Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto’s reasons for not suspending classes despite rains

August 5, 2019 - 6:39 PM
Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto bared his reasons for not declaring a class suspension on the morning of August 5. (Artwork by Interaksyon/Uela Altar-Badayos)

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto bared his reasons for not declaring a class suspension on the morning of August 5 following a Twitter user’s expectation that he would make an announcement.

The local chief executive replied to Twitter user @hannahgamboa_ who claimed she is “excited” to persuade him to suspend classes in schools following a heavy downpour of rain over the weekend.

“Excited na ako kulitin ka para i-suspend ang classes Mayor,” she wrote on Sunday evening, tagging Sotto’s Twitter account.

He answered that there was no need to suspend classes based on the circumstances but pointed out people can opt not to go to classes or work if they deem it unsafe for their condition.

Sotto also shared the weather bulletin issued by PAGASA to another Twitter user who expected him to announce a class suspension “for the safety” of the students.

Sotto cited the state weather bureau’s bulletin issued at 4 a.m. on August 5 which was valid up to 10 a.m. of the same day.

It announced that Metro Manila, along with contiguous urban zones on the outskirts of the National Capital Region, will experience “cloudy skies with isolated rains.”

“Light to moderate winds coming from southwest will prevail and the coastal waters along these areas will be slight to occasionally rough,” it continued.

REGIONAL WEATHER FORECAST for GREATER METRO MANILA AREA (GMMA) #NCR_PRSDIssued at: 4:00 AM, 05 August 2019Valid Beginning: 4:00 AM – 10:00 AM today

Posted by Pagasa Nationalcapitalregion on Sunday, August 4, 2019


Other Twitter users who read Sotto’s explanations about his non-suspension of classes defended him, pointing out that there are times the weather would be fair throughout the day despite the announced suspension.

“Mahirap po kasi guys ‘pag sinuspend agad tapos ‘di naman masama ang panahon. Sayang ang oras ‘pag ganon. Sana maintindihan natin sila,” Twitter user @Binibining Dana wrote.

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno also faced a more or less similar situation on Sunday morning when he announced a class suspension for August 4.

A Twitter user asked him to suspend classes on Monday and Tuesday as well but the local chief executive replied that the user needs to go to school and study like “Cassie” of the famed television series “Kadenang Ginto.”

Minutes before 1 a.m. on Monday, Moreno advised the expecting students to go to sleep instead as he informed them about PAGASA’s weather bulletin.

“Light to moderate rains daw sabi ng PAGASA. I-logtu (tulog) niyo na ‘yan, tatangkad pa kayo,” he said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration on Sunday afternoon declared that tropical depression “Hanna” has intensified into a storm.

The state weather bureau last Friday warned Filipinos that the weekend would be beset with floods and heavy rains due to the southwest monsoon or “hanging habagat” and the cyclone off Catanduanes, now categorized as tropical storm “Hanna.”

Guidelines on class suspension 

The Department of Education has guidelines on suspending classes of students at elementary and tertiary level, as well as work in government offices.

It is stated in its Department Order 43 series of 2012 that aims to streamline procedures on class suspension “in times of typhoons, floods, and other disasters or calamities” as found in Executive Order 66 series of 2012.

The executive order directs concerned DepEd officials and personnel to “observe the weather bulletins of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced through various media outlets (radio, television, and internet).”

It also urges them to communicate with the local government unit and the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council for monitoring and updates during extreme weather conditions.

The order also states that class suspension will depend on the storm signal number raised by PAGASA in times of typhoons.

Signal No. 1 suspends classes of kindergarten and preschool students.

Signal No. 2 suspends classes of elementary and high school students.

Signal No. 3 suspends classes of college students and government work.

If there are no raised storm signals, however, the Regional or Division Disaster Risk Reduction Offices must “communicate with their counterpart RDRRMC and LDRRMC for any decision to cancel or suspend classes in their respective locality.”

Mayors, as chairpersons of the LDRRMC, are expected to suspend classes but in cases where “urgent action is needed to prevent loss of life or bodily harm,” the school head would make an announcement and then inform the local chief executive.

The announcement shall not be made not later than 4:30 a.m. for morning classes and not later than 11 a.m. for the afternoon classes. — Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos