MANILA – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) recommended to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. the suspension of work in government offices in eight regions due to the anticipated heavy rainfall brought by Super Typhoon Karding which is expected to make landfall Sunday night.

"We would like to respectfully inform the President on the anticipated heavy to intense torrential rain fall to be brought about by Super Typhoon Karding and hoisting of Wind Signal No. 5,” Department of National Defense officer-in-charge Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. said in a letter to the Chief Executive.

Faustino said based on the latest track of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), “Karding” may make landfall Sunday night in the vicinity of northern portion of Quezon or the eastern portion of Aurora and may exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Tuesday.

"In this regard, the NDRRMC recommends the suspension of work in government offices in the National Capital Region, including provinces in Regions 1, 2, CAR, 3, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and 5 on 26 September 2022 (Monday), excluding frontline agencies which are providing emergency services,” he said.

Faustino, who is also the NDRRMC chairperson, said the identification of the regions is based on the analysis determined from the NDRRMC's Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment.

The DND chief also likewise said classes in all public schools at all levels are also recommended for the suspension to prevent any untoward incidents and ensure the safety of the general public.

"The same course for action for private companies, offices, schools is left to the discretion of their respective heads," Faustino added.

He also said the NDRRMC is hoping for Chief Executive's consideration and approval on the matter.

Military units alerted

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday said it has already alerted all its units for possible humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations in areas expected to be affected by "Karding".

These include the Northern Luzon Command, Southern Luzon Command, and Western Command and all units under their joint operational control. Deployment of trucks and personnel is ongoing to assist in the mandatory evacuation of residents in vulnerable areas.

Air and naval assets are also on standby for deployment as soon as the weather clears for aerial assessment, transport, and evacuation operations.

"We call on the public to be vigilant and cooperate with government authorities. Let us all do our part in keeping the damage low and averting casualties in the wake of this super typhoon," AFP public affairs office chief Col. Jorry Baclor said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Army (PA) through its 7th Infantry Division whose area of responsibility covers Central Luzon and parts of Northern Luzon and the 525th Engineer Combat Battalion, has prepared HADR teams.

The 69th Infantry Battalion, 70th Infantry Battalion, 71st Infantry Battalion, and 84th Infantry Battalion of 7th Infantry Division marshalled disaster response teams that will be deployed to save lives in Central Luzon, the region that is expected to bear the brunt of "Karding", the third super typhoon to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility this year.

Meanwhile, the 525th Engineer Combat Battalion prepares two light urban search and rescue teams equipped with water search and rescue (WASAR) equipment that will be deployed for HADR operations in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

PA chief Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr., assured the operational readiness of Army’s HADR teams in assisting Filipinos in calamity-stricken communities.

“Rest assured, your Philippine Army—in fulfilment of our oath to serve the people and secure the land— is always ready to lend a helping hand to our kababayans in calamity-stricken areas,” he added.

On Sunday, the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) announced the suspension of work on Monday due to Super Typhoon Karding.

“All officials and key personnel should, however, keep an open line of communication,” OPS Undersecretary Maria Pamel Pedroche said in a memorandum.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri also suspended session and all hearings on Monday due to “Karding”.

Senate employees will resume work on Sept. 27.

Local government units also suspended classes in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces on Monday. (PNA)