UNITED Nationalist Alliance candidate San Juan City Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada called on state universities and colleges (SUCs) to impose a temporary ban on educational field trips pending assurance of the safety of students and teachers.
Ejercito Estrada made the statement following a vehicular accident along Marcos Highway in Benguet Province wherein eight students and teachers from Marinduque State College were killed and 31 others were injured.
The initial report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council indicated that the driver of the tourist bus lost control of the vehicle due to mechanical defect and hit a cargo truck.
The San Juan solon said SUCs should not lift the moratorium on educational field trips until bus companies that they usually hire have secured the proper license and accreditation from government agencies.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board noted that the tourist bus with plate number AFB 769 had no franchise to operate.
“Mas makabubuti na ipatigil pansamantala ng mga state universities and colleges ang mga educational field trips until these transport service companies are all duly accredited by the concerned government agencies,” the young lawmaker said.
Having the requisite government license and accreditation, he said, would ensure that the vehicles used by these companies are safe and roadworthy.
The UNA senatorial candidate also advised school officials to strictly scrutinize the documents of transport service companies they intend to hire for their students’ activities.
Ejercito Estrada appealed to the Commission on Higher Education and other concerned government agencies to investigate reports that some unscrupulous officials of some SUCs have made educational field trips a money-making venture by making it mandatory.
March 1, 2013