/ 7 October 2022

VICE PRESIDENT and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio listened to teachers’ concerns when she visited the Bangued North Elementary School in Bangued, Abra on World Teachers’ Day.

The Vice President sat down with teachers and discussed the challenges they faced.

The teachers led by Head Teacher Rolando Belmes sought Duterte-Carpio’s help in securing the school’s permanent location. The school was transferred to another location but had to go back to its old location because a building was damaged by the magnitude 7 earthquake last July. They also requested for supplies and equipment needed in teaching.

She updated them of the recent regulations implemented by the department for the conduct of in-person classes like the amendment of basic health protocols which are stipulated under Department Order 39.

“It’s basically repeating kung ano yung nakalagay sa school calendar natin na mag-mask lang sa loob ng classrooms. Since meron ng Executive Order na optional ang mask sa labas, so pwedeng optional na din ang mask sa labas ng classrooms and walang mask kapag naglalaro sila ng sports,” Duterte said.

“[Pangalawa] physical distancing whenever possible. Pangatlo is handwashing. Basic naman talaga kasi ang handwashing hindi lang for Covid19 but part of the basic hygiene na dapat nating ituro sa mga bata— proper handwashing and proper toothbrushing,” she added.

Duterte also told teachers that the DepEd implements the recommendation of the United Nations Children’s Fund for proper ventilation.

“Ang sabi ng Unicef is just to open the doors and windows para merong hangin na lalabas at papasok ng classrooms,” she said.

DO 39 cited a separate study by the World Health Organization that “using a fan in an enclosed space can increase the spread of the virus that causes Covid19.”

The DepEd chief also wanted personnel who refused to get jabs to get counseling.

“Dahil hindi naman mandatory ang ating vaccination program hindi natin puwede mapilit ang ating mga teaching and non-teaching personnel na nag-refuse ng vaccines,” she told the teachers.