Colegio de San Lorenzo Quezon City (Facebook photo)

MANILA – The Quezon City government will step up to assist students, parents, teachers, and employees of the Colegio de San Lorenzo (CDSL) after the unexpected announcement of the school’s permanent closure effective August 15.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Mayor Joy Belmonte said she has instructed city legal counsel Orlando Paolo Casimiro to look for ways to extend all possible assistance to those affected.

Casimiro met with the school's representatives who committed to address the needs of their students, teachers, and other staff.

“We shall help in coordinating with other schools, colleges, and universities where affected students can transfer with their credentials credited. We need to ensure that no student will encounter any delay in their studies, especially the graduating or senior ones, and that their refund will be given quickly. The teaching and administrative personnel should also be taken care of,” Belmonte said.

She likewise asked CDSL, located along Congressional Avenue in Barangay Bahay Toro, to take responsibility for the inconvenience it caused.

“The officials of Colegio de San Lorenzo have expressed their full cooperation in refunding tuition and other expenses, such as books and uniforms, endorsing students to other schools and universities, and releasing the salaries and incentives of its teaching and non-teaching staff,” Casimiro said.

Belmonte said several schools have already expressed their willingness to accommodate the students.

The CDSL’s Facebook page has been posting announcements of schools that are willing to accept late enrollees.

The Quezon City University (QCU) said it is still open for enrollment, including graduating students.

“The QCU will welcome the college students of CDSL and we will help in crediting their classes and helping them have a smooth transition to our university,” Dr. Theresita Atienza, QCU president, said in a statement.

Teaching and non-teaching personnel will be endorsed to the QC - Public Employment Service Office for possible financial assistance or prospective employment.

The Department of Education (DepEd), meanwhile, said it was not formally informed and it did not receive prior communication from the school management on its intent to close.

“This is a voluntary closure as provided under Section 43 of (Department Order) 88 s. 2010,” DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said in a statement.

Poa added that the DepEd needs assurance that the transfer of credentials of affected students are released before it acknowledge the school’s closure.

Casimiro said CDSL is processing the release of transcripts of records and other documents for transfer while students with outstanding fees are no longer required to settle their delinquencies.

“With a very heavy heart, we would like to inform you that due to the financial instability and lack of financial viability brought about by the ongoing pandemic and exacerbated by consistent low enrollment turnout over the past years, the Board of Trustees has come to the painful and difficult decision to permanently close our educational institution, Colegio de San Lorenzo,” read CDSL’s Facebook post on Monday night.

The school still announced the acceptance of online payments on August 11, without an inkling of the plan to stop operations.

Parents and students held an online meeting with school officials on Tuesday morning. (PNA)