THE COMMISSION on Higher Education (CHEd) has lifted its nationwide ban on out-of-campus activities, issuing a new set of policies for colleges and universities.
CHEd Chairwoman Patricia Licuanan approved the new guidelines on conducting off-campus activities under Memorandum Order No. 63 last July 25.
“All Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are given the authority to design, determine and approve the conduct of off-campus activities as part of a duly approved curriculum as noted by CHEd and as part of the HEI’s particular context or respective mission,” the document read.
On February 20, 12 students from Bestlink College were killed after their tour bus crashed in Tanay, Rizal. This prompted CHEd to suspend off-campus activities in all universities and colleges all over the country.
The new 16-page guidelines also require HEIs to inspect the quality of vehicles to be used in off-campus activities.
“It is the obligation of the HEIs to adopt mechanisms for safety and welfare of all participants to the off-campus activities, and observe due diligence and strict adherence to the requirements stipulated in this [memorandum…],” it read.
Joseph Noel Estrada, lawyer for the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, said lifting the suspension order could be followed by another “unauthorized” moratorium when another accident occurs.
“The lifting of the suspension has very little or no impact on those HEIs aversely affected by such pointless moratorium of CHEd in the first place,” Estrada said in an email to the Varsitarian.
The University complied with the order imposed by CHEd. However, retreats and field works under the National Service Training Program were allowed to push through after getting a go-signal from CHEd.
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