DepEd stops school field trips until June after Tanay bus crash
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday, February 22, announced it will issue a moratorium on field trips in all public elementary and high schools until June, following the Tanay bus accident that killed at least 15 people, mostly students.
"The decision was reached in consultation with regional directors in a meeting with DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones," the education department said in a statement Wednesday evening.
At least 15 people were killed after a bus traveling along Sitio Bayucan in Barangay Sampaloc, Tanay, crashed into an electric post on Monday, February 20.
The bus was taking around 50 students from Bestlink College of the Philippines to a camping trip in Tanay. (READ: Relatives seek justice after Tanay bus accident)
The DepEd's moratorium will last for 3 to 4 months "to allow for a review of existing policies and to harmonize the implementing details of regions."
The review will cover the following:
- Alignment of field trips to learning outcomes
- Security and safety
- Responsibilities and accountabilities of schools, parents, and other relevant government agencies
However, schools that have already secured permits and contracts prior to the moratorium may push through with their scheduled educational field trips. The DepEd reminded such schools to strictly follow existing guidelines, especially those on safety.
The DepEd's announcement comes a day after the Commission on Higher Education en banc decided to impose a moratorium on all field trips and educational tours in all higher education institutions.
Earlier on Wednesday, the DepEd also reminded schools and parents that educational field trips are not mandatory.
It also urged schools to check the "roadworthiness" of buses and other vehicles that will be used for their field trips.
Resolutions have been filed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, seeking to investigate the Tanay incident and find the liability of school administrators and the bus company. – Rappler.com