Congressman RENE L. RELAMPAGOS
First District, Province of Bohol
31 August 2014
Cong. Relampagos Urges Probe into Bulacan Field Trip Mishap
Rep. Representative Rene Relampagos, chair of the House Committee on Tourism, urged the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, to look into the death of seven (7) students of the Bulacan State University who died in the field trip last August 19, 2014, to determine whether school officials should be held liable for the mishap.
Cong. Relampagos issued the statement following the series of incidents involving what he described as “senseless loss of lives” during educational tours and field trips.
In his privilege speech, delivered last August 27, 2014, he stressed, “The Madlum Cave field trip is only one of the many instances where unfortunate incidents during these educational activities happen. Just a year ago, we were shocked by the news of death of three tourism students, two teachers, one driver and one tour guide during their Manila-Ilocos-Baguio Educational Tour of the Marinduque State College. And prior to that, two high school students also died when a tourist bus ran over the two minors during a private school field trip in Tanay, Rizal.”
“The Certification by the Commission on Education (CHED) as a pre-requisite in the conduct of the educational tour or field trip cannot be overstated. The ‘No CHED authority, no field trip policy’ must be strictly enforced,” he stressed. “In requiring this, we can be assured that the proposed educational activity is really a part of the school program and is necessary for academic purposes and not merely a sightseeing activity. Further, if CHED approved, we can rest on the strict compliance of the safety procedures by the higher educational institution concerned,” he explained.
The lawmaker further urged the Committee to review the policies and guidelines of CHED on educational tours and field trips to ensure educational value of, as well as safety of students during school activities.
He continued, “These incidents could have been prevented if the higher education institutions concerned simply followed the policies and guidelines of CHED.”
“The CHED guidelines should also be further enhanced by including provisions on road-worthiness of vehicles used during educational tours and field trips and student to teacher ratio, as well as provisions on the consideration of the weather conditions as additional pre-requisites for the conduct of these school activities,” he underscored.
Seven Bulacan State University students drowned in Madlum River in San Miguel, Bulacan, during a school field trip that was reportedly not endorsed by CHED.
The Committee on Higher and Technical Education, under Rep. Roman T. Romulo, already commenced its investigation on the matter and looking at the possible infractions of BSU.
RENE LOPEZ RELAMPAGOS
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