Marcos: Philippines eyes 100 percent face-to-face classes by November

Job Manahan and Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 05 2022 05:32 PM | Updated as of Jul 05 2022 05:59 PM

Students observe safety protocol  ABS-CBN News/File
Students observe safety protocol inside the Ricardo P Cruz St. Elementary School in Taguig City, during the first day of the pilot face-to-face classes in the National Capital Region on Dec. 6, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Tuesday said the Philippines aimed to conduct full face-to-face classes by November. 

Marcos said Vice President Sara Duterte, who heads the Department of Education, announced this plan. 

"There are some things that are immediately accessible in the sense that we can start doing something about it already. The first thing that is an example of that was Inday Sara’s announcement that we have a plan for full face-to-face [classes] by November of this year," Marcos said in a press conference after meeting with his Cabinet. 

"September, we will start a phased face-to-face schooling, and that face-to-face will end up in early November as already 100 percent attendance ng mga bata (of the children)," he continued. 

Marcos said he expected that "we have to talk about also vaccination... because there are going to be some issues that will be raised." 

The Philippines currently allows COVID-19 vaccination for ages 5 and up. It recently released guidelines for additional doses for 12 to 17-year-olds.

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In-person classes in basic education resumed in late 2021 in nearly 300 "pilot" schools. In February, the DepEd kicked off an "expansion," allowing more schools to hold physical classes.

ABS-CBN News is seeking comment from the DepEd regarding the announcement, but it has yet to release a statement as of this posting. 

As of June 16, 32,787 or 72.66 percent of public schools in the country have started conducting face-to-face classes, earlier DepEd data showed. 

Meanwhile, 1,063 private schools are implementing in-person classes, equivalent to only 8.60 percent of the total number, the agency said. 

More details to follow.