(Updated 5:02 p.m.) The Facebook page of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) of Albay took down a post asking Filipinos about their long weekend plans after saying Tropical Storm Paeng already reached its “travel goals” for traversing the country.
Meanwhile, “Paeng,” which reached its peak intensity as a severe tropical storm, crossed parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao on the last days of October, disrupting travel plans of most Pinoys who were looking forward to a long weekend.
This was because October 31, which falls on a Monday, was declared a special non-working holiday under Proclamation No. 79 (series of 2022).
November 1, All Saints’ Day, was also declared a special non-working holiday.
“Paeng” intensified as a severe tropical storm on October 29, Saturday and began to cross Luzon, including the populous National Capital Region, drenching it in torrential rains and strong winds.
The tropical cyclone left 98 people dead as of Monday morning, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
58 of these are validated while the remaining 40 deaths are still “for validation” by the NDRRMC.
“Paeng” also affected 575,728 families and over 1.812 million individuals across 17 regions of the country.
Of these, 80,676 families or 213,726 people are currently in 27,109 evacuation centers.
The tropical cyclone’s development over the weekend left most Pinoys unable to thoroughly enjoy their end-of-the-week plans usually dedicated to their breaks from working days.
They were instead left to deal with the aftermath of “Paeng” which destroyed houses and killed, injured and left some individuals missing.
Thus, when PIA Albay posted about such plans and connected them with the storm last Saturday, it garnered criticisms from some Facebook users who thought the post about “travel goals” was not appropriate at that time.
The now-deleted post reads:
Nauna nang #travelgoals reached si #PaengPH dahil sa dami ng kanyang napuntahan. Ikaw, anong plano mo ngayong long weekend? LIKE and FOLLOW na sa PIA Albay for more updates on government programs lalo’t may namumuo na namang sama ng panahon. Stay safe po ang lahat
It was accompanied by a smiling emoji at the end of the post.
Some of the comments are as follows:
The PIA is supposed to disseminate information about government programs, projects and services to the Filipino public, according to its website.
It considers itself the country’s “chief information arm” and “the only government information network that can reach the grassroots,” boasting 16 regional offices and 78 provincial information offices.
On Monday, PIA Albay’s Facebook posted about President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s message for the All Saints’ and All Souls Day on November 1 and 2 and updates about “Paeng.”
Interaksyon Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story referred to PIA Albay as PIA Abra. This has been updated to reflect the correct identification.