Inside Page | Fernan A. Gianan:

PAGASA should modify its gale warnings

According to the latest report of the Department of Health (DOH)  Center for Health Development 5, a total of 19 people were injured by fireworks and firecrackers during the recent holiday season from Dec. 21, 2022 to Jan. 2, 2023.

Compared with last year’s data, this season’s incidents represent a 46 percent increase but still lower than the average for the last five years, the DOH-CHD 5 report said.

The Fireworks-Related Injury (FWRI) Surveillance Report said that Albay accounted for 12 injuries followed by Camarines Sur with five and Camarines Norte with two. There were no injuries recorded in the other three provinces, including Catanduanes.

Most of the injuries were caused by “kwitis” with seven, while “Five-Star” firecrackers caused five of them and improvised cannons were blamed in four incidents. All were treated and sent home, with no one needing amputation and nobody reported to have ingested any fireworks.

There were also no injuries or fatalities resulting from stray bullets.

However, the Catanduanes Police Provincial Office reported in its Facebook page that while the New Year’s celebration was generally peaceful, two people were injured by exploding firecrackers.

The report did not state the municipalities where the incidents happened but it is likely that they were in the other 10 towns.

The DOH-CHD 5 sources its data from the so-called sentinel hospitals, among which only one, the Eastern Bicol Medical Center (EBMC), is in Catanduanes.


Our apologies to the loyal readers and advertisers of the Tribune for this black-and-white edition.

Our Manila-based partner which makes the color negatives informed us last Dec. 29 that they ran out of supply of film negatives for the color separation.

As a result, we were forced to use one-color photos, including the holiday greetings of Virac Mayor Samuel Laynes, Governor Joseph Cua and Vice Governor Peter Cua.

So sorry for the unfortunate turn of events.


Some concerned LGU officials would like to see PAGASA slightly amend its policy on Gale Warnings.

The advisories on rough seas and strong winds at sea, often brought by an enhanced northeast monsoon and the flow of cold air from the north, serve to warn fishermen and small seacraft from going out to sea.

In the light of what happened to the 10 fishermen from Virac and Viga who went out to catch fish in the Pacific Ocean on Dec. 22 when Catanduanes or any part of it was not included in the Gale Warning issued at 5 AM that day, PAGASA has to modify its warning into a two-day forecast.

Local officials point out that sea-going fishermen often go out on two-to-three-day fishing trips. Thus, a gale warning covering just one day would not be enough.

They also said that on Dec. 23, the gale warning included only the northern towns of Pandan, Bagamanoc, Panay Island, Gigmoto and Baras, to the exclusion of Viga which is located between Panganiban and Gigmoto.

A partial gale warning for the island sends a confusing message to local fishermen, since the ocean alongside the coastal towns, whether in the north or south, are equally affected by the bad weather.

Apparently, PAGASA is not aware that fishermen from both the northern and southern towns consider the ocean east of Baras as a common fishing ground.

Perhaps, the agency forecasters are not even aware of the actual locations of the island’s 11 towns.


THE MEDICAL EXAM. A man came to see his family doctor. The man told his doctor that he wasn’t able to do all the things around the house that he used to do.

When the examination was complete, he said: “Now, Doc, I can take it. Tell me in plain English what is wrong with me.”

“Well, in plain English,” the doctor replied, “you’re just lazy.”

“Okay,” said the man. “Now give me the medical term so I can tell my wife.”

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