Gov’t work, classes in Metro Manila, Bulacan suspended Aug. 25

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan and Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

August 16, 2023, 1:07 pm Updated on August 16, 2023, 5:20 pm

<p><em>(Photo from The Official Gazette)</em></p>

(Photo from The Official Gazette)

MANILA – Malacañang has ordered the suspension of work in government offices and classes in public schools at all levels in Metro Manila and Bulacan province on Aug. 25 to give way for the opening ceremonies of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Memorandum Circular (MC) 27, inked by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin by the authority of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., declared the work and class suspension to ensure the “safe, orderly, and successful” opening ceremonies of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

Government agencies involved in the delivery of basic and health services, preparedness/response to disasters and calamities, and/or the performance of other vital services “shall continue with their operations and render the necessary services,” according to MC 27.

Suspension of work for private companies and classes in private schools is left to the discretion of their respective heads.

The memorandum circular was issued as part of the government’s effort to provide full support and assistance to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) which is tasked to lead the comprehensive planning for FIBA World Cup hosting.

Bersamin said the suspension is also part of the government’s commitment towards “wider involvement and participation in sports promotion and development.”

PNP's no. 3 to head FIBA security task force

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. designated deputy chief for operations Lt. Gen. Michael John Dubria as the commander of the Security Task Force (STF) that will supervise operations to secure all attendees, participants and venues of the event.

Acorda said the STF would implement a comprehensive security plan to safeguard the well-being of all spectators, athletes and officials involved in the international sporting event.

"We are fully committed to ensuring the safety and security of all participants, spectators, and venues during the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Our Security Task Force is well-prepared and equipped to handle any challenges that may arise,” he said in a statement.

“This event is not only a showcase of world-class basketball but also a testament to our ability to host international gatherings securely. We call upon the cooperation and support of the public, as well as the collaboration of our partner agencies, in making this event a success. Let us come together as one and celebrate both the sport and the spirit of unity. Let us all stay safe and vigilant," he added.

The Philippines, Japan and Indonesia are co-hosts in the Aug. 25 to Sept. 10 tournament, dubbed the Olympics of Basketball.

The Philippines will host 15 other nations in the group phase to be held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan; Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City and the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City. (PNA)

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