MANILA (Updated) -- The Commission on Higher Education (Ched) announced Thursday, August 10, that it lifted the ban on off-campus activities in public and private higher education institutions (HEIs) but stricter guidelines will be imposed.
Ched Commissioner Prospero de Vera said the moratorium, which was implemented in February after a tragic tourist bus accident in Tanay, Rizal, that left 15 college students dead, was lifted on August 8.
Following the lifting of the ban, De Vera said the Ched imposed "tightened" regulations to ensure the safety of the students in the tertiary level during field trips and other off-campus activities.
He said the commission also issued guidelines covering the conduct of all off-campus activities.
Under the new guidelines, the HEIs are mandated to ensure that there are designated faculty members or persons that will monitor the students' activities outside the university.
The Ched also required the institutions to have insurance for students, and check the registration, insurance, franchise and road worthiness of the vehicles used in the transportation of the students.
The commission also required the HEIs to coordinate with local government units to thwart future accidents.
De Vera said the commission also asked the HEIs to require written consent of students' parents and medical clearance for students who go on field trips and other out-of-school activities.
For students who cannot attend off-campus activities, HEIs must provide alternative activities for them.
"So all activities that will require students to go out of their school, we have tightened the regulations," De Vera said.
"By this, we want to make sure that students' safety is protected," he added.
On February 20, 2017, a tourist bus carrying college students of Bestlink College of the Philippines bound for a medical and survival training in Rizal province crashed into an electric post in Barangay Sampaloc, Rizal. (SunStar Philippines)