Bacolod suspends graduation rites, shortens classes due to coronavirus threat

Marchel P. Espina
Bacolod suspends graduation rites, shortens classes due to coronavirus threat
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia says 'with the present circumstances, it is the most prudent thing to do'

BACOLOD, Philippines – The city government of Bacolod has suspended the graduation and moving-up ceremonies for all levels of public and private schools here due to the threat of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19.

Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia signed the executive order on Thursday, March 12, after a series of meetings and consultations with school, health, police, social services, and disaster risk reduction officials.

“It is with a heavy heart to make this decision but with the present circumstances, it is the most prudent thing to do,” the mayor said.

In the order, he said it is imperative that the city implements urgent and critical measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

He noted that President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier declared a state of national health emergency

“We call it suspension because it might be normalize,” he said.

Moreover, the mayor also issued another executive order implementing heightened precautions against COVID-19 for daycare centers and supervised neighborhood play in the city to safeguard health and safety of the children by shortening their classes, which is until Friday, March 13. 

Classes in all levels in public schools and private schools in this city will also be until March 20 and 27, respectively, he said.

“We will end the school year earlier so that pupils and students can observe social distancing measures to avoid contamination and spread of the virus,” he said. 

The order stressed that it is the intention of the city government to take major preventive measures to protect its citizens from possible exposure to carriers or sources of COVID-19. 

As of Friday, March 13, 3 persons were being investigated for COVID-19 in the city, while 19 persons are under monitoring. – Rappler.com

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