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Zamboanga City News May 2012

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Zamboanga City - Archived News

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Contents

RDC's agri-industrial development committee to convene on June 4

In pursuit of the region’s vision to become the Agri-Fisheries Southern Corridor of the country, the Agri-Industrial Development Committee of Regional Development Council (RDC) IX will convene on June 4, 2012.

The meet will be held at Grand Astoria Hotel, Zamboanga City around 8:30 a.m. with Dir. Nazrullah B. Manzur, Regional Director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) IX as the presiding officer.

The agenda includes: 1) Mindanao Rural Development Program - Adaptable Program Loan (MRDP-APL) Phase 2 by DA; 2) Report on the Closed Fishing Season by BFAR; 3) Status of the Regional Convergence on Value Chain Industry Planning for the Regional Champion Products by DTI IX; and 4) Enhancement of the Regional Development Report, among others.

Relatedly, the conduct of the AIDCom meeting is in preparation for the forthcoming 140th RDC IX meeting on June 26, 2012 in Dipolog City. The RDC is the premier policy making body that charts the social, economic, and infrastructure development of Zamboanga Peninsula!

For more information or inquiries, please contact NEDA IX either through fax number (062) 925-0048; 991-1364, or email address nedapagadian@yahoo.com

Police gear for opening of classes

The Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) is now preparing the security plan for the forthcoming opening of classes on June 4.

ZCPO Officer in Charge, P/ Chief Supt. Mario Yanga, said that “May initial preparations na kami and the final coordinating conference will be held within the week to find out how far have we gone as far as preparation for the opening of classes is concern.”

When the opening of classes comes, according to Yanga, hundreds of policemen will be deployed and this will include uniform and plain clothes policemen.

Although security is the main concern, but Yanga stressed that the police will also look into things such as traffic, petty crimes such as snatching and illegal peddling.

Aside from this, deployment of policemen to schools and the issue of kidnapping will also be looked into to assure the safety of the school children.

“We want to make sure that order is maintained within the general vicinity of the school. We will deny them of the opportunity to do their illegal activities by praying on children, innocent students, and parents,” Yanga said.

The city police director wanted an atmosphere conducive to learning, doing business, and better living.

Zambo Red Cross gets new blood bank centrifuge

After getting a new building and blood bank center, courtesy of the city government, the Red Cross Zamboanga Chapter is securing a new and bigger centrifuge, a blood separator equipment to address the increasing demand for blood services in the city and the region.

Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang announced this during the inauguration and turnover of the city government-funded new Red Cross building and blood bank center in Pettit Barracks Friday afternoon, as she cited the Zamboanga PRC as one of the best chapters not only in Mindanao but in the entire country.

In her message, Pang said the PRC, through the Board of Governors, led by Sen. Dick Gordon, has approved to assign in Zamboanga a 12-placer blood bank centrifuge to replace the existing 4-placer blood separator facility and to ensure better and expanded service to the public.

“Three years ago, si Mayor (Lobregat) spoke to our Chairman (Gordon) to secure a funding of P2 million from the senator’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the purchase of a centrifuge facility, so we had a 4-placer centrifuge for the ZC chapter.

But this time it will be replaced by a 12-placer centrifuge para mas maraming dugo to prepare for different components na kakailangan ng pasyente”, Pang said eliciting loud applause from the audience.

In view of increasing challenges, the Red Cross has to improve not just the way it delivers services but also enhance the facilities to make it more presentable and functional to have a spacious area for PRC staff and volunteers to address the needs of the people, she said.

The secretary general thanked Lobregat, who is a PRC governor, for setting aside government funds for the reconstruction, rehabilitation and expansion of the Red cross chapter building and blood bank center. “

In 2010, Pang recalled, that Lobregat also came into the aid of the Zamboanga Red Cross when Gordon assigned an ambulance, through his PDAF, on condition that the local chapter put up its share of over P450,000 to pay for the facility.

For this and all other support and assistance from the city government, she said the Zamboanga PRC chapter could surely improve its services and be the best performing chapter in the country.

Pang also cited the Zamboanga PRC Board of Directors, headed by Dr. Fernandez, as well as the staff headed by Liozo, for their hard work and voluntary efforts just to ensure that the people’s demands are met.

The board of directors, she said, being the extension and representatives of the Board of Governors in the city and the different parts of the country, played a very important role in the delivery of services to the people.

“With the leadership of Dr. Fernandez and honorary chair Lobregat, we will be able to continue and succeed and make this chapter become the best chapter in the region, in the whole Mindanao area and the entire country”.

Aside from improving the facilities and equipping the blood bank center, Pang also hoped that the Zamboanga chapter can be the region’s training center for Red Cross volunteers in line with the PRC’s effort to improve the capability of its personnel and volunteers through continuous training. “In the future I hope we can designate Zamboanga Chapter as the regional training center for the Red Cross because you have the facility so we can continue to be relevant to the needs of the most vulnerable sectors of the society”, she said.

The Zamboanga blood bank center is one of the 22 out of the 32 blood centers that the Department of Health designated to be managed and operated by the PRC. The 10 others are operated by hospitals.

The Zamboanga chapter, she said, was designated to operate the blood center as it met the requirements and standards and had the capacity. “That is why we are truly proud of the accomplishments and the work of our Zamboanga Chapter”.

All these improvements and expansions being done will be additional points to the local chapter in the bid to secure the ISO (International Standardization Organization) certification, which means excellence in the field of service.

Hydropower plants to ease crisis

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – ­ At least 100,000 houses will benefit from electricity that will be generated by at about 40 mini-hydropower plants under the irrigation system project of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in December this year.

The mini hydropower plants will be established in various parts of the country, as part of its contribution to ease the power crisis particularly in Mindanao that is now suffering from rotating blackouts.

DA Secretary Proceso Alcala told newsmen during a luncheon meeting at the Garden Orchid Hotel here yesterday that the 40 mini-hydropower plants will be established in all the irrigation system of the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) under Administrator Antonio Nangel.

According to Nangel, an irrigation system could produce at least 20 megawatts (MW) of electricity daily, and 40 power plants could supply electricity to more than 100,000 houses this coming December.

Nangel added that at least 79 sites or irrigation systems nationwide were already identified by his office, and they expect that 40 power plants will be completed by December, this year.

A total of 20 plants will be placed in Luzon, 10 in the Visayas, and another 10 in Mindanao.

He also said that each hydropower plant will only cost P20 million, but will be shouldered by local investors.

By May next year, the DA and NIA are targeting that all the 79 power plants in the irrigation canals will be supplying electricity in the country.

For his part, Alcala said that his department is not only serious in solving the problem in agriculture, but they are also willing to help in other problems particularly in electricity.

DA chief: Big banana shipments from Phl have entered China

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary Proseso Alcala yesterday said big banana shipments exported from the Philippines have already entered the market in China.

This after the Philippines sent its team of experts to investigate reports that the Chinese were not buying fruit exports from the Philippines even if these were allowed entry into their country.

Alcala, who was here to assess the rubber industry, said the team of experts led by director Clarito Baron of the Bureau of Plant Industry returned to the country yesterday and would be submitting their reports and findings on the causes of the return of banana products to the Philippines.

The agriculture chief said so far, some 190 containers of bananas have entered the Chinese market, debunking claims that China merely allowed the entry of the bananas with no sure market.

Alcala said he would rather believe that the problem of banana importation to China was not due to the ban but because of strict quality control.

He said Chinese authorities have imposed a hundred percent testing of the products from what used to be random inspection and found some irregularities.

The agriculture official said the incident could be a wake up call for banana exporters, whether big or small players, to ensure the quality of their packaging, citing that many big banana plantations were able to penetrate the Chinese market because of their good protocol.

Meanwhile, Alcala said they continue to explore other markets and there are ongoing negotiations in Singapore and the Middle East.

However, the government cannot just ignore the 30 percent China market and it will take time to develop such a huge market elsewhere, he said.

Coop says no more blackouts in Zambo until classes begins

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) has assured the public that there will be no blackouts in Zamboanga - at least until classes opens on June 4 or next month.

Zamcelco President Efren Perez said that black out schedules were already lifted since last May 10 for the coop’s some 106,000 power consumers.

And except for some technical problems arising at the Agus and Pulangi power plants, the city will have enough power everyday.

Perez said that after the series of black out schedules imposed since early this year, the situation is back to normal operation and supply of electricity is stable.

However, Perez revealed that by next month or June the blackouts will return from one to two hours everyday.

The blackouts will occur because of increase demands for electricity in schools, colleges and universities in the city.

The division office projects an enrollment of 10,328 kindergarten pupils and 128,557 pupils for the elementary grades or a total off 138,885 students to be accommodated in the city’s 171 elementary schools.

These schools are all provided with electricity that lights up classrooms especially during dark days or the raining season.

There is also a projected enrollment of 48,008 students for the city’s 34 public high schools established not only in the city proper but in far flung populous barangays.

Zamboanga City is the center of education in the Peninsula with several big universities and colleges catering to students from the island provinces as Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Thousands of students from these island provinces and the three Zamboanga provinces, del Norte, del Sur and Sibugay also go to Zamboanga for their college degrees.

And aside from the government operated Western Mindanao State University (former Zamboanga Normal School), the Zamboanga City Polytechnic Colleges (Former Regional School of Arts and Trades and the Zamboanga Regional School of Fisheries are government educational institutions that provide college education at lower costs, there are also about a dozen colleges that offer several bachelor courses as well as short term vocational courses to students from the region.

All of these schools and universities need electricity during the day and night, although the Zamcelco does not have any projection or data on the consumption of electricity by these educational institutions.

Perez also said that at present, the total consumption of the city ranges from 81 to 84 megawatts per day.

The projection is that by the year 2015 the city will be needing about 100 megawatts considering the continues increase on the number of electricity consumption not only on residential but on commercial and industrial and among others.

Red Cross Zamboanga receives P1-M worth of equipment

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez (JPA/Marvin Segura-CIO/PIA 9, ZBST)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, May 25 (PIA) -- The Philippine Red Cross (PRC)-Zamboanga Chapter is set to receive today P1-million worth of equipment from House Deputy Speaker and District I Representative Beng Climaco, as she vows to continuously assist and help improve services of the premiere humanitarian agency.

The turnover will coincide with the inauguration and ceremonial turnover this afternoon of the newly constructed Red Cross office funded by the city government.

The equipment, requested by the local PRC, will help in the swift delivery of services among Zamboangueños and the nearby provinces to ensure that the processing of all blood samples and blood requirements for patients are safely done and carried out with utmost quality and hygiene.

"With the recent rise of dengue cases in our city, the Red Cross had played an important role in making sure that blood is available for the transfusions needed by our patients. I am hopeful that with the provision of new equipment, we shall be secured with safe blood being given out to our patients,” Climaco stressed.

The three equipment include one unit of hematology analyzer, one unit plasma thawer, and one unit tachometer.

Climaco is a galloner and has been a regular blood donor of the Red Cross. She is enjoining others to regularly donate blood and has initiated on regular basis the conduct of blood letting activities in partnership with various groups.

The legislator emphasized that the support to the Red Cross seeks to complement the effort of the local government to help in the efficient carrying out the duties of all agencies.

DTI sets 2-day Diskwento Caravan in Zamboanga City

(PNA), hbc/LAM/TPG/rsm

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Plaza Pershing will be the center of activities May 29-30 when the Dept. of Trade and Industry will launch project Diskwento Caravan.

This is a two-day sale of school supplies and basic commodities in this southern port city.

DTI Provincial Director Rolando Acuña Wednesday said the project is a nationwide undertaking of DTI.

It is intended to help mitigate consumers’ financial concerns amid the increasing prices of basic necessities and prime commodities with the opening of classes just a few days away.

Acuña said the exhibit will have 25 booths where people can purchase variety of products at discounted prices such as school supplies, school uniforms, shoes and bags and other school-related products.

These include basic and prime commodities such as sardines, soap, toothpaste and other grocery items.

Acuña said the City Agriculture’s Office has been allotted two booths to display vegetable and fruit products while the Technical Education and Development Skills Authority has also been invited to set up a booth to offer free massage, haircut and manicure and other related services.

Acuña is meeting with the exhibitors on Friday afternoon to finalize details for the Diskwento Caravan in Zamboanga City on May 29 and 30.

To avoid people from taking advantage of the situation, purchases will be limited or restricted only for personal use, according to Acuña.

The Diskwento Caravan: Balik Eskwela is one of the flagship projects of the DTI.

In Zamboanga City, Diskwento caravans are being held during special occasions such as during Fiesta Pilar in October and Christmas time in December.

Acuña is inviting the public to take advantage of the Diskwento Caravan and purchase basic necessities at discounted prices.

Red Cross to inaugurate new edifice

by: R.G. A A. Go

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is set to inaugurate its P6.9 Million new building on May 25 inside the PRC Compound at Pettit Barracks. PRC Zamboanga City Chapter Administrator, Victor Liozo Jr. said the project started last year and only took 120 days to finish.

According to Liozo, city funds were used for the said purpose and the project was handled by the City Engineers Office. The edifice to be inaugurated is a two-storey building complete with amenities to include a conference room, male and female quarters, disaster operation center, refreshment center and a bigger blood bank.

The construction of the building also paved the way for the conversion of the PRC Blood Bank into a Regional Blood Center for Zamboanga Peninsula. Expected to attend the inauguration are PRC CEO Richard Gordon, PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang, and Red Cross Governor and Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat.

Liozo said the new building will greatly help the PRC in delivering its six major services including blood program, Red Cross Youth, community health and nursing services, disaster management services, safety services and social services.

The PRC is recognized worldwide and the organization is anchored on its seven fundamental principles which are humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.

Budget agency, City to operate region’s sub-depot

By Bong Garcia

THE Procurement Service (PS), a government agency attached to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the City Government of Zamboanga, will formally enter into an agreement for the joint operation of the Zamboanga sub-depot.

The agreement aims to offer cheaper but good quality office supplies for local government units (LGUs) in Zamboanga Peninsula and nearby areas.

DBM Secretary Florencio Abad and Mayor Celso Lobregat will be the principal signatories in the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with PS Executive Director Estanislao Granados Jr. and DBM Regional Director Nilda Cemine as witnesses.

The formal signing will be done on Friday morning, May 25, coinciding with the launching and opening of the Zamboanga sub-depot at the Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum in Tetuan village.

Based on the agreement, the City Government through the City Budget Office under Virginia Gara will manage the operations of the sub-depot with the PS and DBM regional office.

The coliseum will be temporarily used as warehouse until such time that the City Government will be able to find a permanent site for the facility.

The City Government will designate a city staff or employees to handle depot operations with least eight personnel.

Lobregat said the Zamboanga sub-depot will cater to the common-use supplies and other equipment needs of local government units (LGUs) and national government agencies within the region and nearby areas.

The establishment of sub-depots in the country is intended to raise compliance to the new procurement law.

Abad will be the guest of honor in the inauguration and opening of the sub-depot in Zamboanga City.

Lobregat will welcome the guests, while Granados will give the inspirational message.

Gara will introduce the guest of honor while Cemine will close the program.

The PS will provide stocks door-to-door in accordance with the supply requirements of the province, its component LGUs, national agencies within the province and national and local agencies in the neighbouring provinces.

The DBM, on the other hand, will provide marketing support and supervision over the sub-depot and the regional director shall act as the regional supervisor for all sub-depots in the region.

The establishment of sub-depots in the country is provided under section 6d of Administrative Order 17 dated July 28, 2011 which encourages LGUs to establish depots in their locality as part of their economic enterprise activity.

The sub-depot will be a storehouse of common-use supplies, materials and equipment, for the requirements of the national and local agencies within Zamboanga Peninsula Region and neighboring regions, including government corporations and LGUs.

Hundreds flock at Paseo del Mar see DOT IX’s 'Fiesta Engrande'

by R.G. A A. Go

Hundreds attended the "Fiesta Engrande" spearheaded by the Department of Tourism IX (DOT) conducted last Saturday at Paseo del Mar.

The activity started with a parade from Plaza Pershing to Paseo in the afternoon. It was participated by a marching band together with government officials, game officials, game participants, government offices, private offices, schools, and people’s organization.

After the parade, a traditional local games called "Juego de Antes" to catch the dragon’s tail, siatong, sungka, jack stone, pickup sticks and many others, participated by the city's residents from different barangays followed, also held inside Paseo del Mar.

Another game dubbed as the Pinoy Amazing Race also highlighted the fiesta. It started with a run to get their slippers then proceeded to the "tumba lata", then 'buscahan goma", "paya" race, "sipa", "tsinelas" relay, Chinese garter, then eating contest where the team ate several foods to include banana, polvoron, "balot", then "tuba" drinking, and the race finished with a tire race.

Team 11 emerged as the champion for the Amazing Race, second place was Team 7 and third place was Team 2. The team winners received P10,000, P7,500, and P5,00, respectively.

Winners in the different games were also given their respective prizes while a consolation prize of a t-shirt with markings "It’s more fun in the Philippines" was also given each to the paricipants.

During the activity, the DOT IX Acting Regional Director Mary June Bugante officially launched the Philippine’s official slogan It’s more fun in the Philippines.

Mayor Celso Lobregat personally joined the fun at Paseo del Mar together with the participants while playing the games.

Bugante said “Our branding It’s More Fun in the Philippines, Alegria na Zamboanga City. Aside from that quire kame man revive el maga juego de antes para el maga jovenes ahora aprende juga, kasi parte tamen se del diatun heritage. Diatun ara maga bata pirmi ya na computer quiere kame man exercise sila juga el juego de antes.”

She also stressed that the activity can help boost tourism because when these games will already be part of the summer activity people can see and experience the fun.

Meanwhile, Mayor Lobregat said “Kada año ta buska quita otro maga actividad donde to attract hinde lang maga jovenes y mayores. This is one activity wherein children, teen, and adult playing together. Everyone was happy y Mas alegre na Zamboanga.”

Cultural dances were featured through the "Bailes de Ayer" that showcased Filipino culture and heritage in the evening.

Fiesta Engrande is in coordination with the City Government of Zamboanga and the City Tourism Office.

Give discounts directly to Muslim pilgrims, NCMF tells travel agencies, airlines

(Mindanao Examiner)

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / May 20, 2012) – The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos have reminded travel agencies and airline companies that whatever ticket discounts it would give to Muslims for their annual hajj to Saudi Arabia must go directly to pilgrims.

NCMF Secretary Mehol Sadain is also appointed by President Benigno Aquino as “ammirul hajj” or head of the Philippine Hajj Mission this year.

“The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos will not receive any share from the pilgrims' money that is paid to you. The hard-earned money of the pilgrims paid for tickets to and from Makka and Madina for the Haj pilgrimage is theirs.”

“If the travel agencies and airline companies want to give discounts, these discounts should go to the pilgrims and benefit them, because that is what is right and legal. The Office of the Secretary, NCMF will appreciate reports that violate this policy,” Sadain said.

Sadain, who is a lawyer by profession, was an elections commissioner before he was appointed last month by Aquino to head the NCMF, which was created only in 2010 to advise the President in the formulation, coordination, implementation, and monitoring of policies, plans, programs and projects affecting the Muslim communities.

City health office to conduct massive fumigation in schools

(Vic Larato/CIO/JPA/PIA9-ZBST)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, May 19 (PIA) -- Due to the dengue outbreak in Zamboanga City, the mayor instructed the City Health Office last May 17 to conduct a massive fumigation in all public and private schools in the city before the opening of classes for School Year 2012-2013 on June 4.

Mayor Celso Lobregat issued the instruction yesterday during a meeting for Balik Eskwela at City Hall conference room, which was attended by school principals and administrators, police and fire officers, barangay officials, and other stakeholders.

It was suggested that schools located in barangays with the highest number of dengue cases will be prioritized in the fumigation to be carried out by CHO personnel. However, barangays with fogging machines are requested to conduct the fumigation in their schools with CHO providing the necessary chemical, since CHO has only three fogging machines.

The chief executive said that the fumigation should start next week from May 21 to Jun 3, when the schools are having their Brigada Eskwela. Cleaning of school surroundings is requested before fumigation to ensure that dengue-carrying mosquitoes are killed.

Priority of fumigation is given to public schools in barangays Tumaga, Tugbungan, Canelar, Tetuan, Guiwan, Putik, Sta. Maria, San Roque, Talon-Talon, Baliwasan, Sta.Catalina, Upper Calarian, Sta. Barbara, San Jose Gusu, Mampang, Lunzuran, and Upper Pasonanca including the Zamboanga City Central School (East and West).

The fumigation will cover at least two schools every day. Private schools may be fumigated upon request by their administrators.

Likewise, Lobregat reminded school principals and administrators of their responsibility to ensure that their respective schools are always clean. “Non-functional toilets should be made functional, broken window panes and doorknobs should be replaced. The condition of a toilet is a reflection of people using it,” he said.

It can be recalled thagt a dengue outbreak was declared in Zamboanga City following the reported 774 dengue cases with nine fatalities from January 1 to April 30, this year. Massive cleanup has already been conducted in all barangays.

Meanwhile, Lobregat has also directed the local police to make sure that security and traffic measures are in place in all schools, especially those located within the city proper, during the opening of classes.

Police identified the following schools where security and traffic measures will be implemented: Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Universidad de Zamboanga, Southern City Colleges, Chong Hua High School, St. Joseph High School, Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College, Western Mindanao State University, MEIN College, Pilar College, Claret High School, Zamboanga National High School West, Zamboanga City High School Main, East and West Central School, Brent College, Baliwasan Central School, San Jose Elementary School, among others.

Zambo commemorates ‘Dia de Alvarez’

(JPA/VL/CIO/PIA9-ZBST)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, May 18 (PIA) - - The city government will lead Zamboangueños in the celebration of “Dia de Gen. Vicente S. Alvarez” today Friday, May 18, pursuant to City Ordinance No. 334 of 2008.

A commemorative program will be held to be led by Mayor Celso Lobregat and relatives of Zamboangueño hero, Gen. Alvarez at his monument on Normal Road, Baliwasan. The program will be preceded by wreath-laying ceremony.

Born on April 5, 1862, Gen. Alvarez was the 5th son of Don Alejo Alvarez y Villasis and Isadora Solis. He finished his early education at the Liceo de Zamboanga at inside the fort. He later went to Ateneo de Manila and, with a scholarship from the government, he enrolled at the Spanish Military Academy. The closing of the academy cut his studies short. He then joined the Spanish government service as cuarto official in Mindanao. Largely through his father’s friendship with Governor-General Romano Blanco, he was promoted to segundo mayor, with offices in Malacanang. Here he saw first hand the brutalities on Filipinos by the Spaniards, which drove him into the Katipunan fold.

On February 15, 1895, the young Alvarez was sent by the Spanish government on a special mission to Jolo, to patch up the differences between Sultan Kiram II and Datu Jukarnain. Alvarez’s tact and strong personality brought the warring factions together, and peace reigned in Jolo, an achievement for which the Sultan conferred on him the title of “Datu Tumaggung” with all the privileges and the authority to rule over the subjects of the sultan in Zamboanga and Basilan. Alvarez personally reported to the governor-general about the accomplishment of this mission.

When he returned to Zamboanga, Alvarez gathered all the able-bodied men—Christians and Muslims including the convicted and the condemned, all to be under his command to fight a common enemy, first the Spaniards and then the Americans. When the revolution broke out in Zamboanga in March 1898, Vicente Alvarez along with Isidro Midel and Melencio Calixto was appointed head of the revolutionary government in Zamboanga and Basilan with the rank of brigadier general of the infantry. As such, Alvarez ordered Col. Victorio Oloriz, then chief of staff of the Spanish forces in Zamboanga, to surrender. Alvarez and his men then besiege the Spanish garrison. In short and bloody battle that followed, Gen. Gonzales Monteiro was mortally wounded and relinquished his post to Oloriz. This put an end to the battle, and the revolutionary forces took complete control of Zamboanga.

Zambo Int’l Airport interior design contest good for investment, tourism

(PNA) , DCT/FMS/utb

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Having an attractive and orderly airport can help increase investments and improve tourism, Director Teresita Socorro Ramos, Vice Chair of the Regional Development Council 9, said during the launching of the Zamboanga International Airport Interior Design Contest Tuesday morning.

Speaking to media men, Ramos said it (contest) is a most welcome move to improve the airport citing economic development that will result from the project.

“Our ports, both air and sea ports, are our doors to those not from here. The look of these can either persuade or discourage investors and tourists from coming back here”, Ramos said.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Director May June Bugante affirmed Ramos’ statements on improved tourism in the city.

“Tourists immediately notice the airport. This creates an impression of the place. If they have good impression, then it will inspire them to come back. This project will really help improve our tourism”, Bugante stressed.

The contest was conceived after the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) of the Zamboanga Peninsula Region inspected the airport last year.

The visit made it clear that the improvements made in the airport is still lacking and that further initiatives should be made, thus, the idea of an interior design contest was discussed.

George Ledesma, RPMC-Ad Hoc Committee Chair in charge of the contest, said the need to improve the airport gathered support since the proposed transfer of the airport in the east coast may have to wait for a while due to lack of funds and vital requirements to justify the transfer.

“This contest aims to improve the present airport especially its interior to improve services to the public. We have received a lot of complaints especially in the check in area. At present, we don’t have any blue print for improvement of our airport. This contest aims to address that issue. We need to have a master plan for future improvement of our present airport to make our city more attractive to visitors”, Ledesma said.

CAAP launches Zambo int’l airport interior design contest

By Hader Glang

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) announced yesterday its first ever Zamboanga International Airport Interior Design Competition, inviting entries from all registered architects and interior designers in the region.

The contest aims to come up with a master plan or blueprint of the airport terminal interior for consideration by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and CAAP in future improvement of the airport.

The competition will focus on Portfolio of the Proposed Interior Design of Check-in, Pre-departure, Mezzanine (with food court, recreational business center, GAD area (breast feeding/toddler's corner) and Arrival Areas.

According to Engr. George Ledesma, chairman RPMC IX Ad Hoc Committee on the ZIA Interior Design Contest, the winning design will be displayed in a conspicuous place in the airport with his/her name.

"In the event, the winning design will be implemented; a bronze marker bearing the name of the winner will also be placed in a conspicuous place in the airport," he said.

All contestants will receive a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of their efforts. Their entries shall be become the property of the CAAP-ZIA including the intellectual property rights.

The first place winner will receive two international round trip tickets, to Manila-Kota Kinabalu-Manila route; two domestic round trip tickets to wit: ZC-Manila route; and P30,000 cash prize (inclusive of the travel tax/fees required by the trip).

Second prize winner will receive one international trip ticket to Manila-Hong Kong-Manila route, one domestic round trip to wit: ZC route: and P20,000 cash prize (inclusive of the travel tax/fees required by the trip).

Third place winner will receive one round trip ticket to any domestic destination of the winner's choice: and P5,000 cash (inclusive of the travel tax/fees required by the trip). A P6,000 cash to be divided among the three succeeding non-winning entries for the consolation prize.

The constest was conceptualized during the problem-solving session conducted by the RPMC IX last September 22, 2011 with concerned entities. It is in collaboration with other professionals from the College of Architecture of Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), Department of Tourism (DOT), Zamboanga City Mayor's Office/City Tourism Office and the three major airlines: Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines Express operating at the ZIA.

DOLE-summit set June 6-7 at ZamboEcozone

(PNA), RSV/FMS/ssc

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the Zamboanga Peninsula will hold its first intermediaries’ council summit come June 6-7 in keeping with the 22-point labor and employment agenda of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III,

The two-day activity, which will be held at the Zamboanga Economic Zone (ZamboEcozone) Free Port Authority at San Ramon, Zamboanga City.

The activity will be participated in by intermediaries from the government, management, labor, people’s organization, non-government organizations, academe and other DOLE-IX program partners and stakeholders.

Franklin P. Gumapon of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) said the topics to be tackled during the summit include Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Public Administration and Management, and other related matters.

A registration fee of P2,000.00 shall be collected from each participant payable to ZamPen OSHNET, Inc. to defray expenses on participants’ accommodation, meals, souvenir program, bags, t-shirt and writing/training materials.

The Zamboanga Peninsula Region (IX) includes the three provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.

The cities in the region are Zamboanga at the tip of the peninsula, Isabela in Basilan Province, Dapitan and Dipolog in Zamboanga del Norte , Pagadian in Zamboanga del Sur.

The province of Zamboanga Sibugay does not have any city and its capital is the progressive town of Ipil.

President Aquino’s 22-point labor and employment reform agenda centers on employment facilitation, labor relations, workers welfare and protection and governance in internal affairs.

The gathering has for its theme, “PPP, a collective engagement towards good governance.”

ZAMBOECOZONE, ZAMCELCO sign MOA on 69KV power line

by Monch L. Follosco

In a joint-Board Meeting, the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (ZAMBOECOZONE) and the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (ZAMCELCO) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the transfer of 69KV power line to Zamcelco at a local hotel, the other day.

ZAMBOECOZONE is the owner of a 69KV sub-transmission power line extending from the Dreamville subdivision area at Ayala up to ZAMBOECOZONE at San Ramon, west of this city.

“Zambo ECOZONE does not possess technical expertise to manage, maintain, and operate the said line and has requested Zamcelco which is possessed of such expertise, to do and perform such services to the former,” part of the agreement states.

The transfer shall be effective on the date of the energization or activation of the power line to be agreed upon by both parties. ZAMBOECOZONE Board Chairman and Administrator Georgina Yu said the energization is a big help for the business enterprises like the Oriental Tin Can factory operating within the Authority.

“We are very happy Zamcelco personnel headed by its president that the 69 KV power line will be energized to start the business. And we are also talking to Zamcelco for the energization of our 5MVA,” Yu said.

Zamcelco Board President Efren Perez is optimistic that the energization of 5MVA will be realized the soonest possible time. “We’ll discuss the finalization of another MOA on the energization of 5MVA,” Perez said.

Zamcelco Acting Manager Engr. Jesus Castro said ZAMBOECOZONE’s 69 KV power line is on stand by and this may be damaged for not using it a longer period of time as the Authority is also using the electricity of Zamcelco.

However, Castro is requesting the Zambo ECOZONE to extend the power supply up to Labuan and portions of Ayala. “This MOA is very clear as this will benefit the residents and this will reload other sub-stations and other companies will be coming in. So, this is a big advantage to the business and development for our city,” Zamcelco Board Vice-President Elbert “Bong” Atilano said.

The agreement is beneficial to the residents in the west coast as Zamcelco’s San Jose Gusu sub-station will be relieved by a load of at least 2 MW to supply neighboring barangays in the west coast.

Also present during the occasion were mayor Celso Lobregat, councilor Nonong Guingona, ECOZONE Board of Directors Edgar Lim, Jose Suan, Rafael Evangelista, Jr., Zamcelco Director Agustin Graciano, NEA Observer Engr. Sonny Navarro, Zamcelco TSO Head Engr. Samuel Julio, ECOZONE Board Secretary Aida Nacino, personnel and staff.

Noise barrage in Zambo for anti-dengue clean-up

(MindaNews)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A noise barrage and motorcade will be held here Monday “to let each and every resident know about Tuesday’s city-wide clean up drive” to prevent the spread of dengue hemorrhagic fever which has reached the outbreak level.

The city government re-scheduled the massive and simultaneous clean-up drive on dengue preventive measures from Saturday, May 12 to Tuesday, May 15.

City Health Officer Dr. Rodelin Agbulos said on Saturday that they decided to re-schedule the activity to give them ample time to properly inform and encourage the residents’ participation.

Last Wednesday, Mayor Celso Lobregat declared a dengue outbreak following the report on732 cases with nine fatalities for the first four months of the year.

In declaring a dengue outbreak, Lobregat cited records from the City Health Office showing that dengue cases have reached outbreak level in April requiring urgent and uninterrupted measures to search and destroy breeding places of dengue carrier mosquitoes.

Agbulos said the outbreak threshold for the month of April is 225 cases but the actual reported cases for the period reached 234.

The dengue cases that have registered for the past four months this year are higher by 426 cases compared to last year’s 306 covering the same period.

The city government has allocated P553,000 from its emergency funds to purchase larvicides and other chemicals to be used in the campaign against dengue.

Agbulos said he met all officials from the city’s 98 barangays on Friday to seek their support and cooperation in the fight against dengue.

During the meeting, Agbulos said Lobregat has distributed mosquito swatters to the barangay officials to help in the preventive measures.

Lobregat emphasized there is an urgent need to undertake immediate interventions to control and prevent the spread of dengue fever in this city by implementing the “4S” strategy of the Department of Health (DOH) but not limited to the following: search and destroy breeding sites of dengue mosquitoes, self protection (using mosquito nets, repellent, protecting clothing, seek early consultation and management and say no to indiscriminate fogging.

He has also appealed for voluntary blood donations to ensure availability of supply of blood for dengue patients at the local Red Cross blood bank.

Agbulos also convened the representatives of private hospitals and other health facilities including the Zamboanga City Medical Center and other health personnel to talk on the possibility of setting up fast lanes for dengue patients.

DOST-IX accepts Project Proposals for SETUP

(JCC/DOST-IX Press Release)

The Department of Science and Technology-IX (DOST-IX) is now accepting proposals from proprietors of micro, small and medium enterprises in the region who wish to avail of the technical and financial assistance under the Small and Medium Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). SETUP is a nationwide strategy to encourage and assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in implementing technological innovations and improvements in their operations to boost their productivity and competitiveness.

Specifically, the program enables firms to address their current technical problems; get free technical advice from the consultants; avail of technical training courses for workers/employees; acquire new equipment to mechanize and/or improve production line; avail assistance on product packaging and labeling; and standardize and improve the quality of products.

The program is open to any company or individual firm that is based in the Philippines and wholly owned by Filipino citizen. The firm/s must be classified under the following identified priority sectors: 1) Food Processing; 2) Furniture; 3) Gifts and Holiday Decors (GHD); 4) Aquatic and Marine-based Resources; 5) Metals and Metalworking; 6) Horticulture; 7) Information and Communications Technology; and 8) Health Products and Services.

Now on its eleventh year of implementation, the program had provided funding and technical assistance to eighty two (82) firms from all over the region, which translated to improved productivity and product quality of business establishments.

For more information, interested parties may visit or call DOST-Regional Office IX, Pettit Barracks, Zamboanga City with telephone numbers (062) 991-1024. The Zamboanga del Norte Provincial S&T Center (ZdN-PSTC) in Upper Turno, Dipolog City, with telephone numbers (065) 212-2244, Zamboanga del Sur Provincial S&T Center (ZdS-PSTC) in Rizal Avenue, Pagadian City with telephone numbers (062) 925-1152, and the Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial S&T Center (ZS-PSTC) at 2/F Faundo Bldg., National Highway, Poblacion, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay with phone numbers 09154596401.

DoE exec: Mindanao power crisis over

By Roel Pareño and John Unson

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - The Department of Energy (DoE) declared Thursday that the fivce-month power crisis in Mindanao is finally resolved with the repair of a major hydro-electric plant.

Energy Undersecretary Josefina Asirit announced in a dialogue with power stakeholders at the Zamboanga City Hall that the Pulangi 4 hydro-electric power plant in Bukidnon has already been fully rehabilitated and is now supplying an additional power of 200-megawatt from its initial 255-megawatt capacity.

“Starting today power has been restored in the region as the rehabilitation of Pulangi 4 has been completed,” Asirit declared Thursday.

Asirit was optimistic that Mindanao will no longer suffer from rotating power outages with the complete rehabilitation of the plant and the onset of the rainy season.

Asirit said the rehabilitation of the Pulangi, which cost the state-run National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) P11 million, was completed before the target date on April 17.

The business sector suffered most from the power crisis. They claimed to have already spent millions since the power outages started last January. The power crisis also slowed down government operations.

Tiolo Soliven, president of the Zamboanga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZCCCI), said they are hoping that the DoE could also fully rehabilitate the Agus hydroelectric power plant in Lanao del Sur province to avert similar crisis in the future.

Agus, Pulangi earned billions

Luwalhati Antonino, chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority, said in a statement emailed to reporters on Friday that the Agus and Pulangi hydro-electric plants earned P68 billion in the past 11 years.

However, she said that the earnings were spent to sustain “losing” government power facilities in Mindanao.

Antonino made the statement in reaction to the assertion by Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) president Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. on the supposed P15 billion losses incurred by the state-run power assets between 2001 and 2011.

“It’s not a pure allegation to say that the Agus and Pulangui (plants) are net income earners. It is a strong position of the Mindanao power stakeholders, backed by financial records of Napocor (National Power Corporation) and PSALM,” Antonino said.

“PSALM however, failed to state that P15.03 billion was not an actual loss because of what is called depreciation expenses amounting to P16.35 billion. Under strict cash basis accounting policy, factoring this yields P1.32 billion real net profit,” she pointed out.

Antonino said PSALM’s financial statement validated the stand by Mindanao power stakeholders that the operations of Agus and Pulangui facilities resulted in operating profits, as presented during the recent Mindanao Power Summit, led by President Benigno Aquino III.

Based on PSALM's financial report, the Agus and Pulangui facilities earned P68 billion net income.

The earnings, according to Antonino, was used to cover for operating losses of other government facilities such as coal, geothermal and diesel-fired plants which accumulated a net loss of P83 billion over an 11-year period.

Antonino said the fiscal fault resulted to an overall loss of P15.03 billion for government power assets in Mindanao.

Antonino also cited amortization totaling P5.679 billion for the 210 MW coal-fired power plant in Misamis Oriental which should not be computed as part of losses since it represents a capital lease amounting to P1.089 billion annually, starting in 2007 onward to 2032.

The coal-fired plant was constructed under the “build, operate transfer” (BOT) scheme. It shall be turned over to the government by its builder-operator in 2032.

Antonino said it is the losing power assets, thus, that should be privatized first.

“But PSALM knows they couldn’t just do that because these are locked in medium- and long-term power contracts,” she said.

“If PSALM used up every centavo earned by the Agus and Pulangui facilities to subsidize the said losing Napocor assets, then it should have not allowed the hydro complex to deteriorate by allocating from its huge internally generated earnings for rehabilitation and repair so these can continue to serve at expected generating capacities,” she stressed.

Antonino said if there were indeed investments made for the Agus-Pulangui outfits, as what PSALM declared, the plants would have been generating power already.

She said there would have been no supply deficits or rotating brownouts in parts of Mindanao, but reliable power and increased income for the Agus-Pulangui complex instead.

“PSALM should have been more forthright with the people of Mindanao when it explained its alleged losses in operating the government’s power facilities in Mindanao. PSALM’s statement cunningly presented half-truths by stressing only about losses, but not how the Agus Pulangui plants saved billions of government money,” Antonino said.

Zamboanga’s heritage track

By Jobers Bersales (Cebu Daily News)

It’s amazing to see century-old acacia trees, branches gracefully outstretched and devoid of any obstruction. It is extremely amazing still to see these trees with a stainless steel belt on its main trunk indicating it was declared a heritage tree. This is what you will see when you visit Zamboanga City’s old Spanish quarter and what was once the marching grounds of the American-era Pettit Barracks.

Helping design the lifestyle museum of the Bank of the Philippines Islands in Zamboanga has given me the opportunity to experience up close the important zoning plan that has been implemented in this city that boasts of being a bastion of the Chavacano language. Chavacano is a pidgin Spanish variant that resulted from the amalgam of different peoples of different tongues coming together during the Spanish period at the edge of the Western Mindanao peninsula.

It’s amazing how this city has transformed itself into a model of heritage zoning where all government and private buildings within the historic district are required to follow Spanish period architecture. Thus one finds blocks of government offices sporting capiz windows and blustered upper stories amidst the welcome shades of tall acacia trees.

The late Ma. Clara Lobregat and her son, Celso Lobregat, who took over her mayorship, had apparently not forgotten the historical role this city played as the lone bastion of Spain in Mindanao, recreating spaces that were once part of its history.

Cebu City and other cities all over the country can learn from the heritage zoning implementation that on the whole appears quite successful in this city. Even the new Bangko Sentral building basks in elegance near Fort Pilar while the old American-era high school building in its compound awaits its conversion into a future museum of the National Historical Commission there if negotiations are successful. The only problem appears to be a new two-story convention hall that unfortunately stands too close to the fort, effectively blocking what would have been a magnificent view.

Still, one violation does not diminish the successes that Zamboanga has shown insofar as its Hispanic heritage is concerned. Viva Zamboanga!

BAP IX announces 'Coaches Clinic Mindanao Circuit' in Zambo City

By Hader Glang

The Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) in Region IX has announced that it will be holding the BAP Coaches Clinic Mindanao Circuit in Zamboanga City from May 11 to 13, 2012 at Universidad de Zamboanga's Summit Centre Coliseum.

Former Councilor Roel "Elong" Natividad, BAP IX regional director and chief assessor, said the three-day activity will be handled by National Basketball Association (NBA) coach Hernando Plannels and former Philippine coach David "Boycie" Zamar.

He said the latest strategies and techniques, film showing, presentations for coaching widely used in European and NBA basketball will be discussed in this event, which aims to rebuild the camaraderie between coaches from all over Mindanao and to step up coaching in the region as a whole. This event is organized by BAP in cooperation with the Federation of Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) in partnership with the corporate support from Cobra Energy drinks.

It is initiated by Senator Antonio F. Trillanes, BAP president; Mrt. Christian D. Tan, BAP executive vice president; and former Councilor Natividad, BAP IX Regional Director.

Organizers invited coaches in the different schools in the provinces of Basilan, Zamboanga Sibugay, del Sur, del Norte, Bukidnon, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, and cities of Zamboanga, Lamitan, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, General Santos, and Caraga. Interested participants are required to fill up a registration form which can be obtained from the BAP Regional Director IX Secretariat at University of Zamboanga Summit Centre or at e-mail: baplink@yahoo.com.

Participants are also required to present their ID of their respective schools involved. Registration of participants will start on May 11, 2012 (Friday) from 12:00 p.m. to 05:00 p.m. at the BAP Secretariat, University of Zamboanga Summit Centre, Tetuan, Zamboanga City.

Registration fee is P100 pesos only a maximum of 200 participants will be accepted only subject to approval from BAP Secretariat. Invited are from schools , colleges and universities coaches within the Mindanao Circuit and selective LGU in designated area by invitation.

Participants must shoulder their own Board and Lodging during the duration of the coaches clinic from May 11th to 13th, 2012 (Note intended for coaches. Elementary, high school colleges - the others can attend but without Certificate and other amenities).

They will receive their respective Certificate of Participation, t-shirt, program and only registered participants will be invited to attend the welcome dinner on May 11, fellowship nights on May 12, and awarding of certificate of participation on May 13.

Participants must shoulder their own Board and Lodging during the duration of the coaches clinic from May 11th to 13th, 2012. They will receive their respective Certificate of Participation, t-shirt, program and only registered participants will be invited to attend the welcome dinner on May 11, fellowship nights on May 12, and awarding of certificate of participation on May 13.

For more details: Please contact former Councilor Roel "Elong" Natividad, BAP IX regional director, at Mobile # (Globe) 09173091075 or (Smart) 09994744641.

By-pass road in Zambo City to boost economy

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

ZAMBOANGA CITY, May 8 (PIA) -- The by-pass road project that will directly link the city’s east and west coast is set to open this year with the initial P310 million funds now released, Department of Public Works and Highways IX Regional Director Jorge Sebastian Jr. said.

Sebastian said that DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson personally assured the implementation of the 34.9 kilometer project that will start from the western barangay of San Ramon, passing through the city’s highlands, and will connect to Barangay Culianan in the east, during his recent visit here.

The DPWH director said that the central office is now reviewing the Plans and Program of Works for approval, after which, public consultations and inventory of affected lots will be conducted before the proper project implementation.

DPWH-IX Information Officer Ma. Carla Miñoza added that they are targeting to accomplish around 80 percent of the by-pass road this year.

“With the initial fund of P310 million, more or less 80 percent of the road opening road will be accomplished. Next year, we expect to complete the opening. Hopefully, by 2016, we will have fully implemented the project,” Miñoza said.

With the project now in its initial phase, Dir. Sebastian is optimistic that it will help spur economic growth in the city, and the region as a whole.

“This road will provide a direct route for business from the neighboring cities of Dipolog and Pagadian, and other municipalities in the peninsula to Zamboanga Free Port Zone, which is situated in San Ramon,” Sebastian pointed.

Aside from this benefit, Sebastian said it will also help decongest traffic in the city as it will provide an alternative route to motorists who have to pass the city’s center going from west to east coast and vice versa. It is also seen to reduce the number of cargo trucks and container vans from entering the city limits.

Miñoza also added that there are other infrastructure projects being implemented in region IX this year.

“In addition, a total of 92 various infrastructure projects are being implemented under CY 2012 DPWH Infrastructure Program for region IX”, she ended.

Councilor Mas sets 2nd SK summer league

By BP

The Sangguniang Kabataan Federation, headed by Councilor Joanna Mari D. Mas has slated the second inter-barangay summer league this month. The tournament, which will start on Saturday, May 12 is expected to draw more crowds from the basketball enthusiasts following the sign up of seventeen teams, 10 and 7 teams from District one and two respectively.

The opening of the league will be held at Zamboanga City Coliseum on Saturday and Sunday, May 12-13, 2012. The participating barangays are: (District 1) Pasonanca, Sta. Maria, Tumaga, Zone 2, Sta. Barbara, Sto. Niño, Baliwasan, Campo Islam, West Coast Selection, (District 2) Tetuan, Tugbungan, Putik, Lunzuran, Divisoria, Zambowood and Near East Selections. The teams will have to beat Tumaga team, the defending champion of the first Summer League.

Mas said the tournament is set to promote "friendship, sportsmanship and physical fitness" among the youths. Each team in each district shall play against each other in a single round robin format. The top two teams in each districts will qualify for the district finals in a knock out game. The winners of district 1 and 2 will meet in a finals for the championship game.

The league has set that players must be 19 years old and below with maximum 15 players. Each team shall be fitted with a uniform for proper identification of the barangay or cluster they are representing.

The technical committee will expect the teams to be at the playing venue at least 30 minutes before the scheduled game. Mas said the technical committee and organizer may eject or suspect player/s or coaches who show unsportsmanlike conduct during the game. Aside from the guidelines, which were sent to respective teams, the technical committee shall refer to FIBA Rules of 2010, she stressed.

The eliminations will be held at Sta. Maria and Pasonanca covered courts, and the cross over to championship will be held at the city coliseum.

Gov't Advocates Tree-Planting Activities

By Nonoy E. Lacson


As Reciprocation To Mother Nature


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Citing the unwelcome effects of climate change and global warming in the Philippines, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), in a joint effort, acted to help ease the problem through the planting a total of some 1.5 million trees in three years in various regions the country.

In a directive forwarded to the local office here from NIA Administrator Antonio Nangel, it said that some 500,000 fruit-bearing trees will be planted by the joint personnel of the NIA and DA from Luzon to Mindanao on June 8, as part of the nationwide tree-planting activity.

“This is our small contribution to mother nature by preserving our forest for generations to come,” Nangel said.

For his part, DA Secretary Proceso Alcala has urged the public to plant one or more trees in their backyard to help ease the problem, and alleviate the effects of global warming.

“Global warming should be everyone’s concern. Therefore, we should contribute something to slow down its damaging effects to our world. One of which is by planting trees,” Alcala pointed out.

It was learned that from the 500,000 fruit-bearing trees like guava, santol, and mango, at least 150,000 will be planted in an identified area of the Pantabangan Dam watershed in Nueva Ecija, while the rest will be planted in various dams in the country on the same day.

It was also learned that another 500,000 fruit-bearing trees will be planted in three years starting June 8.

“Actually, Secretary Alcala asked me a few months back to come up with something that will help not only our farmers but the entire nation as well, including the city folk. I came up with the idea of planting over a million trees in three years,” Nangel emphasized.

“We live in this planet and our children’s children. Therefore, we have to take care of it by giving back what Mother Nature has been giving us for generations. Planting trees is our way of saying thank you to her,” Alcala added.

Abubakar graces CJCLDS Annual Nat’l Service Day

(Zamboanga Today)

District 1 Councilor Myra Valderrosa-Abubakar was the guest of honor and speaker during the "Annual National Service Day," of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (CJCLDS) at Tomas Claudio, this city.

Highlighting the occasion was the presentation of insights by a panel of speakers on matters pertaining to preparedness in times of disaster. Abubakar lauded the members and leaders of the Church and the panel of speakers for sharing their knowledge and expertise in the observance of their ‘Annual National Service Day.’

“It is within our instinct as human beings to prepare things, measures and strategies for us to be ready and survive in times of natural or man made calamities. Perhaps, many of us have thought of saving some food rations, water and all other basic necessities that will help us and our families survive in times of calamity.,” Abubakar said before a crowd of devotees.

She said Zamboanga is best known as typhoon-free city with rare seismic activity. “However, we must remember that the most damaging and most catastrophic disasters in history are those that are least expected. We learned that from Typhoon Sendong and we cannot afford to allow ourselves and our family to suffer the same,” added Abubakar.

Abubakar pointed out that the knowledge and trainings that the participants will learn is a big advantage to teach and warn others. “I hope you will not take this opportunity lightly because what you will learn today might save your life and the lives of many including your family. Let us pray together for the safety of our city and its people,” Abubakar said.

Zambo barangay receives more than P3-M projects

(PNA) , LAP/TPG/utb

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Barangay of Sta. Maria is the recipient of the latest project package implemented by the city government with the main goal of accelerating the delivery of services to the barangay folks in this southern port city.

Mayor Celso Lobregat, House Deputy Speaker and first district Rep. Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde spearheaded city officials on Thursday afternoon in turning over to Sta. Maria barangay officials the P1.699-million community police action center (COMPAC), the P1.271 million center for the elderly with comfort room, the P645,370 multi-purpose pavement at the COMPAC building and center for elderly and the rehabilitation of the Sta. Maria health center worth over P200,000.

Speaking on behalf of his constituents, Sta. Maria barangay chairman Justo Lacandalo highly praised Lobregat and his administration for the tremendous projects being poured not only to his barangay but to all other villages in this city.

Lacandalo said the newly-constructed facilities will definitely help enhance services to the barangay constituents.

The COMPAC building will be an outpost for police forces who are taking charge of the peace and security in the area in cooperation with the barangay tanods and other volunteers.

It will complement the Sta. Maria-based Police Station 7 under Chief Insp. Larry Domingo.

The center for the elderly on the other hand, will be the center of convergence of senior citizens.

Lobregat said his administration will continue to implement projects covering all aspects in a bid to help alleviate the plight of the constituents.

He said city projects are not only concentrated in the city proper area but the far flung and remote barangays as well.

KALAHI-CIDSS volunteers see knowledge, people's participation essential to dev't

(JPA/DIS/DSWD 9/PIA9-ZBST)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, May 3 (PIA) -- After two years of immersing in the community-driven Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Service (KALAHI-CIDSS) project, community volunteers of the Department of Social Welfare's (DSWD) have realized that what is more important than the infrastructure they help build in their communities is the knowledge they learned and the value they realized in their participation in the development endeavor of the local government.

Mang Dodong, a KALAHI-CIDSS community volunteer in the municipality of Leon Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte., and some of the community members offered themselves to help DSWD in whatever way they can in the implementation of KALAHI-CIDSS projects in their community.

DSWD empowers community volunteers by giving them various trainings and seminars.

After the first year in KALAHI-CIDSS, Leon Postigo’s community volunteers have successfully completed ten community infrastructure projects to include water systems, school buildings and day care centers and roads.

These projects were identified by the volunteers and community members themselves through intensive consultations and meetings on participatory situational analyses, and are reflective of their most urgent priorities.

In KALAHI-CIDSS, communities handle the entire project implementation process. As such, they are made to handle hundreds of thousands of pesos, which they did efficiently.

Three more sub-projects are being implemented for the second year and are set to be completed before the end of this semester.

Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Marilyn Ortouste shared that most of the volunteers have not even graduated from elementary school because of poverty. Witnessing them taking part in project implementation is reassuring that now, even the poor actively take part in development initiatives. She hopes that the momentum will be sustained even after the three-year Kalahi-CIDSS program cycle.

Over a thousand job seekers join Labor Day job fair in Zambo

(JPA/MDC-PIA9,ZBST)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, May 2 (PIA) -- Over a thousand job seekers trooped to the Western Mindanao State University yesterday for the Labor Day Job Fair spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Data from DOLE-9 reveals there were 1,242 individuals who registered for the activity in Zamboanga City alone. These job hunters were also interviewed by participating recruitment agencies and local establishments here.

Ms. Sheryl Joaquin, Labor and Employment III of DOLE-9, said the figure carries the bulk of registrants in Zamboanga Peninsula.

“We also conducted the same activity in Pagadian City, but there is a lesser number of registrants there. All in all, we have 1,547 registrants in the region”, Ms. Joaquin said.

Out of the regional figure, there were 992 job seekers who qualified after the initial interview.

There were many applicants in Pagadian City who were hired on the spot (HOTS).

“We have 298 hired on the spot. Zamboanga City has 104 HOTS, the remaining came from Pagadian City,” Joaquin pointed.

DOLE-9 is elated to meet their HOTS target of 15% for this year’s job fair hitting 19%.

Ms. Jasmine Cinco, Information Officer of DOLE-9, said they are happy with active participation of recruitment agencies and local establishments in Zamboanga City.

“We have around 50 agencies who participated in the job fair. 30 of those are local and 20 overseas placement agencies,” Cinco said.

Cinco said there are 13,000-14,000 jobs available for region 9, with top jobs coming from the manufacturing sector, insurance and lending agencies, service crews, sales and marketing, and household service workers. There were also medical professionals needed like nurses and medical transcriptionists, most of these jobs are abroad.

“We have more than 13,000 jobs for abroad. The job destinations are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei,” Cinco added.

Aside from the job fair, DOLE-9 also conducted livelihood and diskwento fairs as part of the celebration.

The Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) handled the livelihood fair, giving free orientation and skills demonstration for those who want to venture in entrepreneurship.

The Diskwento fair, on the other hand, gave consumers a chance to buy basic commodities or products at discounted or lesser prices.

The activity was attended by Zamboanga City Representative Ma. Isabelle Climaco, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, and private sector leaders like Engr. George Ledesma, President of the Industrial Group of Zamboanga, Inc. (IGZI), Regional Tripartite Board members Mr. Edgar Lim and Buboy Valerio, representing the employers/ private sector, and Mr. Jose Suan of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines representing the labor sector.

Zamboanga City holds two-night food festival

(PNA), hbc/LAM/TPG/mec

ZAMBOANGA CITY, May 1 (PNA) -– Live band performances added gustatory delight among discriminating food connoisseurs, who gathered this weekend at Plaza del Pilar here for the 1st Summer Food Festival and relished ambrosial local cuisines.

The two-night affair, which formed part of the prime activities for the 2012 Summer Festival, was participated in by five food establishments which catered three to six combo meals for only P150.

Mayor Celso Lobregat, Vice-Mayor Cesar Iturralde and Councilor Jaime Cabato led the ribbon-cutting rites during the opening program Friday night.

Alavar Seafood Haus served its signature Cangrejo con Salsa de Alavar, Grilled Cream Dory, seafood rice, Care-Care de Baca, manga con huevos hilao, manga con bagon gata and saging dulce.

Golden Ribbons Catering dished out spicy fried rice combined with pan-fried chicken, roast chicken with white sauce and beef kulma.

The Zamboanga Seafood House prepared the delicious Locon with Seafood House Sauce, pork barbecue and spicy beef.

The Mai Chai Siomai catered short-order delights with variants of siomai flavor and rice meals while Collete’s Buko Pie and Pasalubong, most aptly known as Dulce Recuerdos de Zamboanga, did not fail to impress with their mouthwatering buko pie, Puto Pao and a number of delightful delicacies.

Starting on the first night, the summer food trip gimmick did not fail to entertain guests who were treated with delicious food and live performances from the 2012 Chabacano Battle of the Bands champion, The Arts and Rhythms Band, The Quiet Noise Band and soothing selections from the Project 20 Band.

Like previous food festivals, residents say they did not get tired of the gastronomic treats and were looking forward to a repeat of the 1st Summer Food Festival.

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