Local government units (LGUs) in the Cordilleras, especially those that have tourist destinations, were advised to suspend all tourism activities due to risks posed by Typhoon Betty.

Meanwhile, classes in all levels, both private and public, are suspended today as well as work in government offices in Ilocos Sur as a precautionary measure against the possible impact of the typhoon.

In an advisory, the local tourism office of Cordillera warned the public to be wary of strong winds and heavy rain that may cause flooding and landslides.

Earlier categorized as a super typhoon, Betty has been downgraded to a typhoon, according to the latest update of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

'In light of this weather condition, it is strongly advised for tourism stakeholders to take all necessary precautions, to safeguard both life and properties,' the advisory read.

All tourism establishments in the region were advised to activate the protocol on tourism 'COATS' or checking aptitude on the typhoon season, and to implement security and safety plans to protect guests and employees.

In Sagada, Mt. Province, tourism activities in the central part of the town were also suspended, although not because of Betty, but due to ongoing rituals for the traditional begnas or harvest activities.

Ilocos Sur Gov. Jerry Singson on Saturday issued an executive order (EO) suspending classes in all levels today and work in government offices.

Singson issued EO 22 based on the recommendations of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council (PDRRMC) as well as of the mayors.

Workers involved in frontline services such as emergencies, hospitals, disaster risk reduction management as well as search and rescue are required to report to work.

'Cancellation of work in private offices and establishments will depend on the owners,' Singson said.

He ordered local officials to monitor the situation in their respective localities and immediately coordinate with the PDRRMC when the need arises.

He said the PDRRMC has prepared equipment for rescue, evacuation and relief assistance. - Jun Elias Rainier Allan Ronda, Rudy Santos


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