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Zamboanga City News October 2011

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Zamboanga City - Archived News

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RMN-Zamboanga 'Straight to the Point' is Outstanding Public Affairs program

(Zamboanga Today Top Stories)

After it was named as the official number one AM station in Zamboanga City, Tatak-RMN Zamboanga’s prime time program “Straight to the Point” (STP) was awarded as the outstanding public affairs program-provincial category (outside Metro Manila) during the 20th KBP Golden Dove Award held last November 26, 2011 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CPP) in Pasay City.

Just a week ago, the Nielsen Research came out with its latest survey naming RMN-Zamboanga as the most listened to radio station in the AM Band in the city with an audience share of 78.9 percent.

Now, for the first time in the history of the radio industry in the city, a prestigious national award was given to a public affairs show of RMN-Zamboanga anchored by two young, top radio commentators, Gil Climaco and Jimmy Villaflores.

STP was originally initiated by former RMN-Zamboanga Station Manager now RMN Assistant Vice President nationwide Rey Bayona-Bayoging in 2000.

Because of its excellent program format, RMN-Manila adopted STP and it later became the standard public affairs program (6:00am to 8:00am) in all RMN AM radio stations in the country.

It was first hosted by Bayoging and his tandem Joel Toledo-Sanson (now RMN-Zamboanga station manager) and later with Gil Climaco.

On February this year, Mr. Jimmy Villaflores of the former RGMA-Zamboanga joined RMN and was given the task to tandem with Mr. Climaco in the STP program.

“It is not only because of me and GIL that we were able to achieve this honor, but it is primarily because of the guidance of our energetic manager Joel Sanson and the support given to us by the staff like STP Executive Producer Mr. Santos Cortes, Melanie Guanzon, Hermie Ventura, Dodong Ramos, Eugene Lasprilla, Farsi Abdil, Teodyver Arquiza, Richard Falcatan and Merasol Montesa. I would like also to thank God for giving us this wonderful talent,” Villaflores, whose radio name is Jimmy V., said.

“With all humility and my steadfast commitment to always uphold the foremost objective of RMN to be in the frontline in public service, entertainment and fair commentaries,” said Gil Climaco, who was also awarded as the best radio commentator by a civic organization in the city early this year.

Some 30 AM stations (10 in Luzon area, 12 in Mindanao and 8 in Visayas) have been established by RMN in the entire country since 1952 under the leadership of Don Henry Canoy, founding father of RMN.

Zambo City leads ‘Batang Pinoy ’11


The Zamboanga City delegation is now leading in its partial and unofficial medal standing to the ‘Batang Pinoy 2011’ Mindanao Regional Qualifying round.

As of October 29, 2011 (10:00 a.m.), Zamboanga City bested 19 other cities in Mindanao with 31 gold, 23 silver and 17 bronze medals.

Davao City is 2nd place with 10 gold, 7 silver and 12 bronze followed by Dipolog City with 7 gold, 15 silver and 5 bronze; General Santos City, 7-gold, 3-silver and 1 bronze while the 5th slots tied between Davao del Norte and Koronadal City.

The Zamboanga Weightlifting Team on Friday grabbed all the 7-gold in the seven different weight categories on its first set qualifying round for boys and girls division.

Thirteen-year old Elbert Atilano, Jr., won the gold medal after a sweeping perfect lifts in the 46 kilograms category (boys) for the weights of 47, 52 and best at 57 kilograms (snatch) respectively, clean and jerk from 60, 65 and best at 70 kilograms for a total 127 kilograms.

In the 42 kilograms (boys), Romil Amil grabbed the gold medal while Vincent Colonia and Tedie Lazareno placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The gold medalists in the girls division was led by Lyann Pineda in the 40 kilograms weight category followed by Mary Flor Diaz (36 kgs), Rosana Mendoza (40 kgs), Margarette Colonia (44) kilograms and Patricia Nena Gregorio won in the 40 kilograms weight category.

The gold medalists were immediately awarded by Weightlifting National Technical official Leonardo Llena and Batang Pinoy Project Director Elbert “Bobg” Atilano, Sr. (Monch L. Follosco)

PhotoCAP: National Weightlifting Technical official Leonardo Llena and Batang Pinoy Project Director Elbert Atilano, Sr. (left), award the winners in the weightlifting event.

Bankers assure enough cash in ATMs

By R.G. Antonet Go

The Zamboanga City Bankers and Financiers Association assured the public that there will be sufficient money in the different Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the city during the long weekend.

The President of the Zamboanga City Bankers and Financiers Association, Norma Cabato said, “the public is assured that cash is available at the ATMs.” She explained that it is already expected that banks already loaded their ATMs with cash on Friday, the last banking day of the week before the long weekend.

According to Cabato, the banks are also expected to check the ATMs for receipts and make sure that the ATMs are operational. The city has more or less 50 ATM Machines.

All of the banks in this city are expected to be closed from October 29 to November 1 to commemorate All Saints Days and All Souls Day.

The Zamboanga City Bankers and Financiers Association has 58 member banks to include three lending institutions.

ZCMC gets milk bank, thanks Beng for help

By Marvin Segura

The United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has approved the grant of a milk bank to the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC), another project that will help improve services to young infants.

As this developed, ZCMC chief of Hospitals Dr. Romeo Ong and Center for Health regional office director Dr. Aristedes Tan thanked House Deputy Speaker Beng Climaco for helping facilitate the grant of project.

“ZCMC got the milk bank project for Mindanao as approved by UNICEF, thanks for your help”, Dr. Ong said referring to Cong. Climaco.

The human milk bank is described as “a service which collects, screens, processes, and dispenses by prescription human milk donated by nursing mothers who are not biologically related to the recipient infant.”

Representatives from the UNICEF have visited Zamboanga City the past months to look into the possibility of implementing children-related projects specifically projects that cover the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

No less than UNICEF Country Representative Andrea Tobins came to the city on the invitation of Cong. Climaco to look into possible joint undertakings with the local government and other agencies of government.

Cong. Climaco expressed elation that the ZCMC finally got the facility stressing that it will boost service to the intended beneficiaries.

“This is an added service to our people in Zamboanga. We all exhaust means to aptly equip our ZCMC “, the lady solon added.

K of C conducted Coastal Clean Up Drive

(Zamboanga Today News Article)

The Knights of Columbus 4th degree of the Nuestra Señora Virgen del Pilar Assembly conducted a coastal clean up drive as part of its campaign to help in the preservation and maintenance of clean environment particularly the coastline areas – beach part in Zamboanga City. The clean up drive was conducted at the Golf Beach last September 18, 2011 and participated in by 4th degree members from the different Knights of Columbus Councils. The drive was spear headed by SK JOSE Q. TAN, JR., Faithful Navigator, SK VIC “CATALA” A. LIOZO, - Faithful Captain and District Deputy of Z-01, DD ANDY NAVATO, DD VICTOR MONTER and Grand Knights. It also coincided with the joint Family Day Affair of the FR. ALFREDO PAGUIA COUNCIL headed by its Grand Knight SK EDUARDO ARNAD and Daughters of Mary Immaculate of Nuestra Señora Virgen del Pilar de Zaragosa Circle headed by Regent SUZETTE NATIVIDAD.

It was a grand day for all members as it was a gathering of people who has the heart and religious commitment to serve the church as well as the people in the community.

The Family Day is an annual activity with the aim of fostering friendship, camaraderie and bonding of family members.

BFP-IX to conduct FO1 exams today

By Monch L. Follosco

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP-IX) will conduct Qualifying Examinations for Fire Officer 1 (FO1) at the Zamboanga West Central School (ZWCS) today.

City District Fire Marshall Supt. Dominador Zabala said a total of 140 applicants coming from the different cities and municipalities will undergo the examinations with only 12 quota for the entire Region-IX.

The qualifying exams will start today (Wednesday) at 8 o’clock in the morning at ZWCS located at Varela Street, Barangay Zone-1 (Formerly Carmen Street). The applicants should wear plain white t-shirt, maong pants and rubber shoes.

BFP officials said the recruitment is to address the lacking number of firefighters and this is also part of the government’s effort seeking 500 new firefighters nationwide to fill the vacancies as it opened a quota for the recruitment of fire officers in the bureau.

In the October 21, 2011 memorandum, BFP-IX DRD for Administration SSUPT. Carlito Ocena said the examination will cover the subject matter pertaining vocabulary, verbal ability, single word analogy, reading comprehension, mathematics and general informations.

This has reference to the memorandum order signed by CSUPT. Samuel Perez, Officer-In-Charge, BFP and Deputy Chief for Administration, dated October 20, 2011.

“This is a continuous promotion for efficient and effective response to fire and other emergencies,” City District Fire Marshal Supt. Zabala said. The result of the qualifying examination shall be personally claimed by the examinees on October 28, 2011, and said result will be posted in three conspicuous places within the City or Municipal hall.

Thousands of Mindanao athletes to join 'Batang Pinoy 2011' in Zambo

By Nonong Santiago

Thousands of athletes from all over Mindanao are expected to converge in Zamboanga City for the region-wide sporting event dubbed ”Batang Pinoy 2011”, being spearheaded by the Philippine Sports Commission at the Joaquin Memorial Sports Complex at R.T. Lim Boulevard, this city.

Elbert “Bong” Atilano, Zamboanga City Batang Pinoy Project Director disclosed that at least 12 local government units have already signified their intention to send sport delegations purposely to join in the four-day sports clashes scheduled October 27 to 30 at the grandstand.

Atilano said earlier, more than 3,000 athletes composed of elementary, secondary and out-of-school youths from ages 15-below are scheduled to participate in 14 different single-sport events but the number has dwindled to half because some local government units lack the proper funding as it is now in the last quarter season.

Annie Ruiz, PSC overall coordinator for Batang Pinoy yesterday morning met with local and national technical sports officials from different sports associations in Mindanao to discuss the preparations of the huge game activities.

Ruiz said the National Sports Association (NSA) which is accredited by the Philippine Olympics Committee (POC), will conduct a refresher course seminar to local sport officials on six individual sport events such as badminton, boxing, table tennis, archery, chess and lawn tennis. The local sport officials will receive certificate of attendance, a stepping stone for them to be elevated to a much higher position.

According to Ruiz, the Batang Pinoy is a grassroot project of the PSC in coordination with the POC.

All the winners in the forthcoming regional qualifying tournament will join in the national championship to be held in Naga City on December 10-13. “All the national winners will be trained by the PSC to prepare the athletes in the Youth Olympics scheduled to be held in China in 2014,” Ruiz emphasized.

Rotary club leads “World Polio Day” in Zamboanga City


The Rotary club of Zamboanga City Central takes the lead in the commemoration of “World Polio Day” in Zamboanga City.

Rotary International has been and until now a part of the crusade in the eradication of polio disease in every place of the world. To date, Rotary International has contributed over a US$1 billion and countless hours of volunterism to protect two billion and more children in 122 countries in the world. Thus, the organization needs more funds to raise an additional US$200 million to match the US$355 million challenge of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the eradication of this crippling disease on children and adults, as well that cause eve deaths of numerous victims all over the world. Rotary International's thrusts not only for this year but for years after, is to END POLIO NOW.

The Rotary Club of Zamboanga City Central requested Mayor Celso Lorenzo Lobregat, coincidentally also an Honorary Member of RCZC Central, to declare October 24, 2011 and the years after as “WORLD POLIO DAY” in Zamboanga City. This is to create awareness to the people of the crippling effects of polio disease.

Mayor Lobregat, in adherence to the call of humanitary service, issued EXECUTIVE ORDER No. CL 422-2011 on October 12, 2011 declaring OCTOBER 24, 2011 AND EVERY YEAR THEREAFTER AS WORLD POLIO DAY IN THE CITY OF ZAMBOANGA.

To highlight the commemoration, there will be a motorcade at 8:00AM led by Rotarians of the six Rotary Clubs here in Zamboanga City, from the city hall thru the main streets of the city and to end at the inter-section of Camins, Canelar and Sta. Maria roads. Culminating the motorcade is the unveiling of the “END POLIO NOW” painting at the EAAB fence facing the intersection of the three roads by the Mayor Celso Lobregat and President Lydia DJ Lubaton of the Rotary Club of Zamboanga City Central, assisted by 530th Wing Commander Col. Emeraldo Magnaye, PAF of EAAB.

Pink October Walk yields P170,000

By R.G. A A. Go

The Gender and Development and the City’s Local Council for Women was able to collect P170,000 from supporters during the Pink October Walk held last October 6.

Councilor Lilia Nuño and chairman of the Gender and Development said during the walk alone P155,000 was collected and it is now up to P170,000

Several supporters donated the said amount to help improve the facilities of the Oncology Center of the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC).

The activity was headed by the Gender and Development, the Local Council of Women and Tzu Chi Foundation.

Another aim of the group is hopefully to buy a mammogram machine especially intended for the women and to ask for funding coming senators for medical assistance for chemotherapy.

Earlier, the thousands of participants walked from the City Hall to the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex or the grandstand as a Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.

The theme for the Pink October Walk is “Healthy Lifestyle to the Max, Laban sa Breast Cancer.”

The councilor said that they are still accepting donations for those who wanted to donate.

Zambo City's drive vs HIV-AIDS continues to receive support


The city government’s efforts to fight Human Immuno Virus-Acquire Immune Defficiency Syndrome (HIV-AIDS) continues in cooperation with the partner agencies in a bid to control and prevent the spread of the dreaded disease in this city.

The Association of Partners for AIDS-Free Zamboanga (APAFZ) started off the first round of bowling tournaments at the Teddy and Sean Recreation Center recently in a bid to raise funds for the conduct of relevant programs and activities in preparation for the World AIDS Day in December.

The group which is composed of 38 members of different massage parlors, spa centers and entertainment establishments organized the first-ever fund-raising sporting events to support this city’s unrelenting campaign against HIV-AIDS.

The competition will take place every Saturday, starting last October 15, and will have its final matches on October 29 at the same venue.

City Health Officer Rodelin Agbulos lauded the group for the move which showed the support of the private sectors, especially the business establishments involved, in addressing the problem of HIV-AIDS.

The association, which is counterpart of the Zamboanga City Multi-Sectoral AIDS Concil, is one of the active stakeholders of this city’s ever-aggressive anti-AIDS campaign.

The group’s committed contributions speak well of this city’s empowerment in promoting a private-public partnership (PPP) in answering the challenges of the universal malady.

Earlier this year, reputable organizations and groups invited Mayor Celso Lobregat to present this city’s best practices HIV-AIDS prevention and control program before city officials, students and professionals all over the country.

Lobregat led the trailblazing anti-AIDS programs that won this city several citations and awards from national and international bodies.

2000 Batang Pinoy Mindanao-leg athletes to converge in Zambo, Oct. 27-30

by Jocelyn P. Alvarez (JPA/PIA9-Zambo City)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, OCT. 21 (PIA) -- Some 2000 athletes all over Mindanao will converge in this city for the conduct of the 2011 Batang Pinoy Mindanao-wide leg, October 27-30.

The 3-day sports competition will bring in young delegates ages 15 and below to vie for the Mindanao-wide qualifier of the newly revived national multi-sport competition Batang Pinoy.

The competing athletes will represent their respective Local Government Units (LGUs) from Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, CARAGA and ARMM.

The athletes will compete in 15 sports challenge that include archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, chess, gymnastic, judo, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, lawn tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.

Qualifiers/winners for the Batang Pinoy Mindanao leg will be part of the regional qualifying pool that will battle for the national competition set on December 10-13 at Naga City, Camarines Sur

Meanwhile, City Mayor Celso Lobregat met with co-organizers to finalized plans for the 3-day sports event.

Richard Aliangan of the City Information office in a press statement said the city is all geared up for this event. The statement said the city government aside from the reception assistance will also be providing transport support and other needed assistance to the delegates.

Zamboanga is the first city in Mindanao to host the first of the 5-leg regional qualifiers since it ceased to operate in 2003.

“Batang Pinoy was first introduced in 1999 by virtue of EO No. 44. It is an open category, meaning, even private schools and out-of –school youth may join since they are representing their LGU,” Aliangan said in a press statement.

“The revival of Batang Pinoy envisioned to address the need for a grassroots sports program centered on values formation inherent in the practice of sports and play,” Aliangan said.

Network interconnection is expected to boost ICT industry in Zamboanga

(Manila Bulletin Article)

MANILA, Philippines — The successful activation of local interconnection services between Globe Telecom and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) in Zamboanga is expected to boost the growing information and communications technology (ICT) industry in the city, specifically for the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

After five years of negotiation, the two major telecom players have completed their network link-up in the city, following the announcement of National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba that the regulatory body expects the immediate implementation of local interconnection services between Globe and PLDT to provide subscribers and business establishments with quality and more affordable telecommunication services.

This year, the NTC paved the way to complete interconnection between Globe and PLDT in Pampanga, Bulacan, and Zamboanga, with four more areas up for full activation before the year ends. With the completion of local interconnection, residents and business establishments, regardless of subscription, can enjoy calling each other without having to pay long distance charges or being charged with toll rates.

“Zamboanga is touted to become one of Mindanao’s biggest economic hubs with its robust ICT infrastructure. After launching our Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax) network in 2009 comes the successful rollout of an interconnected Globe and PLDT network. This is very timely for the city with its vision to provide and attract more business opportunities that will spur continued growth,” said Atty. Froilan M. Castelo, Head for Corporate and Legal Services Group of Globe.

Added Castelo, “We are happy to have been part of this milestone for the people of Zamboanga. Rest assured that Globe will always be at forefront of public service and will continue to work closely with NTC and the local government units to fast track implementation of interconnection services in more areas nationwide.”

Meanwhile, the networks of Globe, Bayan Telecommunications (BayanTel) and Digitel Telecommunications Philippines (Digitel) have been 100% interconnected in all areas of common presence and operations nationwide since April of 2011.

Under Republic Act 7925, the NTC mandates compulsory interconnection of authorized public telecommunications carriers. This aims to create a universally accessible and fully integrated nationwide telecommunications network to encourage more infrastructure investments from the private sector that would benefit the consumers. To date, there are over 30 provinces and cities nationwide awaiting for full interconnection between Globe and PLDT.

PRC Commissioner Morada to keynote national guidance counseling seminar

By Ms. Evelyn C. Luceño

Dr. Elena V. Morada, Commissioner of the Professional Regulation Commission for Guidance and Counseling will keynote today the opening ceremony of the 47th Philippine Guidance and Counseling Association (PGCA) Mid-Year Seminar Workshop will run from October 19 to 21 at the Grand Astoria Hotel, this city. She will likewise administer the oath-taking of guidance counselors who passed the recent Guidance Counselors Licensure Examination.

This was announced by Mrs. Thelma Villanueva, registered guidance counselor and president, PGCA – Zamboanga City Chapter.

Seminar resource persons are experts and respected practitioners in this helping profession whose counseling skills have been honed by years of practice and continuing education. They are Dr. Adelaida C. Gines, ‘Innovative Strategies in Teaching Counseling Subjects’ and ‘Cognitive Behavior Therapy’; Dr. Benedicta O. Lascano, ‘Dance Therapy’ and ‘Cyber and Conventional Bullying’; Dr. Imelda V.G. Villar, ‘Motivational Communication for Behavioral Change’ and ‘Active Listening, Assertion and Conflict Management’; Dr. Alexa P. Abrenica, ‘Preventing Counseling Burn-out’ and ‘Communicating Test Results’; Mr. Earnest Tan, ‘Relationship Enhancement’; and Mr. Wilfredo Mina, ‘Guidance Delivery Mode for K-12’ and ‘The PGCA Constitution and By-Laws’.

Dr. Imelda V.G. Villar, president, PGCA, Inc. national chapter, will give an update on the association’s continuing professional education. Organized by the PGCA-Zamboanga City Chapter, the seminar is part of the continuing professional advancement intervention of the association aimed at honing and enhancing the counseling skills of its members, as well as update the latter on new trends in the field.

Some 200 guidance counselors and coordinators from various public and private schools nationwide are expected to participate.

DOT, Nat’l Museum approve enhancement of Zambo’s Fort Pilar, museum

by Jocelyn P. Alvarez (JPA/PIA9-Zambo City)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 18(PIA) -– A more illuminated, vibrant and an improved quality of sound system will awe the public as the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the National Museum have approved in principle the city government’s proposal to enhance Fort Pilar Shrine and the improvement of some infrastructures of the city’s national museum, this revealed City Information Officer (IO) Sheila Covarrubias.

Covarrubias said “the National Museum through Director Jeremy Barnes has committed to allocate funds for the improvement of some infrastructures of the Zamboanga’s national museum located right behind the Fort Pilar Shrine.”

Covarrubias shared, the city’s proposal for the shrine’s enhancement specifically its façade, through the provision of light and sound effects was an offshoot of the lights festival that the city initiated sometime in June, “of which the area was transformed into a spectacular canvass of light, music and ideas,” she shared.

“The lights festival, the first ever to be held in the Mindanao encouraged the mayor to seek DOT’s support and assistance to provide the lights and sound effects on a permanent basis,” Covarrubias was quoted as saying.

“The city government submitted the proposal to the DOT and so Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr and Director Barnes came to visit the city for the purpose,” the lady IO said.

The enhancement projects are expected to be carried out within the next few months.

Outside Intramuros and Fort Santiago, Zamboanga City’s Fort Pilar is the largest outside of Metro Manila and is also the most preserved fort.

Zamboanga business chamber is Most Outstanding in Mindanao

By R.G. A A. Go

President Benigno Aquino III personally presented two awards to the Zamboanga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (ZCCCIFI) at the recently concluded 37th Philippine Business Conference at Manila Hotel.

ZCCCIFI President Pedro Rufo “Pocholo” N. Soliven said the chamber bagged two major awards, the Most Outstanding Chamber in Mindanao and the Most Outstanding Chamber for Advocacy.

The Most Outstanding Chamber in Mindanao is in recognition of ZCCCIFI’s commendable efforts in accelerating business growth in the area by its exemplary leadership and dynamism, strong advocacy program, good working relationship with government, increased membership base and effective delivery of services. The Most Outstanding Chamber for Advocacy cited the ZCCCIFI for its highly commendable advocacy program in support for the advancement of competitiveness of the business community in the City of Zamboanga.

The award was signed by Miguel B. Varela, Chairman Emeritus, PCCI Chairman, 37th PBC Awards, Dr. Francis Chua, PCCI President, and David Chua, Chairman, 37th PBC & Expo.

Soliven said, “only ZCCCIFI won back to back major awards beating the more established chambers in the country and this is a big honor for the city.” The ZCCIFI President personally accepted the awards from President Aquino.

According to Soliven, he is also sharing the honor to the officers and the Board of Directors as well as the general membership of the business chamber for the great honor and privilege.

Captains of industry and commerce, diplomats, and top government officials were present to witness the event.

Soliven stressed, “It’s a collective effort and the all out support from the multi-sectoral group and other Business organizations who rallied behind and supported the Zamboanga Chamber in the different advocacies, that not only benefited the business sector, but for the general good.”

The other winners were Cebu Chamber, a Hall of Famer awardee for Visayas and Angeles City Chamber for Luzon.

The Zamboanga Chamber’s winning is a first in the history of the Business Chamber Movement in Zamboanga City and the entire Western Mindanao.

The Zamboanga Chamber according to Soliven is composed of 145 members.

Fort Pilar shrine up for improvement

By Bong Garcia

THE Tourism department and the National Museum have approved in principle the proposal of the local government for the provision of lights and sound effects in Fort Pilar Shrine.

The Fort Pilar or Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza in Spanish, is a 17th century military defense fortress built by the Spanish colonial government.

Fort Pilar is the biggest fort outside of Metro Manila and the most preserved fort.

The Zamboanga City Government’s proposal to light up the façade of the historic Fort Pilar Shrine was an offshoot of the lights festival held last June, during which the area was transformed into a spectacular canvass of light, music and ideas.

The Lights Festival was the first ever to be held in Mindanao. It attracted thousands of people who witnessed the amazing lights illuminating the shrine.

National Museum Director Jeremy Barnes has also expressed intentions to allocate funds for the improvement of some infrastructures at the museum located right behind the Fort Pilar Shrine.

The projects are expected to be carried out within the next few months, he said.

The shrine is now an outdoor Roman Catholic Marian shrine, a museum and a symbol of the city's cultural heritage.

Azkals' Chieffy, Ian kick off Zamboanga football fest

Report from Jewel Reyes, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga City

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Azkals football stars Chieffy Caligdong and Ian Araneta wowed their fans in Zamboanga on Friday as they kicked-off the province’s football festival at the Don Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex.

Galigdong and Araneta, who are both Philippine Air Force first class airmen, were personally escorted by their commanding general, Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena.

Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat was also present to accompany the two football players during the ceremonial kick-off.

The two Azkals members admitted that they were overwhelmed by the warm welcome given by the thousands of roaring football fans.

They also took time to share among football enthusiasts few tips and tricks which can help them become great football players.

DOT Sec graces unveiling of Zambo City’s latest tourist attraction

by Jocelyn P. Alvarez(JPA/PIA9-Zambo City)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 14 (PIA) -- Tourism Sec. Ramon Jimenez Jr. recently unveiled the city’s newest attraction, a P2.3 million multi-patterned fountain constructed at Plaza Pershing.

Jimenez, who was here as guest of Honor during the October 12 Hermosa Festival, graced the turned over of the fountain.

The fountain boasts of its beauty, one of a kind and the second fountain recently turned over by the city.

Earlier, the city turned over a laminar shooting jets fountain at the Jardin Maria Clara in Pasonanca, a known tourist destination in Zamboanga.

“Never mind the cost, but it’s beautiful. It cost about P2.3 Million,” Mayor Celso Lobregat said during the inauguration and turned over ceremony.

The fountain emits colorful lights which is sure to attract vieweres. This city’s latest attraction is open to public viewing for free. Fountain lights are switched on during night time starting 7:00.

Lobregat turned over the project to the City General Services Office for care and maintenance.

Another million peso worth of “dancing fountain” at the prime leisure spot of the city- Paseo del Mar, is sure to wow the public as it will be unveiled soon.

These tourism projects are part of the City Development Strategy geared to boost the city’s tourism industry.

Zamcelco to energize 42 sitios in city

By Monch L. Follosco

A total of 42 sitios from Districts 1 and 2 will be energized by Zamcelco by the end of this year.

In a meeting with different barangay chairmen in the city at the Zamcelco Conference Room the other day,

NEA Project Supervisor and OIC-General Manager Engr. Jesus Castro said the electrification of five sitios will be funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) while the remaining 37 sitios will be funded by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) as recommended by District 1 representative Beng Climaco and District 2 Congressman Erbie Fabian.

“This is part of the electrification program of His excellency President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino with 1,400 sitios to be energized by the end of this year with a budget of P3-billion for this year nationwide,” Castro said.

Castro is optimistic that the program will be finished before the target date on December 31, 2011, as the funds of P28,992,726.61 is being released already through NEA Administrator and Zamcelco as requested by the two representatives of the city.

Zamcelco Vice-President Elbert “Bong” Atilano said the program has two phases until the last sitio in the city will be energized under President Aquino’s program until 2015.

The discussion was focused on the property owners easement donations, systems loss, replacement of busted streetlights, line obstructions and the joint inventory of the city government-Zamcelco-and the barangay for the survey of localities where electric posts can be erected for the energization project.

Zamcelco Board President Efren Perez talked on how to combat systems loss with a new proposal.

Zamcelco’s Technical Service Department established hotline number 0919-6886610 where tipsters can relay information on illegal connections and other illegal pilferages and qualify for possible reward.

‘Wow Sardines'

(Manila Bulletin Mindanao Newsbits #4)

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) – Mayor Celso Lobregat has praised all companies, agencies, and groups that helped ensure the success of “Wow Sardinas – Year 5,” the sardine-eating spectacle that drew thousands of people to the renowned R.T. Lim Boulevard Monday afternoon.

A mainstay in the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival, the sardine-eating event, carried out ala boodle fight, brought together thousands of people who consumed over 30,000 cans of sardines. “This is proof that Zamboanga City is the sardines capital of the Philippines,” Lobregat declared as he congratulated the organizers and thanked all sectors that contributed to the success of the event.

Info technology

By Nonoy Lacson (Manila Bulletin Mindanao Newsbits #3)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay urged stakeholders to utilize the modern information technology (IT) system in order to mitigate the heavy toll of natural disasters on the Philippine economy. “Even the best technologies cannot prevent a natural disaster. I am quite sure that we all agree with this proposition,” Binay said in a speech at the Conference on Innovative ICT, CIO, and Natural disasters.

“Still, even the most rudimentary technology – if utilized well – can help mitigate the impact of a disaster, and reduce the cost to property and human lives,” he added.

City holds Regatta 2011

By Nonong Santiago

At least 125 participants joined in the Regatta de Zamboanga yesterday at R.T. Lim Boulevard, this city.

The colorful vinta race is a yearly event sponsored by the city government led by Mayor Celso Lobregat through the City Tourism Office under Sarita Sebastian.

Two fishermen from barangay Sinunuc emerged victorious in the sailboat competition which started at 8 a.m. along the stretch of the R.T Lim Boulevard.

Danny Ladja and his brother Hajad Hamid were awarded by Mayor Lobregat with the cash prize of P10,000 plus a miniature vinta trophy.

“Last year we were third place but now that we are champion we are very happy,” Ladja said.

Thousands of Zamboangueño residents and visitors lined up the road to witness the annual sailboat competition.

Visitors included Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gachalian, Councilor Marlon Alejandrino and Isabela Gov. Grace Madaca.

Gachalian said this is his first time to witness such very unique event. He hopes to pattern the same in his hometown one day.

Lobregat thanked all the residents for coming over and witnessing the event.

Also present in the Regatta are PRO 9 commander Chief Supt. Elpidio de Asis, Congresswoman Isabelle Climaco, Councilors Nonong Guingona, Rudy Lim, Myra Paz Abubakar, Percival Ramos, Capt. Perfecto Eden Station commander Philippine Coast Guard, Sr. Supt. Eduardo Garado, chief of the Maritime Mobile Group. Atty. Irving Saipudin MARINA Regional Director, Sr. Supt. Edwin de Ocampo city police director, and City Health Officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos.

Alcantara Group to build P12-B power plant in Zamboanga

(Manila Bulletin News Article)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The Alcantara Group is poised to secure local approval for its plan to put up a P12-billion 100-megawatt coal-fired power plant in the eastern part of Zamboanga City following positive results of the initial series of public consultation by government agencies.

Company officials said the initial series of consultation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Zamboanga elicited no opposition to the plan of San Ramon Power Corporation, a subsidiary of the Alcantara Group, to build the 100-megawatt P12-billion coal-fired power plant in San Ramon in the eastern part of Zamboanga City.

“Based on our studies, we can conclude that the operation of the San Ramon Plant will have no adverse effects on the water, soil and air quality of the area surrounding the plant,” said Engineer Jethro Alden Hipe of environmental standards consulting firm Berkman Systems at the forum organized and led by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the DENR.

San Ramon Power Corp. spokesperson Lewilin R. Lisondra said the Alcantara Group is confident it would be allowed to proceed with the project since its planned power plant exceeded the environmental and safety standards set by the government in the Clean Air Act.

Joseph Nocos, vice president for business development of the Alcantara Group, said the company is committed to comply with Philippine environmental regulations and World Bank guidelines.

The proposed Zamboanga Power Plant will be developed and managed by San Ramon Power, Inc. – a subsidiary of Alsons Consolidated Resources (ACR) the publicly listed holding company of the Alcantara Group. San Ramon aims to initially provide the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ZAMCELCO) with a dedicated and exclusive supply of electrical power. ZAMCELCO is the electrical power supplier of Zamboanga City and some peripheral areas serving a population of close to a million people.

The plant is being built in anticipation of a power supply shortage in Mindanao by 2014 due to the lack of power generating facilities to supply the growing power demands of the island’s expanding population.

The Alcantara Group also has a stake in two diesel-fired power plants under a build-operate-and-own (BOO) arrangement with the National Power Corporation. The plants are located in Zamboanga City and Sarangani. Aside from power generation and power plant management, the Group is engaged in aquaculture and agribusiness, real property development, and services. The Alcantara Group has been an active player in the economic development of Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines for over fifty years.

122 job applicants hired on the spot

By Bong Garcia

ONE hundred twelve applicants were hired on-the-spot by local business establishments during the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2011 Jobs Fair in Zamboanga City.

Public Employment Service Office (Peso) chief Francisco Barredo said many of the more than 800 job seekers have also qualified for the initial evaluation for overseas employment.

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The initial evaluation was made by the 25 Manila-based licensed international recruiting agencies that participated in the jobs fairs held at Plaza del Pilar from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Barredo said.

The job seekers come from the nearby provinces of Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Basilan, aside from Zamboanga City.

Most of the job seekers applied for work abroad, Barredo said.

At least 3,500 local and international job vacancies were up for grabs during the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2011 jobs fair.

Barredo said the jobs fair is one of the thrusts of the local government, in partnership with government agencies, in providing job opportunities to Zamboanga City residents as well as those from the neighboring cities and provinces.

Jaycess gather in Zambo for national convention

By Hader Glang

Nearly 2,000 young leaders nationwide of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines, a leading global network of young active citizens, gathered here at Garden Orchid Hotel for a four-day national convention.

Hosted by the local chapter, Zamboanga Jaycess Inc. spearheaded by incoming national president JCI Sen. Ivan Randolph Ruste and JCI Sen. Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe, National Convention Director.

Dalipe said they have taken all the steps to ensure the safety and security of each of the members of the chapter and made all the preparations to guarantee a NATCON experience worth coming to Zamboanga City for.

The JCI's 4th Regular National Board Meeting, Search for Miss JCI - Philippines, City Tour of the JCI members and the launching of Liter of Light at a poor community in Barangay Tetuan will highlight this year's national convention.

In a press conference, Dalipe told local reporters it took about 10 years for the JCI local Zamboanga chapter to host the convention.

"We're very proud in this national convention, the incoming national president is from here (local chapter Zamboanga Jaycess Inc.), JCI Sen. Ivan Randolph Ruste," the former vice mayor said.

"We consider this as NATCON WEEK and Zamboanga Hermosa Festival altogether rolled into one for an unforgettable and exhilarating week," Dalipe added.

JCI Sen. Bernard Faustino Dy, 2011 National President, admitted that preparation for the holding of the national convention here was not so easy, "but with diligence and perseverance of our national convention director, they have executed it."

"We did not expect that many will participate...even with the storm that crippled in the country especially in Luzon still many came here to show their dedication to the organization and the JCI," Dy told reporters.

He also appealed to the local media to disseminate information to the non-JCI that their organization is receiving young people who want to help or contribute to their community.

JCI is the only worldwide non-political and non-sectarian youth service organization. It is an international community of citizens between the ages of 18 to 40 with the aim and purpose of creating positive changes in the world.

The organization believes that these changes must result from one taking, "collective action to improve themselves and the world around them."

Pink October walk set today

By R.G. A A. Go

The City Government of Zamboanga will conduct today the Pink October Walk as a Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign today from the City Hall to the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex or the grandstand.

Councilor Lilia Nuño and chairman of the Gender and Development said, “ta hase se quita yearly to create awareness on women on breast cancer for early detection and cure.”

The theme for this year’s Pink October Walk is “Healthy Lifestyle to the Max, Laban sa Breast Cancer.”

According to Nuño, she is expecting around 7,000 participants to join the event to include Non-Government Organization, students, women, military, and police.

The participants will start walking from the City Hall to the grandstand. They are also expected to donate any amount for the campaign.

The money will be used to improve the facilities of the Oncology Center of the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC).

The activity is headed by the Gender and Development, the Local Council of Women and Tzu Chi Foundation.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Petroleum Philippine Inc. will also join the Pink October Walk as part of their corporate social responsibility.

Phoenix Petroleum Philippine Inc. Corporate Affairs Manager Beethoven Sur said, “it is the advocacy of the Phoenix Foundation to support activities of the community, environment, education and humanitarian concerns. The Pink October Walk is one important activity that Phoenix will support.”

Some 15 to 20 representative from Phoenix will join the walk to show their support. Aside from this, the company will also donated some amount for the walk.

Zambo Schools join World teachers Day

by Jocelyn P. Alvarez(JPA/PIA9-Zambo City)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct.5 (PIA) -- Different schools here join the globe in celebration of the World Teachers Day (WTD) today with respective programs and activities conducted as highlight to the celebration.

Eight schools under the Putik District participated in the Search for Miss Putik, a fun activity organized in consonance with the National Teachers Month and WTD.

Schools under Putik District include Divisoria, Putik, Boalan, Zambowood, Pasobolong, Lugakit, Lumayang and Baluno while teachers in the Baliwasan Central School selflessly offered themselves as blood donors during their blood letting activity held in the morning. Fun games were also conducted in the afternoon.

In many countries, Teachers' Day are intended to be special days for the appreciation of teachers; World Teachers' Day is celebrated across the world on October 5. Ever since the importance of teachers has been recognized by UNESCO, by adopting the “Recommendation concerning the status of teachers”, World Teachers' Day has been celebrated annually. This includes celebrations to honor the teachers for their special contribution in a particular field area or the community in general.

The idea of celebrating Teacher's Day took ground independently in many countries during the 20th century; in most cases, they celebrate a local educator or an important milestone in education (for example, Argentina celebrates Domingo Faustino Sarmiento's death on September 11 since 1915, while India celebrates Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan's birthday on September 5 since 1962. These two factors explain why almost all countries celebrate this day on different dates, unlike many other International Days.

In the Philippines, the WTD coincides with the culmination of the country’s celebration of “National Teachers Month.”

Presidential Proclamation No. 242 issued by President Benigno S. Aquino III “Declares the Period from 05 September to 05 October as a National Teachers Month”

Department of Education (DepEd) issued DepEd Memorandum 219 in September for the dissemination of the said proclamation.

The memorandum calls for the observance of National Teachers Month and World Teachers Day by conducting fitting activities in line with the celebration recognizing the unique role and service that teachers play in guiding families, strengthening communities, and building the nation

Climaco reminds national offices on regional center status quo order

By R.G. A A. Go

Deputy Speaker and District I Representative Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar is reminding all national government agencies of Executive Order 11 after an instruction was given to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) IX to transfer from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City.

Climaco said in an interview, “immediately we wrote to DENR Secretary Ramon Paje, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) to try to remind the national government agencies of E.O. 11 that is like a status quo order for the transfer.”

According to the Congresswoman, “we are asking these government agencies to look into this because this is not the first time this happened. El Bureau of Fire Protection, ya transferi tamen kanila and we asked the intervention of their mother unit in the Department of Interior and Local Government and they were given order to stay put in the City of Zamboanga.”

On the status of the Regional Transfer, Climaco said, “the PMS is still awaiting the comments of the security and good governance cluster. They are not yet ready to come up with full decision because the report has not yet been finalized and the president has not yet made any decision.”

Earlier, DENR MGB Manila has instructed DENR MGB IX to transfer from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City not later than October 31.

The memorandum coming from DENR MGB Manila dated September 8 and signed by Leo Jasareno states that the transfer was pursuant to Executive Order No. 429, Series of 1990. Aside from this, the funds in connection with the transfer were already downloaded.

The memorandum states, “in view thereof, please ensure the full transfer of the Regional Office to Pagadian City not later than October 31.”

Last August 15, the Executive Director of the Pagadian Regional Center Management and Coordinating Office Engr. Leonila Sisona endorsed the letter of Pagadian City Mayor Sammy Co on the transfer of the DENR MGB IX Office from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City.

The legal basis for the regional transfer was E.O. 429 issued on October 12, 1990 by President Corazon Aquino which provided for the Reorganization of the Administrative Regions in Mindanao. It declared Pagadian City as the regional center of Region IX with the inclusion of Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte. However, in April 12, 1996, E. O. 325 was signed by President Fidel Ramos which reorganized the Regional Development Councils. Its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) declared Zamboanga City as the regional center in Region IX. In 2001, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed E.O. 36 which returned two provinces and four cities back to Region X earlier reorganized to Region IX but was silent on the issue of Regional Government Centers. In 2004, Memorandum Circular 75 signed by Former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita was released and directed the transfer of the regional center from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City citing Section 1 of E.O. 429 as its legal basis.

However, there is a Memorandum Circular No. 11 signed last December 22, 2010 by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa by the authority of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III directing a moratorium of the transfer of regional offices of all departments and agencies from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City.

Section 1 of M.C. 11 directs all departments, bureaus and other government agencies are enjoined to suspend the transfer of their offices in Region IX from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City pending the study on the matter and consultations with relevant stakeholders to be jointly conducted by the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Civil Service Commission (CSC), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Fifty one employees of the DENR MGB IX will be affected by the transfer and most of the employees are already based here including their families. The Pagadian Regional Center Management and Coordinating Office (PRCMCO) earlier reported that out of the 121 regional offices or agencies, only 32 have fully transferred to Pagadian City.

According to Climaco, “we already did whatever is possible. On this issue, our struggle continues and I think aside from all of our collective efforts, there should also be united efforts to really storm Malacañang to act on this.”

“no mas quita perde esperansa. Iyo comom un representate, el govierno local, ta ase esfuerso silencio ta aspiri para devolve el regional center na ciudad. Ta pidi lang quita chempo el Malacañang hinde pa ready na report.”

City dad hails 1st kidney transplantation in Zambo

by Sheila Covarrubias (JPA/SC/CIO/PIA 9-Zambo City)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 3 (PIA) -– City Mayor Celso Lobregat has hailed the Western Mindanao Medical Center for launching the first ever kidney transplant procedure in Zamboanga Peninsula and neighbouring regions 10 and 11.

Mayor Lobregat, who graced the short program prior to the actual operation Saturday, was ecstatic that the first kidney transplant procedure in Western Mindanao is held the same day when American surgeon Henry E. Murray performed the first successful transplant of a human kidney in October 1954 with 24-year old identical twins as both donor and recipient.

“Probably by coincidence, today, the 1st of October, the Western Mindanao Medical Center, scores the first kidney transplantation procedure. Thus, we join with this health care institution in celebrating this feat,” Lobregat said.

The mayor stressed that the first kidney transplant procedure is another milestone not only for the WMCC but the health care program in Zamboanga City.

He likewise expressed jubilation that the first ever procedure is held at the start of the Fiesta Hermosa 2011, the city’s grandest festival in honor of Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar.

“As we celebrate Fiesta Hermosa, the city government is not only focusing on social activities but also on health as we also have lined up a bloodletting activity on Oct. 2 and free medical services on Oct. 5,” the mayor emphasized.

The bloodletting activity, held yesterday at the Red Cross training center was intended to support and assist the Red Cross in its blood services program while the medical mission dubbed “Fiesta Medical” set to be held at the City Health Office compound on October 5 is intended to provide free medical, dental and minor surgical services to poor but deserving residents of the city.

Meanwhile, the mayor took pride in personally presenting to the crowd during the program, the members of the team that conducted the first kidney transplant in Zamboanga. The team included Dr. Michael Abutazil, head of the WMMC hemodialysis unit.

The first ever procedure was witnessed by Dr. Antonio Paraiso, program manager for operation, Philippine Organ Donation Program of the DOH representing the Secretary Enrique On as well as Dr. Benito Puruganan, chairman, Department of Organ Transplantation, National Kidney and transplant Institute.

Police screening

(Manila Bulletin Mindanao News Bits #2)

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) — Mayor Celso Lobregat now heads the Ad Hoc committee that will conduct initial screen-ing of police applicants.

The members of the committee are Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) City Director Moh.

Taha Arakama, City Schools Division officer-in-charge Pedro Melchor Natividad, Zamboanga City police director Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo and representatives from the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) as well as from the non-government organization (NGO) and civic groups.

The secretariat will “publish the list of applicants in at least five public places and through the local media, if any, to encourage the public to report any information relative to the worthiness of the applicant to become a law enforcer in their community.”

Thousands attend consultation on coal-fired power plant

By Nonong Santiago

Thousands of people attended the second Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) public consultation sponsored by the San Ramon Power Inc. (SRPI) at the multipurpose hall of the Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport Authority in barangay Talisayan, this city.

Residents comprising different sectors from as far as barangays Bolong, Sangali, Mercedes, Culianan, Manicahan, Boalan and Putik in the east coast and Labuan,, Sinubung, Ayala , Cawit, Patalon and other barangays in the west coast filled the hall purposely to learn and gain knowledge about the operations of the coal plant and the environmental hazards it might bring.

Despite their continuous public forum, there are still many people who opposed to the construction of the 100 megawatt coal plant including Talisayan barangay chair Josephine Pareja, Councilor Jawo Jimenez, members of the Akbayan group and others.

In a press conference, SRPI vice president for business development Joseph Nocos expressed elation on the huge attendance saying the consultation is one way of understanding the pros and cons of the issues at hand.

Nocos pointed out that no amount of grumblings by the misinformed opposition could derail the project which will cost the SRPI a whooping P11 billion ($280 million).

He said team of experts were present in the fora to asses how they answered and provided the information to the people.

“We hope to get the nod of the experts for the approval of our ECC and permit to operate the plant in this city,” Nocos said.

Nocos stressed that once they will have the permit, it will be all systems go for the putting up of the coal plant inside the ecozone.

Apprehensions were also raised by the oppositors that the coal plant will affect the water supply in the barangays and the ocean because it will use sea water and fresh water from the Saaz River.

Nocos said the plant will use sea and fresh water for three reasons. 1) sea water will be used for cooling of the boilers 2) the use of around 16.5 cubic meters of fresh water will be taken at the mouth of the river for production and domestic like drinking and washing.

He said the plant is modern and all safety measures have already been taken in consideration to address the apprehensions aired by the people who are still “misinformed”.

“Right now the people are seeing an abstract vision. They are only getting their information from the internet. We want them to see and visualize of our modern coal plant if indeed it is destroying and detrimental to the environment,” Nocos said.

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