The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has called on educational institutions not to place an additional burden on parents by requiring their children to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before they are allowed to return to school. school.
ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica made the statement as more schools begin to have face-to-face classes after Metro Manila and 38 other regions moved to Alert Level 1 this this month.
In a statement, Belgica reminded educational establishments not to impose on parents, as well as their minor children, additional costs and requirements, particularly with regard to vaccinations.
He noted that even Education Secretary Leonor Briones clarified that while coronavirus vaccination is encouraged for everyone, it is not mandatory.
“In other words, children are not required to be vaccinated before they can attend their classes,” he said.
“We at ARTA support this clarification provided by Education Secretary Briones,” he added.
Belgica said schools, colleges and other educational institutions should be reminded that it is the parents of students who decide whether or not they will have their children vaccinated against Covid-19.
He added that ARTA will continue to monitor the situation on the ground to ensure that no educational institution is forcing students to submit additional requirements. People caught doing so can be held liable for violating the Ease of Doing Business Act.
“I call on my fellow civil servants as well as private actors to make this period a safe, enjoyable and comfortable time for our students by not placing an undue regulatory burden on them,” Belgica said.
“Let us not further hinder the education of young Filipinos by subjecting them to red tape,” he added.
Meanwhile, Belgica said everyone at ARTA is delighted that children can finally go back to school after two years of being locked inside their homes.
“We at ARTA are happy to see that young Filipinos are now able to physically attend their classes,” he said.
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