2-year COVID break brings benefit: Brand new school buildings

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2022 11:04 AM | Updated as of Jul 07 2022 11:16 AM

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MANILA – A 2-year suspension of face-to-face classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought an unexpected blessing: brand new public school buildings. 

Speaking with ANC’s “Rundown,” National Parents-Teacher Association Federation president Willy Rodriguez said classrooms in public schools are ready to receive students for face-to-face classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the past COVID, ang daming eskwelahan na public school na pinaganda nang husto. Nagtayo ng building, talagang magaganda ngayon kasi yung (maintenance and other operating expenses) nila is, tawag dito, hindi masyadong nagamit.”

(For the past few years, many schools have improved their facilities. They have constructed new buildings because they weren't able to use up their maintenance and other operating expenses.)

“So maraming surplus ang MOOE ng public schools so ngayon, meron pa nga kaming mga principal na sila na mismo ang nagbibigay, nagtatanong ng project na gusto ng mga parents at ipinapasok nila sa MOOE,” he said.

(Many schools have surplus MOOE. There are principals who even ask parents what projects they want, then include this in the MOOE. )

“Sa public schools, wala pong problema sa ating mga equipment na ganyan ano, kumpletong-kumpleto na po ang public schools,” he added.

(As for public schools, we have no problem with equipment. They are complete.)

The Philippine government shut down classrooms all over the country in early 2020 due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. President Rodrigo Duterte refused to lift coronavirus restrictions until COVID vaccinations were widespread. 

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has said the government is targeting the resumption of full face-to-face classes by November.

A group of private schools, meanwhile, said they still need to install camera equipment and hepa filters in their airconditioning units before they can receive students for in-person classes.

Eleazandro Kasilag of the Federation of Association of Private School Administrators said this would hurt the already limited budget of some private schools.

--ANC, 7 July 2022