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Zamboanga del Norte Province, Philippines News

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Province of Zamboanga del Norte - Archived News

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Seal of Zamboanga del Norte
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines
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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


Dead man fished out of Dipolog river


The body of a dead man was found floating on a river at Bypass, Purok Pag-asa, Barangay Barra, Dipolog City around 6 a.m. last Monday.

Police said the dead man who was wearing polo shirt and long pants, barefooted, around 5’1” in height was later identified by his daughter.

The body was spotted by Dioscoro Gumacial Y Rublico, 44, single, fisherman.

Mrs. Ophelia Pesquira Y Adriatico, 35, a resident of Canibongan, Villahermosa, Polanco, Zamboanga Del Norte identified her dead father as Benjamine Adriatico Y Lacay, 67, of Lower Gabi, Villahermosa, Polanco.

According to Pesquira, her father had a drinking session with his neighbor early Saturday night (July 19) and had been missing thereafter.

Further investigation revealed that the victim was drunk and was believed to have fallen into the river and drowned.

Four-month SSS collections in Mindanao jump 13 percent to P 3.2-B


DIPOLOG CITY, Zamboanga del Norte, July 22 (PNA) -- The Social Security System (SSS) has collected P3.2 billion in members’ contributions in Mindanao from January to April this year, up by 13 percent from P 2.9 billion over the same period in 2013, with nearly 80 percent of overall collections coming from the employed sector.

Atty. Rodrigo Filoteo, SSS Assistant Vice President for Western Mindanao, said the contributions from regular and household employers from Mindanao rose by 13 percent to P 2.5 billion. About P1.6 billion of these payments were from “large account” employers, or businesses with at least 100 workers.

“Meanwhile, contributions from the smaller ‘branch account' employers reached P959 million during the four-month period. Double-digit collection growths were attained for both large and branch employer accounts in Mindanao at 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively, which attests to the sustained efforts of SSS branch offices to promote employer compliance in the area,” he noted.

Filoteo, along with other senior officials headed by SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr., are in Dipolog City on July 21 and 22 to meet employers, branch heads and employees in Western Mindanao as part of management's continuing drive to promote closer ties between SSS and its stakeholders.

The SSS has over 135,000 registered employers in Mindanao, of which 99 percent – including some 33,000 household employers – fall under branch accounts, while about 1,400 employers are classified as large accounts. In terms of number of covered employees in the area, 2.9 million members are employed by businesses, and about 7,300 more are household workers.

Collections from self-employed and voluntary members amounted to P698 million, reflecting an increase of 13 percent from the P 618 million within the first four months of 2013. The SSS has 1.2 million covered self-employed and voluntary members in Mindanao.

The AlkanSSSya Program helped contribute to the increase in collections from informal sector workers, who are covered as self-employed members. As of April 2014, a total of 110 informal sector groups representing 11,735 workers in Mindanao have already joined the AlkanSSSya. Workers enrolled in the program are given their own secure compartment in their organization's AlkanSSSya unit, where they can store their daily SSS savings until these are collected, counted and remitted by their ISG to an SSS branch or collection partner at the end of each month.

Filoteo said another option for interested ISGs or associations is to enroll in the e-AlkanSSSya Program, which entails the automatic deduction of contributions from workers' salaries and wages that will be remitted monthly by the organization to the SSS.

“The e-AlkanSSSya Program addresses the social protection needs of job order and contractual workers in barangays and other government offices who are excluded from the mandated coverage of social security institutions for regular public sector employees,” he explained.

The SSS has 31 branch and representative offices as well as eight Service Offices in Mindanao. Its operations in the area are supervised by four SSS division offices stationed in the cities of Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao North), Davao (Mindanao South 1), General Santos (Mindanao South 2) and Zamboanga (Mindanao West).

Tambulig launches Climate Change Advocacy Campaign

By Claro A. Lanipa (FPG/CAL/PIA9 with reports from Nilo Munoz/PIO-designate of Tambulig)

TAMBULIG, Zamboanga del Sur, July 22 (PIA) – To get his constituents ready for the new weather phenomenon, Mayor Caridad B. Balaod of this town and other municipal officials have launched on Friday, July 18, a Climate Change Advocacy Campaign (CCAC).

All the municipal officials and employees were wearing the CCAC brand T-shirt in the said activity, which joined by the personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) led by Chief Inspector Benjamin Napigkit and the personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) headed by the Municipal Warden, SJO4 Aladin Salinding.

The activity started by putting up and establishing CCAC brand billboards in strategic areas within the poblacion, the barangays along the national highway and at the municipal integrated bus/jeepney terminal, aimed at generating public awareness on climate change adaptation and resiliency.

In the afternoon of the same day, the municipal officials and employees together with some 220 ROTC cadets from JH Cerilles State College brought along CCAC brand streamers (PUNUAN), as they joined the tree planting activity at barangay Upper Lodiong. Some 1,000 mahogany trees were planted along the road of said barangay.

The event ended with a radio program “Ikaw ug ang Palibot Karon” (You and the environment today) hosted by Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer designate Nilo A. Munoz over DXDC-FM Radio, a local radio station operated by the LGU.

CCAC radio plug, “Nagbabago na ang Panahon, Panahon na para Magbago… Nagbago na Ako” is also being aired daily over the same station.

Polanco vet exemplifies genuine public service

By Mary May A. Abellon

“Becoming a public servant is not a matter of chance but a choice,” declared Dr. Alfred Mel P. Dagaylo-an, a veterinarian of the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist in Polanco town and one of the 2014 semi-finalists for the Dangal ng Bayan Award of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Choosing the path of simple yet happy life, Dr. Dagaylo-an has been resolute to go back to his hometown, leaving his money-spinning private practice as veterinarian in Metro Manila. He joined government service as Veterinarian I, a position he holds for 11 years now.

Everyone in the municipal government took notice of Dr. Dagayloan’s untiring dedication to public service through his eagerness and enthusiasm in performing his duties. Besides, his adherence to the highest degree of professionalism and political neutrality has earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and friends.

Working beyond regular office hours: His designation as Veterinarian I does not include the task of serving as meat inspection officer at the municipal slaughterhouse. However, for lack of skilled and competent meat inspector in the municipality, he volunteered to do the work even beyond his regular office hours without additional pay.

If there was no vehicle that could take him to the slaughterhouse, he would wake up as early as 3:00 a.m. and walk three kilometers from his residence just to ensure that the consuming public gets wholesome, quality meat. To some, it may be burdensome. But to Dr. Alfred it means walking an extra mile for the welfare of the community.

Presently, he is a veterinarian from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., a nursing student from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and a meat inspector at 3:00 to 4:00 a.m.

Almost lost his life: In September 2006, it was the first time for the municipality through Dr. Alfred to have confiscated “double-dead” meat being sold in the municipal public market.

It was disappointing that even the former municipal mayor at that time asked him to return the confiscated meat to the meat dealer, the veterinarian recalled. But he stood pat believing that the municipal government should protect the health and welfare of its people.

Dr. Alfred continued with his advocacies. He filed cases against the offenders that got him death threats in return. And on one fateful day, when he was about to confiscate beef and pork that did not undergo ante mortem examinations, Dr. Alfred was shot four times - hitting his chest, arm, thigh and head. By God’s grace, he survived that tragic incident. The bullet that was meant to end his life did not pierce through his skull, giving a second lease on his life to continue his campaign against unscrupulous practices among meat dealers/traders.

After six months of recuperating, he opted to report even in crutches for duty, dismissing any fear to prevent him from serving the public.

His other advocacies: He advocates food safety as a concern of everyone and the value of meat inspection in order to have healthy and safe meat on the table.

Moreover, he is conducting lectures on livestock production and, at the same time, teaches the farmers the basics of financial management.

In 2012 Dr. Alfred initiated an aggressive Rabies control program aimed at stamping out rabies in the municipality by 2020 in support of the Bureau of Animal Industry’s vision.

His team is conducting house-to-house anti-rabies vaccination in all barangays of the municipality, crossing rivers and hanging bridges and climbing the hills even on weekends just to reach out to all barrio folks in the remote barangays, serving all and sundry regardless of political affiliation, religion or tribe.

His services go beyond his municipality, as he gives lectures on livestock raising in other municipalities in Zamboanga del Norte. He had been to Subanen communities in the municipalities of Siocon, Baliguian, Gutalac, Liloy, Sindangan, Godod, Siayan, Salug and Tampilisan to impart his knowledge about livestock production. This earned him recognition from Provincial Indigenous People Coordinating Unit (PIPCU).

The tragic event in 2006 which left him with scars and a metal plate implanted in his left arm did not stop Dr. Alfred to continue serving the people with utmost diligence and dedication to better the lives of the people in the community.

Fire destroys P1.5-M properties

By Bong Garcia

AT LEAST P1.5 million worth of properties, including a place of worship, went up in smoke in a fire in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, the police reported Sunday.

Police Regional Office (PRO)-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer-in-charge Inspector Dahlan Samuddin said the fire broke out around 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the village of Barra, Dipolog City, the capital of Zamboanga del Norte.

He said the fire, which razed 20 houses mostly made of light materials, displaced at least 40 families. A mosque was also burned down.

Initial investigation showed the fire started at the second floor of the unoccupied residence owned by the late Ranie Pango, Samuddin said.

He said the fire rapidly spread and razed the nearby houses that were made of light materials.

Dipolog City firemen and from the nearby towns of Polanco, Katipunan, Piñan, and Roxas and 117 rescue team responded to the fire call and put off the blaze around 9:21 p.m., Samuddin said.

No casualty was reported during the fire except for the P1.5 million properties that went up in smoke, the police official said.

Dapitan City expects 40% hike in tourists for this year’s ‘Kinabayo Festival’

By Hirohito D. Cadion (PNA), CTB/TPGJR/HDC/PJN

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, July 19 (PNA) -- The city government of Dapitan in the nearby province of Zamboanga del Norte is expecting at least 40 percent increase in the number of tourist to visit the city in this year’s “Kinabayo Festival.”

City Tourism Officer Apple Marie Agolong said Saturday they expected an increase of 40 percent from last year’s 100,000 visitors citing all of the hotels and pension houses as fully booked and “some had reservations for next week’s activities.”

“This is due to the five days’ advance in the start of activities and the four major invitational competitions included among the festival activities,” Agolong said.

This year’s “Kinabayo Festival” kicked-off July 11 and will end July 25, the feast day of St. James The Greater, the patron saint of Dapitan City. In previous years, the festival started July 16.

The four major events of the festival are the following: 1st Kinabayo Ten-pin bowling tournament; 1st Mayor Rosalina Jalosjos Level 2 shooting competition; the 2nd Dapitan City table tennis tournament; and, the 3rd Mayor Rosalina Jalosjos invitational circuit race challenge.

Agolong also said the religious activities of the festival in honor of St. James The Greater also attract catholic devotees from neighboring towns and cities.

Agolong said that the Miss Dapitan City pageant and the nightly cultural shows at the Gloria de Dapitan Fantasyland also serve as added attraction to visitors aside from the four major events and religious activities.

Zambo. Norte PDRRMC conducts simulation drill in Dipolog

(FPG/MAA/PIA-Zamboanga del Norte)

DIPOLOG CITY, July 18 (PIA) – The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) of Zamboanga del Norte in partnership with the government agencies and private groups conducted recently a simulation drill here in support of the National Disaster Consciousness Month celebration.

The drill, which aims to instill in the people the importance of disaster preparedness, was conducted at the city hall and at the Zamboanga del Norte Convention and Exhibition Center with the employees of the city government and provincial government as participants.

The employees were taught what to do during earthquake and fire.

Meanwhile, drills on bombing, motor vehicle accident and hostage taking were conducted along the city streets.

Water search and rescue operations during floods and landslides were also taught to the participants.

This year’s national disaster consciousness month has for its theme, “Kahandaan at Kaligtasan Ng Pamayanan, Pundasyon Ng Kaunlaran.”

Among the national and local agencies supporting the said activity were the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), PNP, SWAT Team, Explosive Operation Division (EOD), Traffic Management Group (TMG), Philippine Army, DILG, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO), Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), ZN Medical Center, City Health Office and Rescue 117.

Other groups who turned up during the simulation drill were rescuers from Dipolog, Kalawit and Dapitan bringing along their medical teams and ambulance as well as other private organizations like D’Alert, REACT, mountaineers club and the media.

Driver nabbed in drug buy-bust operation

By Bong Garcia

COMBINED police and Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (Pdea) have arrested a driver of an inter-provincial passenger bus in a buy-bust operation in Dipolog City.

Arrested was Arenel Gumatao, 40, a driver of the Rural Transit Mindanao, Inc. and a resident of Burgos village, Dapitan City.

The Zamboanga del Norte Police Office reported that Gumatao was arrested in a buy-bust operation around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Integrated Bus Terminal in the village of Miputak, Dipolog City.

The police said Gumatao was arrested after he allegedly sold a sachet of suspected shabu for P250 to an undercover government agent.

The police said the arresting personnel have confiscated from the suspect’s possession P250 “marked money,” 12 heat-sealed plastic sachet of suspected shabu, a mobile phone, and other prohibited drug paraphernalia.

The suspect was detained while appropriate charges are being readied against him, the police said.

NCIP-9 chief urges IP students to support climate change advocacy

By Franklin P. Gumapon (FPG/PIA9)

DIPOLOG CITY, July 16 (PIA) – As climate change is here affecting the environment, the student-beneficiaries of the Educational Assistance Program (EAP) of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) have been encouraged to take active role in climate change advocacy campaign.

Speaking during the second day of the journalistic writing workshop for indigenous people (IP) students at the Top Plaza Hotel here last week, NCIP-9 Regional Director Timuey Woy Lim P. Wong called on EAP grantees to get involved in the promotion of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“As your theme for this training, IP youth: advocates for climate change adaptation and resiliency, you should help advocate through your write-ups environmental issues particularly those that have bearing on climate change,” said the NCIP-9 chief.

Director Wong also recalled that during his student days, his teacher made him managing editor of the school paper. At first he protested because his English was not excellent. But he realized that it was an opportunity for him to hone his writing skills in English. And he made it.

The journalistic writing workshop for IP students is a joint project of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-9, NCIP-9 and the US Embassy in Manila. It is the first of its kind being implemented in the region with IP students as beneficiaries.

Journalistic writing seminar for IP students, OSY held in Dipolog

By Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY - Nearly 30 college students from the different schools in Zamboanga del Norte and out-of-school youth (OSY), belonging to the indigenous peoples (IP) have attended a journalistic writing workshop jointly conducted here by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-9 and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)-9 last July 10-11.

The two-day seminar, which was being held at Top Plaza Hotel, aimed to enhance the writing skills of IP students in the province.

The student-participants, who are beneficiaries of the NCIP’s Educational Assistance Program (EAP), are prsentyt enrolled in the different colleges in the province. Seven NCIP staff also participated in the workshop.

Mr. Abdurasid Buddick of NCIP-9, representing Regional Director Timuey Woy Lim P. Wong, said IPs should not be ashamed, but rather be proud of being an IP. He even warned the IP scholars who refused to be identified as IP to be removed from the roll of EAP beneficiaries.

In her message, PIA-9 Regional Director Noemi B. Edaga urged the participants to listen attentively to the resource speakers and learn by heart all the topics to be discussed as well as consider the value of the seminar in the advocacy of the government.

NCIP-Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Head Belyn Incio discussed about the government interventions for IPs and she also cited the salient provisions of Republic Act no. 8371, also known as the “Indigenous People’s Rights Act of 1997.”

Mr. Franklin P. Gumapon PIA-9 taught the participants the basics of newswriting and the proper use of punctuation marks in writing.

The journalistic writing workshop here is the second leg of the said training to be conducted in Zamboanga Peninsula including Isabel City in Basilan Province. The first leg was held in Pagadian City last July 3-4.

After Dipolog, the group will proceed to Zamboanga Sibugay on July 17-18, Zamboanga City on July 24-25 and Isabela City on July 31-Aug. 1, 2014.

Teacher kills husband-cop

By Bong Garcia

A POLICEMAN was killed by his wife following a domestic spat in Zamboanga del Norte, the police said Monday.

Police Regional Office (PRO)-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer-in-charge Inspector Dahlan Samuddin said the incident took place around 12:30 a.m. Sunday in the village of Estaka, Dipolog City, the capital of Zamboanga del Norte.

Samuddin identified the fatality as Police Officer 1 (PO1) Rustom Redoble, 36, who was assigned with the Dipolog City Police Station.

Samuddin said that Redoble was allegedly shot and killed by his own wife, Maricel, 33, a public secondary school teacher in the town of Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte.

Samuddin said investigation showed that the husband and wife have engaged in a heated argument inside their rented room.

He said the suspect grabbed the issued service firearm of her policeman-husband and fired once hitting him in the chest.

The suspect rushed her husband to the hospital but the attending physician declared the victim dead on arrival, he said.

The suspect was detained at the Dipolog City police headquarters, he added.

Philippine authorities sign accord to deal with threat groups

With a report from J. Magtanggol

DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / July 12, 2014) – Police and military authorities have signed an agreement that would pave the way for a joint anti-insurgency operation in the southern Philippines, officials said Saturday.

The agreement was signed at the headquarters of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City between the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III, chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command, and Chief Superintendent Wendy del Rosario signed the Joint Standing Operating Procedure Number 1 or the Condition Situation Response System. Del Rosario represented Chief Superintendent Angelito Pacia, head of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations.

“The JSOP prescribes certain minimum actions or responses pertaining to the counter-insurgency campaign by the PNP and AFP operating forces working under the Area Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center Eastern Mindanao within the territorial boundaries of Regions 10, 11, 12 and 13 in accordance with the established Condition Situation Response System,” Cruz said.

The signing ceremony was also attended by army commanders from the 4th and 10th Infantry Divisions and representatives from the AFP General Headquarters.

Cruz said the new system will further enhance the interoperability operations between the police and military and effectively address the threats pose by the communist rebels and other threats, including terrorism.

“The CPP and NPA, and other threat groups commit terror acts or atrocities not only against PNP and AFP, but civilian targets as well. “In particular, NPA attacks are usually against those who refuse to give in to their extortion demands, like business companies involved in mining, transport, plantations and even against poor and low income individuals and families in the countryside and these have to stop immediately,” he said.

Del Rosario has admitted that the peace and order situation in Eastern Mindanao is greatly affected by the violent acts of the CPP and NPA which is considered to be the most potent security threat.

“Their boldness in committing criminal violent acts against their chosen targets denotes that it remains a major security threat which poses a very serious challenge to the government in general and the AFP and PNP in particular,” he said.

Capt. Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, tagged the NPA as behind the spate of armed attacks on government installations, ambuscades, harassment, abductions and even kidnapping and bombings and arson, murder and other acts of terror in Mindanao.

A similar accord is also being prepared for Western Mindanao between police and military authorities to address the growing threats pose by the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya militants who are behind kidnappings for ransom and terrorism.

Capt. Franco Suelto, a spokesman for the 1st Infantry Division, and Insp. Dahlan Samuddin, a regional police spokesperson, told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner that police and military forces are closely coordinating efforts in law enforcement and anti-insurgency operations and have been successful so far in their security campaign.

Just recently, a joint police and military operation led to the capture of a senior NPA leader, Mercy Maghinay, in Zamboanga del Norte’s Siayan town following a clash with rebels.

Brig. Gen. Gerardo Barrientos, Jr, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, said Maghinay heads the NPA forces in the province and was behind the spate of attacks on military and police targets. He said security forces recovered a shot gun, a .45-caliber pistol, a hand grenade and some P100,000 in cash from Maghinay.

In Zamboanga City, policemen and army troops from the Task Force Zamboanga, have captured more than a dozen Abu Sayyaf militants in joint operations in recent months.

The joint police and military operations, according to Suelto, is covered a Joint Letter Directive which mandates the AFP to support PNP law enforcement operations against lawless groups; and the Internal Peace and Security Operation that also mandates the PNP to support the AFP in counter-insurgency operations.

A Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center was also created to craft and implement plans for intensified security operations against lawless and criminal elements, private armed and other threat groups in support of the local governments; assume functions during elections; monitor and assess peace and security situations; coordinate the implementation of necessary measures to ensure peace and security in their area of responsibility; conduct intensified law-enforcement; initiate and coordinate training and exercises; conduct information dissemination of timely and relevant information and enhance awareness program.

“Police and military efforts in maintaining peace and order, and the close coordination with the local government units in protecting the civilians, are working perfectly well with the support of course of various sectors of the society, the community and the public,” Suelto said.

‘Kinabayo Festival’ kicks off in Dapitan City


PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, July 11 (PNA) -- The annual “Kinabayo Festival” has kicked-off Friday in Dapitan City in the nearby Zamboanga del Norte province, a tourism official announced.

Dapitan City Tourism Officer Apple Marie Agolong said the festival kicked off 1 p.m. Friday with a motorcade around the city.

It will be followed by the search for Miss Silka 2014 at 7 p.m. at the Gloria de Dapitan.

Agolong said the activities of this year’s festival started five days earlier compared to the previous celebration.

This year’s activities of the Kinabayo Festival are slated from July 11 and will end July 25.

Agolong said the festival was extended for five days in a bid to attract more tourists.

Agolong said they have lined up several activities including nightly cultural presentations as part of the 15-day festival.

The festival will culminate July 25, the feast day of Saint James the Greater, the patron saint of Dapitan City.

The highlight of the festival is the reenactment of the Battle of Covadonga between the Spanish forces under General Pelagio and Muslim Moors.

Zamboanga del Norte Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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