MANILA—Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Saturday said classes won't start in June, considering the country's ongoing battle against the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In an interview on radio DZMM, Roque said that the inter-agency task force (IATF) on virus response recommended that public schools and state universities instead open in the third quarter of the year, the earliest.
"Ang sigurado siguro ngayon wala pong pasok ng Hunyo," he said. "Sigurado na 'yun."
"Pinag-aaralan pa rin ng DepEd (Department of Education) kung pe-pwede ma-postpone all the way to September because 'yung current batas nagsasabi na ang pagbukas ng klase ay dapat Hunyo hanggang huling linggo ng Agosto," the spokesperson said.
Roque said, however, that since the Philippines is under a state of national emergency, plans to begin classes as late as September "won't be a problem."
"But binibigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang DepEd para tuluyan pag-aralan ang bagay na ito at sila po ang magsusumite ng pinal na rekomendasyon sa IATF," he said.
Since President Rodrigo Duterte suspended classes on March 10 due to the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases in the country, traditional school systems have not restarted, with online classes taking their place.
Graduation rites on all levels were either postponed or held online due to mandatory physical distancing.
Earlier, a party-list lawmaker suggested that classes for the next school year should be held in shifts to reduce class sizes and avoid the spread of COVID-19.