MANILA – Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said teachers were questioning the government's claim that they are ready to open classes, as they ask for supplies and measures to protect them against COVID-19.
Robredo said she spoke to a group of teachers last Friday and she would forward their concerns to the Duterte administration in a formal letter.
"Iyong sa kanila, iyong kanilang proteksyon ay laban sa sakit. Papaano? Humihiling sila na sana man lang ma-test sila," she said in her weekly radio show.
(Their concern is their protection against the disease. They want to be tested.)
"Humihiling sila ng regular medical check-up, humihiling sila na siguraduhin lang na habang nagre-render sila ng service, protektado. Tapos iyong sa kanila din iyong pakiusap na sana hindi sila i-require na nagha-house visits kasi ang laki din ng risk. Ang laki ng risk sa kanila."
(They're asking for regular medical check-up and the assurance that they're protected as they render their service. They also appealed to government not to require them to conduct house visits because it increases their risk of contracting the virus.)
The group also seeks government's assistance in printing education modules while another said its members have yet to access the material, Robredo said.
The Vice President said the department seems to be lacking communication with teachers who are on the ground.
"Sana matingnan ito kasi habang namumrublema iyong mga teachers natin sa ganito, iyong mga bata iyong… iyong mga bata iyong ultimately magsa-suffer noong consequence," she said.
(I hope this would be looked into because if our teachers face problems like these, the children will ultimately suffer the consequence.)
"Kasi parang masama iyong loob nila kapag napapanood nila iyong mga DepEd officials kapag sinasabing, 'readyng ready na; wala nang problema,' kasi ang feeling nila nakakalimutan na mayroon sa kanilang hindi handa. So ito iyong ipapakiusap natin."
(The teachers seem dismayed when DepEd officials say they are ready for the opening of classes because the teachers feel those who are not ready are being overlooked. This is our plead to government.)
Robredo said her office has also received requests for supplies such as bond paper, printer, and laptops from public schools which she said government should provide.
"Sana tinitingnan iyong kahirapan noong pinakamaliit. Marami kaming mga nare-receive na mga request, mga electrification ng paaralan, request na magkaroon ng wifi connection o internet connection," she said.
(I hope they would look into the problems of teachers. We receive many requests for the electrification of schools, the installment of wi-fi connection or internet connection.)
"Tingin ko may basehan naman iyong hinihiling. Kung iyong hinihiling nila na ibigay na, baka iyong pagkukulang nga iyong communication. So hinihiling natin from DepEd Central na siguraduhin na naka-cascade sa pinakababa."
(Their requests have basis. If these have been fulfilled, maybe communication is lacking. So we ask DepEd Central to ensure this is cascaded to the grassroots.)