We were already on our way to school when the Undersecretary of the DepEd went on air to announce that she is suspending classes due to inclement weather. Well, it was about time! We had to traverse floody streets, no thanks to the "competent" engineers of the city and other officials of the government who had months and months of dry spell to check out sewerages and canals to get ready for the rainy season that happens every year!
Anyway, while listening to the radio, the announcer was interviewing the mayor of Quezon City, to the point of urging him to declare no classes as most of the streets are now flooded. To his dismay, the mayor won't budge from his stance, in spite of the fact that most mayors have already suspended schools in their municipalities, using his simple logic that there is no typhoon yet and that this is just rain which happens every year anyway. When the announcer hung up, he was lambasting the mayor saying "Wala kayong maaasahan kay mayor!" (You won't expect anything from the mayor!)
I feel the mayor's logic is flawed. Yes, this is just rain and the typhoon is several miles away but the downpour is heavy since yesterday causing the streets to be flooded which may later on prove hazardous to commuters. How many times have hundreds of commuters been stranded on the streets simply due to flooded areas and because classes were suspended late? The good mayor would not even suspend classes for elementary school children? Maybe the fact that most of his constituents have to ride public vehicles, walk a long way, traverse a flooded area where manholes might have remained open did not figure in his equation. How come? Well, maybe he has his chauffered-driven car being escorted by two motorcycle cops so that he doesn't have to be bothered by a congested traffic for starters.
What is one day of school compared to the safety of school children? Why gamble? This also got me to thinking what causes the DepEd to announce a suspension late? Why leave this to the discretion of the school authorities? What do they fear by making an early announcement? That they would look like fools if the weather improves later? Why couldn't they make "safety first" a policy before anything else?