Boring Governorship and Cong’l Races

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

If the information given to me the other day by Deep Throat – 2, my spook to some provincial politicians, has any tinge of truth then we’ll have a ho-hum gubernatorial and congressional elections in Pangasinan and the Fifth Congressional District.

Before I delve into my op-ed article, my bug Deep Throat -2, who once in a while sends me four to to eight paragraphs infos from the repositioning of the mayorship to the congressional players in Pangasinan, is not the 1972 porn film casting the sultry Linda Boreman as Linda Lovelace and sore FBI Deputy William Mark Felt Sr. of the Watergate Scandal feedings incriminating information to those Washington Post’s correspondents. He is not even Deep Throat -1, that stunner executive who got the goat of a Congresswoman after my tactless radio partner exposed the blind item in the mid air, son of a gun!

MARQUEE PLAYERS of Pangasinan politics. L – to – R clockwise: Seasoned politician former Pangasinan Congressman and ex-Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr.; Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino, III; Fifth District Congressman Ramon “Mon-Mon” Guico, III; and former Fifth District Rep. Mark Cojuangco

Here’s Deep Throat -2: 

Ayon sa source ko, nag usap usap na raw mga Guico, Cojuangco, at Espino. Hindi na raw kakalabanin si Pogi sa governorship and in exchange, the Guico will keep the congressional seat and mayorship plus the xxxxxxxx”.

Quid pro quo, eh?

You wonder why former Congressman Mark Cojuangco was mentioned by my snoop? Because after I posted my viral blog – as based on the stats of Facebook –  titled:Mogul’s Son to Challenge Espino’s 2nd Cong. Seat? in April 15 this year, many told me in Messenger, telephone calls, and e-mails that the son of that scion who got multi millions if not billion of pesos inheritance from his deceased magnate’s father is Mark C.

A media man even posted a photo at the social media’s FB of a Western Pangasinan Mayor confirming to him that scion Mark has moist eye to the Second District under the present helm of Congressman Jumel Espino – the son of seasoned battle scarred former Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr, (PMA Class of 1972) and the sibling of the incumbent Governor Pogi Espino.

If the parley between the camps of the Espinos and Guico-Cojuangco was authentic, then both groups save hundreds of millions of pesos in a post that gives only susmariosep a measly more or less three hundred thousand pesos (Salary Grades 31 (₱295,191 monthly) and 30 ( ₱196,206 monthly) for a Solon and a Guv, respectively, in a three years term.

This No-Opponent Scenario was not new since it was mentioned to me by veteran DWIZ FM Radio Commentator Ruel “Mapalakapak” Camba in my birthday celebration last February 21. Aksiyon Radyo Broadcaster Ike Palinar was there listening too to Ka Ruel’s prescience.

Mr. Camba, former provincial government’s Chief Information Officer I called then Joseph Goebbels, analysis was anchored to Malacanang’s strategy to launch Davao City Sara Duterte for the presidential derby in May 2022.

He said that because of the huge voters of the gargantuan province, President Rodrigo Duterte and his whiz kids will see that the opposing forces in the land of Warrior Princess Urduja should smoke the piece pipe and not to prejudice the presidential daughter chances for her occupancy of that Spanish era Palace by the Pasig River. Of course I will add President Duterte’s insurance that Malacanang will not get a critical president in Grace Poe or Panfilo Lacson – probably with the United States support just like Col. Edward Lansdale to presidential candidate Ramon Magsaysay – and throw the book to the old man and his factotums like Bato dela Rosa and those cops on their criminal liabilities on Tokhang or War on Drugs that saw thousands of Flips, er, Filipino dopers and pushers murdered.


Before Deep Throat -2 gave me the above information that could disrupt some political repositionings, a contractor in the Fifth and Sixth Congressional District told me after he read’s Mogul’s Son to Challenge Espino’s 2nd Cong. Seat?

He said the Camp of Espino and former PAGCOR Chairman Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. in the Fifth District has been persuading Urdaneta City Mayor Julio “Rami” Parayno III (Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats) to betray Guico and support Naguiat against the Congressman in the May 9, 2022 election.

The duo can dangled something that Parayno could hardly resist: They will not goad somebody like former Mayor Amadeo Gregorio “Bobom” E. Perez, IV , Naguiat’s wife Maria Teresa Soccoro Perez (PDP-Lakas Ng Bayan) – Bobom’s sister whom Parayno beat by 8,635 from the 68,755 voters last 2019 election -. or somebody to challenge Rami and his pocket in the 87, 916 rich votes (2018 Comelec) eastern Pangasinan city.

The acid test? Will Parayno capitulate thus saving for himself say more or less one hundred million pesos in election expenses versus a mayoralty opponent than supporting Guico?

Does Guico hard to dump in favor of former 5th District Congressman Espino? Did Parayno benefit personally to his three year’s alliance with Guico?

Those were my posers that played on my malikot na utak before Deep Throat told me there will be no electoral derby in the district and the province because the two camps have the meeting of minds already.

How Simon pure they were will remain to be seen after those players filed their candidacy late this year.


How Suicide Bombers, Muslim Radicals Operate

(You can read my selected columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at

April 19, 2021 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

BIR warns Errant Taxpayers with Fines By Not Beating Deadline

By Jhona Lyn Castillo-Abulencia

CALASIAO, Pangasinan – The top executive of the Bureau of Internal Revenue here threatened those errant taxpayers who did not beat the April 15 this year deadline of paying their income taxes to face penalties.

Assistant Revenue District Office No. 4 Chief Aldrin Camba told reporters recently that there would be 25% surcharge, 12% interest per annum, and compromise penalty to those who were not able to pay their income taxes up to April 15 this year.

He cited those figures are based on the tax agency’s table.

TOP EXECUTIVE. This lady writer poses with Assistant Revenue District Office No. 4 Chief Aldrin Avelino Camba at the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s office in Calasiao, Pangasinan. The writer and the top brass of the tax agency are town mate in Bani, Pangasinan.

Camba said that online sellers have been advised to use electronic platform in transacting their taxes without even going out to pay their taxes physically in the various BIR offices in Central Pangasinan.

Filing and paying of taxes can be applied thru online by Non-EFEs filer and Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR). E-Payment channels like GCash, PayMaya, and others may also be used.

Our government is making these measure to help ease the taxpayers in paying their dues”, the tax brass emphasized.

Assistant RDO-Chief Camba, who oversees fourteen towns and two cities, said the collection of income taxes is not yet fully verified as their statistics shows that a lot of businesses are still filing closure procedures due to bankruptcy because of the global effect of the Corona Virus Disease-19 (COVID). Traders blamed their fate too to the limited movement of consumers whom they see as reason for the lethargic revenues.

The good news is that still, many Filipinos would not give up easily and re-started to apply for new business as they wanted to gamble and try to register (at the BIR)”, Camba stressed.

Many of the these businesses have been beneficiaries of financial aid from the government. He said they have been finding ways on how to start at least small but profitable business, although not all had been given.

“Others may not be auspicious but still trying to provide for their own living,’ Camba said.

April 19, 2021 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment

Mogul’s Son to Challenge Espino’s 2nd Cong. Seat?

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

When I dropped by at the office of re-elective Aguilar Mayor Roldan Sagles, he told me that he and Mangatarem Mayor Ramil “Balong” Ventinella shifted their political alliances to Pangasinan Second District Congressman Jumel Espino.

When former members of the House of Representatives Mark Cojuangco and Art Celestes ran but failed on their gubernatorial bids against incumbent Pangasinan Governor Amado ‘Pogi’ Espino, III Sagles and Ventinella have been the vigorous supporters of the duo in winning the hearts and minds of the hoi polloi in the third and first class towns.

Before this ‘exchanging of bonhomie” ensued at the abode of Balong Ventinella three of the seven mayors in the 325, 051 voters’ rich district (Comelec December 2018) used to be supporters of the Espinos.

Because of the defections, the last man standing against the juggernaut of the national power-that-be in the district is third class town’s Urbiztondo Mayor Martin Raul S. Sison II – whose father Raul is the nemesis of the Espinos – whom I heard will be challenged by Provincial Government Executive Moding Operana in the 2022 mayorship race.

POLITICAL HIGH “PRIESTS” of the mammoth Pangasinan Province. (Top photo L-to-R clockwise) the scion of the mogul rumored to run in the Second Congressional District in the May 9, 2022 Election; Second District Representative Jumel Espino; Espinos’ patriarch former Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr.; Pangasinan Fifth District Congressman Ramon “Mon-Mon” Guico, III; and Pangasinan Governor Amado “Pogi” Espino III.

Just like Sual Mayor Liseldo “Dong” Calugay, Operana is a factotum of former governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. Calugay, a former cop, in the 2019 poll out foxed seasoned politicians’ former mayors John and Bing Arcinue – just like Field Marshal Erwin “ German Desert Fox” Rommel beating to guile British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery in those tank battles in Africa.

From Africa, since I digress again, let’s go back to Warrior Princess Urduja’s acrimonious populated province  Pangasinan.

My poser here: Will Balong and Roldan stick through thick and thin when a multi-millionaire scion of one of the richest families in the Philippines opt to register in the District and challenged re-elective Congressman Jumel Espino next year?

Yesterday, a friend of the opposition bloc in Pangasinan – composed of the Lambinos, Guicos, and Celestes – told me that this scion is being groomed by the bloc to run against Jumel.

Oh, that’s an interesting tiff. It’s like Juan Manuel Marquez challenging Manny Pacquiao in a marquee fight,” I quipped.

Many kibitzers thought that the Second District will be dull in terms of electoral hoopla because Victor Agbayani became a “has been” and financially weak and the supposed “Real Deal” former nine-year Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil contents himself in sprucing up Lingayen town as hizzoner and instead wants to slugged it out with his boloy (namesake) Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla rather than his godson Jumel – in snaring those foreign and local tourists going to the  MacArthur Landing Memorial Park by constructing its probable more than twice those life size ambitious bronze statues of Dug-Out Doug and entourage when they landed on that historic trotting of the shore of Palo, Leyte in October 17, 1944 – just like Lingayen the situs of wading was the beginning of the end of the brutal military reign of those Imperial dogs of the Japanese Forces.

Maugong ang balita, tinanong ko Bataoil, he flatly denies it,” sez by California based Political Anal-List, er, Analyst Silvester “Anak na Lingayen” Rayos.

If the information given by my source has credibility, the best proof of this is to look at the Commission on Election if this Scion has registered as voter before May 9 this year.

Here’s the Constitution if one is qualified to run for a seat in Congress:

XXXX a registered voter in the district in which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election” (Section 6, Article VI Legislative Department).

It means if one wants to be a congressional candidate in the May 9, 2022 national election he needs to have a domicile (sa mga Grade 6 lang ang natapos pero aksidenting nabasa itong blog  permanent na ‘bahay’ po iyang domicile) for one year and registered at the Comelec before May 9 this year in the district he wants to spend hundreds of millions of pesos – son of a gun it was not mentioned by those who hammered the Constitution – to vote buy the gullible highest bidding bakya crowd in an office that pays a minuscule of more than P100,000 monthly pay for three years’ term.

Damn those idiot politicians and civilians after being offended by my comments would diss me “to go back to the boondocks of Mindanao the place where I grew up (mind you with a Muslim name Datu Hakol Mortz Salsalanatin)”. What happened to the above Constitutional provision’s “… a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election” where I am a long registered voter of Dagupan City for more than three goddamned decades?

If one needs one billion pesos to effectively run against the governorship, this Scion can burn dough in the seven towns’ district by P150 million or twice in an exciting chess match with the moneyed Espinos in the ingratiating game among the vulnerable mostly great unwashed 325, 051 voters there.

P1,000 per voter? Susmariosep you’re talking about budget for a Kapitan race and I’m not talking here how much Dagupan former Mayor Belen Fernandez and incumbent Mayor Brian Lim had done that Jollibee and McDonald branches inthe coastal city were emptied of their stocks in five days.

In case this Battle Royal ensues in the District, P3,000 pesos per voter susmariosep can be a possibility.

Gezz, that will be a staggering P585 million (195,000 voters (60% of the 325,000 voters) multiplied by P3,000).

It could loosen some monetary problems in case Pangasinan Fifth District Representative Mon-Mon Guico chooses to slug it out with Pogi Espino in the governorship’s derby in the 44 towns three cities (Dagupan City is an independent local government unit) province while his father and name sake seeks redemption with tongs and hammer – reclaim in a rampage his Fifth District congressional post against Guico’s wife the amiable young pretty Ma-An Tuazon G. who defends the eight towns and one city rampart while her man ventures another uncharted territory to reign – now one of the biggest provinces in the country.

How much did Art Celeste spend in the 2019 governorship post versus Pogi? I asked a political operator several months ago.

P350 million”

(My source yesterday told me one needs one billion pesos to effectively run for the guv’s post in Pangasinan).

During Nani Braganza’s venture for the governorship how much monies he spent?”

My source told me Nani got a minuscule amount than Art thus both of them were beaten to pulps by Amado “Pogi” Espino, III.

Can Mon-Mon beat the financial juggernaut of the Espinos in case he runs for that coveted seat in Urduja in the Capitol with the Scion challenging the well-entrenched congressional citadel of the family in the Second District? Will have to see it.


Congresswoman To Resign After Naked Photos, 3-Somes Exposed

(You can read my selected columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at

April 7, 2021 at 11:29 am Leave a comment


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April 7, 2021 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

The Fluid Electoral Landscapes of P’sinan

 By Mortz C. Ortigoza

My source I named Deep Throat – 2 or DT-2 for brevity sent lately another round of information about the fluid electoral landscapes of the former Kingdom of Warrior Princess Urduja people now called Pangasinan.

Since I was preoccupied lately with some writing jobs with pay – this one I do now is gratis for love of politics hahaha – I could only post his observations where I put numbers to the salient parts starting from Numbers 1 to 3 where each of them I give my reactions as based on my cerebral and from my sources who know the nuances of politics in the 44 towns and 4 cities’ province.

Here below are the second correspondence of Deep Throat-2 – just like the by-passed in promotion Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Associate Director Mark Felt the real DT to Washington Posts reporters and Watergate Scandal’s famed Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

The first one where I took several excerpts of his letter and where I opined on them under my blog and column titled “Art Celeste Vs. Oca Orbos?”. Here’s Deep Throat -2 again:

GIANT FIGURES in the forty four towns and four cities Pangasinan province. From left photo and clockwise: Provincial Governor Amado “Pogi” Espino, III, Fifth District Representative Ramon “MonMon” Guico, III, former Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr, and former First District Congressman Art Celeste.

1) My source asked a close associate of (Philippine Military Academy) Class ‘72 if he (former Fifth District Rep. Amado T.Espino, Jr. – member of that 1972 Class – MCO) is going to run in the (Pangasinan) First Congressional District The answer was negative. He said that he will stay in the Fifth Congressional District.

If  Espine(moniker of Espino) will stay in District Five to slug- it- out with Mrs (Ma-An Tuazon -) Guico, Art Celeste will easily beat (Sual Mayor Dong) Calugay for the congressional seat (in the First Congressional District).

If Mrs Calugay will run for the mayor’s post in Sual. (Then former First District Congressman Jesus) Boying Celeste might have a chance to win the mayorship of the riches town in Pangasinan ( – the fortress of Espino’s factotum Dong Calugay who clinched it in a stunning close chess match from the Arcinues who once lorded the rustic town that hosts a P200 million a year from leasee’s giant coal power plant for decades – MCO)

THIS COLUMNIST’S REACTION: Espino has more chances to win if he clash for the congressional seat in the First District against former Congressman Art Celeste. If present Representative of the District Arnold “Noli” Celeste have a close horrifying win against a nobody in Tim Orbos where Nationalista Party’s Celeste got 101,234 while PDP-Laban’s Orbos settled for 93,786  (a lead votes of 7,488 or roughly 4% son of a gun!), how much more the Manny Pacquiao in Espino of Pangasinan’s politics can rake if he is pitted with the more popular of the Celeste’s in Art?

I surmised the Espino Camp is itching on the First Congressional District after the 2019 election showed the vulnerabilities of the Celestes after four of their bailiwicks’ towns Sual, Mabini, Dasol, and Agno went to Espino’s allied mayors.

But former Congressman Jesus “Boying’ Celeste disagreed on this “crack on the armor’s phenomenon of the Celestes” after their version of the flick’s The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral  ensuedin the West of the Province.

He told me last February they were financially weak during the 2019 electoral derby where most of their logistics have been trained in the provincial race.

This, to add details on this hoopla, when former Alaminos City Mayor Art Celeste, his younger sibling, challenged the gubernatorial “hegemony” of the modern day version of the Spanish Cacique’s Pogi Espino where he lost by 199,201 votes. Espino and Celeste got 782,073 and 582,872 votes. respectively on that contest.

It’s another story now because we (four brothers and nephew) are only running in the District,” Boying Celeste explained to me.


If Espino mixed it out with Guico, it would be a herculean job because either Fifth District Congressman MonMon or spouse Maan Guico collaborate with each other since Day-1 to be as ubiquitous as they can with their constituents by exploiting the magic of Facebook where hundreds of thousands of the district’s voters there are members. The Guicos aggressiveness for ingratiation on the social media cannot be compared to the Celestes.

In case Espino wins in the Fifth District because their resources are superior (thanks his sons Second District Rep. Jumel and Pangasinan Governor Pogi Espino have no viable opponents) that victory however will be Pyrrhic.

Pyrrhic victory to those who missed it on Reading and Comprehension in Political Science 101 or at means “a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is equivalent to defeat. One could be victorious but the heavy toll negates a true sense of achievement,.

A good example for that was  King Pyrrhus of Epirus  whose army was tragically damaged in defeating the Romans at the Battles of Heraclea and the Asculum hundreds of years ago.

Susmariosep, who was that U.S president who quipped after he won his Pyrrhic reelection? “Another victory like this and our money’s gone!”

Common sense dictates that to weaken the financial juggernaut of Espino to ram the Fifth District, Monmon Guico runs for the governorship and leave Ma-An to man the rampart of the eight towns and one city’s citadel. Unless Mark Cojuangco, rich with the hundreds of millions if not billion of pesos inheritance from the late magnate father Danding — seeks a rematch with Pogi for the governorship – then an Espino and MonMon Guico in the congressional district election rematch is scintillating to watch.

Let’s see if Guico develops the gravitas and the moxie to knockout again the veteran of the province’s politics who will be coming back smoking hot with superior wherewithal to capture his former District he lost to the handsome young Ilocano solon.


2) Mayor Gualberto Sison could still win his reelection bid against  (Congressman) Noli Celeste in Agno.

THIS COLUMNIST’S REACTION: Textbook politics says that a Congressman is much much moneyed compared to a fourth class mayor of a lethargic town in Pangasinan called Agno.

 Gee whiz, I even wrote a blog/column’s How Mayor, Guv, Solon Steal to Fund Their Election by dissecting that a Congressman with P1 billion government project annually is more moneyed of what- you- know compared to a Governor and his yearly project and his what-you-know. If Noli emulated how his older brother Boying breaks breads with the people of Sual after he registered there as voter late last year, then he could bludgeon Sison and help wins a town the Celestes lost to the Espinos.

He should be ‘I’m running scared” – as what former Speaker Joe de Venecia told me when I asked him if he was confident in beating congressional rival chains of mall owner and former Dagupan City Mayor Benjie Lim. It would be an embarrassment that Noli, a sitting legislature, lose to a mayor of a poorest town in Pangasinan.

If the national lawmaker has been doing what Boying told me last month then he could win in Agno:

The older Celeste said that he acquired a house in Sual “malapit sa zigzag na daan” where he consults and help solves with the problems of the people there twice a week.

May sarili rin kaming gobyerno doon,’ he sheepishly told me.

How many barangays there in Sual?”


How many Kapitans are at your side?”


Madami. Why they deserted Calugay?”

Pinagtatanggal niya sa kanila ang mga issued government vehicles kaya binigyan ko sila ng tag-isa”.

He has 14 vehicles there that ferry the residents wherever they need to mitigate their problem in transportation, medication, or whatever.

He told me there that Noli will recede to the mayorship race while Art reclaims his former congressional post.

Madaling talunin ang mayor (Mayor Sison) doon maliit lang iyon na bayan”.


3) If Espino will not run in the First Congressional District the Celeste will retain their political control in Alaminos City, Bolinao and other towns. (Anda and possibly Bani) 

That’s my forecast for 2022.

THIS COLUMNIST’S REACTION: Since I am beset with space constraint on the newspapers that this column is syndicated, I just leave No. 3 for you to opine in agreement or disagreement of what DT, hell not the demented truculent Donald Trump but Deep Throat, wrote to me.

But for sure if push comes to shoves the Celeste will retain bailiwick’s Bolinao even if the opponent there is either Trump or Joe Biden. It’s their birthplace and residence, man!


The Story of a “Red Rose” in this Motel

(You can read my selected columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at

April 1, 2021 at 5:03 am Leave a comment

PPA – Dagupan Chief Mulls Options for Meeting Clients

DAGUPAN CITY – The leadership of the Parole & Probation Administration (PPA) that covers this city and four towns mulls about the feasibility of the regular half-a-day once a month meeting for the clients whose traditional gathering was disrupted by the outbreak of the Corona Virus Disease-19 that ensued in the country early this year.

Chief Probation and Parole Officer Rowena DC. Ordona cited her options how to meet her office’s duty to mentor the regulars as mandated by law.

No description available.

AWARD. Parole and Probation Office – Dagupan Chief Rowena DC. Ordona (center),Senior Probation and Parole Officer Jan Michael D. Yasto and Probation and Parole Officer II Rhondalia G. Poquiz (3rd and 4th from left) award a plaque of appreciation to a Council Member of Barangay Bonuan Gueset, Dagupan City because of the village leadership’s generosity in lending its Barangay Gymnasium in the affairs of the clients of the PPA.

She pondered that it can either of the three options: First, conduct the meeting in each of the five local government units covered by her office; Second, meet the clients at the internet settings like those in Google Chats or Face Book Group, or; Third, contact them through short messaging system (SMS) or colloquially called “text messages” through cellular phone..

Nagkaroon kami ng planning starting last month (June) baka puwede na e conduct by town mag meeting our clients sa different areas. Pero hindi namin alam kung ganoon ka possible baka mag start ng August iyong plano. Hindi lang naman sure kung kaya namin ng social distancing since limited dapat ang crowd. Gusto yata nila once a month pero hindi namin alam kung magiging feasible,” she stressed to this newspaper her first option. (more…)

July 24, 2020 at 5:41 am Leave a comment


 Two vendors practice physical distancing as they walk several meters apart as they carry the products they sell at a road shoulder in Sual town last June 5.CESAR RAMIREZ 

June 17, 2020 at 7:07 am Leave a comment

Seven Pangasinenses positive for corona virus

LINGAYEN – Seven more Pangasinenses were confirmed to have contracted the corona virus as of June 7.

Two of them are from Agno town – a 53 year old jail officer and a 54-year old ambulance driver. Both are male and both are from Poblacion East of the town.

The third positive case, also a male, is a 37 year old bodyguard from Tagudin village in Mabini.

The three cases are asymptomatic but underwent Targeted Mass Testing (RT-PCR) last June 3 conducted by the Pangasinan Provincial Health Office.

In Sual, four fresh cases were reported as a result of the local government unit’s “Test, Trace and Treat,” a statement of the LGU said.

The statement did not give information about the patients, only saying that they are medical frontliners and returning residents who were subjected to PCR test being undertaken by the LGU and the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center.

The statement said the former patient was retested and confirmed to be positive anew of the virus.

Mayor Dong Calugay said the targeted mass testing will continue to identify those who are affected and prevent infection of others.

He said remedial measures are in place, such as the isolation of the affected residents, food assistance, appropriate medical attention and disinfection of their houses.

June 17, 2020 at 6:59 am Leave a comment

High-risk industry workers volunteer for COVID 19 test

DAGUPAN CITY – One Friday morning, ambulant vendor Maricel Erfe, 33, left the fish she was selling to avail of the free rapid antibody test for CoVID 19 offered by the city government to high-risk industry workers.

“We have to prioritize this (testing) because we want to be sure of our health and life,  as we do not know our enemy and we deal with many costumers,” Erfe, a mother of four kids, said.

Pedro Ceralde, 60, a tricycle driver, also came early to be tested although he thought he was not infected of the deadly disease because he practices good hygiene and has alcohol in his tricycle for the use of his passengers.

But it is the exactly the asymptomatic residents why the government is conducting rapid antibody testing, Mayor Brian Lim said.

“Our goal is to ensure that the asymptomatic persons won’t infect the immunocompromised or vulnerable persons. It is better to have 100 cases and zero death than one case and one death,” he said.

He cited the case of the 80-year old fatality from the city who got the virus from someone who came from Metro Manila but who showed no symptoms for the disease.

“We do not know who the infected are unless we conduct risk-based testing which is synonymous with targeted mass testing. It is the only way,” Lim said, adding that the city government purchased 2,000 rapid test kits for industry workers who would be prioritized based on their being high risk.

Among the vulnerable industries “invited” to the free testing are market vendors, tricycle operators and drivers association, delivery service providers, boatmen, security guards, fire brigade volunteers, food establishment operators, grocery and supermarket personnel, banks and other vulnerable industries.

Those found reactive will be immediately swabbed for specimens which will be sent to the Philippine Red Cross for confirmatory tests using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

The city government is also conducting the RT-PCR test for frontliners and has so far swabbed 758 persons. Fourteen of them tested positive for the corona virus and 13 were confined at the Region 1 Medical Center and one at the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital.

Lim said the city government purchased 2,140 PCR and 2,000 anti-rapid test kits for the risk-based testing activity.  The city has partnered with the Red Cross of the Philippines whose laboratory is used for the tests.

“We cannot test everyone, not even the rich countries can do that, so we are targeting those who face risks daily,” he said, adding that the city plans to buy more test kits.

Lim also said there was no need to be afraid whenever positive cases are found out.

“You should over the fear of seeing positive patients. Finding asymptomatic is not negative (development), but a positive one, so you can do contract tracing , isolating, treating,” he said, after he got reports that Dagupan gets negative image because of having the most number of positive cases among LGUs in Pangasinan.

“Ano ito, contest na pababaan ng number of cases? Then let us not test anymore so we will not find the asymptomatic cases and have zero cases,” he said.

While most LGUs conduct clinical testing for COVID 19, or tests only those who have symptoms of the disease, Dagupan is conducting epidemiological testing which studies the spread of the disease in a certain population.



June 17, 2020 at 6:57 am Leave a comment

BFAR to fish transporters: Call us when not allowed through checkpoints

SAN FERNANDO CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ilocos Region called on fish transporters to call up the BFAR offices if they are not allowed to pass through quarantine checkpoints,  Segundina Gaerlan, officer in charge of BFAR region I office, said.

Gaerlan said the office has been coordinating with the Local Government Units about the need to allow unhampered passage of fish deliveries, including trucks and refrigerated vans, to the National Capital Region and other places/6o 64.

Fish and fish products are included in the agricultural products that should be allowed to pass through the “food lane,” as detailed in the memorandum circular issued by Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The circular exempted trucks and suppliers  from restrictions set by the local government units (LGUs) from point of origin to the destination area and vice versa.

But Gaerlan advised the fish traders to bring the documents needed by shippers when transporting products from point of origin to other places.

These are food pass issued by the BFAR, food pass accreditation, OR/CR of the vehicle, certificate of employment, Local Transport Permit, copy of the Department of Agriculture Circular and copy of the Department of Interior and Local Government memorandum.

Those transporting live shrimp, tilapia and seaweeds also need to get health certificates of the products, Gaerlan said.

The BFAR region I office has issued 186 food passes to traders transporting fish to different provinces, since March 14.

The passes are meant to ensure that movement of fish and fish products would be unhampered during the 30-day quarantine period.

The BFAR has also issued a total of 467 Local Transport Permits (LTP), 218 of which are for traders bringing fish and fish products to National Capital Region.

The LTP is for domestic movement or authorization for an individual to transport fish and aquatic products, ensuring that the products being transported are safe for human consumption.

The 418 LTPs covered  1,529,707.50 kilos of fish, valued at P202,589,625.


June 16, 2020 at 9:04 am Leave a comment

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