Press Release
July 13, 2006

As students again experience inconveniences due to rains

Senator Manny Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party, is again reiterating his proposal to change the school calendar year in the country from June through March to September through May so students can be spared from many inconveniences brought about by the rainy season.

"The various accidents in different parts of the country during the last couple of storms that hit us, not to mention the hullabaloo over the announcement of class suspension as well as inconveniences such as floods and bogging down of public transports should convince everyone that its time to change our school calendar for the students' sake," cites Villar.

School-age children such as a seven-year-old girl who was feared drowned after she was blown into a river in Baguio City and a 10-year-old boy was also reported missing after being swept away by a flashflood in Manila were among the casualties when typhoon Florita struck Luzon the other day. Many students were also stranded due to flashfloods and to the stoppage of the Light Rail Transit (LRT)-2 when a lightning struck its power line.

According to Villar, "Despite the fact that many legislators as well as school owners and even DepEd officials have expressed support on the proposed change plus the fact that counterpart of my bill in the House has been approved in the committee level, it seems that there is still no move to consider it seriously."

Villar is the author of Senate Bill 565 that seeks to change the existing school calendar that is often disrupted by typhoons or storms. He noted that having a school calendar that falls right smack to the typhoon season in the country results to the irregularity of school days due to the rains and the floods; commuting problems due to horrendous traffic to and from schools; danger to life from open drains and street excavations; and respiratory and other diseases such as coughs, colds, fever and flu.

It was recently reported that the counterpart bill of Villar's Senate Bill 565 in the Lower House authored by Quezon City Representative Mary Ann Susano has already been approved by the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education. According to Villar, "The change in the school calendar will make the Philippines synchronized with the school calendar of other countries in the world." Senate President Franklin Drilon (who filed Senate Bill 1441) and Senator Juan Flavier who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture where Villar's bill was referred to have also aired their support of the revision of the school calendar.

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