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Anti-measles drive launched

By Juseph G. Elas (WMSU-OJT)

Aimed to eradicate polio and measles, the City Health Office (CHO) yesterday launched a month-long measles (rubela) immunization program and the oral polio vaccination program in the city.

Mayor Beng Climaco, Department of Health regional director Nimfa Torrizo and City Health Officer Rodel Agbulos spearheaded the launching after the flag raising ceremony in City Hall Monday, Sept. 1.

“We placed an immunization post in all barangays so we ask all government employees to help us spread this information to your neighbors,” said Dr. Agbulos stressing that all other activities such as trainings on health have been halted to give way for the said campaigns.

The program is said to cater the second dose of anti-measles vaccine to children aged zero to five years old for free.

Parents can bring their children to health centers in their barangays to avail of the free vaccines.

Measles is a very contagious (easily spread) infection that causes rash all over the body. It is also called rubeola or red measles. It is one of the leading causes of death among children.

Nationwide, measles killed 122 000 individuals in 2012; that is 330 deaths in a day and 14 deaths per hour.

In retrospect, there was an increase in the measles cases in transitory shelters at Taluksangay and Tulungatung just last month. The CHO then responded by conducting vaccination activities.

Agbulos expressed positivity that the city government will give the CHO a hundred percent support since one of the main thrusts of the Climaco administration is health.

“We want to cater the measles vaccination to all children ages below five years old so that measles will be completely eradicated in Zamboanga,” Dr. Agbulos said.

Also, Dr. Agbulos underscored that the CHO wants to maintain the country’s zero-polio status, thus, the oral polio vaccination will also be a part of the month-long program.

“The vaccination will cater to children nine to 59 months,” Dr. Agbulos finished.

The anti-measles and anti-polio campaigns are implemented nationwide by the Department of Health.

Zamboanga City launches search for the most pet-friendly barangays


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Sept. 1 (PNA) –- The city government through the Office of the City Veterinarian (OCVet) has launched the search for the most pet-friendly barangays in this southern port city.

City Veterinarian Dr. Mario Arriola said Monday the launching of the search for the most pet-friendly barangays is aimed at ensuring compliance with City Ordinances 241 and 242.

City Ordinance 241 is otherwise known as the Zamboanga City Rabies Control and Eradication Ordinance while the Ordinance 242 is known as the Zamboanga City Pound Ordinance.

Arriola said the awarding for the search, which is the first time to be held, will be on September 29.

The Zamboanga City Rabies Eradication and Control Coordinating Council spearheads the activity.

Arriola said the winning barangays will receive a plaque and trophy from the Department of Health. Two winners--first and second placers--will be chosen.

He said the barangays will be adjudged base on the following: number of vaccinated pets, number of registered pets; number of impounded pets; number of incidents of rabies; and, cases of dog bites.

He said they are planning to hold the search for the most pet-friendly barangays a yearly activity.

1st Z3R project in Martha turned over

By Sheila Covarrubias

Eleven months after they were forcibly evacuated to safer grounds, residents of Martha Drive in Sta. Catalina finally returned to their permanent houses, making them the first batch of beneficiaries of the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R) project.

This, as Mayor Beng Climaco with representatives from the National Housing Authority (NHA) and cluster leads spearheaded the turnover of 42 duplex housing units to Martha Drive Homeowners Association Inc. at Martha in Sta. Catalina on Saturday, August 30.

The ceremony was in fulfilment of President Aquino’s commitment in his state of the nation address (SONA) that residents of Martha Drive will return to their permanent homes by the end of August.

In fact, Mayor Climaco said the president complied his promise a day before the deadline, end of August, which is today, August 31. “Let us thank President Aquino for this opportunity. You are the first witness and recipients of the permanent housing .”

Climaco also thanked the Almighty for protecting and guiding the city always and for making all things possible.

She assured the Martha residents that the local government will do everything possible to facilitate the implementation of the Z3R projects, which are undertaken by national government agencies.

To follow after the Martha HOAI is the Paniran housing project which is set for turnover next week.

The Martha Drive, Sta. Catalina project is dubbed as the Rehabilitation of Martha Drive HOA and cost the government a total of P9.18 million. It is undertaken by the Nurben Engineering and Building Construction with a construction period of 120 days. It started July 5, 2014 and was set for completion on Nov. 1, 2014.

Of the total 44 units targeted for construction, only 42 were turned over initially as the two other lots are being utilized as warehouse and the other site for construction materials. The remaining two units however will be completed in the coming weeks.

NHA Supervising Engineer Reynaldo Bolay-og, the property was a land tenurial assistance project way back in Dec. 14, 1998 with a total of 53 members. Following audit procedures, 3 of the total 53 were without houses and 6 opted for home material assistance.

Martha HOAI President Dennis Sta. Ana said most if not all of the members of the association grew up in the area and have been through a lot since they established residence there. “We made our dreams and our lives here, but with what happened, everything was shattered. But God is good because God didn’t abandon us. We were given hope which resemble in the form of houses.”

“With these houses, we can start anew and continue building our dreams”, Sta. Anna added.

Mayor Climaco together with City Planning and Development Officer Rodrigo Sicat and Housing Division Chief Rodrigo Pagotaisidro turned over the keys to the individual house owners during the ceremonies held in the area yesterday. She later led the ceremonial opening of House number 1.

Sta. Catalina chairman Jimmy Villaflores led the homeowners in accepting the keys to the houses.

Also present during the ceremony were Lorna Plata, NHA-Mindanao Management Office program head, the contractor, representatives from Zamcelco, water district and other agencies.

New ZamPen Medical Center inaugurated

By Allen Abastillas

Mayor Beng Climaco and District 1 Rep. Celso Lobregat led officials on Thursday in the blessing and inauguration of the Zamboanga Peninsula Medical Center located along Lobregat Highway in Putik.

The city’s newest hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. It has a 24-hour spacious emergency room, 24-hour pharmacy, X-ray. Ultrasound/ 2D Echo CT- Scan/ EEG with complete & new laboratories facilities, hotel like ambience with Tony’s Restaurant inside, elevators, CCTV surveillance system, suites/private/ semi-private rooms. All rooms have cable television.

The hospital’s specialty and sub-specialty clinical services: Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Gastroenterology Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Neurology, Pulmonology; General Surgery, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic, Urology, Pediatrics, Cardiology, Hematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Neonatology, Nephrology, Pulmonology, Ophthalmology. Dermatology, Psychiatry, Dentistry, OB-Gyne, Perinatology and Radiology

Dr. Rose Ann T. Sunglao is the hospital’s only lady Dermatologist and Dr. Jejunjee Rivera is the only IM Infection expert.

ZamPen Medical Center’s President and Chief Executive Officer is Dr. Fernando L. Cheong.

DepEd, humanitarian agencies join hands for IDP children’s education

By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Education for the hundreds of children affected by last year’s siege has regained a sense of normalcy two months after the opening of classes last June, as the Department of Education (DepEd) and humanitarian agencies have appropriated classrooms and provided interventions for this purpose.

In a report, Acting City Schools Superintendent Pedro Natividad shared, “the pupils coming from displaced families are now attending classes in temporary school sites and in composite schools in the transitory sites.”

Hundreds of schoolchildren were displaced last year, and now they are attending school in Baliwasan Central School and in the Zamboanga East and West Central Schools, and in Taluksangay and Tulungatung transit sites. Classes have also resumed in Rio Hondo and Talon-Talon elementary schools.

In addition to the existing classrooms, Natividad bared that 13 makeshift rooms and temporary learning spaces (TLS) were provided by UNICEF and the Tzu Chi Foundation. “More help for the students came from various civil society groups and non-government organizations in the form of feeding programs, child protection and counseling, provision of school kits and teachers’ kits, WASH facilities and water supply,” he added.

Teachers for Taluksangay and Tulungatung were already appropriated with daily traveling expenses, considering that the areas are far from the original campuses that were destroyed during the siege.

Meanwhile, some teachers are worried over the presence of several IDP families in the campuses, particularly in the Zamboanga West Central School. They noted that some adults are smoking inside the campuses. Moreover, IDPs dispose of garbage and waste improperly, and water pipes were destroyed.

Electric bills remain unsettled particularly in Talon-Talon, now amounting to over a hundred thousand pesos.

The DepEd has already sought the assistance of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the local government and other agencies to help resolve the problems confronting the schools and pupils.

Five-day Philippine Scouting Centennial Jamboree set in Zamboanga City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 28 (PNA) – Preparations are underway for the holding of the five-day Philippine Scouting Centennial Jamboree in this city.

Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) Scout Executive Arthur Griño said Thursday they have already met with Zamboanga City police director Senior Supt. Angelito Casimiro and discussed matters pertaining to security.

However, Griño emphasized they are not concerned about the security of the participants citing “as far as security is concern, it is well coordinated.”

The centennial jamboree will be held from November 9-13 inside the compound of the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority and Freeport in Sitio San Ramon, Barangay Talisayan, west of this city.

Griño said they expect more or less 5,000 BSP members from Luzon, the Visayas and other parts of Mindanao to attend the centennial jamboree.

Griño said among the top national government official expected to attend the jamboree is Vice-President Jejomar Binay, the BSP national president.

He said the holding of the centennial jamboree here is a very significant occasion since this city is the birthplace of scouting, which was on November 16, 1914.

According to the Wikipedia, the history of Scouting in the Philippines can be traced back to the American occupation.

The earliest documented formation of a Scout troop in the islands was that of the Lorillard Spencer Troop of Zamboanga formed in 1914 by a United States Navy Lieutenant named Sherman Kiser.

Zamboanga Lung Month observance to culminate with fun run


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 27 (PNA) -– The Zamboanga Hermosa Tuberculosis (TB) Council is finalizing the preparations for the holding of TB Fun Run to drum up awareness on tuberculosis prevention and control.

The TB Council is a multi-sectoral group tasked to undertake strategies and approaches to control and prevent the spread of TB.

City Health Officer Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, co-chair of the TB Council, said Wednesday the TB Fun Run is scheduled to be held on Sunday, August 31, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Zamboanga.

Agbulos said the TB Fun Run will serve as the culminating activity in the observance of the Lung Month, which is observed every August.

The Lung Month is aimed to promote awareness about different pulmonary diseases in order to encourage the public to contribute to a better and healthier environment.

Agbulos said the Fun Run will kick off at 5 a.m. at the scenic Paseo del Mar with a Zumba warm up and will end at the Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum in Barangay Tetuan where the commemorative program will be held. Special awards will be given to deserving participants.

Agbulos said expected to attend the Fun Run are the different high schools and colleges, hospitals, regional and local government offices and agencies, as well as members of the military and security groups.

Meanwhile, the other activities in the observance of the Lung Month included the conduct of TB summit, case detection in the different Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course (DOTS)-Health Centers in the different barangays.

Agbulos enjoins TB Fun Run participation

By Sheila Covarrubias

The Zamboanga Hermosa Tuberculosis Council, a multi-sectoral group tasked to undertake strategies and approaches to control and prevent the spread of TB is now finalizing preparations for the conduct of the TB Fun Run on August 31 that will culminate the city’s observance of Lung Month.

Held in partnership with the Rotary Club of Zamboanga, the annual TB Fun Run is aimed to drum up awareness on TB prevention and control.

City Health Officer Rodel Agbulos, who co-chairs the Hermosa TB Council with Mayor Beng Climaco appeals to the different agencies both in government and non-government including private institutions and well-meaning individuals to join in the fun run activity and help support the campaign to prevent and control if not eradicate the TB disease in n zamboanga.

The activity will kick off at 5am at the Paseo del Mar with a Zumba warm up and will proceed to the City Coliseum in Tetuan where the commemorative program will be held. Special awards will be given to deserving participants.

The Fun Run is open to all individuals and groups who are interested. Assembly and registration time will be at 5:00 am at Paseo del Mar. T-shirts will be given to the first 20 runners to be registered.

Expected to attend the Fun Run are the different high schools and colleges, hospitals, regional and local government offices and agencies, as well as members of the armed forces and security groups.

The National Lung Month is celebrated in the Philippines every August to promote awareness about different pulmonary diseases in order to encourage the public to contribute to a better and healthier environment.

Other activities in observance of the Lung Month included the conduct of TB summit, case detection in the different Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course (DOTS)-Health Centers in the different barangays.

Revents related to the month-long celebration are the Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the National Tuberculosis Awarness Month, the National Tuberculosis Day, and Asthma Week, among others.

CAAP-Zambo gets boost in firefighting capability


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 25 (PNA) -- The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is providing a boost to the capability of its Aerodrome Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) unit in this city.

CAAP-Zamboanga ARFF Fire Marshall Michael Dela Cruz said they are set to receive by the first quarter of 2015 two units of American-made Oshkosh fire trucks worth P77 million.

Dela Cruz said the two fire trucks were among the 41 units Oshkosh fire trucks CAAP has purchased from the United States for the different airports in the country.

Dela Cruz said the arrival of the two new fire trucks will further boost the firefighting capability of the local ARFF since they will have a total of four firefighting apparatus.

However, he disclosed that one of the two fire trucks they have is under rehabilitation.

He said it is expected also that they will send personnel to the U.S. to train on how to operate properly the Oshkosh fire trucks.

Last week, they held a five-day rescue and firefighting training in this city.

The training was participated in by 35 CAAP personnel detailed at the Zamboanga International Airport (ZIA).

Free DOST-SEI online reviewer

(DOST IX/Jeane Dagoy)

Secondary senior students who have qualified for the college scholarship exam of the Science Education Institute (SEI) may now access a free online reviewer in preparation for the 2015 S&T Undergraduate Scholarship Examination on September 21, this year.

Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano, Regional Director of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) IX, said that this opportunity is made possible through the department’s latest initiative called the Syensiya-Bilidad Online Reviewer.

The free reviewer is designed to help aspiring scholars to better prepare for the DOST-SEI Undergraduate scholarship exam. It can be accessed at

“It is free and accessible through the Internet. Even students who live in the provinces can experience and learn from the exam simulation,” said Dir. Nazareth-Manzano.

Based on the “Primer for the DOST-SEI Aptitude Test Battery for Science and Technology Courses”, the reviewer contains questions on Biological Science, Physical Science, Mathematics and Linguistics further grouped to measure a student’s Intellective Speed, Intellective Power and Linguistic Ability.

Dir. Nazareth-Manzano also emphasizes the online reviewer as a practice test environment simulating the actual exam. The question grouping, time constraints, and format following the actual examination with questions formulated by a pool of experts. At the same time, the online reviewer can enhance test-taking strategies giving the students greater chances of passing the exam.

The DOST- Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology (PCIEERD) is the monitoring agency for the development of the software programs, including online reviewer for Philippine Science High School (PSHS) accessible through

Make S&T your Future!

For more information, you may visit DOST IX office at Pettit Barracks, Zamboanga City or contact us thru telephone nos. (062) 991-1024/992-1114 and email address You can also visit our official website at

Saudi Arabia to hire 1,600 medical professionals in Zamboanga City

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

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug 23 (PNA) -- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) through its Ministry of Health is hiring some 1,600 Filipino medical professionals from this city.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Regional Officer-in-Charge Marrieta Bellotindos said officials of KSA’s Ministry of Health are arriving here next week to screen applicants.

Bellotindos said that written examination and interview of applicants will be held from August 26-28 at a local hotel here.

The results of the examination will be released on the same day the applicants take the test.

Bellotindos said among the medical professionals to be hired are 1,000 staff nurses, 500 respiratory therapists, and 100 x-ray specialists.

Bellotindos said her office has so far registered around 718 medical professional-applicants. They include 646 nurses, 47 x-ray specialists, 19 respiratory therapists, and six pharmacists.

She said medical professionals who are interested to apply may still register with the POEA until Monday as the office will be opened although it is a non-working holiday.

She said they can also register on-line at but they have to submit their requirements at POEA on or before Monday.

The applicants are also advised to bring with them valid identification cards (IDs).

Meanwhile, Bellotindos said that walk-in applicants will be entertained on August 28.

Japanese firm set to invest in Zamboecozone

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

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 22 (PNA) -- A Japanese firm named Tokyo Tec Corp that is engaged in the processing of coconut by-products is set to pour in millions of pesos of investment at the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority and Freeport (Zamboecozone).

Zamboecozone Chairman and Administrator Christopher Lawrence Arnuco said Friday the Japanese firm is putting up two factories in a four-hectare area of Zamboecozone’s 1st Industrial Park.

Arnuco said one of the factories is for food production and the other is for energy.

He said the entry of the Tokyo Tec Corp will open a big livelihood opportunity to farmers, citing the firm would buy at least 100,000 coconuts daily to be processed.

Arnuco said the coconuts will be processed into coco water and virgin coconut oil while the waste materials will be converted into energy such as activated carbon and bio-diesel.

He said Tokyo Tec Corp is set to forge a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the leaders and members of coconut farmer cooperatives in Barangay Dulian-Upper Bungiao for the supply of the needed raw materials.

“The investors (Tokyo Tec Corp) have already met with the leaders and members of the cooperative in Barangay Dulian-Upper Bungiao to discuss the contents of their MOA. This involves the supply of 100,000 coconuts per day to Tokyo Tec Corp., which the conpany will process into coco water, 100 percent virgin coconut oil and the waste into energy such as activated carbon and bio-diesel,” he added.

He said the Tokyo Tec Corp is set to complete next month the needed documents including Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration and the feasibility study to start the construction of its factories at Zamboecozone.

Arnuco said the entry of the Tokyo Tec Corp will be the second Japanese firm to invest at Zamboecozone. The first is the Art Nature, a company that produces wig.

Meanwhile, Arnuco said the Zamboecozone has a total of 17 registered investors with 27 applications pending approval.

UN urges Zambo youth to join humanitarian work

By Dominic I. Sanchez (FPG/DIS/PIA9-ZBST)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 21 (PIA) – “The world needs more humanitarian heroes,” emphasized Al Hashim of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) during a forum participated in by college students at the Garden Orchid Hotel on Wednesday, Aug. 19, in commemoration of the World Humanitarian Day.

“We want to raise awareness and spur interest among students in humanitarian work hoping that they will consider heeding the call,” Hashim told students of Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Universidad de Zamboanga and Western Mindanao State University.

In a video clip presented to the audience, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said that World Humanitarian Day looks to “honor those who have fallen and those who continue to help those who need it anywhere.”

While there are numerous people who have made humanitarian work a career, many are volunteers.

“Everyone can be a humanitarian hero,” said Safia Taulani, also from UN-OCHA.

In an earlier interview, UN-OCHA Zamboanga hub head Ben Pickering explained that humanitarian workers are subjected to difficult situations since they work in areas of conflict and disaster. “Many are subjected to violence themselves,” Pickering pointed out.

“The need for humanitarians continues to increase,” Pickering explained. Statistics show that six million more people were displaced due to violence and disasters in 2013, compared to the previous year’s data. An approximated fifty million people all over the world were displaced last year, including internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in Zamboanga City.

Meanwhile, Mayor Beng Climaco cited the efforts of the numerous humanitarians, both local and foreign who have been serving Zamboanga IDPs since last year. “Unlike us politicians, you are not pressured by voters to serve, nevertheless, you still are here,” said Mayor Climaco.

“Humanitarian workers are those whose hearts, heads, minds and the totality of their persons are dedicated to their passion and zeal to help humanity,” she added.

“Miles de gracias con vos otros,” (a thousand thanks to you) Mayor Climaco said, citing each of the foreign humanitarian agencies here.

Meanwhile, the mayor called on the public to never forget the countless number of Zamboanguenos who went out of their way during the siege in helping those that were displaced.

“They never hugged the limelight, but they still helped those who were in need,” she added.

Zamboanga City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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