Cebu school heads who defy class suspension order to face charges

ADMINISTRATIVE charges await public and private school heads in Cebu City if they defy the order to suspend classes for two weeks.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has even tasked the City Legal Office to investigate schools that will violate the mayor’s order.

“There’s a protocol on that so they should follow. They cannot just violate (the order) because they will be held administratively liable,” said Labella, in an interview on Saturday, March 14, 2020.

“They have to bite the bullet. This is for the general welfare,” he added.

Labella announced the two-week suspension of classes in all levels, both in public and private schools, in Cebu City starting from March 16 to March 28 through an executive order issued on March 13.

Labella said all activities which can create crowds are covered by the executive order he released.

Lawyer Rey Gealon, Cebu City Attorney, said public and private school heads could be charged for violating Republic Act 6713, or the Code of Conduct for Public Officials and Employees, among other charges.

But Gealon said those found to have violated the mayor’s executive order will still need to undergo due process before they are charged.

Gealon said the mayor’s executive order is part of his police power as vested by the Local Government Code.

But Labella clarified that teachers are not prohibited from visiting their schools for work-related matters.

In his executive order, Labella mandated educational institutions to implement distance learning and provide home assignments and projects to their students so that they can continue to fulfill their educational requirements. / JJL