What to do during unexpected events

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THIS school year alone, we have run out of count of how many times classes were called off because of the possibility of flooding brought by heavy downpours. 

Among the dates when disruption of classes occurred were July 27, August 8 and September 12. 

Then, last September 21, classes and work in government offices were called off due to the Martial Law Anniversary demonstrations and protests. 

Two weeks ago, classes and work in government offices were again called off due to the PISTON jeepney strikes. 

 

Classes and Work Suspensions

On November 13, 14 and 15, classes and work in Metro Manila and Pampanga have been called off due to the ASEAN Meetings. 

Previously, classes had been called off for November 16 and 17. 

Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 31, and Wednesday, November 1, are holidays because of the “Undas celebration”.

The worst thing is that at the time when the authorities have to decide whether to call off classes and/or work, they are not certain of the necessity. 

Many times, the sun comes out soon after the declaration has been made.

 

Not Big Crowd Drawers 

Almost every time however, demonstrations, protests and strikes failed to draw big crowds as expected.

However, when faced with the time deadline for deciding, the authorities had to make an all or nothing choice.

That need not be so. We should come out with compromise solutions.We have long advocated that before calling off classes, the authorities can declare a moratorium on graded recitations, quizzes, tests and exams for the day. 

Then, the parents of the students can decide whether to keep their children home without fear of their children getting failing grades due to their absence.

In the case of man - made disturbances, the authorities can declare a certain length of time as the leeway or allowance before an employee or a worker is considered late or absent.

 

Proposed Formula

For example, if an 8 – 5 pm daily schedule were pushed back to 9 – 5 pm, we would lose 12 and a half per cent instead of 100 % of the day. Assuming, that some employees will be unable to go to work, the reduction in public services would still be a percentage and not total.

Faced with a smaller work force for the day, heads of offices could specify that certain not so important services would be suspended for the day. However, the more important public services should continue to be dispensed.

In the case of the ASEAN, we should not have a three to five - day holiday in the entire National Capital Region as well as in parts of Central Luzon. An ASEAN Task Force should have made a detailed analysis of what parts of the NCR, what kinds of businesses and schools have the most impact on the ASEAN venues.