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PIA Press Release

President Arroyo empowers DND-NDCC chief to suspend classes in emergencies

Manila (27 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has issued Administrative Order No. 196 empowering the Secretary of National Defense and concurrent Chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) to declare the suspension of classes in times of disasters or calamities.

Under the AO she signed last Sept. 11, the President empowered the DND secretary and NDCC chair to suspend classes at any and or all levels nationwide as well as in specific localities during times of disasters or calamities, whether natural or man-made. These include typhoons, earthquakes, floods, conflagrations and the like.

The concurrent DND secretary and NDCC chair, Gilberto Teodoro, is also authorized to direct all the appropriate agencies for the implementation of the suspension of classes.

In signing the AO, the President said she is giving importance on quick and speedy decision-making in the suspension of classes which, according to her, is necessary in times of disasters or calamities "to spare the pupils, students and the public from unnecessary troubles as well as dangers to their lives and limbs."

"The secretary of National Defense (SND) as concurrent chairman of the NDCC is in the best position to readily assess whether there is a need to suspend classes in times of disasters or calamities," the President said in her order.

It also tasked the SND and concurrent NDCC chairman to immediately inform the Office of the President through the Executive Secretary of his decision to suspend classes.

The AO, the President emphasized, does not nullify the powers of other government officials and school heads and administrators to suspend classes for the protection and safety of the students, faculty and personnel of the school. (OPS/PIA) [top]

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