Solon seeks House probe into Tanay bus tragedy

Photos by Apolinario S. De Roma jr/Northbound Philippines News

MANILA — A lawmaker at the House of Representatives is calling for a congressional inquiry into the Tanay field trip bus tragedy that claimed the lives of over a dozen students and injured several others.

1-Ang Edukasyon Partylist Rep. Salvador Belaro Jr. filed House Resolution No. 815 urging the lower chamber to look into allegations that students of Bestlink College were obliged to join the field trip in Tanay, Rizal and the school administration purportedly made money from the students’ excursion.

At least 14 students and the bus driver died, while over 40 students were injured after a tourist bus carrying the victims lost its brakes and rammed into an electric post on February 19.

“The goal of the congressional inquiry we called for are laws and other measures setting safeguards and systemic solutions on the efficacy of field trips and education-based quality assurance on road safety,” Belaro said.

Belaro said the House committees on basic education and on higher and technical education will ask the education agencies to weigh in on how safety in field trips can be further improved.

Belaro is also looking into improving the special parental authority of schools and teachers have over their students on campus and during off-campus learning activities.

The said field trip was reportedly a National Service Training Program (NSTP) activity and Belaro made an assurance that the relevance of field trips to NSTP and other curriculum program will be looked into.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has ordered the cancellation of any scheduled field trip, educational tour or off-campus activities of all collegiate schools, colleges and universities in the country effective immediately as the latest bus tragedy is under investigation.

CHED officials are also set to review the collegiate policy on the National Service Training Program as a curricular requirement for higher education institutions.

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