Marcos urges public to avail of COVID booster before in-person classes

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2022 08:11 PM

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. delivers his 1st State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives on July 25, 2022. RTVM Screengrab
President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. delivers his 1st State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives on July 25, 2022. RTVM Screengrab

MANILA - President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Saturday urged Filipinos to prepare for the resumption of face-to-face classes later this month, particularly by availing of booster shots against COVID-19.

In his weekly vlog, Marcos said that the public needs to be adequately protected against COVID-19 before the expected influx of students to schools.

“Una riyan yung panigurong nakapag booster shot na ang lahat lalong lalo na ang ating mga kabataan para siguradong handa ang pangangatawan nila sa pagbabalik eskuwela,” Marcos said.

“Hindi man ito magiging ganun kasimple, pero kapag tama ang paghahanda ay siguradong magiging matagumpay ito,” he said.

The President did not clarify if this would mean that being vaccinated against COVID-19 would be a requirement for student who wish to go back to school, but the Department of Education earlier said that it would not discriminate against learners who refuse to avail of vaccines against the coronavirus.

So far only 15.9 million Filipinos have availed of their first booster shots, while 1.2 million others have already been jabbed with COVID-19 boosters twice, the President said.

“Hindi pa ito magandang numero kumpara sa target natin na 100 percent kaya tayo magsasawa na pakiusapan ang ating mga LGU na mahing mas agresibo dito sa kampaniyang ito,” he said.

At least 15.2 million students have enrolled for the upcoming school year, Marcos said, noting that more people would benefit from the return of physical classes after 2 years of virtual learning.

“Kailangan din ng mga estudyante ng mga school supplies at materyales. Isama mo na yung pagkain kaya’t ang ating retail industry ay may karagdagang influx din ng salapi,” he said.

“Marami ring mga magulang ang mas magkakaroon ng oras makapag hanapbuhay kapag nasa eskuwelahan na ang kanilang mga anak kaya madadagdagan ang ating workforce at mas marami rin silang magiging option sa pagpili ng trabaho dahil hindi na sila limitado sa online,” he said.

“Kapag ito ay naging matagumpay, hindi lang ito balik eskuwela, kung di balik negosyo? Balik hanapbuhay at balik kaunlaran,” he said.

Marcos also reminded public transportation providers to ensure that minimum health and safety protocols would be enforced inside their respective vehicles.

“Ito’y masasabi ring malaking tulong sa malawakang kilusan natin nang pagbubukas ng ekonomiya,” Marcos said.

“Maraming industriya ang magiging bahagi at makikinabang sa hakbang na ito kung kaya’t dapat siguruhin natin na ang lahat ay handang handa,” he said.

Marcos ended his vlog by reminding the public to celebrate Buwan ng Wika or the National Language Month.

“Ipagdiwang din po natin ang Buwan ng Wikang pambansa at laging tandaan na sa lahat ng atong kakaharapin, ang diwa ng ating pagkapilipino ay mananatiling maningning,” he said.

In his first State of the Nation Address in July, Marcos said that the medium of instruction in schools should be changed to English to ensure that Filipinos would remain competent in speaking the in-demand foreign language.