Senator Win Gatchalian is pushing for regular COVID-19 tests for teachers after having witnessed the start of the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes.
Two schools in Zambales postponed the opening of in-person classes because seven teachers from both schools tested positive for the coronavirus disease after taking rapid antigen tests.
“Dapat mapondohan ang testing ng mga teachers at kung may nag-positive man, merong nakahandang suporta para sa kanila.”
“Dapat pag-isipan din natin ang regular na COVID-19 testing ng mga teachers. Pati ‘yung vaccination nila ay dapat nating i-monitor nang mabuti. To minimize risks, we need to test. Kaya dapat mapondohan ang testing ng mga teachers at kung may nag-positive man, merong nakahandang suporta para sa kanila,” said Gatchalian during his visit to schools that are participating in the dry run of in-person learning.
To ensure the immediate provision of financial aid for teachers who test positive for COVID-19, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture earlier urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to work with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in creating a special lane at the very least for teachers.
The veteran legislator reiterated that this would ease the burden on teachers falling ill with COVID-19 since they have to spend out of pocket first before receiving reimbursements from the state insurer.
“We need to provide financial support to schools to ensure adequacy of public health supplies and facilities for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).”
While the seasoned lawmaker observed during his visit that school officials and teachers are prepared, he also emphasized the need to provide financial support to schools to ensure adequacy of public health supplies and facilities for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).
The senator has been pushing to make the safe reopening of schools a priority in DepEd’s 2022 national budget.
“What we need is support. Kailangang maipaabot natin ‘yung suporta sa mga paaralan sa pamamagitan ng pondo upang makabili pa sila ng mga kagamitan at tuloy-tuloy ang paglilinis ng paligid. Importante sa health protocols ang paglilinis, pagbili ng mga sabon, at paggawa ng iba pang mga pasilidad,” he added.
The dry run of face-to-face classes in 20 private schools is set to start on November 22.