Zamboanga City News
Zamboanga City gov’t distributes more vehicles to barangays
- Wednesday, July 18, 2012
- (PNA), LAP/TPG/utb
ZAMBOANGA CITY — At least 54 of 90 barangays on the mainland of this city have already received the 4x4 pick-up vehicles for the implementation of Community, Environment, Livelihood, Security and Order programs of the local government under the stewardship of Mayor Celso Lobregat.
This, after Lobregat turned over anew yesterday nine 4x4 pick-up vehicles to six barangays in the first district and three barangays in the second district.
Tuesday’s turnover of vehicles was witnessed by Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara of Aurora Province, who commended Lobregat for providing the barangays with 4x4 vehicles, which no other local government units (LGUs) in the country even his province can do.
Thirty-eight of the 54 barangays provided with 4x4 pick-up vehicles are from the second district while 16 are in the first district.
The 36 remaining mainland barangays and the eight island barangays will receive their vehicles in the coming days, Lobregat announced.
All of the 90 mainland barangays of this city will receive the 4x4 pick-up vehicles while the eight island barangays will receive a multicab and a motorized banca each.
The distribution of vehicles to barangays by the city government is aimed at hastening mobility and ultimately accelerating public service.
Each 4x4 vehicle costs the city government P997,500 while the multicab and motorized banca costs P290,000 and P150,000 each, respectively.
Funds for the purchase of the transportation facilities are taken from the 2011 and 2012 budgets of the city government.
2 kids burned in Zamboanga
- Source:By Roel Pareño The Philippine Star
- Tuesday, July 17, 2012
- By Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star)
ZAMBOANGA CITY , Philippines – The charred remains of two children were found in an abandoned house in this city Saturday night.
Police identified the victims as John Larry Mendoza, nine; and his niece 11-year-old Jessidel Manalo, both scavengers and residents of Barangay Tugbungan.
Rosanna, the mother of Jessidel and the sister of John Larry, said they learned of the incident when her daughter and brother did not return home.
One of the victims’ companions, who managed to escape, said Alfredo Miranda, 42, the owner of the house captured Jessidel and John Larry when they entered the house to collect scraps.
“The house was really scary but I went inside with barangay tanods who carried flashlights. We found bloodstains. We also found their bloodstained slippers,” Rosanna said.
Police Station 6 commander Chief Inspector Elmer Acuña said the police later found the charred remains of the two victims.
Acuña said police also recovered iron pipes with bloodstains, which the suspect could have used to beat the victims before burning them. He said they found Miranda hidden in a dark corner of the house.
“There was no doubt he was the one behind the gruesome killing,” Acuña said.
Public high school gets new bldg from city govt
- Monday, July 16, 2012
- (Sheila Covarrubias/CIO/JPA/PIA9-ZBST)
ZAMBOANGA CITY, July 16 (PIA) -- Classroom shortage in Zamboanga City National High School – main in Tetuan has been partially eased with the inauguration of a government-funded three-storey 27 classroom building.
The three-storey 27 classroom building is the biggest school building yet constructed by the Lobregat administration since the massive school building program started in 2007.
The unveiling ceremony was graced by Education Sec. Bro. Armin Luistro, who accepted the project from Mayor Celso Lobregat.
Luistro thanked the mayor and members of the city council for putting highest priority on education through construction of school buildings and other education-related projects.
He said building classrooms is not just about having money “but it’s about vision, transparency and dignity.”
“Mayor Lobregat is the only mayor who places the cost of every project being undertaken,” Luistro added.
He said by being transparent, people are informed and they can keep track of government funds.
Meanwhile, Lobregat vowed that the city government will continue to invest in education to ensure that quality education.
The mayor also requested the secretary to provide necessary teachers and desks to complement the schools buildings being constructed by the city government.
Since 2007, the city government has already invested over P940 million in education, and it will reach the P1billion mark in 2013, the mayor said.
The ZCHS-main community, headed by Principal Felisa Munar presented Mayor Lobregat with a plaque and a certificate expressing highest regard on the chief executive for his unfaltering commitment to education.
Also present during the inauguration were Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, Councilors Rudy Lim, Mike Alavar, Nonong Guingona and Luis Biel III, City Schools OIC Superintendent Pedro Natividad, Tetuan barangay chairman Nonong Natividad, the different district supervisors, secondary school principals, other city officials, Zamcelco president Bong Atilano, the mayor’s brother Jomar Lobregat and ZCHS-main students, teachers and parents.
Zamboanga Hermosa Chorale bags 3 medals in 7th World Choir Games in US
- Sunday, July 15, 2012 03:27:39 PM
- (Mindanao Examiner)
ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / July 15, 2012) – Philippines’ pride Zamboanga Hermosa Chorale bagged two silver and one bronze medals in the 7th World Choir Games in the United States.
Choirs from all over the world gathered at the 7th World Choir Games in Cincinnati to contribute their share to international understanding and peace among nations.
Together you are going to celebrate a great festival of music, song and joie de vivre and Cincinnati will be a prestigious host city for the 7th World Choir Games.
Last month, President Benigno Aquino praised the Zamboanga Hermosa Chorale for winning in the 1st Vietnam International Choir Competition and Festival.
“Music has always reflected our country’s rich cultural heritage and history, including our struggles and triumphs as one people. Thus we in government take pride in your achievements on the local and international stage, for these demonstrate the Filipino’s dedication, confidence, and excellence in the performing arts.”
“We stand by our pledge to empower our artists—singers, composers, and musicians among them—and trust that the Zamboanga Hermosa Chorale will continue nurturing your gift of voice and creativity, as you stand as banner men of our multifaceted culture, in which your city is a distinct contributor,” Aquino said.
The Zamboanga Hermosa Chorale, a community choir composed of talented college students and few young professionals in Zamboanga City, was formed in 2001. And its members were trained by the Philippine Madrigal Singers through the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
Zambo police nets 2 drug pushers
- Saturday, July 14, 2012 5:27 am
- (PNA) CTB/TPG/utb
ZAMBOANGA CITY, July 13 – The Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF) of the local police here scored anew in its campaign against prohibited drugs following the arrest of two people in a buy-bust operation in this southern port city.
Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Angel Paclibar, case officer, said the buy-bust operation was carried out around 3:40 a.m. Thursday in Barangay Putik, some 5 kilometers east of the city.
Paclibar identified the arrested suspects as Peter Manantan, 48, a teacher, and Ronald Lazo, 41, both residents of Barangay Putik.
He disclosed that the AIDSOTF headed by Senior Insp. Elmer Solon carried out the buy-bust operation after receiving information about the activities of the suspects.
The suspects were arrested after Lazo handed over a small heat-sealed plastic sachet of suspected shabu to a policeman who pretended to be a buyer in exchange for P300, Paclibar said.
He said Lazo is allegedly the drug pusher while Manantan owns the house that serves as the pot session area of Lazo’s customers.
The AIDSOTF personnel seized from the suspects' possession the P300 marked money, four small sachets of suspected shabu and several paraphernalia being used for the prohibited drugs, he said.
The suspects were brought to the City Prosecutor’s Office for inquest proceedings, he added.
DOLE set for July 17-23 disability prevention and rehab week
- Friday, July 13, 2012
- (PNA), LAM/TPG/utb
ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Regional Council on Disability Affairs (RCDA) has lined up several activities to drumbeat the week-long celebration of the 34th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) week in this southern port city.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will be the lead agency and coordinator of the activities on July 17-23.
The celebration will kick off July 17 with a motorcade starting at the Philippine Red Cross (PRC)-Zamboanga City Chapter compound along Rizal Street and end at the Zamboanga City High School (ZCHS) main campus in Barangay Tetuan where a short program will be held.
It will be followed with a free vaccine against flu and pneumonia for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) aged 18 and up by the Department of Health (DOH).
A Media Forum will also be conducted July 17 at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) office to widen awareness on the NDPR week celebration.
The PWDs will share their “contribution” in the celebration by conducting a tree planting activity on July 17.
The Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) will conduct a three-day skills training for PWDs on haircut, foot and hand spa.
The DOLE will also turn over “Kabuhayan starter kits” to beneficiaries and conduct orientation on “employees compensation program” on July 17.
A PWD congress is slated on July 19 organized by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) in partnership with the Gender and Development (GAD) focal point.
The DOH and the Department of Education (DepEd) will conduct a psychological test for children with learning disabilities on July 20 at the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC).
On the same day, the PWDs will also be given skills demonstration on siomai and tocino making by the DSWD and Department of Agriculture (DA).
The DSWD and DOLE will also award with certificates and plaques of appreciation to establishments, government and non-government, employing PWDs.
The Commission on Election (Comelec) will have its PWD voter’s registration on July 21 while an ecumenical mass for PWDs is set on the next day.
On July 23, the DepEd through the ZCHS will be conducting a PWD sports festival at the Sta. Maria Elementary School.
The theme for this year’s celebration of NDPR week is “Mainstreaming persons with Disabilities in Economic Development.”
The celebration aims to promote the full employment of PWDs, tackle barriers and gaps, facilitate stakeholder’s cooperation, develop innovative approaches and support human rights-based initiatives for the economic development of the PWDs.
Zamcelco sets special elections in Districts II, V & X on Aug. 5
- Thursday, July 12, 2012 15:05
- (Press Release)
The Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (ZAMCELCO) yesterday announced that it will conduct special elections in Districts II, V and X simultaneously on August 5, 2012 (Sunday).
ZAMCELCO OIC Mr. Charito C. Mabitazan said the Board of Directors in their regular meeting on July 6, 2012, adopted a Resolution No. 60-12 calling for the conduct of special district elections in the mentioned districts.
It will be recalled that on May 13, 2012, District II had its regular election, but the same was considered a failure as the total number of voters failed to meet the quorum requirement, hence, the need to call for a special election.
In Districts V and X, the special election is to fill the vacancy following the disqualification of the incumbent board members per Order from the National Electrification Administration (NEA).
"A special election is called by the Board, through a resolution- as in the above mentioned districts- to fill any vacancy due to resignation, disqualification, death and similar causes, and if the unexpired term is two years or more; the last election in districts V and X was on May 2011 and the vacancy occurred in the same year, hence, the unexpired term is still more than two years until the next regular election in 2014," Mabitazan said.
Election refers to the process of choosing a director in a district to represent its members in the Coop's Board of Directors through secret balloting, and Board of Directors is the body composed of representatives elected in every district to promulgate policies, rules and regulations necessary for the operation of the electric cooperative.
Bonafide coop members in the mentioned electing districts who are interested to run for a seat in the board, may secure the official form of the Certificate of Candidacy at the ZAMCELCO office during office hours.
The last day of filing of the Certificate of Candidacy is on July 26, 2012 or ten days before the scheduled election through the Member Services Division (MSD), Institutional Services Department at Putik Office.
Management also advises Coop members who do not have their Coop ID cards to see the MSD office for more details on how to secure and/or replace ID cards.
BFP-9, ZCFD, EMRS/SRU bag best 'emergency response uniform' team
- Wednesday, July 11, 2012 12:37
- By R.G. Antonet A. Go
The Bureau of Fire Protection-9 (BFP-9) and the Zamboanga City Fire District (ZCFD) and the Emergency Medical and Rescue Service/Special Rescue Unit (EMRS/SRU) have won the "Best Emergency Response Uniform" during the kick-off program of the National Disaster Consciousness Month last July 2, 2012 at Zamcelco compound.
Zamboanga City Fire District, District Fire Marshall F/ Supt. Dominador Zabala Jr. disclosed this, saying that the mentioned team bested other national and local response team in this city.
Zabala said the winning team is under his office and BFP IX Regional Director, F/Sr. Supt. Carlito B. Ocena.
The Office of Civil Defense IX, Regional Director, Adriano Fuego presented the award to the team.
The activity was in line with the government’s program and effort aimed at promoting awareness and instill consciousness to the people especially in times of natural or man-made disasters.
At present, the ZCFD has 7 fire stations located in Barangays Sta. Maria, Tetuan, Ayala, Manicahan, Quiniput, Vitali, and the City Fire Station.
Aside from these, they also have 7 fire sub-stations in Barangays Guiwan, Boalan, Sta. Catalina, Upper Calarian, Recodo, Talisayan, Mercedes.
City water district office conducts LWD-MACRO training seminar
- Tuesday, July 10, 2012 13:14
- By R.G. Antonet A. Go
The Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) has conducted an orientation seminar on Local Water District Manual on Categorization, and Other Related Matters or (LWD-MACRO) last July 5 and 6 at a local hotel located in this city.
ZCWD Information Officer Dolly Galvan said that “Poreso man orient kanila on the categorization kay man affect el structure del water districts.”
The activity was participated in by water districts coming from Western Mindanao to include general managers, division managers, and department heads.
The topics discussed during the seminar were the background of the LWD-MACRO, role of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on the LWD-MACRO, LWD categorization, and presentation of LWD-MACRO.
The speakers during the seminar were Engr. Anselmo L. Sang Tian, chairman of the PAWD Oversight Committee and the general manager of Butuan City Water District and DBM regional director Atty. Nilda Cemine.
The classification of water districts at present is small, average, medium, big, large, and very large. When the new categorization will come in it will be downed to just Category A, B, C, and D.
The new categorization, according to Galvan, will be implemented slowly for three years.
The basis for the categorization are 40% Gross Revenue, 40% Total Assets, 15% Net Income, and Staff Production 5%.
For Category A the Water District must have a service connection of at least 30,000, B at least 10,000, C at 3,000 and D below 3,000.
The ZCWD belongs to category A since the ZCWD has some 51,417 water concessioners who are serving some 55 out of the 98 barangays.
PHIVOLCS to install tsunami sensor in Zambo City
- Monday, July 9, 2012 12:14
- By R.G. Antonet Go
The Philippine Volcanola tsunami sensor this year at the local wharf to help in the monitoring of possible tsunami that may hit the city.
Officer in Charge PHIVOLCS Zamboanga City Allan Labayog said that throughout the Philippines for this year they will be installing a tsunami sensor in the city of Zamboanga.
"We will have a collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA),” he added.
The tsunami sensor, according to Labayog, will cost millions of pesos that is why the office will have a collaboration with JICA.
Part of the sensor will be pointing to the water where it will be laser guided to record a change in tide and its type.
The equipment will be housed inside the PPA compound consisting of sensor, transmitter, and a satellite dish which all came from Japan.
He also said that the equipment can stand alone and it will not rely on the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative for power it will have its own power system and solar panels.
Sometimes after an earthquake a tsunami might also follow. The tsunami alert are as follows: Alert Zero, no tsunami, Alert one needs confirmation, Alert two, confirmed and in effect precautionary measures while Alert three means full evacuation.
The warning time for tsunami are for a local tsunami, the maximum time is 20 minutes to evacuate while more than an hour for a distant tsunami.
Labayog said there is always a probability for earthquake because the city and the region is surrounded by two tectonic trenches the Sulu and Cotabato trench which could trigger an earthquake and tsunami.
The Sulu trench last moved during September 21, 1897 while the Cotabato trench last moved last August 17, 1976.
The whole country is also at risk as the Philippines is one of the countries located along Pacific Ring of Fire.
Zamboanga folk find queen ‘ordinary person’: City’s poor expected member of Spanish royalty to be wearing gown, crown
- Sunday, July 8, 2012 12:30 am
- By Julie S. Alipala (Inquirer Mindanao)
ZAMBOANGA CITY—When told that members of a poor community here would get to see a real queen, 8-year-old Jenny Asurin immediately thought of a woman in a gown and wearing a crown.
Waiting in a multipurpose hall where beneficiaries of a Spanish aid agency’s were gathered to greet Queen Sofia, Jenny expressed surprise at what she saw.
A tall woman, wearing a printed blouse and light brown slacks, emerged from a heavily tinted vehicle and casually entered the hall to be met by two toddlers who offered her a bouquet of flowers.
“Is that the queen?” Jenny asked her 39-year-old mother, Geraldine, whose nod didn’t satisfy her child’s search for answers.
“Where’s her crown? Why isn’t she wearing a gown?” Jenny continued to ask soon after Queen Sofia smiled at her and briefly touched her face.
Jenny, like many others in the urban poor group Kalinaw Homeowners Association (KHA), had associated royalty with images they see on TV.
Laundry woman Arsenia Cabigting, 42, said when she rushed to Kalinaw Community Hall to see the queen, she was expecting images of kings and queens that she sees on TV to come to life.
“I was expecting a queen that we see on TV. She looks like an ordinary person, like us, only that she is white,” Cabigting told the Inquirer.
Juanita Cabugatan, head of KHA and of another urban poor group called Pakasa, said Queen Sofia turned out to be “down-to-earth.”
“We didn’t expect that someone like her would come down and mingle with us,” said Cabugatan, whose groups were among the beneficiaries of Manos Unidas, a Spanish nongovernment organization that implements aid programs of the Spanish government.
Clara Pardo, who handles projects in Asia of Manos Unidas, said Queen Sofia was in the city to see the projects that the Spanish government, through Manos Unidas, had helped build.
“She likes to see where the money went and was spent, and she is very committed to development projects,” Pardo said in an interview with the Inquirer.
“Queen Sofia also wants to meet and interact with children and women because she is always very worried about the situation of children in the world,” she added.
A DOWN-TO-EARTH queen takes children of the poor in Zamboanga City in her arms for a souvenir picture. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Fr. Angel Calvo, of the Claretian Missionary, who heads Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance Inc. (Zabida), said the Spanish government has been helping his group for 13 years now and has so far poured in about 5 million euros into projects launched by Zabida, another group that helps the poor in Zamboanga and Basilan through livelihood and other projects.
Zabida implements Manos Unidas projects for education, housing, youth, livelihood, water, agriculture and shelter for the homeless and street children.
Meet the poor
Calvo said Queen Sofia was here to visit urban poor communities.
“It’s not a state visit. She was even scheduled to meet the homeless and street children, but according to authorities from Malacañang and local government officials, there were security issues,” Calvo said.
Queen Sofia was supposed to visit an orphanage in the city, Akay Kalinga, but this was canceled supposedly for security reasons.
Akay Kalinga is located on RT Lim Boulevard, where the city jail and the police’s Camp Batalla are.
The security arrangement that Malacañang officials prepared for Queen Sofia’s visit in the city apparently made the queen “a little bit upset,” said Calvo.
Prior to her arrival at another poor community called Katilingban Para sa Panaghiusa, also in a poor village in the city, an organizer announced inside the chapel that only “direct beneficiaries are allowed to meet with the queen of Spain.”
Upset by protocol
The unidentified organizer announced the rules:
“No hand shaking, no unnecessary noise, taking of pictures is not allowed inside the chapel, clapping of hands is allowed if there’s a signal for you to clap your hands.”
Calvo explained that the rules did not come from them.
“The activity was supposed to be open to everyone. There’s a program prepared for the queen, but somehow, the program was altered in Malacañang and several activities were scrapped. I know the queen was a bit upset,” Calvo said.
AFP joins “National Disaster Observance Month”
- Saturday, July 7, 2012 11:18
- (PR 4th CRG, CRSAFP)
On the occasion of the National Disaster Awareness Month this whole month of July, the military under the Western Mindanao Command joins the whole nation in its observance through various disaster awareness activities here in Zamboanga peninsula.
Army Lt. Col. Erwin Alea, 4th Civil Relations Group (4CRG) commander, said that series of activities in line with disaster preparedness led by the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) BASULTA kicked off this week in partnership with its headquarters, the Bureau of Fire Protection and other stakeholders, both in the government and private sectors.
Series of activities are lined-up in selected areas of Zamboanga City, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. Among these activities are the Disaster Awareness Campaign, Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) Caravan, DRRM Mural Painting, First Responder Training, Tree Planting activities, Earthquake Drills, and Disaster Risk Reduction video presentation in schools.
“These activities, which are in line with Executive Order 137 of 1999, aim to increase public awareness on natural and man-made disasters and at the same time to equip them with information and skills on what to do at time of these occurrences,” said Alea.
He added that one cannot tell as to when disasters like earthquake and tsunami will happen, hence, emergency preparedness is critical to mitigate the effects of such circumstances.
Meanwhile, the 4CRG will distribute assorted posters on disaster awareness to the different selected areas that are prone to natural disasters to further enhance awareness of this campaign.
Lobregat thanks Zamboangueños for Queen Sofia’s warm welcome
- Friday, July 6, 2012 13:53
- (PNA), LAP/TPG/utb
ZAMBOANGA CITY, July 6 (PNA) – Mayor Celso Lobregat has expressed gratitude to residents of Zamboanga City for the rousing welcome accorded on Thursday to Queen Sofia of Spain.
Lobregat likewise thanked the military and police and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) and all offices of the city government that helped in the successful turnout of the historical visit of the Queen to Zamboanga City.
In particular, Lobregat thanked Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) Chief Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) director Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, Zamboanga City Police officer-in-charge Chief Supt. Mario Yanga, 3rd Air Division Commander Brig. Gen. Emeraldo Magnaye and Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) commander Rear Admiral Armando Guzman.
Lobregat also cited the participation and contribution of the different schools to the successful visit of Queen Sofia, specifically the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology, Southern City Colleges, Sinunuc Elementary School, Sinunuc National High School, Claret School, Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School and the Sta. Maria Elementary School.
He said the Queen’s visit to Zamboanga City the whole day on Thursday turned out smooth, peaceful and well-organized.
“The rousing welcome we accorded the Queen is definitely a big boost to the peaceful image of the city of Zamboanga,” he stressed.
He described the visit of the Queen Sofia, the first high foreign dignitary to visit this city was a monumental event for Zamboanga City.
Finally, Lobregat said gratitude also goes out to Queen Sofia herself, for making Zamboanga City one of the sites to be visited during her visit to the Philippines.
“It is truly an honor for the City of Zamboanga to be visited by the Queen of Spain. I don’t think there was any other foreign dignitary of such stature that ever visited Zamboanga in the past,” Lobregat added.
Queen of Spain visits Zamboanga
- Thursday, July 5, 2012 13:53
- By Vic Larato
The entire city officialdom of Zamboanga headed by Mayor Celso Lobregat will roll out the red carpet today to welcome for the first time in history Majesty, the Queen of Spain, the first highest foreign dignitary to visit Zamboanga, Asia’s Latin City.
Mayor Lobregat, who presided over a high level meeting yesterday in preparation for the royal visit, told reporters that everything was ready for Queen Sofia’s arrival this morning.
“Let us all welcome the Queen to Zamboanga City. It is indeed an honor for the city of Zamboanga to be visited by the Queen of Spain. I don’t think there was any other foreign dignitary of such stature that ever visited Zamboanga in the past,” Lobregat said.
Queen Sofia and party that includes Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq are expected to arrive at 9:15 a.m. at the Edwin Andrews Air Base in Sta. Maria.
She will be welcomed by Mayor Lobregat, Deputy House Speaker and District 1 Rep. Beng Climaco-Salazar, District 2 Rep. Erico Basilio A. Fabian, Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen Noel Coballes, 3rd Air Division commander Major Gen. Jose Tony Villarete, and Police Regional Director-9 Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles.
From EAAB, a convoy will usher the Queen to Barangay Sinunuc in the west coast where she will inspect the “Kalambuan, Katilingban and Kalinaw” housing project funded by the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional (AECI) and managed by Spanish non-government organization “Manos Unidas” and the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZaBIDA) headed by Claretian priest Fr. Angel Clavo.
From Sinunuc, the Queen will visit the Claret School at San Jose Road, which is a beneficiary of a school building project funded by the Spanish government. Then, the Queen will proceed to the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC), which had availed of a soft loan amounting to US$9 million (Php450 million) from the Spanish government for upgrading and modernization of medical facilities.
From the ZCMC, the Queen will proceed to the National Museum at the historic Fort Pilar, passing by the shrine of the miraculous Lady of the Pillar, for lunch that the city government will host.
To recall, the Royal Fort of Our Virgin Lady of the Pillar of Zaragoza (commonly known as Fort Pilar) is a 17th century military defense fortress built by the Spanish colonial government in Zamboanga City. The fort, which is now a regional museum of the National Museum, is a major landmark and a symbol of the city's cultural heritage.
After lunch, the Queen will visit the Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School at Gov. Ramos Ave. in Sta. Maria. The school’s speech laboratory and about 3,060 armchairs were donated by a Spanish aid agency, the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional (AECI) in coordination with the Fundacion Humanismo Y Democracia (H+D) and the Philippine Business for Social Progress.
The Queen will fly back to Manila in the afternoon.
Lobregat, who was invited by P-Noy to a state dinner for the Queen at Malacañang Tuesday night, said he and Cong. Climaco had the singular honor to be called to the presidential table and introduced by the President to the Queen. Also invited was Rep. Climaco.
He said the living link of Zamboanga to Spain is the city’s Spanish derivative language called Chabacano, which is 65% Spanish. “No other city in the Philippines and Asia where the majority of the population speaks, understands and converses Chabacano on a daily basis except in Zamboanga,” he said.
Queen Sofía is both a great-great-granddaughter (paternally) and a great-great-great-granddaughter (maternally) of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and is, through several lines, her husband's third cousin. She is a first cousin of Ernst August of Hanover, and through her great-grandfather George I of Greece, she is a second cousin to Charles, Prince of Wales.
Through Christian IX of Denmark and Queen Victoria, Queen Sofia is also related to Elizabeth II and thereby related to all the royal families of Europe. She is also a first cousin once removed of Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Queen Sofia is of Hohenzollern descent through her mother, Frederica of Hanover, and through her paternal grandmother, Sophia of Prussia, and of Romanov descent through her father's paternal grandmother, Olga Constantinovna of Russia.
Security forces assure safety for Queen Sofia in Zambo City
- Wednesday, July 4, 2012 12:17 PM
- By Roel Pareño
ZAMBOANGA CITY - Police and military have virtually sealed off all the engagement points of Queen Sofia of Spain, who will visit the southern port city on Thursday.
The military and the police have been holding security briefings for the past days to prepare for the arrival of Queen Sofia in the city, where she will check the Spain-funded projects.
“We have implemented tighter security for the visit of the Queen of Spain in all her engagement point,” said Lt. Col. Randolf Cabangbang, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom).
Queen Sofia of Spain arrived Monday and paid a courtesy call on President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang. She has visited various projects initiated by Spain through its Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID).
The queen flew to Legazpi Wednesday as part of her five-day visit in connection with the week-long celebration of Philippines-Spain Friendship Day.
The military and police disclosed there has been no threat so far uncovered against the Queen and her visit in Zamboanga, a former Spanish port city in southern Philippines now dubbed as the Asia’s Latin City.
Cabangbang said securities are to be deployed in the places that Queen will visit while intelligence units have been monitoring movements of the threat groups operating in southern Philippines.
Queen Sofia will check on Thursday the housing project sites of the Kalambuan, Katilingban and Kalinaw funded by the AECID and managed by Manos Unidas, a Spanish non-government organization, and local NGO Zabida under Fr. Angel Calvo.
Queen Sofia will also unveil the commemorative marker at the Fort Pilar Museum with City Mayor Celso Lobregat.
Thousands join Nat’l Disaster Consciousness Month kickoff
- Tuesday, July 3, 2012
- by Jocelyn P. Alvarez
ZAMBOANGA CITY — About 2,000 persons actively participated in the launching of the National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM) held Monday morning here.
The celebration started with a 7 a.m. mass at the Pasonanca Parish Church, followed by a two-hour motorcade from Brgy. Pasonanca to the covered court of the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative.
At least 60 various offices from both private and public sector participated in the motorcade, with some of them wearing their complete emergency response uniform and showing their emergency gadgets.
Meanwhile, during the program that followed the motorcade, Office of Civil Defense regional director Adriano Fuego gave focus on this year’s theme “Ligtas na Bayan, Maunlad na Pamayanan,” which underscores the important role of managing the risks involved in both natural and man-made disasters in securing economic development.
“Economic growth is not simply a question of production and distribution of goods, but rather it is a question of the maintenance of the safety of the population, the source of the workforce, from the dangers of calamities,” he said.
Fuego also emphasized on maximizing citizen involvement through education to promote awareness on hazards and safety.
He said it is better to invest in disaster preparedness and prevention rather than on response.
“Preparedness and prevention is usually cheaper than response expenses, which is way beyond existing budget intended for it,” he said.
The NDCM kicked off activity also emphasized on the three other activities being celebrated this July namely Nutrition Month, Blood Donor Month and Science and Technology Week.
“We are here gathered, showing that different activities can be launched in unity, collaboratively,” he said.
The program ended with the distribution of five awards to the following: Philippine Red Cross – Zamboanga City chapter for the Biggest Participation (in the motorcade) and Most Jovial Troop; Bureau of Fire Protection for the Best Emergency Response Uniform; Philippine Air Force for the Philippine Best Emergency Gadget Display Force; and the Labuan District Hospital for Most Orderly Group.
Valesco promotes Latuan caves
- Monday, July 2, 2012 11:47
- By Ram Arcillas
Councilor Rogelio “Gerky” Valesco, Jr, said Latuan barangay located in the east coast of Zamboanga City has several scenic caves. While one cave has an almost kilometer stretch of rocky labyrinth with an underground river, another cave deemed as anancient burial ground.
Valesco visited the Latuan cave and later had a dialogue with barangay officials ofsaid place to coordinate with the Department of Environment and NaturalResources (DENR) and the Office of the Environment and Natural Resources(OCENR) to help safeguard and preserve the faultless caves.
“The caves at Latuan are GOD-given natural treasures. It needs to be saved from destruction and vandalism. I have encouraged the barangay officials thereat tocoordinate with the government agencies for it (the caves) will actually be aneco-tourism attractions, thus an income potential for the people in said barangay”.Valesco said.
With Valesco in Latuan were City Councilor Miguel “Mike” Alavar, and youngenvironmentalist BG Guingona who met with the residents of Latuan headed by itsbarangay chairperson Rosita Macarandan. Macarandan claimed Latuan has about 50 caves and a waterfalls.
Councilor Alavar said Latuan has some of the best caves in Zamboanga City and perhaps hasthe biggest cave in Zamboanga City. “The place is magnificent. It is beautiful,idle for adventure and eco-trekking activities”.
Meanwhile, young management executive and environmentalist BG Guingona said he will extendefforts to bring in some adventurers to Latuan and experience spelunking insidethe cave which has great features like high walled cliffs and underground river.
Alsoduring the visit, Councilor Alavar donated some learning materials for theschoolchildren in Latuan. Chairperson Macaranda said she is thankful for thevisit of the concerned councilors because of promotion and second because ofassistance her barangay will get from the visit.
TheLatuan visit was also sponsored by Radyo Mo Nationwide and SkyCable whosemission is to offer Zamboanguenos a glimpse of new eco-tourism destinations ofZamboanga to help the tourism potentials of the city.
Marine park to rise in Zamboanga City
- Sunday, July 1, 2012 (Date Posted)
ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews) – After the dancing fountain, the city government is set to establish a marine park at the Paseo del Mar, this city’s newest number one attraction.
Mayor Celso Lobregat said the marine park will be built with the support of the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST), the only school in Western Mindanao that offers courses related to marine studies.
Lobregat said the marine park will feature variety of fish species that are currently being grown at the aquaculture laboratory of ZSCMST.
The project is expected to give residents and visitors the chance to see up close several species of fish, turtles and other forms of marine life, he said.
He said the marine park will be an added attraction at the Paseo del Mar, which has been teeming with people since its opening two years ago.
The city government opened last March 23 the musically gyrating dancing fountain at the Paseo del Mar, which is located just next to the oldest hotel in the city, Lantaka Hotel by the Sea, and the historic Forth Pilar Shrine.
Hordes of people flock to the Paseo del Mar at night time to dine and unwind with families and friends. The park hosts several food establishments.
Lobregat said the marine park project is underway and will be a collaborative effort of the city government, ZSCMST, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the City Agriculture Office.
Another project, a multi-purpose building, is undergoing construction at the Paseo del Mar, which is a former urban poor colony.
The multi-purpose building houses a fully-equipped theatre-type hall, conference room to include an area for fine dining for concessionaires and a huge assembly hall intended to host exhibits, trade fairs and gatherings.
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