Group rejects 4-day school week scheme

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

MANILA -- Catholic schools urged the government to think of other ways to solve the traffic problems in Metro Manila, instead of cutting the school week from five days to four.

Anthony Coloma, information management officer of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), said the suggestion of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to cut the number of school days will not result in smooth traffic.

“It is a laudable action on the part of the MMDA to look for creative solutions to the pressing concerns of daily traffic but the creative solution may be a short-sighted response to a problem that requires structural and long-range solution,” Coloma said.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino recently proposed the four-day school week while various major road works are ongoing, particularly the Skyway 3 project that will begin on Monday and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Expressway Phase 2.

Tolentino said the proposal is being observed in other countries and has been effective in decreasing pedestrian and vehicle volumes on the road. He said it will also reduce transportation and educational expenses.

CEAP, which has more than 1,000 members, however suggested the immediate fixing of damaged roads and clearing of unessential road blockages like the abandoned junk vehicles, toppled electric posts and cars parked illegally.

Coloma said that there are also basketball courts and vendors that can be relocated to other areas that will not hinder the smooth flow of traffic.

On Saturday, Malacañang said the proposal to cut the school days will still have to be studied by the Department of Education. (Sunnex)

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