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Zamboanga City News December 2011

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Zamboanga City - Archived News

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Mild quake jolts Zambo areas

By Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – An Intensity 3 earthquake shook Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay Thursday night, prompting authorities to alert coastal folk to flee to higher ground, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

Allan Labayog, Phivolcs monitoring officer, said the tremor occurred at around 8:47 p.m. Thursday and was also felt at Intensity 2 in Zamboanga City and Dipolog City and Intensity 1 in Sindagan, Manukan and Polangco towns in Zamboanga del Norte.

79 communities in ZamPen avail of P95M KALAHI-CIDSS dev't projects


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 29 (PIA) -- Seventy nine (79) communities in Western Mindanao towns have availed of development sub-project P 95 million.

In separate dates, five municipalities, namely Bayog, Dumingag and Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur and Siayan and Leon Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte have each conducted the sub-project prioritization event, known as the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF).

The most common proposed sub-projects are water systems, roads, school buildings, and health stations, which reflect the communities’ most pressing need. These sub-projects were deliberated by community folks who took part in a participatory situational analysis, where they discussed prevailing issues and inequities present in the barangays. After preparing the proposals, they endorsed it in a forum, the MIBF.

In this forum, representatives from the different barangays in a particular municipality are brought together to present their proposals, and afterwards vote for the “best and most urgent”. Their votes are strictly based on criteria, which they have also initially set forth as guidelines.

The KALAHI-CIDSS project provides a grant of Php500,000 (for the Makamasang Tugon modality) or Php450,000 (for a 3-year-cycle KALAHI-CIDSS) multiplied by the number of barangays in a chosen municipality. Since the amount is limited and not all proposals can be prioritized for funding, the need to vote is essential. However, augmenting the grant for the realization of the sub-projects are local counterpart contributions, which may be pooled from many sources within and outside the municipality (Dumingag, for example was aided with a Php1Million contribution from Congressman Victor Yu’s PDAF).

The MIBF is a highly democratic avenue, which is very similar to the polls. Representatives from the barangays stand on stage and encourage the others to vote for their sub-project. They explain the community’s condition and why they need the sub-project badly. After the “campaigns”, the participants would then cast their ballots.

For the 5 municipalities, more than half, or 72% of the total 145 barangays are to undertake their own development sub-projects. They are expected to be completed within the first semester of 2012.

The project aims to empower communities through their active participation in the development cycle, enhance the responsiveness of local governance, and reduce poverty in the poorest municipalities.

DSWD registers more 4Ps beneficiaries

By R.G. A A. Go

The Department of Social Welfare and Development IX (DSWD) is set to register 58,801 additional beneficiaries for Region IX under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps.

DSWD Division Chief Aida Magracia said the additional beneficiaries will come from Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay.

According to Magracia, the office will spend around P107 Million per month for the additional beneficiaries.

Region IX was allotted additional beneficiaries for the 4P’s because, “Region IX belongs to the top ten poorest Regions in the country.” Magracia said.

The office is now processing the papers of the new beneficiaries in Land Bank so they can receive their first payment by February next year.

The 4P’s now covers all Municipalities of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay.

The Region has almost 200,000 4P’s beneficiaries excluding the additional beneficiaries. In Zamboanga City, there are more than 20,000 beneficiaries. 7,000 in District 1 and 13,000 in District 2, covering a total of 52 Barangays in Zamboanga.

Under the 4P’s program, the beneficiaries will receive more or less P1,000 a month through ATM, or over the counter collection in the nearest Land Bank depending on the number of children they have below 14 years old. The money of the beneficiaries is being released every two months.

The breakdown is P500 for health and medical services and P300 for the education of each schooling age children.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the government will run for five years.

The money allotted must be spent properly especially for the health of the family and the education of the children.

The office is strictly monitoring the compliance of the beneficiaries. Should violations be noted, the beneficiaries may be removed from the program.

Public told: Don't use banned firecrackers

By(Bong Garcia)

THE Zamboanga City Fire District (ZCFD) of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has warned the public against the use of banned firecrackers to avoid accidents that may cause the loss of lives and limbs and fire incident.

ZCFD Director Dominador Zabala Jr. issued fire safety tips and pointers to the public to avoid fire incidents and other accidents during New Year's Eve revelry.

The fire safety tips are: never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, always have an adult supervise fireworks activities; never point or throw fireworks at another person; keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire; light fireworks one at a time and then move back quickly; never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers; after fireworks complete their burning, soak the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire; make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them; and, in case of fire and other emergency, immediately call HOTLINE 117.

Zabala said improper use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics is one of the major causes of fire incidents particularly during the New Year's Eve.

He advised the public to refrain from using banned or prohibited firecrackers as contained under Executive Order No. CL 430-2011 issued by Mayor Celso Lobregat.

Lobregat's order prohibits the sale and used of piccolo, triangulo, super lolo, el Diablo, Judas belt, pla-pla, goodbye Philippines and watusi.

Zabala has ordered his fire safety inspectors to inspect all commercial establishments engaged in selling firecrackers and pyrotechnics to ensure the safety of the public.

There are a total of 12 licensed dealers of firecrackers and pyrotechnics in the city.

ZCMC on white alert for new year celebration

By: R.G. Antonet Go

The Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC) is now on code white alert beginning Christmas eve as the hospital expects bulk of patients to come in especially on New Year's eve.

ZCMC Infection Control Nurse Dina Torres Amazona said, “In response to the DOH Department Memorandum Order No. 2011-0310 signed by Secretary of Health Dr. Enrique Ona, stating that all Department of Health (DOH) Hospitals are hereby declared on Code White Alert on December 25, 31, and January 1, 2012.”

The declaration of Code White Alert means that hospital staff, doctors, to include supplies are ready for any eventualities.

She stressed, “The hospital is prepared. Our Emergency Room staff and supplies are ready.”

Aside from this, doctors and nurses from different departments, especially surgery, will be on standby to receive patients and referrals.

Amazona explained that the hospital will implement prioritization meaning those who need emergency medical attention will be attended to first.

She also reminded the public to follow the campaign of the DOH dubbed as "Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction" or APIR which aims to reduce firecracker related injuries.

According to Amazona, from December 21 to 25, the hospital already received four victims of Picolo. The victims are aged 10 to 12 years old coming from Sta Catalina, Southcom Village, Tumaga, and Tugbungan. The hospital last year received a total of 39 firecracker related victims.

According to Amazona, they will start monitoring firecracker related victims from December 21 to January 5, 2012.

KALAHI' embodies P.Noy’s ‘Kayo ang Boss’ ideal- Advocate


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 26 (PIA) -- A former mayor and a staunch advocate of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) said that community-driven development is the perfect strategy to encompass the administration’s “Kayo ang Boss” ideal in governance. His primary reason for saying is that KC has been proven to work since its start in 2003.

“From the start, P.Noy has stressed that the people are the bosses. In my personal experience, KC has demonstrated that this strategy works, especially in the poorest towns (even when people have very limited access to formal education),” said KALAHI CIDSS advocate and former Mulanay, Quezon mayor Prudencio Maxino. “People only have to see what the people, through KC has accomplished for them to agree.”

Mr. Maxino was an invited guest during a KALAHI communications planning workshop held in Tagaytay City early this December. During the planning, he stressed that information about KC is not sufficiently mainstreamed.

“The irony is that it is a very good and effective program, but not many people know it exists,” he said.

He suggested that if government was serious about its stance of making ordinary Filipinos really its boss, then KC should aggressively be disseminated – “it is good news, that is enough reason for KC to be publicized,” said Mr. Maxino.

Since 2003, KC, implemented through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, has enabled thousands of community volunteers (many of whom did not even finish school) to identify, implement, realize and keep development projects such as water systems, roads, school buildings, health stations, and more. The most distinct feature is that the communities themselves decide which projects to prioritize with the limited government funds (through a highly democratic “election” of sub-projects), and subsequently, they themselves implement it. The role of government officials are to become co-facilitators of development – the people are the primary actors since they know what it is that is best for them.

Because of the presence of thousands of these “people’s projects” (KALAHI sub-projects), communities have reaped numerous benefits that help pull them out of dire poverty. For example, because of water systems, children do not have to miss school to fetch water from an unsafe source kilometres away.

A community sub-project that enables the production of organic fertilizer eases the burden of tenant-farmers in an agricultural community such as that in Mutia, Zamboanga del Norte. Purchasing expensive fertilizer from the Poblacion or even further away and spending money for transportation is a thing of the past. The farmers can use the money to increase crop production, among others.

However, Mr. Maxino said that the KALAHI framework might startle some politicians since it implies that the money is managed by ordinary citizens, and not by government officials.

“I felt the same way before. But I gave it a try. Now, volunteers have become as active as government officials. The best thing about it is that the ordinary people share a sense of accountability with the local officials. If the project is a success, and it’s almost always is, everyone shares the glory,” he said.

DSWD conducts Rapid Assessment in armed conflict areas in Payao


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 25 (PIA) -- After a recent encounter between the government and opposing forces in the municipality of Payao in Zamboanga Sibugay, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) went to conduct a Rapid Assessment on affected barangays.

These barangays are Labatan, San Roque, Dalama, Minundas and Mayabo.

The assessment aims to provide the victims of the armed conflict short term support through the distribution of relief goods and long term intervention through the livelihood projects of the department.

Team head, DSWD Regional Dir. Teodulo Romo, led the team in coming up with a work plan to conduct the assessment. Interventions on agricultural/fisheries, psychological and economic aspects were some of the essential matters discussed during the planning stage.

On the day of the rapid assessment, a dialogue between the victims and the assessment team took place. Issues on security and long term assistance were raised by the affected residents of the area. Concerns on health conditions were also brought up as children were already getting sick because of evacuation to far areas. In turn, the health officers committed to conduct a medical mission to address this.

The residents also expressed their fear that the incident might happen again in the future, and in response, the PNP committed to provide a police outpost on some of the critical areas in Payao. Evacuees were also brought back to their homes.

The Rapid Assessment was also done in partnership with the Local Government Unit, the Department of Health and the Office of Civil Defense.

Coast Guard District Southwestern Mindanao Seizes Illegally Transported Firecrackers


A total of more than one hundred nine thousand and two hundred fifty pesos (P 109,250.00) worth of assorted firecrackers were recently apprehended /confiscated by joint elements of Coast Guard District Southwestern Mindanao in different occasions.

COMMODOREENRICO EFREN A EVANGELISTA PCG, Commander of Coast Guard District Southwestern Mindanao reported to higher headquarters that the confiscated items were found without pertinent documents and unattended aboard M/V JOCELYN of Sing Shipping Lines bound for Jolo, Sulu on 172015H December 2011, M/V ESTRELLA DEL MAR of Aleson Shipping Lines bound for Isabela City Basilan on 190630H December 2011, M/V WEESAM EXPRESS 2 SRN Fast Sea Craft bound for Isabela City, Basilan on 191230H December 2011, M/V KARMINA bound for Jolo, Sulu on 192000H December 2011, M/V MAGNOLIA EMERALD bound for Talusan, ZamboangaSibugay on 192100H December 2011 and M/V EVER Sweet bound for Subanipa, Zamboanga City on 192100H December 2011.

The confiscated firecrackers were immediately brought to Coast Guard Station Zamboanga for safekeeping, inventory and turn over to Fire Explosive Security and Guard Section(FESAGS) Zamboanga City.

Coast Guard District Southwestern Mindanao has intensified the campaign against illegal shipments of firecrackers and pyrotechnics as expected during this season. Firecrackers and pyrotechnics are considered dangerous goods and should be covered by essential permits and should strictly follow proper stowage and shipment procedures.

Teachers, guidance counselors, students, get orientation on ‘‘ Drop-Out-Reduction Program’’

by Jocelyn P. Alvarez(JPA/PIA-ZBST)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 23 (PIA) -- Curriculum chairmen, curriculum guidance counselors, 30 newly hired teacher and a crowd of students of a public school get an orientation /seminar on “Drop-Out-Reduction Program (DORP) and Entrepreneurship,” a program in consonance with the “Education for All” (EFA) agenda of the national government.

The Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School (DPLMHS) conducted a whole day orientation on DORP to give participants a clear and wider knowledge on its content.

DPLMHS Guidance Counselor Roserene Cabanero said “the DORP is one of the programs that will help the EFA rationale which makes the school system as a major source of continued education.”

Cabanero said a high percentage of children who are not in school are most likely to eventually join the ranks of adult illiterates.

Cabanero said the DORP orientation is essential as the “skills to implement the program and resolved commitment to reach out all types of marginalized and disadvantaged children is contributory to the process of creating a child-friendly school.”

The DORP is the Department of Education’s (DepEd) program formulated to respond to the needs of students who cannot report to class regularly because they are working either as part time of full time or for any other reason.

DepEd Press statement reads “There are about five to six million Filipinos of school age who are out of school. Many are willing to finish high school but are constrained by family, individual, community and school concerns. Rightly so, the DORP focuses on these four risk factors that lead to the dropout problem.

The press statement said The DORP has three major components namely the Effective Alternative Secondary Education or EASE, the Open High School or Distance Education Program (OHSP) and the School Initiated Interventions (SII).

The same press statement explains; DORP was designed to address the problems faced by students which prevent them from completing their elementary and high school education.

The students have a choice among the three modes in continuing their schooling.

One mode is the modular system where teachers use learning modules which

the student can bring home for their self study. The content of the modules are similar to the textbooks used by regular students.

The statement further explains: The EASE plan is applied to short-term and seasonal “student at risk of dropping out (SARDO) while the OHSP is recommended for SARDOs who permanently cannot attend regular classes.

The SII is utilized based on the felt needs of the SARDO and to the existing

available school resources.

Overwhelming assistance continue to pour for typhoon victims

by Michael Vincent D. Cajulao(JPA/MVC/PIA9-ZBST)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 22 (PIA) -– Taking heed of calls for more assistance for the victims of flash flood, Zamboangueños continue to give whatever they can to help thousands of victims in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City and other areas devastated by Typhoon Sendong.

The local government of Zamboanga, national line agencies, academe, and non-government organizations keep on receiving relief goods from good Samaritans in the city to take part in the national campaign to help typhoon victims in Visayas and Mindanao.

Cellyn Verallo, Director of Social Awareness Community Service Involvement (SACSI), an NGO under Ateneo de Zamboanga University, can’t find the right words to describe the out-pouring of support for the victims.

“I am overwhelmed by the immediate response of the people here to help those in need in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City”, the young lady said.

She disclosed that they will dispatch a container van, full of relief goods like mineral water, rice, used clothing, medicines and blankets, including cash assistance to its sister-school, Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro and the local government. She added that even the freight service is also for free.

Verallo said the van will first deliver relief goods to Iligan City, then off to Cagayan de Oro. She also is asking for people to donate kitchen utensils as these are one of the victims’ immediate needs.

Aside from the relief goods, the Zamboanga City Water District Board of Directors approved Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat’s request for potable water assistance.

The Board issued Resolution No. 253-11 authorizing ZCWD management to send clean water to Cagayan de Oro City to aide its water district supply clean water to the victims.

Earlier, Cong. Beng Climaco-Salazar said 80% of water supply in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City are contaminated by flood waters.

Other private entities here have also participated in the relief operations, with Radio Mindanao Network-DXRZ also initiating relief goods donation.

DXRZ Manager Joel Sanson said all RMN stations nationwide were mobilized to help in the campaign for typhoon victims, dubbed “Mission Mindanao: Tutulong Ako”.

He, too, was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the people of Zamboanga.

“I never imagined the turnout of our call for assistance to be this big. Even the poor are sharing something for the victims. I am overwhelmed by the magnanimity of the Zamboangueños”, Sanson said.

ABS-CBN – Zamboanga has also initiated the same activity as people continue to drop by the station to donate relief goods and financial assistance.

ABS-CBN News Anchor Jewel Mendoza, during TV Patrol Chavacano, thanked the many people who helped in this endeavor. She urged the public to continue helping the victims.

More assistance for typhoon victims urged

by Michael Vincent D. Cajulao(JPA/MVC/PIA9-ZBST)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 21 (PIA) – Zamboanga City 1st District Representative Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar is calling for more assistance for the victims of typhoon Sendong in the neighboring cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

In a statement released by her office, Climaco-Salazar said, “these cities are our neighbors and we see the devastation the typhoon left. Our coordination with city officials in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, together with their church leaders, call upon us, especially neighboring cities to help rebuild the lives of our brothers and sisters there”.

The lady solon has initiated measures to gather assistance for the victims, tapping the academe and some non-government organizations to hasten relief operations.

“Through the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, we have mobilized organizations to gather all donations so we can send them to the cities concerned”, Climac0-Salazar said.

Earlier, the city government approved the P2 million assistance to the typhoon-ravaged cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan per recommendation of Mayor Celso Lobregat.

Climaco-Salazar also lauded employees of a canning factory here for cancelling their Christmas party, and instead, donated some money, relief goods and blankets for the victims. She is appealing for others to show the same solidarity these employees manifested.

“I appeal for more donations to be sent to Ateneo de Zamboanga University and our office. We do all possible means to extend our help to the victims of typhoon Sendong. Our help will truly make the season of giving more meaningful”, she said.

In another development, City Mayor Celso asked Zamboanga City Water District to send a water tanker to Cagayan de Oro City to supply the victims with clean drinking water.

Lobregat talked to ZCWD Board Members and General Manager Chito Vasquez to approve his request as part of the city government’s assistance.

The Board promised Lobregat to discuss and approve his request in today’s board meeting.

If approved, ZCWD will be sending a water tanker, with some personnel to Cagayan de Oro to supervise the distribution of potable water to the affected areas.

Cong. Climaco-Salazar said 80% of water supply in the city was contaminated and clean water is one of their immediate needs.

New money bills available in banks says Bankers Prexy

By R.G. A A. Go

The Zamboanga City Bankers and Financiers Association said the new money bills are available in the different banks in time for Christmas.

The President of the Zamboanga City Bankers and Financiers Association Norma Cabato said, "the new bills are already available at this time especially lower denominations such as P50.00, P20.00, and P100.00."

The new bills are being used as Christmas gifts especially to children.

Cabato said those who want to change their old money bills with new ones may just go to their respective depository banks.

She also reminded the public that the last banking day before Christmas will be on Friday, December 23.

The Zamboanga City Bankers and Financiers Association have 60 member banks to include three lending institutions.

City allocates P2-M aid to CDO, Iligan

By Bong Garcia

THE City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) has approved Monday the allocation of P2 million as cash assistance to the thousands of victims of Tropical Storm Sendong (international name: Washi) that hit Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities over the weekend.

Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat has been in contact with Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano and Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz since Sunday when the incident happened.

Plan your Sinulog week ahead and find out what's in store for Sinulog 2012.

Based on the resolution, approved during the CDRRMC's emergency meeting called by Lobregat, each local government unit of Cagayan and Iligan will get P1 million cash assistance.

The financial assistance is in addition to the relief assistance that Lobregat has also committed to send in cooperation with the Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) and Tzu Chi Foundation-Zamboanga.

The CDRRMC resolution, authored by Councilor Abdurahman Nuño, chair of the City Council's committee on disaster, will be forwarded to the City Council for concurrence during its session Tuesday.

Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, together with Nuño, City Council's Committee on Appropriations chairman Councilor Benjamin Guingona III, and Councilor Eduardo Saavedra, have assured that majority of the city councilors will affirm the move.

Lobregat said the amount will be taken from the city's calamity funds.

He said he will task his representative to proceed to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities to personally hand over the checks to Emano and Cruz, respectively.

Lobregat has been in contact with the two city mayors since the flashfloods happened.

The Philippine National Red Cross placed the flashflood's death toll at 652 as of Monday while hundreds are still missing.

Meanwhile, Lobregat has appealed to the residents of this city to share anything they can and help with the relief efforts in storm-hit areas in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities.

He said Zamboangueños should show their sympathies to those who were killed as well as displaced by the storm-spawned flooding.

He said used clothes, rice, noodles, slippers, blankets, kitchen utensils and wares and any other relief goods that may be of use to the storm victims will be a big help.

All donations can be coursed through the City Social Welfare and Development Office in Pettit Barracks or directly to Tzu Chi Foundation or ADZU in La Purisima which acts as the consolidating point of all donations.

The relief goods will be ferried by trucks to Cagayan de Oro for distribution Wednesday morning, Lobregat said.

Zambo lad wins 20th PSQ Nat’l Finals

by Jocelyn P. Alvarez(JPA/PIA-ZamBaSulTa)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) -- A Zamboangueño bested 16 others in the recently concluded 20th Philippine Statistics Quiz (PSQ) national competition held at the Assembly Hall of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Malate, Manila.

16 year old Efren Medallo, a first year college Electronics and Communications Engineering student of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) bagged the championship title when he defeated 16 other regional representatives coming from the various regions all over the country.

Medallo’s scored 33 points in total for the three rounds of questions and answers on statistical concepts, theories and problems.

It was a close fight among Medallo and Region VI’s representative Raoul Danniel Manuel and Zamina Sabenecio of Region IX.

Medallo won over a one point lead over the two.

Medallo brought not only pride and honor for the Zamboanga Peninsula Region but also P30,000 cash price, a PSQ medal and a specially designed trophy for himself. His coach was also awarded cash incentive of P15,000 and a special recognition.

This is the second in a row for Region 9 to win the prestigious PSQ National Finals since it started in 1992.

The PSQ is a nationwide search for young statistics whizzes spearheaded by the National Statistics Office and the Philippine Statistical Association.

Hotel workers undergo bomb awareness training

by Jocelyn P. Alvarez

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA9) - - A bomb awareness training/seminar was recently conducted among hotel workers of one of the local hotels here after the hotel owner requested the conduct of the same to “arm” his hotel employees on the proper response in case of suspicious looking items or persons in the hotel.

“I requested our police to conduct this training so as to avoid being victim of terroristic act like bombing,” hotel owner Ritchie Laviña said referring to the recent bombing at the Atilano Pension house that killed three people and wounded 27 others.

City Police Bomb Squad led by Sr. Insp. Memoracion conducted the whole day bomb awareness seminar.

The hotel workers during the training/seminar were oriented on how to react in case they see or spot a suspicious baggage or item in the hotel vicinity.

Tips on how to detect explosives were also taught to the workers and security personnel of the said hotel.

The bomb squad also discussed how the bombs are packaged for it to be sneaked in target places.

Zambo city OSYs get free livelihood training

by Jocelyn P. Alvarez (JPA/PIA-ZamBaSulTa)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 16 (PIA) -- 35 young blood recently completed their free livelihood training jointly sponsored by one of the city councilors and the Brotherhood for Livelihood Philippines (BLP).

The 3-day fish processing training was geared at developing and sharing skills to the out of school youth (OSY) for them to be more productive in life and to have opportunity to earn a living for themselves and their families.

The OSY-participants came from far flung barangays Bunguiao, Bolong and Sitio Patis.

During the 3-day training, the participants were taught how to make spicy tuyo, tuna flakes, Spanish style sardines in tomato sauce and Spanish style in corn oil.

Councilor Miguel Alavar who initiated the training said he was impressed with the participants as they were quick to fallow and learn all that was taught to them during then the training.

Alavar shared he is also happy to note that one of the trainers in the program was a product of the same livelihood training preciously conducted.

He informed there are still similar trainings to be conducted in various barangays of the city pending request approval.

WesMinCom, JSOTF-P, Knigthsbridge conduct "Operation Smile" at ZCMC

By Hader Glang

The Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) in partnership with the Joint Special Operation Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) and Knightsbridge International conducted yesterday an "Operation Smile" at the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC).

Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFPs') regional military spokesman, said the WesMinCom, JSOTF-P and Knightsbridge joined together in improving the lives of children with cleft lip and cleft palate.

"The children, all from Basilan, were operated at Zamboanga City Medical Center," said Cabangbang.

According to Cabangbang, the patients were immediately taken to Camp Navarro General Hospital for recuperation.

A team of plastic surgeons from "Operation Smile" in Manila arrived here to perform the surgery. The medical outreach activity will conclude on Friday.

Operation Smile, a U.S. Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has been in service since 1982.

WMPC turns over projects in three barangays

(Zamboanga Today article)

As part of its social responsibility program, the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) turned over one unit home economics building, a living room set, dining set and kitchen utensils to the Sangali National High School last Monday in the presence of school principal Ms. Elena F. Balan, WMPC Manager Jose Marie T. Torrejon and WMPC Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President Tirso G. Santillan, Jr.

Also last Monday, WMPC turned over a library, complete with tables, chairs and bookshelves to the Manicahan National High School, The donation was received was school principal Jesus C. Solon.

Still last Monday, WMPC turned over the repaired three- unit school building at Siguinan Elementary School and Bolong Elementary School.

Witnessing the rite were Siguian head teacher Ma. Annette A. Alberto and Bolong school principal Ma. Lucia D. Rebollos, respectively.

Santillan said in his message that WMPC, in collaboration with Conrado and Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc., is committed to working closely with the city government of Zamboanga in bringing about better education to local communities.

Last month a series of medical-dental outreach missions were held in three barangays in the west coast, also as part of the community-based program of the San Ramon Power, Inc., a company that is planning to set up a coal-fired power plant on Zamboanga.

P306-M projects up for Zambo wharf

by Bong Garcia

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is set to implement P306 million worth of projects at the local wharf next year.

The projects are as follows: construction of passenger terminal for foreign vessels (P16 million); 50-meter expansion of the newly constructed birthing area (P200 million); and removal of 65,000-cubic-meter broken rocks (P90 million).

Zamboanga Port Manager Leonilo Miole said they will be implementing three major projects next year to further enhance the agency's service to the public in general and to the travelers in particular.

Miole said there is a need to build a separate terminal for passengers of foreign vessels to separate them from domestic travelers.

The terminal would also house the Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Security office, Miole said.

The Zamboanga wharf is the homeport of a locally owned vessel plying the Zamboanga-Malaysia route via Sandakan and vice-versa.

Miole said it would also enhance the government's campaign against human trafficking since passengers traveling to Malaysia will have their own terminal.

At present, the passengers going to pass through the terminal building number two, which also serves the travelers from this city to Manila and other parts of the country.

There is a need to extract 65,000 cubic meters of broken rocks since the 50-meter expansion of the newly constructed berthing area needs an additional 11-meter-deep area, according to Miole.

Zamboanga City Business Chamber to Zamcelco: ‘No to scare tactics’

(Zamboanga Today article)

Zamboanga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (ZCCCIFI) President Pocholo Soliven said “no to scare tactics” during a meeting on Friday with top Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) officials headed by Project Supervisor Jesus Castro and Zamcelco Board President Efren Perez.

Soliven called on Zamcelco technical people to do their homework, be more resourceful and creative in looking for ways to address the power deficiency of the city in the event there will be a need for Zamcelco to implement brownouts due to the 28% power curtailment from PSALM.

The meeting was called by Zamcelco primarily to solicit support from the big loaders like mall operators and the industrial sector on the Therma Marine Inc. (TMI) proposal for Zamcelco to enter into a Power Supply Agreement (PSA) for one year amounting to 500 million more or less. During the presentation, it was revealed that even with the 18 MW PSA with TMI, the City will still be experiencing 2-4 hours power interruption and sectional brown out during the months of April and July 2012.

Soliven said Zamcelco should conduct an in-depth inventory of all generator owners in the city for them to come together and instead enroll in the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) and Time of Use program (TOU) to address the power deficiency for load shedding by getting out of the grid and avert the short fall.

Soliven proposed what he termed as a “win-win formula” for the big industrial loaders to enroll and for Zamcelco to provide incentives to these industrial companies to get out of the grid and load shed, sparing the city from power interruption.

“The key to make ILP and TOU work is to incentivize the big loaders… the advantage is that we don’t need to pay the capacity fee and we pay only during the time when there is deficiency or load curtailment. Unlike the TMI proposal where we pay capacity fee and guaranteed payment even when we don’t need or use the power… this is very onerous.” Soliven said.

Soliven added, “Let us not be fixated with the TMI offer. We should look inwards. With ILP and TOU, we can already address the supply deficiency… The PSA proposal of TMI is expensive, onerous and grossly disadvantageous to our member consumers”.

City reminds adult carolers to seek permit

by Jocelyn P. Alvarez (JPA/CIO/ PIA9)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, DEC. 11(PIA 9) –- The city government, through the City Administrators Office, reminds adult carolers to secure a permit first at the City Hall before they can conduct caroling activities this yuletide season.

City Information Officer (IO) Sheila Covarrubias said big organizations, civic and other organized groups that intend to do caroling activities this Christmas season should get permits from the local government.

“The policy is intended to discourage syndicates and money-making activities,” said Covarrubias.

“An applicant of for caroling permit should present a letter of request in securing the permit,” she said.

Covarrubias said the permit is free of charge “but authorities have to determined the exact objective of the proposed caroling activities.”

The lady IO further said “in the case of the children carolers, no permit is required.”

Covarrubias informed that as of Dec. 8, the City Administrator’s Office has approved the application 0f 10 groups to conduct caroling activities this Christmas.

Caroling starts Dec. 16 until Dec. 24.

Covarrubias said the city has been implementing this policy for years now with the purpose of discouraging syndicates.

Zambo City backs 'Sagip Tamban'


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (PIA) – The city government said Saturday it is giving it's full support to the Sustained Availability through Genuine and Intensified Preservation of Tamban or “SAGIP Tamban” Program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).

The recently launched program is aimed at preserving the supply of “tamban,” a fish species used as the primary raw material in the manufacture of canned and bottled sardines in Zamboanga City, said Vic Larato of the City Information Office (CIO).

“Mayor Celso Lobregat, during the launching of the program, said the SAGIP Tamban is an important program as it ensures the survival of the tamban species as well as the sardines industry and the livelihood of some 20,000 to 30,000 workers,” Larato said.

He said the implementation of the close fishing season continuous to pose serious concern to affected stakeholders, especially the workers, as the close fishing season translates to the temporary loss of their income.

Fortunately, the SAGIP Tamban was launched as an alternative employment program for the sardines, fishing and canning industries in the Zamboanga Peninsula region.

During the launching of the program, stakeholders like the DoLE, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Industrial Group of Zamboanga signed a pledge of commitment “where the signatories collectively pledged to enroll the various programs on emergency employment, skills training and livelihood as alternative employment programs to the fishermen and the workers in the sardines, fishing and canning industries.

NEDA IX facilitates the conduct of RIO+20 Regional Consultation

By Ceselle C. Harina, NEDA IX

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) IX, headed by Dir. Arturo G. Valero, in coordination with the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), facilitated the conduct of Rio+20 Regional Consultation on November 29, 2011 at the Garden Orchid Hotel, Zamboanga City in preparation for the Philippines’ report for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development on 4-6 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

There were 86 participants from the government, business, labor, non-government organizations, leagues of local government units and academe in ZamPen and Basilan, Sulu, TawiTawi, who attended the whole day activity. RDC IX Chairperson, Mayor Evelyn Uy, RDC IX Co-Chairperson Fr. Enrico Montano, and Governor Rommel Jalosjos of Zamboanga Sibugay were among those who participated in the activity.

In the morning, the PCSD and NEDA-Central Office (CO) coordinating staff presented the following four (4) topics: a) The Rio+20 Conference and Philippines’ Preparations: An Overview; b) Philippine Agenda 21: An Assessment; c) Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication; and d) Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development. After the presentations, Engr. George G. Ledesma, representing the business sector, Atty. Arsenio L. Gonzale, representing the civil society sector, Mr. Jose J. Suan, representing the labor sector, and Mr. Manuel Layson of DENR IX, representing the government sector gave their reactions in relation to the subject matter.

The objectives of the workshop were as follows: a) Provide additional inputs on the status of SD, including the integration of the three (3) pillars of SD, namely: social development, economic growth and environmental integrity, in policies, plans and programs at the regional level and the localization of SD; b) Provide comments/ additional inputs on the emerging elements of Green Economy; and c) Provide additional comments/recommendations on the Institutional Framework on Sustainable Development.

CHO intensifies ‘A-B-C-D-E’ vs AIDS

(Jimmy Villaflores, PIA )

Memorizing the first five letters of the alphabet may just save adults from the dreaded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

The City Health Office is again aggressively putting all efforts in its battle against HIV/AIDS with the use of the first five letters of the alphabet; A for Abstinence, B for Be Faithful, C for (the use of) Condom, D for Don’t share needles, and E, Educate oneself about HIV. This, as CHO noted an increase in the number of HIV/AIDS positive in the city from last year to present.

CHO Reproductive Health and Wellness Center Head Dr. Kibtiya Uddin revealed 22 new cases of the HIV/AIDS in the city, 11 from last year, and another 11 this year bringing the total registered HIV/AIDS cases to 39.

“22 of the total 39 total patients were discovered only in the last two years”, Uddin said.

However, City Health Officer Rodelin Agbulos remained calm with the recent statistics saying these new patients may have acquired the virus abroad and were only detected here.

Agbulos said his office is having success in detecting HIV positive persons because of the active role of the Local AIDS Council together with the office of Dr. Uddin. Uddin made a clarification on the trend of infection among patients saying most of the patients acquired the virus through homosexual intercourse, particularly man-to-man sex.

“More than 20 of the 39 total patients since 1995 have acquired the illness through male, having sex with male”, Uddin explained.

To intensify their campaign against the spread of HIV/AIDS, CHO has lined up various activities this coming Saturday, December 10, which will be participated by national government agencies, non-government organizations, the AIDS Council, and various entertainment establishments in the city, in support to the World AIDS Day Celebration with the theme “Getting to Zero”.

DOST-SEI grants graduate scholarships


ZAMBOANGA CITY, DEC. 7 (PIA) -- The DOST Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) announces the availability of scholarships for Master’s and Doctorate (MS & PhD) degrees in priority S&T areas through the implementation of the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program (ASTHRDP). Acceptance of the application is now open until April 30, 2012.

The DOST-SEI offers two (2) types of graduate scholarship:

1. University-based MS/PhD Program

2. Thesis/Dissertation Grant Support for R&D priority areas of DOST

The grant of the scholarship aims to help improve the country’s global competitiveness and capability to innovate through alternative approaches on HRD in S&T and to accelerate the production of high-level human resources needed for S&T.

Applicants to the scholarship program must belong to any of the following:

1. professionals doing research or those from industry

2. newly graduated students

3. on-going MS/PhD students in priority S&T fields and DOST network schools

Moreover, the applicant must also:

- be a Filipino citizen;

- not more than 45 years old at the time of application;

- be in good health condition;

- have passed the admission requirements for graduate studies at any of the DOST identified institutions; and

- have passed the interview and other screening procedures.

Among the privileges that DOST scholars will be receiving are:

Scholarship Privileges for 2012-2013 MS PhD

Tuition & other school fees Actual Actual

Stipend 15,000/mo. 23,000/mo.

Book Allowance 7,500/yr. 7,500/yr

Transportation Allowance* 10,000 10,000

Group Insurance 500/yr 500/yr

Thesis / Dissertation 30,000 60,000

  • given only to those who will study outside their home province

The scholarship awardees may choose from any of the following priority fields of study which include:

1. Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources

2. Biological Sciences

3. Biotechnology

4. Chemical Sciences

5. Earth, Atmospheric and Space Sciences

6. Environmental Sciences

7. Fisheries and Marine Science

8. Information and Communication Technology

9. Materials Science and Nanotechnology

10. Pure and Applied Mathematics

11. Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and

12. Pure and Applied Physics

The scholarship award shall be for full-time graduate studies for the completion of an MS/PhD degree in any of the DOST identified priority fields. Awardees shall execute a Scholarship Agreement with DOST. Furthermore, an evaluation of the academic performance of the scholar based on established policies shall be done to determine the scholarship status every semester or term. A service obligation to be rendered in the Philippines shall be required of the scholars after finishing the MS/PhD degree, i.e. one year for every year of scholarship. And a refund of scholarship grant with interest for non-completion of the graduate program and failure to comply with the service obligation.

Application Form and Brochure about the scholarship can be downloaded at Completed application and other documentary requirements may be submitted personally or by mail to the Graduate Office of the Science Consortium Member Universities, DOST Councils and SEI.

For more inquiries, please contact Ms. Josephine B. Nohay at telephone numbers (062) 991-1024.

Zambo ‘Million Volunteer Run’ nets almost P400,000


Despite rain showers, thousands of people, mostly from the academe sector, ran the 5-kilometer stretch from the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex in Baliwasan to Paseo del Mar Sunday as a show of support to the Red Cross humanitarian efforts. At the end of the day, the organizers expect to net nearly P400,000 for the activity.

Dubbed ‘Million Volunteer Run’, the event, organized by the Zamboanga Red Cross and the city government of Zamboanga, was simultaneous in key cities in the country.

It was intended to raise awareness on disaster risk reduction and to raise funds to train 143 volunteers in the country.

Mayor Celso Lobregat, event chair, together with Red Cross Administrator Vic Liozo and Board of Directors headed by Dr. Mila Fernandez and other Red Cross officials, spearheaded the activity and joined other Red Cross chapters all over the country in making world history.

Initially, Liozo said, the activity netted a total of P353,000 but more contributions are coming in today based on pledges made by various groups and individuals.

The Million Volunteer Run culminated with a program at the Paseo del Mar and this was highlighted by the awarding of certificates to biggest contributors and the winners in the Search for Mr. and Ms. Million Volunteer Run.

Awarded biggest contributor in the group/company category was the Universal Fishing Corp. with a contribution of P20,000; biggest contributor individual category was Mayor Lobregat with a contribution of P10,000 and biggest contributor school category was the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST) with a contribution of P74,000.

The ZSCMST however, has more pledges and is expected to turn over the additional contribution Monday.

Lobregat, who is a member of the PRC Board of Governors, and Liozo thanked the participants and contributors who showed solidarity and unity to the Red Cross movement.

Lobregat said the funds collected will go a long way in the awareness program and in the training of more 143 volunteers in the city and the entire country.

“Pascua na Zamboanga” reels off

by Jocelyn P. Alvarez (JPA/ /PIA9-ZBST)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 5 (PIA) -- Thousands gathered Friday Night at the Plaza Pershing and City Hall grounds as “Pascua na Zamboanga” (Christmas in Zamboanga) reeled off highlighted by the traditional lantern parade, fireworks display and ceremonial switch on of the Christmas lights and other landmarks.

City Information Officer (IO) Sheila Covarrubias said “with the spectacular show of lights and decorations, City Hall is once again an icon of prosperity, joy and celebration and can be considered to have the most fantastic holiday display in this part of the country.”

Covarrubias also boasted of the bubble-making machines “which make the City Hall holiday display even more festive,” she said.

“The snow-making machine on the other hand is one latest attraction at the Plaza Pershing Christmas Display,” the lady IO said.

“This year, the holiday displays in City Hall, Paseo del Mar and Plaza Pershing reflect on the concept that Christmas is for Children and that Christmas is a time for celebration-merry making, gift-giving and sharing,” Covarrubias was quoted as saying.

Mayor Celso Lobregat during the ceremonial switch on of lights said “Every year I would say the City Hall holiday display comes as a surprise.”

Lobregat enthusiastically said “the city’s Christmas celebration is getting bigger and brighter than ever.”

The mayor also extended his invitation to the people to come and visit Zamboanga City this yuletide season. “We invite everyone from here and elsewhere to come to Zamboanga. This is how we celebrate Christmas,” he said.

“For several years now we have been lighting our city hall and every year the Christams lights and trimmings get better and better,” Lobregat bragged.

Zambo City joins ‘Million Volunteer Run’

by Sheila Covarrubias

To show solidarity to the Red Cross movement, thousands of Zamboanguenos are expected to join the Million Volunteer Run set at 6am today from the grandstand to the Paseo del Mar.

Held simultaneously in key cities in the country, the Million Volunteer Run is organized by the Philippine Red Cross and intended to raise awareness on disaster risk reduction and raise funds for humanitarian activities.

Mayor Celso Lobregat, chairman of the Zamboanga Million Volunteer Run, Zamboanga Red Cross Administrator Vic Liozo Jr. and other Red Cross board officials will spearhead the event that will be participated by different agencies, organizations, business groups and concerned individuals.

Registration for each runner is P500 which entitles one with a million volunteer run race kit that includes a Red Cross 143 ID card with disaster preparedness guide, a t-shirt, whistle, race number and a Red Cross membership with accident insurance benefits. Schools are also participating in the noble event with a registration fee of P100 per student.

Initially, Liozo said almost 2,000 people have officially signed up for the million volunteer run and that more are expected to register until before the start of the event this morning.

He said all sectors specifically companies have been encouraged to join the Red Cross in making world history.

The advocacy hopes to muster one million volunteers throughout the Philippines running the 5-kilometer course.

Mayor Lobregat said the advocacy’s intention is not only to create awareness on the reduction of disaster risks but also to raise funds to build an army of 1+43 humanitarian soldiers in every barangay of the country who will respond to disasters, donate blood and alleviate human suffering as well as to train and equip the Red Cross 143 volunteers by way of disaster risk prevention.

Q3 palay production in Zambo Peninsula up 32.6 percent


ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/02 December) – The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said Zamboanga Peninsula’s palay production during the third quarter of this year was higher by 32.6 percent or an increase of 54,447 metric tons (MT) compared to the same period in 2010.

Data from the NSCB regional office showed that the palay production in the third quarter of this year reached 221,552 MT compared to 167,105 MT for the same period last year.

The NSCB attributed the higher yield to the 27-percent expansion (12,246 hectares) of harvested areas.

It said that in the third quarter this year the harvest came from 56,157 hectares, compared to only 43,911 hectares for the same period last year.

It added the significant increase in production and in the area of production was due to sufficient rainfall in the region.

Zamboanga Peninsula covers the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur and the cities of Dapitan, Dipolog, Isabela, Pagadian and Zamboanga.

The NSCB said palay yield also increased from 3.8 MT per hectare during the third quarter of the previous year to 3.9 MT per hectare in the third quarter this year.

DPWH IX implements P3.2 B infra projects; remains top implementer nationwide

by Michael Vincent D. Cajulao(JPA/MVC/PIA-ZBST/DPWH9)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 2 (PIA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways IX has implemented 320 infrastructure projects amounting to P3.2 billion as of third quarter this year, remaining as top project implementer among all DPWH Regional Offices nationwide.

Chief of Monitoring Section Engr. Leddie A. Estanislao said as of September 30, Region IX has maintained its grasp of the top spot on project implementation nationwide for CY 2011-2009 Current Year and Carry-Over Projects with 69.41 percent accomplishment rate. He said there are still 54 other ongoing projects and 16 more in pre-construction stage.

For this year alone, the department has completed 32 major projects, six of which, cost P20 million each. These are the Sindangan-Liloy Road, Dipolog-Oroquieta National Road, Liloy-Ipil Road, Phases 4 and 5 of the Jose Rizal Memorial State University Multi-Purpose Building in Dapitan City, all in Zamboanga del Norte Province, and the Lanao-Pagadian-Zamboanga City Road, Imelda Section in Zamboanga Sibugay Province.

Thirty six projects are still ongoing, and seven in pre-construction stages.

DPWH 9 Regional Director Jorge Sebastian, Jr. credited his office’s success to all employees who have worked hard to serve the public.

“This accomplishment is a result of the collective efforts of the men and women of DPWH 9 focusing in the department’s mission and vision, in coordination with the national and local officials and leaders in various communities,” Sebastian said.

He added that they are complying with Secretary Rogelio Singson’s advocacy of 3-R Policy (Right Project, Right Cost and Right Quality), in pursuit of good governance as part of President Benigno Aquino III’s “Matuwid na Daan” slogan.

Meanwhile, as part of next year’s project, DPWH has already endorsed the proposed P310 million by-pass road project in the city for initial funding.

The project will cut across the city’s highlands to connect the eastern and western coasts directly linking the city’s industrial and commercial centers. It is also seen to solve perennial traffic problem in the city as it will help open alternative routes for motorists.

Furthermore, the project is expected to boost socio-economic activities in the region, and the whole of Mindanao.

As for the remaining unfinished projects this year, DPWH vowed to fast track its completion before the year ends.

DPWH 9 employees undergo Disaster Risk Reduction Management seminar

by Michael Vincent D. Cajulao(JPA/MVC/PIA-ZBST)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 1 (PIA) –- With the inevitable effects of climate change drastically hitting our country, the national government has given emphasis on preparedness, and risk reduction management in the event of a disaster to save lives and lessen damages to properties.

Thus, the Department of Public Works and Highways 9 (DPWH) partnered with the Office of the Civil Defense 9 (OCD) for the conduct of a two part 3-day training and seminar on Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) for DPWH’s employees region-wide last September 26-28, and September 29 – October 1.

DPWH 9 Regional Director Jorge U. Sebastian, Jr. said the training will enable a responsive group of people as part of the office’s public service.

“Inspired by the calamity response teams from disaster-stricken regions, we are training our people to be responsive to climate change by intensifying our campaign on building inspections, and upgrading their skills in giving first aid, which hones the commitment to an effective public service”, Dir. Sebastian pointed.

DPWH 9 OIC-Assistant Regional Director Nenita Robles added, “The seminar was organized for the preparedness of DPWH IX during calamities, not only in public safety but most especially in emergency situations, being equipped in assisting patients in need of immediate medical care”.

The training is a prelude to DPWH’s plan to establish its own Emergency and Disaster Risk Reduction Response Team.

To enlighten the participants on the topic, DPWH invited OCD 9 Regional Director Adriano Fuego as resource speaker. He spoke on a localized disaster preparedness based on the peculiarity of region 9.

They also invited expert team from the Philippine National Red Cross – Zamboanga City Chapter headed by Mr. Jethro Arichia, head of the Emergency Medical Team to equip the participants on the basics of first aid application.

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