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Duque pressed:
To kiss or notto kiss?
By DJ Yap and Mariejo S. Ramos

THURSDAY / MARCH 2o2o

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WWW.INQUIRER.NET

(COVID-19) in the country.


And even lovers are being asked to find other
means of expressing affection aside from kiss_

avoid contracting the pneumo- teachers to conduct impor- conference on Wednesday. strictly implement the DOH re-
ililfi nia-causing coronavirus.
Social distancing, or keep-
tant school activities, such as
fourth-quarter exams and other
The DepEd advised t_eachers
to give students pointers in re-
quirements," Briones said.
she also suggested'holding
- ing at least "one arm's length" remaining class requirements, viewing for exams while classes graduation rites in batcks to
)n Wednesday. from others in public spaces, on a "staggered basis" from were suspended until March u. control the size of crowds and
The hearing, called by the creat€s a "virtuous cycle" of March 16 to 20 to reduce the Teachers may also opt to limiting guests in these cere-
louse committee on health, fewer people getting. exposed number of students in school work from home, it said. monies.
lwelt briefly on the subiect of to the virus and resulting in per day. Briones encouraged on-
omance, with Iloilo Rep. Ja- less severe and less infectious The tests . were initially line classes and other inter-
Iette Garin, a former health cases, he explained..
' Discretion
scheduled for March u to 13 for ' net-based learning resources, In his advisory to colleges
ecretary, asking Duque: Grades 6 and rz, and March r9 "where it is possible." and uniYersities, De Vera re-
lwhat would be our advice to flexibility'
'Exercise to 20 for all other grade levels. "Some children do not commended that they forgo
hose dating and kissing their Duque also acknowledged The DepEd said schools have access to the internet, so other curricular activities and
irlfriends?" the "huge challenge" ofpractic- could push through with the this is not possible in all plac- carry out alternative activi-
"A lot of congressmen and ing the concept in densely pop- exams because "the essential es. But our technical people ties for students undergoing
olleagues are asking me" about ulated Metro Manila, especial- competencies specified in the are thinking of ways to con- practicum or on-the-job train-
hat matter, Garin noted. ly ar.nong those who use mass Francisco Duque lll -ruannrre curriculum are expected to duct lclasses remotely] even ing.
public transport. (See story in BERMUDEZ have been covered" during the without internet connectivi- On the field deplo]'ment
Arm's length Metro, Page Afi.) school year, ty," she said. National Service Training
She pressed Duque again "The challenges we're fac- On suggestions to resche- gram students, the CHEd
ihen he was sidetracked by oth- ing are not easy. I understand menting social distancing Online classes dule graduation rites, the cial urged universities and col
r issues relatedto the epidemic: your sentiments but you can measures for the remainder "I'm not worried be- DepEd said schools had the dis- leges to exercise discretion
Can lpeople] kiss or can lrhey] expect that we will coordinate of the school year, while Com- cause children, even before cretion to hold these ceremo- allow alternative
ot kiss, Secretary Duque?" with your omce for steps to mission on Higher Education COVID-19, were already famil- nies within Apiil 13 to r7 pro- service activities.
Duque replied in iest: "We address this problem," Duque (CHEd) Chair Prospero de Vera iar with the health protocols vided they foltow guidelines set De Vera called on state col
ave to subiect kissirs to a risk said, addressing Bayan Muna III instructed colleges and uni- in schools. They were taught by the Department of Health leges and universities to
ssessment." Rep. Carlos Zarate. versities to "exercise flexibili- to wash their hands before en- (DOH) on such gatherings. sult witl their regents
But he emphasized that Fili- Also on Wednesday, the ty" in adjusting their academic tering and leaving their class- "We trust the schools, we specific measures and
inos must take the concept of Department of Education calendars: rooms," Education Secretary trust the parents and their ca, the CHEd regional ofrce
)cial distancing seriously to (DepEd) said it was imple- DepEd ofhcials directed Leonor Briones said in a press pacity to assess if they can protocols:. rNo