Inside Page | Fernan A. Gianan:

Missing the daily broadsheets

There was an unfortunate error on last week’s article entitled “PMA names Dr. Joselito DC. Urgel as island’s most outstanding physician.”

The last sentence of the news item in question, referring to PMA awardee Dr. Ricardo Francisco Jr., stated: “Connected with the Veterans Memorial Hospital, he is the son of two late educators: former DepEd division superintendent Ricardo Francisco and former division supervisor Guadalupe Arcilla-Francisco.

The word “late” was regrettably misplaced and should have been before “former DepEd division superintendent Ricardo Francisco” as his beloved wife, former division supervisor Guadalupe Arcilla-Francisco, will celebrate her 94th birthday this coming June 17, 2023.

Our profuse and sincere apologies to the Francisco family, with whom we grew up with in the same neighborhood since we were young. And we wish her long life, which if we believe folklore comes to those erroneously and prematurely reported as having gone to the great beyond.


Through an advisory, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) has instructed all electric cooperatives to countercheck and validate power bills from power suppliers.

Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 mandates all electric cooperatives (ECs) to supply electricity in the least cost manner to its captive market. The ECs must validate and verify the pass-through generation charges billed by contracted Generation Companies (GenCos) which are then passed on to their member-consumer owners (MCOs), NEA said.

With the decrease of the fuel cost in the market, the ECs are directed to strictly scrutinize the power bills received from their contracted generation companies, calculate the monthly generation charges and fuel cost computations (including the relevant heat rates), it added.

The NEA stressed that there is a need for the cooperatives to ensure that these variable costs conform to the terms of their respective approved Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) and to the current cost of fuel in the world market.

The directive covers FICELCO, whose member-consumer-owners have seen power rates rise by nearly a peso in the past five months.

While consumers enjoyed a 25-centavo per kilowatt-hour reduction in residential rates in February and March, the cost of electricity in their homes jumped up by 90 centavos by April with the implementation of the 2nd tranche of the National Power Corporation’s increase in Subsidized Approved Generation Rate (SAGR) of 58.27 centavos.

But this still left an additional hike of nearly 32 centavos per kwh for April, which was followed by another increase of 15.39 centavos in May.


It has been months now since newspaper readers in Catanduanes, except perhaps for travelers from the mainland, have seen and held actual copies of national broadsheets and tabloids.

Newsstands and kiosks in malls are empty of printed publications except for the Tribune and one other local news sheet.

For more than 50 years, Catandunganon readers were served by the sthe only newspaper dealer in the island, whose newsboy, Oscar Columna, would “inherit” the job decades later.

With his children having finished schooling and working, Oscar has understandably retired from his business of delivering copies of Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star and tabloids to government offices and private customers.

But the daily grind apparently worn him down, especially the work of following up payment of subscriptions from government offices for weeks.

The absence of real copies of broadsheets leaves their loyal readers empty, as the online versions cannot be enjoyed similarly. You liken the feeling of reading an actual newspaper like enjoying coffee.

The loss of this public service is also felt by some business establishments and market stalls, who miss the newspapers for one reason: their need for wrappers for goods from nails to dried fish.



THE BEST FRIENDS. A woman didn’t come home one night.

The next morning, she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend’s house.

The man called his wife’s 10 best friends.

None of them knew anything about it.

A man didn’t come home one night.

The next morning, he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend’s house.

The wife called her husband’s 10 best friends.

Eight of them confirmed that he had slept over and two said he was still there.

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