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UNHCR donates solar stilt driers to two island sitios

By Sheila Covarrubias

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees through the United Youth of the Philippines (UNYPHIL-Women) recently turned over solar stilt dryer for use of the 242 families temporarily residing in the island sitio of Layag-layag in Talon-talon.

Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, representing Mayor Beng Climaco, accepted the donation with gratitude from officials of UNHCR represented by Emily Louise Reid and the UNYPHIL-Women. He later turned over the facility to the 242 families with approximately 1,650 dependents.

The project was undertaken jointly with the City Agriculturist Office and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The construction of solar stilt dryer, costing P150,000 covers an area of 60 square meters. It started December 11 and ended February 2015.

For the first time, the Layag-layag community has received such a facility intended to support their fishery and seaweed culture activities.

The donors believe that the project will help the families, mostly internally displaced persons (IDPs) enhance their livelihood activities. With the solar stilt drier, seaweed farmers can ensure production of quality seaweed products.

Meanwhile, last February 26, UNYPHIL-UNHCR also turned over another seaweed solar stilt dryer to the families residing in the island sitio of Leha-leha also in barangay Talon-talon.

The recipients expressed gratitude to the UNHR-UNYPHIL and other partner agencies for continuously looking after their welfare.

DTI sets Mobile Diskwento Caravan in Region 9


ZAMBOANGA CITY, March 4 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to conduct the first of its kind and first-ever Mobile Diskwento Caravan (MDC) in some of the depressed areas here in Region 9.

Ceferino Rubio, DTI regional consumer protection division chief, said the caravan is in line with the primary functions of the agency to bring the basic services to the less fortunate sector of the society.

“This is the wish of the DTI Secretary to bring the fruit of the Diskwento Caravan to the depressed areas, thus, the concept of the MDC came into being,” Rubio said.

Dr. Sitti Amina Jain, DTI OIC-regional director, said the MDC will be held in the rural areas since it is designed for the poor.

“Diskwento Caravan is really designed for the poor. Instead of conducting it in the business centers in the region, let us bring this activity to our intended clients in the rural areas,” said Jain, who ordered to bring the caravan to its intended beneficiaries.

“This way, we accomplish our goal of helping those who really need it. While we recognize that there are those who reside in the urban areas who need such assistance, we cannot deny the fact that the consumers in the rural or far-flung areas need it the most,” Jain pointed out.

The MDC is slated to kick off on April 15 in this city. It will be followed on April 17 in Zamboanga Sibugay, April 19 in Zamboanga del Norte and April 21 in Zamboanga del Sur.

Rubio said that a careful study and analysis was made as to how to bring the MDC to the depressed areas taking into consideration all the logistics needed and the commitment of the participating distributors leading to the preparation for the activity.

Rubio said that 100 percent of the local canneries and the different department stores fully support the holding of the caravan.

Rubio said the distributors, in a meeting, have also agreed on a consignment basis of their goods.

He said they already started looking for van or truck provider that will serve as a mobile or rolling store during the conduct of the MDC.

“MDC is virtually a wing van type, with a bodega capacity of 2m x 2m x 9m (30 ft.) that will carry the products from one province to another. We have already made some progress on this,” he said.

Since this will be the first of its kind, Rubio said they are trying to establish the mechanics on how to run MDC and “the commitment of the distributors in supporting the activity is a very welcome development.”

“This is the first time we will be doing this. We need to perfect the mechanics and every aspect involved in the project to ensure its success,” he said.

PAGASA rushes construction of Doppler Radar station in Zambo City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, March 3 (PNA) -- The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) is rushing the construction of the building that would house the weather bureau’s Doppler Radar in this city.

Maribel Hasanah Enriquez, PAGASA-Zamboanga Station chief meteorological officer, said Tuesday the seven-storey building is set to be completed in July this year.

The building is being constructed at Camp Basilio Navarro that houses the military’s Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) in this city.

Enriquez said PAGASA have allocated Php100 million for the entire project--construction of the building and the Doppler Radar equipment.

Enriquez said the seven-storey building will also house the local PAGASA office, quarters aside from the Doppler Radar.

The Doppler Radar, which has 50-kilometer radius coverage, is being used to measure the amount of rainfall, intensity of the rain, and others.

Enriquez said the completion of the Doppler Radar station here will be the third for Mindanao.

The existing two stations are located in Tampakan, South Cotabato and in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

Philippine Weightlifting Association rehabs training centers in Zambo City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, March 2, (PNA) -- The Philippine Weightlifting Association is set to rehabilitate the weightlifting training centers to further enhance such kind of sport in this city.

Elbert Atilano, Philippine Weightlifting Association vice-president, said Monday the rehabilitation of the training centers is geared towards providing conducive facilities to the athletes.

Atilano said there are two existing weightlifting training centers in this city that need to be rehabilitated and these are located in the barangays of Mercedes and Mampang.

Atilano said that a third training center was inaugurated Sunday in Barangay Ayala.

Atilano said the operation of the three training centers for weightlifting is through private-public partnership.

Atilano said this city should continue and focus in developing weightlifting athletes since there were already several Zamboangueños who excelled in such kind of sports.

He said that one of those who excelled in weightlifting is Hidilyn Diaz, a Zamboangueña Olympian.

He disclosed that are present they are training 12-year-old Rosegie Awis Ramos in preparation for the 2018 youth Olympic.

ZCWD takes steps as water rationing looms

By Ed D. Banos (ZCWD CREAS)

The Zamboanga City Water District is working on counter measures as it prepares to move into possible water rationing in the face of continued decline of water levels at its water source.

Engr.Teotimo Reyes, Jr., head of water production, disclosed that water elevation at the diversion weir (dam) stood at 74.10 meters which is lower than the normal level of 74.20, which considered as critical level.

Reyes disclosed ,if water levels continue to drop, the water firm will have to resort to water rationing this summer season.

“Right now, our water production management team is currently testing a novel system of regulating water flow to consumers through a pressure ment system that will seek to evenly distribute water pressure in the pipes and allow water to flow into the consumers’ households,” Engr.Efren Salvacion of the Department said.

This scheme will allow water to build up on off peak hours and help keep water in the pipelines at all times, Salvacion added.

The ZCWD’s pipeline network is divided into three major zones, namely: central which is the downtown area of the city, the east coast and the west coast.

Water will be piped alternately into these zones to provide most of the water consumers ample opportunity to store enough water for the day’s use.

“The past years’ experience in water system management during the summer season has provided valuable insights to our engineers in looking at ways and means to provide water during the hot dry summers,” Reyes revealed.

Accordingly, the city is vulnerable to water source dry up as it is being supplied by surface water via the Tumaga river and its tributaries.

Salvacion and Reyes also added that the new scheme they are currently testing on will hopefully improve water distribution this summer and provide steady water supply despite low water pressure brought about by decreasing water inflow into the system.

Earlier, ZCWD General Manager Leonardo Rey Vasquez called on everyone to start storing water in case water supply inflow does not improve in the weeks ahead. Vasquez also added that people should make judicious use of water during the hot summer months.

BIR set to launch tax take campaign in Zambo City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Feb. 28 (PNA) -- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is launching its tax collection campaign on Wednesday, March 4 in this city.

Atty. Alert Alocilja, BIR regional director, said the launching of the tax campaign was aimed at reminding taxpayers of their obligation to the government.

“We are doing it (launching) every year to inform the taxpayers in the region that we are now beginning out campaign for the collection of income tax for 2014,” Alocilja said.

Alocilja said the deadline for the filing of Income Tax Return (ITR) would be April 15 and surcharge and other penalties would be slapped for late payers.

“There will be no extension, once the deadline has lapsed, penalties will be enforced," he said.

He said the tax campaign for this year was anchored on the theme: “Angat pa Pinas, Register, File, and Pay.”

He said there would be briefing on taxpayers’ account monitoring program and lectures that include information on what are the new directives from BIR central office during the launching of the tax campaign.

He said that resource speakers from BIR central office, namely Elenita Mariano, Silverio Sante, Lourdes Fernandez, and Nelson Alvero are arriving here to join the launching of the tax campaign.

The revenue district officers from the different parts of the region are scheduled to grace the launching of the campaign.

The BIR regional office has been tasked to collect Php 6.57 billion in taxes this year.

City Hall bares winners of Local Achievers 2015

By Vic Larato

The city government has announced the Local Achievers 2015 awardees, who were honored during the awards nights at Centro Latino Wednesday, one of the highlights of the 78thDia de Zamboanga celebration.

Mayor Beng Climaco bestowed the prestigious awards to the winners and thanked them including the nominees for their individual and corporate contributions to the development of Zamboanga.

Among the many nominees, the following emerged winners in different categories: Esmael U. Tan and Mercury Drug Corp. for the Top Individual Taxpayer and Top Local Corporate Taxpayer, respectively, for having paid the highest tax to the city government in 2014; Chezka Luy Centeno in Sports; Marco Alfino Miranda for Culture and Arts; Sr. Insp. Hingming Ladjaali for Public Service; and Jessica Mariano Francisco for City Government Service.

For the Academic category, the awards went to the Western Mindanao State University (Institution) and teacher Genevieve Kulong (Individual); Nonito Bernardo for Investment Promotion; Jimmy’s Satti for Tourism-Oriented Establishment; Maj. Jaran Abdula, PA, and M/Sgt. Joseph Fernando, PA, for Community Service.

The awards are conferred annually to Zamboangueños who have attained exceptional achievements and victories in various fields of endeavors.The search covers the fields on sports, culture and arts, public service, City Government service, community service,investment promotion, tourism-oriented establishment and the highest award- Orgullo de Zamboanga Primiar.

This year’s panel of judges was composed City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr., Chief Executive Assistant Dr. Genaro Yap Aizon, Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretary Zenaida Jaime and JV Atilano.

ZSCMST sets 1st Zambo Bird Festival

(Daily Zamboanga Times)

The successful hosting of the 9th Philippine Bird Festival in this city last year has prompted the birding community to form another bird festival.

With this, the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology with the support of the Department of Tourism and the wild Bird Club of the Philippines. ZSCMST’s aquaculture site is one of the havens for numerous bird species which also caught the attention of the bird watchers. The event is slated on February 27, 2015 with lined-up activities like photo exhibits, face painting, origami and coloring, lecture and symposia, film showing and bird watching.

Itwill be participated by different government and private agencies, public and private higher education institutions, elementary and secondary schools. This is an endeavor to continually promote bird watching as an activity, maintain the value of environmental awareness, and to highlight the distinctiveness of the city in the birding community having recognized the first documented breeding ground of the Great Egret in the Philippines.

OBFP-Zambo gears up for fire prevention month

By Bong Garcia

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Feb. 25 (PNA) -- The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has lined up activities for the celebration of the 48th Fire Prevention Month in March in this city.

Sr. Insp. Paul Carpio, Zamboanga City Fire District (ZCFD) administrative officer, said Wednesday the fire prevention month activities will kick-off with a motorcade to raise public awareness of the month-long event.

Carpio said the other activities included the Berong Bombero sa Paaralan, March 3 to 7; Takbo Laban sa Sunog, March 7; refresher training for volunteer fire brigade and barangay disaster control brigade, March 9; open house for all fire stations, March 11 to 13.

He said there would be fire safety awareness campaign in the different barangays, testing of fire hydrants, fire drills, and identification of fire prone areas.

He said they have also lined up contests such as the drawing contest for elementary; poster making for high school; photo contest; and singing and dance contest.

The fire prevention month is being observed every month of March pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 115-A signed on Nov. 17, 1966 by then President Ferdinand Marcos.

The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Month is “Kaligtasan sa Sunog: Alamin, Gawin, at Isabuhay Natin.”

City Government sets jobs fair

By Bong Garcia

OPENINGS for local and overseas employment are up for grabs at the jobs fair in Zamboanga City on February 26.

City Hall Information Officer Belen Sheila Covarrubias said the jobs fair will be held at the Red Cross Training Center in Pettit Barracks as part of the city's 78th Charter Day anniversary celebration dubbed as the "Dia de la Ciudad de Zamboanga."

Dia de la Ciudad de Zamboanga marks the day when the first set of city government officials headed by Mayor Nicasio Valderoza was sworn into office in 1935.

Covarrubias said six Manila-based recruitment agencies and several locally -based national government agencies including canning factories have confirmed participation in the fair.

Covarrubias said among the openings for overseas employment are for nurses, engineers, waiters/waitresses, caregivers and cleaners.

Male or female high school graduates could apply as cleaners.

Covarrubias said available local jobs include office works and positions for canning factories.

She encouraged qualified internally displaced persons (IDPs) to take opportunity of the one-day fair.

Thousands of city residents who were displaced during the September 2013 siege of the city are still housed in transitory sites.

Covarrubias said interested individuals are encouraged to register at the Public Employment Service Office at the Pettit Barracks until Wednesday, February 25.

Zambo City filmfest reels off Feb. 23-25

By Sheila Covarrubias

Nurturing and inspiring Zamboanga-based and young filmmakers to contribute their talent and ingenuity to the film industry, the City Government holds starting today the Zamboanga Film Festival as part of the highlights of the 78th Dia de Zamboanga Festival.

A total of 18 pre-selected entries –9 each for the live action and animation categories will be screened starting today Feb. 23-25 at the Zamboanga Cinematheque in Legionnaire Street. The screening schedules are 10am, 12nn, 2pm and 4pm.

The filmfest is a joint undertaking with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) which operates the cinematheque.

Red Carpet night cum awards night will be held February 25 at Centro Latino where the grand winner for each of the two categories will be known.

The film entries are submitted by young film makers, some of them students of the different colleges and universities in the city.

The finalists for the live action category are as follows: (1) El Cara de Mama by Kimberly Joy Kilat, (2) El Letratista by Ryan Covarrubias, (3) Quando by Mark Kim Tayona, (4) Sombra by Sheena Mae Alcala, (5) Escondido Amor by Icy Mae Colipano (6) Apasol by Ryan Joseph Murcia (7) Con Enfermedad y Buen Salud by Joseph Vincent Suarez, (8) Si el Curiosidad Mata Con el Gato by Aedrian Deniel and (9) Yesterday by Mark Anthony Lee.

On the other hand, the finalists for the animation category are as follows: (1) Balut by Jefrey Ramos, (2) Su Hyong by Lance Ayrton See, (3) Poaching by Wella Lynne Saclolo, (4) El Limosnero by Alexis Cheong, (5) Bira’y Bira by Martin Luigi Bugante, (6) El Bloques by Danica Jane Follero, (7) Atubanga by Danie Alted Nebrija, (8) Flaw? Where? by Jade Christel de Guzman and (9) Dragon Fruit by Richard John Barredo.

Zambo by-pass road 66% complete

By Bong Garcia

AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced that the by-pass road project is 66 percent complete and cited right-of-way as the most common problem they encountered.

Engineer Artemio Marsera, who oversees the implementation of the by-pass road project, said the lot owners wanted that they will be paid, as the road will cross their property. The problem, though, is that they do not have land titles, he added.

Marsera said they are initiating remedies to avoid legal confrontation with lot owners so as not to delay the implementation of the project.

He said the 35-kilometer by-pass road will link Zamboanga City's east coast to the west coast from the village of Guisao in the east to Sinubung in the west.

The implementation of the project started in 2012 and is expected to be completed next year.

On Friday, Marsera accompanied some members of the City Council who inspected the project. The inspection was initiated by the City Council through a resolution sponsored by Councilor Rogelio Valesco Jr.

Valesco said the inspection was conducted to determine how the local government can help hasten its implementation.

City’s traffic lights upgrade continues

By Sheila Covarrubias

Upgrading and improvement of the city’s signal lights and traffic system continues as part of the City Government’s thrust on public safety.

This, as Mayor Beng Climaco and General Services Officer Engr. Rene de la Cruz yesterday led the switch-on ceremony for the upgraded traffic lights system in the Veterans Avenue-Camins intersection (Sta. Cruz area), the second in a week’s time.

Last February 10, the newly-installed LED traffic lights with digital countdown timers installed at the Gov. Camins-Canelar intersection were first unveiled. To follow in the coming weeks are the upgrading of traffic lights in the junctions of Mayor Jaldon-Canelar and Veterans Avenue-Tetuan.

A total of P9 million has been allocated for the upgrading and improvement of the four intersections which is expected to be totally completed by March 2015, according to Engr. De la Cruz.

Aside from the new traffic lights, the upgrades also included the replacement of the traffic controllers in several of the City’s intersections.

De la Cruz said an additional P10 million budget will be requested in the Supplemental Budget for the upgrade of the traffic lights in the Veterans Avenue, Gov. Lim Avenue and Baliwasan Chico intersections.

The GSO chief said the traffic light upgrading and improvement project is the first since the traffic lights were put up in 1999.

The project is handled by a private firm contracted through proper bidding process.

USAID-ENGAGE sets women conference, CSO summit in Zamboanga City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Feb. 20 (PNA) -- The United States Agency for International Development-Encourage Global Anticorruption and Good Governance (USAID-ENGAGE) is organizing a two-day Women’s Conference and a summit for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in this city.

The two-day activities, which is in partnership with the local government and other agencies, is aimed to expand citizen’s participation in governance.

City Hall information officer Belen Sheila Covarrubias said the Women’s Conference is scheduled to be held on February 24 at the Centro Latino Convention Center while the CSO Summit on February 25 at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University.

Covarrubias said the Women’s Conference will see the convergence of women leaders to discuss the challenges confronting the women sector in this city.

She said the conference’ discussion will focus on the following: the status of women’s conditions and rights in the work place and communities; status of women’s conditions and right in governance; promoting women’s health and the gender code of this city.

The women’s confab is anchored on the theme: The Women’s Conference: Strengthening Women’s participation in governance and asserting the Women’s development agenda.

She said the CSO Summit will gather leaders from various non-government organizations (NGOs) and CSOs in this city to discuss the people’s needs in the areas of security, health and education.

Covarrubias said the discussion will focus on the current situation in the area of security, health and education and propose strategies to mobilize and expand citizen’s support for these priorities.

The summit is anchored on the theme: The CSO Summit: Mobilizing and Expanding the support of Civil Society for Security, Health and Education.

Zamboanga opens 8-day grand market sale

By Bong Garcia (Sunnex)

THE first-ever "Grandioso Venta del Mercado (Grand Market Sale)" reeled off Thursday with Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar leading the opening ceremony of the event.

Salazar said the sale, which is being held at Plaza de Pilar, will run for eight days or until February 26. It is coupled with nightly live entertainment show.

The Grand Market Sale is one of the activities the City Government has lined up to commemorate the city's 78th charter day, locally known as the "Dia de Zamboanga."

"Dia de Zamboanga" marks the anniversary of the installation of the first city official in 1935.

The Grand Market Sale features the city's agri-fishery products and other goods that are considered innate and distinct to selected barangays under the "One Barangay One Product."

City Investment and Promotion Officer Marie Angelique Go said the activity hopes to gather in one venue the city's agri-fishery businessmen, micro- small-and medium entrepreneurs, native food chefs and dealers of village products.

Go said 25 businessmen, entrepreneurs and dealers have signed up for the event.

The sale aims to reach out to the city's 98 villages and look for products that will be showcased during the "City of Charm" scheduled sometime in September, with some businessmen from China coming over.

P13M Zamboanga passenger terminal completed

By Bong Garcia

THE P13-million Passenger Terminal 2 of the Zamboanga City port will open by the second quarter of this year.

Liberto Dela Rosa, port manager, said the construction of the terminal building is finished and will open once air-condition units, public address system, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and chairs are installed.

Dela Rosa said the terminal will serve passengers bound for Sandakan, Sabah, and Manila. The facility has a capacity of 250 passengers.

Passenger Terminal 1 will be for passengers bound for other parts of the region as well as Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, according to Dela Rosa.

The port of Zamboanga is one of the busiest in the country

Foreign, local birders to join 1st bird fest in Zambo City

(FPG/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

The Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST) in coordination with the Department of Tourism (DOT) here is now gearing up for the first locally-organized bird festival, tentatively scheduled on February 26-27. Foreign and local members of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines are expected to join.

“Because of last year’s Philippine Bird Festival in Zamboanga City, many foreign and local birders have recognized the city as a birding destination,” shared DOT Regional Director Maryjune Bugante in a press conference last week.

The 9th Philippine Bird Festival was held February last year, barely six months after the siege. About a hundred members of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines came and joined in the activities. Many of them are foreign tourists coming from Denmark, France, England and other countries.

“Promoting this activity is a challenge, considering the peace and order situation. However, we would like to note that last year, the bird festival was the first big event in the city after the siege,” said Bugante. “We would like to continue what was started, and the Wild Bird Club has been supporting us.”

Bugante explained that it was the bird club’s recognition of Zamboanga as having the highest count of migratory birds in the entire country that led to the holding of this activity. “They do this bird count every year,” she added.

“We are expecting many birders to join since most of them want to see for themselves the rich species of birds here, of those that they only see on Facebook,” Bugante stressed.

Bugante emphasized that the bird festival is not just about promoting tourism. In part, it is also promoting environmental awareness.

Part of the activities includes bird watching in the ZSCMST ponds where several migrant Egrets have made their residence and breed. Other activities include film showings for students as well as lectures from the bird experts.

Meanwhile, ZSCMST President Milavel Nazario shared her excitement for the activity. “We are very proud to host this first Zamboanga bird festival,” she said. “This is a very positive development for Zamboanga, and we have to move on from what had happened,” she said.

The ZSCMST’s bird sanctuary is located in ground zero of the 2013 siege. “We want to show the public, local, national and international, that we have moved on.”

Zambo City marks increase in 2014 local revenue collection

By Teofilo P. Garcia, Jr [(PNA), CTB/TPGJR/EDS]

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Feb. 16 (PNA) -- The city government registered an increase of 10.75 percent representing P.22 billion in its revenue collection in 2014 compared to that in 2013.

This was announced by City Treasurer Soledad Li, who disclosed the 2014 revenue collection of this city reached P2.25 billion from P2.03 billion in the previous year.

Li attributed the increase in the local revenue collections to the intensified sending of demand and follow-up collection letters, intensified inspection of business establishments, and the recommendation of closure of business establishments with delinquent accounts and no business permit.

Li said they also forwarded the delinquent accounts to the City Legal Office for appropriate legal action.

Li said the big chunk of this city’s 2015 revenue came from the 2014 Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) amounting 1.69 billion.

She said the other sources of local revenues are collections from Real Property Taxes and other local taxes, Permits and Licenses, Social Income, Business Income and other incomes, this city’s share from the National Wealth, Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (Zamboecozone) and from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

She said they will continue the intensified collection of Real Property Taxes and other local taxes to further increase the income of the city government.

Info session set on EU GSP+

By Bong Garcia

THE Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) has scheduled a one-day information session on the European Union's Generalized Scheme of Preferences (EU GSP+) in Zamboanga City.

DTI Regional Director Sitti Amina Jain said the activity, which is set to be held on February 24, is aimed to make exporting to EU easier for developing countries like the Philippines.

Jain said they are targeting 100 participants, mainly exporters, the academe, and the different industry players throughout Zamboanga Peninsula to attend the information session.

She said speakers from EMB-Central Office are coming over to discuss the overview of EU GSP+ and the opportunities under this initiative.

Resource persons from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) or the Bureau of International Trade Relations (BITR) will tackle about the Rules of Origin in the export business, she added.

Jain also said that a team from Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) will expound on EU Help Desk to help clarify questions regarding the initiative.

She said the objectives of the EU GSP+ Information Session are as follows: to know the importance of EU GSP+ in exporting goods to European Countries; know where are those countries most in need in exporting; to further promote the core principles of sustainable development and good governance; and enhance the legal certainty, stability and predictability of the scheme.

GSP is subject to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Law, particularly to the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the so-called "Enabling Clause," which allows for an exception to the WTO "Most Favored Nation" principle.

At present, the GSP+ covers 13 nation beneficiaries, namely: Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, Mongolia, Pakistan, Paraguay, and Peru.

The GSP works by reducing tariffs for goods entering the EU market, in turn helping exporters generate additional revenue critical to the growth of their income and supporting economic growth and jobs creation.

78th ‘Dia’ events finalized

By Sheila Covarrubias

Everything is set for the celebration of the Dia de Zamboanga on February 26, marking the 78th anniversary of the installation of the first set of City officials in 1935.

Main highlight of the celebration will be the grand civic military parade to be followed by the commemorative program on Feb. 26 and the conferment of awards to Local Achievers on February 27 covering various fields of endeavours.

The different City Government sponsored activities are the Drum and Lyre competition (secondary level) and the city –wide cheer dance competition on February 20 at 1pm at the City Coliseum; the Zamboanga Film Festival (public screening), short film (live action and animation) and music video (live action and animation) on February 23-25 at the Cinematheque Center. The Awards Night will be on Feb. 25 at the Centro Latino.

Other activities organized by the City Government include the Grandiosa Venta de Mercado from Feb. 18-28 at the Plaza Pilar and the Kasalang Bayan on Feb. 27 at the City Hall lobby.

Also forming part of the city activities is the Juego na Dia de Zambonaga organized by the City Sports Division.

Various other activities, organized by private groups are also included in the Dia de Zamboanga calendar and these include the Couple Run 2k15 on Feb. 15 at pm; Chinese New Year celebration on Feb. 19; Nadia: Un Musical Chavacano on Feb. 19-21 at 6:30pm at the ADZU Brebeuf gym; WMSU Alumni Fun Run on Feb. 22 at 5am; Women’s conference participation in Governance on Feb. 24 at 8am at Centro Latino; Paolo Onesa- The thanksgiving Concert on Feb. 25 at the WMSU gym; ROTARUN YEAR 4 on Feb. 25 at Jardin Maria Clara; CSO Summit- Mobilizing and Expanding CSO Support for Security, Health and Education on Feb. 25 at 8am and the 18th Celso L. Lobregat Cup- Open Dart Tournament on Feb. 27-28 at Ram’s Beer Garden and Restaurant.

The Dia de Zamboanga marks the day when the first set of City officials headed by Mayor Nicasio Valderoza was installed into office. The installation took place over four months after President Manuel L. Quezon approved the Charter of Zamboanga on October 12, 1936.

ZSCMST, DOT set bird festival in Zamboanga City


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Feb. 11 (PNA) -– The Zamboanga State Colleges of Marines Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST), in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT), is holding the first local bird festival this month.

DOT Regional Director Mary June Bugante said Wednesday the bird festival is set to be held on Feb. 27 and “will mostly be held in the ZSCMST grounds.”

“This event is an effort to continually promote bird watching as an activity for tourists, sustain awareness on the value of environmental protection for tourism, and to highlight the uniqueness of this city in the birding community having recognized the first ever documented breeding ground of the Great Egret in the Philippines,” Bugante said.

The ZSCMST fishpond is documented as the first breeding ground of the Great Egret in the country and is the home of other bird species.

Dr. Milabel Nazario, ZSCMST president, said they have lined-up activities that include bird watching, lectures and symposia, photo exhibits and film showings.

The bird watching will be held at the ZSCMST fishpond and at the Pasonanca Natural Park, the home of up to 200 birds.

Nazario meanwhile urged the residents to help promote local tourism.

The first local bird festival is anchored on the theme Dia de Aves: “Discubrir Naturaleza en Ciudad (Day of the Birds: “Discover the Nature within the City).

The festival is also in partnership with the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP).

This city has successfully hosted the 9th Philippine Bird Festival last year.

City upgrades traffic lights

By Jasmine Mohammadsali

The city government unveiled yesterday the newly-installed traffic lights in one of its major thoroughfares as part of its efforts to upgrade and improve the traffic facilities in this part of the region.

Mayor Beng Climaco together with General Services Office (GSO) head Engr. Rene Dela Cruz led a simple switch-on ceremonies yesterday morning of the new LED traffic lights with digital countdown timers installed at the Gov. Camins intersection.

The Gov. Camins upgrade is just the first in the series of installations set for this year. According to Dela Cruz, next in line to be upgraded are the Sta. Cruz and the Mayor Jaldon intersections.

The GSO expects to complete the upgrades on the two intersections by March 2015.

The upgrading project has a total allocated budget of P9 million from the city government. Aside from the new traffic lights, the upgrades also included the replacement of the traffic controllers in several of the city’s intersections.

An additional P10 million will be requested as supplemental budget to upgrade three more intersections, said Dela Cruz.

These will include Gov. Lim (ZCMC) intersection, the Veterans Avenue intersection and the Baliwasan Chico intersection.

Zamboanga City Archived News

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