Classes resume on All Souls' Day-A A +A
Sunday, October 31, 2010
MANILA - Classes in all public elementary and secondary schools nationwide will resume on All Souls' Day, November 2, Tuesday, amid calls of cancellations, the education department said.
Private schools, however, are given the leeway to decide on when to resume their classes as long as they complete the required 203 school days, inclusive of the five-day break (October 25 to 29), education Secretary Armin Luistro said Sunday.
Malacañang also earlier declared November 2 a regular working day.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino, meanwhile, reminded motorists that the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), or the "number-coding" scheme, will be enforced on Tuesday.
"Dahil sa hindi naman holiday ang Martes, ipapatupad ulit natin ng number-coding so ngayon pa lang ay nais na natin itong ipaalam sa mga motorista," Tolentino said.
Under the UVVRP, vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 are not allowed on the road from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays; 3 and 4 on Tuesdays; 5 and 6 on Wednesdays; 7 and 8 on Thursdays and 9 and 0 on Fridays.
The agency will only temporarily suspend the UVVRP Monday, which is a legal holiday.
Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Manila announced Sunday that all its priests will be on duty Monday for the yearly celebration of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines spokesman Monsignor Pedro Quitorio said the occasion really calls for priests to go on duty and serve beyond their two-masses-per-day limit.
The state weather bureau maintained that this year's celebration of "Undas" will be a rainy day.
"The intertropical convergence zone has been affecting Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, so we expect rains to fall there especially in the afternoon or evening," said Robert Sawi, acting weather division chief of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
In its 5 p.m. bulletin Sunday, Pagasa said eastern and southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will experience mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers, and thunderstorms becoming widespread rains over the eastern sections of Visayas and Mindanao.
The rest of Luzon, meanwhile, will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.
Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Luzon and Visayas and its coastal waters will be moderate to rough. Light to moderate winds coming from the east to northeast will prevail over Mindanao with slight to moderate seas.
As this developed, traffic at the 84-kilometer North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) started to build up in the seven toll gates in Dau Exit in Pampanga.
The Tollways Management Corporation earlier said there are 600 ambulant tellers who will be scattered in various tollgates to speed up transactions.
Meantime, flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) said more than 66,000 passengers will fly over the three-day weekend to the airline's various domestic and international destinations.
Budget carriers Cebu Pacific and Airphil Express also reported a high demand during the brief Halloween break.
Maria Java, vice president for marketing and media of Airphil, assured travelers that operations will be back to normal on Monday following the cancellation of 13 flights on Saturday due to lack of qualified pilots.
First aid stations
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said 48 chapters and one sub-chapter have been mobilized to give medical and emergency-response services until November 2.
PRC chairman Richard Gordon said 227 first aid stations will be put up nationwide, especially in the 202 most visited cemeteries in the country.
The list includes Manila's North and South cemeteries, Manila Memorial Park, Maharlika Gardens in Ilocos Norte, Tuguegarao Memorial Park, Carrieta station in Cebu, Gingoog Catholic Cemetery in Misamis Oriental, among others.
"It is our utmost hope to keep the public safe despite the hazards often entailed by this holiday season," said Gordon.
Apart from the first aid stations in different memorial parks, PRC will also be setting up first aid posts along main highways and in major bus terminals and port areas to cater to those who are still in transit.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) issued a warning against comfortably consuming street foods in the country's cemeteries with the observance of All Saints' Day Monday.
Health Secretary Enrique Ona said Filipinos should not rely on street or "ambulant" foods since they do not offer assurance in terms of sanitation.
People going to cemeteries are advised to bring their own food and drinking water to avoid any illness such as diarrhea and food poisoning.
The DOH said the public may report any health-related incidents through the Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) operations center hotlines at 711-1001 or 711-1002.
HEMS Director Carmencita Banatin said the center will be on active surveillance Monday and Tuesday to monitor any health-related emergencies.
MMDA chairman Tolentino also warned residents returning to Metro Manila after the "Undas" break to brace for heavy traffic.
He said the traffic problems may start next week and may affect areas in the southern part of Metro Manila, including Makati and Pasay cities.
Tolentino anticipated traffic congestion as a possible impact of the shutdown of the pipeline operated by the First Philippine Industrial Corporation (FPIC).
The oil conduit was the source of the more-than-three-month gas leak in Makati City.
The FPIC's pipeline transports fuel products from Batangas to Pandacan oil depots in Manila. It supplies about 50 to 60 percent of the metropolis daily fuel needs.
"We may allow 1,000 petrol trucks to travel daily along major thoroughfares of the metropolis, including the Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue (Edsa)," Tolentino said.
The only consolation to motorists and residents is that the MMDA will not allow the petrol trucks to use secondary roads for their route.
The petrol trucks will have to share space along with the hundreds of thousands of public and private vehicles that plies the metropolis' roadways on a daily basis, including some 3,800 passenger buses in Edsa. (AH/AMN/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)