IATF solves half of the task force’s problem

by Fernan A. Gianan

Two agencies which have come under fire from majority of members of the PTF-EREID due to their actions with regards to the island’s battle to keep the COVID-19 pandemic off its shores are the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the Department of Education (DepEd).

The manager of the island’s two ports has resolutely denied the request of the task force for the use of its terminal facilities as quarantine area for arriving cargo truck drivers, citing existing policy.

This has forced the acting governor to write a letter to the PPA’s general manager, trying to convince him that the use of the PPA port facilities as temporary quarantine area would prevent the coronavirus from spreading to the island.

Some task force members advocated for a temporary takeover of the PPA compounds.

On the other hand, the DepEd Catanduanes division office has also opposed the proposal of the task force to use local schools as quarantine areas for PUIs and PUMs. The task force finds the DepEd’s refusal unreasonable, citing the use of Tabaco National High School as quarantine area for stranded Catandunganon workers and the fact that there are scores of newly-completed and unoccupied multi-storey school buildings in almost every barangay.

Last Sunday, this concern of the COVID-19 task force has been partly resolved, following the decision of the IATF to convert sports facilities, schools, military hospitals, and other state-owned buildings and even churches into makeshift quarantine sites.

As of Monday, the acting governor has reportedly decided to issue an executive order on the temporary takeover of two ports. The move is backed by the task force members, lawyer Susan Ordinario who is close to Malacanang, and Gov. Joseph Cua.


On the Messenger chat group it set up for the local media, the Catanduanes police provincial office reported the case of a 33-year old police officer who was arrested in the evening of March 28, 2020 at a checkpoint in San Miguel town.

The police officer, whose name was not mentioned in the report, was said to have acted inappropriately towards the barangay chairman and kagawads then manning a checkpoint along the road at Ogbong, Viga sometime at 4:30 P.M. that same day.

Upon learning of the policeman’s action, no less than PNP provincial director Col. Paul Abay declared that the command would not condone any violation of law committed by an officer on the island.

A member of the Catanduanes Island Media Club (CIMC), composed of private media practitioners, pointedly wondered why the provincial police left out the name of the erring policeman, when it has always identified civilian suspects in previous reports.

Pressed, Camp Camacho had to give up the officer’s name: PSSg Brent Mark Contante, who incidentally was the intelligence office at Panganiban MPS when he was accused by Panganiban National High School teacher Amor Castro-Arcilla in 2016 of maliciously including her in the town’s drug watchlist.


THE OLDIES. A couple who had been married for over 50 years are sitting on the sofa.

The wife says, “Dear, do you remember how you used to sit close to me?”

He moves over and sits close to her.

“Dear,” she continues, “do you remember how you used to hold me tight?”

He reaches over and holds her tight.

“And.” she goes on, “do you remember how you used to hug me and kiss me and nibble on my ear?”

With that, the husband gets up and starts to walk out or the room.

“Where are you going?” she asks.

“Well,” answers the husband, “I have to go and get my teeth.”

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