Senator Win Gatchalian is urging the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and local government units (LGUs) to help the Department of Education (DepEd) in accelerating full COVID-19 vaccination coverage among teachers.
Gatchalian made this call as the government eyes to start the pilot test of limited face-to-face classes in 120 schools on November 15.
In a Senate panel hearing on preparations for limited face-to-face classes, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan reported that 57% of teachers are already vaccinated, which is equivalent to more than 580,000 of around 970,000 teachers and non-teaching personnel.
“The DILG can play a very big role in encouraging or even pushing for these partnerships.”
“I know that some LGUs are partnering with their local districts or their local divisions to prioritize teachers. The DILG can play a very big role in encouraging or even pushing for these partnerships,” said the chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
DILG Undersecretary Ricojudge Echiverri assured lawmakers that the department will work with the DepEd to speed up the inoculation of teachers.
Echiverri added that the department will consolidate LGUs’ data on the COVID-19 vaccination coverage of teachers which will be reconciled with DepEd’s figures.
To complete the vaccination of teachers, Malaluan also assured the Senate panel that the DepEd will pursue an institutional approach to vaccination and work with the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19.
Teachers are included in the A4 priority list of the COVID-19 vaccination program.
“It’s not the fault of the teacher that he or she cannot get access to the vaccines.”
“Even though the teacher wants to be in the school but cannot get access to the vaccines because there is no prioritization, then it’s not the fault of the teacher that he or she cannot get access to the vaccines,” the veteran legislator said.
“So, the point is to give special priority to our teachers because the push here is to go back to face-to-face classes,” the seasoned lawmaker added.
As of October 10, 49.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were already administered, according to the National COVID-19 vaccination dashboard and 85.5 million vaccine doses have been delivered to the country as of October 9. The vaccination of the general population has been scheduled to start this month.