Aquino orders class suspensions be announced in timely mannerBy Norman Bordadora |Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III has directed the national agencies concerned as well as local governments to declare the cancellation of classes and work in government offices due to weather disturbances not later than 4:30 a.m. for morning suspensions and not later than 11 a.m. for afternoon cancellations.
According to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., Mr. Aquino’s Executive Order No. 66 also directed the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services administration to issue the relevant weather forecasts through various media outlets not later than 10 p.m. of the previous day and 4:30 a.m. of the day of the intended cancellation or suspension of classes and work.
Pagasa should issue the forecast not later than 11 a.m. of the same day when the suspension of classes and work would be in the afternoon.
In the absence of typhoon warnings from Pagasa, EO 66 provides that local chief executives, particularly in flood-prone or high-risk areas, should implement localized cancellation or suspension of classes and government work in coordination with the weather bureau and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
EO 66 set the following guidelines in the cancellation or suspension of classes in public and private schools and work in government offices:
Signal No. 1 — Classes at the pre-school level in the affected area shall be automatically cancelled or suspended.
Signal No. 2 — Classes at the pre-school, elementary and secondary levels in the affected area shall be automatically cancelled or suspended.
Signal No. 3 — Classes at pre-school, elementary, secondary and tertiary levels, in the affected area including graduate school, as well as work in all government offices, shall be automatically cancelled or suspended.
EO 66 provides that in areas affected by disasters other than typhoons, classes in all levels in both public and private schools and government work shall be cancelled or suspended only upon the declaration by the President of a state of calamity on recommendation of the NDRRMC.
It added that the concerned local disaster risk reduction and management council must then be responsible for the announcement of the suspension of classes and government work in the affected areas in coordination with the NDRRMC through various media available under the circumstances.