MANILA – Upon the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Malacañang suspended work in government offices and classes in public schools in Metro Manila and seven other regions on Friday.
In a statement on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said government work and classes will also be suspended in Regions 1, 2, 3, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
However, he said government agencies whose functions involve the delivery of basic and health services, preparedness/response to disasters and calamities, and/or the performance of other vital services “shall continue with their operations and render the necessary services.”
“We leave the suspension of work for private companies, offices and schools to their respective heads’ discretion,” he said.
He also urged the public to continue their regular monitoring of weather advisories and government announcements, try to stay indoors, and keep safe and dry.
On Wednesday, Malacañang has suspended work in government offices and classes in all public schools in Metro Manila and the regions of Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, and the Cordillera Administrative Region due to Typhoon Ulysses.
Suspended work and classes started at 3 p.m. Wednesday until Thursday, also upon the NDRRMC recommendation.
Heavy rains brought by “Ulysses” left many flooded areas, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to conduct aerial inspection in Marikina City and Rizal province on Thursday afternoon.
In his televised address to the nation, Duterte assured that the national government will provide relief, rescue, and assistance to families severely affected by typhoon, adding that no one will be left behind.
He added that local and national government agencies have been mobilized to respond to the situation on the ground as heavy rains and strong winds brought by the typhoon triggered massive floods and power interruptions.
“From the beginning, various government agencies have already been mobilized to respond to the situation on the ground. I renew my call on all local government units and concerned agencies to ensure that the well-being and the safety of our people remain the top priority,” he said.
Concerned agencies, he said, will exert all its efforts to attend to people’s needs.
“As President, I guarantee you that your government will do its best to provide assistance in the form of shelters, relief goods, financial aid and post disaster counseling. Rest assured the government will not leave anybody behind. We will get through this crisis, I assure you,” he added.
Duterte also rejected criticisms that the government has been sleeping on the job, saying local and government have been addressing challenges brought by the typhoon since it received an advisory.
He had in fact temporarily left the ongoing video conference of the 37th Asean Summit on Thursday to monitor the disaster situation.
“We are now suffering in the midst of the storm of Typhoon Ulysses. There is a great damage and I may not be around to attend further in this regard for I have to go around and see what I can do for my people,” Duterte said in his speech during the virtual Asean Summit. Jelly Musico / PNA – northboundasia.com