No more ban on field trips after CHEd tightens rules on off-campus activities
The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has lifted the ban on field trips for college students after imposing more stringent rules to ensure their safety.
In a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday, CHEd Commissioner Prospero de Vera III said they decided to lift the moratorium on Aug. 8.
In February, 14 students of Bestlink College of the Philippines were killed and 40 others were injured after their bus hit an electrical post in Tanay, Rizal. The students were on their way to a camping tour when the bus lost its brakes.
The accident prompted the CHEd to ban all educational field trips in the nearly 2,000 public and private higher education institutions nationwide.
According to De Vera, the stricter regulations are outlined in CHEd Memorandum Order No. 63 which regulates not just field trips “but [also] all other activities that involve students when they leave their schools.”
This includes competitions, conferences and immersion programs, he said.
“By this, we want to make sure that the student’s safety is protected. So now we’re requiring higher education institutions to make sure … that when they send their students outside the university, there are faculty or persons in charge [who] will monitor what the students are doing,” De Vera told reporters.
“We will require them to have insurance for students; check the registration, insurance, franchise and road-worthiness of vehicles used in the transportation of students [and] coordinate with local government units,” he added.
De Vera noted that there had been previous incidents of students ending up dead while on field trips, citing the case of Bulacan State University (BSU) students who drowned.
“The President of [BSU] was dismissed by the Ombudsman because of this particular tragedy,” he said.
“So we are requiring written consent of parents and if needed, medical clearance for students [who] go on field trips and other out-of-school activities and to make sure that universities provide alternative activities for students who cannot attend off-campus activities,” De Vera added.
He said the new rules were the result of consultations held with the Department of Tourism, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and local government officials.
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