Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go backed the call of President Rodrigo Duterte not to allow the resumption of physical classes until a vaccine for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is available.
“Ayaw po nating maantala ang klase, ngunit prayoridad natin lagi ang kaligtasan at kalusugan ng mga Pilipino,” Go, who is also chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, said during a Senate hearing on Thursday, May 28.
“We will take this one step at a time so that we can slowly, but surely, protect the safety of our students. ‘Wag natin biglain. Let’s assess first what happens in the coming days. Iba’t ibang linggo, iba’t ibang araw ay meron pong posibleng mangyari. Kahit ayaw nating maantala ang klase nila, importanteng safe sila. ‘Yan ang unang consideration natin, ang kalusugan ng ating mga anak. For me, no vaccine, no physical classes or face-to-face learning,” he emphasized.
President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his position not to allow physical classes to resume if there is still no vaccine when the time comes. Classes in the country are set to open in late August of this year.
“Unless I am sure that they are really safe, it’s useless to be talking about opening of classes,” Duterte said recently.
Currently, there is no known vaccine or treatment available yet for COVID-19. Researchers around the world are still finding an effective cure to combat the disease.
Previously, Go has recommended to the education sector to innovate on ways on how to conduct teaching and learning sessions while adhering to the physical distancing protocols and other measures set by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“Pag-isipan na po natin paano makakapag-aral ang mga kabataan na may social distancing at iba pang mga hakbang na ipapatupad depende sa sitwasyon sa mga lugar nila,” Go said previously.
“Hindi pa natin alam kung ano ang mangyayari sa susunod na mga buwan. Sinisikap po natin na ma-flatten na ang curve at matapos na ang krisis na ito. Pero hindi pa rin tayo dapat maging kampante kaya importanteng may precautionary measures pa rin in place para hindi na muling kumalat ang sakit,” Go added.
Go has also encouraged educational institutions to explore possible online or distance learning programs for students to be able to continue their studies without putting them at harm or adding burden to them and their families given the challenges of the post COVID-19 situation.
“Gamitin ang teknolohiya na available para sa distance learning tulad ng pagkakaroon ng virtual classrooms. May airtime rin na allotted for educational programs ayon sa batas, pwede po itong gamitin bilang alternative mode of teaching and learning,” he said in past statements.
Meanwhile, during the said hearing, Go also appealed to the Metro Manila Development Authority to ensure the safety of individuals who are traveling using their bicycles.
“Siguraduhin po natin sa MMDA…na safe po ang pagdadaanan nila, talagang secured ang bicycle lanes na ibibigay ninyo. At siguraduhin ninyo na rin po na ang mga nagba-bike are physically fit…. Huwag ninyo pong pilitin at huwag kalimutang magsuot ng face mask. Unahin po natin ang kalusugan ng bawat mamamayang Pilipino,” he also added.