By Kristine Felisse Mangunay
MANILA, Philippines—Despite the improving weather, more than 100 families who sought refuge from the wrath of Tropical Depression “Ruby” in a public school in Muntinlupa City on Monday will not be returning to their houses until Friday.
This was according to Estrellita Silvestre, one of Barangay Alabang’s health workers who are looking after the 169 families who had been waiting the storm out at the Mababang Paaralang Elementarya ng Alabang since Sunday.
“They were supposed to return to their houses (on Tuesday) because the weather has improved but it looks like they will be going home (on Wednesday) because of the high tide,” Silvestre said on Tuesday.
According to her, the water level in Laguna Lake appeared to be going up due to the high tide, making it unsafe for families to return to their houses which are located near the shoreline.
“Two families who saw their houses told us that they wanted to stay in the evacuation center because the water levels of the lake had gone up,” Silvestre added.
One of the evacuees, Efren Rubia, admitted that he and his live-in partner did not heed authorities’ order to leave their house on Sunday although he changed his mind around 7 a.m. on Tuesday when he saw that the lake’s water level had risen.
“From my house, you can go down to where the lake is. And if before, the water was up to my chest, when I woke up it was higher than I was,” he said.
Silvestre told the Inquirer that and his live-in partner Janine Istiada immediately locked up their house and did not even think of bringing any of their belongings to the evacuation center. “I was afraid the water would suddenly rise again,” he said.
Asked if classes would be suspended in the school on Wednesday if the families were still there, Tez Navarro, Muntinlupa public information officer, said Mayor Jaime Fresnedi had already instructed school officials to let the evacuees stay.