Pimentel: ‘Practical solutions’ for face-to-face classes needed amid new COVID variants
MANILA, Philippines — “Practical” solutions for face-to-face classes are needed amid the presence of new COVID-19 variants, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on Thursday.
“Yes, common sense yan. Avoid too much crowding. Pay attention to ventilation and air circulation. Hanapan ng practical solutions yan,” Pimentel said in a message to reporters when asked if there is a need to calibrate in-person classes due to new COVID-19 variants.
(Yes, that is common sense. Avoid too much crowding. Pay attention to ventilation and air circulation. Find practical solutions for that.)
Noting that there are thousands of viruses, including the coronavirus, Pimentel pointed out that people have to “live with them.”
“[T]here are more than 3,000 viruses ‘out there.’ We cannot live to be afraid of all of them. We have to live with them especially coronaviruses, since these have been with humans mammals and other animals since time immemorial. Hence it is time to learn to live with the Covid virus.
“Also, if we do not allow our children to be educated today and learn, we worry for their future when they become the adults and it is their time to run our society,” the senator stressed.
Saying that “time does not come back,” the minority leader said that the youth must live life to the fullest.
Physical attendance in Senate
Meanwhile, Pimentel was asked if the Senate should also have full physical attendance as schools are implementing full in-person learning.
The senator replied that Senate plenary sessions are held in-person while panel hearings have eased physical appearance rules due to convenience.
“Plenary sessions of the Senate are face to face. Only those sick can attend online. With corresponding doc’s certification yan (It has a corresponding doctor’s certification).
“We have relaxed rules on physical appearance in committee hearings. But this is for convenience not because of the Covid virus,” said Pimentel.
While he said that online connectivity has been “found to be working,” Pimentel said that “nothing beats the efficiency of physical interaction and face to face discussions in legislative work.”
The Department of Health recently confirmed that COVID-19 Omicron subvariant XBB and variant XBC have been detected in the country.
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