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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, June 2, 2014
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Cops step up security
as classes start today

Thousands of students in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City will troop back to public schools today for the opening of classes, while the police have gone heightened alert.

Classes in most private schools start next week.

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Provincial Schools Superintendent Juliet Jeruta yesterday reminded public school students to be present on the first day of classes today.

“Go to school and study well. The best way to solve poverty is to have a good education,” the governor said.

Jeruta said it is important that students come to school today because classes will start immediately.

Kindergarten pupils under the Negros Occidental Schools Division have increased from 30,000 to 31,000, for elementary from 224,000 to 231,000, and for high school from 89,000 to 91,000, she said.

Enrolment will last until June 6, Jeruta said.

She said the national government has been addressing the problem of lack of teachers, and private groups have been helping in the construction of needed classrooms in the province.

Bacolod Schools Superintendent Gemma Ledesma said her instruction to the teachers is to start regular classes today.


Senior Supt. Milko Lirazan, Negros Occidental police director, said the police “Oplan Eskwela” takes effect today to ensure a peaceful opening of classes.

The police are going on heightened alert to secure schools and ensure the smooth flow of traffic.

Senior Supt. Larry Decena, Bacolod police OIC, said they are establishing 59 police assistance desks in public and private schools in the city, to be manned by 260 cops.

Traffic policemen are also being deployed in heavy traffic areas, he said.


Meanwhile, members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Western Visayas calling for salary increases, who will wear black arm bands and stage a protest this afternoon in Bacolod City, apparently will not get what they want this year.

Presidential Communications Operations Office secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. yesterday said a raise could not happen anytime soon but assured that it could be part of next year’s budget.

“First, we are in the middle of the year and the budget for this year has already been approved so the raise they are asking for is not identified in the budget,” Coloma said.

“(However), this concern may be studied to be implemented for next year’s budget,” he added.

Coloma asked teachers to be more understanding and remember that the welfare of millions of students lies in their hands.*CPG

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