CHED halts school field trips after deadly bus crash

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2017 09:28 PM | Updated as of Feb 22 2017 12:43 PM

Police officials cordon off the scene of a bus accident at Magnetic Hill, Peligrino Farm, Sitio Bayukan, Barangay Sampaloc in Tanay, Rizal. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Commission Higher Education (CHED) has banned colleges and universities from carrying out field trips, following a bus crash that killed 15 people who were on their way to a camping activity.

The commission, sitting en banc, unanimously approved Tuesday the moratorium following the proposal of CHED Commissioner Prospero De to disallow all field trips in higher education institutions (HEIs) until policies on educational tours are revised.

"In lieu of field trips or external campus, activities all HEIs should tasked to institute replacement activities that will serve the purpose intended by such off-campus activities, preserve the objectives sought to be achieved, and to see to it that no student shall be negatively affected by this moratorium," CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said in a memorandum released Wednesday.

"This moratorium shall continue and remain in effect until all measures have been undertaken to effectively address the issues concerning field trips and stringent procedures supposed to be adopted by HEIs to ensure the safety and welfare of concerned HEI stakeholders," she added.

Directives on the conduct of school field trips are outlined in CHED Memorandum Order No. 17, which states that school events must be essential to enhance the curriculum of the course.

The memorandum also requires schools to hold prior consultation with the students when there are additional costs involved in educational tours, and discuss risk assessment procedures with parents.

Colleges and universities are also required to inform the CHED regional office of any outside trip a month before it is held.

CHED's field trip moratorium comes in the heels of an accident involving students of Bestlink College of the Philippines-Novaliches, whose bus rammed an electric post after losing brakes in Tanay, Rizal Monday.

The accident killed the driver and 14 passengers, and injured dozens more, 2 of whom remained in grave condition Wednesday.