To assure the safety of its students and employees, the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) has suspended out-of-campus trips following a Commission on Higher Education (CHED) moratorium after the tragic bus crash in Tanay, Rizal last February 21.
A tourist bus carrying 58 students and teachers of Bestlink College of the Philippines crashed into an electric post along a curved road in Barangay Sampaloc in Tanay, Rizal, leaving 15 dead, and more than 40 injured. Among the victims of the fatal accident were 14 students and one teacher.
Immediately, CHED Commissioner Prospero De Vera issued a moratorium on field and educational trips.
“This is being done in consideration of the safety of students and it will allow an investigating committee to look into the circumstances surrounding the tragedy that happened in Tanay,” De Vera said in a press conference last February.
According to Carmelita Lazatin, Vice President for Lasallian Mission and Student Life, Benilde is subject to the regulatory power of the CHED since its as a member of the Higher Educational Institutions (HEI). This prompted the College to abide by the CHED moratorium.
“[The CHED] is in the best position to institute necessary reforms to ensure the safety and well-being of all HEI stakeholders,” Lazatin said in an e-mail to The Benildean.
In a Clarification Memorandum addressed by CHED last February 23, certain exemptions to the moratorium were mentioned namely international and local internships, international educational trips, and international educational linkages. Trips under these categories are exempted from the jurisdiction of the CHED Moratorium. Local internships include on-the-job trainings, practicums, field instructions, field studies, ship boardings, and trainings.
Retreat and recollections are also exempted in the suspension.
In an e-mail from Chancellor Robert Tang’s Office last February 22, he urged the Benildean community to create contingency plans for all scheduled trips before the moratorium was released.
“In the meantime, all concerned Schools, Programs, and/or Offices are directed to develop and submit contingency plans (e.g. rescheduling, alternative activities, change of venues, etc.) to your respective supervisors that may be adopted as a consequence of the CHED pronouncement,” the announcement read.
The CHED moratorium is temporary and no specific date has been mentioned on its termination or change of status. In addition, the Department of Education also suspended all field trips for public schools for the rest of the year.