On August 19, 2014, Bulacan State University conducted their field trip in San Miguel, Bulacan to see several historical and tourist sights. Forty tourism students joined the field trip to be exempted from their final exam, but the river flowing through the Madlum Cave tragically claimed the lives of seven of them.
According to the reports, the students started crossing with the water just around their knees, unfortunately, due to rain, water suddenly rushed higher than expected and the strong current quickly took away Phil Rodney Alejo, Mikhail Alcantara, Michelle Ann Rose Bonzo, Helena Marcelo. Janette Rivera, Madel Navarro, and Maiko Bartolome. The students in the riverbanks could not do anything to save their classmates. This tragedy resulted to grief stricken relatives questioning the liability of the school. While the students did had signed waivers, this does not acquit BSU from any responsibilities.
Furthermore, the chair of the House of Representatives committee on higher and technical education Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo suggested for the investigation of the criminal and administrative liabilities of those responsible for this tragedy. There are speculations that there were lack of teachers and tour guides during the said excursion. Family members of the victims also expressed their resentment on the school’s failure to inform them immediately of what had happened. For some parents such as Rodolfo Alejo, the school could have made better preparations.
As a response, CHED Executive Dir. Atty. Julito Vitriolo reminded the schools to follow the guidelines and policies on field trips. Risk assessment must be done before the trip. Only accredited chartered buses must be used. Also, field trips must not be forced to the students. There should be an alternative activity for those students who will be unable to join the trip.
The administration of Bulacan State University and CHED are conducting separate investigations as of this date. Reference: GMA
August 28 Update: Bulacan State University and Travel Agency Made Some Violations