By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — If political rallies are allowed, it’s time we also allow in-person graduation
Senator Win Gatchalian made this call as the National Capital
Region and 38 other areas shifted to Alert Level 1 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gatchalian emphasized that for both parents and students,
graduation ceremonies are once-in-a-lifetime moments. Considering the eased
restrictions and the country’s improving situation, Gatchalian says parents and
students should be able to fully relish their moments of pride. The lawmaker
took note, however, that public health protocols should still be observed to
avoid turning these ceremonies into superspreader events.
Under Alert Level 1 which is the lowest level of health
restrictions, workplaces, establishments, and government offices may operate at
100% capacity. Public transportation is also allowed to operate at full
capacity. Individuals 18 years old and above, however, will be required to
present proof of full vaccination before participating in mass gatherings such as
meetings, conferences, and exhibition events.
“Kung nakakapagsagawa na tayo ng mga aktibidad na
dinudumog ng maraming tao tulad ng election campaigns, dapat bigyan din natin
ng pagkakataon ang mga magulang at mga mag-aaral na magkaroon na ng face-to-face
graduation,” said Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic
Education, Arts and Culture.
“Ang kasiyahang dulot ng pagtatapos ng mga mag-aaral ay
nag-uudyok pa sa maraming mga magulang na nagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa na umuwi
ng Pilipinas para lamang makadalo sa graduation ng kanilang mga anak. Sa gitna
ng patuloy na pagbaba ng mga kaso ng COVID-19, napapanahong ibigay din natin
ang pagkakataong ito sa mga magulang at kanilang mga anak,” he added.
In April 2020, amid the prolonged imposition of the
Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon and other parts of the country,
the Department of Education (DepEd) indefinitely postponed graduation and
moving up ceremonies. For School Year 2020-2021, the DepEd did not allow
face-to-face graduation and moving up rites to protect the health of learners,
teachers, personnel, and parents. (AI/MTVN)