GOVERNOR Lilia Pineda issued an executive order Tuesday, July 17, suspending work at the Capitol and in national government agencies in Pampanga as monsoon rains continued to batter a large part of Luzon.
Pineda invoked Section 16 of the Local Government Code that enables the suspension citing public health and safety due to the rains brought by Tropical Depression Henry.
The suspension included district and provincial hospitals in Pampanga but the order required the operation of skeletal forces in front line services of the government and hospitals to ensure the delivery of important services.
The cities of Mabalacat and San Fernando, and municipalities of Magalang, Floridablanca, Guagua, Lubao, Porac, Sta. Rita, Sasmuan, Sta. Ana, Macabebe, Masantol, Minalin, San Luis, Sto. Tomas and San Simon called off afternoon classes in all levels Tuesday noon.
The Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University also suspended classes in all levels on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Likewise, classes from pre-elementary to senior high school in Apalit and Mexico towns, pre-elementary to elementary in Candaba town were also suspended.
Classes were suspended as precautionary measure for the expected heavy rains brought by Henry enhanced by the southwest monsoon.
Meanwhile, 25 coastal villages in Macabebe and Masantol towns — 16 in Masantol and nine in Macabebe — are experiencing one foot to two feet of flooding based on the report of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDDRMO) Tuesday noon.
Three villages in Lubao town namely Bancal Pugad, Bancal Sinublu and Sta. Tereza II are also submerged in deeper three to four feet of floodwaters as of Tuesday noon, the PDRRMO report added.
Citing the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration forecast, PDRRMO noted that the province is expected to experience moderate to heavy rains brought about by Henry and southwest monsoon until today.
With this, the PDRRMO Operations Center will remain activated and has prepositioned disaster response equipment and manpower on stand-by 24/7, while all city and municipal DRRMOs were advised to conduct activation, close monitoring of their areas of responsibility, quick and timely reporting for possible effects.
Henry (international name: Matmo), the eighth tropical cyclone to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) this year, has strengthened into a tropical storm as it moved away from the country Tuesday.
The southwest monsoon, or habagat, enhanced by Henry will continue to bring monsoon rains over Metro Manila, Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Mindoro provinces, Palawan, and Western Visayas.
The southwest monsoon will also bring scattered rains and thunderstorms over the rest of the country.
Residents of low-lying and mountainous areas are advised to be cautious about possible flooding and landslides, Pagasa said.
Sea travel remains risky over the western seaboard of Southern Luzon.