The local government of Zamboanga City announces the continued suspension of classes and work Tuesday due to continuing sporadic firefights and the ongoing impasse between government forces and forces of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
In a Twitter post, the Zamboanga city government says classes in all levels in both public and private schools remain suspended.
Work in all offices are also suspended except for those providing frontline services.
Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco says the city is on heightened alert, as around three to five of 98 barangays are still being held hostage by the MNLF fighters.
In an interview with Solar News, Climaco says the top priority is to secure the safety of the hostages and civilians in the city.
She also clarifies that the rest of Zamboanga City remains calm and normal, although authorities continue to monitor the situation in the areas not affected by the armed conflict.
She adds, the city's sea ports will remain closed until an order is given by the crisis committee, as it does not want other infiltrators to enter the city.
A security summit is set for Tuesday, with the Zamboanga City government convening the consultation with the country's top officials.
Meanwhile, Climaco says officials are also trying to connect with the rebels to deal with their demands.
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Pia Hontiveros, Chief Correspondent and anchor of Solar Network News and News.Ph, presents the Solar News and Current Affairs year-ender special: On the Cusp of Change. A deafening silence, not out of a loss for words but a grief that cannot be spoken, for thousands lost to a super typhoon ... A muted pain from a powerful tremor that violently shook the heart of the nation ... An unspeakable anger over pork barrel that fueled a political maelstrom ... These and other stories from the extraordinary challenging year that was.