MANILA (UPDATED) - Malacañang suspended work in government offices in Metro Manila Tuesday, April 23 in the wake of a 6.1-magnitude earthquake that rocked parts of Luzon.
"Per Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as recommended by the NDRRMC and in order to ease up the load of the public transport system, work in government in Metro Manila is suspended on 23 April 2019," Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement released early Tuesday.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte has directed local government units affected by the quake to assess the damage and take necessary measure to ensure public safety.
Panelo earlier said they are closely monitoring the situation, saying concerned government agencies have responded and assisted quake-stricken areas.
"We ask the public to remain calm but vigilant and we urge them to refrain from spreading disinformation in social media that may cause undue alarm, panic and stress to many people," he said.
The tremor struck past 5 p.m. and centered on Castillejos, Zambales at a depth of 21 kilometers.
Government work in Zambales and Nueva Ecija were also suspended Tuesday.
"However, those offices whose functions involve the delivery of basic and health services, preparedness/response to disasters and calamaties, and/or the performance of other vital services shall continue with their operations and render the necessary services," Zambales Governor Amor Deloso said.
Nueva Ecija Governor Czarina Domingo-Umali, on her part, said they will also conduct thorough inspection to ensure the integrity of the government structures.