The country's Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has approved the start of limited face-to-face classes for universities in areas under Alert Level 3 and below.
The move follows the IATF's Resolution 148-G which allows university campuses to reopen "based on their capability to comply with health and safety protocols, to retrofit their facilities, and to get the support of their stakeholders."
"Under the said proposal, the CHED is mandated to execute the phased implementation program to ensure the safe reopening of higher education campuses," said acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
Nograles added that the implementation will go through phases. Phase 1 will begin on December 2021, with universities under Alert Level 2 and below allowed to apply for resumption with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
Phase 2 will meanwhile commence on January 2022, with universities under Alert Level 3 being given the go signal to apply.
The reopening of classes will be allowed only on the conditions that classroom capacity is at 50%, teachers, non-teaching staff, and students are fully vaccinated, and local government units have given their approval.
NCR is currently under Alert Level 2 until Nov. 30 while the country is facing a decline in positive COVID-19 cases. Over a hundred public schools in the Philippines underwent the pilot-reopening on Nov. 15 after almost two years since the pandemic began.