(UPDATE 2) Gov't suspends college classes 'til Sat


Posted at Sep 29 2009 11:23 AM | Updated as of Oct 06 2009 01:33 AM

MANILA - The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said Tuesday that classes at the tertiary level in Metro Manila and other areas placed under a state of calamity will remain suspended until Saturday.

CHED Chairman Manuel Angeles made the announcement during Tuesday's briefing of the National Disaster Coordinating Council in Camp Aguinaldo with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Angeles said classes in colleges and universities will be suspended in the National Capital Region, Southern Tagalog Region (Regions 4A & B) and parts of Central Luzon.

Angeles also announced that nursing students and Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) cadets would be asked to report to help in government’s clean up and relief operations in devastated areas.

He said colleges and universities should organize rescue and disaster teams to help victims of tropical storm Ondoy.

Colleges and universities are being encouraged to become centers that will receive aid and donations "to help our kababayans," Angeles said.

Asked if all students will be required to help, Angeles said the call is for voluntary service.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus earlier announced that elementary and highschool classes in public and private schools in Metro Manila will remain suspended until Friday due to the devastating effects of tropical storm Ondoy.

He said several elementary and secondary schools in Metro Manila were still being used as shelters for residents affected by storm. At least 170 schools under the Department of Education's supervision in the metro are housing more than 10,000 families, he added.

Lapus said the government is giving local government and school officials the discretion of suspending classes beyond Wednesday.

"Depending on local conditions in other areas, local government and school authorities may exercise judgment to suspend classes," Lapus said.

Marikina City Mayor Marides Fernando has announced that classes in all levels in the calamity-stricken city will remain suspended until Friday.

Classes in Rizal, Laguna, Batangas and Cavite have also been suspended by local authorities.

At the NDCC meeting, Frisco Nilo of PAGASA said another tropical disturbance may enter the Philippine area of responsibility by Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning and make landfall in Northern Luzon or Central Luzon early next week.

Frisco, meanwhile, calmed fears over the coming storm that will be named “Peping.”

He said the incoming storm will not bring rains as heavy as Ondoy.

He added that the storm may also miss the country and change its course to Taiwan.