Marikina is mulling to suspend classes until December due to the “economic hardship” brought about by Typhoon “Ulysses.”

11122020 ULYSSES ROMERO 15 1 1024x683 - Marikina eyes class resumption in January 2021
(JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In an interview over ANC Tuesday (Nov. 17), Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said classes are impossible to resume any time soon as residents continue to grapple with the impact of the typhoon.

“I think it will not be possible. We might be able to physically rehabilitate our communities, but the economic hardship brought about by the damages of the Typhoon Ulysses will be long felt,” Teodoro said. 

On Monday, Marikina suspended classes in all levels, both in public and private schools until December 16. However, the suspension may last for the rest of 2020.

“I decided to suspend classes because the proper environment is not present at this point in time for our students to have their distance learning at home. We’re thinking of the possibility that classes will be resumed by January,” Teodoro continued.

Marikina is one of the cities hardest hit by Typhoon “Ulysses” when it lashed Luzon last week.

The Marikina River’s water level rose to 22 meters, breaching the 21.5 meters reached during Typhoon “Ondoy” 11 years ago.

“If you will only see the actual condition of the communities, you will see houses buried in mud, knee-deep mud, and people cannot access their homes,” Teodoro said. 

According to Teodoro, there are still 9,000 households without electricity. 

“Ang malaking problema namin ang (Our biggest problem is the) number of affected families, nasa (around) 40,000 to 50,000 families. Marami ang nag-evacuate (A lot of them evacuated) in other areas since our evacuation centers can no longer accommodate the big number of evacuees.” he said.

“Normalcy, I think, is not achievable at this point in time, but it will depend on the families staying. [But] as long as there is a need for them to stay in evacuation centers, we will provide them the necessary provision,” Teodoro added.

As of Tuesday (Nov. 17), some 3,800 families are still staying in the city’s 49 evacuation centers.

Marikina, which is still recovering from the massive flood, is under state of calamity. 

The estimated damage brought by Typhoon “Ulysses” to infrastructure in eight heavily affected regions is now P8 billion, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The number of fatalities from “Ulysses” rose to 69 on Sunday.

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