THE UNIVERSITY has suspended all out-of-campus activities to comply with a government moratorium on school field trips following a bus crash in Tanay, Rizal that claimed the lives of more than a dozen students and left 40 others injured.
The Office of the Secretary General released a memorandum announcing the suspension on Feb. 22, a day after the release of the Commission on Higher Education’s (Ched) order temporarily banning field trips and educational tours in all higher education institutions (HEIs).
“The field trip or educational tour shall include any student activity away from the campus such as community engagements, medical or relief missions, retreats, visit to amusement parks, etc.,” the UST memorandum read.
The Junior and Senior High School departments were also asked to comply even without an order from the Department of Education.
Ched on Wednesday clarified that the moratorium does not cover internship programs and local and overseas on-the-job training or practicum, as these activities are covered by separate regulations.
In its Feb. 21 order, Ched said: “In lieu of field trips or external campus activities, all HEIs should institute replacement activities that will serve the purpose intended by such off-campus activities, preserve the objectives sought to be achieved, and see to it that no student shall be negatively affected by this moratorium.”
“This moratorium shall continue and remain in effect until all measures have been undertaken to effectively address the issues concerning field trips and the stringent procedures supposed to be adopted by HEIs to ensure the safety and welfare of the concerned HEI stakeholders, as embodied in the enhanced [Ched memorandum order] regarding the conduct of field trips and other related activities,” it added.
On Feb. 20, a tour bus crashed into an electric post along a curved road in Tanay, killing 15 people, most of which were students of Bestlink College of the Philippines in Novaliches, Quezon City.
A ban on educational trips was sought in Congress in 2013 after a series of accidents, but the government refused.