Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004


@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

Published by The Diplomat

More than a month after imposing a lockdown in mainland Luzon, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the order to stay at home will be extended for another two weeks to contain COVID-19.

But as more cases of infection continue to be reported, the authorities have hinted at the possibility of a prolonged lockdown beyond April 30 in a bid to flatten the coronavirus curve.

The president’s spokesperson accused pasaway (reckless) individuals who are allegedly breaking quarantine protocols and risking the further spread of the virus. But this argument puts the blame on quarantined residents while keeping silent on the government’s shortcomings in dealing with the public health crisis.

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Are Schools in the Philippines Ready to Open in a Pandemic?

Published by The Diplomat

The Philippine government’s decision to again postpone the opening of public schools from August 24 to October 5 reflects the difficulties it is encountering in addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When COVID-19 lockdowns were imposed in March across the country, classes in most schools were already ending. Thus, the disruption caused by the pandemic to the learning of most students was minimal.

As the public health crisis intensified, the traditional June opening of classes was moved to August. This was seen by almost all stakeholders as necessary to ensure the safety of students, teachers, and other school personnel. But they also expected that the government would use the postponement to strategize and implement programs that would make it possible to resume classes without triggering further COVID-19 outbreaks.

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