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House to make class, work suspension protocol more efficient

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A partylist lawmaker on Wednesday said the 2012 executive order (EO) on the suspension of classes and work in government offices due to typhoons and other calamities is already obsolete and must be replaced.

1-Ang Edukasyon Partylist Rep. Salvador Belaro Jr. said EO No. 66 s. 2012 signed by President Benigno Aquino III is limited only to public storm warning signals, which have proven to be “inadequate” and “insufficient” indicators for suspension of classes or work.

“EO 66 is in dire need of replacement. It is obsolete and out of touch with the current realities and the emerging future. The effects of storms are no longer what they used to be. Storms these days are more powerful and destructive,” Belaro said.

He recommended that Malacañang use House Bill 6072 as a template for a new, updated, upgraded, and more useful EO on suspension of classes and work.

He said his bill factors in not just storms and floods, but also landslides, earthquakes, tsunami, storm surge, toxic chemical spills, fire, active shooter situations, hostage-taking, kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, and state of emergency.

The bill also enables Malacañang and other authorities to suspend classes and work at Storm Signal No. 2, instead of Signal No. 3.

It specifies the various indicators, degrees of intensity, and directly observable developments on which authorities can base their decisions to suspend.

Under the bill, classes and work may also be suspended or canceled because of widespread loss of electric power distribution, water supply distribution, or non-functioning of sewerage systems, and widespread collapse or offline status of several banking or financial systems that disrupt the normal functioning or cause serious financial incapacity or disruption of households, communities, institutions, and workplaces. (PNA)