As opening of classes and rainy season near, the Department of Education reminded local government officials that it is now their task to declare class suspensions during typhoons and other calamities.
“DepEd will no longer be announcing class suspensions. The responsibility now lies with the local government officials as they are in a better position to assess the local situation,” a department statement read Friday.
The statement added that automatic cancellation of classes during typhoons will still be based on the storm signal sent out by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
According to government guidelines, when Signal No. 1 is raised by PAGASA, public and private pre-school and kindergarten classes in the affected areas are automatically suspended. At Signal No. 2, the suspension will include elementary and secondary classes. When Signal No. 3 is announced, classes in all levels and work in all DepEd offices are cancelled.
“Local government officials are expected to announce cancellation of classes not later than 4:30 a.m. for whole day cancellation and 11:00 a.m. for afternoon class suspension,” the DepEd noted.
In the absence of typhoon signals from PAGASA, the statement said the local chief executive may enforce localized suspension of classes in both public and private schools and work in government offices.
On the other hand, a school head may only cancel or suspend classes in cases where urgent action is needed to prevent bodily harm or loss of lives.
“Concerned local DepEd and private school officials are directed to coordinate closely with LGUs in times of inclement weather,” the statement said.