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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Zamboanga Peninsula MAP.gif
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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


NAST-PHL holds Biotech IEC forum in Dipolog

By Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY - The National Academy of Science and Technology-Philippines (NAST-PHL) has conducted on Tuesday a Biotechnology Information, Education and Communication (IEC) forum at D’Hotel and Suites this city.

The one-day activity aimed to create awareness and provide science-based information on modern biotechnology among policy-makers, key personnel of the different local government units (LGUs), DOST personnel, science teachers and students from Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte, media and the general public.

Dr. Marcos Valdez Jr, Biotechnology Focal Person for region 7 said the forum also aimed to give the public the right information about biotechnology especially the farmers.

”Lots are already products of biotechnology. This has been used not only in the Philippines but all over the world especially in the field of agriculture,” said Valdez.

Last year, Valdez said, the Philippines became corn self-sufficient country and has already exported corn to South Korea.

In a study conducted from 2000-2012, Dr. Antonio Lorena said the farmers who usually planted hybrid corn had increased their harvest by 19 percent when they shifted to GM-Bt corn. The farmers had also reduced their production costs as GM-Bt corn is resistant to corn-borers pests and other insects.

Lorena said in 2012, 700,000 hectares in the Philippines have been planted with Genetically-Modified Bt corn. Philippines is the first country in Asia to plant Genetically Modified food crop.

However, Lorena pointed out that biotechnology does not compete with the organic farming pushed by the government. ”We only provide the farmers with the right information and never compete with the organic farming pushed by the government.”

Acording to Lorena, biosafety regulations is strictly based on international standard. In June 2013, Philippine Food and Drug Administration declared that all GM foods in the market are safe for human consumption.

Dr.Marilou Elago, Biotechnology Focal person for region 9, in her lecture cited the vital role of the farmers in improving the lives of the people, particularly those living in the countryside.

Aside from Dipolog, NAST-PHL has also conducted IEC forum in other parts of the country like Tuguegarao, Puerto Princesa City, Cebu City, and Dumaguete City.

Soldier killed by pal

By Bong Garcia

A SOLDIER was shot to death by his subordinate inside a military camp in the municipality of Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte, the police reported Thursday.

Police Regional Office (PRO)-Zamboange Peninsula Information Officer-in-Charge Inspector Dahlan Samuddin said the incident took place around 8:27 a.m. Wednesday at the headquarters of the Army's 10th Infantry Battalion's Charlie Company in Barangay Doña Cecilia, Sirawai.

Samuddin identified the fatality as Sergeant Romeo Piedad, of Dao, Pagadian City, who was assigned with the 1st Mechanized Infantry Division.

Piedad was allegedly shot to death by Corporal Greggy Patpat, 31, also assigned with the mechanized division.

The Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) recovered an M-16 Armalite rifle that was used in the commission of the crime and 21 empty shells of caliber 5.56 ammunition, said Samuddin.

The motive of the incident turned out to be personal grudge, he said.

The suspect voluntarily surrendered to his immediate superior, Lieutenant Chesler Mastino, the commanding officer of the Charlie Company. He was subsequently brought to Sirawai Police Station for further investigation and for proper disposition.

ZN gov bails out student facing financial problem

By Bong Garcia

The mother of a third year college student who had stopped schooling due to financial difficulty has thanked Zamboanga del Norte Gov. Roberto Y. Uy for giving his son a job so that he can continue his studies and finish his course soon.

The mother who is from Dapitan City explained to Gov. Uy recently that she cannot afford anymore to enrol his son to college to finish his four-year course because of financial constraint.

The governor immediately directed his excutive assistant to give the boy a job in the day and let him continue his studies in the evening.

Uy said under his administration, he has a scholarship program for deserving, bright and less fortunate persons to apply in his office and continue their studies.

“We invest in education for better future of our children,”Uy said.

11 fishermen arrested for illegal fishing

By Bong Garcia

COMBINED policemen and Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) have arrested 11 people for illegal fishing off Zamboanga del Norte and confiscated five motorized bancas, the police said.

Arrested were Allan Tulabing, 26; Wilfredo Libron, 48; Jose Tulabing, 31; Narciso Tamayo, 50; Dare Caresosa, 20; Rolly Boy Javier, 30; Manulito Bantilan, 52; Ninita Bantilan, 49; Rocky Manuling, 27; Junrey Alimas, 30; and Narciso Ehidio, 40.

Police Regional Office (PRO)-Zamboanga Peninsula Information Officer-in-Charge Inspector Dahlan Samuddin said the fishermen were arrested around 8 p.m. Sunday off Jose Dalman, Zamboanga del Norte.

He said the joint police and BPAT operatives were conducting seaborne patrol when they spotted the suspects aboard five motorized bancas.

There arrest was made for violation of Republic Act 8550, otherwise known as the Fishery Code of the Philippines, and Jose Dalman Fishery Municipal Ordinance 008-004-2013.

Samuddin said that Ehidio, along with Artemio Javier, 50; Ronnie Dialogo, 31; and Godioso Dionsay, 35, who were aboard one motorized banca, escaped while the arresting team was towing them to the shore.

The arresting team launched pursuit operations and re-arrested Ehidio and seized their motorized banca at the shore of Tamil village, Jose Dalman town.

Ehidio's companions, however, eluded arrest and remained at large Monday.

Appropriate charges are set to be filed against the suspects, Samuddin said.

Man carrying cop’s Glock pistol held

By Dan Toribio Jr.

Men of the PNP’s Regional Public Safety Company Battalion on Thursday apprehended a man aboard a motorcycle carrying a 9mm pistol issued to a policeman.

Nabbed was Arnold Luyao y Omamalin, 23, single, of Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte, was intercepted at a checkpoint in Mercedes Thursday afternoon. Seized from his possession were a Glock 17 Gen 4 9mm pistol with serial number 18346, three magazines loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition.

It was learned the pistol belongs to PO2 Edgar Luyao of the Sibuco Police Station.

A police report disclosed that PO2 Luyao was driving a motorcycle with Arnold, Edito Dura and Efraim Arcillas as backriders.

While they were approaching a police checkpoint along the Lobregat Highway in Mercedes, the motorcycle figured in an accident.

PO2 Luyao left the accident site aboard his motorcycle leaving his three backriders behind. At this point, policemen manning the checkpoint stopped the three backriders and had them undergo questioning.

In the process, policemen found out there was agun inside a backpack being carried by Arnold Luyao.

Arnold was arrested and the gun was later found to belong to PO2 Luyao.

Arnold and his two companions as well as the gun were turned over to the Culianan Police Station for proper disposition.

Enguerra is new ZN police chief

By Allen Abastillas

Police Regional Director Chief Supt. Edgar O. Basbas has installed Sr. Supt. John E. Enguerra as the new police director of Zamboanga del Norte replacing Sr. Supt. James Mejia who assumed as the new officer of the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime’s Mindanao area.

Enguerra, former Provincial Director of the Maritime Police in Tawi-Tawi assumed his new post last August 17.

Meanwhile, Sr. Supt. William Manzan has retired from the Philippine National Police service last July 16, 2014. Prior to his retirement, Manzan was the group Director of PRO-9 Regional Public Safety Battalion and the former Director of Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Office.

Chief Supt. Basbas said that Sr. Supt. Jose Chiquito Malayo is one of the recommendees to take the post of Manzan

Malayo is former Zamboanga City Police Office Director. He was one of the “heroes during the September siege last year.

Trans-Asia keen on joining 5th PECR

By Lenie Lectura

TRANS-ASIA Oil and Energy Development Corp. of the Phinma Group has expressed interest to participate in the fifth Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR) spearheaded by the Department of Energy (DOE).

“Yes. At least one, we will apply for it,” said company Senior Vice President Raymundo Reyes, when asked if the company is keen on exploring potential oil and coal resources in the country. PECR aims to showcase the exploration of potential coal and petroleum areas in the country. Company President Francisco Viray said the company is on the lookout for attractive exploration sites offered by the DOE.

“If there are, why not? If we do get one, we will pursue it by ourselves,” he said, when asked if Trans-Asia will likely partner with another firm to work on the site. The PECR5 offers 11 areas for petroleum exploration, mostly located in Luzon. These include Area 1 in Southeast Luzon; 2 and 3 in Masbate-Iloilo; 4 and 5 in Northeast Palawan; 6 in Southeast Palawan; 7 in West Palawan; and 8 to 11 in West Luzon.

For coal exploration, there are 15 areas identified. For area 1, Carmen, Lanuza and Tandag, Surigao del Sur; Tandag and Tago, Surigao del Sur, for area 2; Tandag, Tago and San Miguel, Surigao del Sur, for area 3;

Butuan City, Agusan del Norte and Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, for area 4; Butuan City, Agusan del Norte and Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, for area 5; Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, for area 6; Bunawan and Trento, Agusan del Sur, for area 7; Bunawan and Trento, Agusan del Sur, and Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, for area 8; Lingig and Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, for area 9; Godod, Zamboanga del Norte, and Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, for area 10;

Godod, Zamboanga del Norte, and Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, for area 11; Baliguian and Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, for area 12; Alicia, Imelda and Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay, for area 13; Imelda, Malangas, Alicia and Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay, for area 14; and Maitum, Sarangani, for area 15. “We aim to increase the awarded contracts to benefit from the actual turnout of energy investments. In doing so, there will be a gradual rise on energy production,” Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said earlier.

The company currently holds interests in Service Contracts 50, 51, 6A and 6B, 55, 69, among others.

Government troopers beat off NPA infiltration attempt in Zamboanga Del Norte


MANILA, Aug. 20 (PNA) -- Troopers from the 55th Infantry Battalion were able to drive a New People's Army (NPA) group who were trying to infiltrate at Sitio Basak, Domogok, Siayan town, Zamboanga Del Norte Monday.

Reports forwarded by 1st Infantry Division spokesperson, Capt. Franco Suelto Wednesday, said the Aug. 18 encounter with the rebel band took place around 8: 12 a.m.

He added that civilians reported the NPA presence to them.

The 55th Infantry Battalion is one of the field units of the 1st Infantry Battalion.

Suelto said that while their soldiers were trying to flank the NPA positions, heavy burst of gunfire fired directed at the responding troopers, prompting government forces to retaliate.

Durin the brief exchange, the rebels scampered off to different directions leaving behind their cooking paraphernalia, backpacks, and subversive documents with high-intelligence value.

No one was hurt on the government side while undetermined casualties were inflicted on the NPA side as evidenced by blood trails.

“These skirmishes between the Army and NPAs are proofs that the community despises the presence of the NPA in their midst. The people know the NPA banditry and anti-development intentions. They will immediately report the presence of these armed group to soldiers. This is the recurring theme in the whole Western Mindanao in terms of the NPA threat,” 1st Infantry Division commander Brig. Gen. Gerardo F. Barrientos said.

“The 'Tabak' (1st Infantry) Division will relentlessly pursue the armed NPAs thru its focused military operations until peace reigns in the communities. The stakeholders are already committed in 'Winning the Peace' while the community felt the fruits of the Bayanihan Teams peace and development activities. The key here is to sustain the gains of the peace and development initiatives of the government. A genuine just and lasting peace can be achieved," he concluded.

Job mismatch causes unemployment, says DOLE chief

By Mary Mae Abellon (FPG/MAA/PIA-Zamboanga del Norte)

DIPOLOG CITY, Aug. 19 (PIA) – Labor Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz said the common reason of unemployment is the belief that there was no available work to match the skills of every jobseeker.

This was her statement during the turnover of SPES checks and starter kits to beneficiaries here in the city recently.

“It will take two years for a college graduate to acquire his first employment and three years for regular employment because of job mismatch,” Secretary Baldoz stressed.

Baldoz encouraged all graduates, students and out-of-school youth to access and register in which is an internet-based job and applicant matching system aimed at facilitating the jobseeker's search for jobs and the employer's search for manpower.

“In job mismatch jobseekers would tend to accept a certain work even though it did not fit their skills and field of studies,” Baldoz emphasized.

The secretary also disclosed that Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) is one way of helping the poor but deserving students pursue their education and, at the same time, acquire some experience.

That is why, Baldoz said, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is monitoring whether “the SPES has indeed helped the grantees especially when they get employed.”

Meanwhile, she said that starter kits were given to informal sectors in order to give them a chance to start in their own, and added that with the training given to them they can expand and develop their business, trade or profession.

“These programs contributed to the inclusive growth envisioned by President Aquino that in progress, no one shall be left behind,” Sec. Baldoz concluded.

Soldier dies in accidental firing

By Aaron Recuenco

A soldier accidentally shot himself in the head while cleaning his service firearm in a military detachment in Zamboanga del Norte.

Inspector Dahlan Samuddin, spokesman of the Zamboanga Peninsula regional police, said the soldier, Private First Class Rodel Alingal, died on the spot due to a lone fatal bullet wound in the head.

Alingal, who is the commander of the detachment, was last seen cleaning his .45-caliber pistol at the River Rhine detachment of the Army’s Special Forces.

“He might have accidentally squeezed the trigger while cleaning it,” said Samudin.

The victim was hit on the left side of his head.

Other personnel in the detachment immediately sought for assistance from the police, which in turn, said it was most likely an accidental firing.

Accidental firings in the past have prompted police and military to continuously remind their respective personnel to observe safety measures in cleaning the gun.

Among them is to make sure that the gun is not loaded and that no one is around, particularly children.

Power outages hit Zamboanga areas

By Bong Garcia

THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) announced that investigation is underway to determine the root cause of the power outage that hit late Saturday in several areas in Zamboanga Peninsula.

Affected by the sudden power outage are the areas served by the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco), Zamboanga del Sur Electric Cooperative-2 (Zamsureco-2), and parts of the Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative (Zaneco).

NGCP Regional Corporate Public Affairs Officer Elizabeth Ladaga said in a text message the power outage came after the substations of NagaMin, Pitogo and Sangali experienced loss of power at 10:26 p.m. Saturday.

She said that power transmission service was restored in the affected areas, after bringing power to Aurora-NagaMin 138-kilovolt (KV) Line 1 and Line 2 at 11:30 p.m. (Saturday) and 10:59 p.m., respectively.

She added that power transmission service was restored in NagaMin-Zamboanga 138-KV Line 1 and Line 2 at 11:39 p.m. and 11:08 p.m., respectively.

OWWA releases financial aid to Zambo OFWs repatriated from Libya

By R.G. Go

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has started releasing financial assistance for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) repatriated from Libya, a top OWWA official announced here Friday.

OWWA Regional director Hassan Gabra Jumdain said two of the repatriated OFWs received on Wednesday P10,000 each in financial assistance.

Jumdain withheld the identities of the financial assistance’ beneficiaries except in saying they were among the listed 13 OFWs from the region that were repatriated from Libya.

He disclosed that the 13 OFWs repatriated from Libya are from Maluso, Basilan; Pagadian City; Dipolog City, Zamboanga City and from other parts of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur provinces.

Jumdain said they could also avail of other assistance from OWWA such as scholarship and livelihood programs aside from the cash financial aid.

However, Jumdain clarified that only those who were repatriated from July 20 onwards are entitled to receive financial assistance from OWWA.

“Why July 20? Because it was the date when the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) declared Alert Level 4 in Libya, which means mandatory repatriation,” he explained.

He said that under Alert Level 4 the government undertakes evacuation of OFWs as soon as possible while no Filipino national will be allowed to travel to Libya under Alert Level 4.

Meanwhile, he said OFWs who have escaped or were sent home by their employers from July 20 onwards but are not included in the list of his office can also avail of the assistance from OWWA.

He said all they have to do is to report to his office and submit their passport, Libyan Visa and ticket from Libya to the Philippines to qualify them to receive the assistance.

DILG announces Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentive Awards

By Bong Garcia

THREE villages have been adjudged as winners in the search for Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentive Awards (LTIA) of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Zamboanga Peninsula Region.

DILG Regional Director Paisal Abutazil named the winners as the village of Sto. Niño, Pagadian City for the component city category; Barangay Siari, Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte for the first to third-class municipality category; and Barangay Poblacion, San Pablo, Zamboanga del Sur for the fourth to sixth-class municipality category.

Abutazil said each of the winners received P 50,000 cash prize, which they can use for capacity building or purchase of needed office equipment.

The search sought to measure the efficiency in operations through the observance of settlement procedures, the effectiveness in securing the objectives of the Katarungang Pambarangay (KP) program, which is measurable through quantity and quality of settled cases, and the creativity and resourcefulness of Lupong Tagapamayapa (LT) in sustaining the advocacy effort in the promotion of KP, according to Abutazil.

He said the winners were chosen by the Regional Awards Committee (RAC) formed by his office.

The regional winners are automatically nominated to represent the region in the national search for LTIA. The winners will be announced before the end of the year.

DILG holds IT training for Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte


PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Aug. 14 (PNA) -– The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has recently held a hands-on training on Information and Technology (IT) to selected personnel of Liloy municipal government in the nearby Zamboanga del Norte province, officials announced Thursday.

DILG Regional Director Paisal Abutazil said the Full Disclosure Policy (FDP) was introduced and implemented, mandating all LGUs to publicly disclose their finances and other transactions in three conspicuous places in the LGU, website and the print media as a strategy to promote and enhance transparency and accountability practices in local governance.

DILG IT Officer Ard Catalino said the training was aimed at helping the selected personnel of Liloy municipal government on designing and developing an LGU-generated website.

Catalino said it is important for an LGU to establish their own website “so as to facilitate effectively their compliance to the FDP and the thrust of transparency.”

Meanwhile, Liloy Mayor Felixberto Bolando assured that the team, having been trained as the website administrators of the municipality would constantly enhance and upgrade the website for any development.

Bolando said the website will facilitate “our compliance with the FDP where we could post the necessary documents as well as the operations of the municipality.”

“We want our website to be more interactive that our constituents would continually be informed and involved,” he added.

DILG completes water system project

By Bong Garcia

THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has completed the construction of a P1.5-million spring development and water system project in a remote village of Roxas, Zamboanga del Norte.

DILG Regional Director Paizal Abutazil said the project was constructed through the agency’s “Sagana at Ligtas ng Tubig sa Lahat” (SALINTUBIG).

SALINTUBIG program provides grant financing and capacity development for planning, implementation and operation of water supply projects poorest villages with high level of water-borne diseases.

Abutazil said the project was constructed in the village of Tanayan, where previously only three percent of the total population has access to potable water.

The village of Tanayan has a total population of 853 in 171 households based on the 2010 National Statistics Office (NSO) census.

Half of the population of Tanayan village consists of Subanen tribe.

Abutazil said the project was completed and turned over last week to the beneficiaries. Its construction, which was done by phases, started in January this year.

He said the residents of Tanayan village will no longer have to struggle in fetching water far from their residence since they now have it right in their door-steps.

Dipolog, PAHP’s model city in Mindanao

By Mary Mae Abellon (FPG/MAA/PIA-Zamboanga del Norte)

DIPOLOG CITY, Aug. 12 (PIA) - “Dipolog City will become the model city in Mindanao for the Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty’s (PAHP) initiative in food procurement from famiy farmers for school feeding program,” said National Program Coordinator Lawrence Cruz during the convergence meeting of DAR-DSWD-DA-FAO-WFP held here last week.

PAHP is a holistic approach to alleviate the poor households from hunger and poverty, bringing together the programs of the government to provide essential services to the poorer sectors in the community.

With this holistic approach, Cruz said, poverty and hunger incidence would be fully addressed through the technical assistance from the government and consistent project implementation.

ARCP II National Project Coordinator Director Herman Z. Ongkiko said that Dipolog City has an edge over the rest in the implementation of the program since “the local government unit itself promotes organic farming to its farmers.”

He added that all infrastructure projects of the government in rural areas will be linked with agri-enterprise.

Meanwhile, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Consultant Flavio Luis Mazzaro De Freitas stressed that this program is patterned after his country, Brazil, which was then replicated in Africa and now in Asia particularly the Philippines.

“This program will increase the income of small farmers, improve access to food, promote local economies, increase food varieties to be produced by small farmers, and boost the importance of organic products,” de Freitas said.

He further emphasized that with the convergence program, “PAHP initiative will reduce the chances of failure.”

Representative from the Office of the Secretary of DSWD, Natassia Quijano, said “this convergence wherein government concurrent efforts are linked is very important in achieving inclusive growth aimed by the Aquino administration,” as she thanked the LGUs and other agencies that are open to this initiative.

Dipolog Mayor Evelyn T. Uy also expressed her gratitude because the program coincides with the city’s thrust of reducing hunger and poverty by helping the farmers in particular and the community in general.

The lady mayor is optimistic that this program will succeed because Dipolog serves as the trading center for fruits and vegetables in the province.

Dipolog gets “very high” net score in CSIS survey

By Franklin P. Gumapon

DIPOLOG CITY – The people here are ready to join the city government in improving the quality of life of the community, as they have expressed willingness to coordinate and engage with the local officials in any development endeavor.

This was the result of the 2013 Citizen Satisfaction Index System (CSIS) survey as presented during the recently held CSIS utilization conference attended by the city mayor, city councilors, department heads as well as representatives from civil society organization and academe.

Registering a very high net score of 83.75 percent, the city government received a positive support from its constituents, according to CSIS Focal Person Russell Jef Castañeda of the Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-9.

In 2013 the CSIS survey was being administered to 34 priority cities based on the National Competitive Council’s list of 50 competitive cities and provinces nationwide.

Dipolog City was chosen as the pilot local government unit (LGU) in region 9 with the Jose Rizal Memorial State University (JRMSU) as implementing partner.

In his opening statement in the said conference, DILG-9 Assistant Regional Director Pedro G. Cuevas Jr. said “any institution, whether government of private, the ultimate goal is provide its clients the best service possible.”

“The real essence is defined and determined by the level of client satisfaction with the services these institutions provide,” Cuevas added.

For her part, Mayor Evelyn T. Uy found the CSIS very challenging, saying “first we are quite apprehensive but, on the other hand, enthusiastic of how we can improve based on its result.”

However, the city government scored low on the aspect of peoples’ awareness of the city government’s programs, projects and services. So, Mayor Uy urged the different departments to inform the City Information Office (CIO) of their programs and services for public dissemination.

The lady mayor hopes that the level of awareness of her constituents on the city government’s programs and services will improve after six months. “So, let us all work together to achieve this while maintaining also the satisfaction that our people have on us,” she urged.

The survey was conducted on Dec. 11-19, 2013 to 150 respondents in 16 of the 21 barangays of the city.

Zamboanga del Norte Archived News

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