A suspension of classes in all levels of public schools and the adoption of work-from-home (WFH) arrangements in government offices in Davao City was declared effective on December 4, 2023, Monday through Proclamation No. 07 Series of 2023.

The proclamation, signed December 3, 2023, by Acting City Mayor J. Melchor Quitain states that the declaration is for the conduct of rapid damage assessment of infrastructures and damages following the magnitude 6.9 earthquake on December 2, 2023, felt in Davao City at Intensity IV with aftershocks occurring until the morning of December 3, 2023. Another magnitude 6.0 tectonic aftershock was recorded at 6:36 pm on December 3, 2023, off Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, which was also felt in Davao City.

“The City Government of Davao is duty bound to safeguard the welfare of the public and undertake measures to avert any untoward incidents or disasters that may be caused by said earthquakes and aftershocks,” the declaration reads.

With this declaration, classes in all levels in all public educational institutions in Davao City are suspended and private schools are given the discretion to suspend classes but are encouraged to do so for the safety of the students and employees

The proclamation also stated that the WFH arrangement shall be adopted in all national and local government offices, including government-owned and controlled corporations in Davao City, except for offices performing safety and security, health, social services, and disaster and emergency response services.

Also, private offices and establishments are given the discretion to suspend work or adopt WFH arrangements but are encouraged to do so for the safety and convenience of their employees.

The proclamation states that the Davao City Earthquake Response Task Force (DCER-TF), created through Executive Order No. 51 Series of 2019, is charged with the implementation of the appropriate response measures in times of earthquakes.

The DCER-TF, with its Rapid Action, Surveillance, Research, and Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) teams has begun conducting diagnosis, damage inspections, and surveillance activities following said earthquakes.

The Department of Education – Division of Davao City, through this declaration is hereby tasked to coordinate with the DCER-TF for the conduct of school building inspections and assessment.

“There is a need to thoroughly assess and inspect all vital infrastructures and facilities, including schools, government offices, roads, and bridges to ensure that areas assessed to be damaged and unsafe are closed off to the public,” the declaration reads