Palace suspends classes in Metro Manila, 9 provincesBy Donna Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Malacañang on Wednesday night ordered classes suspended at all levels Thursday in regions still submerged in floods caused by days of relentless rains.
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa issued Memorandum Circular No. 34, ordering the suspension of classes Thursday at all levels, including postgraduate courses, in Metro Manila, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal.
But there will be work in government offices and in the private sector, the Palace said.
In Quezon City, Mayor Herbert Bautista ordered classes, from kindergarten to university level, suspended until Friday, as most schools in the city were being used as evacuation centers.
Earlier Wednesday, the Department of Education (DepEd) said classes in more than 160 public schools in Metro Manila and nearby provinces may not be able to immediately resume even after the floods have subsided.
The DepEd said 168 public schools were being used as evacuation centers for 14,489 families forced from their homes by massive flooding caused by incessant rains in the last two days.
Most of the schools are in Metro Manila, where 115 schools are being used to shelter 9,741 families.
In Central Luzon, 36 schools are temporarily housing 2,568 families.
In Calabarzon, 17 schools are providing shelter for 2,180 families.
In an emergency meeting Wednesday morning, Education Secretary Armin Luistro instructed division superintendents in Metro Manila to ensure the smooth operation of schools used as evacuation centers.
Luistro also told them to closely work with local governments and the city social welfare and development offices.
Luistro said later that the division superintendents were drawing up plans for the resumption of classes, including provisions for make-up classes.
The department said it would make an announcement Thursday.
The DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education immediately denied rumors spread on Tuesday night on Twitter that classes were suspended for the entire week, or from August 7 to 10.
The two agencies no longer issue class suspension orders since the weather bureau has an automatic class suspension system based on typhoon alert signals.
In case of inclement weather but no typhoon alert signal raised over their area, local governments and the school administrators themselves are responsible for class suspensions.