Classes suspended, passengers stranded at ports
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Tropical Storm Basyang has forced the suspension of classes across Negros due to concerns over possible flooding with both Bacolod City and Cadiz City mayors issuing executive orders last Monday postponing all classes.
Himamaylan City, Bago City, and Pontevedra later issued similar orders, with Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo also suspending classes across his province.
In terms of private institutions, La Consolacion College-Bacolod, the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, St. Joseph School-La Salle, and Bacolod Tay Tung High School canceled all classes. While the University of St. La Salle, Riverside College, and Colegio De San Agustin-Bacolod canceled pre-school to high school level classes.
City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) cluster head Joemarie Vargas noted classrooms are currently being prepared to serve as evacuation shelters for displaced families.
The storm has also left around 200 passengers stranded at the Bredco Port in Bacolod City after sea travel was suspended when the province was declared under a Storm Signal No. 1. According to Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Bacolod station commander, Lieutenant Senior Grade Jimmy Oliver Vingno, it is unlikely Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) will be lifting the signal anytime soon.
Meanwhile, PCG-San Carlos station officer-in-charge, Petty Officer 1 Walter Castillo, reported passengers bound for Toledo City, Cebu are also left stranded at the San Carlos City Port.
However, despite sea travel suspended along the Tañon Strait, he noted, one ferry was allowed to proceed as the weather was favorable at the time.
Castillo added, stranded passengers are being temporarily sheltered at a local multi-purpose hall near the port./DGB, WDJ