Malacañang on Tuesday nixed calls for the implementation of a nationwide academic break due to the disruptions caused by recent typhoons to the education sector, citing flexibility of the modular learning framework.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said there was no need to halt the academic year since classes were held virtually and not physically.

“Unang-una po, sa ating mga public schools, iyong mga eskuwelahan na nasa ilalim sa DepEd, tayo po ay nasa blended learning at ang primary mode of instruction po natin ay modular. So, hindi po masyadong naapektuhan dahil wala po ngang face to face classes sa lahat ng ating mga eskuwelahan,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), meanwhile, said suspensions of tertiary-level classes would be up to colleges and universities themselves.

“No to… the nationwide academic break because the impact of the typhoon and the disasters are different across different parts of the country… no also to the Luzon-wide [break] because the universities are already deciding on it,” CHEd Chairman Prospero de Vera III said in an interview over CNN Philippines.

He added that local government units and university authorities were in the “best position to determine what is happening on the ground.”

Calls to freeze and ease the academic calendar flooded social media after successive typhoons hit the country, making difficult students’ access to learning due to electricity and internet outages, apart from widespread damage to property. Dozens also died because of massive flooding.

Some student groups have also threatened to boycott online classes until President Rodrigo Duterte stepped down from his post. John Ezekiel J. Hirro