Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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Sorsogon a pilot area for Universal Health Care Law

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By Felix “Boy” Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON Province – With the controversies hounding PHILHEALTH operations, Governor Francis Joseph Escudero is looking forward and upbeat that the province inclusion as one of the pilot areas for the Universal Health Care law redound to a full beneficial health care benefit for Sorsoganons.

In a press release, the re-enrollment or reenlisting will end October this year which will delete confusing data entry of members regarding to their date of birth, civil status, typographical errors of names, and will delist double entries in Philhealth database. Corrected entries give the beneficiary easy access to the benefits under the UHC law. The process will weed out names who are not categorized as indigent, correct the discrepancies and ensure the integrity of the record at the database.

Correcting the database will deter the inclusions of unqualified individuals and will be in the real number of beneficiaries to avoid the experience of Sorsogon City which has 40,000 beneficiaries more than its population.

Conferring with the province mayors, this move will ensure speedy claims for healthcare qualified beneficiaries and it will incorporate correct personal data. The health workers together with local officials and the social welfare office will assist in the distribution of forms and to personally attend to the beneficiary in filling-up the registration forms in mind for the correctness of entries.

An estimated 200,000 forms will be available and PhilHealth agreed when it met Escudero that public and private schools will help to ensure the migration of the hardcopies to Philhealth which was agreed beforehand thus allowing Sorsogon to access their database. This is also a way to earn an extra for the data encoders.

The town of Casiguran with 25 barangays is already undertaking the relisting. [Bicol Today]

Sorsogon provincial government to undertake rightsizing

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By Felix “Boy” Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON Province – As early as July 2019 a study and an evaluation was conducted by the UP- National College of Public Administration and Governance to study the efficient designation of duties and responsibilities with the intentions to eliminate redundancies in the performance of salaried provincial employees for an efficient public service.

It came about due to the passage of the provincial board Resolution No. 153-2019 authorizing the governor to enter into a MOA with UP-NCPAG in mind of improving the effective and efficient service to the public. Subsequently Resolution No. 5-2020 authorizes the governor to undertake to rightsize.

The Board with due diligence took Section 76 of RA 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991 that gave authority to a local government unit to “design and implement its own organizational structure and staffing pattern taking into considerations its service requirements and financial capability, subject to the minimum standards and guidelines prescribed by the Civil Service Commission.”

With the authority given to the governor to undertake rightsizing, Provincial Ordinance No. 34-2020 prescribed the guidelines for implementation of rightsizing of the organizational structure and appropriating funds for the purpose aimed to promote and maintain efficiency, economy, enhance institutional capacity to improve public service delivery committing the role of the Sorsogon province as a contributor to the societal and and economic development goals of the country.

The present organizational structure will undergo a screening process to determine redundant, duplication functions that maybe abolished and transferred within the provincial government and on the basis of the screening a new organizational structure will be the basis of plantilla position to be abolished and the new positions that will be created. The rightsizing however will be undertaken by phase starting with the different hospitals administered and operated by the provincial government.

The concerned hospitals funding for payment of separation of which the terminal pay was computed end of June 2020 is 33 million-plus with possible three-thirty plantilla positions for abolition at Dr. Fernando B. Duran Sr. Memorial Hospital, Donsol District Hospital with 11 plantilla, Gubat District Hospital with 10, Irosin District Hospital 9, Vicente Peralta District Hospital with 7, 6 at PGMH, 5 each for Matnog and Pto. Diaz and 2 plantilla at Magallanes Medicare Hospital.

It emphasized in the Ordinance that the rightsizing of provincial government offices is not a force or early retirement plan of personnel but abolition of redundant and unnecessary positions. Employees affected by the abolition of their plantilla shall receive corresponding separation pay over and above the terminal leave benefits for those affected will be granted.

The formula for separation pay per employee whose service for 0-15 years is monthly compensation x 1,5 x years of service that for 16-25 years will be monthly compensation x 1 x years of service and for those 25 years upward is monthy compensation 0.5 x years of service. The computation is pursuant to DBM Budget Circular No.2016-2 and Section 40 of CSC mc No.14. (TL B is Terminal Leave Benefits, S for highest monthly salary receive, D stands for accumulated vacation and sick leave credits and CF, the constant factor which is 0.0481927).

The rightsizing is under the principle of good faith as dialog between the affected employees and their respective heads of offices will be done and as a policy, the affected employee will be allowed to apply for any vacant position in the provincial government and will be given a priority in hiring for new plantilla positions provided qualified to the position.

Prior notice will be given to employees affected before the abolition of the position and removal of the incumbent. Those employees who avail the separation package shall bar him from applying for any position in the new plantilla within a period of two years.

Those who need one or two years prior to retirement age or to comply 15 years of service has the option to continue their service under a co-terminus employment to complete deficiency period either in age or service. [Bicol Today]

YOUNG SEMINARIAN SELLING STREET FOOD WHILE WAITING FOR “GOD’S CALLING” IN SORSOGON PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES

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By Joey Natividad

While waiting for “God’s calling”, this humble young Seminarian in the Philippines, aspiring to become a priest soon, is selling street food to help his family survive the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Joban Lagamayo, under the hot afternoon sun, walks down the streets in Sorsogon City, 650 kilometers southwest of Manila, offering as snacks fried bananas-on-stick for a few pesos.

Joban is selling banana-based merienda, while waiting for “God’s calling”.

Lagamayo is a Catholic seminarian, an incoming third year student of AB Philosophy at Our Lady of Peñafrancia Seminary (OLPS) in Sorsogon City.

Studying at a Seminary is a requirement before becoming a Catholic priest.

Lagamayo is using his free time selling banana-based merienda within the local community.

According to him in his FB post,”this is to help his family survive the COVID-19 pandemic crisis while waiting for his return to the seminary.”

He walks around the streets of Cambulaga in Sorsogon City to sell “turon” for PhP 10.00 and “banana cue” for PhP 12.00.

“Turon” is a snack delicacy of sweetened fried banana roll, while “banana cue” is sweetened fried banana-in-stick.

93,354 COVID-19 CASES; 4,063 INCREASE SINGLE DAY – DOH

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PH TOTAL CASES of COVID-19 hit 93,354, with a single day increase of 4,063 confirmed cases on Friday, July 31, 2020.

As of 4PM today {Friday}, July 31, 2020, the Department of Health officially reported the total number of COVID-19 cases at 93,354.

A total of 4,063 confirmed cases were reported based on the total tests done by 74 out of 91 current operational labs.

DOH also announced 165 recoveries, bringing the total number of recoveries to 65,178.

Note:
Of the 4,063 additional cases reported today, 3,813 (94%) occurred in July. The top regions with cases in July were:

NCR: 2,153 cases (56%)

Region 7: 558 cases (15%)

Region 4A: 492 cases (13%)

Of the 40 deaths, 27 (68%) in July, 2 (5%) in June, 2 (5%) in May, 7 (18%) in April, and 2 (5%) in March.

Deaths were from NCR (13 or 33%), Region 7 (12 or 30%), Region 3 (7 or 18%), Region 4A (2 or 5%), Region 6 (2 or 5%), Region 11 (2 or 5%), Region 4B (1 or 2.5%), and Region 9 (1 or 2.5%).

There were eighty-three (83) duplicates that were removed from the total case count. Of these, forty-two (42) recovered cases have been removed.

Moreover, we have updated the health status of nine (9) cases previously reported as recovered but after final validation were deaths (8) and active (1) cases.

These numbers undergo constant cleaning and validation.

MASBATE PROVINCE REGISTERS 43 COVID-19 CASES WITHIN 2 WEEKS, JULY 17-JULY 30, 2020

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By Joey Natividad, Bicol Today

MAINLAND BICOLANOS do not give much attention that the Island Province of Masbate registered 43 cases of COVID-19 within a span of 2 weeks, from Friday, July 17, to Thursday, July 30, 2020.

Almost all of COVID-19 sick persons are “balik probinsiya” or “local stranded individuals {LSIs}” returning home to their hometowns in the province.

And, the Masbate Provincial Government is not “raising hell” to get the national government nor the region’s attention.

According to their local Health frontliners in Masbate, they are doing the COVID-19 response and quarantine protocols.

The affected towns are implementing the local lockdowns, if warranted, and the required food-aid dole outs.

“We are all in these together, and we will endure more together,” said a frontliner.

Reports of DOH before Friday, July 17, 2020 are not included in these brief details.

BRIEF DETAILS OF COVID-19 CASES FROM FRIDAY, JULY 17 – THURSDAY, JULY 30, 2020

THURSDAY, JULY 30, 2020

Bicol#425 (Housewife) – 42 – F – Masbate City- Asymptomatic – Quezon City (July 12, 2020) – Quarantined

WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2020

Bicol#413 | 26 | F | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Rizal (July 19, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#414 (Food establishment worker) | 28 | F | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Taguig & Cubao (July 12, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#415 (Retired Private Employee) | 62 | M | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Pasay (July 12, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#416 (Housewife) | 39 | F | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Caloocan (July 9, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#417 | 26 | M | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Cubao (July 27, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#418 | 24 | F | Masbate City, Masbate |Asymptomatic | Cubao (July 27, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#419 | 26 | F | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Cubao (July 26, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#420 (Clerk) | 46 | F | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Cubao (July 26, 2020) | Quarantined

Bicol#421 | 34 | F | Masbate City, Masbate | Asymptomatic | Pasay (July 12, 2020) | Quarantined

SATURDAY, JULY 25, 2020
Bicol#344 – a 19-year old Filipino male from Cataingan, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City and Pasay City on July 15, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#344 is a gasoline boy.

Bicol#345 – a 22-year old Filipino male from Mobo, Masbate. He arrived from Marikina City on July 16, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#345 is a sales boy.

• Bicol#346 – a 20-year old Filipino male from Mobo, Masbate. He arrived from Marikina City on July 16, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#346 is a sales boy.

• Bicol#347 – a 22-year old Filipino male from Baleno, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on July 17, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#347 is an encoder.

• Bicol#348 – a 5-year old Filipino female from Milagros, Masbate. She arrived from Quezon City on July 20, 2020. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#349 – a 25-year old Filipino male from Milagros, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on July 20, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#349 is a security guard.

• Bicol#350 – a 27-year old Filipino female from Milagros, Masbate. She arrived from Quezon City on July 20, 2020. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

FRIDAY. JULY 24, 2020

Bicol#323 – a 24-year old Filipino male from Palanas, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on July 19, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined. Bicol#323 is a construction worker.

• Bicol#324 – a 46-year old Filipino male from Palanas, Masbate. He arrived from Las Piñas on July 17, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined. Bicol#324 is a construction worker.

• Bicol#325 – a 41-year old Filipino female from Cawayan, Masbate. Her date of arrival from Caloocan is for verification. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined.

• Bicol#326 – an 18-year old Filipino female from Cawayan, Masbate. Her date of arrival from Caloocan is for verification. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2020

Bicol#311 – an 18-year old male from Masbate City. He arrived from Parañaque on July 16,2020. He first experienced symptoms on July 13, 2020. He is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#312 – a 43-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Taguig City on June 29, 2020. She had an exposure to 6 COVID-19 cases (Bicol#264 – Bicol#269). She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#313 – a 56-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Laguna on July 29, 2020. She had exposure to 7 known cases (Bicol#264 to Bicol#269, Bicol#272). She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#314 – a 47-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on June 29, 2020. He had an exposure to 7 known cases (Bicol#264 to Bicol#269, Bicol#272). He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#315 – a 25-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Quezon City on June 29, 2020. She had exposure to 7 known cases (Bicol#264 to Bicol#269, Bicol#272). She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#316 – a 21-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. He arrived from Laguna on June 29, 2020. He had an exposure to 7 known cases (Bicol#264 to Bicol#269, Bicol#272). He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#317 – a 21-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Quezon City on June 29, 2020. She had exposure to 7 known cases (Bicol#264 to Bicol#269, Bicol#272). She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#318 – a 37-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. His travel history is for verification. He had exposure to 7 known cases (Bicol#264 to Bicol#269, Bicol#272). He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2020

Bicol#262 – a 28-year old Filipino male from Masbate City. He arrived from San Jose, Mandaluyong on July 16, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#262 is a welder.

• Bicol#263 – a 56-year old Filipino male from Balud, Masbate. He arrived from Parañaque City on July 12, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#264 – a 19-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Commonwealth Quezon City on June 29, 2020. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#264 is a computer attendant.

• Bicol#265 – a 21-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on June 29, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#266 – a 29-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. He arrived from Commonwealth Quezon City on June 29, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#266 is a computer shop operator.

• Bicol#267 – a 43-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. He arrived from Taguig City on June 29,2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#267 is a construction worker.

• Bicol#268 – a 49-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Quezon City on June 29, 2020. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#268 is a farmer.

• Bicol#269 – a 26-year old Filipino male from Placer, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on June 29, 2020. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#273 – a 31-year old Filipino female from Placer, Masbate. She arrived from Pampanga on June 28, 2020. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#273 is a food handler.

FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2020

• Bicol#248 – an 18-year old Filipino male from Batuan, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on June 26, 2020. He had an exposure to Bicol#174, Bicol#175, Bicol#176 and Bicol#177. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#248 is a construction worker.

• Bicol#249 – a 29-year old Filipino male from Batuan, Masbate. He arrived from Caloocan on June 26, 2020. He had an exposure to Bicol#174, Bicol#175, Bicol#176 and Bicol#177. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#250 – a 24-year old Filipino male from Batuan, Masbate. He arrived from Quezon City on June 26, 2020. He had an exposure to Bicol#174, Bicol#175, Bicol#176 and Bicol#177. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility.

• Bicol#251 – a 20-year old Filipino female from Batuan, Masbate. She arrived from Bulacan on June 26, 2020. She had an exposure to Bicol#174, Bicol#175, Bicol#176 and Bicol#177. She is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#251 is a household helper.

• Bicol#252 – a 32-year old Filipino male from Batuan, Masbate. He arrived from Tondo, Manila on June 26, 2020. He had an exposure to Bicol#174, Bicol#175, Bicol#176 and Bicol#177. He is asymptomatic and is quarantined at an LGU quarantine facility. Bicol#252 is a delivery man.

GOVERNOR ESCUDERO PLEADS PRESIDENT DUTERTE TO FIRE HEALTH SECRETARY DUQUE; “WE DESERVE BETTER”

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By Joey Natividad

GOVERNOR Francis “Chiz” Escudero is seething with anger as he urges President Rodrigo Duterteto fire Health Secretary Francisco Duque lll from his post.

Escudero reacted over the latest report from the Department of Health on Thursday.

After recording in a single day the highest one-day Covid-19 positive new cases of 3,954, the DOH reported Thursday a “mass recovery adjustment” of 38, 075 to include mild/asymptomatic cases.

DOH on Thursday reported the country had reached 89,374 total COVID-19 cases, and new cases will go much higher daily.

“This is “only in the Philippines” and is intolerable and insulting!,” Escudero lamented.

Escudero, now Sorsogon Governor, appealed: “President Duterte, Sir, please fire Sec. Duque! You/we/I deserve better po!”

Media reports in Metro-Manila said former Senator Escudero could no longer “stomach” the DOH report of 38,075 persons “recovered”, including those with “mild” symptoms and asymptomatic.

For easy reference, visit website; “PH logs record-high 38k add’l recoveries, 3,954 new COVID-19 cases -” https://bit.ly/30ZlN0g

“Where did the 38,000 COVID-19 ‘mass recoveries’ come from? Here’s DOH’s explanation ” – https://bit.ly/2BHyi84

A day before, Escudero posted in his FB, saying: “The “it could have been worse” argument is actually a fallacy designed to make people feel good and content with whatever is given them.”

The argument “it could have been worse” was attributed to Spokesperson Harry Roque, who is also the sounding board of President Duterte, DOH, and IATF.

Escudero said: “We can and should demand more from our leaders who I believe can and will do more! ‘Di na dapat pwede ang ‘pwede na.'”

In another previous FB post, Escudero said: “I think DOH is just ‘riding out’ COVID-19 until a vaccine is invented. I don’t see nor feel any active/serious efforts being done by it.”

“The DOH, as the lead agency of the IATF, should do precisely that – lead in a proactive way and not simply be content in reporting out statistics.”

Netizens say that knowing Escudero’s crusading spirit, Secretary Duque is still lucky for not getting the “hot seat” from Escudero, who is no longer a Senator.

Netizens say the present incumbent Senators are already “tamed and domesticated”, who could no longer raise, at the very least, a “whimper” over serious, pressing issues.

Phivolcs warns treks to Bulusan Volcano after 5 quakes in 24-hour period; reminds public to avoid 4-km permanent danger zone

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DOST-PHIVOLCS is informing all concerned authorities and the public on recent activities at Bulusan Volcano.

In the last 24-hour observation period, the Bulusan Volcano Network recorded five (5) volcanic earthquakes.

In view of the possibility of sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosion from the summit crater or from vents on the Bulusan upper slopes, DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly reminds the public and local government units that the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) should be avoided at all times as a precaution.

In particular, all treks to the summit must be avoided due to the increased risk of phreatic activity.

DOST-PHIVOLCS is keeping close watch and evaluating the status of the volcano and will inform all concerned of any further developments.

APPROVE NOW THE FRANCHISE RENEWAL OF ABS-CBN – BICOL TODAY

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THE EDITORIAL BOARD of Bicol Today sees the expediency to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN at this time when urgent news, information dissemination, knowledge transfer, and developing of events must be shared to the public.

To get informed at the right moment is very crucial at this time of global pandemic, when economic recession worldwide is anticipated, the COVID-19 threat may decimate a sizable portion of the global population, and civil unrest, emergence of war, and additional threats of infectious diseases.

The global crisis is affecting our country and the Filipino people.

We need ABS-CBN, an effective and efficient media organization, to open again with a renewal of franchise, so that it will join hands with other media organizations, private or government-owned.

The Filipino has the right to be informed. The Filipino community has the need to know.

Filipinos have the privilege to be entertained, to enjoy and laugh with TV shows, and shed tears on tragic events, to be amazed and awed while seeing events found wonderful to their senses.

These shows might be illusory and palliatives for them to enjoy and forget, for the time being, the harsh realities of grinding poverty and economic woes Filipinos are currently suffering now, at this time of pandemic and the worsening economic situation.

In the positive side, ABS-CBN had bridged the communication and information gap of news, between the highly urbanized growth regions and the remotest rural areas.

It has delivered timely news, specifically news about disasters and calamities when the average Filipino family is glued to the TV set, waiting for the latest unfoldment of events.

We, the editorial board of Bicol Today, uphold freedom of the press, and by this freedom, a free press has provided all sectors adequate media space.

The free press has provided dissenters to air grievances and criticism, and critics the freedom to air their protests. Politics, economic managers, public executives, and the government have benefitted so much in the free press. Important developments and situations leading to economic growth enjoy much media space.

Persecuting the media and trampling down press freedom would not guarantee the success of tyrannical and despotic rule, nor the triumphant rule of dictatorial administration.

Looking at historical narratives about dictatorial regimes and the free media, the worst State clampdown would only push the free press into the underground where the voices are heard but not seen. Invisible among the despots, but heard by the oppressed masses.

We, the editorial board of Bicol Today, support the renewal of the Congressional franchise of ABS-CBN.

BICOL TODAY
EDITORIAL BOARD

Radioman in Camarines Norte faces cyber-libel case filed by Governor Tallado

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A radio reporter in Daet, Camarines Norte was accused of cyber libel by Camarines Norte Governor Edgar Tallado for Facebook posts alleging graft and corruption committed by the official.

Virgilio Avila Jr., said the case was the latest in a string of libel cases the Governor has filed against him which he said were intended to stop him from criticizing Tallado’s administration.

All the earlier cases were dismissed by the prosecutor.

Avila, who works for radio stations dzAU AM Radio and 98.5 OK FM, described the libel cases as acts of harassment and intimidation by the Governor against his critics in the media.

The last libel case is now with the prosecutor’s office.

Councilor Chavez of Sagñay, Camarines Sur flashes public alarm on LUSI whereabouts

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By Joey Natividad, Bicol Today

Councilor Ratz Chavez of Sagñay, Camarines Sur, flashed a public alarm to report to town authorities of a person who is a LUSI.

Councilor Chavez said the LUSI is scary, who is unknown and might be carrying the COVID-19 virus in the barangay.

Sagñay Vice Mayor Harold Bryan San Felipe also shared Chavez’s post in his Facebook page.

“We have no idea on who he is, where he is, and when he arrived,” he said.

According to him, LUSI means Locally Undocumented Stranded Individual.

This is different to the national government’s classification of locally stranded individuals or LSIs.

See his post at Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/rachiel.chavez/posts/3143432035722191