by KAREN RENEE NOGOY
LOCKDOWNS WILL no longer be implemented to ensure a good balance between public health and economic development, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vowed during his first State of the Nation Address.
“Wala na tayong gagawing lockdown. Dapat nating balansehin nang maayos ang kalusugan at kapakanan ng ating mga mamamayan sa isang banda, at ang ekonomiya naman sa kabilang banda,” Marcos Jr. said.
Marcos Jr. added that the current alert level system would still be followed while they study other classification systems that will fit the country’s situation.
“Mananatili muna sa ngayon ang Alert Level System natin. Pinapag-aralan natin ang ibang paraan ng klasipikasyon upang mas babagay sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon sa pagbabago ng COVID,” the president said.
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout would also continue to improve people’s defense against the virus, he said.
Marcos Jr. believes that “it is time” for students to return to full in-person classes, sharing that the Department of Education (DepEd) is already preparing for its implementation.
He assured the public that they take “utmost consideration for the safety of students” who would participate in the in-person classes.
“We must ensure that our classrooms are safe for teachers, for students, and the entire academic community when they return to face-to-face classes,” he said.
The Commission on Higher Education said last July 13 that it would not require all higher education institutions to shift to on-site classes, but the decision would still depend on the university.
In the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters, only the Journalism program’s proposal has been approved by the University Crisis Management Committee.
Eight other AB programs still await approval for the conduct of limited face-to-face classes. Four programs will continue the virtual mode of instruction for the first term of this academic year. F