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Malacañang clarifies Duterte’s ‘no vaccine, no classes’ remark

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 25, 2020. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark prohibiting the opening of classes sans a coronavirus vaccine refers to face-to-face classes only, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said the President is only barring classes in areas that will still be under community quarantine by Aug. 24—the scheduled opening of classes as per the Department of Education.

READ: President Duterte: No opening of classes without vaccine

“Habang wala pang bakuna at habang wala pa tayo sa new normal—‘yung wala na pong community quarantine, hindi pa rin po tayo magkakaroon ng face-to-face na mga klase,” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

(While we do not have any vaccine yet and until we reach the new normal—one where there is no more community quarantine, we will not have any face-to-face classes.)

“Kung hindi po talaga dumating ang new normal at hindi po talaga ma-lift ang mga community quarantines, hindi naman po ibig sabihin ma hindi na mag-aaral ang ating mga kabataan, mayroon po tayong tinatawag na blended learning,” he said.

(If the new normal will not come and we can’t really lift the community quarantines, it doesn’t mean that our students would no longer study. We have blended learning.)

Roque said the President is simply emphasizing that “we will not compromise the health of our youth.”

The education department earlier said it is studying combining online and face-to-face classes for the next school year as the coronavirus crisis persists.

In terms of blended learning, Malacañang said schools could use different mediums such as television, radio, and the internet. He said local channels and radio stations could be tapped to help for the blended learning of students.


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