Magalong issued Executive Order No. 60 series of 2020 today, March 12, following discussions with officials from the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education.
“Classes for all levels in public and private schools in the city of Baguio are hereby suspended for the period 13 March 2020 until 22 March 2020, subject to further guidelines and directives that may be released by the National Government, DOH or upon assessment of the COVID-19 Interagency Task Force,” the EO said.
Magalong said there is a need to suspend classes in all levels to safeguard the students and so that these institutions may implement stringent actions to disinfect their respective school campuses.
School officials and administrators are then instructed to immediately sanitize and disinfect their classrooms and facilities in order to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
The city government of Baguio, in coordination with the DOH, has been implementing safety and precautionary measures in the city since the confirmation of local transmission of COVID-19 in the Philippines.
To date, Baguio City and the rest of the Cordillera region are still free from the COVID-19 virus as affirmed by DOH - CAR OIC Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan. Cumulative number of Persons under Investigation in the region is 32 with 30 of them all tested negative while two are waiting for confirmatory test results.
On Sunday, March 8, 2020, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation Order 922 declaring state of Public Health Emergency throughout the Philippines. The said declaration will enable a whole of government response to mitigate the effect and impact of COVID-19 in the country and its people.
On March 9, the President announced the suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila from March 10 to 14 to protect students from the COVID-19 following the recommendation by the Interagency Taskforce on COVID-19 (IATF) and the DepEd.
However, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones emphasized at the IATF that this measure will only be effective if students, parents, and the local governments will do their part in ensuring the students stay home and avoid places like malls, movie houses, markets, and similar crowded places.
DepEd officials in the field, at the regions, divisions, and schools are also directed to facilitate the communication of teachers with the students and their parents to provide the necessary assignments to continue the process of learning of the required competencies.(JDP/RMC-PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis