/ 18 November 2021

WHILE Kabataan Party-list welcomed the approval of limited face-to-face classes in areas under Alert Level 3, it opposed the mandatory vaccination of students and teachers who will participate in the phased implementation of school reopening.

The group said that making vaccination a prerequisite will unnecessarily delay the reopening of schools.

“Slow vaccination rates in various cities and provinces is primarily the burden not of LGUs and schools, but of the national government whose vaccine distribution has been inefficient and highly uneven,” the group said in a statement.

It cited Department of Health data which showed that the vaccination rate is at a low 40 percent. The National Capital Region has the highest regional rate at 91 percent and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has the lowest — 10 percent.

To safeguard the health of the education community, the group proposed weekly antigen testing among students and education personnel.

It said that vaccination must be hastened nationwide to boost the public’s confidence, but school campuses must not be opened exclusively to fully vaccinated persons.