Mayor clarifies issues on suspension of classes

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BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor urged residents to understand why there is no outright declaration of suspension of classes during the prevalence of light to moderate rains in the city or when there are no storm signals that are hoisted by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) because there is a need for the concerned offices to analyse the technical data on the prevailing weather condition prior to making the appropriate announcements.

The local chief executive underscored that there are rules and regulations that are being observed in the declaration of suspension of classes, especially when there are storm signals that are hoisted in certain areas, but it will be the discretion of the chief executives to declare class suspension when there are no storm signals amidst the prevalence of continuous rains.

Under the established rules and regulations, when Storm Signal No. 1 is hoisted, classes in the pre-school and kindergarten are automatically suspended, in instances when Storm Signal No. 2 is raised, classes in the high school, elementary, kindergarten and pre-school are suspended and during Storm Signal No. 3, classes in all levels, including work in government offices are automatically suspended.

“We cannot afford to sacrifice the education of our children because of unnecessary declaration of suspension of classes when it is still possible for them to go to school with the prevalence of light to moderate rains,” Mayor Magalong stressed.

He explained that during the prevalence of prolonged heavy rains, he will declare suspension of classes in various levels on or before 11 in the evening but when there is light to moderate rains that will prevail, he will still have to analyse the technical data before coming out with the appropriate declaration by 4 am.

According to him, if there will be no announcements that will be issued by the local chief executive or the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management office (CDRRMO), then it is understood that there are no declaration of class suspension in the city, thus, children and students should attend their classes so that they will not miss their classes.

However, he emphasized that it will still be the discretion of the parents on whether or not to allow their children to go to school when there are no declaration of suspension of classes because it will still be their call when it comes to the safety of their children who will be attending classes during the prevalence of inclement weather in the city.

He claimed that the declaration of suspension of classes must be supported by a solid technical data, thus, he always makes it a point to refer to other weather applications to guide him on what levels to suspend considering that the same is not simply got feel.

The city mayor asserted the need to empower the personnel of the CDRRMO for them to be able to make the right decisions in terms of making the needed recommendations in terms of class suspension among other aspects of disaster risk management when the situation calls for it in the future.

He called on residents to be always on alert, especially during the onset of the monsoon season, so that they will be able to ensure their safety during the prevalence of continuous heavy rains which will prevail in the city with the expected onslaught of the enhanced southwest monsoon by next month.

By Dexter A. See
Photo by: Armando M. Bolislis

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