July 11, 2012
KOKO PUSHES POWER FOR MAYORS TO SUSPEND
Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, stressed today that the authority to suspend classes in schools during bad weather without storm signals should be given to mayors.
Pimentel pointed out that the mayors should have the power to suspend classes on a per-barangay basis according to their ground-level assessment of the danger to be faced by children should they go to school despite bad weather conditions.
"A mayor who is caught sleeping on the job by not knowing the situation in his local government unit (LGU) during bad weather doesn't deserve to remain in office a day longer," said Pimentel.
"The guidelines on the suspension of classes are clear enough when there are storm signals. The problem is when there are no storm signals but the weather is bad enough to put people in danger," said Pimentel. This clarification of the protocol on suspension of classes is part of disaster risk reduction management, he added.
The senator cited the recent torrential rains which flooded many parts of Metro Manila and caused many schools to belatedly suspend classes, although no storm signals were raised by weather authorities.
Under Department of Education (DepEd) Order No. 43, classes in pre-school and kindergarten are automatically suspended in areas under Storm Signal No. 1.
Classes at the pre-school, kindergarten, elementary and high school levels are also automatically suspended in areas under Storm Signal. 2, while classes in colleges are suspended under Signal No. 3.
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