Teachers are included in the national government’s plan to conduct expanded targeted testing to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that since teachers are also considered frontliners, they may avail of free Covid-19 testing.
“Alam niyo po ang mga guro natin, considered na rin silang front-liners, kasama na rin po sila doon sa expanded targeted testing natin (You know our teachers, they are considered front-liners, so they are included in our expanded targeted testing),” he said in a virtual Palace briefing in Davao City.
Earlier, the Department of Health (DOH) said the Philippines has the highest Covid-19 testing capacity in Southeast Asia.
As of Aug. 4, the DOH said the country has an average of 28,938 tests per day within the last seven days which is significantly higher than Indonesia’s 14,29 tests per day within the seven days.
Roque also assured that the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will provide assistance to those who get infected with Covid-19.
“Lahat naman po ng magkakasakit ay tinutulungan ng ating gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng PhilHealth (All those who get sick will be assisted by the government through PhilHealth),” he said.
Meanwhile, Roque said the opening of classes using the distance learning approach will push through on August 24.
Face-to-face classes, he said, would only resume once a vaccine is developed.
“Wala pa pong utos si Presidente na huwag ituloy ang blended learning so tuloy po tayo sa pagbukas po ng klase (The President does not have any order to postpone blended learning so the opening of classes will push through),” he said.
He, however, said Duterte has the prerogative to suspend classes anytime he wants.
“Bagamat prerogative po ni Presidente na pigilan ‘yan kung gustuhin niya, sa ngayon po, wala pang ganyang order (While the President has the prerogative to suspend classes if he wants, at the moment, there is no such order),” he said.
On July 17, Duterte signed Republic Act 11480, which allows the President, upon the recommendation of the Education Secretary, to set a different date for the start of the school year in the country in case of a state of emergency or state of calamity.
Whether the opening of classes would be moved or not, the DepEd is set to implement blended and distance learning strategies with TV and radio-based instruction as well as modular and online learning. (PNA)