The Land Transportation Office said that its earlier request for the public to not go to school early was taken out of context.
The transport agency previously drew flak after it was reported that it asked students not to go to school “too early” as a supposed preventive measure against road accidents.
In a statement on Thursday, August 25, the agency clarified that the remark was a mere “observation on the first day of classes.”
“It was clear that the statement attributed to the Agency was taken out of context,” LTO said.
“The Agency only stated its observation on the first day of classes, particularly on the situation where there was noticeable overcrowding of students in front of schools,” it added.
The LTO explained that it was only concerned with the “plight” of teachers and students who had to wait for a long time before the scheduled classes.
“Since the students were in school early, the LTO only expressed its concern about the students’ plight, where some of them, including their parents, had to endure the long wait before they are allowed to attend classes,” it said.
LTO also further addressed the overcrowding incident that occurred during the class opening early this week.
“Since it was the first day of classes, most of the parents do not know yet their children’s school schedule, hence the students for both morning and afternoon sessions converged at the school for information as to their final class schedule, some of them already at the school even if their children’s classes were not supposed to start until 12 p.m.,” it said.
After this clarification, LTO “categorically denied” making the remark in question.
“As such, the Agency categorically denies that it made any remark for students ‘not to go too early at school,’ and there was never an intention to malign nor criticize the parents’ decision to come to school early,” it said.
LTO was referring to a video by a news reporter that showed parents and guardians crowding at the entrance of President Corazon C Aquino Elementary School in Quezon City at 10:30 a.m. The next class schedule is at 12:10 p.m.
Social media users previously criticized the agency for its “ridiculous” request for the public to not go to school early.
They cited the unpredictable traffic, lack of public transport options and other commuter woes as reasons why the public normally commutes early for work and classes.
Others also called for safer streets for students who commute to school and to return home.