President Rodrigo Duterte wants to see high confidence in Covid-19 vaccines among Filipinos before deciding on the resumption of face-to-face classes in the country, the Palace said on Wednesday.

“Let’s just say that siguro tinitingnan lang ni presidente kung mayroon nang enough confidence nang magsimula na ang pilot,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

The dry run for in-person classes was supposed to start in January this year but was called off due to the emergence of new Covid-19 strains.

In February, Duterte said he was still against sending children and teachers to school because the country’s vaccination drive had yet to start then.

Vaccination kicked off in March.

“Hintayin nating muli ang magiging rekomendasyon at ang aksyon ng Department of Education (DepEd) at ang magiging aksyon ng ating presidente; pero ang sabi ni presidente, gusto muna niyang makita na magsimula ang pagbabakuna ng ilan ng ating mga kababayan,” Roque said.

The Philippine government does not have school children under the age of 18 as among the priority groups for Covid-19 vaccination.

According to the Department of Health, this is because the results of clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccines provided insufficient data on the effects of vaccines on minors.

The Philippines has recorded 1,247,899 Covid-19 cases as of June 3. John Ezekiel J. Hirro