The six-man Makabayan bloc has strongly urged the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Education (DepEd) to give in to the proposed national academic break following the onslaught of typhoons amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

131217 EXTENSION OF MARTIAL LAW Kasiban  5 - Solons demand for government’s immediate declaration of a national academic break
(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Kabataan partylist Rep. Sarah Jane Elago led the filing of House Resolution No. 1360 demanding for the immediate declaration of a national academic break in light of the recent calamities.
 
“As the country reels from a global health crisis, its economic impacts, and now from natural calamities, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner Popoy De Vera, and President Rodrigo Duterte should immediately take action now more than ever to assist students and teachers,” HR No. 1360 read. 
 
Elago said they filed the resolution “in consideration of the physical and mental well-being of students, teachers, and their families, especially those in extremely affected areas.”
 
“An academic break can help students and their families cope with the recent calamities, adjust, and ease up on its effects on their well-being and livelihood,” the lawmakers said.
 
“Aside from being period for rest and recovery, this break can also be utilized for an assessment of the current education situation and the needs of the stakeholders for the identification and implementation of necessary adjustments to academic workloads and the present learning set-up,” they said. 
 
Under the resolution, it was noted that the entire Philippines has been placed under a state of calamity since the first half of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it was extended for one year effective on Sept. 13, 2020.  
 
In a taped speech on Tuesday night, President Duterte said he signed a proclamation placing the entire Luzon under a state of calamity after the country’s largest island was  battered by typhoons.
 
“Kabataan Partylist enjoins all teachers, school and university administrators, and the Filipino people to support the students’ call for #NationalAcademicBreakNow and to continue standing up and taking action against Duterte and his administration’s criminal negligence on the pandemic, education, and calamities. Together, let us hold them accountable and continue to advance the struggle for the demands and urgent needs of the Filipino people in these times of pandemic and calamities, and beyond,” Elago said.
 

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