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Zamboanga del Norte News December 2013

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Zamboanga del Norte - Archived News

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Seal of Zamboanga del Norte
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Provincial Capitol of Zamboanga del Norte
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Saint James Cathedral in Dapitan City
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City Hall of Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte
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Situbo Falls, Zamboanga del Norte
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Statue of Christ, Pangalalan, Sindangan
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Our lady of the most Holy Rosary, Estaka
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Manukan Mini Museum Landmark

Contents

Dapitan City celebrates Hudyaka sa Pag-Handuraw

(PNA), FFC/TPGJR/HDC/JSD

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Dec. 31 (PNA) -- The 7th year celebration of Hudyaka sa Pag-Handuraw (Recalling of the joyous past) in Dapitan City ended Monday.

The celebration started Saturday, Dec. 28.

The city government held this year’s Hudyaka sa Pag-Handuraw in Barangay Ilaya, Dapitan City, where the revival of the festival was held seven years ago in honor of the first settlers headed by Datu Pagbuaya.

Historically, the Hudyaka festival originated during the Spanish occupation after the Pagbuaya-led Subanen settlers embraces Christianity.

“The Hudyaka sa Pag-Handuraw was revived on December 28, 2006 to give tribute of the first settlers and this is the first time that we brought back the celebration to Barangay Ilaya,” City Tourism Officer Apple Marie Agolong said.

The celebration was held in the city proper in previous years after the revival of the Hudyaka sa Pag-Handuraw in 2006.

The opening program for this year’s celebration started with a mass followed by the opening of the booths representing the eight Subanen tribes during a simple program.

The eight tribes of the Subanen were identified through the representation by barangays such as Barangay Yabu-Yabu Tribes, Suminod Tribe, Limones Tribe, Gomoray Tribe, Eknan Tribe, Miyalen Tribe, Tapalon Tribe and Andapon Tribe.

Fr. Elmer Jamarolin, who officiated the mass, was very thankful since this year’s celebration affirmed the significance of Barangay Ilaya in the history of Dapitan City, being the site where the Subanens first settled.

Dapitan City Mayor Rosalina Jalosjos, the keynote speaker in the closing ceremony Monday, said Dapitan City has rich historical background that the people from other places should know aside from being the exile place of the country’s National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

“Dapitan City is known where our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was exiled but we have a lot more tell about our city as a rich of historical background that need us to inform the people through celebration like the Hudyaka sa Pag-Handuraw,” Jalosjos said.

2 farmers caught in pot session

By Bong Garcia

MILITARY intelligence operatives have arrested two suspected drug users while having a pot session in a remote village of Zamboanga del Norte, the police reported Monday.

Arrested were Bandol Sumalat, 18, and Jessie Jay Francisco, both farmers and residents of Pisawak village, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, the police said.

The police said the intelligence operatives of the Army’s 13th Special Forces company were conducting surveillance when they chanced upon the suspects around 9:45 p.m. Sunday having a pot session under the house of Efren Tabaya in the village of Siay, Siocon town.

Confiscated from the suspects’ possession was a heat-sealed plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance believed to be shabu and other prohibited drug paraphernalia, the police said.

The suspects were turned over and detained at the Siocon Police Station, the police said.

Bird strike at Dipolog airport damages jetliner’s engine

By BENJIE L. VERGARA

An engine of an AirPhil Express Airbus A320 was damaged by a bird strike as the plane was landing at the Dipolog Airport on Sunday afternoon, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) reported.

The CAAP said pilots Capt. Mark Castro and Capt. Peter Salac radioed the Mactan Control Tower at around 2:16 p.m. that the plane, which flew from Manila, was hit by a bird strike and damaged one of its two jet engines.

The report did not say how many passengers and crew the plane was carrying.

It was learned that the pilots chose to contact the Mactan-Cebu International Airport because it has a more advanced communication set-up than Dipolog airport’s.

The Mactan control tower informed the CAAP about the situation, and the aviation regulator notified the Dipolog control tower.

The plane landed safely at Dipolog despite the damaged turbine blades.

The plane will stay overnight in Dipolog while it waits for replacement parts that will flown from Manila.

More than 50 bird strike incidents have been recorded since 2012 at different airports in the country.

Auxiliary cop wounded, 5 unscathed in gun attack

By Bong Garcia

A MEMBER of the Special Police Auxiliary Unit (SPAU) was wounded while five other were unscathed in a gun attack by bandits in the hinterlands of Zamboanga del Norte.

The Zamboanga del Norte police said the incident took place around 7:20 a.m. Thursday at Sitio Codugon in the village of Balas, Labason town.

Wounded was SPAU member of Labason town, Salvador Clata, who was rushed to Dipolog City for medical treatment, the police said.

The police, however, did not identify Clata’s five companions.

Investigation showed the victims were eating breakfast and busy tending their copra drier when a group of bandits, allegedly led by Omar Arasi, appeared and shot them, the police said.

Recovered from the crime scene were 18 empty shells of M16 Armalite rifle, 13 empty shells for M14 rifle, 10 empty shells for Garand rifle and an empty shell for 12 gauge shotgun.

A follow up operation was launched aimed to arrest the culprits, the police said.

Polanco bags 1st year CROWN maintenance award

By Mary May A. Abellon (PIA9)

DIPOLOG CITY – The municipality of Polanco in Zamboanga del Norte has received on Tuesday its 1st Year Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN) maintenance award in an awarding ceremony held in this city by the National Nutrition Council (NNC)-9.

This award is given to the local government unit (LGU) which has consistently shown an excellent implementation in its local nutrition programs and in the reduction of under-nutrition prevalence for three consecutive years.

Meanwhile, the municipality of Piñan and the city of Dipolog were the Green Banner awardees for Regional Outstanding Nutrition Program Implementation category while the municipality of Alicia in Zamboanga Sibugay was also the Green Banner awardee in said province.

Dapitan City, on the other hand, received a certificate of recognition as first runner-up winner in the Outstanding Performance in Nutrition Implementation.

Dr. Domiciano P. Talaboc of Polanco town, Dr. Ricardo S. Awit of Piñan town and Meriam O. Lacaya of Dipolog City were given certificates of recognition as outstanding nutrition action officers. Recognized as the outstanding barangay nutrition scholars were Felisa J. Guilingan of Guinles, Polanco, Zamboanga del Norte, Alicia F. Cabayacruz of Boalan, Zamboanga City, Tessie Espinosa of Poblacion Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay, Florence P. Reville of Larayan, Dapitan City, Normalita Tactacon from of Upper Sibatang, Pagadian City, Jocelyn T. Macaambac of Kailan, Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur, and Luzviminda Maligro of Sta. Filomena, Dipolog City.

Furthermore, the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Food Authority (NFA), Nutritionist Dietitian Association of the Philippines and the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) have received a certificates of recognition for the implementation of special program support to the NNC in the region.

PRC continues to accept donations for Yolanda victims

By Alfonso T. Ruda (PIA9)

DIPOLOG CITY - The Philippine Red Cross (PRC)-Zamboanga del Norte Chapter continues to accept donations from the public for the Yolanda victims but used clothing.

PRC-ZN Provincial Administrator Hector Soledad said in a recent “Kapihan sa Dipolog” radio program held here at Sunburst Restaurant, Camilla Hotel I that the local chapter has already generated more than P100 thousand cash assistance and an estimated P1.2 milion worth of food and non-food donations for the typhoon victims.

The PRC here is scheduled to transport another batch of relief goods to Tacloban City tomorrow using the vehicles of the provincial government, consisting of food and non-food items and medicines.

Soledad also expressed his thanks for the support extended by provincial government, the two cities of Dipolog and Dapitan, the 25 municipalities of the province as well as the public and generous individuals for lending their vehicles to transport the relief goods to the Port of Pulawan in Dapitan City, including George and Peter Lines and Lite Shipping for providing free accommodations for the relief goods to be transported to Tacloban via Cebu.

He assured the public of transparency in handling donations for the Yolanda victims. “All cash generated by the local chapter is remitted to the national headquarters for disposition except those intended for administrative expenses,” Soledad said.

Meanwhile, PRC- ZN Chairman Soccoro Hamac urges the public to participate in disaster preparedness trainings to enhance their capability to respond in times of calamity. She noted that in most of trainings conducted only the “tanods” and a number of barangay officials are participating.

Soledad stressed the needs of least one member of the family to know the basics of first-aid to be able respond appropriately to any untoward incident.

Executive Assistant Joshua Bicoy of the provincial government reiterated Governor Roberto Uy’s appeal to the public for prayer and thanks to the Almighty as Zamboanga del Norte had been spared from major calamities that hit other parts of the country.

It may be recalled that despite appropriate warnings from the concerned government agencies of the coming of supertyphoon Yolanda - considered one of the most damaging typhoons that hit the country – it still left more than 6,000 people dead, thousands injured and missing, and billions of properties, agriculture and infrastructures damaged.

Christmas Treat

(PNA)

DAPITAN CITY (PNA) — Mayor Rosalinda Jalosjos is eyeing to make the “Pasko sa Nayon” as a permanent activity every Christmas Season. The “Pasko sa Nayon” is the giving of free snacks to churchgoers after attending the “Simbang Gabi” – an early morning mass. Monsigñor Jun Villamil said Jalosjos’ plan came out after observing that the activity has added color to the “Simbang Gabi” and has become the attraction especially to the children. The free snack is given by the city government here through the City Tourism Office. Private individuals have also contributed in giving free snacks, mostly native delicacies.

Government doles out P15,000 to 65 Zamboanga farmers

By Alladin S. Diega

ZAMBOANGA CITY—The government gave roughly P15,031 each to 65 farmers in the Zamboanga peninsula region this year, state media reported.

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) quoted the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) as having provided P977,000 in calamity assistance to the farmers in Region 9. The region consists of three provinces, namely, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.

The report quoted DAR Regional Director Julita Ragandang as saying the farmer beneficiaries have suffered farm losses to floods brought about by inclement weather and storms.

The news report on the PNA web site on Tuesday neither identified the source of the cash nor the farmer beneficiaries.

But the report further quoted Ragandang as saying that the calamity-assistance program is being implemented in coordination with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., which provides insurance to farmers covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

The report further quoted Ragandang as saying the amounts allocated to the farmer-beneficiaries were intended to help them defray expenses in the rehabilitation of their damaged farms.

The amount given to farmer-beneficiaries depended on the actual damages they incurred, the report said.

Ragandang was quoted as saying that the financial assistance was handed out to farmers “on varied occasions” in November and the third week of December.

Zambo. Norte bags “Pamana ng Lahi” award

By Alfonso T. Ruda (PIA9)

DIPOLOG CITY - The provincial government of Zamboanga del Norte is set to receive P3 million from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as the regional winner of the “Gawad Pamana ng Lahi” award.

The province has been recognized for its exemplary performance in the field of development planning, sound financial management, transparency and accountability, and valuing performance monitoring.

With this, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has recently passed a resolution authorizing Governor Roberto Y. Uy to enter into a memorandum of agreement with DILG-9 represented by Regional Director Paisal Abutazil to effect the implementation of an infrastructure project to be funded with the P3 million prize from the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) in Siocon town.

Under the MOA, the provincial government will provide the technical assistance to the municipal government of Siocon through participation, transparency and accountability to the project.

It could be recalled that a 1.3-kilometer road concreting project along the provincial road at Barangay Malipot in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte was already implemented under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Pillar 3 Project with an appropriation of P15 million. Such a project is the national government’s intervention in conflict-affected and vulnerable areas in the country in support of the peace initiatives of the government.

TVIRD prepares its miners to find work after its Canatuan mine closes this month

By Jonathan L. Mayuga

TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) is confident that its seasoned miners will have a better chance of landing jobs here and abroad, or start their own business after its Canatuan mines stops operation this month.

Some of TVIRD’s workers and employees at the Canatuan mines are now “Tesda Espesyalista,” with Tesda referring to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

The company has been preparing its workers and employees since 2011 as part of its exit strategy.

“Tesda’s issuance of national certificates [NCs] to our skilled workers who passed its certification process is part of that plan. NCs are issued to our workers as a way to prepare them for the future, making them more marketable,” Yody Marzo, corporate services vice president, said.

Marzo said NCII certifications, officially stating that their skills exceed entry-level requirements and that they can perform to the standards expected in the workplace based on competency standards, therefore make them eligible for employment. The NCs have been issued to over 100 TVIRD employees over the past two years.

The NCs in the fields of welding, automotive servicing, shielded metal arc welding, electrical installation and maintenance, computer hardware servicing and driving were issued to qualified employees. A special training on resume and cover-letter writing was also conducted in order to enhance their competitiveness.

Aside from skills development and training, the company also launched various livelihood programs and taught them the tricks of starting a small business with the assistance of various government agencies.

The Department of Agriculture provided support in teaching TVIRD employees and workers more about rubber-tree planting, a potential source of income for those living in Zamboanga del Norte.

Many of the farmers already own several hectares of cultivated land, said Canatuan Human Resources Manager Bayani Quilang.

The Department of Labor and Employment has committed to assist the company in acquiring additional capital by linking them with other government agencies while the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will assist them on packaging and marketing their products.

Both government agencies are committed to guide the mine workers in starting up new businesses and in maximizing capital based on the separation package they will receive from the company. The DTI also discussed small business opportunities and current market demands in the Zamboanga peninsula.

The final decommissioning of the processing operations means massive layoff for mine workers in Canatuan.

Rizal: Green masterplanner

(Manila Standard Today)

Dr. Jose Rizal is primarily known for his pivotal role in uniting the Filipino people against colonial tyranny. He was a scholar, doctor, an artist, linguist, writer-novelist to name a few of the many references made on him that are attributable to his skills as a polymath. But as the modern world reassesses his achievements, professionals are yet adding another title to his already impressive credentials, an environmental planner.

Three points of view on Rizal who had a special devotion to mother nature are now in a book launched last December 5.

“Parangal Kay Gat Jose P. Rizal: Bayaning Environmental Planner” and published by the Development Academy of the Philippines with funding from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts wa unveiled at the DAP building on San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

In 2011, the Development Academy of the Philippines partnered with National Historical Commission of the Philippines, City of Dapitan and the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners in honoring Rizal on his 150th birthday in a tribute on the theme Gat. Jose P. Rizal: Bayaning Environmental Planner, citing his extensive public works projects to improve the quality of life in Dapitan in Zamboanga where he was exiled.

Among the three resource persons were.Prof. Jose David Lapuz, an eminent Rizalista and lecturer on international politics; Former Dapitan Vice Mayor Patri Chan; and Dr. Maria Serena Diokno, NHC chairwoman.

Antonio Kalaw Jr., DAP president and chief executive gave the foreword echoing Rizal’s environmental ethos in the academy’s educational mission to empower people to attain a better quality of life.

Farming couple attacked in Zamboanga’s Salug town

By Al Jacinto

ZAMBOANGA CITY: Unidentified gunmen shot a farming couple in the town of Salug in Zamboanga del Norte province in southern Philippines, police said.

Police said the victims – Ronald Abejero, 44, and his wife Carmelita, 35, – were repeatedly shot in their house in the village called Balakan and killing the man.

The couple was preparing their dinner when somebody and called Abejero’s name. Police Abejero opened the door and was immediately shot by the gunmen, who also attacked his wife.

The shooters fled after the attack, police said.

Investigators recovered 5 bullet casings of .45-caliber pistol outside the house. No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Zambo Norte-based Canadian mine firm trains IPs ‘hilots’

By Antonio P. Rimando (Correspondent)

SIOCON, Zamboanga del Norte —The Canadian mining firm TVI Resource Development Inc. (TVIRD), based at Barangay Canatuan in this mountain town, recently conducted a weeklong training-workshop for native midwives—locally known as pandoys—for indigenous peoples (IPs) residents known as Subano tribesmen.

TVIRD information officer Rocky Dimaculangan said the training is the company’s contribution to the promotion of health and safety to delivering mothers and their infants who used to be handled only by untrained pandoys.

Dubbed as the Basic Home Nursing Course, the training-workshop was participated in by at least 50 pandoys who serve as traditional Subano tribe midwives. These pandoys acquired their basic knowledge of their technique of delivering babies from their ancestors usually utilizing, among other things, local herbal concoctions and massage.

Dimaculangan said the Subano-inhabited village and its neighboring barangays largely depended on pandoys to remedy physical ailments ranging from stomach aches to child birth.

The weeklong training workshop, he said, was conducted with the support of the Zamboanga del Norte Philippine National Red Cross chapter under the supervision of TVIRD senior physician Dr. Ulysses Silorio, with the assistance of a team of PNRC trainers.

The group utilized training modules as part of the Safe Motherhood Program initiated by the mining firm to help address the lack of basic health services in remote areas of the Subanon ancestral domain.

TVIRD company midwife Malou Prestoza, who served as the pandoy organizer and chief mentor, said the weeklong training workshop was on top of the monthly health briefings for local mothers and fathers.

Prestoza said the company, as part of its civic social responsibility, recently formed an organization of local pandoys and effectively taught them the proper procedure of attending to normal childbirths as well as to identify possible risks among pregnant women.

The local tribal midwives, she added, were also taught on how to properly apply the right antiseptic techniques, to care for infants, to administer basic first aids and to handle and manage emergency health-related situations at home.

Dimaculangan said the seven-year-old Canadian mining company, through its Community Relations and Development Office, provided a medical kit to each pandoy participant after their graduation.

He said the kit—known as pandoy kit—contained a blood-pressure monitor, sanitized forceps, scissors, alcohol, and other related items which the tribal midwives would use during emergencies.

Guard dies in duel in Dipolog City

(Mindanao Examiner)

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 18, 2013) – One security guard was killed in a gun duel with another guard in the southern Philippine city of Dipolog, police said Wednesday.

Police said it arrested the shooter, Elmer Caemare, 39, and his weapon was also recovered. Caemare is being investigated by the police for the killing of Felmor Javier, 45.

Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca, a regional police spokesman, said both security guards were detailed at the Paragon Group Distributor Corporation along Quezon Avenue. He said the two had a heated argument that led to the duel.

It was unknown what sparked the argument.

P1.6-M school building to be erected in Labason

By Alfonso T. Ruda (FPG/ATR/PIA9-Zambo Norte)

DIPOLOG CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA) – A new school building worth P1.6 million will be constructed in Lawigan Elementary School, Lawigan, Labason, Zamboanga del Norte next year.

This after the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has granted Zamboanga del Norte Governor Roberto Y. Uy an authority to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with municipal government of Labason represented by Mayor Eddie Quimbo.

Under the said MOA the provincial government shall provide P561,301.48 as counterpart fund for the project as requested by the DAR-ARCP II, the implementing agency. This school project has a total cost of P1,603,718.51.

The counterpart fund, which represents 35 percent of the total project cost, will be taken from the balance allocation of the Project Identification Fund (PIF) under the 20 percent development fund of the provincial government.

The governor’s action is in response to the request of the municipal council of Labason as contained in its Resolution No. 202.

Barangay Lawigan is one of the interior barangays of the municipality which is located 5 kilometers from the town proper.

Suspect in kidnapping of barangay exec in Sibuco nabbed

By Roel Pareño (philstar.com)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Police forces captured one of the three kidnappers behind the abduction of a barangay captain in Sibuco town, Zamboanga del Norte, according security official.

The arrest of Jasser Mahamud-Siddik led to the identities of his two other companions Yusop Maliki and a certain Jumrani who were responsible in the abduction of Barangay Captain Cecilia Alas-as Thursday night at coastal village of Paniran, Sibuco town.

Siddik, who was captured by the pursuing police forces Friday, was positively identified by the victim’s son as among the gunmen that barged into their house and abducted Alas-as, according to Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca, spokesman of Police Regional Office 9 (PRO).

Police and military forces have launched search for the two other suspects and for the possible rescue of the captive barangay captain.

The local police authorities of Sibuco have also prepared charges against the suspects, Huesca said.

Meanwhile, the family of an abducted businesswoman in Ipil town, Zamboanga Sibugay is trying to establish contact with the kidnappers, according to Chief Superintendent Roy Bahian, provincial police commander. Nation ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Authorities, however, believed Cynthia Canonan Caboverde, 48, was abducted to get ransom from the family.

Caboverde was on board their mini truck with her husband as driver and an unidentified hitchhiker, armed with handgun, who held them later and directed them Thursday into a coastal village where five other suspects were waiting.

The abductors seized the money of the victim amounting to P800,000 and cellphone before taking Caboverde along with them on board two motorized pumpboats that escaped toward an unknown direction.

Boosters overcome Bolts, stay unbeaten

By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - Petron Blaze shattered Meralco’s defensive wall in the second half and pounded out a 77-73 win to keep a perfect slate halfway through its elimination-round stint in the PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Dipolog City Sports Complex in Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte last night.

Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz and Arwind Santos presided over Petron’s offensive thrust and breached Meralco’s zone defense in the Petron Blaze-sponsored Saturday special.

The Boosters went on a rampage behind a running game in the third quarter, surging ahead, 64-53, and going on to stay with a clean record since losing Game Seven of the recent Governors Cup finals to the San Mig Coffee Mixers.

Cabagnot, knocking down the winning shot in his first game in the season versus Air21 Wednesday, again made an impact with a huge contribution in their key third-quarter run.

Meralco made a conscious effort to neutralize Junmar Fajardo, but the Cebuano behemoth still came through with a double-double game with 19 rebounds and 12 points plus three blocks.

Santos, Lutz and Doug Kramer also had big help as the Boosters pinned a fourth loss in seven games on the Bolts. Sportshub ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Taking a breather today and tomorrow, the tourney resumes Tuesday with a double-header at the Big Dome pitting San Mig Coffee versus Barako Bull and Talk n Text against Rain or Shine.

Pushing the tempo of the game, Petron Blaze seized control with an 11-point spread going to the final canto.

Meralco engaged Petron in a battle early on behind a zone defense and a set offense anchored on the team’s shooters.

The Bolts played the zone that collapsed on Fajardo each time the 6-foot-10 center got the ball down low.

Offensively, the Meralco wingmen delivered the goods as the Boosters took the half at 37-34.

Jared Dillinger and Gary David came out firing, and Meralco led by seven points at 27-20 on a nine-to-nothing roll.

After Petron regrouped and made its own run on Fajardo’s return from a brief rest, David and Dillinger again went on a scoring binge as Meralco sat on a three-point halftime lead.

The two Meralco gunners had combined for 22 points by the half.

Cabagnot had three treys and a three-point play to lead the Boosters with 12 markers in the first 24 minutes of play.

Pushing the tempo of the game, Petron Blaze seized control with an 11-point spread, 64-53, going to the final canto.

Meralco engaged Petron in a battle early on behind a zone defense and a set offense anchored on the team’s shooters.

The Bolts played the zone that collapsed on Junmar Fajardo each time the 6-foot-10 behemoth got the ball down low.

Offensively, the Meralco wingmen delivered the goods as the Boosters took the half at 37-34.

Jared Dillinger and Gary David came out firing, and Meralco led by seven points at 27-20 on a nine-to-nothing roll.

Dapitan City sympathizes with 'Yolanda' victims while celebrating Christmas

(PNA), SCS/TPG/HIROHITO D. CADION/PJN

DAPITAN CITY, Zamboanga del Norte, Dec. 14 (PNA) -- The city government and the Gloria de Dapitan will jointly switch-on the Christmas lights and the symbolic lights on the “Tree of Hope” at 7 p.m. Saturday to officially kick-off the Christmas festivities in Dapitan City.

The highlight of the ceremony marking the start of the festivities, through public-private partnership (PPP), is the symbolic turnover of donations to the victims of super typhoon "Yolanda."

The host of the ceremony is child star Ryzza Mae Dizon of the “The Ryzza Mae Show.”

Mayor Rosalina Jalosjos said the Tree of Hope “symbolizes a new beginning and new life for our brothers and sisters devastated by the super typhoon Yolanda.”

Jalosjos said the local government donated cash while the employees contributed part of their salary to purchase food stuffs, which were sent to the Visayas region ravaged by the super typhoon.

“We also did not forget to sympathize with our brothers and sisters in the Visayas. We chipped in for our contributions and most especially we prayed for them as we believed that prayer is the most powerful weapon against all the negative emotions we are all feeling,” Jalosjos said.

“It is sad to note that due to some calamities that hit our country, a lot of precious lives were lost and numerous heritage and tourists destination were wiped out. We definitely mourned for the aftermath of these calamities; yet we are also thankful that Mindanao suffered lesser damage,” City Tourism Officer Apple Marie Agolong said.

The Gloria de Dapitan emphasized the message of hope, joy and kindness in their celebration of Christmas this year and “is sensitive to the needs in rebuilding both infrastructure and the lives of the people as their effort in giving back to the society.”

Agolong noted the Gloria de Dapitan always complements the city government’s efforts to boost the local tourism industry by way of improving its facilities and programs.

Agolong said the Gloria’s Fantasyland is set to unveil the longest and largest corkscrew roller coaster and the sky drop tower as additional main attractions of the only theme park in Mindanao.

Agolong said different activities have been lined up to spice up this year’s Christmas season.

Subanon Chieftain Grateful for New Tribal Hall Built by TVIRD

By Mary May A. Abellon (PIA9)

SIOCON, ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE – Describing the tribal hall as a local hub for preserving Subanon culture, a tribal leader expressed his gratitude to TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) for providing them with the building – the first for the Subanons in Siocon town, Zamboanga del Norte province.

The tribe, the biggest group of lumads (natives) in the Zamboanga Peninsula, hosts the company’s copper-zinc mining operations in this municipality.

In a recent turnover ceremony, Subanon Chieftain Erdulfo Comisas, Sr. said TVIRD’s latest infrastructure project greatly benefits the tribe in that it will be their place to hold activities based on their customs and beliefs, and thus preserving their centuries-old traditions. The ceremony was held in Sitio Dunggoan, Barangay Makiang.

Oral tradition

“Modakol salamat sa TVIRD. Kining tribal hall daku ug kapuslanan alang kanamo diha sa pagpreserbar sa among kultura nga among gibilin sa among mga kabataan pinaagi lang sa mga pulong. Dinhi sa tribal hall namo himoa ang mga kalihokan subay sa among kultura isip mga lumad,” (Thank you very much to TVIRD. This tribal hall is important to us because it will help us preserve our culture, which we hand down to our children orally. In this hall, we will conduct activities according to our custom and traditions.) added Comisas.

The tribal hall was constructed earlier by the company’s Community Relations and Development Office (CREDO) for the Subanons in Makiang – a village inhabited mostly by members of the tribe. Makiang is a village along Lituban River, one of the two biggest rivers in Siocon. It was constructed upon the request of Comisas, in behalf of his people who were clamoring for the hall two years ago.

“Our population is 2,000 – forty percent of these are Subanons while the 60% is shared by our Muslim and Christian brothers. So the building is really important for the people here,” said Barangay Chairman Brady Comisas, son of the chieftain.

“Construction of the hall is part of the 2013 budget of our Social Development Management Program (SDMP) disclosed Community Relations Manager Joel Alasco. He added that it is one of the numerous TVIRD projects turned-over to the ‘impact barangays’ of the company’s mining operations and built according to the Barangay Development Plan (BDP).

A place to unite

“We’ll see to it that it will last for years so the next generations of Subanons can benefit from it too,” Timuay (chieftain) Comisas said in his acceptance speech, assuring Alasco that he will take care of the tribal hall. He also revealed that the tribal hall will be their place for solemnizing Subanon weddings, in settling disputes among tribal members and in planning the various activities of the tribe.

A son of a timuay, Comisas Sr. is an accredited solemnizing officer of the National Census and Statistics Office (NSO). He has been solemnizing Subanon marriages for years. He also currently serves as member and Subanon community representative of the Multi-Partite Monitoring Team (MMT), a body organized by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to monitor the environmental protection programs of TVIRD during mining operations.

On public health and sustainability

As the Subanons celebrate the inauguration of their new tribal hall in Barangay Makiang, residents of Barangay A.L. Micubo also of Siocon town celebrated TVIRD’s turnover of their new health center.

Barangay Chairman Andresito Micubo received the project on behalf of his constituents and showed his appreciation for the mining firm, which he said has done so much for Siocon since it began its mining operations in 2004.

“This edifice is a testament that TVIRD cares for the people of Siocon. During its stay here, it opened our town to great opportunities, especially for business,” Micubo said.

TVIRD built barangay health centers, day care centers, barangay halls, school buildings, water systems and several other infrastructure in Siocon town, including farm-to-market roads.

“Most of these projects were conducted through public-private partnerships (PPPs). Recipient barangays contributed a counterpart, in terms of labor or funds in implementing the projects. By doing so, we are encouraging participation of project beneficiaries and that the project is not a dole-out of the company,” Alasco added.

“People understood that one has to share something for projects that will benefit everybody in the community,” Alasco also noted that this cost-sharing system worked well in Siocon.

Water system projects built in Siocon barangays applied TVIRD’s ‘cost sharing’ system. To make the project self-sufficient, barangay folks have to shell out Php20 to Php30 per month for system maintenance, according to the company.

“It is being applied to Candiz, Tibangao, Tagaytay and other barangays. The pay is minimal compared to other water systems in the country, but it is working since the payment from barangay residents establishes ownership on their part, thus making the model more sustainable,” Alasco concluded.

TVIRD’s long list of community projects and beneficiaries demonstrate a model geared towards the overall long-term sustainability of Siocon, its people and its natural environment – to last beyond the life of its mine.

Zambo. Norte home to 5 protected areas in region 9, says DENR 9

By Mary May A. Abellon (PIA9)

DIPOLOG CITY – Roservirico A. Tan, chief of the Regional Public Affairs Office (RPAO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-9 said that Zamboanga del Norte is home of five declared protected areas in the region during the recently concluded 1st Regional Ecotourism Summit on Dec. 5-6, 2013 held at Mibang Hotel this city.

“Zamboanga del Norte recorded the highest number of protected areas in the region and in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the islands of Aliguay, Selinog and Murcielagos, the Siocon Resource Reserve and the Jose Rizal Memorial Protected Landscape,” Tan disclosed.

He added that Zamboanga del Sur has two protected areas, namely, Mt. Timolan and Dumanquillas Bay. The Buug Natural Biotic Area is the protected area in Zamboanga Sibugay while the Pasonanca Natural Park is the protected area in Zamboanga City.

On the other hand, the ARMM which is still under DENR-9’s jurisdiction has two protected areas: the Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi and Mt. Dajo National Park in Jolo, Sulu.

The summit aimed to raise awareness among stakeholders on the protection and conservation of natural resources, wildlife sanctuary, natural biotic areas, protected landscape and seascapes, natural parks and monument.

“This convention will not only provide awareness on the protection of terrestrial and marine sanctuaries but also, in a way, boost the economic condition of the community living within these areas. With the natural wonders their place has to offer, more tourists will be captivated and enthralled to visit,” Tan explained.

He added that once the people are aware of the importance and benefits [of these things] in the community, they themselves will advocate their protection and preservation.

On the part of the provincial government, Zamboanga del Norte Governor Roberto Y. Uy represented by 3rd District Board Member Ruth M. Brillantes promised that the provincial leadership will do its part in the protection and conservation of the ecological system and will make sure that “the commerce and trade operating within the province will conform not only with the laws of man but also with the laws of God.”

It can be recalled that Governor Uy recently requested the Sangnguniang Panlalawigan to pass a law declaring barangay Linay of Baliguian town as protected area for wildlife and endangered species with the discovery of the Monkey-Eating Eagle popularly known as Philippine Eagle, tarsier or locally known as Basing, Deer or Binaw, unique monkeys and many others.

The governor vowed that the provincial government will continue to help and support the DENR, Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform and other national agencies in the protection of our environment so that “all can live a healthy life and the next generation can happily inherit this earth.”

Four men in baseball bat attacks in Zamboanga Norte town arrested

By Al Jacinto

ZAMBOANGA CITY: Police arrested four men who allegedly behind the attacks on civilians using baseball bats in the coastal town of Liloy in Zamboanga del Norte province, police said.

Police said the men were arrested during an undercover operation in the town following vicious attacks on at least three people who suffered injuries from the blows.

The suspects have been identified as Bersan Laguna, 24; Rathleaf Javellana, 20; Omar Marugi, 18; and Elias Tolero, 19. The men are natives of neighboring towns of Tampilisan and Titay.

Police said another man is being hunted down by authorities. It said that the five men used two motorcycles in hunting down their victims. The attacks were random and had targeted unsuspecting victims. Investigators said police recovered the two motorcycles and baseball bat used in the attacks and that the assailants were detained at the town’s police station while criminal charges are being prepared against them.


Big volume of shabu seized in Zanorte raid

By Dan Toribio Jr.

Government forces raided the house of a suspected drug lord in Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte and confiscated big volume of shabu the other day.

A police report disclosed that agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), men of the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Public Safety Company, Gutalac Municipal Police Station and Second Maneuvering Platoon, Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office were armed with a search warrant when they raided the house of Ivan Sanchez y Villegas alias Chu-Chu, 34, married.

During the raid, lawmen recovered 38 rectangular transparent sachets containing white crystalline granules believed to shabu, 15 strips of aluminum foil, 4 bundles of transparent plastic cellophanes, a .45 caliber pistol with serial number 827153 with two magazines loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition, one yellow Mentos plastic cellophane used as container, one ML Kwarta Padala receipt, two pairs of scissors, three cell phones one USB flash drive and money amounting to P7,464 which are proceeds from shabu pushing.

Report said that before the raid, a buy-bust operation was carried out where Sanchez handed to an undercover agent three sachets containing white crystalline granules believed to be shabu, three rolled aluminum foil strips, three cut papers used as wrapper, one matchbox, one cut matchbox and a marked P1,000 bill with serial number BL870698 that was recovered from the Sanchez’ possession.

After the buy-bust operation, the raid was carried out. It was witnessed by barangay officials, representatives from the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte and from the media.

Sanchez was brought to the Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Headquarters and was temporarily detained while the seized items were turned over to Levie Ortes, Deputy Regional Director PDEA 9 for court exhibit.

ZNNHS researchers bag 2013 RICE awards

By Mary May A. Abellon (PIA9)

DIPOLOG CITY – Student-researchers from the Zamboanga del Norte National High School (ZNNHS) here won 3rd place in the 2013 Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits (RICE) for the Sibol High School category held recently at the Gaisano Mall, Pagadian City.

The research team, which was composed of fourth year high school students enrolled in the Department of Science and Technology-Engineering and Science Educational Program (DOST-ESEP) program, embarked on a research titled “Quality Plywood from Nipa (Nypa Fruticans) stalks with Noel G. Solis as research adviser.

The team, which is composed of Joshua Gemperoso, Jessa Christine Abellon and Kate Anne Ramos, brought home a cash prize of P5,000.

The board of judges composed of Mr. Alvin Ang, Engr. Rolando Andaya and Mr. Ramon L. Rivera got impressed with their quality, sturdy but cheap plywood, which is made of Nipa, a palm that grows in wetlands and mangroves.

The other two research teams that qualified for the said competition were Steffanie Campondag, Chris Jera, Lara and Jaze Ontolan with their titled “Lethal Effect of Caffeine Against Golden Apple Snail (Pomacea Cannaniculata), and the “Baby Wipes Mosquito Repellent” by Damsel Bangcal, Michelle Duller and Mariale Mich Solatorio.

Noel Beira with his invention of “Palwood” emerged as winner for the utility model category and his “Pallwood Poles” for the Likha category. On the other hand, Emma Diamante’s “Chicken Feeder Gadget” ranked second in the Likha award.

This year’s RICE was participated in by 76 researches and inventions from state universities and colleges, science high schools, public and private institutions in the region.

Girl hit by stray bullet in Dipolog shooting

(Mindanao Examiner)

An 8-year-old girl was hurt when she was hit by a stray bullet after a man was gunned down by unidentified suspects in Dipolog City the other day.

The fatality was identified as Carl Tan Barrera, 56, of Barangay Gulayon, Dipolog City while Eiza Mae Opod, 8, of Barangay Turno, Dipolog City was rushed to the Zamboanga del Norte Medical Cooperative Hospital for treatment.

Police Regional Office 9 spokesman Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca said around 11 p.m., Barrera and his friends were having a drinking session in front of the store owned by Annaliza Narvaez when the suspects on a motorcycle arrived and fired shots at the victim.

Barrera died-on-the-spot from multiple gunshot wounds while the girl was hit in the throat by a stray bullet.

Police recovered four empty shells of unknown firearm at the crime scene.

TVIRD Employees Primed for Life After Mining

(Mindanao Examiner)

SIOCON, ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE – In preparation for the upcoming decommissioning of its Canatuan copper-zinc project in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, TVI Resouce Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) initiated a multi-agency intervention program to orient its workers on business opportunities as well as to prepare them in seeking alternative employment both here and abroad.

The program was conducted last month in cooperation with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“The intervention is part of TVIRD’s program to prepare its employees, with respect to providing them the means to acquire gainful employment and livelihood once they are separated from the company,” said Corporate Services Vice President Yody Marzo.

TVIRD laid the groundwork for its retrenchment process in 2012 and has since established programs and activities to help augment employee income through training and skills development. The retrenchment process also ensures a strict compliance to legal requirements covering compensation and employee benefits.

“TESDA’s issuance of national certificates (NC) to our skilled workers who passed its certification process is part of that plan. NCs are issued to our workers as a way to prepare them for the future, making them more marketable,” added the executive. Over 100 employees were issued NCII certifications, officially stating that their skills exceed entry-level requirements and that they can perform to the standards expected in the workplace based on competency standards; therefore, making them eligible for employment.

NCs in the fields of welding, automotive servicing, shielded metal arc welding, electrical installation and maintenance, computer hardware servicing and driving were issued to qualified employees. A special training on resume and cover letter writing was also conducted in order to enhance their competitiveness.

On livelihood and business

“The assistance of government agencies is based solely on the employees’ needs. For instance, the DA was invited since employees expressed their desire to know more about rubber tree planting, knowing that it is a potential source of income and many of them already own several hectares of cultivated land,” Canatuan Human Resources Manager Quilang explained.

One employee who is now harvesting rubber latex from his few hectares of rubber trees was promised technical and financial assistance from DA, including added capital for expansion.

“DOLE committed to assist our workers in acquiring additional capital by linking them with other government agencies while DTI will assist them on packaging and marketing their products,” Quilang said, explaining both agencies’ commitment to guide them in starting-up new businesses and in maximizing capital based on the separation package they will receive from the company.

The DTI also discussed small business opportunities and current market demands in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Life after Canatuan

“Life still goes on after TVIRD finally pushes the ‘stop’ button on its Canatuan Plant – signaling the end of its mining operations,” said employee Victor Batuigas, alluding to the final decommissioning of its processing operations. The 40-year old welder candidly admitted an air of uncertainty among employees. “But like the rest, I learned to accept the fact that mining is finite and that after a specific period of time, the ore reserve is exhausted.”

Like his co-workers, Batuigas draws confidence from programs initiated by TVIRD’s Human Resource and Administration Department – which are geared towards employee preparedness. Batuigas was issued an NCIII certification by TESDA, making him highly-marketable globally.

The company’s host indigenous Subanon tribe likewise sees a glimmer of hope in the future. Tribal leaders and TVIRD are working together to fully explore mineralized prospects in Sitio Malusok, which is a short trucking distance from its Cantuan facilities. The company earlier filed an application to expand its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) area to cover Malusok.

“Maayo man gyud ang kompaniya. Nakatabang man gani ni namo sa panginabuhi ug uban pa (The company is really good. It has helped us not only on livelihood but also in many aspects of our lives),” said Subanon tribal chieftain Timuay Jose Anoy.

At the peak of its mining operations, TVIRD employed 1,200 workers, 30 percent of whom are Subanons. And while majority of the remaining 70 percent come from its host town of Siocon, it also employed workers from neighboring towns like Baliguian where Malusok is located – and which municipality also generates tax revenues from TVIRD’s presence.

“Without TVIRD in Canatuan, we will lose the local taxes that it regularly pays us,” said Baliguian Vice Mayor Gani Esmali, referring to real property taxes accruing on the company’s housing and recreational facilities as well as several other structures constructed in Malusok.

Gearing-up for the future

The company invited DOLE Provincial Director Henry Tianero and attached agency, Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), to conduct a jobs fair in its Malusok Club House. The event is co-organized by the local government of Siocon and is open to other town residents.

“We have expanded the activity to include the community. Residents of the host municipality will also be served – which merits the full support of the mayor,” enthused Marzo.

TVIRD is set to conclude its current operations in Canatuan by the end of 2013 due to the depletion of ore in its mine site. At this time, the company will gradually scale back its workforce in order to sustain operational efficiency in processing as well as to ensure the proper delivery of employee benefits.

PRC-Zambo. Norte living up to its mission

By Mary May A. Abellon (PIA9)

Through the years its services have never faltered. It continues to extend help to all and sundry regardless of creed, race, religion and political aspirations. That is the Philippine Red Cross!

Fundamental principles

As a humanitarian movement affiliated with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the members are guided by seven fundamental principles that center on humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality, Hector Julius Soledad, PRC-Zamboanga del Norte Chapter administrator, told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in an interview.

He stressed that these standards are the guiding principles that inspire all Red Cross staff and volunteers to do humanitarian services, as these are the values that define their character, purpose and existence.

“Being a Red Crosser is more than just a philosophy but a way of life,” he declared.

The PRC-Zamboanga del Norte Chapter has organized the Red Cross Action Team (RCAT) which is composed of 50 volunteers that include doctors, nurses, engineers and students who are ready to assist and respond to any natural or manmade disaster.

RCAT volunteers and staff provide, first aid, psychosocial support, and act as disseminators of International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

The local chapter has received equipment and training support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

It was also a recipient of the 2011 Capacity Building Project of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC).

The federation donated one unit of rubber boat with engine for water search and rescue operations during disasters.

Service teams

PRC provides six major services, namely, blood services, disaster management, safety services, community health and nursing, social services and the volunteer service.

In 2011, it formed the 24/7 Emergency Response Unit (ERU), which is a team of emergency responders within Dipolog City in partnership with the city police station through its hotline, 143.

Also, the local chapter has Water Search and Rescue Team / Land Search and Rescue Team (WASAR/LASAR) composed of rescuers trained in water and land search and rescue operations.

Red Cross 143 in barangays

The PRC- ZN Chapter also launched the Red Cross 143 in various barangays of Zamboanga del Norte to teach people how to protect themselves in times of disaster by inculcating in them the value of disaster preparedness to readily respond to any type of calamity.

It aims to have 44 volunteers in a village composed of a leader and 43 members who serve as eyes, ears, hands and feet of the Red Cross in the community.

Each 143 volunteer trained on disaster preparedness and response, health and welfare and voluntary blood donation.

Always First, Always Ready, Always There

“I agree with PRC Chairman Richard Gordon that the essence of being a Red Crosser is practically innate in all of us Filipinos and that all those who have not yet realized it, need a little push to awaken them that our country needs our collective participation,” PRC-ZN chapter representative Nidoh Gen Regencia said.

“We want to make a difference in serving the people in times of disaster, as our motto says: Always First, Always Ready, Always There,” he added.

Administrator Soledad also emphasized that the volunteers are grouped according to their passion, field of expertise or personality to maximize their potentials.

Other services

“We also helped families who lost contact with their loved ones either locally or internationally. To restore family communication is one of our advocacies,” Soledad said.

Another continuing program of the PRC is the blood donation campaign. Soledad said those who donated blood to the Red Cross are not only helping other people but their families as well. Blood is the most important commodity for a human being to live.

“The donated bags of blood will be deposited here and if someone needs blood, he can withdraw from the Red Cross provided he will replenish it and pay for the processing fee,” Soledad clarified.

The PRC continues to accept volunteers who are willing to give humanitarian services. Interested individuals can visit the PRC at their convenience.

ZNFEPA touches lives, builds community

By Mary May A. Abellon (PIA9)

DIPOLOG CITY - Mother Teresa has once said:”At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, and how many great things we have done. But we will be judged by ‘I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in’.”

Indeed not all of us can do great things! But we can do small things with great love. What we only need is a heart full of grace and a soul crafted by love.

There are groups formed to emulate these values of helping others to stand on their own, exemplifying the virtues and desirable qualities that help men become responsible citizens.

As a civic organization, the Zamboanga del Norte Federation of Parents Association (ZNFePA) has proved that there’s no small things in helping others to become effective and competent in their own ways.

This organization is espousing various advocacies involving social, economic and quality life issues.

For its volunteers, doing community service is a passion and enthusiasm to help others in a way they help themselves. They uphold the spirit of volunteerism by encouraging the members to do community services and humanitarian aid.

Non-profit, non-sectarian organization

As a non-profit, non-sectarian and non-government organization operating in the cities of Dipolog and Dapitan as well as in the municipalities of Katipunan, Manukan, Roxas and Sindangan, ZNFePA was established on April 16, 2008. However, this organization has long existed for more than 20 years ago in Zamboanga del Norte.

It is composed of families from three community associations, namely, the Bantay Dagat Parent’s Association (BDPA) in Dipolog City, Kasilinganan Parent’s Association (KPA) of Roxas town and Sto. Nino Bayanihan Parent’s Association (SNBP) of Sindangan municipality.

“These community organizations are the key players in the development of children and families in their respective communities in partnership with the local government units and other stakeholders,” said Mark P. Yaba, ZNFePA manager.

“The resources contributed by the sponsors and donors to ZNFePA are pooled together and used for the developmental programs and projects planned by the members themselves based on the priority needs of children, families and community where they operate,” Yaba stressed.

The guiding principles

The organization envisions a united and self-reliant parent federation that develops children and families to become healthy, educated, values-motivated and responsible as well as cooperative and committed members living in peaceful and progressive communities.

It aims to establish a strong and harmonious relationship between and among the citizens, officials and the community with a parent federation helping develop opportunities among children to grow up with desirable values.

“We want to establish and promote vital networking and linkages with the government, private sectors and non-governmental organizations in the fields of health, education, and other social services,” Yaba added.

One of the primary goals of the organization is to enhance and develop capabilities and potentials of its members for social enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Devotion to help

Today there are already 600 community volunteers in 51 barangays covered by the organization.

ZNFePA is implementing its programs in partnership with the ChildFund, an organization committed to child development. ChildFund sponsors all its projects which have already benefited 4,000 individuals through scholarship grants, training and others.

Children under sponsorships are receiving allowances for their personal needs and studies since the time they got sponsors until they finished their studies. Yaba disclosed that many ZNFePA scholars are now successful in chosen professions and careers. One of them is Rem Ryan Rebutaso who now teaches in a public school. Some are also successful in their business ventures while others are employed in public and private agencies/offices.

Some of the scholars have also become ZNFePA employees and a good number continue doing volunteer works for the organization.

With its commitment to help children, ZNFePA put up water systems in some Day Care Centers (DCC) and home, and center-based food gardens. It also intensifies “Positive Deviance Inquiry” among parents and caregivers in the community.

Pledge to serve

ZNFePA implements programs involving health and nutrition, early childhood care and development, education, children and youth development and micro-enterprise development in partnership with the local government units, agencies and private individuals.

Its program for the children has been divided into three life stages such as the Integrated Program toward Health and Secure Infants and Young Children for Life Stage 1, catering to children from zero to five years old with Early Childhood Development, Home-Based Food Production, Safe Motherhood and Maternal New Born Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) as program components.

Life Stage 2 for children aged 6-14 years giving emphasis on basic education completion, life-skills acquisition and confidence-building, and child development. Under this setup, ZNFePA gives full support to the barangay council for the protection of children, provides socialized education assistance, conducts thematic camps, peer tutorials and child development sessions, and organizes children’s association in which children can formulate programs and activities on their own.

In Life Stage 3 is for 15-24 years old. It seeks to reinforce opportunities for capacity enhancement, employability and enterprise development for the youth.

“We organized the children and the youth for them to voice out their thoughts and ideas and step by step they can learn how to handle any problem coming their way,” Yaba pointed out.

“They are taught how to speak before the public, to make records and reports. It’s like the children learning to become independent to carry out the activities they planned,” Yaba said.

“We are here to guide them, provide funds to be used in any project they come up with, and most importantly to instill in them the values our organization promotes,” he concluded.

JCI Philippines to launch TOFARM in Dipolog

By Mary May A. Abellon (PIA9)

DIPOLOG CITY – The Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines in partnership with the Universal Harvester, Incorporated will be launching the search for “The Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines” or TOFARM on Dec. 6, 2013 at the Top Plaza Hotel this city.

Farmers’ cooperatives or associations, irrigators, fisherfolks and livestock raisers, municipal agriculturist, agricultural technicians and local media are invited to attend the said activity which will start at 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

The search is an initiative of the Philippine Jaycees now JCI Philippines in recognition of the resiliency, ingenuity, and the strength of working Filipino farmers. This award started in the 70s.

It is open to all Filipino farmers, fisherfolks, animal raisers, organizations, cooperatives, farm communities, academe, agriculture scientist, public employees, and business entities in rural and urban areas.

The search also seeks to encourage the youth to venture in agriculture and to stimulate investment and scientific researches to achieve sustainable food supply.

Moreover, the award aims to promote farming as a noble and profitable undertaking by strengthening advocacy and support for agriculture.

It also recognizes best practices, techniques and technology in farming and, at the same time, raises funds to support capacity building and laboratory facilities for the farmers.

Zambo. Norte schools’ press confab set Dec. 5-6 in Dipolog

By Franklin P. Gumapon (PIA9)

DIPOLOG CITY – All is set for the annual provincial schools’ press conference on Dec. 5-6, 2013 at the Teachers’ Gym here in the city.

Dr. Fe Jebone-Lakian, English supervisor of the provincial schools division, disclosed that public and private elementary and secondary schools in the province are going to participate in the said press conference.

The activity involves lectures on newswriting, feature writing, editorial writing, sports writing, science and technology writing, editorial cartoon and others with active media practitioners and journalism teachers as resource speakers.

Individual writing competitions will also be given to the student-participants in newswriting, feature writing, editorial writing, sports writing, science and technology writing, copyreading and headline writing both in English and Filipino.

All division winners will vie for similar writing competitions in the regional schools’ press conference to be held next week at the Farmers’ Haven, Provincial Government Center (PGC), Dao, Pagadian City.

Regional English Supervisor Visminda Valde said the participants to the regional press conference will be billeted at the Governor’s Garden, a place within the PGC.

This year’s theme is “Campus Journalism and Transformational Leadership.”

For the past years, Zamboanga del Norte school division has consistently produced qualifiers for the national schools’ press conference and many of them managed to get top awards.

DOLE grants P210-T passenger van to Dipolog City airport porters

By Alfonso T. Ruda (FPG/ATR/PIA9-Zambo. Norte with report from MegzLigutom-DOLE-ZN)

DIPOLOG CITY - The provincial office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Zamboanga del Norte has recently turned-over one unit passenger van to the porters association here.

DOLE-9 Regional Director Sisinio B. Cano turned-over the passenger van to the Dipolog City Skycap Porters Association through its president, Victoriano D. Victoriano, in a simple turnover ceremony held at Dipolog City airport last Nov. 21.

The P210,000 Suzuki passenger van, with plate no. JEV 351, together with its registration documents was turned-over to the association during the culmination of the three-month series of trainings conducted by the 3Y member-agencies to the porters.

Dipolog City Mayor Evelyn T. Uy together with 19 representatives from the private sector and other government agencies under the 3Y program witnessed the vehicle turnover.

3Y program stands for LocalitY, IndustrY, and Service QualitY.

In her message, Mayor Uy urged the members of the association to take good care of the unit and used it to cater to the needs of the incoming domestic and foreign tourists. She also assured the association of the city government’s continued support to the program.

In his acceptance speech, Victoriano also assured the donor agencies of the association’s commitment to use and maintain the vehicle.

Earlier, the DOLE with the 3Y members through its Workers Development Program conducted a three-month training to the members of the association on NC II Driving cum auto-Servicing, Tourism-related trainings, organizational and financial management, and health and hygiene.

Director Cano was hopeful that the 3Y program, which advocates the promotion of quality service and customer satisfaction, would boost the tourism industry in Zamboanga del Norte and thereby improving the porters’ income.

Former village ‘maestra’ rears two generals

By Antonio P. Rimando (Correspondent)

SINDANGAN, Zamboanga del Norte—Gloria Bandong-Yano, 86, of Barangay Disod in this coastal town, started as a classroom teacher in an adjacent village grade school, and is perhaps the only former educator in the country who produced two sons who both later became Army generals in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Incidentally, Yano—who retired as public elementary school principal at age 63—is also the current chairman of the Office of Senior Citizens Affair (Osca) of Sindangan, a post she has been occupying for the past five years.

As Osca municipal chief, which carries a salary grade 16 amounting to P16,000 a month, the octogenarian former school administrator volunteered to receive a reduced monthly honorarium of P10,000 “just to serve my fellow elderly constituents.”

Previously, she was the longest-serving president of the over 8,000-strong Sindangan Senior Citizens Association (SCA).

Yano’s oldest son—with her late spouse Iñigo Yano (who died as a municipal councilor)—was former commanding general of the Philippine Army. Lt. Gen. Alexander B. Yano later rose to become a five-star general as AFP Chief of Staff, the first Mindanaoan to reach the AFP’s highest post. After his retirement in 2009,Yano was appointed by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as ambassador to Brunei Darussdam.

Alexander, married to Ilocana military nurse Estela Aragon whom he met during his stint as 1st Lieutenant in Tarlac, was commander of Task Force Zamboanga during the November 27 and 28, 2002, Cabatangan, Zamboanga City, crisis, a serious military problem, which he ably resolved through commendable diplomatic means that resulted in the safe release of 35 women, 15 children and 60 males held hostage by heavily armed Moro National Liberation Front rebels.

Yano’s second son, Maj. Gen. Cesar B. Yano, followed the footsteps of his older sibling. Cesar was previously deployed to various field assignments in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao before he was sent to the US as “Defense Attaché” in Washington. He reached the military compulsory retirement age of 56 in May 2013.

Yano said her two older sons were both graduates of the prestigious Philippine Military Academy at Fort Pilar in Baguio City where they also excelled in athletics.

Gideon C. Vidal, incumbent president of Sindangan SCA, described Yano as “one of the most respected elders not only in the first class town of Sindangan but also in the entire province of Zamboanga del Norte,” Western Mindanao’s biggest and most populous province.

Vidal said Yano, whose “sunset age” has never dampened her passion for tending to the needs and problems of her elderly-citizen colleagues, “is a mother worth emulating for having played an extraordinary role in molding her five children into successful professionals.”

Her three other children are Iñigo Yano Jr., a civil engineer; Ophelia B. Yano-Martinez, a physician, and Marcelo B. Yano, a prominent businessman-town councilor.

Yano, whose recent birthday was a grand family reunion attended by all her five children, their spouses and her 14 grandkids, now lives alone with some domestic helpers in the family’s ancestral home at barangay Disod.

She told the BusinessMirror during her birthday celebration late last month, “I want to leave this wonderful world happily serving other people.”

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