E.O. ON SUSPENSIONS OUTDATED | HB 6072 urged to replace Aquino-era guidelines

9 months ago

JUNE 13, 2018 – Is Executive Order 66, the often-cited authority in suspending classes, woefully outdated? 1-Ang Edukasyon Partylist Reperesentative Salvador Belaro Jr. seems to think so.

In a statement, the assistant majority floor leader said he is recommending House Bill 6072 to Malacañang as “a template for a new, updated, upgraded, and more useful EO on suspension of classes and work.”

Belaro said Executive Order 66 series of 2012 of then President Benigno Aquino III is too dependent on PAGASA’s public storm warning signals and to giving LGU executives the decision to suspend classes and work in their respective jurisdictions. He added that even DepEd, CHED and TESDA guidelines are limited to storm warnings.

He said the template is flexible and can be “updated and reconfigured by scientists and disaster preparedness experts.”

The House Bill encourages the heavy use of science and technology in coming up with informed decisions, like the deployment of rain gauges nationwide, rainfall predictive models and remote river monitoring devices.

House Bill 6072 enables Malacañang to suspend classes due to widespread loss of electricity or water. It also factors in landslides, tsunamis, earthquakes, terrorism and active-shooter situations, among others. Belaro said the bill “specifies the various indicators, degrees of intensity, and directly observable developments on which authorities can base their decisions to suspend.”

Because of global warming and climate change, Belaro said storms are more destructive now and that even Signal No. 2 storms can cause so much destruction. He said the effects of storms are worsened by poor waste management, ongoing roadworks, urbanization and rapid population growth.