The Quezon City government called on the management of Colegio de San Lorenzo (CDSL) to stop requiring parents to sign a waiver before they can get a refund of tuition and other payments from the school.
Mayor Joy Belmonte and City Legal Department head City Attorney Orlando Paolo Casimiro made this pronouncement after receiving information that the school is obliging parents to sign a waiver before giving them a refund.
“It is not the obligation of the parents to sign a waiver. The school cannot use the waiver as a requirement before they can get a refund,” Belmonte said.
“The school cannot limit the legal options of the parents of students affected by its sudden closure by requiring them to sign a waiver,” Casimiro added.
Casimiro said CDSL should fulfill its earlier commitment to immediately refund the payment to the parents and students after it announced its permanent closure on Monday (Aug. 15) due to lack of financial viability.
“Malaking abala na nga ang ginawa ng CDSL sa kanilang mga estudyante. Sana naman huwag na nilang dagdagan pa ang perwisyo na kanilang idinulot sa pag-obliga sa mga ito na pumirma ng waiver,” said Belmonte.
“Sapat na ang resibo na pwede nilang ibigay bilang patunay na narefund na ang pera,” Casimiro added.
Upon the instruction of Mayor Belmonte to assist students, parents and personnel affected by CDSL’s closure, Casimiro said the City Legal Department and the Education Affairs Unit have been monitoring compliance with the refund of school fees.
As of last count, 343 basic education students and 443 college students are ready to claim and have already claimed their refund, according to Casimiro.
The Legal Aid Office under the City Legal Department is also providing legal assistance and advice while the Education Affairs Unit has been coordinating with prospective schools for the transfer of displaced students.
As for the CDSL teachers and non-teaching personnel who lost their jobs, the city government will refer them to the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and other concerned offices for possible job placement or livelihood opportunities.
“Sisiguruhin ng lokal ng pamahalaan na lahat ng mga apektado ng biglaang pagsasara na ito ay mabibigyan ng karampatang tulong,” Belmonte said.
Moreover, Casimiro revealed that the city government is looking into other possible violations of the school, including lack of building permit, alleged illegal construction and violation of easement of waterways.
The school allegedly failed to comply with the Department of Building Official order to rectify the structure it erected and observe the easement of waterways, despite repeated warnings.
The DBO will file criminal charges against the property owners for violations of the Building Code. The school’s business permit is also deemed revoked.
“The City Government will study all legal options against the property owner,” said Casimiro.