4-day school week for 20 schools?

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2014 05:33 PM | Updated as of Feb 25 2014 10:41 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - The Department of Education (DepEd) is considering a 4-day school week for 20 schools that will be affected by the construction of 15 major infrastructure projects around Metro Manila.

DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali disclosed this before a hearing of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development on the traffic situation in the National Capital Region.

Umali explained that the 4-day school week won't be for all and will be done as the need arises. He initially declined to identify which schools will be affected by the new schedule.

A list was later issued to members of the media. The list only includes 17 schools:

In Manila

P. Zamora Elementary School
C.P. Garcia High School
Legarda Elementary School
E. Rodriguez
CA Salvador Elementary School
Bagong Barangay Elementary School

In Quezon City

Balingasa Elementary School
San Jose Elementary School
San Jose High School
Masambong Elementary School
Betty Go Elementary School
C. Albert High School
M. Roxas High School

In Caloocan

Grace Park High Elementary School
Grace Park Annex

In Parañaque

Tambo Elementary School

In Pasay

Kalayaan High School

Umali said it may not be implemented this school year since there are only 5 weeks left before summer vacation.

He said the 4-day school week would likely be implemented in June.

The 4-day school week was one of the topics discussed during the hearing called to investigate the traffic situation.

During the hearing, Committee Chairman Winston Castelo noted that as many as 15 infrastructure projects will be constructed in Metro Manila, worsening traffic.

Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon urged government to reconsider the simultaneous construction of the infrastructure projects as well as the truck ban in the city of Manila.

Biazon noted the truck ban in Manila may cause a backlog in the port of Manila, which will have an impact on the economy.

On the other hand, he said people hope to use EDSA as an alternate route, which is why he wants government to reconsider the reblocking of EDSA along with the other infrastructure projects.

"Pwede ho ba pag aralan natin yung sabay sabay na…mas maganda tinapos muna EDSA bago sinimulan yung Osmeña Highway," he said.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino dispelled notions that the infrastructure projects will be constructed at the same time. Some may not even affect the traffic situation like the transport terminal in Parañaque, he said.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport expressway, meantime, will not affect the Osmeña Highway, he said.

Of the infrastructure projects, Tolentino told the panel that the Skyway stage 3 will displace 31,600 vehicles, the NAIA elevated expressway project will affect 22,910 vehicles, while the Paseo de Roxas underpass will affect 84,104 vehicles.

Tolentino said the repair of the Magallanes interchange will take nine months and will displace 32,333 vehicles.

The MMDA chairman has asked that construction happen from 12 midnight to 5 am.

The pipe-laying project of Maynilad at EDSA-Taft will take 4 months and displace 15,604 vehicles nightly, from 11 pm to 4 am.

Another cause for worry for Tolentino is the construction of the España flyover, which will affect traffic at the university belt.

Castelo asked Tolentino if they are considering opening up the roads of private subdivisions as alternate routes.
Tolentino said he is considering it but declined to name the subdivisions since the proposal is still under study.

He cited as example Merville in Parañaque and Talayan Village in Quezon City as among those being considered.

Pasay City Rep. Imelda Calixto Rubiano wants the government to ensure no parking on alternate routes.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Chairman Winston Ginez said they are eyeing stiffer penalties for out of line buses, like cancellation of registration and a P1 million fine.