Palace calls for an ‘orderly’ school opening on Monday

MANILA, (PNA) — With only one day left until classes resume, Malacanang on Sunday called on the public to work together and observe the ‘bayanihan’ spirit in assuring an orderly school opening.

“We are calling on all citizens to execute the spirit of bayanihan in the school opening,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in an interview on state-run dzRB radio.

“Let us help each other to assure the safety and convenience of our young students,” he added.

Coloma said that there will be over 26 million public and private school students expected to return to their respective schools and about four million college students by next week.

He further said that the Department of Education (DepEd) is preparing for the opening of classes with the help of parents, students, local communities, civil organizations, the local government and other organizations.

Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, the PCOO chief said, also noted that education remains free and no charges will be imposed, particularly to public school students.

Coloma said that for the part of the Philippine National Police (PNP) they will implement a comprehensive program to assure protection for students.

They will also be organizing traffic flow, putting up police assistance desks (PADs), posting of police emergency hotlines and deploying personnel to address bullying among others.

The Aquino administration is committed in upholding the Constitutional mandate that education must be one of the priorities in the national budget, Coloma stressed.

For the 2014 national budget, the DepEd has a total allocation of P335.4 billion, which is one of the highest allocation for the year, he added.