The possibility of face-to-face classes by January in areas with low COVID-19 cases is being studied by the Commission on Higher Education or CHED.
CHED chairperson Prospero de Vera III said the plan was not yet doable for now because only 27 percent of college students nationwide were vaccinated.
Aside from facing low COVID-19 risk, areas, where these classes would be rolled out, should also have a high vaccination rate, sufficient public transportation, and the go signal of local governments in charge of contact tracing, De Vera added.
“If local governments are not convinced and they are not part of the planning, it will be difficult to open universities immediately,” he said.
CHED aims to finish the guidelines in November or December, he added.
Last January, the government approved face-to-face classes for medical courses.
Less than 1 percent of students caught COVID-19, De Vera said. None of the students or staff died or were hospitalized, he added.
Around 71 percent of faculty and personnel have been vaccinated nationwide, he said, adding “Our assessment is the implementation of guidelines for medical and allied health colleges was good.”
He said this was why President Rodrigo Duterte in September allowed more in-person classes for more programs, including maritime schools, engineering and technology, and tourism and travel management.
Some universities have started retrofitting facilities and applied to be included in the next batch of face-to-face classes, De Vera said.