Thursday, October 22, 2020
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Ayo UST Growling Tiger head coach resigns ready to face sanctions


By Felix “Boy” Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON CITY — After the bolting of key players from the team UST Growling Tigers head coach Aldin Ayo together with his two deputies resigned and whatever sanctions to be imposed by the University Athletic Association of the Philippines(UAAP) for the training of the team in his personal gym here in Sorsogon City, he took full responsibility for breaching health protocols imposed by UAAP in the light of COVID-19.

The sanctions is yet to be decided by the athletic board and the status of Ayo remains in limbo since the rumor that he is going back to Letran was unfounded.

With the key players looking for new teams among them CJ Cansino and Rhenz Abando the Santo Tomas community is reeling the development.

The university athletic director Fr. Jannel; Abogado who was responsible for the coaching stint of Ayo with the Growling Tigers stepped down two weeks ago from his post. The university in a statement said that it remains committed for the welfare of its student-athletes while awaiting the verdict of the UAAP board of trustees verdict. By Monday the framers of the Joint Administrative Order responsible for the sports protocol will elevate the case to the justice department. [Bicol Today]

Sorsogon medical frontliner infected with Covid-19


A MEDICAL FRONTLINER connected with the Sorsogon Provincial Health Office was discovered with COVID-19 after swab-test on August 28.

Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero identified the government employee as Fernan Lafuente Ocampo, 52, from OLV, Pangpang, Sorsogon City.

Ocampo is a registered nurse in the Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Disease or EREID COVID-19 Team of Sorsogon Province.

He is now registered as Bicol Patient No. 1224.

According to reports, Ocampo started suffering symptoms similar to COVID-19 on August 27, 2020, and was immediately sent to Cabid-an Quarantine Facility.

Next day, he was subjected to an RT-PCR test or swab test, revealing positive results of COVID-19.

Medical staff are now monitoring Ocampo’s health, now reported as improving.

At present, the province has a total record of 104 COVID-19 cases, with 24 active cases, 75 recoveries, and 5 deaths. [Bicol Today]

Sorsogon Province is Code 9-1-1 ready


By Felix “Boy” Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON CITY – The soft launching of the Province Emergency Hotline 9-1-1(nine-one-one) demonstrated the resolve and resiliency for quick response time during emergency and disaster where real-time response is critical in saving lives.

All became possible when it was allowed by DILG to use Code 9-1-1, the three-digit use by the national government for emergency response.

The hotline has thirty response units including the local government units of the province and its adjunct national agencies operating within their jurisdiction.

The main server is interconnecting with the LGU’s disaster response offices.

The Bureau of Fire Protection operating within is linked to the system, also the PNP-PPO and city police station, including the Coast Guard.

To access, one must have a minimum of five peso load and simply dial# 911 which will be received by the operator at the main hub, and therein the nearest response team to the location identified by the caller will be a patch for their quick response. One must be in an area where it is not a dead spot for a call to be made.

Because of its infancy, it is not remote that there will be some glitches, but Governor Francis Escudero said that, in a short time, all systems will be running smoothly.

All response vehicles will be geo-tagged to locate one nearest to an emergency call. It was made clear that, except for ambulances that may exceed the speed limit of 80/kph. For responding vehicles exceeding the limit will be red-tagged in the GPS locator monitor at the 9-1-1 local call center.

The Governor also mentioned that the Province is working closely with private hospitals for the inclusion of their ambulances as part of the response vehicles which can be tapped during emergency calls.

To enhance understanding, a massive information drive will be undertaken by respective local governments aside from his request to the Provincial Board to enact an ordinance with possible penal provisions against prank callers.

Escudero is hoping that SORECO I & II will improvise a system of numbering their electric poles as a reference for callers needing hotline assistance. such coded numbers be included in the monthly statement of account of their member-consumers.

The chief of the Province disaster response office Engineer Raden Dimaano, in a separate talk, said that they have clustered the five servers of Sorsogon Citizen Emergency Hotline to handle calls, and have identified dead spot areas that hopefully will be given attention by telecommunication providers.

The nerve center is located at the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction office manned by trained information technology personnel.

Code 9-1-1 was the effort of AT & T in 1968 as the emergency code throughout the United States and using the Alabama Telephone Company as its server. On February 16, 1968, the first call was completed at Halleyville, Alabama by Senator Rankin Fite.

9-1-1 was chosen because it best fits the needs of all parties involved. It met public requirements, is brief, easily remembered and can be dialed quickly among other considerations. Code 9-1-1 gives the public fast and easy access to Public Safety answering Point (PSAP). [Bicol Today]

Castilla District Hospital in Sorsogon under temporary lockdown after 2 health workers infected of COVID-19


AFTER TWO of its health workers got infected with COVID-19 virus, Castilla District Hospital in Castilla, Sorsogon Province, has imposed its own temporary lockdown starting Sunday.

As a matter of expedient policy, Castilla DH will not accept new patients for both inpatient and outpatient consultations.

This is disclosed from the official post of Mayor Bong Mendoza.

Patients requiring admission shall be referred to the nearest LGU hospital or hospital of patient’s choice

All health care workers, who are primary (close) contacts, are now isolated in Castilla LGU Quarantine facility, to undergo RT-PCR testing.

Castilla DH said all patients shall be deemed potential secondary contacts. Hence, no patient will be discharged until the release of negative results, or end of 14 days of quarantine after the first day of the CDH Isolation, whichever comes first.

If a patient insists on being discharged, they will be referred to be admitted at the Castilla LGU Quarantine Facility for isolation until cleared.

The hospital said any patient needing a higher level of care shall be referred to SPH, or any Level 2 or 3 hospital with proper coordination/referral.

Sorsogon Province: Latest Covid-19 report 1 dead, 3 new cases, 2 recoveries


By Joey Natividad, Bicol Today

AN 89-YEAR old man died of COVID-19 in Sorsogon Province, and three persons were discovered positive of the virus, while another two recovered from the disease.

Meanwhile, Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero gave his condolences to the family of the deceased in Pilar, but he was not identified.

The patient, known as Bicol #1091, died on August 27, a day after he was confirmed as COVID-19 positive at the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) in Legazpi City, Albay.

In another development, DOH Bicol on Saturday disclosed three more new cases of COVID-19 in Castilla, including two health worker-patients of Castilla District Hospital.

Governor Escudero identified the three new patients as Kristoffer B. Bermillo, 32, from Purok Sampaguita, Cumadcad, Castilla and Francis L. Pormatelo, 30, from Daraga, Albay.

Bermillo and Pormatelo were registered as Bicol Patient No. 1214 and Bicol Patient No. 1215, who came in close contact with Bicol Patient No. 950 who died recently of COVID-19.

The 3rd patient is Bicol Patient No. 1166 from Pilar, but is now confined at BRTTH, Legazpi City. The patient is not publicly identified, under processing at the Legazpi hospital.

Meanwhile, two patients who recovered from COVID-19 were sent home to their respective residencies.

Given their Certificates of Quarantine Completion by the Provincial Health Office, Darwin D. Balino, 19, of Inapugan, Pilar and Rona Hamor, 25, of San Pascual, Casiguran were sent home after recovering from the virus.

According to DOH Bicol, with Hamor’s recovery, Casiguran town has now zero-active cases.

Sorsogon Province registered a total of 103 COVID-19 cases, with 23 active cases, 75 recoveries, and 5 deaths.

Sorsogon City coastal road from Rompeolas to Balogo now open to traffic


The Construction of the 5.522 kilometers road, including rock causeway and three 4-lane bridges measuring 113.5 linear meters is one of the grandest projects undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Office 5 and Sorsogon First District Engineering Office.

This One Billion Peso-facility is another infrastructure which is a product of the present administration’s Build, Build, Build Program.

From 2015 to 2020, a total of One Billion & 540 Million Pesos is allocated for the realization of this lengthy coastal road.

Funding started in FY 2015 under the Major Final Outputs-1 Network Development Program (Construction of Bypasses and Diversion Roads) and is expected to be completed in FY 2022 provided that fund will be continuously allocated.

At present, the construction of 4.7605 kilometers 4-lane road, including rock causeway and three 4-lane, 113.50-linear meter concrete bridges are already completed, while the remaining 0.7613 kilometer 4-lane road including rock causeway requires 365 Million Pesos to be accomplished.

Intended to decongest the heavy traffic in the main thoroughfare of Sorsogon City, this extensive coastal road with point of origin from the junction Salvador H. Escudero III Diversion Road and Daan Maharlika in Barangay Pangpang, will traverse Barangays Tugos, Peñafrancia, Cambulaga, Talisay and the Rompeolas – Sorsogon City’s central hub for food, fun, fitness and relaxation.

It will end in Barangay Balogo where an SM Supermall is being constructed, which when completed in 2021, will be the biggest mall in terms of land area in the Bicol Region.

Evidently, Sorsogon City Coastal Road has changed the landscape and altered the topography of Sorsogon City and the Province as a whole.

Now that the Sorsogon City Coastal Road opens to traffic after having been inaugurated last August 15, 2020, it is expected that travel time from the Rompeolas to Barangay Balogo will be shortened radically.

It will offer ease and comfort and a much safer travel experience; it will give us a sense of serenity with the picturesque view of Sorsogon Bay and Bulusan Volcano; it will boost the economy as it will open another gateway for economic opportunities, especially trade and tourism.

Former Senator Chiz Escudero, now Governor of Sorsogon, said the Sorsogon City Coastal Road is the best in the country. He even highlighted that it will not only serve as a road network but as a protection against storm surge or tsunami which claimed the lives of hundreds of Sorsoguenos when the intense Typhoon Sisang hit the coastal province on November 25, 1987.

Undersecretary for Regional Operations in Luzon, Rafael C. Yabut, in his inaugural message, expressed his congratulations to the implementing offices for successfully undertaking this one of a kind infrastructure project in Sorsogon.Sor

Sorsogon radioman charged for fake news post


By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON Province – The judicial affidavit of a Sorsogon City Police PSMS Jungie Vito and Salvador Mendoza, information officer of the province was the information of the complaint filed against Roberto Laroga Apin a radioman is also known as Maestro Apin or Obet Laroga Apin at the City Prosecutor Office for violation of Section 6 (f) of R.A. 11469 commonly known as Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

The information with annexes by way of a screenshot of the denial of DepEd Sorsogon City Division Office that it received rumors that circulated in social media that the Mercedes Peralta Senior High School an LGU quarantine facility at Barangay Guinlajon conducted a seminar for teachers saying that the information posted in the Facebook page of Obet Laroga Apin on July 1, this year posted at 8:18 on the morning of said day.

“Everything is under control?” was the banner of the post of Apin on that day regarding the movement and have direct contact of COVID positive known then as Case# 113 before admitted at the facility. (HINDI MALAMAN ANG BILANG NG NKAPARAMING NAKI FIESTA AT NAKIPAGINUMAN SA BAHAY NG POSITIVE SA COVID NA MAY DIRECT CONTACT KAY CASE#113. HINDI MALAMAN KUNG ILAN TAO NA ANG NKASALAMUHA NI CASE #113 BAGO ITO NA “ADMIT”)

Apin also posted saying that the places visited by the COVID positive individuals upon arrival in Sorsogon are still unknown. That tracing of who intermingled with those who have direct contact to Case#113, (HINDI MALAMAN ANG MGA LUGAR NA PINUNTAHAN PAG UWI NG SORSOGON) is without a clue and lateral post related to the possible direct contacts and those who interacted with people who have direct contact with Case#113 and where they move around.

In another post Apin said that at the LGU facility at Guinlajon where Case #113 was quarantine it was used as a venue for a seminar or meeting of DepEd. This post was denied as fake news by the city division schools in a post to their official webpage.

Section 6(f) of R.A. 11469 the Bayanihan to Heal One Act … “Individuals or groups creating, perpetuating, or spreading false information regarding the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) crisis on social media and other platforms, acts such information having no valid or beneficial effect on the population, and are clearly geared to promote chaos, panic, anarchy, fear, or confusion; and those participating in cyber incidents that make use or take advantage of the current crisis situation to prey on the public through scams, phishing, fraudulent emails, or other similar acts”

The case was filed on August 14, 2020 against Roberto “Obet” Laroga Apin for his Facebook post which will eventually affect the entire province and the integrity of the City Division Schools of Sorsogon on their observance of health protocols this time of the pandemic.

As of this writing the said post of Apin was already deleted beginning the timeline of July 1 until July 3 this year. [Bicol Today]

Casiguran, Sorsogon 1st Covid-19 case; LGU monitors 17 households in Barangay Boton


CASIGURAN, Sorsogon – After registering its first COVID-19 case of the town, the adjacent household of Bicol#660 later identified as Kris Duka Polinag  of Barangay Boton was cordoned temporarily and under close monitoring to prevent the further spread of the virus. Her immediate families were swab tested and the results are awaited anytime.

According to the office of the mayor cordoning and closely monitoring the 17 households proximate to the residence of Polinag is necessary because the bigger issue is to contain possible transmission of the virus and the health of the population.

The affected residents were assured of adequate food supply and basic necessities by the local government. They were advised to strictly follow the health protocols and directives of the municipality and to allay fears and overreactions since the town leaders are exerting their best efforts to contain transmission of the virus [Bicol Today]

Sorsogon a pilot area for Universal Health Care Law


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


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]