/ 8 September 2022

SENATE Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education Chairman Francis Escudero has asked Commission on Higher Education Chairman Prospero de Vera to include penal provisions for any violation of the rules on closure of schools in the future.

During the organizational meeting of the committee, Escudero said violation of any law regarding school closure should not only be a moral but a legal violation.

At the same time, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian underscored the need for the CHED to address policy gaps to prevent sudden closure of schools and to protect the welfare of students, parents and teachers.

He cited the case of the Colegio de San Lorenzo that only informed CHED about its plans to wind down its operations three days before the scheduled school closure.

“Sad to say, I know that this is a gray area for CHED that’s why I don’t want to point fingers and I understand that it is a business decision and no one really wanted schools to close. But it doesn’t make sense that the parents and students are advised on the day itself,” Gatchalian said.

Professor Mary Claire Therese Balcan, the president of Colegio De San Lorenzo, admitted that they did not inform their students and teachers about the school’s problem before its closure.

“Sa pag-iisip namin, if we did that parang metaphor parang bankrun. Kapag ipinaalam sa kanila ‘yung mga problema namin lalo pong kakaunti ang students, baka mag-alisan ang teachers and that would make the school weaker,” Balgan said.