Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, Jr. affirmed President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s stand on a revolutionary form of government during today’s press briefing in Malacañan.
The Palace official said that the President’s focus is currently on COVID-19 and has no plan of forming a revolutionary government. “Inanunsyo na niya (President Duterte) sa buong bayan. Wala siyang pakialam sa rev gov (revolutionary government) at nakatutok siya ngayon sa problema ng COVID,” stressed Secretary Roque.
The President’s spokesman underscored that the Chief Executive is not in any way involved in the recent actions of those behind the movement calling for a revolutionary form of government.
“Malinaw na po ang sinabi ni Presidente, hindi siya naniniwala na kinakailangan ng rev gov dahil nga po siya ay [halal na opisyal ng] isang constitutional government,” Roque said.
On allegations that some of the members of the group pushing for revolutionary government are part of the President’s Cabinet, the Presidential Spokesperson said, “Narinig na po nila ang sinabi ng Presidente. Hindi niya gusto yang rev gov. Wala siyang pakialam diyan. Sapat na po yan para malaman ng mga miyembro ng gabinete at mga supporters [nila] kung ano ang panininidigan ng ating Presidente.”
On another matter, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Prospero “Popoy” de Vera discussed in the August 27 press briefing the opening of classes in higher education institutions (HEIs) amid the COVID-19 epidemic.
Chairperson De Vera presented the current modes of flexible learning that are being used by state universities and colleges (SUCs) and HEIs, some of which have started classes already. He reported that some 20 HEIs have already opened from June to July, most of which are using the full online learning method, which requires the use of gadgets, strong internet connection, and with teachers who are fully capable of teaching online.
De Vera added that some 731 HEIs are opening this August, while 186 HEIs will start with the opening of classes by September and October. Aside from full online, some of these HEIs will be using the blended learning modality, which can be used even in areas with weak internet connection, while some will use the offline learning delivery for areas with no internet connection and students have no gadgets to use and teachers have no online teaching experience.
The CHED Chairperson also discussed some of the commission’s initiatives including the PHL CHED Connect, a website where learning materials can be used by faculty and students, containing some 1,609 educational contents. De Vera also mentioned about the massive teaching training programs organized by CHED and some HEIs to capacitate teachers on online teaching, among others.
De Vera also noted the budget allocations for HEIs and SUCs in the Bayanihan 2, of which P3-Billion was allotted to the development of smart campuses across the country to ensure internet connectivity for universities, while P300-Million was allocated for subsidies for part-time teaching and non-teaching personnel of SUCs.
Meanwhile, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chair Nick Lizaso, another resource person in the said press briefing, talked about the different programs of the commission in this time of COVID-19. Chairperson Lizaso said that all projects of the NCCA are now in the digital platform, including webinars, online contests and shows, informative lessons that are being used in teaching students about arts and culture, among others.
Lizaso also disclosed that the NCCA’s cash assistance program for artists and cultural workers who lost sources of income because of the epidemic, has so far benefited some 9,570 recipients, with some 929 more pending beneficiaries. The NCCA has given so far a total of P69 million to beneficiaries who have applied for the program since it started in April 2020, said Lizaso. ### OPS-PCOO