NEDA: Face-to-face classes should be considered in low-risk areas

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    THE country’s socioeconomic team yesterday said there is a need to start looking at the possibility of gradually opening schools, including conducting face-to-face classes, in low risk areas to further support the opening of the economy and ensure the future of productivity in the country.

    In a virtual briefing yesterday, Karl Kendrick Chua, National Economic and Development Authority acting secretary, said that this was arrived at by the agency after listening to the advice of health experts.

    “I think we have to begin considering the gradual opening of schools perhaps not immediate but gradually allow face to face, or hybrid, in the lowest risk areas,” Chua said.

    Chua noted that there are many provinces under the modified general community quarantine that have not seen any cases for weeks and months.

    Chua also said that public transport needs to catch up with demand as the economy gradually opens up.

    “One thing we noticed is that our public transport over the months did not catch up as we opened the economy and that is why we are pursuing this opening, beginning with a one seat apart, or with barriers in public transport to separate passengers, so that we can match the demand and supply, as we open the economy,” Chua said.

    “In September, in the National Capital Region, only 35 percent of public transport was operating. In October, we managed to bring that up to 46 percent, and I’m hoping with the new data we can see even more in November and in December, but we have to do that following the health guidelines,” he added.