THE Philippine Navy has recovered three more bodies believed to have come from the sunken MV Maharlika 2, bringing to six the total number of fatalities from the incident that was caused by Typhoon Luis.
Navy Public Affairs Office chief Lt. Cmdr. Marineth Domingo on Monday said the three bodies, one male and two female, were recovered by Philippine Navy vessels during their search and rescue operations off the coast of Southern Leyte.
MV Maharlika 2 went down after being battered by huge waves churned by the typhoon as it bore down on Northern Luzon late on Saturday.
Another ferry went down off Manila Bay on Sunday night.
Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Commander Armand Balilo said the ferry’s 15 crew were rescued.
The ferry took shelter at Manila Bay at the height of the typhoon but it sank after being battered by strong winds and waves.
Also on Monday, Malacañang suspended classes in all levels in public and private schools in Metro Manila and several provinces lashed by Typhoon Luis. These provinces include Zambales, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Pampanga, Bulacan, Bataan, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Mindoro provinces and Calamian group of islands.
The typhoon blew out of the country also on Monday but the weather bureau said some areas will continue to have rains because the southwest monsoon will affect the western section of Luzon.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it opened 36 evacuation centers in four regions in Luzon to serve the families affected by the typhoon.
DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman said the evacuation centers are in the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila), Region I (Ilocos), Region II (Cagayan Valley), and Region IV-A or Calabarzon.
A total of 827 families or 4,493 persons are in the evacuation centers.
Soliman said they created hubs to avoid food spoilage like what happened in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda that hit the country in November 2013.
WITH ROBERTZON F. RAMIREZ AND AILEEN R. ALEJO