MANILA - The University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) scheduled this weekend will not push through due to the potential effects of Typhoon Mangkhut, an official said Wednesday.
Mangkhut, expected to be the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, is expected to lash large swaths of the country with intense rains and fierce winds later this week, state weather bureau PAGASA earlier said.
"Itong postponement ng UPCAT ay nationwide. Apektado lahat ng examination center ng UPCAT mula Luzon hanggang Mindanao, maski pati mga lugar na hindi naman masyadong tatamaan ng bagyo," UP Vice President for Public Affairs Jose Dalisay Jr. told DZMM radio.
(The postponement of the UPCAT is nationwide. All examination centers are covered, from Luzon to Mindanao, even areas that will not be directly hit by the typhoon.)
Exam materials and proctors will come from Metro Manila, which is expected to be whipped by Mangkhut's rains, he said.
The state-run university may take at least 2 weeks to study the situation and reschedule the UPCAT, he added.
"Gagawa na naman ng mga panibagong agreement para sa mga testing centers, mga proctor, kaya hindi ganoon kadali i-reset ang UPCAT," he said.
(We need to draw new agreements for testing centers and proctors so resetting the UPCAT is not that easy.)
Some 102,000 students were set to take the entrance exam across the country, said Dalisay.
Mangkhut is expected to reach peak intensity of around 220-kph maximum sustained winds and gusts of up to 270 kph, which would upgrade it to a supertyphoon, said PAGASA.
Senior weather specialist Chris Perez warned of "very strong winds" and 6-meter high storm surges in coastal areas in the path of the typhoon, particularly in Cagayan and Isabela, by Friday and Saturday.
Mangkhut's outer rain bands will extend up to Metro Manila and southern Luzon, the weather agency earlier said.
— With a report from Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News