Find out: Who should announce class suspensions when weather is stormy?

Robie de Guzman   •   July 9, 2019   •   2009

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_053017_RAINY SEASON

MANILA, Philippines – The skies are gloomy and the rains are pouring heavily.

Ferocious winds are whipping the trees, rushing waters are logging the streets.

Students and parents are both wondering: Is it safe to go out for school?

Others also look out the window and think: Is the weather stormy enough for a class suspension?

But who has the last say on class suspension? Local officials? The national government or the school’s administration?

According to the Executive Order No. 66 series of 2012 issued by the Department of Education (DepEd), the cancellation of classes will depend on the tropical cyclone warning signal number raised by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

During Signal number one, preschool and kindergarten classes in affected areas will be automatically suspended.

For signal number two, kindergarten, elementary and high school classes will be canceled.

When signal number three or higher is raised by Pagasa, classes at pre-school, elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels, in affected areas, including graduate school, as well as work in all government offices, shall be automatically canceled or suspended.

Suspension of classes the following day will depend on the signal number declared at 10 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.

But what if the weather is inclement and no storm warning signal was issued?

In the absence of storm warning signals, Deped said the suspension of classes and work may be ordered by local chief executives as heads of local disaster risk reduction and management councils.

“Ngayon, ‘pag wala namang storm signal, ang local government unit, kasi sila ang nakakaalam ng kondisyon doon sa kanilang lugar, sila ang pwedeng mag-declare ng suspension of classes. Wala talaga dito ang DepEd,” said DepEd Undersecretary Jesus Lorenzo Mateo.

A school administration may only cancel or suspend classes in cases where urgent action is needed to prevent loss of life or bodily harm.

Section 2 of EO No. 66 also states that LGU officials are expected to announce cancellation or suspension not later than 4:30 a.m. for whole day cancellation or suspension, or not later than 11:00 a.m. for afternoon cancellation or suspension.

School officials and members of local disaster offices are also requested to render service in the designated evacuation centers.

But what if the local government failed to announce the suspension of classes on time?

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said administrative charges may be filed against concerned officials if they are proven to have committed negligence over the matter.

“Ang una sigurong gawin ng DILG is, ipaalala muna sa kanila, i-remind muna sila sa kanilang tungkulin, at kung talagang naging pabaya ay doon tayo magkakaroon ng sanction,” said Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, spokesperson for the DILG.

The DepEd order, however, maintains that parents have the ultimate responsibility for determining whether their children should go to school, even if no class suspension order has been issued. (with details from Harlene Delgado)

Manila Water continues implementation of rotational water service interruption through dry season

Maris Federez   •   February 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — More than one million Manila Water customers will be affected by the rotational water service interruption that the water concessionaire started on Thursday (Feb. 20).

Manila Water said this is due to the low water allocation, as well as its preparation for the dry season.

“So, ineexpect natin na bababa nang husto ang level ng dam. So, this early, kailangan paghandaan natin ‘yon para ‘yong limitadong supply na nakukuha natin sa Angat Dam na siyang nagsu-supply ng 96, 97 percent ng tubig para sa Metro Manila, mas ma-manage natin ng mabuti at nang tayo ay makatawid ngayong summer hanggang sa bago dumating uli ‘yong tag-ulan,” Manila Water Spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said.

In January, the water company started lowering the pressure of the water distributed to households in Metro Manila and Rizal province. This is done in off-peak hours or from 10 in the evening to 6 in the morning.

“While ‘yung interruption na binanggit natin is about 4 to 10 hours. In reality, mas maikli dahil nga madaling araw lang natin gagawin. So, generally, mga 11 to about 3 to 4 in the morning lang ito kung saan hindi nila mararamdaman,” Sevilla said.

He added that the schedule and the affected areas of the water service interruption can be found on the company’s Facebook page.

Manila Water added that the rotational water service interruption will continue as long as the water allocation by the National Water Resources Board is still below normal.

For the past several months, the water allocated to Manila Water is just 42 cubic meters per second —much lower than the normal allocation of 46 cubic meters per second.

As of 8:00 AM on Friday, the water level in Angat dam was at 202.48 meters.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the rain brought by the Northeast Monsoon or Amihan contributed to the rise of the water level in Angat.

To date, Metro Manila will still have a reduced water allocation.

The NWRB said the board will still have to discuss how much water will be allocated in Metro Manila in the coming months. — (from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

Off-campus national, regional events may be held starting Feb 24 — DepEd

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 20, 2020

The Department of Education (DepEd) has announced that all national, regional, and off-campus activities may resume starting February 24.

“All DepEd units may already resume the conduct of national, regional, and/or off-campus activities starting February 24, 2020, provided all precautionary measures identified by DepEd and DOH are strictly followed,” according to DepEd’s statement.

DepEd also instructed schools to dedicate weekends to school-wide general cleaning and intensified disinfection efforts.

Meanwhile, DepEd also said that all personnel and students who will proceed with their scheduled personal travels to countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases shall be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the Philippines.—AAC

LPA affecting Visayas, parts of Mindanao

Marje Pelayo   •   February 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – State weather agency PAGASA is monitoring a low-pressure area (LPA) near the southern island of Mindanao.

As of 4:00 a.m. Thursday (February 6), the weather system was located at 705 k.m. east of Davao City.

The trough of the LPA is currently bringing cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms in areas of Visayas, CARAGA, Northern Mindanao and the entire Davao Region.

Meanwhile, the Northeast Monsoon (Amihan) is seen affecting Luzon particularly Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Bicol Region, Aurora, and Quezon where cloudy skies with light rains can be observed.

Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers will prevail over Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon due to Amihan.

Similar conditions will also be experienced in other areas of Mindanao due to localized thunderstorms.

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