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City holds 'Wow Sardinas' boodle fight

By Bong Garcia

ZAMBOANGUEÑOS shared on Tuesday afternoon a meal or two over the boodle fight set-up of the "Wow Sardinas" as part of the ongoing activities of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2015 celebration Zamboanga City.

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Cliamco-Salazar led the opening of the annual sardine-eating spectacle held at the Paseo del Mar together with local officials who joined the activity.

Salazar said eight local canning factories rolled out approximately 8,000 cans of their best sardine products to feed the thousands of Zamboangueños who converged at Paseo del Mar for the annual festivity.

Participating companies were Century Pacific Foods Incorporated, Seacoast Top Choice Food Corporation, Goldstar Seafood Corporation, Permex Producer and Exporter Corporation, Mega Global Corporation, Aquatic Seafods Corporation, Southwest Asian Canning Corporation, and Universal Canning Corporation.

Also supporting the Wow Sardines event were Universal Robina Corporation and the Philippine Spring Water Resources, Inc., respectively providing for the cracker biscuits and bottles of water for the activity.

The Wow Sardinas is one of the annual highlights of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival which puts on the spotlight the canned sardines industry, as one of this city's leading economic drivers and industries, in as much as at least 80 percent of all leading canned sardines in the country are produced and manufactured here.

Throngs of people join procession, hear mass in honor of La Virgen del Pilar in Zambo City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 12 (PNA) -- Amid the scorching sun, throngs of people from all walks of life joined on Monday the grand procession from the Metropolitan Cathedral in Barangay Zone III to the Fort Pilar Shrine in Barangay Rio Hondo in celebration of the feast of Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar.

Archbishop Romulo Dela Cruz, Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, first district Rep. Celso Lobregat, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde and some members of the City Council led the devotees in marching the streets in prayers.

The grand procession culminated with a concelebrated mass with Dela Cruz as main celebrant.

The religious activities kicked-off with the Diana/holy rosary at 4 a.m. followed by masses at the Fort Pilar Shrine the whole morning Monday.

The traditional procession started 3 p.m. at the Metropolitan Cathedral and ended up at the Shrine.

Bearing rosaries, images of the La Virgen del Pilar and other religious icons, the devotees braved the scorching heat, demonstrating unceasing devotion and reverence to the patron saint.

The feast day was preceded by the nine-day novena masses religiously attended by thousands of devotees coming from different parts of this city.

Salazar applauded the residents--both Christians, Muslims and Lumads--for their fighting spirit and for continued reverence to the Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar.

She urged the residents to continue to stay united and strong, as the city continues to face challenges amid the city’s recovery and rehabilitation efforts.

The fiesta was ushered in by the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2015 which kicked off October 1st and will continue until the end of the month with various activities sponsored by private groups.

Tomorrow, October 13, the city will hold the Sardinas Festival that will be capped by the sardine eating spectacle at the Paseo del Mar.

The Zamboanga Hermosa Festival is the city’s grandest annual celebration and is observed with great zeal, fervor and devotion to the La Virgen del Pilar.

Devotion to the La Virgen keeps Zamboanguenos — living here and elsewhere, united and strong.

The Fort Pilar or Real Fuerza de Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Zaragoza in Spanish, is a 17th century military defense fortress built by the Spanish colonial government.

It is now an outdoor Roman Catholic Marian shrine and a museum and a symbol of the city's cultural heritage.

Cacao guru speaks at Zampen investment confab held in ZC

By Allen Abastillas

Philippines’ cacao guru, Mr. Pedro V. Cruz, head of the Agritechnology Department of Kennemer Foods Inc. in Davao City, was one of the speakers in the two-day Zamboanga Peninsula Investment Conference on October 8 -9,2015 at Astoria Hotel.

Cruz lectured the participants on cacao production and processing.

He said that to intercrop cacao with coconut would double or triple a farmer’s income compared to coconut alone.

“We will grab this opportunity for the Philippines cacao because of the huge demand in the world market because of the forecast shortfall of cacao in the year 2020 which is one million metric tons. Unlike coconut oil there are substitutes on it like palm oil, olive oil, corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil and vetetable oil. Only cacao can make chocolate and there is no substitute. All the farmers have to follow the five factors that influence the quality of cacao beans on farmers level. They are Genetic. Environment, Farm Management, Pest and diseases management and post harvest processing.

According to Cruz, the cacao trees in Indonesia and South Africa are old trees and aging. The Philippines would be a major supplier because it has still an idle land to plant cacao especially under the tree million hectares of coconut lands. To make sustainable, we have to work on the sustainability — Economic, Environmental and Social.

“ Grow Cacao with the world and soon harvest a hundrefold,” Cruz emphasized.

ZAMPEN ICON is spearheaded by the Dept. of Trade and Industry-9 under Regional Director Sitti Amina Jain in partnership with the Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc., Industrial Group of Zamboanga Inc., Local Government of Zamboanga and Canning Industry of Z.C. Its theme is “ Inclusive Growth thru High Impact Investments”.

Zamboanga City launches ‘Bahay Kubo’ program


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 10 (PNA) -- The city government has turned over the newly-rehabilitated barangay hall worth PHP1.9 million to Barangay Vitali, 83.99 kilometers east of City Hall.

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said Saturday the newly-completed project was turned over during the launching of the “Bahay Kubo” program on Wednesday in Barangay Vitali.

Salazar, who led the turnover of the project, said the project was received by Vitali officials headed by Barangay Chairman Jose Alavar.

She said the rehabilitation project is aimed to improve the barangay’s seat office to facilitate better delivery of services to its residents.

She said the project is part of the ongoing advocacy of the city government to equip and prepare barangays to better respond to the needs of their constituents as the front-line responders.

Alavar, on behalf of the residents, has expressed gratitude to Salazar for the realization of the project.

Meanwhile, Salazar said the Bahay Kubo project will ensure the family has ample supply of vegetables for their table needs.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat said the Bahay Kubo project aims to revive backyard gardening in the city and encourage families to grow their own vegetables for their consumption.

He said they may sell the vegetables for additional income should there be excess harvest.

Inspired by a folk song of the same title, the Bahay Kubo project is a pilot program under the department’s Sustainable Household Enterprise (SHE) initiative.

Palacat said they will provide the barangays with seedlings and organic fertilizers as well as necessary training to start residents on the project.

DTI sets food safety and quality seminar in Zambo City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 9 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will hold a three-day food safety and quality seminar for food processors from all over Region 9, October 13-15, 2015.

Dr. Sitti Amina Jain, DTI regional director, told the Philippines News Agency that the seminar aims to improve the quality of the food products being processed here in the region.

Jain said the seminar is also aimed at teaching the food processors about the basic requirements of food safety and to produce quality food as well food standards compliance.

She said the target outcome of the seminar is to be able “to position our food products in the market” as well as to ensure the protection of the consumers.

“It is difficult to sell the products that are not within the quality standards,” she said in an interview at the sideline of the four-day Zamboanga Peninsula Exposition (ZAMPEX) 2015 in this city.

Meanwhile, Jain said that there are 38 exhibitors of food products that are participating in the ZAMPEX 2015 that kicked-off Thursday and ends on October 11.

Jain said ZAMPEX is basically a platform to “launch our new products and to promote our existing products” to the market both domestic and international.

“We are not just selling the products, we are trying to promote the area as an investment destination for buyers to come over and buy our products,” she added.

Oct. 12, 14 holiday in Zambo

By Sheila Covarrubias

Monday, October 12 is declared a special non-working holiday in Zamboanga City in fitting celebration of the feast of Nuestra Senora La Virgen del Pilar.

The declaration is pursuant to Republic Act 7350 approved on April 2, 1992 through the initiative of the late Congresswoman who also served as Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat.

Based on the Act, October 12 of every year is declared a special non-working day in Zamboanga City.

October 12 is dedicated to religious activities that will kick off with the Diana and the celebration of mass culminating with the grand procession at 3pm from the Metropolitan Cathedral in La Purisima Street to the Fort Pilar Shrine. Masses will follow.

Meanwhile, Wednesday, October 14 is a Muslim Legal Holiday in observance of “Amun Jadid” or Islamic New Year, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1083 otherwise known as the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines.

Based on Article 170 of PD 1083, the Muslim holiday shall be officially observed in the province of Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur and in the cities of Cotabato, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian and Zamboanga and in such other Muslim provinces and cities.

All Muslim government officials and employees in place other than those enumerated under Article 170 “shall also be excused from reporting to office in order that they may be able to observe Muslim holidays.”

All set for 2-day Zambo Peninsula Investment Conference - DTI


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 7 (PNA) –- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced its readiness for the conduct of the two-day Zamboanga Peninsula Investment Conference (ICon) in the city.

The ZAMPEN Icon, which will kick-off on Thursday and will end on Friday, will be held in one of the local hotels in the city. It is initiated by the DTI in partnership with the Zamboanga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc. (ZCCCIFI).

Dr. Sitti Amina Jain, DTI regional director, in a statement Wednesday to the Philippines News Agency said the ZAMPEN ICon aims to lure in investors to the region with focus on the six regional champion products namely: rubber; mango; fish and processed fish products; coconut; abaca; and, seaweeds.

Jain said the two-day event also aims to promote the emerging local cacao industry.

“ZAMPEN ICon targets prospective investors to pour in their capital in the region through our regional champion products and the emerging cacao industry. ZAMPEX is finding the right market for the products of our micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs)” Jain explained the ZAMPEN ICon is held simultaneously with Zamboanga Peninsula Exposition (ZAMPEX) 2015.

The ZAMPEX 2015, which will be held in another local hotel, will also kick-off Thursday and ends Sunday.

The ICon will start at 1 p.m. Thursday, with Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar welcoming the guests and participants.

DTI Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba of the Industry Development Group will be the keynote speaker.

Jain said the plenary session on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Game Plan and Industry Roadmaps for inclusive growth will immediately follow with Foreign Trade Service Corps Commercial Counselor Glenn Peñaranda as the resource speaker.

She added that Dr. Ramon Clarete of the University of the Philippines School of Economics will present the AEC Game Plan and the National Development Agenda.

She said Aldaba will then discuss the Regional Clusters and the Philippine New Industrial Policy.

The last topic for Thursday will be on investment opportunities at the Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport (Zamboecozone) with Zamboecozone Chairman Christopher Lawrence Arnuco as the resource speaker.

The ZCCCIFI will host a fellowship night to forge partnership among the participants of the ZAMPEN ICon.

Jain said there will be plenary session 2 and 3 on the second day of ZAMPEN ICon and “this time focusing on the opportunities and prospects in the regional champion products.”

She said the discussion for the plenary session 2 will be on the opportunities in abaca processing, cacao production and processing, prospects in seaweeds processing, and the sardines industry.

The speakers are the following: Daniel Baluran, operations manager of Newtech Pulp, Inc.; Pedro Cruz, head of the agritechnology department of Kennemer Foods Inc.; Marcial Solante Jr., vice president of the Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines; and, Arriel Onesa, president of the Industrial Group of Zamboanga, Inc. (IGZI).

In the afternoon, Jain said the plenary session 3 will focus on the market opportunities of rubber and rubber products, mango processing and opportunities, opportunities prospects in coco products specifically on geonets, coco fiber and coco peat.

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Regional Governor for Western Mindanao Pedro Rufo Soliven, ZCCCIFI president Edwin To and Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative will serve as the moderators on the plenary sessions.

As part of the closing ceremonies, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Director Romeo Montenegro will give the government’s statement of support to all the industries, after which is the inspirational message to be given by DTI Assistant Secretary for Regional Operations Blesila Lantayona.

Jain will give her closing remarks to close the ZAMPEN ICon.

The ZAMPEN ICon is expected to generate at least 150 participants from all over the region.

DTI: ZAMPEX 2015 to bridge MSMEs to bigger markets


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 6 (PNA) -- The best products of the micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) of the region will take center stage in the four-day Zamboanga Peninsula Exposition (ZAMPEX) 2015 in this city.

The ZAMPEX 2015, initiated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is scheduled to be held in one of the local hotels from Thursday, October 7, until Sunday, October 11.

Dr. Sitti Amina Jain, DTI regional director, said the ZAMPEX, dubbed as the region’s biggest and grandest marketing event, aims to bring in more exhibitors from all over the region and make their products available to local buyers and big buyers from Manila.

Jain said the four-day activity will bridge the MSMEs and the market.

“ZAMPEX is aimed at making the right market connections for our MSMEs. That is why we have invited big institutional buyers from Manila, and our local buyers that will introduce our products to the bigger stage,” Jain said.

Jain said with the ASEAN Economic Integration, there is a need to have mechanisms that will help MSMEs make a dent in the ASEAN Regional Market through massive promotion of local products.

“ZAMPEX is one of the many ways in promoting our MEMEs products, albeit, the biggest activity we have in the region dedicated to this purpose. We have many unique and excellent products that have the potential to make it big in the ASEAN market. All we need is to help our MSMEs promote and market their products. That is the role of ZAMPEX,” she stressed.

To help achieve this goal, Jain said the ZAMPEX activities include business matching to help MSMEs establish business partnerships and markets for their products.

She added that the business matching is a key component of ZAMPEX “as we help bridge MSMEs and the buyers by forging business partnerships and finding markets for their products.”

She said there will be 100 booths for exhibitors showcasing food and non-food products, and for institutional partners.

This year’s ZAMPEX will also feature the Sardines Industry in partnership with the Industrial Group of Zamboanga Inc., (IGZI) and the Southern Philippines Deep Sea Fishing Association, Incorporated (SOPHIL).

This city caters about 80 percent of all canned sardines in the country and is dubbed as the Sardines Capital of the Philippines, while Zamboanga del Norte is the major producer of bottled sardines.

Jain said there will be also side events like techno demo, garden show, and trainings and seminars for existing and would entrepreneurs.

The holding of this year’s ZAMPEX is in partnership with the Zamboanga Peninsula SME Core Group, local government, Zamboanga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., IGZI, and SOPHIL.

NFA launches 1M-food guardians campaign

By Jocelyn P Alvarez (ALT/JPA/PIA9)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct . 05 (PIA) - - Philippines is not among the leading rice producers in the globe in spite of the presence of suitable environment. Glitches on the imbalance between rice production and consumption is a real thing in this contemporary time, thus our government plays an active role in addressing this issue.

To give emphasis on the enhancement of national food security, the promotion of food safety and quality consciousness among the Filipino people and fair trade practices in the grains market, the National Food Authority (NFA) launched this week an advocacy campaign dubbed “One Million Food Guardians for 100 Million Filipino People.”

The advocacy crusade seeks to solicit one million volunteer-individuals to serve as vanguards against rice wastage.

“This movement seeks to encourage individuals from different sectors to be Food Guardians who will become partners of NFA in ensuring that rice, the staple food of Filipinos, is available, accessible, affordable, and safe for the public,” said Jordan Lee Valente, NFA Regional Information officer.

Responsibilities of Food Guardians

Valente said, Food Guardians are expected to uphold NFA’s rice sufficiency initiatives like the “Be Riceponsible” Campaign, which aims to promote the “RICEponsibility” of every Filipino to help the country achieve rice self-sufficiency by not wasting rice.

“Every day, an individual is wasting an average of two (2) tablespoons of rice which could add up to 3.3 kg a year. With the 100 million population of the country, the rice wasted could reach up to 330,000 MT every year and costs around 27 million pesos daily or 10 billion pesos yearly,” Valente was quoted as saying.

Rice guardians are also expected to support the Bantay Bigas Campaign which seeks the support of the public in making sure that rice is available, accessible, affordable and visible in public markets by reporting to NFA Bantay Bigas Hotline,” Valente said.

NFA Bantay Bigas Hotline numbers are (0906-4363133/991-1828/991-1789) and NFA social media accounts (, and @bigas_nfa on Twitter)

Guardians are also expected to upkeep the Food Safety Campaign “which educates the public on proper food handling procedures to make sure that rice is safe for consumers,” Valente explained.

How to be a food Guardian

Valente advises, to sign-up as a Food Guardian, volunteers can follow the Food Guardians Facebook page ( and/or and post their photo holding a fan sign: “I am a FOOD GUARDIAN” with the hashtag #1for100iNFAntry.

“Interested volunteers may also visit sign-up booths located at NFA offices regionwide. Photos of the Food Guardian volunteers will be posted on the NFA Food Guardian Facebook page portraying the unity of the Food Guardians across the country,” he said.

As of press time, more than two thousand food guardians in the region covering Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Sur, Zamboang Del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay have volunteered for the cause.

"This campaign will continue till we reach our one million target nationwide." Valente concluded.

Zamboanga Hermosa festival enters 5th day

By Bong Garcia

THE Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2015 enters its 5th day Monday, October 5, with activities showcasing Zamboanga City's rich and colorful history and culture.

City Hall Information Officer Belen Sheila Covarrubias said a three-day Art Exhibit back-to-back with the Segundo Conferencia de Cultura, Artes y Historia (Culture, Arts and History second conference) will reel off starting Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Covarrubias said the twin events hope to foster understanding of the policy choices and challenges the arts and culture face in the city.

She said it will bring together academicians, leaders from the arts community and representatives of public and social organizations interested in issues related to arts and cultural policy development.

The twin events were organized by the Council of Culture, Arts and History.

The events will be capped with a cultural presentation through the "Un Noche de Canciones" at 7 p.m. Monday night featuring various choir groups in Zamboanga--the Western Mindanao State University Choral Group, the Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College Choral Group and the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology Choral group with a presentation from the Zamboanga City Hall choir.

Tourist Arrival counter at airport launched

By Sheila Covarrubias

The City Government through the City Tourism Office formally launched the Tourist Arrival Counter at the Zamboanga International Airport as part of its efforts to bring tourism promotion initiatives to a higher level.

The project was a joint venture of the City Government, the La Hermandad Zamboanguena and the Western Mindanao State University –College of Architecture. It is basically a private-public initiative (PPI) and its design is a combination of the different features that are reflective of Zamboanga. The design is the winning entry in a competition held for the same purpose held at the WMSU College of Architecture.

The La Hermandad Zamboanguena through the generosity of Stonerich Construction Company of Mr. Bong Nuno constructed the counter.

Ms. Fatmawati Nuno (representing Bong Nuno), Department of Tourism Region-9 Director Maryjune Bugante, Councilors Myra Paz Abubakar, Luis Biel III and Roel Natividad, together LHZ representative Bingbong Ledesma and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Center-9 OIC Reynaldo Alforte led in the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon officially opening the counter for inbound visitors and tourists.

The tourist arrival counter will be manned by staff from the City Tourism Office who will answer queries from inbound visitors/tourists. It will help promote the image of the city and its attractions through the flyers and other materials that will be distributed. It will also be a venue where passengers can collect information related to services on dining, accommodation and other activities.

Thousands join Hermosa festival opening salvo

By Jasmine Mohammadsali

Thousands of Zamboangueños converged as one family and community at City Hall yesterday afternoon, October 1, to celebrate unity, harmony, and friendship in the grand opening of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2015.

With the theme of “Junto y Unido: Celebracion de Harmonia y Buen Amistad”, the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2015 officially kicked off the month-with the grand opening parade and the fiesta opening salvo, which drew crowds at City Hall with live performances from winners of the pre-fiesta Bandoreal competition, sneak peeks of the performances for the upcoming street dance competition, and free medical consultations.

Also headlining the Hermosa Festival opening was the Pink October walk, undertaken by the Gender and Development (GAD) and the Local Council of Women to promote breast cancer awareness. Ms. Anna Marie Gomez, a daughter of a breast cancer patient, shared her testimony and urged residents to take steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages.

Spearheading the hubbub of activities for the opening salvo was City Mayor Beng Climaco who along with guest of honor AKBAYAN Representative Angelina Ludovice-Katoh and local government officials, led the ceremonies for the release of the pink ribbon balloons for the Pink October walk, the launch of the much-awaited I Love Zamboanga Campaign, and the countdown and lighting of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival Emblem symbolizing the people’s aspirations and strong faith.

“Man junto-junto kita – in unity, we will build back a better Zamboanga,” said Climaco.

A unity dance for all residents and participants capped off the opening salvo activities.

The opening salvo marked the official opening of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2015 which boasts of jam-packed October filled with festival activities from various sectors. For the opening week, Festival activities include: the Zamboanga Grand Midnight Sale (October 1 -10, Pueblo Area), the La Cocina Chavacano – Zamboanga City Smoke Out: Grilled Food Fiesta! (October 2-9, RT Lim Boulevard), and the Cosechas de Zamboanga (October 2-15, Plaza Pershing).

CDA sets Cooperative Month activities in Zambo

By R.G. Antonet A. Go

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 1 (PNA) – The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) has lined up activities for the observance of the Cooperative Month this October in this city.

Councilor Myra Paz Abubakar, regional cooperative development council chairperson, said Thursday the activities will kick-off on Saturday with a motorcade from the city proper to the Golf Beach Resort in Barangay Upper Calarian.

Abubakar said it will be followed by the opening ceremonies, tree planting and coastal clean-up activity.

She said Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, first district Rep. Celso Lobregat and second district Rep. Lilia Nuño will grace the opening ceremonies of the Cooperative Month.

She said the activities will culminate with a symposium for the members of the different cooperatives in this city.

She said there are more than 100 registered cooperatives that are based in this city.

She said the Cooperative Month observance in anchored in the theme “KOOPERATIBA: Ika-100 Taong Pagpupugay, Tulay sa Maunlad na Buhay.” (PNA) CTB/TPGJR/RGAAG

DTI sets Consumer Welfare Month activities

By Bong Garcia

A TOP official of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said they have lined up various activities in line with the observance of the Consumer Welfare Month (CWM) starting Thursday, October 1.

Engineer Rolando Acuña, DTI provincial director, said the activities include the General Assembly (GA) on October 2 of the local Federation of Consumer Groups and the organization of the Regional Consumers Conference on October 27.

Acuña said the GA is in preparation of and to ensure the active participation and involvement of the local groups to the Regional Consumers Conference.

Acuña said they acknowledge the important role of consumer organizations in as much as they represent the consumer sector in consumer advocacies, promotion of business regulation, and in government policy-making bodies.

He said the Regional Consumers Conference will serve as an avenue for the agency to disseminate and assimilate information on policies affecting consumers.

He said it also aims to elect and induct a new set of officers of the Regional Federation of Consumer Associations (REFCA)-Zamboanga Peninsula and to strengthen and further the association so it can effectively partner with business and government sectors to widen the scope of consumer protection.

This year's observance of the CWM is anchored on the theme "Consumer Protection in the Asean Economic Community."

"This is aligned with the regional call for cooperation on enhancing consumer protection in the Southeast Asian region relative to the integration of markets in Asean," said Acuna.

He said this annual celebration aims to promote sound consumer information on subjects that affect the consumers and to encourage dialogue and cooperation between and among consumers, businesses, and government sectors in strengthening consumer awareness and protection.

The observance of the CWM in October of every year is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 1098.

Zambo first responders undergo Incident Command System training


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Sept. 29 (PNA) -– The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) is conducting a three-day basic training on Incident Command System (ICS) for the first responders in this city.

Dr. Elmeir Jade Apolinario, CDRRMO chief, said the training, which kicked off Tuesday and ends Thursday, is aimed to capacitate the responders on how to address different scenarios “when they cropped up.”

Apolinario said the participants of the ICS training include policemen, soldiers, CDRRMO personnel and volunteers.

“We have to be capacitated on how to address a situation,” Apolinario said.

He said the situation may include human-induced violence like terrorism as well as natural calamity.

Apolinario said the training is consist of ICS introduction; organization and structure; incident facilities; organizing and managing events; incident assessment and management by objectives; incident resources and management; incident and event planning; and, transfer of command demobilization and closeout.

Apolinario said the ICS is to ensure the safety of the responders as well as the individuals to be rescued and provided assistance.

He said the ICS could also help achieve the tactical objective and “this will also bring efficient use of resources.”

“When you respond to a situation, you know what you are going to do there, you know what to bring, and what needs to be done immediately when you arrive at the area,” he added.

Zambo City receives Seal of Good Housekeeping award


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Sept. 28 (PNA) -- The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) formally turned over to Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar this city’s PhP3-million subsidy from the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) as part of the incentive for the local government being a recipient of the Seal of Good Financial Housekeeping for 2014.

The symbolic as well as the real check worth PhP3 million was handed over during the flag ceremony Monday in front of City Hall by DILG City Director Mohammad Taha Arakama to Salazar and Eng’r. Rodrigo Sicat, city planning and development coordinator.

The PCF for the city government is an incentive fund in the form of counterpart funding to high-impact capital investment projects in the Annual Investment Program (AIP) and funded out of the 20 percent Local Development Fund (LDF).

It is being administered by the DILG in collaboration with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to recognize good governance particularly in the adoption of “good housekeeping” along the governance areas development planning, sound financial management, transparency and accountability and valuing performance monitoring.

The city government has passed the 2012 Seal of Good Housekeeping and the 2014 Good Financial Housekeeping and is awarded the PhP3-million PCF incentive.

Salazar said the subsidy will be used to fund modular-type projects in the 2015 AIP that is to be completed within one year from the date of receipt of the PCF check.

Meanwhile, Engr. Sicat said the city government has proposed the construction of a day care center each in Barangays Tumaga and San Roque with tables and chairs and other instructional facilities and materials.

The city government's counterpart will be the day care workers’ honorarium year round.

The proposed construction of day care centers is in line with this city’s priority thrust on Security, Health and Education (SHE).

Zambo City gov’t activates human rights action team

By Bong Garcia

MAYOR Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has issued an executive order constituting the City Human Rights Action Team (CHRACT) and defined its duties and responsibilities.

Salazar said the creation of the CHRACT is aimed to ensure accountability of local authorities in the promotion, protection and full realization of all human rights, particularly the disadvantaged and ordinary people.

Salazar said the CHRACT activation, through E.O. BC-137-2015 issued on Wednesday, is also aimed to instill great public awareness on human rights at the grassroots level

Based on the E.O., the newly-created CHRACT is composed of personnel from the City Social Welfare and Development Officer, City Planning and Development Coordinator, City Health Officer, Human Rights Affairs Officer of the police, City Schools Division Superintendent, Barangay Human Rights Action officer, Association president, and at least one representative from the Civil Society Organizations, Non-Government Organizations and People’s Organizations that advocate human rights.

The order also created a CHRACT secretariat that shall be composed of the representative from the offices of the City Administrator, CPDC, and CSWDO.

The duties and responsibilities of the CHRACT are as follows: development and implementation of a human rights plan of the local government programs; the integration of human rights programs, projects and activities in the annual budget appropriation; recommendation of appropriate legislations to the Human Rights Committee of the City Council, among others.

Salazar said the creation of the CHRACT is in accordance with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Joint Memorandum No. 1, series of 2014 dated December 16, 2014.

Zambo City gears for Hermosa Festival


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Sept. 26 (PNA) – The city government, in a bid to increase participation, has reopened the registration of entries to the various competitions, except for the street dance competition, lined up for the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival on Oct. 1.

The festival highlights the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar,locally known as Fiesta Pilar on Oct. 12.

Belen Sheila Covarrubias, city hall information officer, said the registration remained open for the bandoreal parade; mascot; original Chavacano video music festival; parade of lights (float competition); and, dancesport competitions.

Covarrubias said that local artists who wish to put their masterpieces on display during the Zamboanga Art Exhibit at Centro Latino in Paseo del Mar from Oct. 5 to 7 may likewise register.

She said the registration forms were available for download from or may be secured at the Information and Communication Division, 2/F City Hall Annex Building.

Meanwhile, the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival Committee is inviting any person, group, organization, institution or company to participate in the float competition dubbed as “Parade of Lights” on Oct. 9.

Fabulous cash prizes are at stake: Php 75,000 for the first prize; Php50,000 for the second prize; Php30,000, third prize; Php20,000, fourth; and, Php 10,000, fifth prize.

The event is a parade lights-decorated and illuminated floats of various shapes and sizes, showcasing any of Zamboanga’s iconic landmarks, symbols, products or the stories, legends, multiculturalism and dynamism of its people.

The Zamboanga Hermosa Festival is this city’s grandest celebration in honor of Our Lady of the Pillar, the most revered saint of this city.

This year’s celebration is anchored on the team “Junto y Unido: Celebracion de Harmonia y Buen Amistad (Together and United: Celebration with Harmony and Good Relations).”

City gov’t invites participants to ‘Parade of Lights’ on Oct. 9

By Vic Larato

The city government’s Zamboanga Hermosa Festival Committee is inviting any person, group, organization, institution or company to participate in the float competition dubbed as “Parade of Lights” on Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. on R.T. Lim (Cawa-Cawa) Boulevard.

Fabulous cash prizes are at stake: P75,000 for the 1st prize, P50,000- 2nd prize, P30,000- 3rd prize, P20,000- 4th and P10,000- 5th prize.

The event is a parade lights-decorated and illuminated floats of various shapes and sizes, showcasing any of Zamboanga’s iconic landmarks, symbols, products or the stories, legends, multiculturalism and dynamism of its people.

Interested participants are required to fully accomplish a registration form with complete float description or synopsis together with the sketch of entry on a ¼ sized illustration board, which will be read during the actual day of the parade as the float approaches the endpoint of the route.

All registration forms must be obtained from and submitted to the Information and Communications Division Office in City Hall on or before October 1.

For more details, interested parties may visit the Information and Communications Division Office in City Hall or call 990-1356 and look for Christian Olasiman or Cedric Zabala.

Zamboanga City reaps three awards in 12th CAEXPO


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Sept. 24 (PNA) -– The Philippine delegation, courtesy of this city, reaped three awards at the four-day 12th China-ASEAN Exposition (CAEXPO) in Nanning, China.

The 12th CAEXPO was held from September 18 to 21 at the Nanning International Convention and Exposition Center (NICEC) in Nanning, Guangzhou Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China.

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said Thursday that two of the three awards -- the best city of charm and the best trade organizer -- were handed over to this city.

Salazar said the third award -- best in investment promotion -- was handed over to the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (Zamboecozone).

Salazar said that Zamboanga City, as this year’s “City of Charm” at the Philippine Pavilion, this city (on a tie with Thailand) bested all other city of charm pavilions from China and ASEAN in view of its capacity to draw crowd during the four-day CAEXPO.

Showcasing this city’s unique and colorful history and culture through songs and dances including the beautiful sites and attractions, the Zamboanga - Philippine pavilion was crowded with people from all over, showing interest in the presentations and taking photos with the Zamboangueño dancers.

The best trade organizer award was based on the capacity of the Zamboanga-Philippine delegation to draw the most number of trade visitors and buyers.

Zamboanga’s products--Sotto delicacies, EJT bottled goods, Universal Canning sardines--were the best sellers at the Philippine commodity trade pavilion.

The best investment promotion award was based on the quality of the conferences organized by the Philippines that showed to China and ASEAN that the country can invite high level officials and at the same time produce good quality conferences.

Zamboecozone Chairman and Administrator Christopher Lawrence Arnuco represented the country during conferences related to industrial parks and Philippine promotions. Salazar also pitched for Zamboanga’s potentials.

This is the third time that the Philippines won the best investment promotion conference award and this year, it is a tie with Laos and Myanmar.

Salazar expressed pride and thanked the members of the delegation that worked hard for the achievements, specifically the City Investment and Promotions division headed by Angelique Go as well as the members of the City Council, the department heads and the representatives from the Zamboanga Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Los Contratistas de Zamboanga and the exhibitors and the small medium enterprises (SMEs) that supported the promotion campaign for this city.

“We thank everyone who worked hard for the success of CAEXPO and the China business opportunities,” Salazar added.

For 12 years now, the CAEXPO has been a standout from other trade fairs bearing the missions of consolidating the friendly relationships between China and ASEAN, accelerating the China-ASEAN Free Trade Act (CAFTA) construction and promoting the cooperation between both sides in various fields.

SRPI focuses on short, medium term power for Zambo City

(R.G. A A. Go)

The San Ramon Power Incorporated (SRPI) is currently focusing on the short term and medium term power supply which includes the modular genset and to contract power with Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) to ensure power for Zamboanga City while waiting for the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) to finish the process of the Investment Management Contract or IMC.

OIC of the SRPI Project, Archie Donato, said the short term solution is the Alsons 10 MW Modular Genset while the medium term solution is to contract power from WMPC and the long term solution is the SRPI’s construction of the coal fired power plant. “While we are doing the IMC process, we are focus on the short term and medium term power supply for Zamboanga City.”

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) already started the hearing for the Alsons 10 MW Modular Genset last August 6 and a second hearing is set by October 1.

For the genset, Zamcelco will have to pay the payment securit. But, “That is not an advance payment. That is payment security in the form of letter of credit hindi yan advance payment.” Donato stressed.

The money will be used for setting up the genset which will require expenses which includes freight from Singapore, customs taxes, transshipment to Zamboanga City, payment to the contractor to put the interconnection lines to commission the units, and the fuel as the genset is diesel powered.

The office is targeting to have the genset running by December hoping that the ERC will issue the provisional authority earlier.

Meanwhile, Zamcelco have already contracted with WMPC where it was signed and submitted to ERC for hearing and the tentative schedule for the first hearing is on September 30.

Zamcelco contracted 50 MW out of the plants 100 MW capacity for 10 years. Recall that WMPC’s contract with the National Power Corporation will end this December 31, 2015.

But included in the provision is when the coal fired power plant of SRPI is in place Zamcelco will have the option to reduce or terminate after five years.

Donato assured that they have given the priority to Zamcelco and the company is firmly committed to deliver their obligation.

2 Chinese cities invite Zambo for sisterhood


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Sept. 21 (PNA) – This city has forged a letter of intent (LOI) for a sisterhood agreement with Guigang City, a first level port city in China on the sidelight of the 12th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) to establish friendship ties through sharing of experiences and best practices in areas of mutual interest.

Organized by the government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the formal signing of the LOI that will pave the way for the sisterhood agreement took place Saturday, Sept. 19, with Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and Guigang City Mayor Li Xingyuan leading the ceremonies at Room 108 of the Nanning International Convention and Center (NICEC).

The NICEC is the venue of the 12th CAEXPO that kicked off Sept. 18 and will culminate Monday, Sept. 21.

The signing of the LOI is the initial step towards the formalization of a sisterhood agreement that will take place when Guigang City officials will visit this city soon.

Under the LOI, the proposed sibling agreement is purposely to promote mutual understanding and friendship, consolidate, develop friendly cooperation relationship according to the principle of “China-Philippine Bulletin for Establishing Diplomatic Relationship.

Both cities under the LOI agree, on the bases of mutual benefit, “to carry out various exchanges and cooperation on aspects such as economy, trade, science and technology, culture, education, sports, health and several others to promote common prosperity and development between the people of both cities.”

Zoushan City located in Zheijang province, one of China’s special economic zone has also invited the local government for a sisterhood agreement.

Salazar together with City Investment Promotions Officer Marie Angelique Go and Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport Chairman Christopher Lawrence Arnuco initially held talks with Zoushan officials last Wednesday and preparations for the signing of LOI are also underway.

During the visit to Zoushan, Salazar met with Zoushan City Vice Mayor Jiang Jianming and visited Chang Hong International Shipyard where the Foreign Affairs Office presented the city’s economic, planning and infrastructure initiatives.

The linkage between this city and the two China cities were facilitated by the CAEXPO organizers and the local business community that form part of this city’s delegation to the 12th CAEXPO in Nanning, China.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo, the overall head of the Philippine delegation, together with Philippine Consul General to Guangzhou, China Marie Charlotte Golim Tan and representatives from the different national government agencies such as the Committee on International Trade and Exposition Missions (CITEM), Board of Investments (BOI) and other agencies also witnessed the formal event.

Joining Salazar were Councilors Luis Biel III, Benjamin Guingona IV, Vincent Paul Elago and Juan Climaco Elago, various department heads, Department of Tourism (DOT) Maryjune Bugante, DTI Provincial Director Rolando Acuña, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Director Cisinio Cano, the Los Contratistas Group represented by Raymond Go, Zamboanga Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce represented by Ho Peng Ang and numerous others.

The officials from Guiyang City present during the event were the following: Liu Zhiyong, vice chairman of CPPCC, Guangxi Zhuag autonomous region; Luo Shabon, deputy director of CPPCC society and legislative committee; Wang Ke, secretary of CPC Guiyang municipal committee, director general of standing committee of Municipal People’s Congress; Lei Yingmin, deputy secretary of CPC Guiyang Municipal Committee; Song Zhenhuan, standing committee of Municipal People’s Congress, deputy mayor of Guiyang municipal government and Huang Weiping, secretary-general of Guiyang Municipal party committee.

Zamboanga City Archived News

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