The Department of Education (DepEd) is requiring teachers handling face-to-face classes to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), reiterating government policy of requiring vaccination to employees who work on-site — including teaching and non-teaching personnel involved in face-to-face classes and in-school activities.
The agency stressed that the requirement is a step to prevent the spread of the deadly respiratory disease in schools and DepEd offices.
It added that the policy has been approved by the Office of the President and is in line with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) resolution on the requirement for vaccination or negative RT-PCR result or antigen test result for employees working on-site, in areas that have sufficient supply of vaccines as determined by the National Vaccines Operation Center.
The DepEd also stressed that this policy is not intended to unjustly discriminate against any DepEd employee who chooses not to be vaccinated.
“A DepEd employee who is not vaccinated is treated fairly as he/she remains obliged to render work and receive compensation based on applicable alternative work arrangements, and his/her work is not terminated on the sole ground of being unvaccinated, consistent with the above IATF Resolutions as well as Civil Service rules and regulations,” said the agency.
“The DepEd, consistent with national and international law, respect the rights of every person, while recognizing the duty of the State to promote public health and general welfare, which includes protection of the equal right of everyone to safety and health,” it added.
The Education department earlier said that only vaccinated teachers and non-teaching personnel will be allowed to participate in the face-to-face classes.
To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the progressive expansion of in-person classes in areas under Alert Levels 1 and 2 by February amid the lingering threat of the Omicron variant in the country.
Nearly 300 public and private schools nationwide participated during the conduct of pilot face-to-face classes from 15 November to 20 December last year.
Twenty-eight public schools in Metro Manila have also started conducting face-to-face classes in December last year, but this has been suspended by the DepEd after the region was placed under Alert Level 3 amid spike in Covid-19 cases.