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DOLE sets Labor Day Jobs Fair in Zambo; 32,576 vacancies available


ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 17 (PNA) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced that a total of 32,576 job vacancies are up for grabs in the Labor Day Jobs Fair in this city.

Sisinio Cano, DOLE regional director, made this announcement Friday, citing 25,000 vacancies are for overseas while the remaining 7,576 for local employment.

Cano said the jobs fair will be held at the compound of the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (Zamboecozone) in Barangay Talisayan, 26 kilometers west of City Hall.

Cano said 12 licensed recruitment agencies for overseas employment and 49 private companies and government agencies will join the Jobs Fair.

He said the top five in demand occupations are: machine and production operators; factory workers; call center agents; sales representatives; and, policemen.

He said they will provide vehicles free of charge to ferry the applicants from the city proper to Zamboecozone.

He advised the applicants to bring their complete documents in joining the Jobs Fair.

The conduct of the Jobs Fair is the main event of this year’s Labor Day celebration in this city, dubbed: Fiesta del Dia de Obrero na Zamboecozone (Labor Day Feast in Zamboecozone).

This year’s Labor Day celebration is anchored in the theme: Disenteng Trabaho at Kabuhayan Alay Natin sa Bayan.

Zambo holds summer festival


ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 16 (PNA) -- The city government will be ushering in the summer season with the kick-off of the Summer Festival 2015 tomorrow, Friday.

Dubbed “Summer na Zamboanga (Summer in Zamboanga)”, this year’s festival will formally open with a grand opening program at 4 p.m. at the City Hall grounds, featuring a full line-up of production numbers and presentations from local performers.

Belen Sheila Covarrubias, City Hall information officer, said that among the performers slated to participate are the following: Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) Jambangan Cultural Dance Troupe; Dancing Buddies; Four Twenty Crew; True Family; PS Static; Zamboanga Cosplay Group; Abdel Aziz Masjiril; Marco Onesa; and, Fidel Bas with the Guyz N’ Flizicks.

Covarrubias said a Zumba fitness activity will cap off the summer program launch.

Covarrubias said the City Hall grounds will also be abuzz with activity and photo booths for residents joining the program aside from the performances.

She said the Summer Festival is an annual activity spearheaded by the city government to provide wholesome activities and entertainment to residents throughout the duration of the summer months.

ICRC builds health facility in Zambo transitory site


ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 15 (PNA) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has turned over Wednesday to the city government a newly-completed health sub-station to cater to the well-being of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in a transitory site in this city.

The construction of the P780,000 health sub-station was financed by the ICRC in coordination with the city government through the City Health Office.

The health station is located at the Masepla Transitory Site in Barangay Mampang that houses some 6,000 IDPs.

Timothy Yates, ICRC sub-delegation head, said the health facility will also cater to the well-being of the residents living near the Masepla Transitory Site.

Staffs of the ICRC had been assisting the city government in attending to the plight of the IDP-families displaced during the 21-day September 2013 siege.

The health sub-station will be jointly manned by ICRC and City Health Office personnel.

Meanwhile, Yates noted an improvement at the Masepla Transitory Site.

Summer sports program registration starts

By Bong Garcia

REGISTRATION for the month-long Summer Learn to Play a Sport Program of the Zamboanga City Government is open until April 28.

Belen Sheilla Covarrubias, City Hall information officer, announced Tuesday the registration is conducted at the City Sports Division located at the Mayor Vitaliano D. Agan Coliseum in Barangy Tetuan.

The sports program, which is provided for free to children ages five to 15, will be from May 1 to 31.

The participants can enroll in classes in arnis, athletics, badminton, basketball, baseball, body building, boxing, chess, dance sport, fencing, football, gymnastics, judo, karate-do, muay thai, pencak salat, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwando, tennis, volleyball, weight lifting, wrestling and wushu.

Covarrubias said the Summer Learn-to-Play a Sport has been proven to be an effective training ground for future Zamboangueño athletes.

Last year, 2,883 children joined in the program.

The sports activities will be held in different venues since the Mayor Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex is being used as a transitory site for internally displaced families.

BFP to establish fire sub-station at Zamboecozone

By R.G. Antonet A. Go [(PNA), CTB/TPGJR/RGAAG/SSC]

ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 13 (PNA) -– The Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (Zamboecozone) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) on Monday forged a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the establishment of a fire sub-station inside Zamboecozone.

Zamboecozone Chairman and Administrator Christopher Lawrence Arnuco said the MOA stipulates that they will provide a 1,000 square meters lot where to put up the fire station manned by the BFP-Zamboanga City Fire District (ZCFD) personnel.

Arnuco said also stipulated in the MOA is that the BFP can use the Zamboecozone area as training ground of the firefighters.

Arnuco said the area they allotted is sufficient for the establishment of a fire station that could accommodate two fire trucks and a dormitory for the personnel.

He said that earlier they thought of organizing a fire brigade for the Zamboecozone but forgo with the plan after they learned that the ZCFD sub-station in Barangay Talisayan is looking for a better place to transfer.

He said the Talisayan fire sub-station will be transferred inside the Zamboecozone with signing of the MOA.

He said they have sufficient water supply to provide the needs of the fire sub-station that will be established inside Zamboecozone.

The signatories of the MOA are Arnuco on behalf of Zamboecozone and Senior Supt. Carlito Oceña, BFP regional director.

Zambo solon, TESDA give starter kits to 66 graduates

By R.G. Antonet A. Go [(PNA), CTB/TPGJR/RGAAG]

ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 12 (PNA) – A total of 66 technical vocational graduates have received starter kits to enable them to practice their newly-acquired skills to earn a living.

The starter kits were distributed to the beneficiaries on Friday by second district Rep. Lilia Nuño in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Eng’r. Lorenzo Macapili, TESDA regional director, said 26 of the 66 beneficiaries of the starter kits have undergone training on massage; 20, service and maintenance of transportation air-conditioning units; and, 20, maintenance and repair of electronically-controlled appliances.

Macapili said the training of the 66 beneficiaries was funded by the office of Nuño.

“The beneficiaries of the starter kits can start a living,” Nuño said citing it is aimed to provide jobs to the unemployed.

The beneficiaries have also received daily allowance during the training aside from the starter kits given them.

Macapili advised the beneficiaries to put to good use their newly-acquired skills and starter kits.

Paolo Labrador Jr., one of the beneficiaries, said the training and starter kits they received will be of big help in earning a living to sustain their family.

LTO builds Php 5-M edifice in Zambo City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 11 (PNA) – The Land Transportation Office (LTO) inaugurated on Friday a two-storey building worth Php 5 million in its compound in this city.

Atty. Aminola Abaton, LTO regional director, said the newly-completed building would house the agency’s operation division, law enforcement office, Zamboanga City licensing center, and the multi-purpose conference hall.

“We want to put up an excellent service to the public that is why we are doing this kind of innovation and expansion,” Abaton said.

He said the funds used in the construction of the new building came from the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), the mother agency of LTO.

The inauguration of the new LTO building was graced by LTO Assistant Secretary Alfonso Tan Jr.

Tan said the LTO personnel would be able to better serve the public in this part of the country with the construction of the new building housing under one roof all its offices.

BIR appeals to power coop to spare Zamboanga City from brownout on April 15


ZAMBOANGA CITY – An official of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) appealed to the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) to forgo with the rotational brownout on April 15 in this city.

Cresencio Agad, revenue district officer, made the call Wednesday to enable them to better serve the taxpayers on April 15, which is the deadline in the filing of Income Tax Returns (ITR).

“I hope we will be given consideration by Zamcelco that there will be no brownout even only on April 15 so we can continuously serve the taxpaying public,” Agad said.

Agad said they cannot process the ITRs of the taxpaying public during brownout since they don’t have standby power generator. At present, this city is experiencing two to three hours daily rotational brownout brought about by the reduced power generation from the Mindanao grid.

Agad said they expect that taxpayers–businessmen, professionals and workers–will swarm his office to beat the April 15 deadline in the filing of ITRs.

Meanwhile, Agad called on the taxpayers to process early their ITRs and not to wait for the deadline to avoid the rush. He said they expect to collect PhP200 million taxes this month.

Zamboanga City joins 73rd Araw ng Kagitingan

By Teofilo P. Garcia, Jr [(PNA), CTB/TPGJR]

ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 9 (PNA) – Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar on Thursday urged the members of the local chapter of Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) to help the government in combating terrorism.

Salazar made the call as this city joined the entire country in the commemoration of the 73rd Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) in simple but fitting rites.

Salazar said VFP members, who include surviving World War II veterans and retired soldiers and policemen, can serve as “force multipliers” in providing security to this city.

Salazar recognized the sacrifices of the VFP members, especially the surviving World War II veterans, for their role in helping protect the country in general and this city in particular.

Rear Adm. Reynaldo Yoma, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) commander, said the World War II veterans serve as their guiding principle in combating the enemies of the state.

District II Rep. Lilia Nuño has also recognized the sacrifices of the World War II veterans and all the other members of the VFP-Zamboanga City District.

The commemorative program of the Araw ng Kagitingan in this city kicked off with the flag raising ceremony at 7 a.m. at the Rizal Shrine in front of City Hall.

It was followed by a commemorative gathering at the Freedom Fighters Memorial Shrine along Rizal Street few meters away from Rizal Shrine where a floral offering was held.

The program also highlighted with the presentation of World War II Veterans and their surviving spouses.

The commemoration of the Araw ng Kagitingan is in honor of the war veterans who fought for freedom and liberty during World War II.

This year’s commemoration is anchored on the theme: “Ipunla ang Kagitingan sa Kabataan, Ihanda ang beterano ng kinabukasan.”

355 out-of-school youths graduate in skills training, alternative lessons in Zamboanga City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 8 (PNA) -- Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar urged the newest batch of out-of-school youths (OSY) who successfully completed their skills training to believe in themselves and their capacity to be heroes, to always give their best in all their endeavors in order to succeed.

“Your future will be brighter if you exert all the efforts. Do not be contented with mediocrity but go beyond,” Salazar told the 355 Zamboangueño completers under the Mindanao Youth for Development (MYDev) program.

Congratulating them on their achievement, the mayor reminded them to grab the opportunity to carve a better future for themselves.

“Your parents can only provide for you a certain level of training and education. But the success that you will achieve will depend on God’s grace and your own capacity to utilize it. I want you to utilize all of your God-given capacities to really do your very best,” the mayor stressed.

Salazar also called on the graduates not to be content with mediocrity. “I hope that given these opportunities, you will not be mediocre. I want you to go beyond pushing and really do your very best.”

In addition, she urged the youths to always believe in themselves. “Always believe in your capacity as heroes. This is the opportune moment for you and grab that opportunity.”

Salazar shared how she used to be very shy but eventually found her voice after studying overseas for two years. She has since spoken for herself and became who she is, never doubting herself.

“When the siege happened in the city, I was only a two-month old mayor. When it happened, my first priority was to ensure that the civilian population, all of the hostages be protected,” she said. “Because my role is not to please people but to ensure the general welfare of all the 900,000 people of Zamboanga City.”

She added: “I know that God has put me here for a reason and this is now my time. Have I not been here, we would not have this opportunity and we would not have what we call the synchronicity of all the programs and plans destined for young people of the city.”

“I may not be able to touch all of your hands, I will not be able to shake your hands, but know that as mayor of the city of Zamboanga, together will all our partners here, we only want what is best for you. What is best for you will be better for the city of Zamboanga,” the mayor said.

Funded by the United States Agency for International Development, MYDev addresses key constraints to peace and stability in selected conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. It promotes an enabling environment that protects the OSY against unproductive and violent social activities in their communities.

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

MYDev Program primarily supports equitable access to basic education through the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning Systems (ALS), and access to relevant livelihood skills training provided by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and other local service providers.

Aside from improving OSY education and employability, the Program integrates life skills and leadership development to create positive perceptions among the OSY toward their community and government.

Zamboanga City to convert controlled dump site into ecopark


ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 7 (PNA) -- The Office of City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) is undertaking closure activities at the controlled dumpsite facility in this city and intends to eventually convert the place into an ecological park.

The closure activities at the dumpsite in Barangay Lumbangan started after the opening last week of this city’s PhP75-million sanitary landfill facility in Barangay Salaan.

Gerry Pollisco, OCENR supervising environmental management specialist, said Tuesday the Lumbangan dumpsite, once completely closed, shall be converted into an ecopark as part of the rehabilitation plan and is mandated by law.

An eco-park is a public green area where there is abundance of trees and plants grass and various facilities that allow people to enjoy leisure and rest.

Pollisco said the material recovery facility (MRF) in Lumbangan dumpsite will remain for sorting of recyclable materials and its residuals being disposed at the sanitary landfill while closure activities are being undertaken at the controlled dumpsite.

Pollisco said the initial closure activities in Lumbangan dumpsite began in December 2014 based on Safe Closure and Rehabilitation Plan approved by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) for the said facility.

He said the closure improvement activities include slope stabilization to prevent erosion hazards, capping, drainage system, lining and gas vents and numerous others.

He said also included is the social preparation of affected waste pickers or scavengers and possible assistance.

He said the OCENR will also step up monitoring of the Lumbangan area to prevent illegal dumping activities and will also venture into the installation of monitoring wells and implementation of security measures to prevent unauthorized access to the closed site.

1,400 students chosen for Spes summer jobs

By Bong Garcia

THE first batch of 1,400 college students under the Employment of Students (Spes) program start summer jobs at local government offices in Zamboanga City Wednesday.

Lourdes Francisco of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) said the students will attend an orientation before starting work.

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar will lead the orientation together with representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), City Human Resource and Management Office, CSWDO and other concerned agencies.

Francisco said the beneficiaries will do surveys and community service in the villages or assist in clerical jobs at City Government offices.

Francisco said that each student will be paid P280 per day or a total of P5,600 for the 20-day work period.

The Spes program is a joint project of the City Government and Dole.

The City has allocated over P9 million for the program.

Francisco said 1,270 high school students will make up the next Spes batch from May 5-31.

The Spes was started 20 years ago to help poor students earn by working during the summer or Christmas vacation.

Third party monitors rehab projects

By Bong Garcia

A THIRD party monitoring team, which aimed to conduct an independent assessment and investigation of projects and programs under the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R), commenced work on Tuesday, March 31.

The projects implemented through the Z3R are for the areas affected during the 21-day September 2013 siege that displaced thousands of families in this city.

The team, which is composed of University of the Philippines Planning and Development Research Foundation (UP Planades) consultants, will be the coordinating mechanism for all agencies undertaking Z3R activities and the local government unit.

Z3R activities include temporary and permanent settlement as well as auxiliary projects as defined in the post-conflict needs assessment (PCNA) study such as schools, places of worship, roads, drainage, and others.

The monitoring team headed by Architect Ten Bellosillo will be establishing a project monitoring office in this city and will be lodged in City Hall with Engineer Joel Mamuya manning the office on full time basis.

Bellosillo said the team will cover all aspects of the Z3R plan and will provide regular monthly progress reports on the implementation of the projects to the Local Inter-Agency Committee (LIAC), the head offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and National Housing Authority (NHA) with the intention of identifying bottlenecks and recommending possible actions to address such challenges particularly in the light of the tight schedule that the concerned agencies are observing.

“What will be done is that we will be providing technical assistance to the LGU in terms of apprising everybody of the progress of everybody’s tasks in terms of all of the component projects and also be coming up recommended solutions,” Bellosillo said.

Engineer Rodrigo Sicat, City Planning and Development Coordinator, said the creation of the third party monitoring team was raised some three months ago when issues about the use of sub-standard materials and other concerns in the construction of permanent houses and other projects cropped up.

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has recommended to the DPWH and NHA to put in place a third party monitoring team to monitor and assess the implementation of all Z3R projects.

Zambo City under state of calamity

(Philippines News Agency)

Zamboanga City– The City Council has approved the declaration of this city under a state of calamity and authorizing the release of funds for mitigating measures.

City Hall information officer Belen Sheila Covarrubias said Thursday that the City Council discussed in a special session the recommendation of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) to declare this city under state of calamity.

The CDRRMC, chaired by Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, made the recommendation in view of the escalating damage to agriculture and fishery products brought about by the continuing dry spell.

Covarrubias said the declaration will hasten the conduct of cloud seeding operations, the foremost mitigating measure strongly endorsed by the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) team that assessed last week the situation in this city.

Covarrubias said the cloud seeding, based on the initial proposal, will require a funding of P3 million as counterpart from DA, P700,000 as counterpart from the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) and P300,000 of the local government.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat reported that crop and fishery damage as of March 30 due to the dry spell and bush fires have reached at P132.54 million with over 8,924 hectares of farmlands affected.

Palacat said the affected farmlands are planted to rice, corn, assorted vegetables, banana, rubber, cassava and coconut affected.

Of the total 25 irrigation dams in this city, Palacat also reported that nine have dried up, six are in critical condition while 10 are below the normal water level.

Engr. Arnulfo Alfonso, ZCWD technical services department head, reported the water level at the ZCWD’s diversion dam has reached the critical level of 73.9 meters as of March 30.

The normal water elevation at the diversion dam is 74.20 meters.

The resolution was immediately forwarded to Salazar’s office for appropriate action.

Copies of the same resolution were furnished to the office of Palacat, CDRRMC, City Treasurer, City Auditor, City Accountant and City Budget Officer.

Medical teams deployed for Holy Week

By Bong Garcia

THE Zamboanga City Health Office is deploying medical teams at the Mayor Cesar Climaco Freedom Park in Mount Abong-Abong in time for the Holy Week observance.

The deployment will be done as thousands of Catholic faithful are set to converge from Holy Thursday until Good Friday at Mount Abong-Abong in the village of Pasonanca for the Way of the Cross.

The Station of the Cross is located on the western side of Mount Abong-Abong leading to the foot of Pulong Bato, the highest peak in Zamboanga City.

Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, city health officer, said the medical teams will be headed by seven physicians to attend to emergencies that may arise while the Catholic faithful are on pilgrimage.

Agbulos added that this year, they will not use the mobile van as had been practiced in the recent years.

"We have set up medical tents at the helmet (unknown soldiers' rotunda) area with doctors, nurses and emergency rescue [workers] on duty," Agbulos said.

He said his office has coordinated with other agencies such as Philippine Red Cross, Department of Health, hospitals and the police for a coordinative effort.

He urged the public to bring with them bottles of water to keep themselves hydrated while doing the way of the cross in Mount Abong-Abong. He also advised the public to bring with them protective gears such as hats and umbrellas.

The local authorities expect the number of people to converge at the Climaco Freedom Park in Mount Abong-Abong would reach over 20,000.

ZCWD marks anniversary with blood-letting

By Allen Abastillas

Employees of the Zamboanga City Water District donated 25,200 cc of blood to the Philippine National Red Cross in connection with the water firm’s 41st anniversary on Tuesday, March 31.

The blood letting activity was officiated by men and women of the PNRC Zamboanga City Chapter.

Joan A. Luna, CSR -Blood Services of PRC Zamboanga City, said the activity started at 7:30 the Board of Directors Conference Hall at the ZCWD office along Pilar Street. The 25,200 cc is equivalent to 56 blood bags. PRC Zamboanga City Chapter expressed gratiude to the ZCWD personnel for the blood letting and donation made stressing that itswill help save people’s lives.

ZCWD Manager Chito Vasquez said there will be a thanksgiving mass at the Water Plant today, April 1. Former mayor Efren F. Arañez ZCWD chairman of the Board will welcome Mayor Beng Climaco, District 1 Rep. Celso Lobregat and Dist. 2 Rep. Lilia M. Nuño

ZCWD will give recognition and awards to Zamboanga City Police Director Sr. Supt. Angelito A. Casimiro and Col. Ronald V. Juan, commanding officer of the Marine Bataalion Landing Team-1.

Several employees will be awarded for serving the water agency from 10 to 40 years. The category of Loyalty Service awards is from 10 years, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years.

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