By Chito Chavez
With unpredictable weather conditions, school heads and barangay chairpersons in Quezon City are now allowed to suspend classes in their respective turfs if public safety will be compromised.
This was explained to the representatives of Quezon City’s School Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (SDRRMC) who attended an orientation on localized class or work suspensions called by Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (QCDRRMO).
The QCDRRMO discussed the city’s protocols in declaring class or work suspensions due to inclement weather or other reasons.
Mayor Joy Belmonte issued Memorandum Circular No. 1 last July 19 that sets general guidelines on localized cancellation or suspension of classes and work in government offices.
One of the issues raised during the discussion was the authority given to schools and barangays to suspend classes if and when necessary.
The representatives were reminded that school heads may cancel or suspend classes “in cases where urgent action is needed to prevent loss of life or bodily harm,” as per DepEd Order No. 43 series of 2012 Section 2-B.
They were also told that, under the new guidelines, barangay chairpersons may also suspend classes and work in their respective jurisdictions if justified in their Pre-Disaster Risk Assessments.
“The barangays, through their chairpersons, may declare suspensions,” QCDRRMO head Mike Marasigan said.
The barangays and schools were told to immediately report to the QCDRRMO why they decided to suspend classes.
Under the guidelines, city-wide class suspensions will be announced by 4:30 in the morning and not later than 11:00 am for afternoon classes.
Belmonte earlier said that only the QC Public Affairs and Information Services Department and the QCDRRMC are authorized to announce class and work suspensions and cancellations.
“Announcement will come from QCDRRMC and PAISD is the only office that can send out that news,” Belmonte said.