#WalangPasok: Gov't work, classes in M. Manila, several regions suspended due to Ulysses

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 11 2020 03:06 PM | Updated as of Nov 11 2020 09:17 PM

Residents brave the heavy rains at Virac, Catanduanes as Typhoon Ulysses moves towards central Luzon on Nov. 11, 2020, days after Typhoon Rolly caused massive damage in the Bicol region. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA (UPDATE 2) — Malacañang on Wednesday suspended work in government offices and public school classes in all levels in Metro Manila and 6 other regions until Nov. 12 due to Typhoon Ulysses, which is lashing the Philippines just days after the strongest cyclone so far this year battered the country. 

The Office of the President, in a memorandum circular, said work in government offices and classes are suspended from 3 p.m. Wednesday until Thursday in the following areas: 

  • Metro Manila
  • Region 2 (Cagayan Valley)
  • Region 3 (Central Luzon) 
  • Region 4A (Calabarzon)
  • Region 4B (Mimaropa)
  • Region 5 (Bicol)
  • Cordillera Administrative Region 

However, agencies that facilitate health services, disaster response and vital services "shall continue with their operations," read the memo signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. 

"The suspension of work for private companies, offices and schools is left to the discretion of their respective heads," it added. 

Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso on Wednesday afternoon announced the suspension of classes in all levels, both private and public, in the city of Manila.

Ulysses (international name: Vamco) was packing maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 195 kph, as of 7 p.m., said state weather bureau PAGASA. It is the 21st storm to hit the Philippines this year.

Ulysses is forecast to make landfall in Polillo Island late Wednesday evening and hit rice-producing provinces north of the capital before exiting the Philippines' main island of Luzon on Thursday, Chris Perez, a state weather forecaster, told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo. 

Residents in coastal communities, who are expecting up to a 3-meter storm surge, were ordered to leave their homes, said Cristina Bosque, mayor of Polillo. But ensuring the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in evacuation centers remained a challenge, she said.

The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands, sees around 20 tropical storms annually.

On Nov. 1, super typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) hit the Bicol region and other areas in the southern part of Luzon, killing 25 people and leaving 6 others missing. A week before that, Typhoon Quinta (international name: Molave) also hit the main Luzon island.

- With a report from Reuters