INSIDE PAGE | Fernan A. Gianan:

Cong. Rodriguez’s People’s Center

Much to the frustration of islanders, not a few leaders past and present have proposed that key national agencies who do not have a presence here set up a field office in Catanduanes.

Among these agencies are the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Department of Foreign Affairs’ Passport Division, and even the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

There were announcements in the past that the NBI would occupy a vacant office at the provincial capitol but nothing came out of this.

When the DOJ building was completed at the Virac LGU’s community hub in San Isidro Village, there was an expectation that the NBI regional office would finally set up shop at the edifice but apparently, there was not enough space.

Perhaps, the latest effort from Congressman Leo Rodriguez would bear fruit, especially since the Catanduanes State University, through President Patrick Alain Azanza, has offered use of 1,000 square meters of land for the construction of a People’s Center that would be a one-stop shop for islanders requiring the services of these mainland-based agencies and offices.

But this is better said than done, as the construction of the center would need a sizeable budget and so, too, would the agencies in setting up their offices here.

The congressman’s job is to get the agreement of the NBI, PRC, DFA and other agencies on a permanent presence in the island.


NEWSBITS: Catanduanes Bazaar and Supermart’s Frank Boñales has been elected chairman of the Regional Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Council in a recent meeting of the Bicol provincial MSED council chairs. In the province, he has been replaced by Flor Teves as the new chair…. Alexander Ang Hung of Aljon Construction and Development, Inc. (ACDI) has been elected president of the Catanduanes Contractors Association in a recent meeting attended by all except two of its 31 members. He replaced former president Samuel Laynes, who had to give up the post when he was sworn in as mayor of Virac.


Surprisingly, and frustrating for the local media, there has been no official report in the last two weeks from provincial health authorities regarding the surge in suspect dengue and typhoid cases in several towns in Catanduanes.

Except for information provided by the Baras municipal health officer, Dr. Ariel Acompañado, who was accommodating enough to answer the Tribune’s query on the matter following a tip, the Provincial Health Office as well as rural health units of affected towns have not issued advisories on the matter.

It seems that the Capitol leaders, especially the Provincial Health Board, are likewise not sufficiently alarmed by the increasing dengue cases which have claimed the life of a young Virac pupil.

According to the latest report secured by the Tribune from the Provincial Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (PESU), a total of 283 suspect dengue cases have been reported by sentinel hospitals as of Morbidity Week 34 that ended Aug. 27, 2022.

The capital town of Virac accounted for 152 or 53% of the dengue cases, with San Andres (44), Baras (20), Bato (20), Caramoran (12) and San Miguel (11) the only other towns with double-digit cases.


THE ENGINE IS STILL RUNNING. An 70-year-old married a 20-year-old. A year after the wedding the couple arrives at the delivery room. A male boy weighing 3.5 kg was born, healthy and beautiful.

The nurse asks the old man “Yours?”

“Yes,” the old man replies proudly.

“Congratulations,” the nurse replies.

“Well…” says the old man, “the old engine still runs!”

Two years later the duo arrives at the delivery room again. A 3.5 kg girl was born, healthy and beautiful. The nurse asks the old man: “Yours?”.

“Yes” the old man answers.

“Well done” the nurse answers.

“The engine still runs!” said the old man.

After two more years, they come to the delivery room again. A 3.5-year-old male son is born, healthy and beautiful. The nurse asks the old man: “Yours?”.

“Yes,” the old man replies.

“Congratulations,” the nurse says, “that’s really impressive.”

“Well…” says the old man, “the engine is still running!”

“Well… says the nurse, “you may want to change the oil, the last one came out black.”

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