PAO wants CHED to copy DepEd policy on unvaccinated students
MANILA, Philippines–The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) on Monday called on the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to align its policies with that of the Department of Education (DepEd) in allowing unvaccinated students to attend face-to-face classes.
“We urge the CHED to adapt, align, and follow the move, the will, and the decision of the DepEd, through the Honorable Vice-President and Department Secretary Sara Z. Duterte, in issuing a non-discriminatory policy relative to COVID-19 vaccination status of students and staff in schools under DepEd, for the benefit of all students about to enroll, are enrolling, and are continuing their studies in HEIs (higher education institutions) in the Philippines,” Acosta said in a statement,” PAO Chief Persida Acosta said in a press conference.
Acosta has sent a letter to CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera III asking that it adopt a non-discriminatory policy similar to that of DepEd by allowing students to attend face-to-face classes regardless of their vaccination status.
Earlier, a joint CHED-Department of Health (DOH) memorandum circular was issued, which provides that only fully vaccinated students of HEIs in areas under alert levels 1, 2, and 3 shall be allowed, limited face-to-face classes.
However, Acosta said some HEIs impose a “no vaccination, no enrollment” policy.
She said CHED “can totally avert confusion that often leads to restriction and deprivation of the right to education of the youth about to enroll, are enrolling, and are continuing their studies in the HEIs under its jurisdiction” by “conveying a policy of equal tenor, and by not passing on the ball of the decision to create rules relative to the restriction or accommodation of students and staff.”
Acosta wrote a letter to de Vera after many parents of those who are about to enroll and are currently in their third, fourth, and fifth year of studies.
“These students, with their parents, called and wrote the PAO to seek help regarding their fate of ever starting or finishing their courses, considering their COVID-19 vaccination status,” she added.
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