Students of all levels in Metro Manila will enjoy four consecutive school holidays in the third week November as the Philippines hosts the annual economic leaders’ meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC.
President Benigno Aquino III had declared last July through Proclamation 1072 that November 18 and 19 (Wednesday and Thursday, respectively) are special non-working days in the National Capital Region. Read the full text of Proclamation 1072 in this link.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) early this month declared November 17 and 20 (Tuesday and Friday, respectively) as additional school holidays. In a memorandum, CHED Director Leonida Calagui explained that the class cancellations are necessary “to contribute to the security of APEC leaders and to avoid road infractions and traffic altercations.”
APEC Summit 2015 is expected to be attended by 21 head-of-states, including United States President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping is said to be considering not attending the conference because of President Aquino’s decision to elevate the raging territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea to the United Nations.
To recap, below are the dates that those working and/or studying in Metro Manila should remember:
November 17 to 20 (Tuesday to Friday) – no class days for students in all levels
November 18 and 19 (Wednesday and Thursday) – special non-working days
This is the second time this year that students in Metro Manila will have consecutive school holidays. Last January, President Aquino declared January 15 to 19 as special non-working days because of Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines. It’s because except for January 17 when He spent several hours in Tacloban City, the Supreme Pontiff spent his entire time in NCR.
This early, the Department of Education is already asking the heads of the school divisions in NCR to schedule make up classes so that the required 200 school days per academic year can still be met.
The effect of these holiday announcements will be felt more at the college level. A vast majority of tertiary institutions still open by June, and November usually marks the first month of the second semester. The school holidays means that most college students will have a one-week break just two weeks after the semester began.
Educators and students alike must be concerned that there will be another holiday before the month ends (Bonifacio Day on November 30, Monday) and that there are only two weeks for schools in December.