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Zambo, USAID launch E-Peso program


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 28 (PNA) -- Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and officials of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) formally launched on Thursday afternoon the E-Peso ecosystem to jumpstart the implementation of cashless transactions in the local government.

Roger Carlson, USAID Acting deputy mission director, saidthat the launching activity was a very important step in a series of initiatives underway to implement the partnership for growth established a few years back between the Philippines and the United States.

Carlson said the E-Peso program is designed to support the Philippines commitment “to achieve a 20-fold increase in electronic payment usage and the development of an economic infrastructure that will enable Filipinos to access new financial products.”

“It will provide wide range of financial services that can help Filipinos build assets and participate in the formal economy which is a key to achieving inclusive growth and in the long run hoping to eliminate extreme poverty,” Carlson said.

He said the program will make the payment of taxes, permits and other transactions easier and more accessible to all.

“E-payments can be made right at the convenience of your home or office, saving you time from physically queuing or traveling just to settle obligations,” he said.

Salazar thanked the USAID for considering this city as a very vital place by helping and rolling out millions of dollars for projects that will usher growth and development.

“The lesson we want to learn is how to capacitate Zamboanga City so we can have opportunities for growth and development through the utilization and embracing new challenges through the use of electronic payments,” Salazar said.

Salazar expressed deep gratitude to the USAID for what she termed as a fruitful beginning stressing that with USAID’s guidance and support, this city will grow not only from rank 74 to 15 in the cities competitiveness ranking but will make a dent, make a ripple and make a way not only within the city but within Basilan, Sulu and the peninsula.

Edwin To, a representative of the local Chamber of Commerce, thanked Salazar for leading the way in the implementation of cashless transactions in this city stressing that “this is a manifestation of your dynamic leadership.”

The highlight of the launching program was a presentation of the E-Peso activity by USAID-E-PESO Chief of Party, the formal handover of the Executive Order 129-2015 creating the local government unit (LGU) E-Peso counterpart team by Salazar to Carlson and the signing of the Wall of Support.

DepEd lines up National Teachers’ Month activities in Zambo City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 27 (PNA) -– The Department of Education (DepEd) has lined up several activities for the observance of the National Teachers’ Month in this city.

The National Teachers’ Month is from September 5 to October 5, which is also being observed as the World Teachers’ Day.

The activities included the following: Selection for Most Outstanding Teacher 2015 and Most Outstanding School Head 2015; Medical and Dental Mission for Teachers; Sports Competition; Expo 2015 on Innovative Teaching Materials; Amazing Teachers’ Challenge; Teachers Got Talent, My Voice (Solo and Duet); Creative Zumba; Holy Mass; and, Gala Night.

Dr. Pedro Melchor Natividad, city schools division superintendent, said Thursday that the observance of the teachers’ month observance “is to give due recognition to our teachers.”

Natividad said the celebration is aimed to acknowledge the crucial role, loyal service, and dedicated commitment of teachers in developing globally-minded citizens, nurturing families, strengthening communities, and building the nation.

He said the activity will also revitalize the image and respect for the teaching vocation by increasing public awareness on the value of teachers in the society.

He said it is an opportunity in building the image of teacher as an attractive and fulfilling profession.

The National Teachers’ Month celebration is now on its 4th year and is in accordance with the Presidential Proclamation No. 242 signed on August 24, 2012 by President Benigno S. Aquino III and to the designation of World Teachers’ Day every 5th of October, by United Nation Education and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Kids at RSCC get surprise goodies from ‘Titas and Titos’

By Dominic Ilagan Sanchez (FPG/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 26 (PIA) – Children at the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC), a state-run orphanage operated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development had a blast on Sunday, August 23, when they were surprised by a group of individuals who brought food, entertainment and other goodies.

The activity was organized by a group of social workers that belonged to the 2006 Social Work class at the Western Mindanao State University’s College of Social Work and Community Development.

Jenny Samson, a member of the class who now works in Vietnam said that she wanted to share her blessings with the children. “We were once immersed at the RSCC when we were still social work students, and we really want to share our blessings with the children since they need to have fun and be happy, and feel love,” she said.

Karenne Añover, a social worker with the DSWD and also a member of the class said that they are “happy to be part of such an endeavor, and it gives us fulfillment not because we are social workers, but because we just want to make the children feel our love for them.”

The RSCC, located in barangay Talon-Talon, this City is the home and haven for abandoned children. It is run by social workers from the DSWD. The DSWD is tasked to eventually find qualified and dedicated foster parents locally and abroad to provide the children with the love and care that they need to grow up as responsible adults in society.

Interested adoptive families may contact the DSWD at (062) 991-6030 for more information on legal adoption.

Poe in Zambo today


Senator Grace Poe, front runner in surveys for the 2016 presidential election, is expected to arrive in Zamboanga City today to meet with various sectors, including religious, business, youth, academe, civil society, and internally displaced persons who lost their homes during the infamous siege in Zamboanga City on September 2013.

“Ma’am Grace and her party are scheduled to arrive today (August 25) in the morning from Manila via a private plane,” Luis Lacson, a close aide of the senator who is also the stalwart of a volunteer movement called “Sigaw ng Bayan,” said in an interview.

“Her trip is not political, it’s personal because Zamboanga City is one of the places in the country very close to her heart. The visit has nothing to do with politics,” Lacson explained the main reason of Senator Poe’s visit to Zamboanga City.

He said while in the city, the senator will visit Carmelite Monastery at R.T. Lim Boulevard and meet Sister Agnes and afterwards, she will visit the Masepla Transitory in Mampang Village, one of the eight transitional shelters of the Zamboanga siege evacuees

Poe will also visit the local television, radio stations and newspaper outfits and have a luncheon meeting with selected top local leaders of the business community and supporters at Tower 2 and Royce Convention Center, both located at Grand Astoria Hotel along Mayor Jaldon Street.

Meanwhile, Retired Colonel Gamal Hayudini, secretary general of Sigaw ng Bayan volunteers, who is tasked to secure Poe’s visit, said the supporters and volunteers from various sectors were all set for her arrival Tuesday morning.

According to Hayudini, leaders of the volunteer movement and other groups will have a private audience with the Senator.

He said Poe will also meet with the less fortunate in society, women sector, fisher folks, professionals, and students who clamored for the Senator to run for president in 2016 elections..

During her visit to Zambonga City in 2013, Poe signed a covenant with the local leadérs to work at the national level to address housing needs and poverty alleviation concern in the city.

“The senator will fly back to Manila in the afternoon of the same day,” said Hayudini.

Senator Poe’s political trajectory is consistently ascending since she was elected senator in 2013. Her name continues to be the top choice of Filipino voters for the preferred Presidentiables in the 2016 elections based on the recent and latest results of the surveys of Social Weather Stations, Pulse Asia and other survey research organizations.

Philippines, Malaysia Maritime Training Activity reels off in Zamboanga City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 24 (PNA) -– A five-day Maritime Training Activity (MTA) between the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) reeled off Monday in this city.

Rear Adm. Primitivo Gopo, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) commander, said the primary objective of MTA is to enhance interoperability between the PN and RMN forces and develop better understanding and cooperation between the two navies

Gopo said the activity dubbed as the “MTA MALPHI-LAUT 18/15, which ends on August 28, involves the conduct of various exercises ashore and afloat in the vicinity of this city and in the Moro Gulf.

Gopo said the MTA consists of three phases with main focus on maritime security and transnational crime.

The first phase or the harbor phase is from August 24 to 25 that comprises the arrival of the RMN ships at the NFWM headquarters; courtesy calls; communications protocol discussion; opening ceremony; subject matter expert exchange lectures; special operations activities; naval aviation training and operations planning activities.

The second phase or the at sea serials is from August 26 to 27 involves combined ship maneuvers to address various contingencies at sea.

The third phase is from August 27 to 28 involves the MALPHI sports cup activity; closing ceremony; the Great Sta. Cruz Island tour; and, departure of RMN ships.

The MTA MALPHI-LAUT is an annual bilateral training activity between the PN and RMN ships, aircraft, and special operations units whereby the two navies alternately host the conduct of the activity.

This year’s MTA which is hosted by the PN, will be the 18th training activity to be conducted since the signing of the Defense Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Philippines and Malaysia in 1994.

The PN and the RMN annually conduct MTA MALPHI-LAUT to strengthen the relationship and enhance mutual cooperation between the two navies through the development of combined operational doctrines, practices and naval tactics.

This year’s MTA involves the participation of 157 PN sailors and 136 RMN sailors.

WestMinCom gives free medical services to personnel, dependents


In connection with its month-long anniversary celebration, the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) led by Lieutenant General Rustico Guerrero launched a health care fair activity benefiting the personnel of the Command and their dependents at the WestMinCom Gymnasium in Camp Navarro, Upper Calarian, Zamboanga City on Friday.

Free medical services were offered, including minor surgery, EENT, pediatrician, pop smear, dental (extraction), massage, urologist/prostate examination, internal medicine/ blood glucose determination, acupuncture, haircut, and dog immunization and vaccination.

The activity was also sponsored by Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabella Climaco-Salazar, the Department of Health-Zamboanga Peninsula, Rotary Club of Zamboanga City West, Association of Pharmacy’s Western Mindanao Chapter, Bar Code and Max’s Restaurant, Ago Construction Corp., San Miguel Corp., Coca-Cola, Elo Water Corp., Myler Company, Ric & Deny’s Bakeshop, and Marine Battalion Landing Team-9 (MBLT-9).

The Health Care Fair activity was also graced by General Hernando Delfin Carmelo A. Iriberri, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; Jim Paredes and Boboy Garovillo of the Apo Hiking Society.

K-12 program seen to affect PMA

By Roel Pareño

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) will have older batch of graduates as lieutenants and shorter terms for senior military officers once the K-12 program of the Department of Education (DepEd) takes effect.

Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri said that while there will be no vacuum in the PMA with the implementation of the K-12 program; it will affect the academy in a way.

Iriberri, who was here in Zamboanga City, his first out of town visit outside Metro Manila, said the first effect will be on the graduates of the PMA.

“If that (K-12) will be implemented, we will have older graduates because based on the law, those who will join the PMA are high school graduates,” Iriberri said. “There will be additional two years so the aspiring cadets will be 18 years old.”

He said there will be a minimal effect if cadets joining the PMA are 18 years old at that time.

“Kaya nga lang tatanda ‘yong ating mga kadete at tenyente and later on ang effect niyan sa shorter term ng mga officers or early retirement (because of the mandatory age of retirement),” Iriberri said.

Zambo City releases cash aid to blast, calamity victims


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 21 (PNA) -– The city government has released closed to PHP100,000 cash assistance to victims of bomb explosions and other disastrous events that occurred for the past five months in this city.

Belen Sheila Covarrubias, City Hall information office, said the beneficiaries included eight families whose houses were destroyed by fires on April 30 and May 26 in Barangays Ayala and Tumaga, respectively.

Covarrubias said two families whose houses were razed received PHP5,000 each, while the six families whose homes were partially damaged received PHP3,000 each or for a total of PHP28,000.

Heavy rains and strong winds spawned by a tropical storm battered the city in July, leaving eight families in Barangay Upper Calarian with partial damage to their homes and one family in Barangay Patalon homeless.

Covarrubias said the local government gave PHP3,000 to each of the eight families from Upper Calarian and PHP5,000 to the homeless family in Patalon for a total of PHP29,000.

On July 24, an improvised explosive device exploded at a massage parlor along San Jose Road, killing the cashier on the spot and injured 10 other people.

Of the injured victims, five were confined in the hospital and received PHP5,000 each, while the five others were considered outpatients and received PHP3,000 each for a total of PHP40,000.

Covarrubias said the financial aid was personally handed to the victims by Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar on Tuesday.

City Social Welfare and Development Officer Ma. Socorro Roxas assisted Salazar in the distribution of the cash aid.

DOST-Zamboanga invites entries for 2015 Rice

By Bong Garcia

THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is inviting inventors, makers, designers, creative researchers, and students from Zamboanga Peninsula to participate in the 2015 Regional Invention Contests and Exhibits (Rice).

DOST Regional Director Brenda Nazareth-Manzano said the 2015 Rice is scheduled to be held from September 15 to 17 at the Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga City.

He said the invention contest is aimed to motivate inventors to use their inventive capability by competing for cash awards.

Manzano said the contest serves as the elimination and qualifying round for the National Invention Contest pursuant to Section 4 of the Republic Act 7459 otherwise known as “Inventors and Invention Incentives Act of the Philippines.”

She said the competition has different categories: invention, utility model, industrial design, creative research, and student creative research for college and high school.

The deadline of submission of entries is on September 1. Winners will receive cash incentive and certificate of recognition, and a chance to represent Zamboanga Peninsula in the national competition scheduled to be held in July 2016.

For more information, guidelines and requirements, interested participants may visit or call the DOST regional office at Pettit Barracks in Zamboanga City through telephone numbers (062)991-1024. They should look for Nuhman Aljani, said Manzano.

Those in the provinces may visit or call the Provincial Science and Technology Centers in Dipolog City at (065)212-2244); Pagadian City, at (062)925-1838; and Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, at (062)955-0825.

Rice is a nationwide activity conducted in different regions to recognize the indispensability of the Filipino inventors in the Philippine society and in the landscape of national economic development.

Zambo joins World Humanitarian Day


Zamboanga City joins the World Humanitarian Day celebration today with the theme “Inspire the World’s Humanity,” an opportunity to inspire and empower people around the world to get involved in demanding and creating a more humane world where there is a stronger commitment to life-saving humanitarian action.

Mayor Beng Climaco is calling on the people of the city to join the celebration, stressing that the occasion serves as tribute to people from different callings who have worked together in responding to the needs of victims of the Zamboanga siege in September 2013

Today’s celebration kicks off with a “Tae Bo for Humanity” at 8 a.m. at Paseo del Mar where the Zamboanga Mindanao Humanitarian Team together with city government officials, humanitarian organizations and the internally displaced persons (IDPs) will gather for the occasion.

The program proper will be conducted at Subanen Function Hall of Garden Orchid Hotel from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thousands of people around the world are doing incredible work every day to support people in need. Thus, the World Humanitarian Day celebration is an opportunity to recognize and pay tribute for them.

BIR tax mapping focuses on new Zambo business establishments


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 18 (PNA) – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is focusing the conduct of its tax mapping on new business establishments in this city.

Revenue District Officer Cresencio Agad told the Philippines News Agency that his office has designated eight personnel to conduct the tax mapping.

Agad said among the documents and requirements they check during the conduct of tax mapping included BIR registration, official receipts, cash register registration, and book of accounts.

Agad said business establishments found violating the revenue code will be issued a notice with the corresponding violations listed.

He said they will also be given five days to pay the fines and penalty with the BIR.

He said those who will ignore the notice will be given another letter notice.

He said the case will be endorsed to the legal department or the investigation division for appropriate action once the owner of the erring business establishments will ignore a third and last notice.

“If they reach this stage it will be more difficult (for them) as the office will check on them similar to lifestyle check to include their properties,” he said.

Hermosa TB Council kicks off Lung Month celeb

By Sheila Covarrubias

The Zamboanga Hermosa TB Council in cooperation with the City Health office, Regional Health Office Coordinating Committee – National Tuberculosis Control Program and the Rotary Club of Zamboanga will spearhead the kick off ceremony for the Lung Month celebration Monday, August 17.

Mayor Beng Climaco together with City Health Officer Rodel Agbulos and other officials will lead the unveiling ceremony after the flag raising rite in front of City Hall at 8am Monday.

The activity will be followed by the Inter-High School Quiz Bee Competition set to be held at Centro Latino in Paseo del Mar.

Numerous other activities to promote awareness about pulmonary diseases have been lined up to celebrate Lung Month this August.

National Lung Month aims to focus the public’s attention on the pulmonary system and illnesses of the lungs and urge everyone to contribute to a better and healthier environment. Other events related to the celebration are National Tuberculosis Awareness Month, National Tuberculosis Day - August 19 and Asthma Week - August 16 to 20.

In effect, the celebration seeks to bring awareness the diseases that impact the Philippine society, these are Lung Cancer, Tuberculosis, and Asthma.

ZABIDA holds human rights forum for Zambo and Basilan youths


Their right to education and protection from social vices were among the issues and concerns of over 300 youths of Zamboanga City and Basilan province when they got together to discuss and plan solutions to their human rights issues and concerns in a day-long session held Saturday August 15 at the Centro Latino multi-purpose center in Paseo del Mar.

The forum-workshop was organized by the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZABIDA) to empower the youths to achieve personal, group and communal development through rights-based programs and projects.

After listening to informational discussions on their human rights, they also documented their actual problems in a workshop and then depicted the same issues and problems in the form of visual art paintings. The paintings will be used by them and ZABIDA in future advocacy events.

In her welcome remarks, ZABIDA executive director Espie Hupida pledged the NGO’s support to the participants in their various welfare projects and activities related to livelihood, education and peace. The youth sector, she informed them, is the fifth group to be placed under ZABIDA’s human rights program.

The other sectors that previously entered into the engagement were farmers, women, indigenous peoples, and persons with disability. Three other sectors are listed for the same encapacitation program in months ahead, she said.

Commission on Human Rights regional office OIC Armando Borromeo gave a talk about human rights laws and conventions.

National Youth Commission-Western Mindanao head Raymond Domingo talked about the youths’ participation in nation building and contemporary social behavior. Five youth participants gave short narrations of their “Experiences of Advancement and Violations on Youth Rights to Development, Protection, and Participation”.

The sharers were Hadzramin Iblang Jaafar, Aiza Anuddin, Arman Mitra, Eidio Muriedas, and Basrin Nasir.

For the painting session, Nelvert Anino instructed the participants on “Painting as an Advocacy”, with tips on how to use specific colors for chosen effects.

Borromeo challenged the youths to work together to exert their rights towards achieving their individual and collective aspirations.

Zambo Negosyo Center now open


DTI-ZCO Provincial Director Engr. Rolando G. Acuña is pleased to announce that the Zamboanga City Negosyo Center is now open for business.

“Aside from facilitating and expediting the business application process of MSMEs in coordination with the local governments and other concerned agencies, the Zamboanga City Negosyo Center will provide assistance to MSMEs in the availment of technology transfer, production, and management training programs and marketing assistance of the DTI and other government agencies.”, Engr. Acuña said in a statement.

The Zambo City Negosyo Center launched on July 30, 2015 was created through Republic Act No. 10644 otherwise known as the “Go Negosyo Act” and is responsible for promoting ease of doing business and facilitating access to services for MSMEs within its jurisdiction, such as: Business Registration Assistance, Business Advisory Services, Business Information and Advocacy, Monitoring and Evaluation, and such other functions that may be assigned by the MSMED Council as germane to RA 10644 and other related laws.

Through establishment of Negosyo Centers, the “Go Negosyo Act” aims to foster national development, promote inclusive growth, and reduce poverty by encouraging the establishment of MSMEs that facilitate local job creation, production and trade in the country.

For the month of August, the Zambo City Negosyo Center has begun offering free training programs to potential and existing MSMEs. Last August 11, a Business Plan Writeshop was conducted at the Negosyo Center Training Room located at DTI-Zamboanga City Office, VHW Bldg., Veterans Ave., this city. Participants were taught ways on how to draft their business plan to effectively determine and monitor their business objectives, deliver their marketing approach, manage the growth of their business, help them find funding, and manage organizational and employee requirements.

For the rest of the month, the following free trainings programs will be conducted: Basic Pricing and Costing (August 12), How to Start a Business and BMBE Law (August 13), Food Packaging and Labelling Design (August 14), How to Set up a Peanut Butter Food Service Business (August 18), Scrap Recycling Using Plastic Spoon (August 19), Online Marketing (August 20), Street Food Business (August 25), How to Set up Meat Processing Business (August 27), and T-shirt Printing Business (August 28).

Due to limited slots, registration for the training programs is through first come-first serve basis. Interested participants may visit DTI-ZCO for registration and confirmation or call 991-2704/2705 and look for our SME Counsellors, Ms. Kathy Jusay and Mr. Garry Micubo (GDA).

DSWD nears completion of households’ assessments in Region 9


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 14 (PNA) -– The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already assessed 87 percent covering 601,195 of the 688,495 estimated households here in Region 9.

Pilar Francisco, deputy regional project manager for Listahanan, said the assessment is expected to be completed by the end of this month and initial results will be available.

“The initial results will be posted in all barangays in the entire region. The community in each barangay can check whether their household is classified as poor or non-poor,” Francisco said.

Francisco said households with estimated incomes that are equal to and above the latest provincial poverty thresholds are considered non-poor and those with estimated incomes falling below the poverty thresholds are considered poor.

She said the identification of poor and non-poor households is done in an objective, systematic and transparent manner through an application called the Proxy Means Test (PMT) that is managed by the National Information Technology Office based at the central office of DSWD.

The PMT is a statistical model that estimates the income of a household based on the variables that are tested to be good predictors of income.

Francisco said the PMT used in the 2009 household assessment was enhanced to produce accurate and reliable results in order to secure a better targeting system.

Francisco said that improvements made in the new model--such as inclusion of barangay characteristics as one of the determinants of poverty status and the installation of a second stage screener to weed out possible inclusion errors--resulted to a decrease in model-based error rates, from having an inclusion and exclusion error rates of 22-35 percent in the 2009 model to 6.9-19.3 percent in the new model.

She said that a Local Verification Committee will be formed to receive and act on complaints and appeals from the community should there be questions and complaints in the initial list of poor households.

“This further decreases possibility of having an inclusion and exclusion error in the database,” she added.

The second round of household assessment is spearheaded by the Listahanan, an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are in the country.

Listahanan is formerly known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NTHS-PR).

Zamboangueño SEA Games medalists get cash incentives

By Bong Garcia (Sunnex)

THE Zamboangueño athletes who reaped medals in the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held from June 5 to 16 in Singapore have received cash incentives from the Zamboanga City Government.

City Sports Development Officer Cecilia Atilano said the grant of cash incentives to medalists is pursuant to City Ordinance 231.

Atilano said cash incentives pursuant to City Ordinance 231 are as follows: gold medal, P150,000; silver medal, P100,000; and, bronze medal, P75,000.

The recipients of the cash incentives are the following: softball players Sunny Boy Acunia, Rolando Binarao, Emerson Atilano, and Vermond Diaz, gold medal; Cheska Celestino, billiards, gold medal; Eumir Felix Marcial, boxing, gold medal; Alshamir Ibnohasim, pencak silat, bronze medal; and, Clemente Tabugara, wushu, bronze.

But Atilano said that only (Emerson) Atilano personally received the cash incentive while the other SEA Games medalists were represented by their coaches and parents.

Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar personally hand over the cash incentives.

Atilano said that the other Zamboangueño athletes who are SEA Games medalists will receive cash incentives on a later date.

Among them are Hidilyn Diaz and Nestor Colonia, gold and bronze medalists, respectively, in weightlifting.

Zamboanga City receives Rafael Salas award

By Jasmine Mohammadsali

The highest policy-making body in Zamboanga Peninsula extended its commendation to the City of Zamboanga for winning the Rafael M Salas Population and Development Award 2014.

In her letter to Mayor Beng Climaco, Acting Chairperson of the Regional Development Council IX Teresita Socorro C. Ramos cited the award as a “huge achievement of hard work and professional diligence from the local government of Zamboanga which fully integrates population factors in development planning.”

“We commend Zamboanga City for your dedication and hard work. We hope that this recognition will spur the City onto greater development,” said Ramos.

The Commission on Population recently bestowed on the City the Rafael Salas Award in recognition of the local government’s “exemplary dedication, commitment and invaluable service thereby contributing to the successful implementation of the population program.”

The Rafael M. Salas Population and Development Award is designed to perpetuate the legacy of Rafael M. Salas by honoring and giving due recognition to local government units, local chief executives and institutions or individuals for their outstanding contributions in the field of population and development.

As the regional champion, the city will receive P50,000.00 from the commission to fund its programs on population ‘response.

DOH 9 launches Hi-5 at ZCMC

By R.G. A A. Go

The Department of Health (DOH) Regional Office 9 has launched its Hospital High Impact 5 or Hi-5 on Monday morning at the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC).

DOH Chief Local Health Support Division, Dr. Joshua Brilliantes said Hi-5 is focused on the five programs of the DOH.

"The government hospitals are important as they are part of delivering health service to the public," Brilliantes told Zamboanga Today.

Hi-5 is the strategy being undertaken by all DOH Hospitals to complement and support the efforts of the DOH Regional Offices to achieve universal health care and Millennium Development Goals.

The program is focused on maternal health, infant health, child health, HIV AIDS, and the Service Delivery Network.

The major initiatives under the Hi-5 branding, "Kapit Bisig Para sa Kalusugan Pangkalahatan." Improving access to drugs, medicines and strengthening the Service Delivery Network.

Branding of the government hospital which is Alagang Pinoy care that puts patients first, ensuring patients are matched within their network of health facilities and providers, and others.

Brilliantes said they want to change the impression of the public that government hospitals can’t give good service.

Present during the launching were ZCMC Chief of Hospital Dr. Romeo Ong, Dr. Joshua Brilliantes,Councilor Vincent Paul Elago of District 2, and other hospital and DOH officials.

DOH 9 hospitals includes ZCMC, Mindanao Central Sanitarium, Labuan Hospital, Basilan General Hospital, Dr. Jose Rizal Memorial Hospital, Margosatubig Regional Hospital, and Sulu Sanitarium.

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