/ 13 March 2022

SENATE Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education chairperson Joel Villanueva on Saturday urged state universities and colleges to fully maximize the P2.5 billion allocation under the 2022 national budget for the implementation of the smart campus development and operationalization of face-to-face classes.

The senator made the call as he welcomes the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force to allow 100 percent classroom capacity for in-person classes for higher education institutions.

“We welcome this development. Our college students have spent the last two years under a flexible learning modality where in-person classes are limited to laboratory classes on specific programs,” Villanueva said.

The senator stressed that now the vaccination rates are increasing, he is supporting the full implementation of in-person classes which could help address the learning crisis in the country.

“Let’s just keep in mind that we are still in a pandemic, so we have to ensure health and safety in our schools. Our schools should continue to enforce strict implementation of minimum public health standards,” he added.

Villanueva said as the government embraces the new normal of learning, schools should remain capable in implementing flexible learning options for its students.

“We are also asking for government agencies to support our teachers who are also physically going back to school and in-person classes. In addition to their health and safety, let’s look into how we can help them face the rising prices of fuel and consumer goods,” he stressed.