Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Monday, August 22, 2022.

READ: 28M students back in schools

CLASSROOMS which have been shuttered for two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic reopen today, August 22, as more than 28 million students return to in-person instruction this school year. The Department of Education (DepEd) said that 27.6 million students had enrolled as of Friday. It expects to meet its enrollment target of 28.6 million today, as late enrollees trickle in. Only 90 percent of the schools will have face-to-face (F2F) classes, with some schools initially adopting the blended system of in-person and distance learning. The DepEd said there are schools whose classrooms were still being repaired after being badly damaged during natural calamities like typhoons and earthquakes. Around 1,000 schools nationwide will still rely on distance learning, the department said. All schools, however, must switch to a five-day, in-person learning by November 2. The DepEd reminded parents to guide their children in practicing anti-Covid measures in schools such as wearing masks, frequent hand washing, and maintaining physical distance.

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READ: PNP ready for school opening

Meanwhile, around 23,000 police officers will be deployed nationwide for the opening of classes today, August 22. Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Col. Jean Fajardo said Sunday students, teachers and guardians are vulnerable to physical injuries and various forms of robbery and theft during school opening. PNP chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said Covid-19 patrol officers will be fielded to enforce minimum public health standards. General Azurin said police stations will conduct mobile and foot patrols along major routes and highways leading to campuses and prevent outsiders from mingling with students. The PNP will also coordinate with local government units in the strict implementation of zoning ordinances that prohibit video game shops, billiard establishments, and other distractive games and recreation within the immediate vicinity of schools, particularly in the University Belt in Manila. Police Assistance Desks will be set up near the entrances of schools in coordination with education officials.

READ: Marcos monitors dole-outs for poor students

PRESIDENT Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is personally monitoring the distribution of dole-outs for indigent students from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for this school year, Malacañang said Sunday. The Palace made the announcement a day after a big crowd that gathered at the DSWD headquarters in Quezon City for the distribution of cash aid on Saturday became unruly. The DSWD last week announced that P500 million had been allocated as cash assistance for students from low-income families. One thousand pesos was to be given to an indigent elementary student, P2,000 to a high school student, P3,000 to senior high school student and P4,000 to a college student. A family can have a maximum of three students receiving the dole-out.

READ: Dairy industry needs big lift from govt

A LEADING dairy manufacturer said the Department of Agriculture (DA) needs to fine-tune its policies to help boost the dairy industry. Interviewed by The Manila Times Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dante Francis "Klink" Ang 2nd on SMNI's television program "Business and Politics," Carmen's Best ice cream founder Francisco "Paco" Magsaysay shared his experiences when he was starting his dairy farm. Watch Business and Politics at 7 p.m. on the SMNI Network every Saturday.

READ: Tanong ng Times tackles fate of jeepneys

THE traditional jeepney is facing the biggest threat to its survival: the resumption of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) which was temporarily shelved because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This issue will be tackled in-depth in the second episode of the Tanong ng Times that will premiere today, August 22, at 6 p.m. on The Manila Times' Facebook page, YouTube and Dailymotion channels. In Tanong ng Times, transport stakeholders air their side of the transport modernization program and other concerns facing the jeepney industry today.

READ: Okada case reaches CA

THE legal case between the two factions fighting to control Okada Manila has reached the Court of Appeals (CA). The Manila Times learned that the case was raffled to the 10th Division headed by Associate Justice Ramon Cruz. The two other members of the division are Justices Louie Acosta and Jaime Caringal. This developed after the Supreme Court clarified that the status quo ante order (SQAO) it released in favor of Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada was properly issued and in accordance with law. However, the court tossed the matter to the CA for reception of evidence among others. Okada, Filipino businessman Antonio "Tonyboy" Cojuangco and Dindo Espeleta took control of the resort last May 31.

BUSINESS: RCEP preferential tariffs up for grabs

Topping business, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging exporters to review and comply with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership's (RCEP) rules of origin (ROO) to avail of preferential tariff treatment. According to the DTI, the ROO underlined the standards for defining a product's country of origin and preferred tariff treatment under a trade deal.

SPORTS: Clarkson makes first practice with Gilas

Over to sports, Filipino American Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson made his first practice with Gilas Pilipinas on Saturday at the Meralco Gym in preparation for the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Wearing blue practice jerseys and black pants, Clarkson sweated it out with the Gilas pool also joined by 7-foot-3 Adelaide center Kai Sotto. Clarkson, who arrived in the country on Friday night, posted photos of himself practicing with Gilas on his Instagram account on Saturday. Excitement is evident on Clarkson as he also posted "Philippines" on his Twitter account. The 30-year-old Clarkson is expected to be a big boost for the 24-man Gilas pool for the fourth window of the World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Rigoberto Tiglao and Fr. Ranhilio Aquino are today's front page columnists. Tiglao posts an interview on the last moments of former senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., while Fr. Aquino tackles the rush to return to the classroom.

Today's editorial believes more institutions must help enhance education. Read a full version on the paper's opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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On behalf of The Manila Times, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting. Have a safe week ahead.