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Turn-over of bunkhouses with facilities and core shelters for the IDPs

By Allen Abastillas

Cabatangan, Zamboanga City – The 545th Engineer Construction Battalion, 52ndEBde, PA,in coordination with the DSWD Field Office IX, WMC, AFP and the City Government of Zamboanga held a formal and official turn-over ceremony of the 40 bunkhouses on stilt with facilities and 32 Single Detached Core Shelters for the IDPs affected by the Zamboanga siege. The activity was held around 2 p.m. on December 16, 2014 at Masepla, Barangay Mampang, Zamboanga City.

Both projects were constructed by the 545th Engineer Construction Battalion, 52E, PA at Masepla, Mampang except for the first 18 Single Detached Core Shelters which were constructed at Paniran, Sta. Catalina.

DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” J. Soliman was the Guest of Honor and Speaker. Other prominent guests attended the occasion are as follows: Hon. Maria Isabelle “Beng”Climaco-Salazar, Mayor of Zamboanga City; LTGEN RUSTICO O GUERRERO AFP, Commander, WMC, AFP; COL ANDRELINO G COLINA INF (GSC) PA, Commander, Joint Task Force-Zamboanga; S/SUPT ANGELITO ABELLERA CASIMIRO, Director, Zamboanga City Police Office and Director Zenaida L Arevalo, CESO III, DSWD Field Office IX, Zamboanga City.

LTC ARNEL F FERNANDEZ CE (GSC) PA, CO, 545th Engineer Construction Battalion, 52E, PA formally welcomed Sec Soliman and all the other guests. In his welcome remarks, LTC FERNANDEZ emphasized in passing the invaluable efforts and contributions of the organic Muslim personnel of this unit - who are former MNLF-Integrees but are now regular members of the AFP- in the construction of bunkhouses and other projects of the unit. Likewise, same gave a preview of the unit’s direct involvement in the implementation of various DSWD infrastructure projects for IDPs affected by theZamboanga siege.

LTGEN RUSTICO O GUERRERO AFP formally turned-over theSymbolic Key to Sec Corazon “Dinky” Soliman assisted by LTC ARNEL F FERNANDEZ CE (GSC) PA, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and Dir.Zenaida L Arevalo.

Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar said she is very thankful for the support provided by the Army engineers and the AFP in general tothe City Government of Zamboangaparticularly in the rehabilitation program for the IDPs after the Zamboanga siege. She likewise, enjoined some IDPs present during the occasion to show appreciation for the untiring efforts of the Officers and men of the 545ECB, 52E, PA in the speedy construction of several bunkhouses and other facilities for them.

And finally, Secretary Soliman gave her inspiring message, graciously expressing her profound gratitude to all, whom in one way or another supported the efforts of the government, through the DSWD and the LGU ofZamboanga, in the rehabilitation of IDPs affected during the Zamboanga Siege. She likewise, assured all the IDPs that very soon each one of them will be returning back to their respective barangays where they were staying before the crises erupted. Said pronouncement was met with a loud applause from the IDPs.

Right after the turn-over program, the group proceeded to the project site for the cutting of ribbon and for the conduct of ocular inspection of the turned-over projects.

The “Quarter to Six Band” of this unit provided the entertainment aspect of the activity by performing live songs during the occasion, to the delight of more or less 150 IDPs and other local residents in the area who attended and witnessed the aforesaid event.

LTO-9 revenue collection for 2014 to breach P400M

By Allen Abastillas

Land Trasportation Office-9 Director Aminola P. Abaton is optimistic that his office’s revenue collection for 2014 will breach P400 million.

Abaton said so far LTO-9 collected more or less P396 from January to November this year which is higher compared to the same period last year which was only P372 million.

According to Abaton, the increase in the collection of revenues can be attributed to the prompness by all district offices in the computing and processing of data. Likewise, each LTO district office has a generator to provide electricity in case of blackout which had caused delays in the past in the processing of motorvehicle registrationand renewal including application and renewal of licenses.

“This is a way of ensuring and providing an efficient government delivery of services to clientele which is the public”, Abaton said.

Abaton added that the LTO central office will procure an impounding area for motorvehicles for each regional office intended for violators of the Traffic Code and other laws related to transportation.

DSWD-9 readies for NTHS

(Daily Zamboanga Times)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is making the necessary preparations for the conduct of the National Targeting Housing Survey (NTHS) next year.

DSWD Regional Director Zenaida Arevalo said on Thursday they will hire next month at least 2,000 enumerators who will undertake the survey in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Arevalo said the DSWD central office has allocated PhP72 million for the salary of the enumerators and other expenses such as the printing of the survey forms, transportation and communications needs.

The survey questionnaires include the following: How many members are there in the family? How many children? Are they studying?

Arevalo said the NTHS is aimed to identify the non-poor, near poor and poor families in the country.

DSWD NHTS Regional Focal Person Hasan Alfaro said the target number of families to be surveyed in the region is 700,000.

Alfaro said the 284,000 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will also be included in the survey “to know their status.”

The survey results will also be used as the basis on who will be the government programs’ beneficiaries such as the 4Ps and social pension.

Agrarian community gets P500,000 project

By Bong Garcia (Sunnex)

THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has allocated P500,000 for the implementation of a project that would provide a boost to the livelihood of an Agrarian Reform Community (ARC) in a west coast village in Zamboanga City.

DAR Regional Director Julita Ragandang said the project known as the Village Level Processing Center and Enhancement Project (VLPCEP) form's part of DAR's support services to ARCs.

Ragandang said the project's ARC-beneficiary is the Malandi-Patalon Zamboanga City Agrarian Reform Association (Mapzacara) of the village of Patalon.

Ragandang led on Tuesday the groundbreaking of the project, which is set to be completed within 45 days.

Once completed, Ragandang said the processing center will help boost the livelihood of Mapzacara since it will redound to the improvement of products of the beneficiaries.

The Mapzacara is producing coconut sugar, banana chips and vinegar.

Ragandang said with improved product quality, the Mapzacara can increase the price of their products, thereby increasing the group's income.

The VLPCEP aims to develop market competitive Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) products and enhance enterprise and livelihood activities at the community level in selected agrarian reform areas through assistance in product value-adding, improvement of facilities, and assistance in documentation and license application.

Meanwhile, Ragandang said the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are also helping them in providing assistance to the Mapzacara.

She said the assistance provided by the DOST, PCA and DTI is by way of technical training.

Westmincom launches Bamboo Reforestation Project


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 17 (PNA) – At least 200 bamboos were planted Wednesday at Camp Don Basilio Navarro that houses the headquarters of the military’s Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) in this city.

This came about as Westmincom chief Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero led the launching of the Bamboo Reforestation Project (BRP) here.

Guerrero said the launching of the BRP was in line with the 79th Founding Anniversary celebration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday and the National Greening Program (NGP).

The NGP is a massive forest rehabilitation program of the government established by virtue of Executive Order No. 26 issued on Feb. 24, 2011 by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

The program seeks to grow 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares nationwide within a period of six years, from 2011 to 2016.

“Considering all the environmental benefits of bamboos, the BRP is a priority project of the AFP to mitigate the effects of climate change and contribute to disaster management,” Guerrero said.

He said the bamboo planting was simultaneously conducted in all military camps in the country.

First day of ‘Misa de Gallo’ peaceful

By Bong Garcia

THE Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) reported that the first day of the “Misa de Gallo” was peaceful and orderly.

ZCPO Director Angelito Casimiro said Tuesday that no untoward incident was reported to his office. Each of the police stations has parish church in their respective area of responsibility.

The ZCPO, in coordination with the military’ Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ) and village officials, adopted security measures to ensure the protection of the churchgoers during the nine-day Misa de Gallo.

The Misa de Gallo, known to Filipinos as the “Simbang Gabi,” starts every 16th of December until Christmas Eve.

“So far, peaceful with the help of TFZ and force multipliers,” Casimiro said of the first day of the Misa de Gallo.

The force multipliers refer to the village watchmen and Civilian Volunteer Organization members.

The provision of security in churches during the nine-day Simbang Gabi is in line with the Command Memorandum Circular-Kapaskohan issued by Casimiro.

Zambo bags 29 gold medals in Batang Pinoy

By Sheila Covarrubias

The Zamboanga City delegation to the Batang Pinoy National Championships held in Bacolod City from December 9-31 harvested a total of 29 gold medals.

The team also bagged 10 silver medals and 35 bronze medals.

City Sports Director Cecille Atilano, who led the Zamboanga delegation said the different sports events where Zamboanga harvested medals included archery- 1 gold, 1 silver and 6 bronze; boxing – 2 bronze medals; Karatedo- 5 gold, 2 silver, 6 bronze medals; Muay Thai- 4 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medals and Pencak Silat- 4 gold and 3 bronze medals.

1 bronze medal was also garnered in swimming; 7 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze medals were hauled in weightlifting; 6 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals were contributed by the athletes in wrestling and 2 gold and 5 bronze medals were bagged during the wushu finals.

The national finals is a program of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in partnership with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education and the local government units.

Thousands of participants aged 15 and below participated in the 5-day event, the opening of which was graced by PSC Chairman Richie Garcia and Commissioner Salvador Andrada.

The Zamboanga delegation arrived Zamboanga last night.

LTO to revise licensing policy

By Bong Garcia

THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) is set to revise its existing policy to strengthen the procedure of the issuance of driver's license in the country.

LTO-Zamboanga Peninsula Director Aminola Abaton said the LTO Central Office is studying provisions that need to be revised to ensure that licenses will only be issued to deserving individuals.

Abaton said there will be changes in the conduct of examination for new driver's license applicants, starting in the first quarter of 2015.

He said the LTO will soon require the applicants to enroll in LTO-accredited driving schools before they will be issued a license.

All changes will be implemented for student, non-professional and professional permits, Abaton added.

30 victims of human trafficking rescued in Zambo City

By Zaida delos Reyes-Palanca

THIRTY persons who were reportedly victims of human trafficking were rescued while three illegal recruiters were arrested by authorities during their operation the other day in Zamboanga City.

Reports from Police Regional Office (PRO) 9 showed that the victims were rescued at around 7:30 p.m. in a safehouse in Barangay Cabatangan in said city after authorities raided the suspect’s hideout.

Twenty-five of those arrested were from Zamboanga Sibugay, three others were from Zamboanga del Norte and two others were from the City.

Some of the victims were identified as Roseller Cagas, 28, Nestor Cagas, 54; Roel Elcame, 48; Jecel Solis, Jhunrey Banua, 19; Merienissa Estrada, 23; Jessie Umput, 29; Jose Basaliil, 31; Panchito Sumali, Ruben Estrada and Liezel Maquintura.

The operation also resulted in the arrest of three suspected illegal recruiters identified as Ryan Benson, caretaker of the safehouse; Gaga Sahis, owner of a ferry boat M/L Rosmina and Ronel Maquintora.

It was learned that the victims were recruited by the suspects and were promised jobs in Malaysia in exchange for huge amounts of money as placement fees.

The operation was conducted in response to the report of a civilian volunteer regarding the presence of a group of people in the said residential area.

The rescued persons were turned over to the custody of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for proper disposition.

‘12 Dias de Hechos’ show debuts at Ecozone today

By Vic Larato

A wide array of locally produced products ranging from native delicacies to handicrafts is on display for sale starting today, Dec. 12, up to Dec. 21, in three different venues.

Dubbed as “12 Dias de Hechos,” the activity officially kicks off at 2 o’clock this afternoon at the Zamboanga Ecozone in San Ramon, where it will stay until tomorrow, Dec. 13. It features a car show and a nightly market.

A free ride to and from the ecozone is available to everybody for two days (Dec. 12 & 13). There will be three trips to the venue; first trip is 9 a.m., next is at 12 noon, then last at 3 p.m. interested patrons are requested to assemble at City Hall (fronting PNB) earlier than the departure time.

The activity will feature auto/ motorcycle/ bike show, autocross display and show, night dry market with live entertainment sponsored by the City Government.

Entrance to the ecozone and use of swimming pool are absolutely free of charge.

After ecozone, the 12-day exhibit with a variety show will transfer venue, this time at Jardin Maria Clara in Pasonanca for seven days from Dec. 15 to 21. Again, there will be free rides every day (afternoon only) from City Hall at 4 p.m, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

On Dec. 15, first day of the exhibit at Jardin Maria Clara, there will be a Zumba Dance Party for all; awarding ceremonies on Dec. 16 for winners of the Lantern and Canciones de Pascua competitions; and a car show on Dec 20.

From Dec. 15 to 21, the “12 Dias de Hechos” will move for its final week to the church premises in Barangay Mercedes.

For inquiries and other details about the exhibit, please refer to the Investment and Promotion Services headed by Angelique Go of the City Mayor’s Office in City Hall.

An activity under the “Pascua na Zamboanga” festivity, the exhibit is in line with City Ordinance 424, mandating the organization and management of One Barangay One Product (OBOP) in the city, patterned after the “One Town One Product (OTOP)” of Japan and adopted by the national government.

It is organized by the city government through the Investment Promotion Services, City Tourism Office, Public Information Office, all of the City Mayor’s Office; City General Services Office, City Agriculturist Office in coordination with the Zamboanga Ecozone, Barangay Ayala, Department of Trade and Industry- Zamboanga City Office, Barangay Mercedes, Philippine National Police and Task Force Zamboanga.

Congresspersons Celso Lobregat and Lilia Nuño of Districts 1 and 2, respectively, are among the principal sponsors together with Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils., Inc., Pepsi Cola Bottling Co., and San Miguel Brewery Inc.

Under the OBOP Program, the city government shall approve for public sales only products and services that are selected by the respective Barangay Council, which are economically beneficial to the barangays, and not detrimental to the health of the prospective consumers and further not hazardous to the environment.

It hopes to promote the OBOP and harness the economic potential of each barangay, keep the city’s old investors, keep the confidence of investors and constituents that doing business in Zamboanga is smart and wise, promote micro small and medium entrepreneurs thru outside selling, develop the capability of existing entrepreneurship activities and uplift the Christmas spirit of Zamboangueños thru outdoor events like the night market.

DOT launches 'Visit the Philippines Year 2015' in Zamboanga City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 11 (PNA) -– The Department of Tourism (DOT) has officially launched "Visit the Philippines Year 2015 (VPY 2015)" in this city.

DOT Regional Director Mary June Bugante spearheaded the launching of the VPY 2015 in a ceremony held Wednesday night here.

Bugante said the VPY 2015 is a year-long events-driven nationwide campaign where interested parties can register their events at, the official website which aims to attract domestic and foreign tourists to participate in the events.

“Registering in the said website will bring year-round exposure and to encourage public-private partnership as well as community participation,” Bugante said.

“It is an opportunity for LGU’s (Local Government Units) to make their events known worldwide and get free promotion for the events,” Bugante added.

In the case of this city, Bugante said the local government can register the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival that highlights the feat of Our Lady of the Pillar, the most revered saint of this city.

She said VPY aims to have one major occasion every quarter that would attract not only domestic but also international tourists to visit the country.

Those who attended the launching of VPY 2015 were stakeholders of tourism in the entire region.

Zamboanga City Archived News

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