By Liza Soriano
Sen. Win Gatchalian (Manila Times)
MANILA — Senator Win Gatchalian urged the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Health (DOH) to take every precaution to shield students and teachers from COVID-19 as schools around the country begin five straight days of face-to-face instruction.
“Matapos ang mahigit dalawang taon ng paghihintay, sa wakas ay masasaksihan na natin ang pagbabalik ng lahat ng mga mag-aaral sa face-to-face classes. Kasabay nito, dapat nating tiyakin ang kanilang kaligtasan, pati na ng kanilang mga guro. Kaya naman patuloy nating dapat isulong ang pagbabakuna upang matiyak natin na ang ating mga guro at mag-aaral ay ligtas sa kanilang mga paaralan,” said Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
Gatchalian urged the DOH and the DepEd to ensure that teachers and students, particularly those who are already eligible for their booster shots, are fully immunized.
This is, in addition, to strictly enforcing public health protocols and putting in place adequate handwashing and sanitation facilities.
To encourage students’ safe return to school, Gatchalian has earlier suggested vaccinations administered at schools. In addition, he emphasized how difficult it is to immunize students between the ages of 5 and 11.
Prior to the opening of School Year 2022-2023, data from the DOH National Vaccination Operations Center showed that as of August this year, only 26.94% of children aged 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated and 76.41% of children aged 12 to 17 have been fully vaccinated.
The lawmaker also pressed the need to implement genuine learning recovery to address learning loss and mitigate the economic scars resulting from the lack of face-to-face learning. (ai/mtvn)