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PLDT customers continue to suffer

Despite the news on national media regarding saliva testing proposed by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and approved by the Department of Health (DOH) for use by the PRC as alternative for the RT-PCR testing in its laboratories in the country, there is yet no certainty as to whether the test would be available in the island.

The saliva testing is supposed to be cheaper than RT-PCR and is non-invasive compared to the latter, the specimen is taken from deep in the throat or nose.

Red Cross chairman and CEO Sen. Richard Gordon has directed all chapters to fully utilize and support PRC’s Saliva Testing by mobilizing the Red Cross 143 volunteers in every town or city to inform and assist in informing the populace regarding the availability of saliva testing.

Since saliva testing is self-administered and does not need medical technologists, so even Red Cross volunteers can help in the implementation of saliva testing in all their respective areas and take samples from schools, communities, workplaces, malls and market places.

The question here is whether one needs to get tested, whether it be by RT-PCR or this saliva test.

A negative RT-PCR test is required only for outbound international travel or if one is a Returning Overseas Filipino (ROF).

In this island province, one only gets tested if he or she becomes a suspect COVID-19 case or is included in the list of close contacts of a confirmed coronavirus case.

In this instance, the swab test submitted to the government laboratory in the mainland and it is free of charge.

Thus, there is no imperative for a private individual to get tested if he or she is not going anywhere outside the country.

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Several hundred people in the two Palnab barangays of Virac have signed a manifesto expressing their strong opposition to the application for land use conversion of the residential property slated for use as a shipyard.

Saying that the concerned committees of the Sangguniang Bayan did not conduct the public hearing right in the barangays to consult its people, the oppositors said the municipal councilors are basing their decision on the matter on their personal interests due to their professional, economic and political affiliation to the lot owners, the Virac Home Realty Corporation.

They communicated their belief that the municipality should pursue its plan to make the Kinaw area as a marine and forest protection area as it provides food, livelihood and free recreation to the people of Palnab.

The signatories likewise stated that it is too risky to convert the area into a shipyard as it is prone to storm surge and the resulting pollution from chemicals, fuel and oil would contaminate the surrounding waters and coral reefs that needs to be preserved for future generations.

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Last week, a PLDT team from Albay finally reconnected the broadband wire to our unit at home. The technician tested the signal in the wire and found it strong at 17 mbps but said the router unit is “barred” as I had settle the outstanding bill of  P4,235, including those for December 2020 and January 2021 when there were no broadband service.

Assured that the payment would later be adjusted, I paid the following morning but found out to my dismay that there was still no signal even after a day, two days and, now, almost a week later.

All the PLDT customer hotline could send us, despite our repeated complaints, were text messages that the technical issue is being attended to by the restoration team and an update is forthcoming in 72 hours and later 24 hours.

Last Sunday, another PLDT text announced that it is happy to report that the issue has been resolved and that service has been restored. We checked and got nothing: there was no internet connection.

Many customers of the telecoms giant are wondering how they are going to get PLDT to somehow pay compensation for the delay in reconnection.

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THE REINCARNATED HUSBAND. A woman went to a psychic in an attempt to make contact with her recently deceased husband. After a few false alarms, he finally came through loud and clear.

“How are you, George?” she asked. “Are you keeping well?”

“I’m fine,” said George. “I’m standing in this field looking as beautiful cows.”

“Can you see any angels?” asked the wife.

“No, but who needs angels when you’re surrounded by cows? There’s a real looker standing right in front of me. Lovely long eyelashes….”

“What about God?” interrupted the wife. “Have you met him yet?”

“No, I haven’t seen God either. Wow! That cow’s a real cracker!”

The wife was becoming irritated. “Why do you keep going on about cows all the time?”

“Oh, sorry. I should have told you,” said George. “I’ve come back as a bull.”

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