MANILA, Nov 24 (Mabuhay) — Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chair J. Prospero de Vera III on Tuesday said higher education institutions (HEIs) can push through with expanded limited face-to-face under certain conditions.

“Itong expanded face-to-face ay pagdagdag doon sa original na limited face-to-face para sa medical and allied health sciences, engineering, tourism at maritime na inaprubahan ng Pangulong Duterte (This expanded face to face [classes] are additional to the original medical and allied health sciences, engineering, tourism and maritime [degree programs] approved by President Duterte), early this year,” de Vera said during a televised Laging Handa public briefing.

Among the conditions, he said, provide that all students and faculty members must be vaccinated.

The Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases earlier approved that only fully vaccinated (primary series) schools and faculty members may enter school premises.

De Vera said schools must also pass the requirements for minimum health standards; facilities are retrofitted for observance of health and safety protocols to prevent infection transmission; and, proper coordination with respective local governments.

“So, kailan puwedeng magsimula? Eh, depende kung gaano kabilis ang retrofit at saka mag-comply ang mga schools sa kanilang safety standards. Kung sila ay handa na ay puwede na silang magsimula na kahit ngayong December (So, when could the expanded classes start? It depends on the speed of retrofitting and compliance of schools to the safety standards. If they’re ready, they can already start this December),” de Vera said.

He said only HEIs under Alert Level 2 may resume face-to-face classes by December.

“By December puwede ng magbukas iyong mga schools under Alert Level 2 kasama diyan ang Metro Manila kung saan pinakamaraming mga eskuwelahan (By December, schools can open under Alert Level 2 including Metro Manila where most of the schools are located),” he said.

De Vera said at least 161 HEIs nationwide have already resumed limited face-to-face classes in September.

“Marami pa ang nabigyan na ng authority na magbukas pero magbubukas yata iyong iba diyan, January ang gusto nila. (More have been given authority to open but others may resume, they want January),” he said. (MNS)

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