Mayor defends decision to suspend classes

BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan stood firm on his decision to declare the suspension of classes during early mornings after ascertaining the prevailing weather condition for the day based on the weather forecast of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), saying that everyone’s concern is the welfare of the children and students during inclement weather condition.

The local chief executive the primary decision whether or not to allow their children to go to school when there is no official declaration from higher authorities lies with the parents themselves because they know the actual condition of their children and the status of the roads leading to their schools.

He explained last Monday, he did not declare the suspension of classes because he waited for the latest PAGASA forecast that showed that the weather condition was improving, thus, there was no need to declare the suspension of classes.

Last Tuesday, he claimed he was forced to declare the suspension of classes from pre-school to high school because of the PAGASA forecast that there was a 12-hour continuous rains that will prevail in the city’s areas of jurisdiction, thus, the declaration of the suspension of classes was in anticipation of the bad weather condition that will prevail.

While there are existing rules and regulations on the declaration of suspension of classes by local chief executives, Domogan pointed out that there are instances when the situation calls for the judgement of local officials who are actually aware of the situation on the ground, thus, they are constrained to suspend classes in various levels depending on the prevailing weather condition in their areas of jurisdiction.

“We want to ascertain the prevailing weather condition in our area before we declare the suspension of classes although there are also instances that what has been forecasted is contrary to the real situation on the ground. We have to bear with each other and understand the situation where everyone is in during said situations,” Domogan stressed.

He said the reason why he does not declare suspension of classes the day before during the prevalence of bad weather condition is that there is a chance for the weather to improve in several hours, thus, the need for him to wait for the latest advisory from PAGASA before consulting the members of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) before coming out with a decision whether or not to declare the suspension of classes.

According to him, the problem with the situation in the city is that children and students still insist on going out of their residences during the onslaught of bad weather condition and they gather in the different malls and other establishments to let the day pass, thus, the need for parents to make sure that their children will remain in their houses when classes are suspended.

Instead of going around the malls during days when classes are suspended, Domogan called on the students to make sure that they stay home for their own safety and security from whatever untoward incidents that will happen in the course of their travel outside their residences.

By Dexter A. See

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