where DepEd would gather our teachers tapos babakunahan sila sa school. Which is kagaya ng ginagawa sa ibang industries like the transport and tourism industries. Why can’t we have something like that for our teachers,” she added.

The pilot test of face-to-face classes will start on November 15.

In February, DepEd is set to conduct an evaluation of the pilot study, identify other schools for expansion of the face-to-face classes, inspect sites, and present to President Rodrigo Duterte the report on the pilot test and the proposed expansion.

So far, out of the 638 nominated schools, only 59 have passed the risk assessment of the Department of Health.