MANILA - The president of the University of the East (UE) has said they did not defy the "health break" order of the Manila local government in its tertiary classes as there was nothing to suspend.
This, after Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso issued a show cause order against the university for supposedly not implementing the local government's week-long "health break" for all classes across the city.
UE that day, though, suspended classes in Kindergarten to Grade 12 from Jan. 14 to 21 in line with Domagoso's order.
UE President Dr. Ester Garcia explained to ABS-CBN News that "tertiary level classes had not started."
"From the announcement I am sure you realize that there was no 'defiance'... There was nothing to suspend," Garcia explained.
"As is my practice, I had to consult first and, conveniently, we had a previously scheduled MANCOM yesterday," she added.
In a Facebook post on Friday, UE Manila announced it suspended classes in all levels - for its Manila and Caloocan campuses - from Jan. 17 to 21.
In the same post, it was explained that the university management "deferred" making the announcement on the suspension for tertiary and graduate classes as these have not started yet and they had to also consider the school calendar.
"Regarding the reported show cause order issued by the Office of the Mayor of the City of Manila, a soft copy of UE President and Chief Academic Officer Ester A. Garcia’s signed reply, featuring key points stated above, has been emailed to the Mayor’s office, while a hard copy will be sent to City Hall by Monday," the post added.
Students also expressed "disappointment" as they await the final decision of the school's administration on the implementation of health break.
"For the students naman po, siyempre need din po namin makita na pina-prioritize po ng administration iyong student welfare po... I think what the administration and the students need po is to have a better communication with each other," Lance Fernandez, from the secretariat of UE-Manila's University Student Council, told ABS-CBN News.
The Philippines is facing a fresh wave of new infections most likely driven by the omicron variant.
On Saturday, the Department of Health confirmed over 39,000 new cases, the highest ever daily tally since the pandemic began.