MANILA - Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista on Wednesday said mayors in Metro Manila are sometimes forced to declare suspension of classes due to pressure on social media.
Bautista said because of social media, residents often see weather information from PAGASA and news outlets right away.
They use this information to inform their local government officials, and sometimes pressure them to suspend classes.
"Ang nangyayari ngayon, 'yung mga mamamayan dahil may social media accounts sila, ipo-post na nila 'yun. O mayor, ano ba naman, tutulog tulog, wala nang pasok, di kami waterproof, mga ganun ano," Bautista said.
"Ang mangyayari ngayon diyan, kahit sinasabi ng PAGASA na there is no need to cancel school, eh napu-puwersa ngayon siya na magdeklara ng walang pasok," he added.
Bautista also said there is a domino effect on class suspensions since some students go to school in other cities.
"Halimbawa si Quezon City, nagde-declare ng walang pasok. O di 'yan yung mga estudyanteng nag-aaral sa loob ng Quezon City. Papaano naman 'yung karamihan ng mga estudyante na nag-aaral sa university belt ng Manila," he explained.
"Nagiging snowball siya eh, iba-iba ang kundisyon ng bawat cities eh. So kailangan magkaroon talaga ng panuntunan o policy kung ano yung dahilan," Bautista added.
Bautista added that some local government employees feel demoralized because their recommendations on class suspensions end up being useless due to social pressure.
"High tech na 'yung mga equipment ng Metro Manila eh, 'yung mga lokal na pamahalaan. Makati, Pasig, mga outstanding, mga winners 'yan eh ng mga DRRM (disaster risk reduction and management) awards. 'Yung mga tao dun, eh magagaling din kasi super trained na rin sila pero nade-demoralize sila kasi scientific lang 'yung advise nila sa mayor," he said.
"Pero napupwersa silang magdeklara ng walang pasok not because of the scientific findings or recommendations ng LDRRMC, kundi dahil sa social pressure dahil sa social media. Kailangan liwanagin 'yun," Bautista explained.
The Metro Manila Council has created a technical working group to come up with policies regarding class suspensions.
The technical working group includes representatives from local disaster risk reduction and management offices, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation, Office of Civil Defense and other stakeholders. They were given two weeks to come up with a policy regarding class suspensions.
Bautista clarified that while it will still be the mayor who will decide on class suspensions, decisions will be based on policies identified by the technical working group.
The mayors hope the new policy will help clarify guidelines on class suspensions.