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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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Saint James Cathedral in Dapitan City
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Situbo Falls, Zamboanga del Norte
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OWWA sets entrepreneurship, organizational development training in Zambo Norte


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Feb. 10 (PNA) -– The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is conducting a three-day training to provide a boost in the livelihood of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents.

Hassan Gabra Jumdain, OWWA regional director, said the training will start Thursday until Saturday. It will be held in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.

Jumdain said the workshop will be on Organization Development Training (ODT) and Entrepreneurship Development Training (EDT), which will be participated by 70 OWWA members, both land-based and sea-based and their dependents.

Jumdain said the EDT component intends to specifically equip the participants with basic entrepreneurial ideas and skills including sound fiscal management while the ODT component seeks to form new OFW Family Circles (OFCs) and provide counseling.

He said that various topics will be taken up in the training such as Financial Literacy to be facilitated by Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Business Registration and Champion Products to be handled by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and presentation of OWWA’s programs and services.

He said there will be also an open forum together with OFCs leaders in Zamboanga del Norte “so that we may address their concerns and listen to their suggestions for the welfare of the OFWs in the area.”

To date, he said there are 19,484 active and inactive OWWA members in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.

He said the training is in line with OWWA’s mandate to provide social and welfare services to OFWs.

He said they will continue to cater to the needs “of our OFWs in the whole region and we aim to make our service accessible to the provinces apart from Zamboanga City through our Family Welfare Officers.”

COMELEC clarifies campaign guidelines for May polls

By Alfonso T. Ruda (ALT/ATR/PIA9-Zamboanga delNorte)

DIPOLOG CITY (PIA)---The Commission on Election has reiterated its reminder tocandidates running for various positions in the province of Zamboanga del Norte to observe rightful campaigning this coming national and local elections.

During the recent Kapihan sa Dipolog, outgoing Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Ellis Miguel said that campaign period for national candidates starts on February 9, 2016 and March 25, 2016 for the local positions. However, Miguel clarified that campaign period for local positions will only start on March 26 since March 25 falls on a Good Friday, which is a holiday.

He said that as of now, no advisory has been received yet from its central office on any amendment of the sizes of campaign materials. He also warned the candidates to post campaign materials only in areas designated by the Comelec.

Incoming Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Jossil Macute cautioned candidates not to post campaign materials on trees or electric posts as they are not considered poster areas.

To strictly monitor the expenditures of any candidate, Atty. Macute said Comelec has created the Campaign Finance Office, purposely to check on the veracity of the candidates’ Statement of Contribution and Expenses (SOCE).

Failure to file SOCE for two times, according to Atty. Miguel,is already a ground for perpetual disqualification to hold public office in the future. “If one fails to file SOCE, he will be fined. If he will not pay the fine, he will be charged administratively and barred to hold public office,” Miguel said.

On the other hand, Comelec 9 Regional Director Atty. Wilred Jay Balisado said that public school teachers will serve this coming national and local elections as members of the Boardof Election Inspectors (BEIs), unless otherwise they are disqualified for various reasons.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police is currently conducting regular checkpoints in different areas along the national highway of the province since the implementation of Comelec gun ban last January 10.

Son dies, dad survives in Zambo Norte gun attack

By Bong Garcia

A 23-YEAR-OLD man was killed while his father was wounded when gunmen shot them in their house in the village of Malipot, Siocon, Zamboanga Del Norte last Sunday, January 31.

Chief Inspector Rogelio Alabata, information officer of Zamboanga Peninsula police, said the shooting happened around 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

The fatality was identified as Jarold Moras, 23; whose father, Saturnino, 47, was hospitalized after being hit twice during the shooting.

Alabata said the victims were sleeping in their house when the attackers arrived and open fired at them.

The police continues to investigate the incident to identify the perpetrators.

3 wanted men fall

By Allen Abastillas

Three wanted persons were arrested by government forces over the weekend in the region.

Police Regional Office 9 Deputy Regional Director Sr. Supt. Debold M. Sinas disclosed that Wilfredo D. Balladares 31, single, of Motibot, Sindangan was arrested for a crime of act of lasciviousness docketed under criminal case number 12350 with arrest warrant issued by Judge Nimfa B. Carreon-Padao of Municipal Trial Court in Sindangan under 9th Judicial Region of Zamboanga del Norte. Balladares was detained at the police station of Sindangan.

On the other hand, police troopers of Buug and from Zamboanga Sibugay Police Provncial Office arrested Herlito C. Sofia, 26, married, a farmer by occupation and Herminio Sofia. Both were among the top 12 most wanted men under municipal level in Buug for a crime of murder that happed on August 2014. The arrest of the duo was covered with warrant of arrest docketed under criminal case number IM -13-0538 and CC number IM -13 -0538 issued by Judge Josefino P. Bael.

A wanted person was also arrested by police troopers in Mahayag recently for violation of R.A 9262 otherwise known as the “ Anti-Violence against Women and their Children”.

The suspect was identified as Jessym N. Demiar. His arrest was covered with warrant of arrest under criminal case number 2014-10-2770 issued by Judge Jaime B. Caberte presiding Judge in Molave, Zamboanga del Sur.

Bantay Dagat member nabbed for gun, drugs possession

By Bong Garcia

A MEMBER of the Bantay Dagat (Sea Watchman) was arrested for gun and prohibited drugs possession at a checkpoint in a remote town of Zamboanga del Norte, the police reported Friday.

Chief Inspector Rogelio Alabata, Zamboanga Peninsula Police Regional Office information officer, identified the arrested suspect as Usman Henio, a resident of San Nicolas village, Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte.

Alabata said Henio was arrested around 11:45 a.m. Thursday at a Commission on Elections (Comelec)-designated checkpoint at Sitio Malakubing in the village of Latabon, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte.

Alabata said the confiscated items from the suspect’s possession were a caliber .45 pistol with seven live ammunition; two big sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride locally known as shabu; P550 of different denomination; and, a motorcycle without registered plate number.

He said the shabu seized from the suspect has an estimated market value of P20,000.

He said Henio is a member of the Bantay Dagat in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte based on the identified card recovered from his possession.

The suspect was detained while appropriate charges are set to be filed against him, according to Alabata.

DOH culminates Goiter Awareness Week celebration in Dapitan

By Alfonso T. Ruda(ALT/ATR/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)

DAPITAN CITY, Feb. 5 (PIA)---The Department of Health-9, in collaboration with the National Nutrition Council culminated its week-long celebration of Goiter Awareness Week at Dapitan City Resort Hotel, here.

Global Iodine Network Executive Director Dr. Teofilo San Luis said Dapitan City was chosen to be the site of the 2016 Goiter Awareness Week culmination activity to highlight the problem affecting the province and region 9 concerning Iodine Deficiency Disorders.(IDD)

Based on the 2013 National Nutrition Survey (NNS), Zamboanga Peninsula has poorest Iodine Nutritional Status measured by urinary iodine concentration among school children coupled with the fact that region 9 has the highest prevalence of Iodine Deficiency Disorder at 41%, lowest iodization utilization per household with Zamboanga del Norte among them.

San Luis pointed out that of the 22,000 households surveyed nationwide with 1,139 participants from region 9, ZamPen registered the lowest iodine excretion among school-aged children. He stressed that the school-age is the very indicator of the situation in the entire community.

The NNS also showed that only fifty percent (50%) of the population in the region is aware that the consumption and regular utilization of iodized salt will effectively prevent the deficiency.

Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Health Officer Dr. Eduardo E. Luayon admitted the low utilization of iodized salt in the province and urged stakeholders to maximize and sustain advocacy campaign. He also stressed the importance of iodized salt especially among school-age children and lactating mothers.

In 1995, a law was enacted to support the implementation of the Universal Salt Iodization program in the Philippines. Republic Act 8172 or an Act Promoting Salt Iodization Nationwide requires all salt being used, sold or traded for human and animal consumption must be iodized.

Under Proclamation No. 1188 signed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the 4th week of January has been declared as Goiter Awareness Week. This year carries .the theme, ”Goiter ay Sugpuin, Isip Patalinuhin, Iodized Salt Gamitin.”

Baliguian town to receive P3-M financial aid

By Franklin P. Gumapon (FPG/PIA9)

DIPOLOG CITY, Jan. 4 (PIA) – A financial assistance worth P3 million will soon be given by the provincial government of Zamboanga del Norte to Baliguian town after the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial board) authorized Governor Roberto Y. Uy to sign a memorandum of agreement with Mayor Albina A. Esmali to effect the granting of said amount.

In its last regular session, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan unanimously approved Governor Uy’s request for the provincial government to extend a financial assistance to Baliguian town.

The amount will be used as the municipality’s counterpart fund for the construction of a farm-to-market road from junction national highway in barangay Mamawan to barangays Diculom and Milidan.

To ensure judicious utilization of said financial aid, the provincial government requires the municipal government to submit regular liquidation reports according to government accounting rules and regulations.

In a similar development, the provincial government also aims to extend financial assistance to all municipalities and cities of the province to help improve the living condition of the people in the area.

Zamboanga del Norte had been tagged as the poorest province in the country more than a decade ago.

DAR-Zambo Norte conducts planning workshop in Dapitan

By Mary May A. Abellon

DAPITAN CITY, Feb. 2 (PIA) – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)- Zamboanga del Norte recently conducted a planning workshop on the Program Beneficiaries Development-Technical Assistance and Support Services (PBD-TASS) at Alexandra by the Sea, this City.

All Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officers (MARPOs) in the province participated in the said undertaking.

“The MARPOs have a crucial role for the development in the area they handle because they are supposed to be and should be the experts,” DAR-ZN Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer-I (PARPO) Rizzel B. Villanueva stressed in his opening remarks.

Among the programs and projects presented by DAR-ZN during the said activity were the Agrarian Production Credit program (APCP) which aims to provide credit assistance to ARBs in order to support their individual or communal crop production; DAR-CRS (Catholic Relief Services) Partnership which aims to increase production and income of ARBs through agricultural extension marketing assistance and capacity-building with the assistance of agro-enterprise facilitators; Community-Managed Potable Water Supply and Hygiene (CPWASH) project to install low-cost water supply technology and sanitation systems for safe, clean and potable water for ARBs; and Convergence of Value-Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (CONVERGE) project in reducing the incidence of poverty particularly in Mindanao.

DAR envisions to have empowered Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) who are effectively managing their economic and social development for a better quality of life.

Thus, PARPO Villanueva emphasized that DAR focuses on strengthening towards sustainable Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) enterprise in the country.

Meanwhile, PBD supports the major strategies identified under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) in accordance with the agriculture sector’s goal of improving food security and increasing income, increasing resilience to climate change risks and enhancing policy environment and governance.

TASS is an agrarian reform component that aims to capacitate ARBs and provide them access to necessary support services to make their land productive.

Police eye personal dispute behind Sibuco ambush

By Allen Abastillas

Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Director Sr. Supt. Edwin Wagan said on Wednesday the ambush that wounded three policemen and two civilians in Sibuco last Sunday could have been carried out with personal grudge as motive.

However, police investigators are not discounting politics and other motives as behind the attack.

“We are investigating all angles from political motivation to other reasons behind the ambush. The five victims, three policemen and two civilians are now recuperating,” Wagan said.

He said that the province of Zamboanga del Norte is generally peaceful even as the election campaign period is fast approaching.

Wagan said there is no report that there is any town under election watchlist in the province but his command is closely monitoring some municipalities including La Libertad where LGU employees were murdered recently.

“We are also closely monitoring Sibuco and Sirawai because of some extortion activities against a former logging company,” Wagan revealed.

The provincial director said there is an intense political contest in the province between the Liberal Party and former Gov. Rolando Yebes who is allied with the Jalosjos party, “but everything is normal in the province”.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Director Sr. Supt. Michale Nicholas disclosed that a peace covenant was signed by the political parties and all stakeholders in the municipality of Josefina last week.

“We also closely monitor the situation in Dinas because of intense political rivalry,” Nicholas said.

Army, Comelec hold security meeting in ZN

(FPG/ATR/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)

PIÑAN, Zamboanga del Norte — To ensure orderly and peaceful conduct of the May 9, 2016 national and local elections in its area of jurisdiction, the 101st Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army, based in Barangay Del Pilar in this municipality has called on Monday a joint security control meeting with personnel from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from region 9 and 10 as well as the Philippine National Police (PNP) and military units from the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Misamis Occidental.

Municipal Election Officers from the different towns of Zamboanga del Norte also came to attend the said meeting.

Atty. Wilfred Jay Balisado, COMELEC-9 regional director, appealed to the public to respect the checkpoints established along the national highways by the COMELEC.

He also called on the candidates to campaign professionally, as he urged the voters to use their best judgement this coming election to elect the most credible and qualified person for the position.

It was suggested in the meeting that certain activities would be undertaken to drum up support for peaceful and credible elections like forging a peace covenant between and among opposing candidates to be facilitated by any religious organizations and/or any non-partisan organization.

For his part, Col.Jesus Manangquil Jr., 101st brigade commander, assured the public of the availability and presence of the military units under his command to ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of the May 9, 2016 balloting.

Manangquil said the said meeting was just one of the many meetings to be initiated by the brigade with the various stakeholders to keep the public abreast with the military’s efforts at making the national and ocal elections peaceful and credible.

Magnitude 3.5 earthquake jolts Zamboanga del Norte


MANILA (PNA) -- A magnitude-3.5 earthquake jolted the province of Zamboanga Del Norte on Monday morning, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

In its bulletin, the agency said the tremor occurred at 5:19 a.m. with its epicenter traced two kilometers southeast of Dipolog City in Zamboanga Del Norte, which also felt Intensity 2.

Phivolcs said the temblor, which was tectonic in origin, had a shallow depth of 19 kilometers.

The agency noted that there was no casualty or damage reported from the quake.

There are also no aftershocks expected.

101st Bde holds security meeting

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

PIÑAN, Zamboanga del Norte, Jan. 29 (PIA) – To ensure orderly and peaceful conduct of the May 9, 2016 national and local elections in its area of jurisdiction, the 101st Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army, based in Barangay Del Pilar in this municipality has called on Monday a joint security control meeting with personnel from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from region 9 and 10 as well as the Philippine National Police (PNP) and military units from the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Misamis Occidental.

Municipal Election Officers from the different towns of Zamboanga del Norte also came to attend the said meeting.

Atty. Wilfred Jay Balisado, COMELEC-9 regional director appealed to the public to respect the checkpoints established along the national highways by the COMELEC.

He also called on the candidates to campaign professionally, as he urged the voters to use their best judgement this coming election to elect the most credible and qualified person for the position.

It was suggested in the meeting that certain activities would be undertaken to drum up support for peaceful and credible elections like forging a peace covenant between and among opposing candidates to be facilitated by any religious organizations and/or any non-partisan organization.

For his part, Col.Jesus Manangquil Jr., 101st brigade commander, assured the public of the availability and presence of the military units under his command to ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of the May 9, 2016 balloting.

Manangquil said the said meeting was just one of the many meetings to be initiated by the brigade with the various stakeholders to keep the public abreast with the military’s efforts at making the national and ocal elections peaceful and credible.

Most wanted person falls in Zambo Norte town


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 28 (PNA) -– The police have arrested one of the most wanted persons in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.

Chief Insp. Rogelio Alabata, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) information officer, identified the arrested most wanted person as Roberto Bautista, 48, of Barangay Miputak, Dipolog City, the capital of Zamboanga del Norte.

Alabata said Bautista was arrested around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday “through the assistance of the eye of the barangay” in Barangay Poblacion, Manukan, Zamboanga del Norte.

He said Bautista is listed as the No. 5 most wanted person in Manukan town.

He said Bautista is facing criminal charges for attempted murder before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 6 in Dipolog City.

He said the court has issued warrant of arrest with PHP120,000 recommended bail bond against Bautista.

ZNFEPA conducts stakeholders confab

By Alfonso T. Ruda (FPG/ATR/PIA-Zamboanga del Norte)

DIPOLOG CITY, Jan. 27 (PIA)—The Zamboanga del Norte Federation of Parents Association (ZNFEPA), which is working with the Childfund, held a stakeholders review meeting at Ariana Hotel here recently to assess its accomplishment from July to December 2015.

In a press statement issued to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), ZNFEPA Manager Mark Yaba said the gathering also aimed to gather ideas, support and recommendations from the stakeholders to strengthen their involvement in ZNFEPA’s programs in the province.

Yaba reported that ZNFEPA succeeded in extending assistance to 96 percent or 483 out of 500 children with ages 0-5 years old by providing for their needs and enabling their families to find livelihood opportunities.

It was also learned during the assessment meeting that ZNFEPA was able to cover 88 percent or 5,574 out of 6,344 children aged 10-14 years old, both in school and out-of-school, in its capacity/capability training programs.

Moreover, 80 percent of 1,443 youth with ages 15-24 years old had also benefited from ZNFEPA’s capacity trainings, which help them develop their communication skills, interpersonal relations, problem solving and decision-making skills. Coping with emotions and stress management have also been taught to them to develop a positive behavior/attitude in life.

For their part, the stakeholders lauded ZNFEPA’s efforts in helping the government carry out the programs and projects aimed at transforming the lives of the children into productive citizens in the community.

The participants were also toured to the gallery which features the different activities undertaken by ZNFEPA in collaboration with concerned local government units in the province.

ZNFEPA, which was established on April 16, 2008, is a non-profit, non-sectarian and non-government organization based in Dipolog City. It serves as an umbrella organization of the Bantay-Dagat in Dipolog City, Kasilingan Parent’s Assocation in Toxas town, and Sto. Niño Bayanihan Parent’s Association in Sindangan municipality with more or less 4,500 family-members.

PhP188.1-M farm-to-market road up for concreting in Zambo Norte


DIPOLOG CITY, Zamboanga del Norte (PNA) -- The government is set to implement PhP188.1 million farm-to-market road (FMR) concreting project traversing six barangays in the nearby town of Tamipilisan, this province.

Governor Roberto Uy on Monday said 80 percent representing PhP150.6 million of the road concreting project covering 13.82 kilometers will be funded through a loan from the World Bank.

Uy said the provincial government will shoulder 10 percent of the project costs, representing PhP18.8 million while Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) will also provide 10 per representing PhP18.8 million as counterparts.

The PRDP is a national project under DA that provides key infrastructures and facilities aimed to improve household income, competitiveness and productivity of the target beneficiary-communities.

Uy said the project’s beneficiary-barangays are: Poblacion; Farmington; Galingon; Balacbaan; Cabong; and, Tilubog.

Uy said the groundbreaking of the project is scheduled to be held on the second week of February which will be graced by DA Undersecretary for Operations Emerson Palad, who is the PRDP project coordinator, and PRDP-Mindanao Project Director Lealyn Ramos.

Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) data showed the project will benefit 2,047 households consisting of 9,659 inhabitants.

The data further showed that 1,709 of the 2,047 families are farming households and the remaining 338 are non-farming households.

The completion of the project will benefit 7,557.98 hectares of agricultural lands, 3,313 hectares of which are identified as “road influence areas” while 1,741 hectares as “service areas.”

Uy expressed gratitude to Engineer Rey Hamoy, head of PRDP’s provincial project management and implementing unit, that facilitated the realization of the project.

Uy said the completion of the project is of big help to the livelihood of the farmers since “this will ease the transport of their agricultural products” to the market.

Tampilisan, which comprises of 20 barangays, is a fourth class town in the third congressional district of this province with a population of 23,056 as of the 2010 census.

The main crops of Tampilisan is palay, corn and rubber.

Dipolog celebrates 20th autism consciousness week

By Mary May A. Abellon (FPG/MAA/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)

DIPOLOG CITY, Jan. 25 (PIA) – The city government here through its City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) has joined the nation in a weeklong celebration of the 20th Autism Consciousness Week with a theme, “Onwards to an Austism - OK Philippines” starting Jan. 17-23.

The celebration started with a motorcade along the city main streets followed by an opening program at the school gymnasium of Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School (DPDS) and Special Education (SPED) with children from the SPED Center and the Center for Children with Special Needs of CSWDO as participants.

This weeklong activity primarily aims to intensify awareness on the rights of persons with autism in the country. It advocates for their integration into the mainstream of society geared towards their empowerment.

“The city government has provided medical services through free check-up to children with special needs,” Mayor Evelyn T. Uy said during the opening program.

The lady mayor stressed that these children are not different from other kids who needed love and care from their families, adding “autism is not a word to be feared but a child to be loved.”

Academic competition, family day, sporty angels, field trip, angel’s walk, autizumba and family outing also highlight the said celebration.

This observance was in pursuance of Proclamation No. 711 of 1996, declaring the third week of January as “Autism Consciousness Week (ACW),” with a purpose at promoting awareness and supportive environment among communities to enable autistic persons to live with dignity, function independently, and to contribute productively to society.

4 wounded in Zambo Norte gun fight


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 24 (PNA) – Four people, including two policemen, were wounded in an exchange of fire preceded by an ambush in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.

Initial military report disclosed the incident took place around 11:00 a.m. Sunday in Sitio Paringan, Barangay Sto. Niño, Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte.

The two wounded policemen were identified as SPO2 Berhay Ali and PO1 Atani Fahad of the Sibuco Police Station.

The identities of the two wounded civilians were not immediately available.

Investigation showed the victims were aboard a patrol car when they were ambushed by lawless elements, triggering a five-minute as the policemen managed to fought back.

The lawless elements withdrew towards Barangay Lakiki, Sibuco.

The victims were rushed to the hospital for treatment.

DOH to conduct National School Deworming Day on Jan. 27

By Alfonso T. Ruda (ALT/ATR/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)

DIPOLOG CITY (PIA) --- The Department of Health (DOH) is scheduled to conduct the second round of National School Deworming Day on January 27, 2016.

In a media forum held at Mibang Hotel, DOH IX Assistant Regional Director Joshua C. Brillantes appealed for the active participation of the local media in informing the public especially the parents and convince them to bring/accompany their children to school during the deworming day.

The forum was conducted to avoid what happened during the first round of the deworming activity last year that was filled with text scares which was pinpointed as the main reason for the low turn-out during the conduct of school-based immunization.

Dr. Brillantes clarified that the mode of taking albendazole in this year’s deworming activity is through oral not chewable as practiced last year and that it will be administered by the school teachers under the supervision of a health personnel from the DOH.

He pointed out that albendazole will only be taken two hours after the child has taken his/her meal or with a full stomach. However, it will not be given to children whose parents did not give their consent.

Public school teachers all over the province were also given orientation on the conduct of the activity by DOH region 9 personnel.

The deworming activity became the priority of DOH after it was noted that a big number of schoolchildren are anemic. This is a strong manifestation of the presence of worms in their body which, if left unattended may result to the early death of the child.

To maximize awareness of the parents, ARD Brillantes urged local officials to hold barangay assembly and assured the availability of a representative from the DOH as resource speaker.

He also encouraged Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) to hold a meeting with its members and inform DOH for such undertaking to provide speakers for appropriate information on the upcoming activity.

DOH personnel led by ARD Brillantes and Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Health Officer Dr.Eduardo Luayon also guested the recent “Kapihan sa Dipolog” held at Sunburst Fried Chicken, Hotel Camila I, this city for the same purpose.

The national deworming activity aims to implement and sustain coverage with chemotherapy of at least 85% of the target population.

Dapitan City holds tourism forum


DAPITAN CITY, Zamboanga del Norte, Jan. 22 (PNA) – The city government is holding Friday the First Dapitan City Tourism Stakeholders Forum aimed to achieve economic development through tourism, trade and investment.

City Tourism Officer Apple Marie Agolong said the holding of the forum is to embark on a new tourism development thrust called Dapitan City Culture, Arts, Tourism and Heritage Program.

Agolong said the implementation of new program starts this month with the active involvement and participation of the socio-civic cultural communities as well as from the government and non-government organizations in the various cultural, arts, tourism, heritage, investment, trade and community service endeavors.

Agolong said the forum is also geared towards drafting a five-year Tourism Development Plan, which would integrate all the concerns shared by the different sectors.

She said they will identify solutions to the recent adverse travel advisory issued by some foreign embassies and develop an integrated marketing program geared towards achieving this city's tourism, trade and investment goals including but not limited to the creation of a communications and public relations plan to counter the deterrent factors of the advisories.

She said local tourism, which is deeply anchored on its rich cultural heritage, is now a major contributor of this city's economic growth revolving not just to the three major heritage-related celebrations namely: the Kinabayo Festival in July; the Founding Anniversary Celebration in November; and, the Handuraw Festival in December, but to the other monthly activities which are always crowd drawers.

The monthly festivals are as follows: Kagang Festival in February; Tuloy Festival in May; World Costume Festival in June; and, Ulang Festival in November thereby also making this city to be known the “city of festivals.”

Agolong said the religious activities such as the observance of Lent and Santacruzan are among the crowd drawer activities.

She noted that pension houses and other investments are increasing as there are still a lot of other local, national and international activities the city is hosting and had positive effected to the local economy.

PSHS picks Dipolog for ZamPen campus

By Franklin P. Gumapon (FPG/PIA9)

DIPOLOG CITY, Jan. 21 (PIA) - A regional campus of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) system has finally come to Zamboanga Peninsula region and it is located here in this city.

The PSHS-Zamboanga Peninsula campus will formally open its classes for the school year 2016-2017 in June to be held at the Dipolog City Sports Complex in Barangay Olingan, which serves as its temporary classroom pending completion of the construction of its school buildings at its permanent site in Barangay Cogon this city.

Grade six pupils who have successfully passed the National Competitive Examinations (NCE) given by the PSHS in October 2015 and opted to study at the Dipolog campus are as follows: Abaya, Perl Arevalo of Notre Dame of Greater Manila; Abubakar, Zahra Amilano of Isabela City Pilot Central School, Isabela City, Basilan; Alterado, Richard Tan-awon of Andres Bonifacio College, Dipolog City; Asiri, Sakeena Muin of Notre Dame of Jolo for Girls, Jolo, Sulu; Cadavedo, Deam Mark Jr. Caballero of Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School, Dipolog City; Cainta, Derf Iluminado Nicklaus Saldariega of Dipolog SPED Center, Dipolog City; Calaycay, Matthew Cedric Desamparado of Dipolog SPED Center; Capa, Jewel Café of Manukan West Central School, Manukan, Zamboanga del Norte; Cardino, Dave Daniel Vidallo of Dipolog SPED Center; Castro, Marianne Chantelle Jimenez of Ozamis Montessori Center, Ozamis City.

Dael, Philippe Andrei Sanoria of Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School; Dalumpines, Alyssa Adelle Eguia of Dapitan City Central SPED, Dapitan City; Empeynado, Chris Emmanuel Austero of Estaka Central School, Estaka, Dipolog City; Farrales, Rizza Andrea Espiritusanto of Pagadian City Montessori Center, Pagadian City; Illustrado, Vien Trina Aquino of Isabela City East Central Elementary School, Isabela City, Basilan; Jacinto, Pocholo Macaraeg of Dapitan City Central SPED; Lagapa, Ali Khan Miguel Ruelan of Saint Michael’s College, Iligan City; Macamay, Joan Phiscira Paco of Ozamis City Central School, Ozamis City.

Nacaytuna, John Alek Baring of Estaka Central School; Navarro, Krishna Gail Majorenos of Mahayag Central Elementary School, Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur; Odantabao, Paul II Maybituin of Dipolog SPED Center; Omamalin, Trevor Santos of Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School; Racho, Nicolien Rian Masecampo of Pagadian City Pilot Central Elementary School, Pagadian City; Ramon, Princess May Esguerra of Integrated Mntessori Center, Taguig City; Sagario, Gershon Rei Josol of DMC College Foundation, Dipolog City; Solijon, Andrey Frits Lood of Pagadian City Pilot Elementary School; Suarez, John Nuelmar Sajiin of Tetuan Central Elementary School, Zamboanga City; Sumalpong, Swiss Misley Benitez of Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School; Teleron, Jollianne Claire Razonable of Balangasan Central Elementary School, Zamboanga City; Turbela, Hans Valdez of Pagadian City Pilot Central Elementary School; Vanguardia, Jorel Flores of Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School; and Zamora, KZ Vale Alaiza Saldua of Pagadian City Pilot Elementary School.

PSHS-ZP campus is the last regional campus being established in Mindanao. The first PSHS campus in the island was the Southern Mindanao Campus in Mintal, Davao City, which was opened in 1988, followed by the Central Mindanao Campus in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte in 1998, SOCCSKSARGEN campus in Koronadal City in 2013 and Caraga campus in Butuan City in 2014.

The PSHS, which prepares its students to become world-class scientists, provides its scholars with free tuition, uniform allowance and monthly stipend.

DOST to deploy additional 25 early warning systems in flood-prone areas in Region 9


ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will deploy additional 25 units of early warning systems to capacitate this region’s local government units (LGUs) towards an efficient and effective disaster risk reduction and management.

Martin Wee, DOST assistant regional director, said Tuesday the additional weather monitoring equipment will complement the existing 70 units that were already deployed in strategic locations since 2013 here in Region 9.

Wee said that DOST-Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) central office had already approved and conducted site survey and hydrographic survey of the identified flood-prone areas and river basins.

He said the hydrographic survey is crucial to define shore line and under water features which are needed to establish critical data and information.

He said the weather monitoring equipment known as the automated rain gauges (ARG) and water level monitoring system (WLMS) will cover the following areas: Imelda and Bayog, Zamboanga Sibugay; Labason, Gutalac, Kalawit, Siocon, Baliguian, Siayan, Sindangan, Labangan, Rizal, La Libertad, Piñan, Dapitan City and Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte; and, Barangays Calvario, Aguada, Kapatagan Grande, Kapayawan and Makiri, Isabela City.

He said the weather sensors collect data without human interface and send the data automatically every 10 to 15 minutes from remote sites directly to DOST weather data server in Manila for further study and analysis of PAGASA.

He said the devices are solar-powered, making them more resilient to power disruptions during typhoons.

He said the data transmitted by the ARGs, for instance, will enable DOST’s other equipment and personnel to monitor rainfall volume and duration and estimate its impact on the river levels downstream, eventually helping in flood prediction and in the LGU’s management of early warning information.

Accurate and updated science-based weather information would be very helpful for LGUs to institute proper and on-time disaster response, thus saving lives, properties and livelihood.

CONVERGE earmarks P642.6-M for rubber production in Zambo Norte

By Mary May A. Abellon (ALT/MAA/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)

DIPOLOG CITY, Jan. 19 (PIA) – The Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (CONVERGE) has allocated the amount of P642.6 million for rubber production in Zamboanga del Norte through the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Recipients of this project include the municipalities of Godod, Tampilisan, Leon Postigo, and Salug which will benefit 4,200 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in the province.

The project aims to reduce rural poverty by enabling smallholder farmers to engage in value chains so that they can increase the profitability of their household farm enterprises based on commodities such as rubber, rice, abaca, sugar cane, cassava, coconut, and coffee.

Moreover, it is intended to promote sustainable agriculture, preserve the land resource base, improve the investment climate for agribusinesses and initiate climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

It is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) with an amount of P2.2 billion for regions 9, 10 and CARAGA in Mindanao, wherein P1.02 billion of which will be implemented in the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga Sibugay.

Meanwhile, the municipalities of Kabasalan, Naga, Ipil, R.T. Lim, Tungawan, and Titay in Zamboanga Sibugay will receive P247.2 million worth of rubber projects.

On the other hand, P136.6 million will be implemented in the towns of Aurora, Dumingag, Josefina, Mahayag, Molave, Ramon Magsaysay and Tambulig in Zamboanga del Sur.

The amount could be used in the construction of post-harvest facilities, improvement of rural infrastructures, production and marketing of products, capability building, and procurement of farm equipment.

Gunmen kill town mayor’s bodyguard in Zambo Norte

By Bong Garcia

TWO people, including a security escort of a town mayor, in a shooting incident followed by a shootout in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, officials disclosed.

The two separate incidents occurred on Monday, a day after the gun ban took effect that marked the election period for the May 2016 national and local elections.

Joel Jimenez, 34, a casual employee and detailed as security escort of Mayor Romeo Mejias of the municipality of La Libertad, Zamboanga del Norte was killed.

Senior Superintendent Edwin Wagan, Zamboanga del Norte police director, said Jimenez was fatality shot around 9:30 a.m. Monday in Poblacion village barely a hundred meters away from the town hall and police station of La Libertad town.

Wagan said that Jimenez was buying motorcycle spare parts when two men riding tandem in a motorcycle arrived and fatally shot the victim with a caliber .45 pistol.

Wagan identified the suspects the alleged gunman as Jeoy Aguila, the alleged triggerman, and Corseno Mal-ang, 35.

He said policemen pursued the suspects and engaged them in a shootout that resulted to the death Mal-ang.

According to Wagan, Fernandez was arrested two hours later in a pursuit operation at Sitio Batangan in the village of New Dapitan, Rizal, the adjacent town of La Libertad.

The responding policemen recovered from the suspects a KG9 machine pistol and a caliber .45 pistol with ammunition.

Mejias claimed the suspects are followers of his political opponents.

Wagan, however said they have yet to determine whether the killing of Jimenez is an election related violent incident.

“It’s too early to say. Our investigators are still looking into the possible motives,” he said.

Drug pusher falls in drug bust

By Bong Garcia

THE police have arrested a suspected big time drug pusher in a drug bust in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, the police reported Thursday.

Chief Inspector Rogelio Alabata, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer, identified the arrested suspect as Elmer Veradio, 50, of Goleo, Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte.

Veradio was arrested in a drug bust around 8:55 p.m. Tuesday in the village of Disud, Sindangan.

He said the arresting team confiscated from the suspect’s possession P500 “marked money,” 16 small sachets of suspected shabu, P1,160 cash, and other prohibited drug paraphernalia.

He said the suspect was detained while appropriated charges are set to be filed against him.

DBM earmarks P110-M for Zambo Norte road rehab

By Mary May A. Abellon (ALT/MAA/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)

DIPOLOG CITY (PIA) – The provincial government of Zamboanga del Norte will receive P110 million for road rehabilitation from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) this year.

Accordingly, such amount will be sourced from the P6.5 billion allocation of the P3 trillion national budget of 2016 General Appropriations Act (GAA). This aims to upgrade and rehabilitate provincial roads of priority provinces based on performance.

The program is dubbed as KALSADA which means “Konkreto at Ayos na Lansangan at Daan Tungo sa Pangkalahatang Kaunlaran,” wherein it will develop the Provincial Road Network Development Plan (PRNDP) for each province and promote the use of an online open data portal as a mechanism and evaluation of provincial roads.

In order to be qualified, provinces shall not only meet good governance standards and social development benchmark, but also establish monitoring and evaluation mechanism.

Thus, with the compliance by the provincial government of Zamboanga del Norte to the Seal of Good Financial Housekeeping of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the submission of its Local Public Financial Management Assessment Report to DBM, the province is one of the 73 provinces to benefit from this program.

Meanwhile, the national government has created a system that uses geo-tagging for reporting on the status of the projects and through the open roads portal ( ), the public can check online which roads have been selected for rehabilitation or upgrading and track the progress of the road project from start to completion.

Regional Festival of Talents winners bared


PAGADIAN CITY – Two contestants from the Zamboanga City schools division have emerged as champions in the population quiz (POPQUIZ) show and poster making contest during the Regional Festival of Talents (RFOT) held recently at the Department of Education (DepEd)-9 regional office at Barangay Tiguma this city.

Arrabon L. Toribio of Maria Clara Lorenzo Lobregat National High School in Divisoria, Zamboanga City, and Shamy Rasma C. Jailani of the Western Mindanao State University High School Laboratory were declared champions in the POPQUIZ show and poster making contest, respectively, both representing the Zamboanga City schools division.

The POPQUIZ, essay writing, poster making and jingle writing/singing contests were participated in by seven seven schools divisions of Zamboanga City, Dapitan City, Dipolog City Pagadian City, Isabela City, and Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte.

Isabela City Division, represented by Rhanz Quasneer O. Kanlon of Basilan National High School won second place in the POPQUIZ while Danica Jane U. Barrera of the same school, bagged first place in the jingle writing and singing contest. Tony C. Onggocan of Sindangan National High School, representing the Zamboanga del Norte schools division was declared champion in the essay writing competition.

Cash prizes for the winners were provided by the Commission on Population (POPCOM)-9.All regional winners will represent the region in the National Festival of Talents to be held this year in General Santos City.

POPCOM 9 will again extend technical assistance through provision of review materials, orientation as well as tips for the national level contests.

Healthy Athletes screening and Family Forum slated in Dipolog

By Mary May A. Abellon (ALT/MAA/PIA-Zamboanga del Norte)

DIPOLOG CITY (PIA) – Special Olympics Philippines (SOP) through Dr. Carmen Abesamis-Dichoso, chairman of Healthy Athletes Program will conduct a Healthy Athletes Screening and Family Forum for those who are intellectually disabled on February 7, 2016 at the Conference Room of Corazon C. Aquino Hospital, located at the 3rd floor.

Special Olympics Philippines is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community, where every single person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of ability or disability.

This organization aims to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other athletes and the community.

Some of the projects of this Healthy Athletes Program are the “opening eyes”, “special smiles”, “healthy hearing”, “fit feet”, “fun fitness” and family forum.

Accordingly, intellectually disabled persons include those who have Down syndrome, autism, slow learners with an intelligence quotient (IQ) of less than 70, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attention deficit disorder.

Meanwhile, the Optometric Association of the Philippines (OAP) - Zamboanga del Norte Society through Dr. Bernadeth S. Fellazar will spearhead the “opening eyes” project during the said event.

Dipolog City Mayor Evelyn T. Uy encouraged Dipolognons with family members who have intellectual disability to avail of this special privilege.

FEATURE: Free public Wi-Fi, Tech4ED program: Increases connectivity, transforms lives

By Mary May A. Abellon (ALT/MAA/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)

DIPOLOG CITY - Technology can become the wings that will allow the educational world to fly farther and faster than ever before. It offers vast opportunities and major breakthroughs in the field of human inventions and discoveries. It provides solutions to intricate human problems making it simpler, easier and the fastest way.

Technology connects us to the different parts of the world, and unites us with other people and communities. This magnifies our strengths and weaknesses in every problem that comes in our way.

With the advancement of technology, Wi-Fi internet access becomes a must in this digital world. People could easily access to devices like computers and cellphones with the use of Wi-Fi.

Wireless networking technology

Wi-Fi is the name of a popular wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed internet and network connections. It is used for different purposes such as data transmission and wireless communication which is faster and more consistent internet access.

This technology makes all connections seamless where it connects devices to the internet such as laptops, cellular phones, printers, thermostats, light bulbs, home security, monitoring and control systems, appliances and automotive products making lives better.

The Wi-Fi network allows access from anywhere in the building like when an employee may take his laptop from an office to the conference room without losing network connectivity.

Free Wi-Fi internet access

The provincial government of Zamboanga del Norte is a recipient of the “Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places,” a project of the national government through the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) which will be installed this year.

This project is implemented across the Philippines to accelerate economic, social and educational opportunities with a budget of over a billion pesos.

It aims to reduce the growing “digital divide” under the overarching e-Filipino Program of the government, thereby improving the delivery of critical function of government services and providing efficient and effective ICT infrastructure and information systems to the public.

“This Wi-Fi connectivity will be installed in public places that are open and accessible to the general public such as schools, libraries, parks, plazas, in local and national government offices, barangay centers and gymnasiums,” ICTO Team Leader Samuel M. Montallana said in an interview.

He added that 3rd to 6th class municipalities will benefit from this project. In Zamboanga del Norte, there are 18 municipalities who are beneficiaries of this project, namely: La Libertad, Labason, Liloy, Manukan, Mutia, Piñan, Polanco, Roxas, Rizal, Salug, Sibutad, Sirawai, Tampilisan, Jose Dalman, Baliguian, Godod, Bacungan and Kalawit.

Moreover, he stressed that the LGUs are tasked on the maintenance and security of the Wi-Fi routers.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Information Officer Roberto N. Pinsoy said that this project will empower the people in rural areas through connectivity.

“They will be connected for educational and employment purposes. They can even communicate with their loved ones who are in other places, they can access public services available online, students can do their research, the out-of-school youth (OSY) can enroll and study in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education (DepEd) and even in Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA),” he added.

According to him, this project will also benefit those who are in trade and commerce and in agriculture through Tech4ED program of ICTO.

Tech4ED program

“This is not just an ordinary Wi-Fi project but it has a program called Tech4Ed. Tech4ED is an anchor of the free Wi-Fi connectivity project of ICTO where the different services of the government could be accessed,” Pinsoy emphasized.

Through this program, it enables people to upgrade their digital literacy, increase their knowledge and skills set for employment, access health professionals for proper healthcare, start source of livelihood, to become entrepreneurs, to open markets outside their communities, create agri-tourist destinations and to contribute to economic growth.

He explained that the role of the provincial government is to provide and establish Tech4ED centers. Local government units (LGUs) are encouraged to establish their own Tech4ED centers because they will now have Wi-fi connectivity.

For the part of the government, this will enable them to provide women and homemakers new prospects for income generation and social advancement towards gender equality and to initiate capability build-up in rural communities through skills-matched trainings.

This will deliver equal and direct government services to all, especially in rural areas.

“The use of free Wi-Fi as provided by the government would be meaningless without this program because people may only use it for chatting and browsing in facebook, twitter and other forms of social media,” Mr. Pinsoy stressed.

With this project, the goal of the national government to bring the nation especially the countryside into the mainstream of inclusive growth and development throughout the Philippine archipelago would be realized.

Village official, watchman arrested

By Bong Garcia

AN ELECTED government official and a village watchman were arrested for the crime of perjury in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, the police reported Saturday.

Chief Inspector Rogelio Alabata, Zamboanga Peninsula Police Regional Office spokesperson, identified them as Julito Isaw, 55, a village councilor of Nipaan, Sindangan and Julito Lacquio, a village watchman in the same place.

Alabata said they were arrested one after the other on the strength of warrants of arrest on Friday in the village of Nipaan, Sindangan.

He said they are charged for perjury before a court in Dipolog City.

ZNPPO policewoman, 4th placer in 2015 PNP Promotional Exams

By Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY, Jan. 11 (PIA) - An enlisted personnel from the Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office(ZNPPO) placed fourth in the PNP Promotional Examinations conducted here by the National Police Commission(NAPOLCOM) on October 25, 2015.

ZNPPO PSSupt Edwin C. Wagan disclosed that Police Officer-1 Sheryl Caladin Diones, a native of Canuto Enerio, Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte landed 4th in the examination held at Jose Rizal Memorial State University (JRMSU) Dipolog Campus with a rating of 86.60%.

Topping the exam is Sixto A. Wakit with 88.40%; Arnie B. Tolentino, second, (87.40%); Jessie C. Uyaan, third (86.80%); and Ruel C. Arot, Sheryl C. Diones and Rearlie P. Tagros, tied in 4th place.

The PNP Promotional Exams is given exclusively to all qualified uniformed members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who meet the minimum qualification standards in terms of rank and eligibility.

Diones was personally congratulated by Wagan during the ZNPPO Provincial Advisory Council (PAC) meeting at the ZNPPO headquarters in Sicayab, Dipolog City on January 9.

She is the youngest of the five siblings of Mr. Johnny and Maria Cabahug Diones.

The coverage of the examination includes General Information; Police Administration; Police Operations and Values and Ethic Standards.

The said examination is regularly conducted by the NAPOLCOM in different testing centers throughout the country.(ALT/ATR/PIA9-ZN)

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