DepEd asks airlines' help over virus-deferred events

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 27 2020 01:29 PM

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The Department of Education said Thursday it asked airlines for assistance in rebooking the flights of thousands of participants of three agency events that were postponed due to a new coronavirus outbreak. 

A combined 6,000 students, teachers and parents were supposed to join a national schools press conference and festival of talents in Cagayan, and a technology fair in Quezon City last month, said DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla. 

The agency and some parents had already paid for the flights before the events were rescheduled to March, she said. 

"Gumawa tayo ng negotiation or isa pong appeal to the airlines na sana po ay maintidihan tayo at matulungan. Iyong pondo po ay nagamit na natin for the initial booking," Sevilla told DZMM. 

(We are negotiating and made an appeal to the airlines to understand and help us. The funds were already used for the initial booking.) 

Students wear masks amid a health scare over a new virus that has infected thousands since emerging in China, in a Chinese school in Quezon City, Jan. 28, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

The DepEd is still waiting for the carriers' response, said Sevilla. 

"We also understand na hindi po ito madaling desisyunan. Umaabot na po sa mga 6,000 na tickets itong pinag-uusapan natin," the official said. 
 
(This is not an easy decision. We are talking about 6,000 tickets.) 

"We are doing our best. May ginagawa po ang Department of Education, iyon nga lang ayaw nating ma-preempt," she added. 

(The Department of Education is doing something, we just don't want to preempt it.) 

The Philippines had no new confirmed case of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) since the first week of February. So far, the country, has 3 cases of the pathogen, including one death, involving Chinese nationals who came from the central Chinese city of Wuhan where the virus was first detected.

DZMM, Feb. 27, 2020