(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 23 September, 2020) At 3:00 AM today, a Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 365 km East of Catarman, Northern SamarCity, (12.2 °N, 128.0 °E). Southwest Monsoon affecting Palawan, Visayas and Mindanao. Caraga Region will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds coming from Southwest will prevail and the coastal waters will be slight to moderate with wave height from 0.6 to 2.1 meters.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Agusan Norte placed under community quarantine

By Nora C. Lanuza

BUTUAN CITY, March 18 (PIA) –  Agusan del Norte Governor Dale Corvera has placed the entire province under community quarantine starting at 12 midnight, Wednesday until further notice due to the threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In his Executive Order 18 signed March 17, Governor Corvera enjoined the Agusanons to stay and/or confine at home and shall only be allowed to go out from their houses in accessing basic and essential needs such as but not limited to work, food provisions, water and medicines but it should be within the territorial jurisdiction of the province.

“To prevent the spread of the virus, there is a need to implement community quarantine and to impose tougher measures in accordance with the directive of the Department of Health (DOH) and other national line agencies,” said Agusan del Norte governor Dale B. Corvera.

However, Corvera clarified that in the case a person needs medical attention and in times of emergency, they are allowed to cross borders but with proper coordination and referral to the receiving province or city.

Strict observance on social distancing is also mandated in public places and inside offices, groceries, banks and other places where other people may also be present. In public transport, a one-meter social distancing is also strictly implemented, and in the case of a motorcycle, only the driver is allowed and no more back riders.

In cases where Agusanons coming from other provinces or cities decide to return to their respective abode within the effectivity of this order, they may be allowed entry provided they can show proof of residence and must be reported to the DOH and will be endorsed to their respective barangay health emergency response teams and commit themselves to undergo mandatory self-quarantine in they come from a place confirmed with local transmission.

Non-residents of Agusan del Norte whose workplace is within the jurisdiction of the province can enter provided that they can present a valid ID, certificate of employment or any proof of employment. Residents of the province are also not allowed to exit from the province except for essential travels.

Health workers; authorized government officials and employees; those traveling for medical and humanitarian reasons; Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration, Philippine Ports Authority, and other law enforcement personnel and other force multipliers (barangay officials and tanods) performing security services; emergency responders in line of performance of their duty; personnel carrying out existing government contracts and projects; and vehicles carrying basic necessities including construction and other supplies may enter and exit the province provided they can show documents/proofs/IDs.

Both foreign and domestic vessels are also prohibited from entering the territorial waters of the province except those carrying cargoes of basic commodities and those foreign vessels carrying ore from mine sites in the province provided that all quarantine protocols are strictly followed and no crew shall be allowed to disembark the vessels and no human physical contact is allowed between the crew and the ground personnel.

A penalty of not less than P20,000 but not more than P50,000 or an imprisonment of not less than one month or up to six months will also be imposed to those persons under monitoring who failed to undergo mandatory self-quarantine of 14 days upon their arrival in the province.

The community quarantine will be in full force starting 11:59PM of March 18, 2020 and will continue to be in full force and effect until revoked or lifted. (NCLM/PIA Agusan del Norte)

NPA leader surrenders in AgNor

By 1Lt. Miguel O. Borromeo

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, March 18 -- A New People’s Army (NPA) leader, after realizing how much he loves and longs for his family, finally decided to surrender to the 29th Infantry “Matatag” Battalion (29IB), Philippine Army on March 11, 2020, in Barangay del Pilar, this city.

The surrenderee was identified as alias Jumong, 42 years old and a resident of Surigao del Norte. He was a former Platoon Leader of Platoon “KALAW,” Sentro de Grabedad (SDG) 16, Guerilla Front Committee (GFC) 16 of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Command (NEMRC).

He brought with him his M-653 issued rifle, one bandolier with five long magazines loaded with ammunition and subversive documents with high intelligence value.

The said surrenderee was formally presented to MGen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal, Commander, 4th Infantry (DIAMOND) Division, during the latter's visit at the 29IB headquarters.

According to alias Jumong, life has not been easy for his family. As a father, all he wants is to give them a good life, but he did not know how, until the NPA came and enticed him to join them in exchange for helping his family.

"I trusted them for more than two years hoping they would keep their promise but I soon realized nothing they said was true. My family situation just worsened. I was far from my wife and children, when in fact I was supposed to be by their side supporting and looking after them but then I failed them," Jumong said.

"Many times, they tried to convince me to surrender, but I refused. I realized that I have failed to be a father to my children and husband to my wife and that I was not worthy of their love. I thought my life was already useless and of no purpose at all. But God is good because He enlightened my mind and made me take the path back to my family," he added.

Alias Jumong said he was grateful that despite having gone astray from the right path, his family still accepted him, and the Army still gave him a chance to live a new life with his family. (CMO Officer, 29IB, Philippine Army/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Partial lockdown starts today in Tandag City

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Mar. 18 (PIA) – The city government of Tandag has ordered a partial lockdown on all entry and exit points that will start tonight (Mar. 18) from 7:00pm up to 5:00am.

Tandag City Mayor Roxanne Pimentel said the implementation is part of the aggressive precautionary measure against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in support of President Duterte’s Proclamation No. 922, placing the entire Philippines under State of Public Health Emergency.

Based on the Executive Order No. 08 series of 2020, no one is allowed to enter and exit the city, both private and public vehicles, within the specific time mentioned, during the implementation of the partial lockdown, as stipulated under Section 4.

A daily curfew will also be imposed from 8:00pm to 5:00am applicable to all constituents of Tandag City. Minors are not allowed to leave their residences unless for medical emergencies or for humanitarian reasons.

Mayor Pimentel clarified that the health workers, authorized government officials, those working businesses with a work schedule within the curfew hours, traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons, persons providing basic services and public utilities, persons delivering food and medicine, and the essential skeletal workforce of the city government of Tandag are exempted from the curfew hours.

The suspension of classes at all levels both private and public schools will also take effect today, until further notice. Pimentel said the city has still no confirmed COVID-19 case, as of this time. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

Cabadbaran activates COVID-19 local task force checkpoint

By 1Lt. Miguel O. Borromeo, Jr.

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, March 18 -- In a bid to prevent the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the city, the COVID-19 Local Task Force of Cabadbaran City has set-up a checkpoint along Brgy. Sanghan and Comagascas this city on March 16, 2020.

The said task force is composed of the city government of Cabadbaran, 29th Infantry (MATATAG) Battalion (29IB), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP). This task force was organized in support of the President's Proclamation 922 that declares a state of public health emergency due to the COVID-19 threat in the Philippines.

The said proclamation aims to capacitate government agencies and LGUs to immediately act to prevent loss of life, utilize appropriate resources to implement urgent and critical measures to contain or prevent the spread of COVID-19, mitigate its effects and impact to the community, and prevent serious disruption of the functioning of the government and the community.

The activated Task Force checkpoint of Cabadbaran City has required all passengers to get off from their vehicles, inform the Task Force of their whereabouts and have their temperature checked by authorized medical personnel using the infrared thermometer.

Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, Commanding officer of 29IB, in his message, vowed to support the government in the fight against the disease. “We know that you are fully aware that as your Army, we have a strict duty to fight the threat of insurgency. But I hope you also know, we are here to secure the land but also to serve the people as our solemn responsibility; and that is why we take part in this issue," he said.

"As our country continues to face this threat of COVID-19, we pledge to help and offer what we can, together with other front-liners who are tirelessly doing their best and continuously working for a better tomorrow for all of us. But we cannot do it alone, we need your continued prayers and strong cooperation to win this fight,” Criste added. (CMO Officer, 29IB PA/PIA Agusan del Norte)