Ahead of the resumption of in-person classes this month, the Department of Health (DOH) reminded schools of the importance of deploying safety officers to ensure compliance with health and safety protocols against Covid-19.
“Ang pinaka importante na lagi po nating ipapaalala (The most important thing which we will continue to remind) and we will be highlighting this to the Department of Education, safety officer should be there,” said DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing on Friday, Aug. 12.
Vergeire said that a safety officer “doesn’t have to be a doctor” but they should be trained in monitoring the proper implementation of minimum public health standards within the school premises.
The DOH official also admitted that maintaining physical distance in classrooms is “impossible” but other protocols should be followed such as wearing of face masks and ensuring proper ventilation.
‘“Yun pong physical distancing sa loob ng kwarto, matagal na pong napag-usapan ng DepEd at ng DOH na talagang imposibleng ipatupad kaya ang sabi nga natin kelangan lang (With regards to physical distancing inside the rooms, the DepEd and DOH have discussed this for a long time, and it is really impossible to implement this, that is why) if we cannot implement physical distancing, the other measures should be in place,” she said.
Vergeire also urged eligible students as well as teachers and non-teaching personnel to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
“Dapat bakunado lahat ng teachers at non-teaching personnel na haharap at mag-iinteract sa mga bata, and of course to encourage ang mga magulang na pabakunahan ang kanilang mga anak pati na rin yung mga guro na hindi pa nagpapabakuna (All teachers and non-teaching personnel who will interact with the children should be vaccinated, and of course, to encourage parents to let their children get vaccinated as well as teachers who are still unvaccinated),” she said.
“We are putting vaccination sites in our schools through the help of our local governments para maipatupad natin ng maayos ito (so that we can implement this properly),” she added.
To note, the opening of face-to-face classes is set on Aug. 22.