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  • DepEd Suspends Pilot Run Of Face-To-Face Classes In Metro Manila Starting Jan. 3

    by Angela Baylon .
DepEd Suspends Pilot Run Of Face-To-Face Classes In Metro Manila Starting Jan. 3
PHOTO BY jerome ascano
  • As the holiday break comes to an end, a more stringent alert level status due to COVID-19 threat is imposed in Metro Manila. Starting from January 3, 2022, until January 15, the National Capital Region (NCR) will be under a more strict Alert Level 3.

    In a public announcement, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) saw the need to impose a stricter alert level after observing a spike in COVID-19 infections following the increased mobility during the holiday season.

    "Nag-increase exponentially ang mga kaso [ng COVID-19] dahil sa holiday activities." Nograles adds, officials also took into consideration the presence of the Omicron variant.
    Pilot implementation of face-to-face classes suspended

    On January 2, 2022, the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) released an official statement saying, "face-to-face classes for pilot schools in NCR are suspended until the alert level reverts to Level 2." However, limited in-person classes in other areas in the country under Alert Level 1 and Alert Level 2 will continue. (Read DepEd's full statement here)

    It could be remembered that DepEd just began the pilot run of limited in-person classes in various schools in Metro Manila last December 2021.

    What are the prohibited activities under Alert Level 3?

    Aside from the conducting face-to-classes in basic education the following activities and establishments are not allowed to operate under Alert Level 3:

    • kid amusement industries (i.e., perya, playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides)
    • contact sports
    • karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters
    • casinos, lottery betting shops, and other gambling establishments
    • social gatherings of individuals from different households

    What are allowed under Alert Level 3?

    Several establishments and activities are allowed to operate but with decreased capacity.

    • Limited face-to-face or in-person classes for higher education and for technical-vocational education and training
    • Licensure exams
    • Dine-in services
    • Tourist attractions and amusement parks
    • Cinemas, personal care services, fitness studios
    • Film, music, and television production
    • Meetings, conferences, social events such as weddings, debut, birthday parties, religious gatherings
    • Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals

    Check the infographic from Department of Health (DOH) below for a quick guide on the allowed capacity for establishments allowed to continue operations under Alert Level 3. (Click here for full guidelines)

    Restrictions on unvaccinated individuals

    It's important to note that on Monday, January 3, 2022, Metro Manila officials also agreed to ban unvaccinated individuals from going outdoors except when procuring essential goods and services.

    In a Reportr article, MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos was quoted saying unvaccinated individuals, "shall remain in their residences at all times except for the procurement of essential goods and services such as but not limited to food, water, medicine, medical devices, public utilities, and energy, work, and dental necessities."

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    Abalos adds those who have not yet received their COVID-19 vaccine are not allowed to dine in restaurants, enter malls, and go on leisure trips.

    On January 2, 2022, the Philippines recorded 4,600 new COVID-cases, a big jump from the 318 case count last December 27, 2021. While waiting for the expansion of pediatric vaccination in the country to cover kids ages 11 and below, parents are reminded to strictly follow basic health protocols to prevent COVID-19 infection.

    Click here for health tips on how to reduce the risk of children getting infected by COVID-19.

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