(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 21 October, 2020) At 3:00 AM today, the center of Tropical Storm "PEPITO" {SAUDEL} was estimated based on all available data at 30 km West of Baguio City (16.4°N, 120.3°E) with maximum sustained winds of 75 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 115 km/h. It is moving West Northwestward at 30 km/h. Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Localized Thunderstorm. Moderate to strong winds from Northwest to Southwest and the coastal waters will be moderate to rough (2.5 to 4.0 m).

Thursday, October 15, 2020

SurSur tourist destinations closed anew as COVID-19 cases spike

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, October 15 (PIA) -- The famous Britania group of islets and other tourist destinations in San Agustin town in Surigao del Sur are now under temporary closure since October 10, 2020 due to a spike of COVID-19 cases in the province.

The said town is the remaining municipality in the province to have no record of confirmed cases.

The Department of Health previously declared local transmission in the province on September 18, specifically in Bislig City. This prompted the provincial government to issue the Executive Order No. 27, imposing heightened health measures in the cities of Bislig and Tandag, effective September 21.

Majority of the province’s confirmed cases are from Bislig City, with 174 confirmed cases, 93 recoveries, and 15 deaths. The city of Tandag seconds the tally, with 59 cases, 34 recoveries, and 2 deaths.

The provincial government maintained proactiveness in dealing with the local COVID-19 situation. Head of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) Dr. Eric Montesclaros stated that the provincial government is ‘ready’ in terms of providing an appropriate response to the health concerns among their citizens, especially with the notable cooperation among local government units. 

“For the few cases that we have, we can say that we are ready. The cooperation among LGUs also made it possible for us to provide a swift response. Detection was done immediately which is why we were able to monitor and isolate identified cases and even imposed perimeter lockdowns. This, in effect, stabilized the situation,” the health officer elaborated.

However, Dr. Montesclaros notes the cooperation of the public in order for their initiatives to fully take effect. 

"As we speak, the number of cases that tested positive is no longer on the rise. However, we must not be complacent. The best way to combat this disease is to instill discipline in oneself and religiously abide by the public health measures imposed. We urge the public to be adaptable to the changes imposed under the new normal especially since we are still in the midst of overcoming the pandemic," he added.

As of October 13, the PHO reports 322 cumulative confirmed cases in Surigao del Sur province, with 178 recoveries and 19 deaths. (DMNR/PIACaraga)

Army, PRO13 ladies club distribute food packs to 361 households in Butuan

By Maj. Francisco P. Garello, Jr.

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 15 --  With the aim to contribute in alleviating the plight of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affected communities, the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade, Philippine Army in partnership with the Officer’s Ladies Club (OLC) of the Police Regional Office 13 distributed 361 food packs to the needy in Purok 6 and 7 of Barangay Holy Redeemer, this city on October 10, 2020.

A total of 361 households located in the slum areas of the said barangay considered as the poorest among the poor in Butuan City, benefited the said distribution. The distribution of food packs containing five kilos of rice, five pieces eggs, two pieces of sardines, two noodles (misua and egg noodles) and one pack biscuit, was facilitated by the personnel of the 402nd Brigade, Brgy Local Government Unit (BLGU) Officials and Tanods of Brgy Holy Redeemer led by Hon Efren Acaso and members of Propelling Our Inherited Nation Through our Youth (POINTY) Butuan City chapter led by Harold Sarsale.

With the continuing surge of cases and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, the 402nd Brigade headed by BGen. Maurito L. Licudine, Brigade Commander, and the PRO13 OLC headed by Mrs Manilyn Agustin Caramat, wife of PRO13 Regional Director, saw it fit and timely to complement the efforts of the local government units and other stakeholders in giving support to the affected communities.

“With the current COVID-19 pandemic, your Army has been continuously collaborating and looking for ways to partner with other stakeholders and take the initiative to facilitate the delivery of services and contribute in helping the needy," said BGen. Licudine.

He added that these initiatives are part of the effort of the Community Support Program of the Philippine Army in support to the fight against COVID-19 amidst the CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) threat in the far-flung areas.

“While we are confronted with serious threats coming from the CPP-NPA-NDF causing misery and sowing terror to the communities and its people, your Army will always ensure the welfare of the people. At this point in time especially with this crisis, we need each other to overcome the challenges brought about by this pandemic,' he added.

Meanwhile, on behalf of the Officer’s Ladies Club of PRO13, Mrs. Caramat expressed her gratitude for the partnership offered to them as they also hold the firm belief that this kind of initiative is needed by the people mostly affected by the COVID-19 crisis. (CMO Officer, 402nd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army/PIA Agusan del Norte)