Understanding the Rules on Class Cancelation and Suspensions Amidst Storms
by Jace Amodo, August 16, 2019 5:05pm
Art by Ahl Mirambel
When storm announcements from the state bureau are contrary to what the citizens are actually experiencing, students and employees battle downpour, earning them the "waterproof" label. When it rains, it pours the question: “When are classes canceled or suspended?”
Looking back, websites like the minimalMay Pasok Ba and the Twitter accountWalang Pasokwere the students’ favorite shortcut to class suspension announcements. By the virtue ofExecutive Order No. 66 signed on January 9, 2012, by then President Benigno Aquino III, the question “May Pasok Ba” was finally put to rest; the rules on class cancellations or suspensions, as well as those of the government offices, are finally clarified. Here’s a refresher.
Classes are suspended automatically when there’s a storm signal
Be it public or private elementary, secondary or tertiary school, even government offices, a storm signal raised by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) calls for the following guidelines:
Signal No. 1: Automatic cancellation or suspension of classes at the pre-school level in the affected area.
Signal No. 2: Automatic cancellation or suspension of classes at the pre-school, elementary, and secondary level in the affected area.
Signal No. 3 or higher: Automatic cancellation or suspension of classes at the pre-school, elementary, and secondary and tertiary levels, including graduate schools, as well as government offices in the affected area.
The PAGASA and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) must post not later than 10 am of the previous day and 4:30 am of the day of the intended cancellation of classes and work. For the afternoon shifts, it must be posted not later than 11 am of the said day.
Classes can be suspended by local government units
Contrary to popular belief, the Department of Education (DepEd) isn’t responsible for class suspensions in the event of calamities.
Cancellation and suspension of classes are observed directly from the state weather bureau (PAG-ASA). In the absence of storm signal warnings, “localized cancellation or suspension of classes and work in government offices may be implemented by local chief executives.”
Announcements are to be released by LGU officials not later than 4:30 am for a whole day cancellation or suspension, or not later than 11 am for the afternoon shifts.
Ultimately, the decision about whether students should or shouldn't attend class falls onto their parents. It’s their role to practice discretion on this matter in the presence of dangers that loom above, with or without weather forecasts. As for the working professionals, well, we remain waterproof.