By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
CLASSES in the city and province of Iloilo were suspended on Wednesday following the heavy rains brought about by Tropical Storm “Falcon” and the enhanced “Habagat” or southwest monsoon.
In Iloilo City, Mayor Jerry Treñas declared the suspension of classes in both public and private schools from pre-school to senior high school level on Tuesday evening.
“I leave to the discretion of the school administrators the cancellation or suspension of classes at the tertiary level,” Treñas said in his official statement.
Meanwhile, local governments in the Iloilo province also suspended classes on Wednesday in all levels, both public and private schools – Tigbauan, Alimodian, Santa Barbara, Leon, Janiuay, Calinog, Lemery, Barotac Viejo, Concepcion, Igbaras, Pototan, and Lambunao.
Classes from pre-school to high school also in both public and private were also suspended on Wednesday in the towns of Oton, San Miguel, Miag-ao, Pavia, and New Lucena.
Aside from automatic suspension during placement of storm signals by PAGASA, the announcement of local cancellation/suspension of classes shall be made by the local chief executives based on Section 3 of Executive Order (EO) No. 66.
EO 66 sets the guidelines on cancellation or suspension of classes and work in government offices due to typhoon, flooding, other weather disturbances, and calamities.
The Department of Education (DepEd) in Iloilo reminded elementary and secondary schools of the DepEd Order (EO) No. 43 which provided the guidelines on the implementation of EO 66.
According to DepEd, a school head may only cancel or suspend classes in cases that urgent action is needed to prevent harm or threat on life.
“The decision to cancel or suspend classes must come from the local government unit. A school head may only cancel or suspend classes in cases where urgent action is needed to prevent loss of life or bodily harm,” DepEd said in an official statement.
Moreover, EO No. 43 also emphasized that all announcements should always be made in reference to what PAGASA has already announced in areas under a typhoon signal.
But DepEd reiterated that parents should have the ultimate responsibility to determine and decide whether their children should go to school.
“Parents should have the ultimate responsibility for determining whether their children should go to school, even if no order for cancellation/suspension of classes has been issued, if they feel that traveling to or from school will place their children at risk,” the education department said.