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'No vaccine, no classes' gains support

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Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go supports the call of President Rodrigo Duterte not to allow the resumption of physical classes until a vaccine for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is available.

“Ayaw po nating maantala ang klase, ngunit prayoridad natin lagi ang kaligtasan at kalusugan ng mga Pilipino (We don’t want to delay classes, but our foremost priority is the safety and well-being of Filipinos),” Go said.

“We will take this one step at a time so that we can slowly, but surely, protect the safety of our students. Let's assess first what happens in the coming days. Huwag nating biglain. Kahit ayaw nating maantala ang klase nila, importanteng safe sila. ‘Yan ang unang consideration natin, ang kalusugan ng ating mga anak (Let’s not be abrupt. Even if we don’t want to delay their classes, what is important is that they are safe. The well-being of our children is our prime consideration). For me, no vaccine, no physical classes or face-to-face learning,” the chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography said.

President Duterte recently reiterated his position not to allow physical classes to resume until a vaccine for Covid-19 has been developed.

Currently, researchers all over the world are still struggling to create a vaccine or find an effective treatment for the dreaded disease.

"Unless I am sure that they are really safe, it's useless to be talking about the opening of classes,” Duterte said.

Before Thursday’s hearing, Go has already called on the education sector to come up with innovative schemes on how to conduct classes while adhering to the physical distancing protocols and other measures set by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Go also in the past encouraged educational institutions to explore possible online or distance learning programs for students to be able to continue their studies without putting them at harm or adding burden to them and their families given the challenges of the post-Covid-19 situation.

Meanwhile, in the same hearing, Go appealed to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to ensure the safety of individuals who are traveling using their bicycles.

He made the call following plans to establish bike lanes in the metropolis amid restrictions imposed on public transport under the community quarantine.

“Siguraduhin po natin sa MMDA…na safe po ang pagdadaanan nila, talagang secured ang bicycle lanes na ibibigay ninyo (The MMDA must ensure that the bike lanes it will put up are safe and secured for bikers),” Go said.

He also called on bike riders to ensure that they are physically fit to pedal to and from their places of work and to observe health protocols for their safety.

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