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DTI holds product development trainings

By Bong Garcia (PR)

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is strengthening its Product Development (ProDev) program in line with its mandate to improve the competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

DTI Provincial Director Rolando Acuña said it is in preparation for the upcoming Zamboanga Peninsula Exposition (Zampex) 2015.

Acuña said various local MSMEs have availed of ProDev training recently held at the DTI regional office in Zamboanga the city.

Acuña said the participants of the training held in two phases were lectured on the color and market trends for 2015, packaging and labeling requirements, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements, and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) requirements.

The two-phase ProDev trainings were capped with a product clinic and assessment or one-on-one consultations where MSMEs took advantage of the opportunity to avail of technical consultations with professional product development consultant and private designers, according to Acuña.

He said they are optimistic that the MSMEs can further improve their products for competitiveness in the domestic and export market and showcase the same in trade fairs through series of lectures, trainings, and workshops.

Office workers learn basics of life-saving techniques for disaster preparedness

By Dominic Ilaga Sanchez (ALT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, July 3 (PIA) – How many of us know how to tie a square knot? In one office here, for instance, it was learned that majority of the employees had no idea what a square knot was. They had no idea that this one simple method of tying bandages could save a life.

Employees as well as on-the-job (OJT) trainees from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here were given an orientation on disaster preparedness and a crash course on first aid from Monday (June 30) until Wednesday (July 1), for two to three hours a day. It was learned that except for PIA Manager Dave Malcampo, who was the training facilitator, all other employees had very little or no knowledge at all about first aid.

On Monday, video presentations on the Office of Civil Defense’s (OCD) Project DINA, which showed what to do when disasters such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, fire and others would strike. The following day, Tuesday, participants were shown the locally-produced video “Nagbabago na ang Panahon, Panahon na Para Magbago,” which emphasized the causes of more frequent natural calamities and how to mitigate their effects. On the last day of the course, the participants were given hands-on training on how to tie a square knot with a makeshift triangular bandage and other first aid procedures such as how to properly secure an injured victim and transport him or her without causing further injury.

“The training is very timely,” said Melinda Enriquez, a PIA employee. “We are now experiencing intense rains for the past several days; we have learned some very essential things to be prepared.”

Maria Teresa Mongcupa, also of PIA said the training was an eye-opener. “Disasters can strike anytime and every one of us should be prepared, and should be ready to lend a helping hand to anybody who may need it.”

Piedad Ganitnit of PTV said that the basic things they learned during the crash course on first aid could really “save a life.” “In times of emergencies, when there is no time to wait for an ambulance, we have to do what we can, but we have to do it properly.”

Meanwhile, PIA Manager Dave Malcampo stressed that there is no time to panic during disasters, given that this is the initial response from people. “Through preparation and proper training, we can survive disasters, and we can also save others,” he said.

July is celebrated as National Disaster Consciousness Month. The PIA, as well as other member-agencies of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) have planned out several activities to encourage local governments, communities and the residents themselves to be more prepared for disasters and calamities.

Zambo mayor order clearing of drainage to avert flooding


ZAMBOANGA CITY, July 2 (PNA) -– Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has directed the City Engineer’s Office and the General Services Office to keep this city’s drainage channels clear from obstructions to prevent and mitigate floodings.

Salazar’s directive came as this city experienced inclement weather the past days brought about by the low pressure area (LPA) inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

“The General Services Office and the City Engineer’s Office must be on top of the situation,” Salazar said.

Salazar noted that heavy rainfall resulted in a surge of flood water which rendered several streets downtown unpassable.

While flooding in geographically low-lying areas such as Pilar Street is a perennial concern, Salazar believes that a restructuring of the drainage system is a more durable and viable solution than installing a pumping station in the area.

“There is really a need to study, arrange and repair the drainage because this (flooding) is a perennial problem. They need to restructure it in such a way that the level of the drainage and the level of the sidewalk will not be covering the passage of the water,” she added.

She likewise advised the riverbank dwellers and coastal areas to take precautionary measures.

She placed the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) on alert to respond to cases of flooding and other rain-related incidents.

ZCWD, DBP sign MOA on ATM bills paytment

By Darwisa B. Salip Akarab (PR,CREAS -ZCWD)

The Zamboanga City Water District and the Development Bank of the Philippines signed on Tuesday a Memorandum of Agreement for an ATM Bills Payment Facility

The MOA signed was held at the ZCWD Board Room.

DBP, Head Office, Vice President Gerald Crisologo, witnessed by DBP Regional Head, Senior Assistant Vice President Edgar Seronay and Zamboanga City DBP Head Branch, Fernando Yu signed the said agreement with ZCWD General Manager, Leonardo Rey D. Vasquez, together with ZCWD Board of Directors, Chair Efren F. Aranez, Vice-Chair Edwin M. Caliolio, Director Jose Vicente F. Atilano, Director Milagros L. Fernandez and Director Esther G. Orendain as witnesses with Head of Corporate Planning, Fernando R. Camba.

“DBP aims to create new services which focuses local base with a nationwide implementation,” said Mr. Crisologo. He added, “Through the creation of ATM Bills Payment, we can make it easier, more convenient and less cash handling for both the costumers and the ZCWD employees.”

Clients who are DBP card holders or those with ATM under Banc Net can pay their bills through the DBP ATM without visiting ZCWD Office. To address the ATM Bills Payment Facility, GM Leonardo Rey D. Vasquez assured that the ZCWD will help in its promotion through giving out flyers to the costumers informing them of the new system of payment to be established soon.

As of now, DBP has 5 ATMs located at DBP Bldg. Don Pablo Lorenzo St. (Port Area),Zamboanga City Medical Centre, Zamcelco Compound, ECOZONE and Zamboanga City Puriculture. And they are soon to open near ZCWD Building, Zamboanga City Hall, Pag – IBIG fund and Zamboanga State College of Marine Science and Technology.

“Thank you for giving us the chance to work with a project that could benefit our clients with this esteemed institution, Development Bank of the Philippines,” ,Efren F. Aranez, ZCWD Chairman of the Board told the visiting bank officials.

Following the signing of MOA, ZCWD will inform the public on the proper procedures of ATM Bills Payment and the exact date of its effectiveness.

ZamboEcozone first labor laws compliant ecozone


The Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone and Freeport was declared by the Department of Labor and Employment Zamboanga City Field Office on June 23, 2015, as the country’s first Labor Laws Compliant and Child Labor Free Economic Zone.

DOLE Regional Director Sisinio B. Cano and DOLE Zamboanga City Field Office Chief Labor Officer,Engr. Wesley D. Tan apprised the ZAMBOECOZONE and Freeport Authority Chairperson and Administrator Christopher Lawrence S. Arnuco of the zone’s realization of DOLE’s labor compliance program.

No less than DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz will visit ZAMBOECOZONE and Freeport for the unveiling ceremonies of a special marker designed by DOLE for this purpose, which will be installed near the main entrance gate of the zone for everyone to regard.

Twenty-two other companies in and around the City, including six ZAMBOECOZONE locators,trooped to the zone for the unveiling ceremonies and to receive their DOLE Labor Laws ComplianceCertificates during the ensuing program conducted by DOLE at the ZAMBOECOZONE 1st Industrial Park in San Ramon.

Chairperson and Administrator Arnuco shares the same commitment with Cano to tirelessly work for the welfare of the thousands of workers in the zone and the upliftment of the laborer’s conditions within the ZAMBOECOZONE.

Two of the various qualifying requirements of the compliance certificate is the establishment of a Day Care Center and a Lactation Station for the working mothers in the zone. For this reason, the ZAMBOECOZONE Board of Directors, in their previous board meetings, jointly and severally resolved to allocate a considerable amount for the construction and maintenance of both these facilities – aspart of the Authority’s dedication to ensure the improvement and progress of worker’s health and welfare in the zone.

Baldoz has also handed awards to several recipients from all over Zamboanga Peninsula who qualified for the Tripartite Certificate of Compliance with Labor Standards and Child Labor Free Establishment.

The main program and distribution activities started at 9:00 am, and was followed by the unveiling ceremonies.

The unveiling of the DOLE Labor Laws Compliance and Child Free Zone marker is one more milestone for the ZAMBOECOZONE and Freeport in its aspiration to bring together all the necessary elements to make the zone the most viable investment haven in Southern Philippines and the emerging trading hub of Southeast Asia, particularly in light of the ASEAN integration.

Honda car dealership to open in Zamboanga

(The Manila Times)

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) is set to open a new full service dealership in Zamboanga City by the fourth quarter of 2015. Honda Cars Zamboanga (HCZM) will be located in Mayor Vitaliano D. Agan Avenue, Camino Nuevo, Zamboanga City.

Strategically located across KCC Mall and nearby commercial areas, Honda brings its products and services closer and accessible to residents of Zamboanga and nearby towns and cities. HCZM, with its approximately 1,800 square meter land area, will offer Honda’s latest product line-up and complete vehicle service facilities for general repair, preventive maintenance and body-and-paint works.

The HCPI and HCZM partnership was sealed on May 22, 2015 with the presence of HCPI president and General Manager Toshio Kuwahara and HCZM principals Anthony Cheng and Bryna Gayle Lim. HCZM will be headed by Yee Siu Lim.

Mayor orders probe into illegal quarry

By Bong Garcia

ZAMBOANGA City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar ordered the City Legal Office (CLO) to investigate the illegal quarrying in the village of Patalon.

Salazar’s order came after she led an inspection to Sitio Pulang Lupa in the village of Patalon where she personally saw the destruction in the environment resulting from extensive quarrying activities.

She said the quarrying of sand and gravel in Patalon had gone beyond the area specified in the permit to quarry issued by City Hall.

She said it is illegal “because they encroached on the area outside what was granted in the permit from the City Government.”

Salazar said the destruction caused by illegal quarrying threatens the safety of the residents in the area, adding that the trees on the mountainside are almost uprooted and the water from the river exits through the narrow pathways.

Appropriate legal action will be initiated against the people involved in the illegal quarrying activities in Patalon, she added.

OCD to inspect Zamboanga City schools

By Bong Garcia

THE Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) will inspect all schools in Zamboanga City to ensure the structures are safe for occupancy.

OCD Regional Director Emilia Vasquez-Julhajan said the inspection will be conducted in coordination with the Department of Education, Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

“Areas that are highly populated like schools, buildings, hotels need to be checked regularly,” Julhajan said.

There are 171 public elementary schools and 37 public high schools with more than 200,000 students in the city.

NFA has sufficient rice supply

By Bong Garcia

NATIONAL Food Authority (NFA) Provincial Manager Gaudencio Nuega has assured the public that there is sufficient supply of rice in Zamboanga City for the lean months of this year.

The lean month period is from June to September every year.

Nuega made the assurance as they intend to increase the rice they supply to the local market up to 30 percent during the lean months.

Nuega said they usually supply 20 percent as the commercial rice traders provide 80 percent of the local rice demand.

He added that they supply two rice varieties at the local market and is sold at P27 and P32 per kilo.

The NFA, at present, has a total of 360,000 sacks of rice of 50 kilos each at its warehouse in the village of San Roque, Zamboanga City, according to Nuega.

He said that 260,000 of the total rice stocks are reserved for the city since the remaining 100,000 sacks are intended for the nearby provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

He said the stocks of 260,000 sacks of rice are good for 48 days if and when the local consuming public will solely rely on the rice supply of the agency.

Nuega is confident they will not run out of supply as they expect the arrival of additional 100,000 sacks of rice in few days.

7,340 voters seek for transfer of registration

By Bong Garcia (Sunnex)

OFFICIALS of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced that there were 7,340 voters who applied for transfer of registration since January this year in Zamboanga City.

The applicants are from other provinces like Visayas as well as other districts from within the region.

First district Election Officer Stephen Roy Cañete said 3,274 of the 7,340 applicants have applied for transfer of registration in his office while the remaining 4,066 applied for under Second District Election Officer Lerdo Matildo.

Matildo said the most common reasons for transfer of the applicants are their work relocation.

Arbor Day activities set

By Bong Garcia (Sunnex)

THE Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) is spearheading a massive tree planting activity in Zamboanga City.

The activity is in observance of the Philippine Arbor Day celebration, held every June 25, as the country’s way to promote a greener environment and healthier ecosystem.

Dr. Eduardo Bisquera, OCENR assistant chief, said the Arbor Day observance will kick-off with a short opening program at 7 a.m. at the Mayor Cesar C. Climaco Freedom Park in Mount Abong-Abong in the village of Pasonanca.

City Government officials and employees will join the tree planting activity to be led by Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar.

Bisquera added that approximately 7,000 people will participate in the celebration with government agencies, non-government organizations, students and other stakeholders attending the event.

Among the activities in the event include planting of hardwood tree species and tagging nine century and heritage trees.

OCENR adopts new waste collection strategies in ZC

By Jasmine Mohammadsali

The Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) has adopted several changes and strategies for waste collection and management in the City.

Over the past weeks, the OCENR has put into place waste management strategies geared towards increasing the frequency of waste collection and waste collection efficiency, reported City Environment Officer Engr. Reynaldo Gonzales on Monday, June 22.

To increase waste collection frequency and efficiency, new routes have been designed to collect as much waste in a single round.

From 22 routes, there are now 25 collection routes, and according to Gonzales, the new routes allow waste collection units to turn around at least three times in a particular area.

This is to ensure that all waste and trash are collected, especially those that are left behind after waste collection schedule.

Gonzales added the OCENR is also slowly adopting a night-shift schedule for waste collection, noting that waste collection is more convenient when done in the evening. In the last week, two waste collection units have begun following the night-shift schedule which ran from 9 PM to 3 AM.

In the meantime, the OCENR continues to coordinate with different barangays to iron out and finalize details and implementation of the proposed collection schedule.

Recycling performance is also a strategic priority, said Gonzalez. The City Government, through the OCENR, is currently maintaining several material recovery facilities (MRF), including the MRF at the old disposal site in Lumbangan which continues to be operational.

“There was closure of the disposal site [in Lumbangan] but not the material recover facility,” Gonzales clarified.

Additionally, the OCENR is eyeing the construction of a new MRF at the Salaan Sanitary Land Fill (SLF) to augment the recycling capacities of the City.

Gonzales also welcomes the participation of the private sector in potential waste management initiatives.

“While we are maintaining material recovery facilities (MRFs), we also welcome private sector participation when it comes to recycling,” he said.

Zamboanga City marks 'Dia de Fundacion Chavacano'

By Bong Garcia

ZAMBOANGA City marks the birth of the Chavacano language in the City pursuant to Ordinance 374 designating every 23rd of June as the "Dia de Fundacion Chavacano."

The Dia de Fundacion de Chavacano celebrates the founding of the Chavacano language and recognizes its role as one of the pillars of the Zamboangueño culture.

By virtue of Ordinance 374, the Dia de Fundacion is held every 23rd of June and highlighted by activities that focus, emphasize, and celebrate the continuing legacy of the Chavacano language.

It aims to preserve and promote the usage of Chavacano, including its culture and heritage, by all residents and new settlers.

The Chavacano language dates back to June 23, 1635, when the cornerstone of Fort Pilar, originally known as the Fuerza de San Jose, was first laid.

A ceremony aimed to celebrate culture and history will kick off with a program at the Plaza Rizal in front of City Hall at 8 a.m.

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and the members of the City Council will be spearheading the activity.

Belen Sheila Covarrubias, City Hall information officer, said highlighting the celebration will be three competitions centered on the chavacano language, the Chavacano Debate Exhibition at 1 p.m., the Battle of the Bands, the Awarding of Cine Chavacano film, and animation festival at 7 p.m.

BENG program all set for 12th CAEXPO

(Investment Promotions PR)

The Barangay Entrepreneurial Growth (BENG) Program of Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco, in synchronization with the One Barangay One Product Ordinance, is all set to participate in the 12th CAEXPO scheduled on September this year in Nanning, China!

The Zamboanga City Investment Promotion Services, under the Office of the City Mayor, which is tasked to entice exhibitors and delegates for the trade fair is currently fast tracking the identification of champion products in the barangays that could well represent the city.

Barangay Sta. Maria will be displaying its gulucinas which are flavored filling tarts, coconut candies and flavored pastillas. Barangay Lumiyap will be presenting its home-made Sotto’s Sampaloc in three flavors: hot, salty and sweet. Barangay Vitali will be bringing its dried danggit and boneless bangus while the 4H Club will be showing off its award-winning Achara de Mais. Barangay Tictapul has its nito baskets and pandan mats made by indigenous people and their medicinal soaps and ointments made from Acapulco and Madre de Cacao of the Women of Hope. Barangay Mangusu is daring its delicious oysters while Barangay Manalipa brings in curacha. Our famous alfajor from Barangay Pasobolong and made by the Holy Rosary Women Association will be displayed with all its available flavors and the Achara de Dabung (pickled Bamboo shoots) will be featured by Barangay Mercedes. Raw and finished products made from abaca fibre will be displayed by Barangay Dulian-Upper Pasonanca and the woodcraft will be from our very own inmates from the San Ramon Penal Colony under Barangay Talisayan. Barangay Mampang will be bringing in smoked fish and processed fish products while our pearl products will come from Mindanao Pearl of Barangay Talon-Talon. The hot vinegar will be displayed by Barangay Lumayang. An emerging product made of indigenous materials of plastic spoons, forks, egg trays and the like will be displayed by Barangay Calarian.

Champion products that have been bringing the name of the City are also on board such as the Yakan Cloth and brass products from Barangay Calarian, Coconut fiber from Barangay Patalon and the Zamboanga Rolls (lokot-lokot) from Barangay Taluksangay together with other muslim delicacies such as the baulo, durol and the hantak. We will not also miss our very own ALAVAR SAUCE with all of its other products such as the Bagoong Gata, pickled vegetables and also its fish sauce.

In our desire to unite and be one MINDANAOAN, the city government has also invited ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA to join the exhibitors. Identified products from Zamboanga del Norte are the MIJR Handicraft and Driftwood Art which showcases unique and beautiful handmade wood craft, the Jaymark Creations and Handcrafted Designs which will present bags, wallets, wall decors and other home and personal accessories made from abaca and pandan. Zamboanga del Sur will be highlighting the woven clothes and mats skilfully made by NCCA SLT Kumala. GARBEMCO Abaca handicrafts from Zamboanga Sibugay will show-off their handmade hats, bags, decors, mats made from abaca fiber.

Aside from exhibitors, the city will be bringing in delegates from all business sectors. Assured of representation are members from the Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc., Zamboanga Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, resident Business partners, members of the Los Contratistas and ZAMPEN Government personalities are some of the Zamboanga delegates who would like to attend the conference and business-matching in the said activity.

The office of the Investment Services is still inviting other interested exhibitors and delegates to be part of this prestigious event. Forms are available at its office located at the Office of the City Mayor, City Hall Main, and can be contacted at 991-4525 and look for Mila or Chalie.

It is the target of the city, together with the rest of ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA and BASULTA, that we will represent the Philippines as the City of Charm at the 12th China-ASEAN Trade Exposition with pride and dignity as we move headstrong for a ONE ZAMBOANGA, ONE MINDANAOAN.

Zamboanga City Archived News

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