Secretary Leonor Briones of the Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday said they will consider including Negros Oriental in the pilot testing areas for face-to-face classes in the near future.

If requirements are met: Briones eyes NegOr as pilot site for face-to-face classes

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Secretary Leonor Briones of the Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday said they will consider including Negros Oriental in the pilot testing areas for face-to-face classes in the near future.

Briones was speaking to DepEd officials and the media in a virtual presser via Zoom on updates regarding blended learning and other concerns in the education sector amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

She said the program was supposed to start this January but with the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant, President Rodrigo Duterte recalled his approval to hold pilot testing of face-to-face classes in selected areas, Briones said.

She said that based on a report from DepEd Region 7 regional director Dr. Salustiano Jimenez, Gov. Roel Degamo was reluctant on the idea of holding face-to-face classes due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the province.

Some 118 schools in the province would have been considered for the pilot testing which is now suspended, but the local government unit of La Libertad has intimated its desire to participate in the pilot testing, Briones said.

“If they can comply with requirements, we will consider them, however, there are some requirements that must be met,” she said.

The considerations would include the approval of the LGU, certain requirements from the Department of Health, written parents’ consent for their children who will be attending face-to-face classes, transportation, and canteens that provide food for the students, Briones said.

The DepEd chief, who hails from Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, said they need to minimize the risk of students contracting Covid-19, noting that only very few children were infected with the novel coronavirus because of the agency’s policies.

The parents must be aware of the implications of this program if they would allow their children to attend the face-to-face classes, she said.

In the meantime, the President has not yet reconsidered the holding of pilot testing for face-to-face classes due to the threat of the new Covid-19 variants, she added.

“But for sure, once the program will be implemented, we will consider Negros Oriental because it is very active in education,” Briones said. (PNA)

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POLITIKO / Across the Nation

POLITIKO / Latest News

Lodi si Win? Migz Zubiri ribs Vico Sotto over lack of love life

Does Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto want to follow in the footsteps of bachelor Senator Sherwin Gatchalian?

Sotto’s lack of love life became the subject of senators’ ribbing Monday (March 1) when the mayor went to the Senate to personally receive the Senate’s commendation for being named as one of the United States government’s anti-corruption champions.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri acknowledged that “honest to goodness public service” can sometimes cause a politiko’s love life to take a backseat.

“Kaya ang payo ko kay Mayor Vico, huwag nyang kalimutan yung private life lalong lalo na ang kanyang love life…” Zubiri said, adding that he also got married late due to work.

“ O baka gusto po nyang e-idolize ang ating pambansang bachelor ng Senado, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian…” the senator added.

The 46-year-old Gatchalian is currently in a relationship with actress Bianca Manalo.

Sotto’s uncle, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, joked that there are “many applicants” for the role of the mayor’s girlfriend.

The 30-year-old politiko has said he doesn’t have time to find a girlfriend because of the demands of his work in government.

Parang Duterte lang: Lorenzana declines Sinovac vaccine due to old age

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana won’t be getting vaccinated with Sinovac vaccine donated by China.

And the reason for his decision? Lorezana is too old to get the Chinese-developed vaccine, which has not been recommended by local drug regulators for senior citizens.

The country’s defense actually volunteered to show leadership by example but learned he can’t be get the Sinovac vaccine due to his old age. Lorenzana is 72 years old.

“I wanted to be the first to receive the Sinovac vaccine in DND to build trust and confidence among personnel but health experts advised that those over 59 should not be vaccinated. Besides, the front liners will have first priority,” he tweeted on February 28.

In another tweet, Lorenzana said he was informed that he was not qualified for the Sinovac vaccines.

The Chinese-made vaccines have not been recommended for health workers and seniors by the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to varying efficacy rates.

“I volunteered to be among the first to be vaccinated but was told that I’m not qualified based on Sinovac’s age limit (18-59). I wanted to lead by example to not cast doubt against Sinovac and hopefully bring confidence among DND personnel,” he said in a later tweet.

Although he passed up the vaccine line, Lorenzana attended the rollout of the vaccines for intended health workers in military hospitals as well as Department of National Defense personnel Monday, March 1.

“All is set for today’s rollout, with 100,000 doses allocated for DND Personnel. 29,040 of which are for the health workers of the Veterans and VLuna medical centers, military and civilian staff of the DND-Proper,” he said.



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