By Genalyn Kabiling
Malacañang has authorized the suspension of work in government in the National Capital Region following the temporary closure of railway operations due to the powerful earthquake that hit Luzon late Monday afternoon.
“Per Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as recommended by the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) and in order to ease up the load of the public transport system, work in government in the National Capital Region is suspended on 23 April 2019,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
In Memorandum Circular No. 61 signed by Medialdea, government agencies involved in the delivery of basic and health services, disaster preparedness and response, and performance of vital services have been directed to continue with their operations and render services.
Medialdea, in the same memorandum, said the suspension of work in private companies is left to the discretion of their employers.
President Duterte has also ordered concerned local government officials to conduct damage assessment in their areas after the quake, according to Panelo.
“The President has directed the Governors of the affected provinces to assess the damage sustained by their respective localities and take the necessary measures to ensure public safety,” he said.
A 6.1 magnitude earthquake rocked Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon Monday afternoon, reportedly killing five persons, damaging some buildings and roads, and causing power outage. Authorities said the center of the tectonic quake was in Castillejos, Zambales.
Operations of the Light Railway Transit and Metro Rail Transit lines have been temporarily suspended for safety precautions following the strong earthquake that hit Metro Manila and nearby provinces. The number coding traffic scheme for all public utility vehicles will be lifted Tuesday to help commuters.
Earlier, Malacañang said government agencies were responding and assisting those in troubled conditions and “shall continue to do so for as long as necessary.”
Panelo said the first responders from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Office of Civil Defense, Philippine National Police, and affected local government units, as well as other related agencies, were cooperating to look after the needs of the affected citizens.
He noted that the Departments of Transportation and Energy have been placed on “full alert” to address the disruption of transportation services and power supply interruptions.
Read more: Strong 6.1 quake jolts Metro, Luzon