HOW many people know that when the weather bureau Pagasa raises Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1, public and private preschool and kindergarten classes are automatically canceled or suspended?
According to Department of Education (DepEd) Order (DO) 43 s. 2012, which contains the guidelines on the implementation of Executive Order 6 titled “Prescribing Rules on the Cancelation or Suspension of Classes and Work in Government Offices Due to Typhoons, Flooding, Other Weather Disturbances and Calamities,” public and private preschool, kindergarten, elementary and secondary classes in affected areas are also automatically canceled or suspended when Pagasa raises Signal No. 2.
When Signal No. 3 is hoisted, all government offices will be closed. But in cases where there are no typhoon signal warnings from Pagasa, “cancelation of classes may be ordered by the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.” School officials, though, can suspend classes in cases where urgent needed is needed.
On Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, Pagasa raised Signal No. 1 over Carcar City in southern Cebu all the way to Bogo City in the north, including the islands of Bantayan and Camotes, as a result of typhoon Tisoy.
Tisoy is inching its way west at 20 kilometers per hour (kph) from the Pacific Ocean, packing maximum winds of up to 140 kph and gusts of up to 170 kph.
In Cebu, affected areas can expect light to moderate rain.
However, Alfredo Quiblat, Pagasa Visayas officer-in-charge, warned against 30 to 60 kph wind in affected areas, which can topple some trees and posts, among others.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, in a text message to SunStar Cebu Sunday night, suspended classes for preschool and elementary levels for Metro Cebu and classes for preschool, elementary and high school levels for northern Cebu. Edgardo Labella, mayor of Cebu City, which is not under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Government, also suspended classes up to the secondary level.
The Coast Guard already barred marine vessels in Cebu and Bohol from traveling to Samar, Eastern and Northern Samar, Biliran, Camotes Island and Leyte in the Visayas.
Although Cebu is not expected to face the brunt of the storm, local government units have been quick to mobilize their disaster risk reduction management offices to prepare for any eventuality.
As they say, it is always better to be cautious than to feel regret later.