Fact check - gov't services/laws

MISSING CONTEXT: IATF approves face-to-face classes at 50% capacity in all levels

Rappler
MISSING CONTEXT: IATF approves face-to-face classes at 50% capacity in all levels
The IATF allows limited face-to-face classes for all programs only in areas under Alert Levels 1 to 3, subject to certain conditions
At a glance
  • Claim: The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approves face-to-face classes at 50% capacity in all levels.
  • Rating: MISSING CONTEXT
  • The facts: The IATF allowed limited face-to-face classes for all programs only in areas under Alert Levels 1 to 3, subject to certain conditions, as proposed by the Commission on Higher Education.
  • Why we fact-checked this: This claim was sent to the Facebook group “Fact-checking in the Philippines” for verification. A post with this claim has 4,700 reactions, 561 comments, and 1,700 shares, as of writing.
Complete details

The Facebook page “Star Image Digital Network” uploaded a photo that says “BALIK ESKWELA 50% FACE TO FACE CLASSES IN ALL LEVELS (Back to school 50% face-to-face classes in all levels),” with photos of masked students in the background.

It was captioned “[JUST IN] IATF APPROVED NA ANG 50% CAPACITY FOR FACE TO FACE CLASSES. READY KA NARIN BA SA F2F CLASSES?” (IATF finally approved the 50% capacity for face-to-face classes. Are you ready for F2F classes?)

This post was sent to the Facebook group “Fact-checking in the Philippines” for verification. It has garnered 4,700 reactions, 561 comments, and 1,700 shares, as of writing. 

The claim lacks context.

According to Resolution 148-G released by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on November 16, limited face-to-face classes will be allowed for all programs only in areas under Alert Levels 1 to 3, subject to certain conditions, as proposed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

The resolution says the resumption of limited face-to-face classes is subject to conditions such as “fifty percent (50%) indoor venue capacity, no opposition from the local government unit concerned, participation of fully vaccinated teaching and non-teaching personnel and students only.”

It also approved CHED’s proposal of phased implementation of face-to-face classes for all programs under the Alert Level System as follows:

  • Phase 1 implementation will start from December 2021 onwards; higher education institutions (HEIs) under Alert Levels 1-2 may apply.
  • Phase 2 implementation will run from January 2022 onwards; HEIs under Alert Level 3 may apply.

As per CHED and the Department of Health’s Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2021-001 – or the Guidelines on the Gradual Reopening of Campuses of HEIs for Limited Face-to-Face Classes during the COVID-19 Pandemic – issued in February 2021, HEIs pushing for limited face-to-face classes should be capable of complying with health and safety protocols, retrofit their facilities, and get the approval of their stakeholders.

In addition, the approved pilot run for limited classes covers these grade levels: Kindergarten (12 students), Grades 1 to 3 (16 students), and technical vocational students in Senior High School (20 students).

Classes started in selected 97 public elementary and high schools from low-risk areas for COVID-19 on November 15. The original list of schools participating in the pilot run was at 100, but three schools in Zambales postponed classes after teachers from San Marcelino High School and Baliwet Elementary School tested positive for the virus, while teachers from Banawen Elementary School were still waiting for the results of their tests.

Twenty private schools will join the pilot run on November 22. Limited in-person classes will end in January 2022.

On November 12, the Department of Education said more schools would join the limited face-to-face classes, upon President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval of the proposal.

On November 5, Metro Manila de-escalated to Alert Level 2, with more areas following suit. This means that more restrictions loosened. – Dianne Sampang/Rappler.com

Dianne Sampang is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.