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After successfully pushing for the lifting of quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and soon to tourists, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion has shifted his sight on bringing students back to school as a means to bring the country back to normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now that the country is vaccinating 12 to 17 and 5 to 11, we will push the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to open our schools, provided that both students and teachers are already fully vaccinated,” Concepcion said.
“We are starting finally starting to move on and hopefully, this move will help our economy,” added Concepcion, who successfully convinced the IATF to drop the quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated ROFs starting Feb. 1 and to tourists starting Feb. 10.
Concepcion said bringing back students to school should be prioritized, provided that they are vaccinated and belong to households with 100 percent vaccination rate or no unvaccinated senior citizens in the house.
“Vaccinated kids belonging to 70 percent vaccinated households or no unvaccinated senior citizens in the house and living in areas with 80 percent of the population vaccinated, can also attend face-to-face classes,” Concepcion said.
He also allayed worries about students and teachers being infected, saying the mask mandate should be strictly implemented to lessen the chance of acquiring COVID-19.
The Go Negosyo founder said bringing the students back to schools for face-to-face classes is part of the change in mindset about living with COVID-19.
“Also, the country cannot afford a long-term effect of less than ideal quality of education due to the online learning modality being implemented by the Education Department,” he said.
Concepcion said the proposal is like hitting two birds with one stone as it would help boost the vaccination rate among senior citizens.
“Students eager to go back to school will force their grandparents to get vaccinated. This way, it would be easier for the government to have our senior citizens vaccinated,” he stressed.
Also, it would help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) that depend on student mobility to thrive.
Concepcion also backed the call of Vice President Leni Robredo to open schools to fully vaccinated students and teachers.