Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to suspend graduation rites and moving-up ceremonies nationwide to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the Philippines.

In an ambush interview, the chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture pointed out that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) tend to return for the graduation rite of their children or relatives, increasing their risk of exposure to the disease and spreading it in the country.

“Ang graduation is a family affair at marami sa ating mga OFWs talagang pina-planong bumalik para sa graduation natin. So dapat suspendihin na kaagad yung mga graduation para yung mga OFWs natin na babalik pa hindi pa bumalik muna,” Gatchalian said.

(Graduation is a family affair and many of our OFWs usually planned on returning for graduations. So graduations should be immediately suspended so that our OFWs would not have to return just yet.)

He said even graduation rites for Day Care students should be suspended.

“Normally, ang parents nandiyan, pag yung parents nandiyan, malaki ang posibilidad na magkaroon sila ng interaction at contamination (Normally, parents are there, and if parents are present, there is a big possibility of interaction and contamination),” he said.

Gatchalian also called on the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to also consider suspending graduation rites for college students “for now.”

He noted that although graduating college students are far fewer than those in high school and elementary, college graduation is considered by families as a bigger event.

“In college graduation, not only the parents but even relatives attend because this is a very big event. The same interactions that may cause the transmission to happen, so the same direction to suspend graduation for colleges and universities,” Gatchalian said. (PNA)


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