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Plumbers in quarantine fix school water woes

TABACO CITY --- Warding off boredom during their mandatory 14-day quarantine period, members of a seven-man plumbing team have kept themselves busy by repairing the defective network of water pipes and connections, which they found to be either clogged or leaking at the Tabaco National High School (TNHS) building where they were isolated as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The seven-man plumbing team led by Fernando Borbe, whose members are all residents of this city, was quarantined upon their return here after their employer, a construction firm in Pasay City suspended its operation due to the Covid-19 outbreak in Metro Manila.

While the team was undergoing the mandatory 14-day quarantine, Tabaco City Mayor Krisel Lagman Luistro visited their quarantine facility to check on the conditions of the persons in isolation.

During the city mayor’s visit, Borbe, a licensed master plumber, offered his team’s services by telling the mayor that the water facilities in the school are defective and need repair work.

Borbe informed Luistro that the building they were temporarily staying lacked basic water facilities such as unfinished pipe connections and water lines, making it difficult for the occupants to have a steady supply of water for their daily personal hygiene.

Lagman said that Borbe and his men proposed that they could help in repairing the school water system to counter their boredom.

Luistro, who found the proposal laudable, immediately approved it and directed her engineering unit to prepare the program of work.

As soon as the materials were delivered on-site, the plumbers started the repair works by fixing leaking and clogged pipes of the school building, which took them a week to finish the repair works.

The plumbing team completed the repair works last Saturday, Apr. 4, the same day their quarantine period ended, Luistro said.

She said “to express our gratitude for a job, the city government deems it proper to pay the group P21,000 for the services rendered.”

Luistro said “the opportunity to help the school was a reward by itself although the city government paid them for their services, they finished the job on time when classes opens.”

Borbe’s team ordeal started when President Rodrigo Duterte declared a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). As a result, the National Capital Region (NCR) has imposed a lockdown. Fearing of being stranded in Metro Manila without jobs, no place to stay and money, they decided to return to their hometown.

From Pasay City, their employer’s service van ferried them to the Camarines Sur border at Del Gallego town. From there, they were fetch by a vehicle sent by the city government of Tabaco.

Upon arrival in Tabaco City, Borbe and his companions were subjected to a health checkup and sent to the TNHS for the 14-day quarantine procedure.

According to Luistro, there were at least 76 persons with travel history in Metro Manila who are under monitoring, 40 are residents of Tabaco City, while 36 are residents of Catanduanes who sought refuge here after the Catanduanes provincial government declared a total lockdown.

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