CHED commissioner files moratorium on field trips, educ’l tours

MANILA — Commission on Higher Education (CHED) commissioner Prospero de Vera filed a request at the en banc on Tuesday to issue a moratorium on field trips and educational tours, following the accident in Tanay, Rizal that killed 14 students of Bestlink College who were complying with National Service Training Program requirements.

According to a statement from the commission, de Vera said the moratorium will allow the commission to investigate the tragedy and review current policies on field trips.

Educational tours are regulated by CHED Memorandum Order No. 17, which also requires colleges and universities to inform the CHED regional office of such trips a month before they are held.

“While it is true that field trips are essential to give students the opportunity to see and explore new things, enhance their learning experience in a natural setting, and provide for interest-driven and hands-on training, the safety of the students on field trips must be ensured at all times by school authorities,” de Vera said.

CHED ordered the officials of Bestlink College to submit an incident report immediately, which would help determine whether its regulations were violated.

“We will expedite the necessary investigation to determine if proper procedures were observed by school authorities, impose the necessary sanctions, if warranted and determine whether existing policies adequately protect the safety of students,” the commissioner said.

De Vera also slammed the college for continuing the activity despite the tragedy.