LEGAZPI CITY- The prevailing weather condition in the Bicol region, brought by the shearline and northeast monsoon for more than a month now, has led to a series of class suspensions in many parts of the region.
In Legazpi City, the class suspension has also brought confusion, especially to the students and parents, when the local government and the school seem to be in a waiting game.
To address the issue, the Legazpi City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office met with the representatives of the different schools and universities in the city, together with Albay PDRRMC, PAGASA and other stakeholders.
The Provincial Government of Albay has earlier issued a Provincial Executive Order which says, suspension will come from the Governor, Mayor and Division or City School Superintendent of the Department of Education.
The Executive Order also includes the criteria for the localized suspension which gives the authority to the Mayor and School Head, especially when a thunderstorm, Northeast Monsoon (Amihan), Southwest Monsoon (Habagat) or Shear line or Cold Front is being experienced.
Meanwhile, the Governor shall suspend classes if there is a threat of an active low pressure or a typhoon.
Mandatory Class suspension shall be enforced if PAG-ASA declares a severe weather disturbance such as yellow to orange rainfall warning and Tropical Cyclone Warning signals no. 1, 2, and 3 respectively.
In the said meeting, Albay PDRRMO Head Dr. Cedric Daep, reiterates the importance of information campaign and the harmony among the stakeholders in implementing the said EO. Daep says only Albay has this arrangement which allows school heads to suspend classes under the localized suspension set-up.
DepEd Legazpi welcomes this development as most school heads are wary of suspending classes due to the department’s existing policy that only LGUs can suspend classes.
Dr. Santos T. Araña, Division Information Officer of DepEd Legazpi says they will be reviewing the executive order to harmonize their policy. “Pero kailangan tingnan ang executive order para maharmonize ang policy namin at ng Probinsya para wala nang kalituhan because nagkakaroon ng kalituhan kasi kulang ang aming idea o kaalaman tungkol po dito,” says Araña.
Legazpi City Mayor Geraldine Rosal is hopeful that the issue has been cleared especially with the school heads.