QC disaster office consulted ex-PAGASA intern for class suspension

Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2019 09:35 AM

QC disaster office consulted ex-PAGASA intern for class suspension 1

MANILA - The Quezon City disaster office admitted consulting a former intern of state weather bureau PAGASA about the cancellation of classes in all levels on Thursday, a decision that drew flak due to an early morning break in the rainy weather. 

The city's public affairs department cited monsoon rains stirred by typhoon Hanna, which may "pose threat to public safety", when it announced the class suspension on Facebook late Wednesday. 

No other Metro Manila city has suspended classes as of 8 a.m. 
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, in a separate Facebook post, said a "PAGASA consultant" advised the local government to cancel classes due to consistent reports of bad weather.

However, she added that "if the sun shines brightly, please know that we only had best interests at heart".

Belmonte later told ABS-CBN News that Quezon City's disaster risk reduction and management unit failed to give her the name of the "PAGASA consultant."
Myke Marasigan, head of the disaster office, said the "consultant" was a graduate of astronomy with specialty in forecasting and had completed a one-year internship with PAGASA. 

QC disaster office consulted ex-PAGASA intern for class suspension 2

The consultant, whom Marasigan declined to name, is not an employee of the weather agency, he said. 

Marasigan added that it is better to err on the side of caution after Wednesday's monsoon rains posed a risk to the safety of students. 

The official said he will take full responsibility of the class cancellation that was questioned by several social media users, who said that it might push back the school calendar. 

Quezon City also suspended classes last Monday. 

ABS-CBN News is still seeking PAGASA's comment on the matter.

Rains have resumed in parts of Quezon City at 9 a.m.