PENRO, IMT office hit by COVID-19

A number of personnel of the Incident Management Team (IMT) based at the provincial capitol has been laid low by COVID-19, with the entire office locked down and some staffers deciding to quarantine inside.
The coronavirus cases at the capitol were part of the record 219 new cases for the week spanning Oct. 3 to Oct. 9, 2021, more than double the 102 recorded for the past week.
This brought the total number of active cases to another record high of 317, with 31 of them admitted in local hospitals.
As of Oct. 9, the active cases are in Virac (123), Caramoran (43), Viga (36), San Andres (32), Pandan (28), Bato (16), San Miguel (16), Bagamanoc (15), Baras (6), and Panganiban (2), with only Gigmoto with zero active cases and no deaths so far.
Fatalities due to COVID-19 rose by four to 61 so far, with Virac having the highest death toll at 32, followed by San Andres with six, and Panganiban, Pandan and Caramoran with four each, Viga and Baras with three each, Bato and Bagamanoc with two each, and San Miguel with one.
Among the barangays were multiple new cases were Begonia, Rizal, San Vicente and Oco in Viga; Cavinitan, Rawis, and Sta. Cruz, in Virac; San Vicente in Bagamanoc; Tilod and Salvacion in Baras; Balatohan and Boton in San Miguel; Wagdas and Napo in Pandan; Yocti, Timbaan and Belmonte in San Andres; and, Tubli, Icanbato and Salvacion in Caramoran.
Included in the new cases are four police officers, four teachers, three doctors, four LGU employees, two engineers, RHU and HRH workers, a bank employee, a massage therapist, a hotel supervisor, a fastfood chain worker and a nurse.
The week’s total also included an employee of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in San Isidro Village where an unconfirmed report claimed that four or five workers have been infected.
The report also alleged that the PENRO chief has refused to lock down the office, as it would paralyze the operations of the national agency, and advised close contacts of the positive employees to file leaves of absence during the 14-day quarantine.
A ranking official of DILG Catanduanes affirmed that the PENRO chief is correct in not temporarily shutting down its operations but averred that the close contacts need not file leaves of absence for the quarantine period.

In the Sept. 22, 2021 issue of this paper, the news article “Virac man gets 14 years in jail for shabu” mistakenly identified the accused as the son of a barangay kagawad in Sogod Tibgao when in truth and in fact it was not so stated in the court decision. Our sincere apologies to Mr. Eduardo Torres, the barangay council of Sogod Tibgao and barangay kagawad Alma Arcilla Torres.

Five local media personalities have filed their Certificates of Candidacy for various posts in the May 2022 local elections.
In the provincial level, Kusog Bicolandia has fielded its lone bet, GMA-7 stringer Jinky Lou Tabor, for one of the four seats in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s West district where 11 other bets are in the race.
In Virac, Tribune columnist and former councilor Armando Zafe is hoping to return to the Sangguniang Bayan, with broadcasters Ramil Soliveres and Jocelyn Buena also filing separate bids.
Veteran writer Salvador Isorena is trying his luck in Pandan for a council seat, three years after losing in the 2019 council race in Virac.
According to Section 6.6 of Republic Act 9006, or the Fair Election Act, “(A)ny mass media columnist, commentator, announcer, reporter, on-air correspondent or personality who is a candidate for any elective public office or is a campaign volunteer for or employed or retained in any capacity by any candidate or political party shall be deemed resigned, if so required by their employer, or shall take a leave of absence from his/her work as such during the campaign period: Provided, That any media practitioner who is an official of a political party or a member of the campaign staff of a candidate or political party shall not use his/her time or space to favor any candidate or political party.”

A SHABBY-LOOKING COUPLE were looking at a new kitchen. After a while, the man said to the salesman: “Yeah, we really like it, but I don’t think we can afford it.”
The salesman said: “You just make a small down payment, then you don’t make another payment for twelve months.”
The woman growled: “Who told you about us?”

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