Minors will have one more curfew-free day, making it three days a week for them once Bohol’s RT-PCR laboratory becomes operational.

Gov. Arthur Yap announced this last Friday, saying the youth will just have to wait for the PCR lab that the provincial government is preparing to start operation.

He said the containerized PCR lab is expected to arrive this week, then it would be up for commissioning for one week.

As of now, Bohol residents aged below 18 can only break their 24-hour curfew on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Once the PCR lab becomes operational, the minors can have Sundays as additional curfew-free day.

For the children who have to forego school year 2020-2021, Yap is reaching out to potential partners who can help come up with a program for them to be still productive even while out of school.

During the meeting of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP)-Bohol Council, Yap requested the BSP to design a program putting to good use the spare time of children who may not be able to enroll this school year.

The governor said he will make the same request to the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP).

This is to ensure that children who will not enroll in school year 2020-2021 can spend idle time in activities that improve their personalities, maintain well-being, enhance talents, give them attention, and keep them abreast of community happenings.

Noting the huge disparity between the enrolment turnout in school years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, Yap said this means hundreds of thousands of the youth are going to stay at home.

“What are they going to do at home? Glued on the internet? The internet is a big help but, if unsupervised, is also very dangerous. That’s why I asked the BSP and GSP, and pretty soon I will be approaching the Dioceses of Tagbilaran and Talibon, to come up with a joint program to add some sports, hiking, and other outdoor activities. There should be supervised programs for the youth,” Yap said.

Department of Education (DepEd)-Bohol record, as of July 2, shows that total enrolment for school year 2020-2021 in public schools only reached 214,590 or short by 70,664 against last year’s 285,254.

In private schools, the total enrolment for 2020-2021 has so far only reached 16,763 or 23,693 short of the target based on last school year’s 40,456.

This means 94,357 children are not yet enrolled.