Press Release
September 25, 2016


Sen. Grace Poe today welcomed the plan of the Department of Education (DepEd) to study her proposal for an early holiday break for students as part of measures to ease traffic during the Christmas season.

"We thank DepEd Sec. Leonor Magtolis-Briones for including our proposal on the DepEd's executive committee. What we are presenting is a suggestion to authorities to help address the monstrous traffic experienced by our countrymen especially during the Christmas rush," said Poe, adding that missed classes can be made up in the coming months which will not be as busy as December.

Poe said she will ask the DepEd to consider her proposal once the Senate tackles the agency's P570.4 billion pending program on Monday, Sept. 26.

Under Department Order No. 23 series of 2016, the DepEd mandates a total of 202 class days, inclusive of the five-day semestral break, of which 180 days are deemed "non-negotiable contact time" between teachers and students "to ensure quality in the school operation and actual teaching-learning." The school year will formally end on April 7 next year.

DepEd Assistant Sec. Tonisito Umali earlier said they would consider Poe's proposal but added calendar days, the non-negotiable contact time and scheduled examination dates of the students should not be compromised.

Poe's proposal to advance the Christmas break during the first week of December in public and private elementary and high schools came during the conclusion of the third public hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Services on Sept. 22 on the emergency powers sought by the administration to tackle traffic gridlocks in Metro Manila and other urbanized areas.

"Habang naghahanap ng pangmatagalang solusyon sa trapik ang ating pamahalaan, kailangan ng suporta ng lahat ng stakeholders na gagawin din nila ang nararapat na aksyon sa pinakamabuting paraan upang maibsan ang stress level ng ating mga kababayan tuwing sasapit ang holiday rush," said Poe.

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