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Palace suspends college classes, govt work in NCR

UPDATED 1:20 p.m. - Malacañang on Tuesday suspended classes at the college level and work in all government offices in the National Capital Region (NCR), according to a report on "Balitanghali" on GMA News TV. Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. made the announcement based on recommendations from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the report said. Minutes before the announcement was made, Malacañang released Memorandum Circular 17 officially ordering the suspension of classes in the tertiary level and work in all government offices “in view of the inclement weather brought about by Typhoon Kabayan." However, the memorandum said agencies involved in the delivery of basic and health services, or preparedness and response to disasters and calamities, are not included in the suspension of work. The memorandum circular was signed by Ochoa. The same announcement was made by Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on his Twitter account. Exempted from suspension Meanwhile, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte announced in a separate tweet that personnel involved in emergency services are exempted from the suspension. Last week, Malacañang also suspended classes in the tertiary level in Metro Manila, bypassing the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) directive that the agency-in-charge cannot order blanket class suspensions. In an earlier interview, Lacierda told GMA News Online that the suspension then was a "special case." Lacierda said he, along with members of the Presidential Communications Group, announced the suspension as ordered by Ochoa and upon the recommendation by the NDRRMC. - with Amita Legaspi, VVP/HS, GMA News