Food and communication readied

A team from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) set up a Broadband Global Area Network system for telephone calls and internet connection while police officers assist in hauling rice supply in the capital town of Basco as as part of the preparations for typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut), which is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds in the Batanes islands.

Local gov’t orders: Be alert, don’t get drunk

FOLLOWING THE suspension of work and classes, the Ilocos provincial government has also declared a liquor ban until typhoon Ompong has left the country. Based on the executive order, the prohibition covers sale, giving, offering, purchase, and consumption of alcoholic drinks “to mitigate the effects of the typhoon by preventing diminished mobility and other possible effects of liquor intoxication.” Section 2 of the order states that “any person caught under the influence of liquor may be held in custody until he or she regains sobriety,” and later possibly face legal charges.

Class suspensions, blue alert status raised

CLASSES IN all levels has been suspended in parts of the Visayas, including Tacloban City and Leyte in the eastern side, while a blue alert has been raised in Iloilo City in the west. A blue alert is the second-level status and activates all preparedness measures for possible disaster-response activities. Iloilo Mayor Jose S. Espinosa III, who also chairs the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, ordered the activation of the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center for monitoring and response coordination. Engr. Ronaldo Naragdao of weather bureau PAGASA said the Western Visayas Region can expect cloudy skies with light to moderate and occasional heavy rainshowers and thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday. — Louine Hope U. Conserva

Davao City delegation to skip Batang Pinoy games in Baguio

THE DAVAO City delegation for the Batang Pinoy sports championship set in Baguio City on Sept. 15-21 has been ordered to forego the games to avoid possibly getting stranded in Luzon due to typhoon Ompong. “It is with a heavy heart that we cancel the trip… We cannot compromise on the safety of the children, coaches, and support staff,” Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said. The delegation is composed of 301 athletes, coaches and support staff. The city government said athletes and coaches who will pursue their travel to attend the games shall do so at their own risk. — Carmencita A. Carillo

Zamboanga tourism office suspends pink beach trips, other boat services

THE ZAMBOANGA City Tourism Office has suspended all scheduled trips for local and foreign visitors to the pink beach of Sta. Cruz islands, including the newly-opened 11 islands (Onse Islas) tour. “Since the Philippine Coast Guard has already suspended all light water vessels to travel due to the high waves, we also suspended the transport of tourists to the said islands,” said City Tourism Officer Sarita Sebastian-Hernandez. The local government, through the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO), has also called off classes in all levels, both in public and private schools. “The Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils (BDRRMCs) are directed to continuously monitor situation in their areas particularly those susceptible to floods, landslides and storm surge,” the statement from the CDRRMO said. — Albert F. Arcilla