TAGUM CITY—Due to typhoon Chedeng, the Department of Education on Thursday has postponed the conduct of the National Schools Press Conference to April 13-17, 2015 to be held in Taguig City.

On Thursday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Typhoon Chedeng (international name Maysak) has entered the Philippine area of responsibility, packing maximum sustained winds of 180 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 215 kph.

PAGASA said Chedeng is expected to be 850 kilometers east of Legazpi City, Albay by Thursday night and 620 km east of Infanta, Quezon by Friday night.

Originally slated on April 6-10, 2015, the advisory came as a short notice to the education officials, parents, teachers, coaches and student-participants when the former was disseminated through the social media.

The advisory which was posted earlier today in DepEd XI’s Facebook account says: “2015 NSPC Rescheduled. Please be informed that the 2015 NSPC scheduled on April 6-10 has been moved to April 13-17 due to typhoon Chedeng. The NFOT will be on April 8-10. The national advisory concerning this has already been made. Please help disseminate this info. – from the NSPC and NFOT Management.”

The said post was rapidly shared Thursday by various DepEd Division offices and schools in Davao region using their respective social media accounts in Facebook and Twitter, making waves of comments from among the teachers, education officials and students.

“Our two students with their parents and coaches will be badly affected with this change in schedule,” said Paulina Jalos Deiparine, a public school teacher.

Keneth Candia Nuñez, a public school teacher from Davao City, asked: “What [will] happen to the booked plane tickets? But thank God for this precautionary measure.”

“Let’s just pray that the airlines will have an advisory for the cancellation of flights for April 5 so we could have the rebooking free of charge,” she said.

Another public school teacher, Lorelei Bayaras Gorgonio from Davao City was worried as to where she would source the money to rebook their tickets.

“Asa mi magkuha budget for the rebook? (Where will we get the money to pay for the rebooking?),” Gorgonio asked, adding that “rebooking fee  is worth 1500 + 300 processing fee, one way and we have 13 delegates [from] our school for the NSPC. This is a big problem.”

Elvira Enriquez Torion, public school teacher from Panabo City, urged the DepEd “to help us to settle the problem with airlines specially our flight expenses.”

ComVal’s DepEd schools division superintendent, Reynante Solitario, said “the advisory is fine under the present circumstances considering that we have weather disturbances in the next few days which I believe would greatly affect the flight schedules of the delegations from Visayas and Mindanao to Metro Manila, and since it is beyond the control of the organizers of NSPC.”

Solitario said “DepEd Central Office shall issue an advisory that will be disseminated to all concerned parties as our basis to rebook or to consult with travel agencies if there are arrangements to be made to avoid spending our school delegations in rebooking from their personal pockets.”

“If there will be DepEd issuance relative to postponement of NSPC and NFOT, then I believe the delegations can still charge the rebooking fee from school MOOE. Again, it is better to be safe attending the event rather than to compromise the attendance with typhoon coming,” he said.

The NSPC is the highest journalism competition of the DepEd. (davaotoday.com)

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