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Hermosa Festival 2014 reels off

By Bong Garcia

ZAMBOANGA City is in a festive mood in October as the series of activities for the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2014 reels-off Wednesday.

The Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2014 reeled-off at 5 p.m. Wednesday with the observance of the Pink October Month, a breast cancer awareness campaign.

It was followed by the City Government-sponsored exposition of religious icons billed “Las Cruces, Nuestra Vida y La Gloria at 7 p.m.

The highlight of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival is the feast day on October 12 of Our Lady of the Pillar, the most revered saint of the city.

The other activities lined up by the City Government include: “Conferencia de Cultura, Artes y Historia del Zamboanga (Conference of the Culture, Arts and History of Zambanga),” October 2-3; “Cosechas de Zamboanga (Harvest of Zamboanga),” October 2-15; opening of Children’s month celebration, October 4; Pet Parade and Blessing at the Jardin de Maria Clara (Maria Clara Garden), Pasonanca Park, October 4; Servicio Medical na Fiesta Pilar (Fiesta Pilar medical mission), October 8; Chabacano music festival, October 8; Wow Sardinas, October 9; Balikbayan night and Mascota de Zamboanga, October 10; Regatta de Zamboanga, October 11; Street Dance showdown, October 11; Chabacano music band festival, October 11; golf tournament, October 11-12; and, City Hall fiesta open house, October 12.

City Hall Information Officer Sheila Belen Covarrubias said there will be daily procession from October 3 to 11 from the Immaculate Concepcion Metropolitan Cathedral to the Fort Pilar Shrine.

Covarrubias said it is spearheaded by the Archdiocese of Zamboanga.

Several other activities have been lined up by the private sector which forms part of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2014, Covarrubias said. This year’s festival is dubbed “Levanta con Fuerza y Fe; Marcha con Alegria, Devocion y Unidad. (Rise with strength and faith; March with joy, devotion and unity).”

CHR, Geneva-based group hold forum for IDPs

By Bong Garcia

THE Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) are holding a three-day workshop for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Zamboanga City.

The CHR and IDMC said the workshop reels off Wednesday, October 1, and ends Friday.

The training-workshop will have an opening program with a Public Forum as an introductory activity that will be open to stakeholders.

The overall objective of the training-workshop is to provide capacity building for national and local authorities and actors in the promotion of and search for durable solutions for IDPs based on international and national standards.

"The holding of the training-workshop on Durable Solutions is not only timely but is very relevant, given the prevailing reality of the internally displaced persons in Zamboanga City a year after the Zamboanga siege," the CHR and IDMC said in a letter addressed to the Zamboanga Press Club Inc.

The CHR and IDMC noted that the September 2013 siege resulted in the forced displacement of at least 120,000 people and the destruction of around 10,000 houses.

They added that at present, 25,000 IDPs remain in various evacuation areas, majority of whom are found in Zamboanga City's sports complex. Moreover, lesser numbers are in transitory sites and many more are living with host families.

They also noted that the local government is implementing the Z3R program, which is the city's recovery and reconstruction plan that aims to build better Zamboanga and respond directly to the issue of internal displacement.

Good variety cacao seedlings now in ZC

By Allen Abastillas

Good news to farmers who want to plant good variety of cacao and engage in production of its beans.

A cacao seedling that produces cacao beans after two years from planting is now available in Zamboanga City..

An executive of a big corporation who requested anonymity said that cacao beans in the Philiipines are of top quality for making high value chocolates ,cosmetics and medicines in the world market.

Cacao supply in the world market is currently low.

The executive said his company supplies cacao beans to the world market.

He said Cacao beans from the Philippinesare par execellent compared to that of Indonesia and Malaysia.

“That is why our company is currently focusing on cacao production in the country,” he said.

The cacao seedlings that produce beans after two years are VR 15 and UF18. The nursery is located at NUB Farms Dreamville Subdivision in Barangay Ayala. They are propagated by Golden Beans Eco-Agro Producers Cooperative. All cacao seedlings are certified by Kennemer Foods Inc.

VR 15 and UF 18 are have very big advantage for farmer-growers because after two years, they can easily harvest their products with sure market value.

Their labor and hardwork for two years are assured of income and livelihood for their families.

BFAR releases P21.8-M livelihood aid

By Bong Garcia

THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has so far released P21.8-million worth of livelihood assistance as part of the agency's contribution to help the local government in the rehabilitation of Zamboanga City.

BFAR Regional Director Ahadulla Sajili said the livelihood assistance included the distribution of seaweed farm implements, fishing gears, and fingerling.

"The project is still ongoing up to present," Sajili added.

Sajili said that 1,817 farmers from Zamboanga City's six agricultural districts have received a set each of seaweed farm implements. Each set costs P12,000.

Sajili said a total of 194,100 pieces of seaweed floaters were also distributed.

Fishing gears, which include 345 sets of gill nets and 605 units of hook and line, were also provided to 1,295 fishermen, he added.

He said that 500 fishermen also benefited from the distribution of bangus fingerlings.

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has expressed gratitude to the BFAR for the livelihood initiatives undertaken by the agency.

Salazar stressed the local government needs the support of all agencies in the recovery and rehabilitation of the city following the September 2013 siege.

Thousands of families displaced during the siege are still housed in evacuation centers and transitory sites until today.

The siege broke out on September 9, 2013 when hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front members loyal to its founding-chair Nur Misuari infiltrated four coastal villages in the city.

ZCWD’s WASH goes to Tulungatung

By Bong Garcia

Barangay Tulungatung was the latest recipient of the series of orientations on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and water conservation being conducted by the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility Program.

The Orientation, which was held at the Tulungatung Barangay Hall on September 25, 2014, carries the objective of disseminating information on health and proper nutrition, clean environment, water sanitation and responsible hygiene practices, among others, with the end view of enabling community awareness on the impact of healthy environment to overall progress and development.

The activity was attended by barangay officials, community leaders and some residents.

The participants were likewise briefed by ZCWD personnel on the Agency’s water sources and its treatment and provided tips on water conservation.

Incidentally, the ZCWD Board of Directors and Management would like to extend their warmest greetings to the Barangay Officials and residents of Tulungatung on the occasion of Barangay’s Fiesta Celebration on October 1, 2014.

Livelihood programs for IDPs continue

By Bong Garcia

THE National Government, through the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), is implementing livelihood programs for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other sectors in Zamboanga City.

Dole Regional Director Sisinio Cano said they have allocated P19.2 million as part of Dole's contribution to the recovery and reconstruction efforts of the local government.

Cano said among the ongoing livelihood programs is the Dole Integrated Livelihood Program that provides livelihood assistance to IDPs, Rural Workers Associations, Persons with Disabilities, and out-of-school-youths.

Cano said they have allocated P4.9 million for the implementation of the DILP in the city. The apportioned funding was taken from the P19.2-million allocation.

He said that so far, P3.9 million of the P4.9 million was already released as of August 31 this year for group projects and livelihood assistance to 361 beneficiaries, most of which were IDPs.

Cano said the other beneficiaries of the DILP were parents with child laborers and associations that need livelihood formation, enhancement, and restoration.

"Validation of pending proposals is ongoing for funding from the remaining grants," he added.

He said the other program is the Tupad, a moniker for Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers.

He said it is an emergency employment mechanism that was implemented since April this year for IDPs and displaced workers.

He said they have allotted P1.4 million for the program that include payments of wages to 214 beneficiaries and part of the funding was used to purchase protective gears of the beneficiary-workers to include insurance coverage.

The other programs are the Government Internship Program (GIP) and Special Program for the Employment of Students (Spes) that have funding allotment of P7.1 million and P5.5 million, respectively.

The GIP is designed to provide work experience to graduates and prepare them for the real world of work, while Spes aims to provide greater impact to the lives of the not-so-financially-privileged students who aim to pursue their education by engaging to part-time jobs.

Zambo to join ‘Treevolution’ September 26

By Sheila Covarrubias

Zamboanga City will join on Friday, September 26, the Mindanao-wide campaign “Treevolution Greening MindaNOW”, a massive tree planting activity with the aim of breaking India’s World Record for most trees planted simultaneously in multiple locations in just one hour.

Organized by the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) in Zamboanga City, the activity will have the Talo-talon mangrove area, the designated national greening program (NGP) site for the city, as the center of activities.

The activity will be from 8:30-9:30am with 500 planters coming from the academe, national government agencies, civic groups and permittees of sand and gravel. The planting site stretches through the 5-hectare mangrove area which will be planted with 12,500 propagules.

Mindanao-wide, the target is to reach 4.6 million trees to be planted all over the six regions with the aim of breaking India’s world record of 1.94 million.

A team from the Guinness World Records will be in the city to document and to validate the entry.

Witnesses to the activity will be Atty. Eduardo Sanson, Dean of the WMSU College of Law and Edwin Caliolio, president of Southern City Colleges, Inc. The stewards and record validators are teachers from Ateneo de Zamboanga, SSCI and Don Pablo Memorial High School.

The Treevolution Greening MindaNOW initiative supports the national greening program of the national government that targets 1.5 million hectares reforested by 2016.

BRP Alcaraz in Zamboanga for ‘show the flag’ mission

By Joel Locsin /LBG (GMA News)

BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), the Navy's second frigate, is now in Zamboanga City for a "show the flag" activity to encourage patriotism and national pride.

The Alcaraz had arrived from its participation in Multilateral Naval Exercise Kakadu 2014 in Australia and port visit to Surabaya, Indonesia.

"The 'Show the Flag' [mission] in Zamboanga included activities such as open house, Thanksgiving Mass, and courtesy calls to the heads of Western Mindanao Command and Naval Forces Western Mindanao, courtesy call to the city mayor," the Philippine Navy said on its Facebook page Tuesday.

Also, it said such an activity seeks to encourage citizens to work for peace and development, "based on the principles of justice, human dignity and the well-being of all people."

Zamboanga City residents are still recovering from the effects of a failed siege by followers of Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari one year ago.

Captain Albert Mogol, Commander of Naval Task Force 80 and Captain Ernesto Baldovino, Commanding Officer of Ramon Alcaraz, are to turn over to Mayor Isabelle Climaco-Salazar goods and books donated by the Filipino Australian Association in Northern Territory (FAANT) for those affected by the failed siege.

At the open house, Zamboanga City residents may board the ship for a guided tour.

The tour aims to promote peace and develop friendly relations among the communities where PF-16 will dock.

Zambo athletes top Batang Pinoy

By Juseph G. Elas (WMSU-OJT)

Zamboanga City athletes bagged the bacon in the recently concluded Batang Pinoy-Mindanao leg in Pagadian City.

The Zamboanga team garnered 160 medals in the four-day sports activity. Of the total number, 56 are gold medals; 50 silver medals and 54 bronze medals, making the Zamboanga team as over-all champion.

As this developed, Mayor Beng Climaco hailed the athletes who were presented to her during the flag raising ceremony Monday morning in front of City Hall. “Enhorabuena y muchas gracias con vosotros por el esfuerzo y honor que ya dale ustedes con el Ciudad de Zamboanga.”

City Sports Development Officer Cecilia Atilano said Zamboanga City bested athletes from Basilan, Davao, Zamboanga Sibugay, Dipolog City, and General Santos City among others.

The Batang Pinoy was hosted by Pagadian City as part of the 62nd Founding Anniversary of Zamboanga del Sur.

Atilano said 287 athletes composed the Zamboanga team to the Batang Pinoy competition who competed in 18 sports activities. These sports activities included archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, chess, dance sports, football, karatedo, muay thai, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, and wrestling.

The said event serves as stepping stone for young athletes to compete in the national leg of Batang Pinoy which will be held in Bacolod City come December of this year.

WMPC cited by DOLE for labor compliance

(Daily Zamboanga Times)

Western Mindanao Power Corporation, operator of the 100 megawatt power plant in Sangali, was formally cited by the government for its strict adherence to labor standards in the country.

WMPC represented by its Plant Manager Engr. Jose Maria Torrejon was awarded the tripartite certificate of compliance with labor standards and certificates of child labor free establishment during the one-day Zampen Industry -wide joint assessment and awarding of Certificates of Compliance last Friday, September 19, 2014 hrld at the roof deck of the Lantaka Hotel by the Department of Labor and Employment regional office.

Handing out the awards was DOLE Regional Director Sisinio Cano and assited by top regional labor officials.

The awards followed a one-day assessment program with top private and public offices and establishments participating.

Director Cano earlier said this program is in line with government’s desire to bring the region’s workplace conditions to a level of country-wide and worldwide acceptance .

Engr. Torrejon for his part said the awards received by WMPC here is a testament to the corporate desire of the Alsons Group of which WMPC is a part of, to adhere to strict national and international standards of keeping the workplace at an optimum level at all times.

Torrejon revealed there are 65 employees under the employ of WMPC who enjoy employment benefits entitled them under labor laws and regulations.

WMPC is a sister company of San Ramon Power Corporation ( SRPI) which is bidding to operate another 100-megawatt power plant in the west coast soon.

Attending the event with Torrejon was SRPI consultant and former Napocor Regional boss, Eng’r Ruben Conti.

Zambo lines up World Rabies Day activities

(Daily Zamboanga Times)

The Office of the City Veterinarian (OCVet) through the City Rabies Control and Eradication Coordinating Council (CRCECC) has lined up activities to observe this year’s World Rabies Day.

City Veterinarian Dr. Mario Arriola said Friday that among the activities are a Dog Walk and awarding ceremony for the Most Pet-Friendly Barangays.

Arriola said the Dog Walk is set to be held September 28 at 6 a.m. at the Pasonanca Park.

Arriola said the awarding for the Most Pet-Friendly Barangays will be held on September 29 after the flag raising ceremony in front of City Hall.

Arriola said the activities they lined up are aimed to encourage responsible pet ownership and to help reduce if not eradicate cases of rabies.

The World Rabies Day is being celebrated every September 28.

This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme “Together Against Rabies.”

Zamboanga City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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