MANILA – The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has lifted the moratorium on school field trips and issued new guidelines to ensure the safety of students during off-campus activities.
CHEd Commissioner Prospero De Vera said the commission lifted the moratorium after it crafted new guidelines on the conduct of educational tours or field trips of college and graduate school students, and other off-campus activities.
“We want to make sure that the student’s safety is protected. So now we’re requiring higher education institutions to make sure and be accountable that when they send their students outside the university, there are faculty or persons in charge that will monitor what the students are doing,” De Vera said in a news conference in Malacañang.
De Vera said the new guidelines will now cover other off-campus activities such as retreats and recollections, seminars, conferences and symposiums, relief operations, community outreach and immersion programs, sports activities and inter-school competitions, cultural arts and performances, and field studies and experiential learning.
The new guidelines, De Vera said, now require higher education institutions to adopt mechanisms for the safety and welfare of all participants and observe due diligence and strict adherence to the requirements stipulated in the new memorandum order.
The requirements include the following:
- designation of a personnel-in-charge for all activities
- checking the registration, insurance, franchise and road-worthiness of vehicles used in transporting students
- coordination with local government units in places to be visited
- requirement for students to submit a written consent of the parents and a medical clearance
- provision of alternative activities for students who cannot join the activity.
CHEd issued a moratorium on field trips after a bus carrying students of the Bestlink College of the Philippines-Novaliches, rammed an electric post in Tanay, Rizal on February 20.
The accident killed the driver and 14 passengers, and injured dozens.