(UPDATED: Editor’s Note – An earlier post on this story erred in attributing the policy to the City DepEd instead of the National IATF. Our apologies.)
The Palawan National School (PNS), the biggest public school in Puerto Princesa City, has restricted entry to its campus of unvaccinated parents and guardians.
Complying with a recent national IATF resolution, the school recently informed parents, guardians, or students to be fully vaccinated before entering school premises when getting their modules and returning class requirements.
The Palawan National School administration, through Nelia Nono, Officer-in-Charge, clarified however that parents, guardians, and students 15 years old and above, even though unvaccinated, will still be entertained by the school in designated waiting areas.
“Hindi naman po natin pwedeng i-hinder ang pag-aaral ng mga bata kaya ‘yong mga hindi pa vaccinated, meron naman po kaming waiting area sa labas para hindi na nila kailanganing pumasok pa sa loob ng school to get their modules,” she said.
Nono also denied several posts that circulated in social media claiming that the school is requiring a negative RT-PCR result before parents and guardians can be allowed entry.
Nono said they are not requiring a negative RT-PCR test, knowing this to be an additional financial burden to the parents.
“Ayaw natin mahamper ang education system kaya kami na lang ang gumawa ng paraan,” she added, referring to their setting up of waiting areas outside the school gates.
Meanwhile, Dr. Loida P. Adornado, Schools Division Superintendent of Puerto Princesa, pointed out that the PNS was acting in accordance with the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 148-B, Series of 2021, dated November 11, 2021.
“Lahat ng directives na ganyan ay sinusunod lang namin from the IATF resolutions,” Adornado said in a message to Palawan News.
The resolution states that all employees in the public and private sectors who are fully vaccinated shall be eligible to do on-site work, while those unvaccinated may continue work-from-home set-up or else be required to take RT-PCR tests regularly for on-site work.
Section C of the same resolution also stated that “public and private establishments, even if not required by the Guidelines on the Implementation of Alert Levels System for COVID-19 Response in Pilot Areas to accommodate only fully vaccinated individuals, may nonetheless validly refuse entry and/or deny service to individuals who remain to be unvaccinated, or are merely partially vaccinated, despite being legible for vaccination. Provided that frontline and emergency services shall continue to render assistance to all persons regardless of vaccination status.”
The Puerto Princesa City SDO emphasized that it is up to the schools how to enforce the practices stated in the resolution for their visitors.