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‘It spells disaster’ Prez Duterte bars opening of classes in August without COVID-19 vaccine

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 25, 2020. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte announced that classes will remain suspended in the Philippines until a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is made available.

“I will not allow the opening of classes na magdikit-dikit ‘yang mga bata.Bahala nang hindi na makatapos. For this generation walang makatapos na doktor pati engineer,” the Chief Executive said in a televised briefing on Monday night.

Duterte said he would not risk the lives of students without a vaccine and says the resumption of classes only calls for ‘disaster.’

“Wala nang aral, laro na lang. Unless I am sure that they are really safe, it’s useless to be talking about the opening of classes. Para sa akin, bakuna muna. Kapag nandiyan ‘yung bakuna, okay na,” he added.

Earlier,  Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the classes are scheduled to start on August 24.

READ:  ‘Either physically or virtually’ DepEd says classes to open on August 24

However, she clarified that it’s not necessary for teachers and students to report physically to schools given the implemented quarantine protocols in some areas with risks of respiratory illness.

Briones stated that the department will implement various teaching approaches to students, such as technology-mediated learning through computers and cellphones, the use of media like television and radio, and other offline methods.

“I think by the grace of God we will have the vaccine before the end of the year so mag-asa na lang tayo sa mga marunong. They are feverously working on it. ‘Pag nandiyan na yan, ako na ang magsabi labas na,” Duterte stated.

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