Intelligently and Properly Planned Holidays and Class and Work Suspensions

"Yes, it is possible to have intelligently and properly planned holidays, and class and work suspensions."

It seems to me that a lot of people here in Metro Manila are already looking forward to the long weekend later this month due to the staging of the ASEAN Summit, which the Philippines is hosting. The government decided to declare work and class suspension from the 13th to the 15th of the month in anticipation of possible traffic jams and disruptions in the daily activities in the city due to road closures and lockdowns in areas where key meetings and events will be held. The anticipation for the long weekend gave many city dwellers more than enough time to plan their vacation elsewhere or how they will spend the break while staying behind in the metropolis.

While I do understand that every one of us wants to take a long break from time to time, I could not help but express concern regarding the effect of multiple class and work suspensions on the economic and individual productivity; and the supposedly normal flow of commercial and academic activities. Workers who earn based on a per day output will lose income due to days when work has been suspended by the government. Students and teachers alike will be on the rush to deal with extended academic calendars, as schools, colleges and universities may need to hold make-up classes to catch up on missed activities and lessons.

Perhaps the government should consider avoiding random declaration of work and class suspensions by planning things properly and intelligently. Maybe having sufficient and reasonable allowances for possible class suspensions due to unforeseen weather disturbances of calamities can be included by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) when planning the academic calendar. Government agencies dealing with labor concerns and economics should address possible effects of unscheduled work suspensions on workers who earn on a per day basis, and, at the same time, avoid unnecessary work suspensions to ensure the normal flow of commerce and prevent a negative effect on the economy.

With effects of adverse weather such as flooding, excessive rainfall and massive traffic jams being the usual reason for class and work suspension, it is time to put the "Build! Build! Build!" infrastructure program of the Duterte administration to work by building new, repairing and upgrading existing, and reviving missing (because they were usually being occupied by illegal structures) flood control and drainage structures, and roads. The need to invest on effective and efficient mass transport systems, especially railways and replacements for old jeepneys, is a must in order to ensure that passengers and freight will continue to be ferried despite Metro Manila and its adjacent areas experiencing bad weather. Traffic rules and regulations must still be in full force and be strictly enforced by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) and the local government units (LGUs) to avert the possibility of the city being in a lockdown during extreme weather conditions.

Yes, it is possible to have intelligently and properly planned holidays, and class and work suspensions. All it takes is for officials of government to have foresight and political will to make such goal a reality. Of course, when holidays, and class and work suspensions are already properly and intelligently planned, everybody should cooperate instead of whining and thinking of themselves for things to work; and flow freely, continuously and efficiently.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TheLOBBYiST.
About the Author
Benedict is an agricultural economist, academician and writer. He has gained experience and expertise in various fields of economics, business, political science and public relations after through professional ventures in the academe, and in the public and private sectors. He has authored or co-authored key publications on topics ranging from agriculture and food security to global affairs and politics.
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