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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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Contents

DOT-9 on seminar blitz

By Allen Abastillas

The Department of Tourism-9 will be conducting a “Community Guiding Seminar” in Dapitan City on April 14- 20, 2015.

The seminar aims to help local officials and the people in each area in the region to promote potential tourism destination and to promote their local products produced by skilled people in their community.

The seminar will also help people in the area uplift their economic activities, especially tourist resorts because tourism connects people with producers of agriculture and aqua- culture products. Tourist resorts and hotels need food supply for tourists visiting the community.

A series of seminars was conducted by DOT-9 under the leadership of Director Mary June Bugante since she assumed office. The office also conducted seminar last year for government employees who are in the forefront of services like the Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Industry Authority, Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group 9, Maritime Group and Tourists Police, Philippine Ports Authority, Local Government Units , Philippine Posts Office and others.

Zambo Norte health program got a boost from Unicef

By Bong Garcia

THE health program of the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Norte got a boost from the United Nation Children's Fund (Unicef), an official said.

Zamboanga del Norte Governor Roberto Uy said this came about after the Unicef donated 479 boxes of medical supplies to his office.

The donated medical supplies arrived in Dipolog City, the capital of Zamboanga del Norte, late last week. Included were instruments and equipment.

Uy said the multi-vitamins, antibiotics and some medical instruments were handed over to Bayanihan Outreach Program coordinator Imelda Endab to be used in medical outreach programs of the Provincial Government.

He said the program's focus is the conduct of medical outreach, whose beneficiaries were mostly residents of far-flung villages.

The Province of Zamboanga del Norte, which comprises two component cities and 25 municipalities, has a total of 691 villages with a population of 957,997 as of the 2010 census.

Uy said he turned over some of the medicines to Dr. Eduardo Luayon, provincial health officer, for distribution to the different district hospitals of Sergio Osmeña, Siocon, Labason, Liloy, Sindangan, Sibuco, Manukan, Piñan, and Rizal, as well to the Zamboanga del Norte Medical Center.

The rest of the medicines were allocated for emergency use in time of disasters, he added.

Meanwhile, Uy said that a total of 8,241 residents have benefitted from the medical outreach programs the Provincial Government conducted this month in the far-flung villages of Zamboanga del Norte.

The medical outreach programs were conducted in the following villages and towns: Prinsesa Lamaya, Sergio Osmeña; Upper Irasan, Roxas; El Paraiso, La Libertad; Dipopor and Banuangan, Godod; and at the Zamboanga del Norte Correctional and Rehabilitation Center in Don Jose Aguirre, Manukan.

Police Inspector Dahlan T. Samuddin

By Police Inspector Dahlan T. Samuddin with report from PO2 Jonas D Macasa Jr. and PO3 Jessica DT Sarsalejo (RPIO9)

Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte - A farmer from Barangay Balok, Siayan was cornered when he was sighted in Barangay D. Riconalla, Siocon. His presence in the area was made known by the Eye in the Barangay to Siocon Police Station. Siocon MPS conducted a joint operation with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for the execution of the arrest warrant against Albert Bandin y Dagpin last March 24, 2015. Suspect was apprehended for five counts rape in relation in RA 7610 filed under Criminal Case Number S-4542-4546 issued by Judge Reymar L. Lacaya Branch 2. His case has no recommended bail bond for his temporary liberty. Suspect is detained at Siocon MPS for proper disposition.

Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte - Through the help of an Barangay Information Network informant, suspect Jessie Deniega y Aguilar was arrested during a manhunt operation by Sindangan Police Station in Barangay La Roche at about 8:30 AM on March 24, 2015. Suspect was arrested based on the warrant of arrest for violation of section 3(b) of R.A. 7610 docketed under Criminal Case Number 5040 with a recommended bail bond of Php 80,000.00 issued by Judge Reymar L. Lacaya of RTC Branch 11. Suspect is detained at Sindangan PS for proper disposition.

Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte - A man charged with acts of lasciviousness was collared through the implementation of arrest warrant made by Polanco Police Station with the help of Eye in the Barangay in Barangay Burgos, this city, at about 4:30 PM of March 24, 2015. Suspect identified as Felix Paez y Ablao was arrested based on the warrant under Criminal Case Number 3354 with a recommended bail bond of Php 12,000.00, issued by Judge Deborah P. Garcia-Nazario of MTC. Suspect is detained at Polanco MPS for proper disposition.

Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte - A man with a standing warrant of arrest was sighted in Barangay Baybay at about 10:30 AM of March 24, 2015. A member of the Eye in the Barangay informed Liloy Police Station that Gerzel Pangasian y Absin was in the area. The suspect was arrested for violation of illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions docketed under Criminal Case Number L-001953 with no recommended bail bond. Said warrant of arrest was issued by Judge Oscar D. Tomarong of RTC Branch 28. Pangasian is now detained at Liloy MPS for proper disposition.

Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte - A manhunt operation was conducted by Dapitan City Police Station which led to the arrest of Alejandro Pedy Estrella in Barangay Potol at about 12:38 PM on March 24, 2015. Said suspect is wanted for violation of section 4 in Relation to section 28 of R.A. 10591. Said warrant was issued by Judge Oscar D. Tomarong of RTC Branch 9 filed under Criminal Case Number 19110. Suspect is detained at Dapitan CPS for proper disposition.

Leon Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte - Three wanted persons for malicious mischief were placed under arrest by Leon Postigo Police Station in Barangay Nasibac at about 4:20 PM on March 24, 2015. Suspects Wilson Opo y Taloloc, Judel Opo y Ponce and Joel Opo y Ponce were arrested through the help of the Eye in the Barangay. The operation was made through the service of warrant of arrest issued by Judge Nimfa C. Padao of MCTC. The trio is temporarily detained thereat for proper disposition.

Truck Halted in Godod for Illegal Transport of Lumbers

By Police Inspector Dahlan T. Samuddin with report from PO2 Jonas D Macasa Jr. and PO3 Jessica DT Sarsalejo (RPIO9)

Godod, Zamboanga del Norte - An informant notified Godod Police Station about a truck allegedly loaded with lumbers which was traversing to Salug at about 5:10 PM on March 22, 2015.

A team from said MPS was dispatched and intercepted a Mitsubishi Cargo Truck loaded with an several lumbers. The driver, Maximo Fuentes Villacrusis, failed to present any papers for transporting his cargo. The following day, said truck and its cargo were turned-over to Liloy DENR representatives for proper disposition.

DAR-Zambo Norte celebrates women’s month

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

DIPOLOG CITY, March 27 (PIA) – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Zamboanga del Norte has joined the nation in celebrating the women’s month, highlighted by a trade fair and a women’s forum held here last March 23-25.

During the said event, DAR emphasized the rights of women against abuse and to have equal opportunities in work.

Atty. Annaly T. Adju discussed with the participants the Magna Carta of women known as Republic Act 9710 and RA 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.

“Under the Magna Carta of Women, discrimination is denounced. There is discrimination when there is restriction basing on your gender,” Atty. Adju explained.

Accordingly, it is a comprehensive human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of Filipino women, especially those in the marginalized sectors.

Among the rights of women are the protection from all forms of violence, participation and representation in development councils, political parties and private sector, equal treatment before the law, equal access and elimination of discrimination against women in education, scholarships and training, non-discrimination of employment in the field of military, police and other similar services, non-discriminatory and non-derogatory portrayal of women in media and film.

“It is very important for women in DAR to know the law so that we can impart it to our women agrarian reform beneficiaries,” Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Rizzel B. Villanueva stressed.

He added that violence against women in the countrysides is not good for improvement in the whole rural development.

“DAR is mandated to have women’s desk in every municipality especially in areas where we have agrarian reform beneficiaries and communities,” he concluded.

The three-day event featured the ARB’s products made by women associations in a trade fair organized by DAR.

2 drug pushers fall in Dapitan

By Bong Garcia (Sunnex)

GOVERNMENT agents in Dapitan City arrested two men on suspicion of being drug traffickers and seized P15,000 worth of shabu from them, police reported Thursday.

Arrested by a team from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the police were James Gozo, 30, of Gutalac; and Christian Lansang, 29 of Dipolog City.

Inspector Dahlan Samuddin, the regional police spokesman, said the two were nabbed Tuesday afternoon in Barangay Owaon, Dapitan.

The team confiscated plastic sachets of shabu and drug equipment.

The shabu has a street value of P15,000, according to Samuddin.

Rep. Leni Robredo keynotes women’s forum in Dipolog

By Mary May A. Abelllon (FPG/MAA/PIA-Zamboanga del Norte)

DIPOLOG CITY, March 25 (PIA) – A lady lawmaker from the third district of Camarines Sur flew all the way here to speak on women’s empowerment in a recently held provincial women’s forum at the Zamboanga del Norte Convention and Sports Center (ZNCSC) this city.

In her message, Congresswoman Ma. Leonor “Leni” Gerona-Robredo emphasized the importance of women empowerment and economic independence especially at homes nowadays.

“When I was an active member of a non-government organization (NGO) dealing with the protection of rights of women against abuse, I found out that even if women were abused by their husbands or partners they would just go back because they didn’t have their own means of living,” Rep. Robredo, a lawyer, stressed.

Her NGO helped set up women’s desk and translate some laws relating to women’s rights into the dialect.

“We also trained women who can be paralegals and we often rescued those who were abused by their husbands and live-in partners,” she added.

The provincial women’s forum is part of this year’s women’s month celebration with the theme, “Juana, desisyon mo ay mahalaga sa kinabukasan ng bawat isa, ikaw na!”

Assistant Secretary Rolando Cusio of the Office of the Political Adviser together with Zamboanga del Norte Governor Roberto Y. Uy, Vice-Governor Senen O. Angeles, Board Member Luzviminda Torrino, Dipolog Mayor Evelyn T. Uy, barangay officials, local media, various women’s organizations, students and teachers from public and private schools, and women employees from the provincial government and the city government of Dipolog attended the said forum, which was followed by a foot parade from the ZNSC to the boulevard for a short program and ceremonial ribbon cutting of the “Saulog” booths.

“Women play an important role in the society. I encouraged you to be aware of your rights and know your responsibilities in order to prevent any form of abuse,” Robredo’s short message after the parade.

FSCAP-9 officers sworn in

By Gideon C. Corgue (FPG/GCC/PIA9-Pagadian City)

DAPITAN CITY, March 24 (PIA) – Newly elected officers of the Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FSCAP)-Regional 9 Chapter took their oath office Friday before Dapitan Mayor Rosalina G. Jalosjos at the Amphitheater, City Hall Compound in this city.

Sworn into office were Sunnyboy Maghinay – President, Corazon Herico -Vice President, Avelino Sulit – Secretary, Rita Chavez-Treasurer, Moises Lagare,-Auditor, and Serafin Ramos and Margarita Mayormita-Public Information Officers.

The board of directors were Agapito Picardal, Fernando Cariaga, Leo Marzan, Dr. Proceso Benlot, Emercino Fullo, and Florentina Reambonza.

Jalosjos encouraged them to “continue being an integral part of the community and to perform duties and responsibilities faithfully.”

In his message, the lady mayor Jalosjos said “our government needs the collaboration among other sectors in our society particularly the elderly because through our concerted action, we can deal with various issues such as energy, environment, unemployment, health, poverty, and peace and order. The role of senior citizens becomes more important in tackling these issues.”

Jalosjos said her administration vowed to protect and promote the health and well being of senior adults while keeping their dignity. “We want them to be independent by providing them with social support and recreational activities, programs, and support services,” she added.

“We need to be concerned and to formulate measures for the enhancement and enrichment of quality lives for senior citizens,” Jalosjos stressed.

Immediately after the induction ceremony, the FSCAP officers conducted its first regional mobile meeting to plan out their programs and activities for this calendar year.

Abusive Father Arrested in Tampilisan

By Police Inspector Dahlan T. Samuddin with report from PO2 Jonas D Macasa Jr. (RPIO9)

Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte - Two minors were rescued from their abusive father during the follow-up operation by Tampilisan Police Station in Barangay Poblacion at about 6:15 PM of March 16, 2015.

Investigation report showed that a complainant appeared and reported that her nephew and niece were forcibly taken from their house. The suspect allegedly threatened his children that if their mother will not return home, the suspect together with his children commit suicide. Suspect was arrested during the operation. An inquest case for slight illegal detention in relation with RA 7610 was filed against the suspect before the Prosecutor’s Office with a recommended bail bond of Php 40,000.00. Suspect is temporarily detained at Tampilisan MPS for proper disposition.

RA9262 Violator, 2 Others Collared in ZDN, ZDS

By PINSP DAHLAN T SAMUDDIN with report from PO2 Jonas D Macasa Jr. and PO3 Jessica DT Sarsalejo (RPIO9)

Piñan, Zamboanga del Norte - An informant from Barangay Teresita helped the ZNPPO Provincial Intelligence Branch and Piñan Police Station in the arrest of a person wanted for RA 9262.

Officer-in-Charge of Piñan MPS identified the suspect as Arnel Pacante y Gumalingan, who was arrested by virtue of warrant docketed under Criminal Case Number 19421 with recommended bail bond of Php 60,000.00, issued by Judge Rogelio D. Laquihon of RTC 9, Branch 7. Suspect is now detained at Piñan MPS for proper disposition.

Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur - A farmer ranked as the no. 7 Most Wanted Person in this municipality was arrested by joint operatives from Tigbao and Rizal Police Stations. Suspect identified as Pastor Dologuin Jr. y Gumilac a.k.a. “Junjun/Nestor” was accosted during the joint operation in Purok Newstar, Barangay Upper Nilo at about 4:30 PM on March 13, 2015. Based on the report, suspect is allegedly hiding at the abovementioned place, but through an intelligence operation, he was arrested. The suspect is facing charges for frustrated murder filed under Criminal Case Number 13433 issued by Judge Porferio E. Mah of RTC 9, Branch 8, Dipolog City with recommended bail bond of ₱200,000.00. Suspect is detained at Rizal MPS for proper disposition.

Labason, ZAmboanga del Norte - A warrant of arrest for direct assault with recommended bail bond of Php 12,000.00 was served to Crisostomo Eba. Said warrant was executed by the Labason Police Station during their manhunt operation in Barangay Balas, Labason at about 5:45 PM of March 15, 2015. Eba was arrested based on the warrant docketed under Criminal Case Number I-3384.issued by Judge Ric S. Bastasa of 6th MCTC, 9th Judicial Region. Suspect is detained at Labason MPS for proper disposition.

Rowdy Drunkard Cuffed in J. Dalman

By PINSP DAHLAN T SAMUDDIN with report from PO2 Jonas D Macasa Jr. and PO3 Jessica DT Sarsalejo (RPIO9)

Jose Dalman, Zamboanga del Norte - Jose Dalman Police Station responded to the report of a concerned citizen that allegedly, a person identified as Edgar Villaplana y Oxemar went amok.

Investigation disclosed that at about 7:30 PM of March 13, 2015, the team arrived in Sitio Tabang, Barangay Tamil and saw the suspect acting unruly, believed to be under the influence of liquor. When the team tried to calm him down, Villaplana tried to punch them. The suspect was put under arrest and taken to Jose Dalman MPS. When he was about to put in the detention cell, Edgar turned around and tried to punch the on-duty officers. Suspect is currently detained at Jose Dalman MPS for proper disposition.

President Aquino names 18 new judges in 13 provinces

(PNA), SCS/PTR/EBP

MANILA, March 20 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed 18 new judges for the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Surigao del Norte, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao.

This was contained in a one-page transmittal letter dated Feb. 27, 2015 and sent by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. Aranal Sereno.

"I am pleased to transmit herewith the appointment letters of the following judges signed by His Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino III," the transmittal letter signed by Ochoa said.

The new judges are Kenneth Pamatong Rosal of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 2 of Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte; Analyn Fernando Ramas-Costanilla of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 30 of Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur; Eduardo Ignacio Ledesma of MTCC Branch 4 of Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur; Francis Libarios Rafil of MTCC Branch 2 Butuan City, Agusan del Norte; Saidamen Macatanong Gania of MTC Buenavista, Agusan del Norte; Nelison U. Pajarillo-Salcedo of MTCC Valencia City, Bukidnon;

Alma Vicada Azanza of RTC Branch 12, Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental; Nora Batoy Montejo of RTC Branch 14, Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental; Fay Lim Garcia-Sasis of MTCC Branch 4, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental; Eden Crispy Blanco Lasala of MTCC Branch 1, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte; Jimmu Bustillo Boco of MTC, Maco, Compostela Valley; Arlene I. Lirag-Palabrica of RTC Branch 31, Tagum City, Davao del Norte; Gemma Gamala Betonio of MTC, Asuncion, Davao del Norte; Rowena Apao-Adlawan of RTC Branch 13, Davao City, Davao del Sur; Cheryll Ann C. Chamen-Paronda of 2nd MCTC, Hagonoy Matanao, Davao del Sur; Mary Sheila Barazon Pestolante of MTC, Sultan Naga, Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte, Alvin Embajador Guntang of MTC Isulan, Sultan Kudarat; and Shariah Circuit Court Judge Palawan Ripors Cayongcat who will be assigned in Shariff Aguak-Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

The appointees were screened by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) prior to their appointments.

The JBC is constitutionally mandated to screen and vet nominees to the President for the vacant posts in the Judiciary and the Office of the Ombudsman.

DOST-IX turns-over P413-T to POEMCO

By Alfonso de la Torre Ruda (FPG/ATR/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)

POLANCO, Zamboanga del Norte, March 19, (PIA) - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-IX through its Zamboanga del Norte provincial office has turned-over P413 thousand check to the People’s Officials, Employees and Community–Multi-Purpose Cooperative (POEMCO) in a simple turnover ceremony on Friday at the municipal hall here.

POEMCO General Manager Roger Ladera personally received from Provincial Director Marcial Dahonan of DOST-Zamboanga del Norte the said amount, which will be used to purchase cassava-processing equipment such as flourmill, hammer mill, feed mixer and electric bag closer.

Under the DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), the said financial assistance is payable in three years without interest.

The DOST is supporting POEMCO’s project in order to supply the volume of cassava flour needed by the bakeshops in the province.

It was learned that there is an increasing demand for cassava flour as many bakeshops are now using it as substitute for wheat flour.

Presently, the POEMCO is maintaining a 160-hectare lot tilled by its farmer-members and planted with cassava. The produce is delivered to San Miguel Foods Inc. to be processed into animal feeds.

With DOST’s financial assistance, POEMCO hoped to produce 60 bags of flour monthly to be distributed to its six market outlets and 10 bakeries.

The check turnover was witnessed by POEMCO Chairman Mr. Lorimer Olario and DOST technical staff, Merilyn M. Cadag, and other cooperative members.

Postbank opens in Dipolog

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

DIPOLOG CITY, March 18 (PIA) – The Philippine Postal Savings Bank, Inc. (Postbank) officially opened its new branch here recently with its President and Chief Executive Officer Cesar N. Sarino and Executive Vice President Higenio Fabian gracing the occasion.

Postbank is a government savings bank and a government-owned and controlled corporation created with the end in view of encouraging savings and providing access to financial credit to the “unbanked areas” of the country.

It is different from other government banks like the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), which is primarily created to serve the agricultural sector and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) which was created for the industry sector, said Sarino.

“We are a government bank and our prime duty is public service,” Sarino told the media men in a press conference.

“The essence of government is service. We may have a missionary task. Second, we are always smiling. We are going to areas that really need our help. And when we are offering our help, it is important that we are smiling. We are more friendly, cooperative and helpful,” he explained.

Accordingly, 37 percent of the total municipalities in the country have no bank at all. That is why Postbank desired to expand their reach to places with no bank and those places with only one rural bank.

Postbank provides services like commercial banking such as loans and deposits. It also offers microbanking services to small entrepreneurs allowing them to borrow at least P5,000.

“We are hoping that through you as members of the local media, you will spread the services we have in Postbank,” Sarino said.

Meanwhile, Postbank has 25 branches in the country and Dipolog was chosen as the center of Postbank in Zamboanga Peninsula.

Postbank will soon be implementing its new financing program in cooperation with Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Zamboanga del Norte Grains Incorporated to help the farmers in the province.

“We are encouraging everyone to open savings account with Postbank for only P500 as an initial deposit,” said Belina G. Domingo, Postbank consultant.

Security Guard, 3 Others Arrested for Drugs

By PINSP DAHLAN T SAMUDDIN with report from PO2 Radzben S Jul (RPIO9)

Manukan, Zamboanga Del Norte – A security guard was arrested during a drug-bust operation conducted by Manukan MPS and PDEA 9 in Barangay San Antonio at about 11:15 PM on March 12, 2015.

Police Inspector Jimmy Abrasaldo, Manukan Police Chief, identified the arrested as Ramil Aquino y Salvo, 36, a security guard of a Smart tower located in Barangay Linabo, Dipolog City, and a resident of Barangay San Antonio, Manukan. Confiscated from him were two sachets of suspected shabu, drug paraphernalia, a Smith and Wesson caliber .357 revolver without serial number loaded with four live ammunitions and five hundred pesos marked money. The operation was witnessed by media representative and a councilor of Barangay San Antonio. Appropriate charges are being prepared by Manukan MPS against the arrested suspect, while the confiscated items are now in custody of said station for proper disposition.

Zamboanga City – Anti-illegal drug operatives of Zamboanga Police Station 3 arrested a man during drug buy–bust operation in Barangay Cabaluay at about 10:40 PM of March 12, 2015. Suspect Aldrin Macario y Solo, 34, years old, resident of the above-mentioned place, was arrested by the authorities, whereas three sachets of suspected shabu, drug paraphernalia, and Php 400.00 marked money ws recovered from him. He is presently detained at Sangali Police Station 3 pending the filing of appropriate charges while the confiscated suspected shabu was turned-over to the Regional Crime Lab Office 9 for examination.

Zamboanga City – Two suspected drug pushers were arrested after they sold suspected illegal drugs to a poseur buyer during a buy-bust operation conducted by the anti-illegal drug operatives of Sta. Maria Police Station in Barangay Pasonanca at about 2:40 PM on March 13, 2015. Arrested pushers were identified as Ahmad Dary y Bagang a.k.a. "Madz", 35, of Barangay Arena Blanco and Jerimiah Tarro y Galvez a.k.a. "Miah", 22, of Barangay Mampang. Confiscated from them were three small, a medium-size, and one large sachet of suspected shabu, Php 200.00 marked money and several shabu paraphernalia. Both suspects are detained at the said police station for proper disposition.

Zamboanga GSP+ strategy focused on mangoes, abaca

By Karel B. Mellanes, Correspondent with a report from Marifi S. Jara

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Zamboanga Peninsula is banking on the development of its “champion” products such as mango, abaca and sardines to cash in on the zero tariffs granted under the European Union-Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (EU-GSP+), to which the Philippines was admitted in December.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Director Sitti Amina M. Jain said the agency is helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) develop products to make the region a key exporter to the EU, acknowledging the big gap between market potential and local capacity.

“DTI is looking at the opportunities in terms of expansion of businesses, and the industries, therefore expanding opportunities for employment. We are looking at 200,000 jobs (nationwide) to be generated by the (GSP+) scheme,” Ms. Jain said.

There are about 30,000 registered SMEs in the region.

Processed mango, for example, which is charged between 5% to 11% tariff under the regular GSP program, is one of the Philippine products that can now enter the EU market at zero tariff.

Zamboanga Peninsula, or Region 9, was the country’s number two producer of fresh mango in 2013, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

However, the majority of SME mango processors in the Philippines are located in Metro Manila and Cebu, according to a February 2013 study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

Michael Vincent Cajulao, DTI Region 9 information officer, said the agency is cooperating with other government departments such as the Department of Science and Technology and the Food and Drug Administration in product development and standards.

“Once we get in, even in just one of the 28 member countries, it will be easier for us to get into other markets,” Mr. Cajulao said in a phone interview.

The EU-GSP+ will only be in effect within the next six to 10 years.

For abaca, another GSP+ item that used to be charged a 4.8% tariff, stakeholders in the region met with the DTI in January to consolidate a plan of action for the sector’s sustainable growth.

Region 9’s abaca production, based on data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, more than doubled in 2011 to 631 metric tons (MT), grew to 675 MT in 2012 at 675 MT, but declined in 2013 to 589 MT.

The Philippine’s abaca exports, with have the United Kingdom as their biggest importer, enjoyed a 20.7% increase last year in the 11 months to November compared to the same period a year earlier. The Bicol region cornered the biggest share at 41%, followed by Eastern Visayas with 19.4% share and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, 10.7%.

Sardines, a major fish catch in the region, is another potential sector for growth with preserved sardines now down to zero tariff from the previous 9%.

However, Roberto A. Baylosis, executive vice-president of the Southern Philippines Deep Sea Fishing Association, Inc. (SOPHIL), said that existing government processes are not conducive to business growth.

“My personal opinion of what the commercial fishing industry would need from the government at this point is to eliminate, if not reduce, the burden to the commercial fishing due to too much red tape being enforced by the different government agencies concerned,” Mr. Baylosis said in an e-mail interview with BusinessWorld.

“Instead, (we must) continue and maintain the science-based study of fisheries for adoption of conservation measures and proper management, including an information campaign for the commercial fishing operators as to the correct period and the appropriate area of the fish stocks suitable for harvest,” he added.

The Zamboanga City-based SOPHIL is composed of 12 commercial fishing companies operating within domestic waters and engaged mainly in harvesting only for the local market.

There are fish canning factories operating within the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone.

Zamboanga Peninsula -- composed of the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay and the chartered city of Zamboanga -- saw a slowdown in its gross regional domestic product growth to 4.3% in 2013 from 12.9% the previous year due in part to power supply shortages and the impact of the three-week siege of Zamboanga City by members of the Moro National Liberation Front in September 2013.

Rizal PNP Collars Swertres Collector

By PINSP DAHLAN T SAMUDDIN with report from PO2 Radzben S Jul (RPIO9)

Rizal, Zamboanga Del Norte - Joint elements of Rizal MPS led by Police Senior Inspector Robert Agda and personnel of PIB, ZNPPO led by Police Senior Inspector Romar Victoriano Alfanta Lim, Chief PIB conducted an operation on illegal gambling at Purok Lumbayao, Brgy. La Esperanza, at about 5:30 PM of March 10, 2015.

This led to the arrest of Bienvinido Enderez Sumagang, 58, resident of said place. He was caught while engaged in the illegal numbers game locally known as “suertres”. Confiscated from him were a tally sheet marked with different number combinations dated March 10, 2015 and his collected bet. Confiscated items were brought to Rizal MPS along with the apprehended suspect for proper disposition. A case is now being prepared by elements of Rizal MPS for filing of appropriate charges in court.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

(DOST-9 PR)

Lamberto junk shop is owned and managed by Mr. Danilo Josol and Mrs. Grace Josol, both public school teachers. As professional teachers, cleanliness and organization is their second nature, and so it is unusual to see them flourish in the junk shop business where “getting dirty” is the name of the game.

The business started out as small junk shop buyer with an initial investment of P300,000. The shop then had five employees going around Dipolog City looking for recyclable wastes that can be sold to a bigger junk shop. These scraps are glass, plastics, metals and other items. The couple believes in the saying that “where there is trash, there is cash”

With the enormous demand for recycled plastic, the couple took the challenge of taking their enterprise into a higher level. The firm became the waste plastic guru of Dipolog City, and now expanding its reach to other areas of Zamboanga del Norte, taking in as much as half ton of plastic per day.

Positively, the firm contracted small junk shop buyers in nearby municipalities to buy plastic wastes on their behalf. This scenario has given other junk shop owners to thrive, and in return granted livelihood to the people in the community. Most of the small junk shops do not employ collectors, but instead rely on freelancers who go house-to-house looking for garbages like steel, plastic and glass.

The plastic is crushed manually inside a sack using wooden sticks to compress and save space during transport. As the firm has improved its traditional type of operation, the market trend started to shift into shredded plastic. When segregated and shredded plastic became the norm in transporting them to Cebu, Manila and Cagayan de Oro, the firm was almost lost in transition. Evidently, the firm should have a plastic crusher in order to meet customers’ requirements.

Fortunately, the firm then read from the local newspaper about the DOST program for MSMEs through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). Without hesitation the owner visited the DOST Provincial Director’s office in Dipolog City for possible assistance.

The junkshop was then processing only half ton per day, though they buy junk items up to more than one ton per day. This leaves a margin of about half a ton on daily basis. This gap then prompted the owner to seek assistance from DOST to process at least one ton of plastic per day using a mechanical plastic shredder.

DOST-PSTC conducted technology needs assessment (TNA) and found out that the firm needs technology interventions to fill up the huge market gap.

DOST-IX’s innovation system support, in the amount of P1 million, enabled the firm to procure one unit Crusher with screw conveyor (big size stainless); 4 induction motors and washtub; and with 3 units screw conveyor (stainless). The Department has also conducted 5S training for the workers in order to develop their capabilities, thus increasing firm’s productivity.

Using an appropriate technology, the junk shop can now crush at least one ton of plastic per day. It has also added 10 direct employees that aid in segregation of plastics by color and kind. As project counterpart, the firm also acquired a plastic bailing machine which uses to compress the shredded plastic into a one by one meter block for easy stacking and hauling.

Aside from cleaning the environment, the project has also generated new jobs both directly and indirectly, thus providing employment opportunities to out-of-school youths and unemployed folks in the nearby areas.

Certainly, the firm’s official tag line “where there is trash, there is cash”, has achieved a significant milestone. The firm’s estimated worth is now three million pesos.

SETUP is a DOST’s nationwide strategy to encourage and assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in implementing technological innovations and improvements in their operations to boost their productivity and competitiveness.

RA 6539 Offender Caught in Dapitan

By PINSP DAHLAN T SAMUDDIN with report from PO2 Jonas D Macasa Jr. and PO3 Jessica DT Sarsalejo (RPIO9)

Dapitan City - Personnel of Dapitan City Police Station together with the Provincial Intelligence Branch of ZNPPO, conducted a joint manhunt operation in Barangay Sto. Niño at about 2:30 PM on March 8, 2015.

Suspect identified as Hanjen Torres y Cadorna is wanted for violation of R.A. 6539 docketed under Criminal Case Number 19318. Said warrant with a recommended bail bond of Php 180,000.00, was issued by Judge Victoriano DL. Lacaya Jr. of RTC Branch 9. Suspect is detained at Dapitan CPS for proper disposition.

DTI sets establishment of 5 ‘Negosyo Centers’ in Region 9

(PNA), FFC/TPGJR/EBP

ZAMBOANGA CITY, March 12 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is targeting to establish five “Negosyo Centers” this year here in Region 9.

The establishment of the centers is in line with Republic Act 10644 otherwise known as the “Go Negosyo Act.”

President Benigno Simeon Aquino, III, signed into law R.A. 10644 in July last year aimed to strengthen the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the ultimate goal of creating more job opportunities in the country.

Dr. Sitti Amina Jain, DTI OIC-regional director, said Thursday two of the targeted five Negosyo Centers will be launched in Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay before June this year.

Jain said the Go Negosyo also aims to establish “Negosyo Centers” in all provinces, cities and municipalities to make things easier for SMEs to do business and facilitate access to services critical for their development.

Jain said the Negosyo Centers, as its core functions, will facilitate Business Registration; perform Business Advisory Services; Business Information and Advocacy; and Monitoring and Evaluation.

Under the law, Jain said the Micro-Medium and Small Enterprises (MSMEs) Development Council shall encourage public-private partnerships in the establishment and management of the Negosyo Centers.

In this set up, Jain said that a tight coordination and cooperation among local government units and other agencies and organizations is needed to avoid duplication of efforts, and more important, to foster coordinated action.

She said the other salient features of the Go Negosyo Act are technology transfer, production and management training, and marketing assistance for MSMEs; and establishment of a Philippine Business Registry Databank under DTI to serve as a database of all business enterprises in the country.

She said it also aims to establish a start-up fund for MSMEs to provide financing for the development and promotion of MSMEs in priority sectors of the economy to be sourced from the MSME Development Fund and Barangay Micro Business Enterprise (BMBE) Fund; Reconstitute the MSME Development Council and its additional functions; and designate DTI as sole agency to issue Certificate of Authority for BMBE to avail of benefits and incentives under RA 9178 or the BMBE Act of 2002.

DOST boosts cassava production of Zambo Norte cooperative

(PNA), FFC/TPGJR/SSC

ZAMBOANGA CITY, March 11 (PNA) -– The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has released more than Php400,000 grant to boost the livelihood undertaking of a cooperative engage in cassava production in Zamboanga del Norte.

DOST Regional Director Brenda Nazareth-Manzano said Wednesday the recipient of the financial grant is the People’s Officials, Employees and Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative (POEMCO) of Polanco, Zamboanga del Norte.

The cooperative has about 160 hectares area planted with cassava and sells their raw products to the San Miguel Foods, Inc. (SMFI), which is then processed into various products especially animal feeds.

Manzano said the Php413,000 financial grant was released through DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).

SETUP is a nationwide strategy to encourage and assist Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to adopt technological innovations to improve their operations and thus boost their productivity and competitiveness.

Manzano said the financial grant to POEMCO will be used to purchase cassava processing equipment, such as cassava flour mill, hammer mill, feed mixer and electric bag closer.

With the grant, Manzano said the cooperative is expected to achieve the following: production of standard quality cassava flour; food safety compliant processing facility; improvement of production operations through equipment upgrading; and, productivity improvement of workers through trainings on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and equipment operation and maintenance.

She said the cooperative is also expected to be able to produce at least 60 bags of cassava flour monthly; supply the demand of the six target market outlets; penetrate at least 10 existing bakeries in Polanco, Zamboanga del Norte; and, generate additional employment opportunities in the community.

“It has been observed that cassava flour is now widely used in bakeshops in Zamboanga del Norte instead of wheat flour,” Manzano said.

Cassava is a tuberous edible plant from which cassava chips and flour, breads, a laundry starch, delicacies and even an alcoholic beverage are derived.

Zamboanga del Norte Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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