By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Win Gatchalian is urging the Department of the
Interior and Local Government (DILG) and local government units (LGUs)
to help the Department of Education (DepEd) in accelerating full
COVID-19 vaccination coverage among teachers.
Gatchalian made this call as the government eyes to start the pilot
test of limited face-to-face classes in 120 schools on November 15.
In a Senate panel hearing on preparations for limited face-to-face
classes, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan reported that 57% of
teachers are already vaccinated, which is equivalent to more than
580,000 of around 970,000 teachers and non-teaching personnel.
“I know that some LGUs are partnering with their local districts or
their local divisions to prioritize teachers. The DILG can play a very
big role in encouraging or even pushing for these partnerships” said
Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts
DILG Undersecretary Ricojudge Echiverri assured lawmakers that the
department will work with the DepEd to speed up the inoculation of
teachers. The DILG official added that the department will consolidate
LGUs’ data on the COVID-19 vaccination coverage of teachers will
be reconciled with DepEd’s figures.
To complete the vaccination of teachers, Undersecretary Malaluan also
assured the Senate panel that the DepEd will pursue an institutional
approach to vaccination and work with the National Task Force (NTF)
Against COVID-19. Teachers are included in the A4 priority list of the
COVID-19 vaccination program.
“Even though the teacher wants to be in the school but cannot get
access to the vaccines because there is no prioritization, then it’s
not the fault of the teacher that he or she cannot get access to the
vaccines. So, the point is to give special priority to our teachers
because the push here is to go back to face-to-face classes,” said
As of October 10, 49.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were already
administered, according to the National Covid-19 vaccination dashboard
and 85.5 million vaccine doses have been delivered to the country as
of October 9. The vaccination of the general population has been
scheduled to start this month. (AI/MTVN)