The Department of Education (DepEd) in Palawan reported that 97.2 percent of the teachers in the province have been vaccinated and are ready to begin classes on August 22.

According to Dr. Lois Tablazon, DepEd Palawan Medical Officer, only 2.8 percent, or more than 300 teachers, have not yet been vaccinated.

“As of August 5, ang bakunadong guro ay umabot na sa 97.2 percent at yung 2.8 na natitira ay hindi bakunado. Yung mga bakunado naman ay with booster shots na ang iba at yung iba pa ay naghihintay na lang din ng schedule,” she said.

As the first class for school year 2021–2022 is set to open, DepEd reminded its staff to practice minimum health protocol.

“Wala pang update pero according to DepEd Memorandum no. 34, kung sakaling magbubukas ang facilities for eating purposes, kailangan ay pina-practice yung minimum health protocols. Kung hindi naman maiiwasan dahil maliit ang area,
ina-advise dito na kung sakali kakain ang mga tao ay haharap lang sa iisang direksyon at kapag magtatanggal ng mask ay ina-advise din na huwag muna mag-uusap.” she added.

Schools Division Superintendent Roger Capa also emphasized that because of the non-discrimination policy, they cannot impose mandatory vaccination.

He stated that while they will continue to encourage teachers to get vaccinated, they will not be able to require it.

“Hindi mandatory ang pagbabakuna. May Karapatan ang lahat na magdesisyon kung sila ay magpapabakuna o hindi. Sa DepEd, walang tigil ang aming pag-encourage sa ating mga guro at iba pang empleyado na magpabakuna. Laging nagkakaroon ng paghikayat at info dissemination ang ating medical officer tungkol sa kahalagahan ng pagpapabakuna,” Capa said.

“Kami ay may tinatawag na non-discriminatory policy – bawal na hindi papasukin ang guro dahil hindi siya nagpabakuna at ganun din ang mga estudyante,” he added.

Capa said they are in the process of coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) to do counseling for the unvaccinated teachers, especially those hesitant about the effectiveness of the vaccine.

“We are coordinating with the DOH for a conduct of counselling para sa mga unvaccinated na mga guro and then, except of course doon sa ang dahilan ay religious beliefs ay Karapatan nila yun. Pero yung mga may duda lang kaya hindi nagpapabakuna ay bibigyan sila ng counselling para pag nahikayat sila ay mag-coordinate kami sa DOH para sa mobile vaccination sa mga paaralan,” Capa said.

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