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OCENR tags century, heritage trees in Mercedes

By Claudine Uniana

Committed to the conservation and protection of the city’s trees, personnel from the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources attached metal plates to protected trees at Barangay Mercedes last November 21.

A total of eight trees – seven (7) “Century Trees” and one (1) “Heritage Trees” – were strapped with metal plates in a ceremony led by District 2 Councilor Mike Alavar who was on hand to represent Mayor Beng Climaco.

Four of the “Century Trees” and the lone “Heritage Tree” are located outside the Mercedes Elementary School and the other three (3) “Century Trees” are within the vicinity of the parish church.

The tagging is in partial completion of Executive Order No. BC 62-2014 issued on June 25 which formally declared nine (8) “Century Trees” and three (3) “Heritage Trees” by virtue of City Ordinance 341, otherwise known as the “Century and Heritage Tree Ordinance.”

“Century Trees,” according to the edict, are those that have lived for more than 100 years while “Heritage Tress” are those which may not have reached 100 years “but are considered ecologically, historically or culturally valuable or belonging to a rare specie or are adjacent or near a water source, spring or well and whose cutting or destruction will disrupt or destroy the water source.”

Trees declared as Century or Heritage Trees shall, under the same ordinance, “not be subjected to any cutting or any form or destruction, except for medical, public emergency, public safety and botanical reasons and shall be preserved and maintained in its natural state.”

Such prohibition shall also apply to all plants and animals that live within or are depended on the said trees for their survival.

A century or heritage Trees shall be identified by a metal plate that contains both its local and scientific names, approximate age, location, Tree Registry Number and declaration date.

Population dev’t week activities reels off

By Bong Garcia

THE Commission on Population (Popcom) has lined up series of activities for the observance of the Population and Development Week from November 23 to 28.

Popcom Regional Information Officer Cecilio Abuy said the activities include the holding of the Regional Population Development Summit that was held Monday in Zamboanga City.

Abuy said the summit was aimed to heighten awareness of the participants concerning the Demographic Trends and the Window of Opportunities for Development, as well as to ensure universal primary education and food security for all Filipinos.

A forum on Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality (YAFS) was held today for Popcom personnel and other stakeholders from the Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa) areas.

Abuy added that a two-day multi-sectoral forum on youth-friendly services is slated to be held from Wednesday until Thursday.

On Friday, there will be a Regional Population Development Committee conference for provincial and city population officers as well as focal persons of line agencies.

This year’s observance of the Population and Development Week is anchored on the theme: “making every Filipinos matter in sustainable development.”

City readies 3 contests for Pascua Na Zambo

By Sheila Covarrubias

The city government through the City Tourism Office has stepped preparations for Pascua na Zamboanga 2014 to be highlighted by 3 competitions intended to make Christmas celebration in the city even more meaningful and significant.

The three highlights include the Best Barangay Christmas Landmark competition, Christmas Lantern contest and canciones de Pascua.

The best barangay Christmas Landmark contest is open to all barangays in the city with December 5 set as deadline for registration at the City Tourism Office in Paseo del Mar.

Based on guidelines, participating entries should reflect landmark of Christmas symbols, such as Christmas tree, Belen and decorative Christmas lights. The Christmas symbols and other decorations may be made of any material that fit the landmark concept. All entries will be evaluated and judged on Dec. 10-12 where top 8 entries will be selected. The final judging will be Dec. 15.

Criteria for judging will be concept- 50%, artistry- 20%, craftsmanship – 20% and impact – 10%. Major winners will receive cash and trophies with P75T as first prize, P60T for the second prize and P50T for the third prize. The 5 non-winning entries will receive a consolation prize of P10T each.

The Christmas lantern contest on the other hand will be open to all except city government officials and employees. All entries must use the colors of Christmas, visible or lighted at night, made of an all-weather material and will be evaluated and officially qualified and accepted to the competition.

Only 25 lanterns will be officially accepted in the competition. Criteria for judging are indigenous materials- 5%, originality-20% artistry- 20%, symbolism- 25%, craftsmanship- 30%. Interested parties should register with the CTO in Paseo del Mar on or before Dec. 8. Evaluation will be done Dec. 10 and final judging will be on Dec. 15 at 6m Paseo del Mar.

Winners will receive cash prizes and trophies, with P10T for first prize, P7T for second prize, P5T for third prize, P3T for 4th prize and P2T for 5th prize. Non-winning entries will receive P1,500 each.

The Canciones de Pascua contest meanwhile, is a Christmas choral competition among elementary students in the city. It features chavacano Christmas songs primarily to promote and preserve the chavacano dialect.

The participating choral group may represent an elementary school – public or private. The participants must be in grade school or as in the case of out of school youth, must be at a maximum age of 13. It must have a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 30 members. The choral contest will be on Dec. 13 at 4pm at the Paseo del Mar.

Criteria for judging in the canciones de Pascua will be tonal quality-30%, dynamics- 20%, harmony (blending/balance)- 20%, musicality (rhythm/tempo)- 20% and stage deportment (costumes)- 10%.

Deadline for the registration of participants will be Dec. 5 at the City Tourism Office.

Other activities have also been lined up for Pascua de Zamboanga to instill among the residents the true meaning of Christmas.

City allocates additional P8 million to complete phase 1 of sanitary landfill

(RGAAG)

The city government has allocated an additional P8 million for the construction of the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) and installation of lighting facilities in this city’s sanitary landfill.

City Engineer Vicente Luis Despalo said Friday the installation of the lighting facilities is to enable the stakeholders to work at the sanitary landfill even at nighttime.

Despalo said the construction of the sanitary landfill’s phase 1 now costs P83 million with the allocation of the additional P8 million for the MRF and lighting facilities.

Despalo could not say when the phase 1 of the sanitary landfill starts operation although it is already finished.

The first phase of the landfill comprises of cell number one, roads, fence, drainage system, administration building, leachate treatment and collection facilities and the lining system.

The cell number one has an area of two hectares, which can accommodate this city’s garbage for a period of three years.

The sanitary landfill is located in Barangay Salaan, 15 kilometers east of this city.

It has a total area of 10.6 hectares and will consist of four cells, which can accommodate this city’s solid waste disposal for a 10-year period.

The operations of the sanitary landfill will result in the closure of the open dump site in Barangay Lumbangan, 8.85 kilometers east of this city.

Two-day trade fair set

By Bong Garcia

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to conduct of a two-day trade fair aimed to provide the low-income earning families the opportunity to buy prime commodities at discounted prices in time for the Yuletide seasons.

DTI Provincial Consumer Welfare and Protection Division Chief Ceferino Rubio said the trade fair, dubbed as “Diskwento Caravan,” will be held from December 4 to 5 at the Plaza Pershing downtown.

Rubio said that Noche Buena products will also be on sale during the diskwento caravan aside from basic and prime commodities.

Rubio said the 25 major groceries and supermarkets will participate in the two-day trade fair in this city.

The discount to be given by the participating establishments will range from 10 percent to 50 percent, according to Rubio.

Meanwhile, he said they are monitoring the prices of basic and prime commodities to ensure it is still in accordance to the suggested retail price.

P9-M road projects completed in Zambo

By A. Perez Rimando

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga Sibugay—The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) region 9 office has completed P9.23-million worth of projects in the past three quarters out of the P254-million infrastructure program in this highly urbanized city.

District engineer Cholie Roble said the projects included the Zamboanga-Labuan-Limpapa road asphalt overlay costing P3.24 million; upgrading of damaged paved national road in Barangay Malagutay (Phase 1), P1.53 million, and Phase 2, P4.45 million.

Set for delivery by December include the widening of the Zamboanga City-Labuan-Limpapa national highway, asphalt overlay of other sections of the Zamboanga-Labuan road, a bridge construction in Barangay Maasin, and the city port.

Cholie said DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson earlier called on field officials “to see to it that all projects are disaster resilient.”

Zamboanga City mayor orders resumption of shelter construction for ‘siege’ victims

By Liza Jocson (Inquirer Mindanao)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco on Thursday lifted the suspension order on the construction of housing units at the Lustre Homeowners Subdivision in Barangay (village) Sta. Catalina here.

Climaco’s approval of the resumption of construction work came after the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the developers pledged to comply with a list of recommendations that a body – tasked to look into reports of substandard transitory housing and formed by the city hall – earlier submitted.

On top of the recommendations is for the NHA to get the appropriate permits for the implementation of the project.

The NHA and its contractor Billray Construction also agreed to retrofit 51 units being built to improve its durability.

Climaco said aside from this, the contractor also agreed to submit an affidavit of undertaking, assuming full responsibility in case implemented measures to strengthen the units still result in failure of the structures.

The contractor, likewise, agreed to reconstruct housing units that collapsed and were demolished and those that were assessed to be beyond repair, Climaco added.

Other measures to be adopted by the contractor include: “appropriate plastering to be done on the CHB walls to include field density testing on the soil bearing capacity, compliance with appropriate construction methods and section 705 national Structural Code of the Philippines series of 2010, soil compaction of the housing area and that construction materials used be of good quality and sourced from accredited suppliers.”

ZC: City gets green banner award for nutrition

By Jasmine Mohammadsali

The City of Zamboanga was one of the local government units in Zamboanga Peninsula conferred with the Green Banner Award for its exemplary nutrition program.

This was announced by City Health Officer Dr. Rodelin Agbulos Monday as he presented to City Mayor Beng the plaque of recognition from the National Nutrition Council, Regional Nutrition Council and the Anti-Hunger Committee of Zamboanga Peninsula which commended the LGU on its outstanding effort to implement its nutrition plan for 2013.

The award further recognized the effective and efficient management of the nutrition program by the Nutrition Committee of the City as instrumental in the improvement of the nutrition situation of the families in Zamboanga.

The Green Banner Award is the highest honor given to local government units with excellent implementation and management of nutritional programs.

For the Zamboanga Peninsula region, three LGUs received the Green Banner Award, including Zamboanga City for the City Category, and Piñan, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga Sibugay for the municipality and provincial categories, respectively.

The three LGUs each received a trophy and a laptop from the National Nutrition Council (NNC).

Mayor Climaco commended the members of the City’s nutrition committee, and enjoined them to use the Green Banner Award as inspiration to further improve and address the gaps and needs of the City’s nutrition program.

She also recognized the health and nutrition workers on the ground as the prime movers of the nutrition program, especially in the grassroots community.

“This award really goes to the workers who are responding to the nutritional needs del deaton maga bata,” she said.

Meanwhile, the City Health Office (CHO) remains invested in the implementation and development of health programs in the City.

The CHO has announced its calendar of activities for November which will include activities and awareness celebrations such as the Cancer Awareness Month, Filariasis Awareness Month, Traditional and Alternative Health Care Month, Malaria Awareness Month, Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week, National Consciousness Week Against Counterfeit Medicine, Population and Development Week, 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women, and National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of VAWC.

Moreover, a free skin clinic will be held on November 19 at the City Hall lobby from 8am – 12 noon. This is in line with the National Skin Diseases and Prevention Week.

Zambo to buy ARMM property

By A. Perez Rimando

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga Sibugay—Second district Rep. Lilia M. Nuno has asked Malacanang to start transferring the properties of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (ARMM) in Barangay Cabatangan here to the city government under the Expanded ARMM Law, before the enactment by congress of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Nuno was joined by Rep. Celso Lobregat in urging Chairwoman Teresita Deles of the Office of Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) to allow the city to acquire lots now being occupied by the Marines and regional offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Civil Service Commission, Population Commission, Department of Education, Commission on Audit, and Girl Scouts of the Philippines.

Nuno said Section 1, Article XVIII of the ARMM law expanding its geographic composition noted that “the national government was mandatorily required to purchase the said properties which are registered in the name of the ARMM government and thereafter convey those which the city government of Zamboanga is willing to acquire.”

She said the “provision has remained unimplemented after a lapse of 13 years from the approval of the law on March 31, 2001 by President Arroyo” adding that “all ARMM properties in localities that opt not to join the expanded ARMM territory through the plebiscite, shall be purchased by the national government and subsequently sold to the local government units concerned which were willing to purchase the said properties.”

She said the conveyance of ARMM’s Cabatangan properties to the Zamboanga city government “will serve as a fitting closure for the Expanded ARMM Law and the introduction of the Bangsamoro Basic Law” which could be used by the future Bangsamoro entity to attach the said properties.

In a letter to Deles, Nuno asked her to remind President Benigno Aquino III “the willingness of this highly urbanized city to purchase the Cabatangan ARMM properties “as manifested through numerous approved Sangguniang Panglungsod resolutions, the latest of which was Resolution No. 1199 dated Oct. 14, 2014.”

City upgrades traffic lights

By Bong Garcia

A LOCAL government official announced the Zamboanga City Government has allocated P9 million to upgrade the traffic lights in three of its major intersections.

City General Services Officer Engineer Rene Dela Cruz said the traffic lights will be replaced with new ones or with state-of-the-art technology.

The existing traffic lights in the different parts of the city were installed in 1998.

Dela Cruz said among the traffic lights to be upgraded are located at the intersections of Sta. Cruz and Veterans Avenue, Governor Camins and Mayor Jaldon, and Mayor Jaldon and Gov. Alvarez Avenue.

He said the cables posts to include the bulbs will be replaced with light-emitting diode.

He said the timers will also be replaced so that the motorist will know how many seconds until the traffic lights will shift to green or red.

The traffic lights on three other major intersections will be upgraded early next year, he added.

These intersections are the Veterans and Governor Alvarez Avenues, Gov. Lim and Veterans Avenues, and Baliwasan Chico and San Jose Road.

P1.5-M allocated for Christmas decorations

By Bong Garcia

THE local government of Zamboanga City has allocated P1.5 million to decorate the different public places in the city this Yuletide Seasons.

City General Service Office (CGSO) head Engineer Rene Dela Cruz said that this year’s funding allocation is higher by P300,000 compared to that of last year which was P1.2 million.

Dela Cruz said the allocation will be used to purchase materials such as plywood, wires, light-emitting diode (LED) lights, and others for the fabrication of giant Christmas Trees and lanterns.

Dela Cruz said among the areas that will be decorated are City Hall and public plazas namely Paseo del Mar, Plaza del Pilar, Plaza Rizal, and Plaza Pershing.

He said a 60 feet high Christmas tree will be placed at Plaza Pershing, Plaza del Pilar and Paseo del Mar.

He said this year’s motif is blue and will be anchored in the theme: “peace.”

Zambo City marks 30th Dia de Cesar

By Sheila Covarrubias

All roads lead to the Climaco Freedom Park in Abong-abong today, Nov. 14 in commemoration of the 30th death anniversary death anniversary of the legendary mayor Cesar Cortez Climaco.

The activities will start with a mass at 7am at the Pasonanca Parish Church and will continue with the commemorative program at the Climaco Freedom Park at 8am.

People coming from all walks of life, including boy scouts and girl scouts are expected to attend the significant activity.

In the afternoon, an extemporaneous speaking contest and a quiz bowl related to the life story of Mayor Cesar Climaco will be held at 2 o’clock at the City Hall conference room.

Dubbed as “Dia de Cesar”, the events today are the culmination of a weeklong calendar of activities that kicked off Monday, November 10 in City Hall. These activities included the unveiling of commemorative portraits at Plaza Rizal marking Cesar Climaco’s life and legacy and the opening of exhibit of Climaco’s personal effects, artifacts and memoirs at the City Hall lobby.

Yesterday, November 13, a parade participated by mostly young students and scouts was held from the residence of the late mayor to the Climaco Freedom Park. A variety show followed at 6pm.

At 9pm yesterday, Mayor Climaco and the other members of the Climaco family led the different sectors of the city in the candle lighting and flower offering ceremony at the assassination site in Camino Nuevo.

Carisma, Coraje y Compasion mark CCC’s life and legacy. He was a very energetic and humorous person that charmed people- young and old, who meet him. He showed courage when he opposed the Marcos dictatorship and vowed not to cut his hair until democracy is achieved. He was a very brave man for he feared nothing, not even the loss of his life. Despite his eccentricity, he was a person with a pure heart and showed compassion to all people-regardless of race, creed and color.

Cesar Climaco was killed by still unidentified assassin while inspecting the fire scene in Camino Nuevo early morning of Nov. 14, 1984.

US ambassador to visit Zambo City

By Bong Garcia

UNITED States Ambassador Philip Goldberg will be the keynote speaker Friday in the graduation ceremony of 181 out-of-school-youth (OSY) on livelihood skills training in Zamboanga City.

The livelihood skill training was conducted under the auspices of the US Embassy through the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) Mindanao Youth for Development (MYDev) project.

The five-year USAid project will actively engage at least 19,000 OSY in workforce and community development activities by developing their basic education competencies, livelihood capabilities, and life and leadership skills for civic engagement.

The US Embassy said in a statement Thursday that Goldberg will attend the signing of the Cities Development Initiative between the American government and Zamboanga City Government.

The Cities Development Initiative, which is part of the US-Philippines Partnership for Growth, aims to unleash the development potential of this city through collaboration in the areas of health, education, environment, and economic and investment promotion.

ZCWD: Prime Water can solve Zambo’s water woes

By Liza Jocson

Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) officials expressed helplessness in solving the city’s water shortage problems and are now relying on two giant corporations to help provide solutions to the water crisis.

“We want to give good water service but that’s the best that we can do,” said Assistant General Manager for Administration John Taula during a dialogue with officials of the City Council, yesterday.

This as the local water district grapples with problems on water turbidity, high systems loss, antiquated pipelines dating back to the 1900’s, and lack of water sources.

Taula said that the water district has no way to fight the harsh effects of nature which causes water turbidity.

The only solution at this point is to minimize consumption coupled with efficient water distribution to all water consumers, a move that has resulted to low water pressure being experienced in most households.

Taula also admitted that the two plants generating the supply of water can hardly meet the demand on the current number of consumers.

At present only two water plants generating water good for 36,000 connections are serving the present demand of 54,000 consumers.

He said that the entry of Prime Water, a company specializing in water distribution can effectively solve the lack of supply as it can generate water for up to 50,000 consumers.

The supply to be generated by Prime Water is reportedly intended for consumers in the West Coast and a big portion of the town proper.

The set up leaves Zamboanga City Water District to concentrate on the City’s east coast and part of the town proper which is not going to be supplied by Prime Water.

Taula believes that this set up will provide consistent water supply and will eliminate the problem of low water pressure in most barangays.

Meanwhile, the Local Water District is also faced with systems loss of up to 47% caused by illegal water connections and faulty and leaking water pipes.

ZCWD is currently implementing the rehabilitation of its water pipes after asking for an increase in water rates three years ago.

Presently however, only 7-8 kilometers out of 30 kilometers of pipelines have been rehabilitated.

Engineer Marlie Acosta De Fiesta, Planning Division Officer in Charge said that the local water district is now considering procuring the services of Manila Water Company to provide solutions on how to decrease its systems loss.

Manila Water Company reportedly submitted an unsolicited proposal in the year 2010 to the Water District to improve the latter’s water distribution.

The Zamboanga City Water District is currently in the process of bidding out the services to be able to start its rehabilitation plan.

De Fiesta discounts the possibility of an increase in water rates saying that revenues from an increased volume of water brought about by hiring Manila Water will compensate for the cost of procuring their services.

Manila Water, a corporation affiliated with the Ayala Group of Companies, is said to have no relationship with Prime Water, a company owned by the Villar group.

Zamboanga City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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