(PN file photo)

The Department of Education (DepEd) Palawan has assured provincial legislators it is strictly complying with health protocols in its implementation of face-to-face classes.

During Tuesday’s regular session, board member Ferdinand Zaballa raised concerns that not all students and teachers are fully vaccinated. In response, department officials said that they would make sure everyone was fully vaccinated.

Zaballa has urged DepEd to review the implementation of its face-to-face classes.

“Pinapakiusapan natin ang DepEd na sana magrepaso sila doon sa pagganap ng face to face. Habang nakahanda ang mga barangay ay ang DepEd naman hindi ginawang mandatory na dapat bakunado ang kanilang mga estudyante. Sana tingnan nila kung makakatulong ba o hindi, kung dangerous ba nag pagconduct ng face-to-face kahit ang vaccination nila ay less than 70 percent,” Zaballa said during his sponsorship speech for his resolution requesting local government units and other agencies in Palawan to intensify the vaccination program.

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“May mga bali-balita din na even teachers na nagco-conduct ng face to face ay hindi bakunado, those are dangerous move na ginagawa ng ating mga school heads,” he added.

Maylyn Dilig, Schools Division Office (SDO) Palawan spokesperson, said that all schools currently implementing limited face-to-face classes went through validation of their protocols for COVID-19.

She said not all schools were given the privilege to implement limited face-to-face.

“Mabusisi ang pinagdadaanan ng mga schools na validation pagdating sa conduct ng blended learning (limited face to face). Hindi po lahat ng schools ay binibigyan ng privilege na makapagconduct considering ang mga requirements na sinusunod at napakahigpit pagdating sa health protocol,” she said.

“Ang concurrence din ng local community thru LGU ay napakaimportante para ma ensure na safe ang pagbabalik eskwela,” Dilig said.

She also clarified that more than 90 percent of the teachers handling limited face-to-face are fully vaccinated.

Since the start of classes, Dilig said there have been no recorded COVID-19 outbreaks in different schools.

“Pagdating sa vaccination, more than 90% ang ating vax rate sa teachers. Sa learners naman ay tuloy tuloy tuloy ang vax campaign sa kanila. From the onset ng conduct ng F2F ay wala naman reported na outbreak sa mga schools na nagpatupad ng blended learning,” she said.

Dilig added that participation in the limited face-to-face classes is voluntary on the part of students.

Initially, DepEd approved 72 schools composed of 66 public and six private schools to start the limited face-to-face classes in towns of Narra, Taytay, Dumaran, El Nido, Quezon, Rizal, Aborlan, San Vicente, Roxas, Sofronio Española, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, Coron, Culion and Busuanga.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.