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Federalism in the Philippines is simply a ploy to give the Bangsamoro an Islamic State. Bangsamoro is POISON. Religion must never rule supreme over any region, province, city, municipality or barangay. All religions must be treated equally.
The Philippine government must STOP FINANCING Islam.

Federalism a ploy to create a Bangsamoro State 2.JPG

To have an Islamic State in a Non-Islamic federal form of government invites CHAOS and or possibly later secession from the country. India, USA, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina are some of the countries with the federal form of government. Issues with Islam exist but so far not one of them has a Muslim state. Because they know that it will only lead to chaos. Yet the Philippines tempts this Bangsamoro State idea. Learn from the mistake of Russia. They did this, and is now miserably paying the price. Religion and Government must be kept separate. Doesn't the Philippine legislature understand this? Or possibly the legislature of the Philippines was "bought and paid for" by the Muslim advocates and the Political Dynasty advocates?

Soldiers of the Philippines, you are at war with the Islamic Terrorists in Mindanao. These terrorists are MOROS or MUSLIMS.
The government of the Philippines is financing these Moros/Muslims, and here you are being shot at and killed by these Moros who are financed by the Philippine government.
Those who claim to be against the BBL(Bangsamoro) but say that they are for FEDERALISM, are big fat LIARS. No one can be for Federalism and be against the BBL(Bangsamoro). Those who are for federalism, are for Bangsamoro.

Barangay anim 4500.gif

A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.
Limpapa Beach.JPG
Limpapa Beach
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Detox Drops™ Herbal supplement for healthy liver functioning and toxin release


20 Zamboanga villages get new vehicles

By Bong Garcia

TWENTY of the 61 villages in this city’s second district has received each brand new L300 vehicles from the city government.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said the distribution of the vehicles is in line with her priority thrusts of Security, Health and Education (SHE).

Salazar said the turn over of the vehicles is aimed to strengthen emergency response in the grassroots communities and to empower the villages for the efficient delivery of service.

Each of the new L300 vehicles is worth P969,800 or for a total of P19.39 million for the 20 units.

The vehicles were turned over on Friday to the identified beneficiaries, which included three island villages.

The beneficiary-villages are Boalan; Lanzones; Lamisahan; Kasanyangan; Mampang; Manicahan; Panubigan; Tagasilay; Tetuan; Victoria; Buenavista; Calabasa; Licomo; Quiniput; Divisoria; Tictapul; Pangapuyan; Manalipa; and, Tumalutab.

Salazar said the next set of L300s for the remaining 41 villages in the second district will be procured and turned over sometime in 2018 and 2019.

DPWH allocates P22-B to ZamPen for 2018 infrastructure projects

By Emmanuel D. Taghoy (ALT/EDT/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PIA) -- Roads and bridges, flood control structures, school buildings and other public infrastructure projects will get a huge chunk in the budget allocation of the Department of Public Works and Highways for the 2018 National Expenditure Program.

DPWH will shell out about P22 billion, out of the P48.4 billion worth of infrastructure projects endorsed by the Regional Development Council (RDC)-9 to the DPWH Central Office.

In the recent launching of the Zamboanga Peninsula Roads and Bridges Summit, Regional Director Jorge Sebastian of DPWH-9 said this move of the agency is “a show of commitment to the Golden Age of Infrastructure in the region.”

He said that the infrastructure program is set to become stimulus of economic activity, better preservation of assets, improve peace and order situation, provide faster delivery of goods and services, and enhance connectivity across the region and its neighbors.

In 2016, DPWH Region IX received an appropriation of P12 billion, and 15 billion was allotted for the year 2017. Projects under these appropriations are already in the implementation phase, some of which are nearly complete.

For 2018, DPWH-9 is proposing P22 billion worth of infrastructure projects, a 46.67% increase in appropriation compared to the 2017 General Appropriations for Region 9.

The Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Development Investment Program for ‎2017-2022 indicated 2,419 projects worth P137 billion. This is composed of various Major Final Outputs such as National Road Network Services (MFO-1), Flood Management Services (MFO-2) and Maintenance and Construction Services of Other Infrastructures (MFO-3) in Region 9.

On the other hand, NEDA Assistant Secretary Mercedita Sombilla said under the new infrastructure plan of the administration which is the Build. Build. Build Program, more roads and bridges, more railways, urban mass transport and seaports, and new and better cities in the country will come to fruition.

NEDA Regional Director Teresita Socorro Ramos emphasized that the government is focusing on connecting the regions, the provinces and its towns with better roads and bridges to further peace and development.

Zambo exhibitors earn P12-M from 5-day livelihood fair

By R. G. Antonet Go (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The exhibitors of the recently-held Zamboanga Peninsula Exposition (Zampex) earned PhP12 million, an official of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced Wednesday.

The Zampex was held from October 6 to 10 as part of DTI’s Jobs and Livelihood Fair dubbed as “Trabajo, Negosyo at Kabuhayan.”

Grace Aduca, DTI regional business development chief, on Wednesday said that the top sellers among more than 100 exhibitors are the Cocoturmeric Health Products of Zamboanga del Norte and the Goldensteel Iron Works of this city.

Aduca said the exhibitors managed to attain big sales as they have improved their products that attracted the visitors and buying public.

Zampex is the region’s biggest and grandest marketing platform to promote the best products of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region.

The products that were exhibited included jewelries, furniture and furnishing, gift, toys, and housewares, organic and nature products, processed fruits, arts and crafts, and holiday decors.

Aduca advised the exhibitors to maintain or further improve the quality of their products to attract more buyers.

She said the DTI will continue to held the MSMEs in the producing good quality products.

DOT allots P2-M to boost Zamboanga tourism

By Azer Parrocha (PNA)

MANILA -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) has allotted some PHP2 million for a product enhancement initiative meant to revive Zamboanga tourism.

In partnership with the DOT, the city government of Zamboanga launched the "Mi Ciudad Limpyo Y Floriao" (My City, Clean and Bloom), a cleanliness and beautification project as part of its Hermosa Festival.

To date, the project has been piloted in more than 10 barangays with the active support of the local government officials, the Department of Education and La Hermanidad, an active association of Zamboanguenos based in Manila and overseas.

“We are not going to redesign or rebrand Zamboanga with this project. This is to purely enhance and build back better Zamboanga ,” Regional Director Antonio Francisco Blanco said in a statement.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo, who was present during Zamboanga City’s recent Hermosa Festival, invited tourists to visit Zambaonga.

Zamboanga City is the most visited destination in the Zamboanga peninsula having 678,125 tourists in 2016, a 60 percent increase over 409,156 of the same period last year.

Its famous attractions include Fort Pilar, Paseo del Mar, Pasonanca Park, Pink Island and barter trade center, among others.

Zamboanga Hermosa photo tilt deadline set Oct. 20

By Bong Garcia

PHOTOGRAPHY enthusiasts have until October 20 to submit their entries to the official photo contest of the 2017 Zamboanga Hermosa Festival.

Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said the competition is open to all amateur and professional photographers.

Salazar, in keeping with the theme and the festival celebration, said that all entries should be photographs taken in this city during the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival from October 1 to 20.

She said the deadline for submission of entries will be at 5 p.m. of October 20 at the Public Information Office of City Hall with fully accomplished entry forms.

She said that all entries must be submitted as an unmounted 10"X12" photo print and each participants may submit up to three photographs, and each entry must have a title, date, location, and a short description.

She said all photo entries will be on display from October 21 to 29 at City Mall and the awarding of winners will be on October 28.

The top three photos will receive a certificate of recognition, and P10,000; P7,000; and P5,000 cash prize for the first, second, and third place, respectively.

Salazar said 12 finalists will also be chosen, and will receive a cash prize of P3,000.

However, Salazar that all entries will also be subject to a public voting for the Voter’s Choice Award.

The photo competition is anchored on the theme: “Zamboanga en Movimiento (Zamboanga in Motion).”

Zamboanga City, Isabela forge sisterhood pact

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The cities of Zamboanga and Isabela, the capital of the nearby Basilan province, on Wednesday inked a sisterhood agreement strengthening ties between the two cities.

Mayors Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar of Zamboanga and Al-Qaid Akbar of Isabela led the signing of the sisterhood pact.

Zamboanga City Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde and Isabela City Vice Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar signed as witnesses to the twining agreement.

The agreement aims to strengthen not only the friendship between the two cities, but also to institute a working channel of communication to facilitate exchanges of information and technology in matters of urban planning policies and development, socio-cultural activities, and income generation and fiscal administration.

“This sisterhood agreement will further nourish our relationship,” Salazar said.

The signing of the sisterhood pact is backed by resolutions approved by both the city councils of Zamboanga and Isabela. It is considered as historic as Zamboanga City is commemorating the birth anniversary of Nicasio S. Valderoza, the first mayor of this city.

Valderoza was also the first appointed mayor of Basilan when it became a chartered city by virtue of Republic Act. No. 288 separating it from the city of Zamboanga.

Basilan used to be part of Zamboanga City until R.A. 288 was approved on July 1, 1948. The law was authored by then congressman Juan S. Alano.

Valderoza has served as Basilan City mayor until December 31, 1953. Basilan City was converted into province in 1973 with Isabela as the capital town.

Thousands watch Regatta enliven with Naval demo

By Vic Larato

As in the past, thousands of people from all walks of life flocked on R.T. Lim Boulevard yesterday morning and witnessed the annual Regatta de Zamboanga, race of colorful sailboats or vintas.

A total of 240 fishermen joined the boat race that depicts the tradition of local tribes like Sama Banguingui and Yakan who would live and eke out a living in vintas.

Mayor Beng Climaco and other city officials graced the event as she fired the starting gun for the final heat of the competition.

The winners received P15,000 for the first place, P12,000 for second, P10,000 for third, P7,000 for fourth and P5,000 for the fifth placer. Non-winners will receive P1,000 each. The “Best Vinta” was also chosen and received P3,000 cash.

Adding thrill to the event was the capability drill of elite personnel from the Navy, Air Force and Army combined using their latest air and sea assets that can be deployed in times of emergency.

The simulation event was a kidnapping rescue drama in the sea that caught most if not all spectators by surprise and for some they thought it was for real as gunshots were heard and a helicopter was seen hovering over the boulevard.

The event was among the highlights of the ongoing Zamboanga Hermosa Festival in celebration of the feast of the city’s patroness the Nuestra Sra. La Virgen del Pilar on October 12, which is a special non-working holiday in Zamboanga City.

Zamboanga cops to undergo refresher training

By Bong Garcia (SunStar Philippines)

THE Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) is set to conduct series of training or refresher course on legal requirement of conducting arrests and operations to prevent dismissal of cases.

The ZCPO decided to conduct trainings as it has been observed that a number of cases filed in court against suspected drug personalities had been dismissed due to technicalities committed by law enforcers in the conduct of anti-drug operations.

Senior Superintendent Neri Vincent Ignacio, ZCPO officer-in-charge, reported during the recent City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) meeting that Zamboanga City topped throughout the region in terms of the number of drug personalities arrested and cases filed in court.

“Definitely, we are faring so much in the war on drugs,” Ignacio said.

But he lamented that the dismissal of drug cases is “due to technicalities and other concerns with the prosecutor.”

The members of the CPOC cited an urgent need to upgrade the knowledge, skills and capability of the police and other law enforcement agencies in the implementation of the war on illegal drugs in Zamboanga City.

Ignacio said some police officers underwent the said training last week to prevent dismissal of cases.

Livelihood fair aims to generate inclusive growth

By Darwin Wally Wee (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The launch of the Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK), a job and business fair, here on Friday is one of the measures the Duterte administration is implementing to ensure that all sectors of society will benefit as the economy is experiencing growth of 6.5 percent in the second quarter, the fastest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Sec. Ramon Lopez said economic growth should be inclusive.

At the TNK opening, he said: "A lot of good things are happening, investments are coming in, economic growth is at 6.5 percent. You’ve heard of Dutertenomics, this is the summary of the 10-point socio-economic agenda of the government of President Duterte that basically tries to widen the gain of the growth of our country."

The TNK, which ends on October 10, is a joint program of DTI and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Lopez stressed that these gains are not just for a few, but most importantly for those who really need the government’s help.

“We really want to bring development, growth, and prosperity for all. We want to empower those who belong to the bottom of the pyramid because empowering them is empowering the nation. This is the passion of the current government, this is the core of the TNK program,” he said.

Lopez also mentioned positive growth in some key sectors of the economy.

“We are very happy that aside from the 6.5 percent economic growth, the manufacturing sector is growing by 7-8 percent but used to be growing by only 2 percent growth rate in the past years.

Investment, as share to the Gross Domestic Product (GPD), is the one pulling up our economy growing by +20 percent,” he said.

The export sector, according to Lopez, has also turned around from -5 percent to about +15 percent growth, and the same with agriculture from negative to +6 percent growth. The business confidence index has also reached 43 percent.

“These numbers were very low before, so you can feel the economic growth of our country is enjoying,” he said.

But what is important, Lopez said, is President Rodrigo Duterte’s standing order to ensure that these gains reach the masses.

“Our President always reminds us to make sure that kind of growth is felt at the base of the pyramid, that is why in all this growth, jobs are created, if they can’t find jobs, there are those whose interest are into business,” he stressed.

He further cited the growing number of people wanting to venture into entrepreneurship.

“In our 13 years of our advocacy on MSMEs, there is a growing awareness and likelihood of people wanting to go into business by choice, not because they are desperate for survival,” he said.

Lopez said TNK is giving all opportunities for the public to grab.

“We are mixing everything here. Those who would like to search for jobs or venture into business, all these opportunities are made available for the public to take. We are trying to create a culture that is really enterprising. Creating a culture of Filipinos who are success-driven, value work, who would not just depend on government dole-outs, but rather would take control of their destiny,” he said.

Oct. 12 declared as special holiday in Zamboanga City

By Bong Garcia

OCTOBER 12, the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar, is a special non-working day in Zamboanga City.

The declaration is pursuant to Republic Act 7350 approved on April 2, 1992 during the time of the late Maria Clara Lorenzo Lobregat, former congressional representative of the city.

The law declares October 12 of every year as a special non-working holiday in the city.

Dubbed as Fiesta Pilar, the day will be devoted to religious activities honoring the La Virgen, with the Fort Pilar Shrine as the center of activities.

Various activities have been lined up for the celebration.

Trade expo opens Oct. 6; showcases MSME products

By Darwin Wally Wee (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) coming from the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, and the neighboring country of Indonesia will have the chance to showcase their products at the annual trade exhibit here.

Dubbed as Zamboanga Peninsula Exposition (ZAMPEX), the exhibit will open on Friday, October 6.

Dr. Sitti Amina Jain, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional director, on Thursday said there is an increase in the number of exhibitors that will join this year’s trade show.

“We are expecting over 100 exhibitors this year showcasing the best products from our micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs). We will also be setting up pavilions for our weavers from the indigenous people (IP) communities, the One Town One Product Next Generation, and Fabrication Laboratory and Food Innovation Center showcasing some prototypes,” Jain said.

The ZAMPEX, which will run from October 6 to 10, is touted as the biggest and grandest marketing platform for MSMEs instituted by the DTI.

It is one of the component activities of the Jobs and Livelihood fair dubbed as Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK).

The TNK is a joint activity of DTI and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), designed to realize Executive Order No. 25, the country’s long-term vision simply called Ambisyon 2040.

Now on its fourth year, ZAMPEX 2017 will feature the best products by at least 100 exhibitors from all over Region 9, and some from the neighboring ARMM provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, with the special participation of Indonesia, Jain said.

This year, the focus products of ZAMPEX include processed fish, processed fruits and nuts, processed foods, wearable and homestyle, abaca, coconut, coffee, mango, cacao, and furniture.

ZAMPEX aims to facilitate the promotion of locally-made products of MSMEs in the region consequently increasing sales of the MSMEs; create or reinforce visibility and raise the awareness and interest about the supply capacity; establish linkages between producers and buyers and establish partnerships among distributors and suppliers through business matching; and make quality products of the MSMEs in the region available via the Go Lokal Stores.

Jain said the conduct of ZAMPEX every October is DTI’s contribution to the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival.

“We are inviting the public to visit ZAMPEX 2017. This is our contribution to the month-long celebration of Zamboanga Hermosa Festival. We will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. so we can give more time for the public to enjoy the region’s best products,” she said.

DOT to launch beautification drive in Zambo

By Darwin Wally Wee (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) is set to launch “Mi Ciudad: Limpio y Floriao” (My city: clean and blooming), a beautification campaign to boost tourism in this southern port city.

“We have made arrangement and received commitment from the local government of Zamboanga, barangay officials, and owners of business establishments downtown to be part in this campaign,” DOT Regional Director Antonio Fernando Blanco on Tuesday said.

This city has been known as the City of Flowers and was later promoted as Asia’s Latin City.

Zamboanga City was then called “Jambangan” - a Malay term for land of flowers.

Before the Second World War, the downtown area and its public square was festooned with flowers.

Blanco said they have started procuring seedlings that would be distributed to the barangays leaders.

He said the official launch of the campaign will be on Monday, October 9, at the scenic Paseo del Mar.

The launch coincides with the activities of the month-long celebration of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival.

Blanco said that part of the process is also to encourage this city’s residents to maintain cleanliness.

“A clean surrounding will entice people and visitors to enjoy walking and watch the sceneries,” Ricardo San Juan, tourism consultant and former DOT regional director, said.

The initial number of barangays that will be part of the campaign are those within the 13-kilometer radius from downtown.

“Gradually, we will expand it,” San Juan said. For the main thoroughfares, the DOT plans to plant flowers at all center islands.

Blanco said the main driver of the promotion is the community themselves.

25k vacancies up for grabs in Oct. 6 Job Fair

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday announced that 25,000 job vacancies are up for grab on the one-day Job Fair in this city.

Some 24 local and overseas placement agencies have confirmed participation at the fair, slated on October 6 at one of the local hotels.

The vacancies included administrative staff, human resource officers, drivers, sales representatives, among others.

Jobseekers may pre-register at the DOLE- Zamboanga City Field Office or at the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of the city government during office hours starting Monday.

The Job Fair is part of the five-day activity, dubbed as “Trabaho, Negosyo at Kabuhayan (TNK), a joint project of DOLE and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which is scheduled to be held from October 6 to 10.

DOLE Regional Director Ofelia Domingo said the TNK will be highlighted by several component events to include the Annual Zamboanga Peninsula Exposition (ZAMPEX); Zampen Investment Conference (ZAMPEN ICON); DOLE’s Local-Chief Executives (LCE) Forum; Labor Standards and Productivity Enhancement Session; Slingshot Halal Philippines; and, the Regional Consumers Conference (RECCON).

Dr. Sitti Amina Jain, DTI Regional Director, earlier said the objectives of the TNK is to provide more jobs and create entrepreneurs; and, raise public awareness on TNK blueprint for “Decent Employment and Entrepreneurship 2017-2022,” which envisions 7.5 million jobs by 2020.

TNK is an offshoot of Executive Order No. 25 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte approving the 25-year long term vision for the Philippines dubbed as “Ambisyon 2040.”

It is designed to realize through the collaboration of DOLE and DTI.

Fun run kicks off Consumer Welfare Month

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will commence the Consumer Welfare Month with the conduct of the 2nd Consumer Run on Sunday, October 1, which will be simultaneously held nationwide.

The consumer run held last year in Region 9 was the first of its kind and was adopted by the DTI central office to be conducted in all regions this year.

Dr. Sitti Amina Jain, DTI regional director, on Friday stressed the importance of conducting the consumer run to empower the consumers.

“The Consumer Run is really intended to empower our consumers by informing them of their basic rights and responsibilities. If we, as consumers, know our basic rights and responsibilities, then we will be assured of the best services and products that we avail or buy with our hard-earned money,” Jain said.

“We can also negate the schemes of some businessmen who are engaged in unscrupulous business practices,” Jain added.

She said the activity is also aimed to promote health and wellness among the consumers. The participants of the event will become force multiplier in informing others of their rights and responsibilities.

“It’s good to learn while having fun. This is what the consumer run is all about, learning and being empowered as consumers while we are having fun,” she pointed out.

The Consumer Run will have two categories: the eight-kilometer run and the five-kilometer run.

The eight-kilometer run represents the eight basic consumer rights which included the following: Right to Basic Needs; Right to Safety; Right to Information; Right to Choose; Right to Representation; Right to Redress; Right to Consumer Education: and, Right to Healthy Environment.

The five-kilometer run represents the consumer responsibilities which are as follows: Critical Awareness; Action; Social Concern; Environmental Awareness; and, Solidarity.

Here in Region 9, Jain said the 2nd Consumer Run will be held in this city; Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay; Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur; and, Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.

She said it will be held in partnership with the United Zamboanga Consumers Association, Incorporated (UZCAI).

The activity’s proceeds will be turned over to UZCAI that will be used for strengthening of consumer groups and implementation of consumer-related activities and projects here in Region 9.

City collaborates with DPWH for drainage system overhaul

By Sheila Covarrubias

The City Government is closely collaborating with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the implementation of a massive renovation of the city’s drainage system in a bid to resolve perennial flooding in some major streets downtown.

City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Dr. Elmeir Apolinario on Monday convened a meeting with representatives from the DPWH, Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Zamboanga City Water District, City Administrator’s Office and City Engineer’s Office among others to discuss long term solutions to the drainage problems in the city proper area.

The DPWH, according to Apolinario, has an allocation of P200 million for the construction of an impounding dam in the Sta. Catalina-Sta. Barbara area. A feasibility study has already been made for the implementation of the said project.

The CDRRMO said the city, through a technical working group, is also bent on undertaking measures to rehabilitate the existing canals and drainage systems specifically in the flood-prone areas such as Pilar Street, Gov. Lim Avenue and Veterans Avenue among others. However, he said, what is necessary is a close coordination between the DPWH and the LGU and other concerned agencies to ensure that the projects are synchronized.

The ZCWD and Zamcelco including telecommunication companies should also be on board as they utilize the roads for their utility services, according to Apolinario. “We want to make sure that no problems will be encountered by the time we implement the drainage system project.”

Massive declogging of canals and drainage systems undertaken by CEO personnel downtown yielded non-biodegradable wastes including tires and sand and gravel. Water pipes are also discovered to have been installed in drainage systems and canals.

MDP to drive Zambo economic growth

By Darwin Wally Wee (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) has drafted a Master Development Plan (MDP) that seeks to establish growth areas outside this city’s main business district.

Rodrigo Sicat, CPDO chief, on Wednesday said they have already submitted “the final draft of the master development plan of Zamboanga City to Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, who in turn will forward it to the Sangguniang Panlungsod for approval into a zoning ordinance.”

“The MDP seeks to establish Zamboanga as a Metropolitan City with robust biodiversity and sustainable development that is globally competitive, where investment thrive(s) through good governance and industry,” Sicat said.

Sicat said the objective of the MDP is to create “at least seven growth areas or development plan units” outside of the main business district.

The seven growth areas are the central business district comprising of 30 barangays; Mercedes, also covering 30 barangays with primary focus on airport transfer and agri-fishery; Ayala, being the industrial zone; Labuan as residential and commercial zones; Sangali, focusing on water shed protection; Curuan as aquamarine zone, and; Vitali to include the 11 Islands for agri-aquaculture and ecotourism.

“We decongest the central business district to establish the growth areas with concentration on the potentials of each growth area,” Sicat said, adding that the existing land use of this city is predominantly residential mixed with some patches of agriculture and commercial.

He also stressed that this city’s MDP pushes for the protection of agriculture and preservation of natural resources.

He said the new MDP will be immediately adopted once approved by the City Council.

The city government has two plans, according to Sicat, and these are the six-year Comprehensive Development Plan and the 15-year Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

“The former is a sectorial development plan while the latter is a physical development plan. To carry-out the physical development, there needs to be an accompanying Zoning Ordinance. Thus, the Comprehensive Land Use Plan must be approved together with the Zoning Ordinance, by the SP (Sangguniang Panlungsod). After which, these will be reviewed by the Regional Land Use Committee and subsequently need to be ratified by the Housing Land Use Regulatory Board,” he said.

“We had to ‘polish’ some sections due to comments and observations made by the stakeholders as well as the issue on barangay boundary conflicts,” Sicat said citing the plans were completed in July, this year.

The city government has earlier hired the Palafox Associates to conduct a study and develop this city’s comprehensive land use plan and Zoning Ordinance, which are components of the MDP.

BFAR Commemorates 54th Fish Conservation Week

[Regional Fisheries Information Section (RFIS)]

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Field Office No. IX will commemorates the Fish Conservation Week on October 16-20, 2017 with a plethora of activities to be simultaneously undertaken in the ZamPen region. The Fish Conservation Week is a yearly undertaking of the bureau every 3rd Week of October to increase awareness on the importance of protecting and conserving the country’s fisheries and aquatic resources by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 176 series of 1963.

This year’s celebration shall be opened with a motorcade from BFAR Regional Office to BFAR IX Techno Demo Station in Mampang, Zamboanga City where the bangus harvest festival and mangrove planting will also take place and in Zamboanga del Sur with the simultaneous fish seeding of communal waters (tilapia) regionwide.

Other activities to be conducted will include teach-ins in various high school around the region on topics such as, the importance of Coastal Resource Management (CRM), salient feature of the Republic Act (RA) No. 10654, sardines management, prohibited/banned fishery products, FAO 197-1 and the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) Program; mobile licensing; orientation on the response of mammal stranding; demonstration on fish processing technologies and value added products; orientation on fish capture technology; distribution of livelihood inputs; distribution of fishing inputs on the affected hulbot-hulbot; distribution of booklets (RA 10654) and hanging of posters (banned fishery items at strategic sites). Coastal clean-up will also be simultaneously undertaken in selected coastal municipalities of the provinces of Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga City.

Poster Making Contest based on this year’s theme: Industriya ng Pangisdaan ay Masigla Kung ang Karagatan ay Malinis at Masagana ” is also among the important activities open to Grade XII students individual or group. The winning entries will be used by the bureau as IEC materials for schools and SUCs.

The Bureau will drum up support for all its activities through motorcade, streamers, and press releases to promote public awareness on conservation of our fishery resources.

DPWH builds P22-M weightlifting training center

By Bong Garcia

A TOP official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced that the construction of the P22-million weightlifting center in Zamboanga City has already started.

Engineer Cholie Roble, DPWH district engineer, said they are closely coordinating with the private contractor to ensure the project will be completed by February 2018, as scheduled.

The two-storey weightlifting training center, which is being constructed inside the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex, will have complete equipment including a 32-bed capacity dormitory for athletes.

The construction of the training center is aimed to enhance the performance of the weightlifting athletes.

There are at least 100 weightlifting athletes based in the city. One of them is Hidilyn Diaz, the 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist.

Cebu Pacific opens Zambo-Sandakan route Oct. 29

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Cebu Pacific (CEB), the country’s leading airline, announced the expansion of its international route network and presence in Southeast Asia as it opens its new Zamboanga-Sabah flight service via the city of Sandakan.

CEB announced that through its affiliate, Cebgo, it will operate its first international route out of Zamboanga City with four times weekly flights to Sandakan starting on October 29 this year.

CEB said in a statement Friday that the flights will be every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The one-way flight takes one hour and 30 minutes. It leaves this city at 1:45 p.m. and arrives in Sandakan at 3:15 p.m. The return flight then leaves Sandakan at 4 p.m. and arrives in this city at 5:30 p.m.

CEB said the new Zamboanga-Sandakan route supports the drive for seamless logistics connectivity within the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia- Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

The BIMP-EAGA, which was created in 1994, comprises Mindanao; the entire Borneo Island which is divided between Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia; and other Indonesian islands such as Sulawesi and Maluku.

Its creation was meant to harness capabilities to turn the entire area into a thriving economic and tourism zone.

“Sandakan has had centuries of trade and cultural linkage with the southern Philippines, and we are especially proud to put in place infrastructure to further enhance these ties. Now, the previous 14-hour travel by sea is cut down to just a 40-minute airplane ride,” Alexander Lao, President and CEO of Cebgo, said.

Zambo sets citywide clean-up drive

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) has tapped different stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of the solid waste management program of this city.

Among the stakeholders the agency has tapped as partners are the barangays councils, public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators.

Public Service Officer IV Rodrigo Pagotaisidro on Thursday said that partnering with barangay officials, PUV drivers and operators would be a big help to this city’s campaign on cleanliness and sanitation.

Reynaldo Gonzales, OCENR chief, said his office has spearheaded on Tuesday the training and orientation for barangay officials concerning the solid waste management program.

He said similar activity was held on Wednesday at City Hall which was attended by the PUV drivers and operators.

He said a massive citywide clean-up drive to be spearheaded by barangay officials will be held on October 1. (TPGJR/PNA)

Zambo to build P200-M pumping station

By R. G. Antonet Go (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The city government is constructing a PhP200 million pumping station to address the problem of flooding during heavy rains in this city's downtown areas.

Constant flooding is being experienced along Veterans Avenue and Pilar Street areas in Barangay Zone IV during heavy rains even in just few hours.

City Administrator Marie Angelique Go on Monday said the construction of the pumping station is a long-term solution to address the flooding while the short term is the constant cleaning of drainage.

But Go believes the construction of the pumping station must be coupled with zoning and regulatory measures to address the problem.

She said that the illegal settlers will have to be relocated and waste management will also be addressed.

She said the city's business district should also be decentralized “because the drainage capacity has already been maximized.”

She said the construction of the pumping station will be undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

'Alaga Ka’ caravans kick off

By R. G. Antonet Go (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is conducting series of caravans to inform the public, especially the indigents, on the programs and benefits of the agency.

The caravan, dubbed as “Alaga Ka” or PhilHealth Alamin at Gamitin para sa Kalusugan 2017, is being held in the different parts of the region.

Philip Cataylo of PhilHealth regional office on Saturday said the caravans focus on members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Cataylo said among the topics that will be discussed during the caravan are how to avail of the benefits of the agency and its new programs.

He said the schedule of the caravan in Zamboanga City are as follows: September 19, Barangays Sta. Maria and Canelar; September 21, Vitali and Curuan; September 26, Talon-Talon and Sta. Catalina; September 28, Guiwan and Tetuan; October 3, Manicahan and Sangali; and, October 5, Mercedes and Tumaga.

He said they have coordinated with the barangay officials and other concerned agencies to ensure widest reach of the caravan.

Art exhibit to showcase Zamboanga's culture, heritage

By Bong Garcia (SunStar Philippines)

A SEVEN-DAY Zamboanga Art Exhibit is set to be held to showcase the rich culture and heritages of Zamboanga City as seen through the eyes of its residents.

The City Hall said, in a statement, that the art exhibit is in line with the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival celebration of peace, culture, and diversity.

The exhibit, which will run from October 2 to 8 at City Mall Tetuan, will showcase a collection of submitted visual artworks that will range from paintings and photography to sculpture and mixed media as one of the cultural events of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival activities.

The artworks will be culled from entries submitted by students, and amateur and professional visual artists who are residing in Zamboanga City.

Applications and submissions will be accepted until Friday, September 15, before a screening committee will identify the pieces to be included in the curated exhibit.

The exhibit intends to reflect the colourful and diverse culture, and rich heritage and traditions Zamboanga is known for.

300 farmers to attend Family Farm forum today

By R.G. A A. Go

Some 300 local farmers are expected to attend the City Family Farm Forum today, September 13 at the Culianan Barangay Complex.

Farmers, RICs, and 4-H Clubs coming from Ayala, Tumaga, Culianan, Manicahan, Curuan, and Vitali districts are expected to actively participate in the said forum.

Line government agencies will also be present during the forum where they are expected to get inputs from the farmers especially problems that may be ventilated during the forum.

Update will also be given to these farmers relative to the thrust of the Department of Agriculture.

Meanwhile, during the activity, the best “bahay kubo” will be judged per district, booths will also showcase products of these farmers which will also be sold, and Chavacano songs will be played to create a festive mood.

Former District 2 Congresswoman Lilia Nuño, National Rural Improvement Club (RIC) vice president will grace the occasion.

“We cannot just say maga siembrador lang se…Nusabe sila el role de siembradores na sociedad si nuay sila, nuay cumida na mesa debe dale importancia, attention, y dale kanila suporta,” Nuño said.

ZCHHS math wizards recognized by City Gov’t

By Sheila Covarrubias (PR)

The City Government on Monday rolled out a special ceremony recognizing the achievements of 25 Zamboanga Chong Hua High School (ZCHHS) students who reaped medals in various international mathematics competitions held the past months.

Mayor Beng Climaco spearheaded the recognition ceremonies during the City Hall flag raising ceremony, as she awarded the “Certifico de Reconocimiento” to each of the students including ZCHHS Principal, Dr. Simon Chua, who has been very instrumental in the good performance of the students.

Foremost in the list of math wizards was Sean Anderson Ty, a Grade 11 student, who reaped a bronze medal in the 58th International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) regarded as the most prestigious and most difficult math contest in the world and held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from June 12-23, 2017. Ty becomes the first student from Visayas and Mindanao to have garnered the IMO medal since the Philippines participated in the contest in 1988.

“We are very proud of your achievements,” Mayor Climaco told the students as she congratulated not only the students but the parents, guardians and coaching staff and most especially Dr. Chua for providing the needed support and guidance to the students that eventually resulted to the victorious representation. “You did not only brought honor to the city but to the entire country.”

Other recognized medalists and the events they joined are the following: Jace Mateus M. Que (Grade 2), gold medalist in the China West Math Olympiad held in Nanchong, Sichuan, China from Aug. 12-16, 2017; Participants to the 2017 International Math Wizard Challenge held in Xiamen, China from May 19-24 - Nur Mikhail P. Ahaja (Grade 2), silver medalist; Gabriel Royce M. Lim (Grade 3)- bronze; Elissa Caye Ramos (Grade 3)- bronze; Alessandro Leone R. Chan (Grade 3)- bronze; Eliana Mari P. Lim (Grade 7)- silver; Rania T. Himpon (Grade 7)- bronze; John Julio C. Chua (Grade 9)- bronze; Lance Kendrick K. Sebastian (Grade 10)- silver and Ruth Samantha C. Wee (Grade 4)- bronze; Participants in the 13th International Mathematics Competition held in Singapore, August 5-7, 2017 – Anika Gayle C. Tan (Grade 4)- silver; Sophia Monique O. Chan (Grade 5)- bronze; Samantha Cheong (Grade 5)- merit certificate; Angeline Madrazo (Grade 6)- bronze; Rianne Stefi C. Wee (Grade 8)- silver; Jhann Rhainey F. Ramos (Grade 8) – silver and Xavier Jeffersoon Ray M. Go (Grade 12)- silver.

Also recognized were Mikaela Eshe Q. Penaflor (Grade5), bronze medalist in the China Primary Math Olympiad held in China from July 28-August 3; Fedrick Lance R. Lim (Grade 10), bronze medalist in the China Southeast Math Olympiad held in Jiangxi, China from July 28 to August 3, 2017 and Sigred Kerwayne G. Kwan (Grade 7) and Stephen James L. Ty (Grade 9) both bronze medalists in the 2017 India International Math Competitions held in Lucknow, India from July 25-31, 2017.

The students were accompanied by their coaches Samuel Gayangos and Hernan Jalon together with Aldwin Sahirul.

BPO buildings to rise in Ecozone


Two Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) buildings worth P221 million is set to rise inside the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (ZamboEcozone) located at barangay Talisayan, this city.

Christopher Lawrence S. Arnuco, Zamboecozone chairperson and administrator, said in an interview that the two BPO buildings will have four storey and are expected to be finished by the year 2018.

According to Arnuco, the establishment will house call centers, medical transcription companies, among others.

“We are hoping the private sector will invest but there are no investments yet. So, the government can help the private sector by providing area to them,” Arnuco said.

He pointed out that in the heart of the city, the space is already limited for BPOs since it require hectares of land.

“We still have hectares of land in the Ecozone and this is the reason why we are offering our area,” Arnuco said.

The Ecozone chairman said that once the said establishment is completed, many investors will surely come.

DOT-IX to conduct ‘Farm-Tourism’ seminar

By Allen Abastillas

The Department of Tourism Regional Office-9 will be conducting a “Farm Tourism Seminar-Work Shop” in Zamboanga City.

The rationale of the farm tourism is to create a comprehensive farm circuit package intended for tourists both local and foreign, who are planning to come and visit the city.

The identified farm areas are NJB Farm in Ayala, Southland Farm, Dragon Fruit Gree Pastures Farm, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm and Evangelista Farm.

The test run of the farm package is slated on the last week of September while the launching will held on the 1st week of October, 2017, in time for the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival.

Meanwhile, DOT-9 will also sponsor a “Community Based Tourism Kulinarya (Tourism Culinary ) Workshop” on September 11 to 12, 2017 in Dipolog City.

The workshop aims to enhance the skills of various communities in the region, especially those that are directly engaged in community based tourism in order to further improve the delivery of food services craftsmanship, taste and quality. Kulinarya (culinary) wokshops are organized for the stakeholders in every communities in coordination with the local government units in the area. The workshop also envisions to train community members on how to prepare food for the visitors in a hygienic and presentable manner.

ZamboEcozone to host contract signing for international seaport


The Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (ZamboEcozone) will be hosting a contract signing at a local hotel on September 8, 2017, between the Public-Private Partnership Center, and the partnership headed by BDO LLP, a British accountancy and business advisory firm.

BDO LLP will be undertaking the feasibility study, market sounding, preparation of bid documents, bid management and transactional advisory until a private company is selected to implement the project. The project will be done by local and international experts in several areas related to port operations, engineering, and fiscal management, among others.

The seaport is dubbed as the “San Ramon Newport Project”, pertaining to the area where the said port will be constructed. Its operations promise to improve the capacity of the ZAMBOECOZONE to do business with its locators, and provide more job and investment opportunities for the city of Zamboanga and the nearby municipalities and provinces.

“We are grateful for the assistance of the PPP Center in giving us the technical grant, which will now allow us to do all the preparatory work to accomplish this major project. This international seaport is crucial not only in decongesting the traffic in the city center, but giving a solid anchor in which to build a better business community here in the West Coast”, said ZAMBOECOZONE Chairman Christopher Lawrence Arnuco.

The technical assistance grant was awarded to the ZAMBOECOZONE by the Asian Development Bank last February 2017. The team behind the San Ramon Newport projects that the feasibility study will be available by year-end.

The contract signing will be between the PPP Center, as administrators of the technical assistance grant, and the BDO LLP group. PPP Center’s Deputy Executive Director Atty. Mia Mary Sebastian, and Dr. Khalid Bichou, an international port operations consultant and Project Team Manager for BDO LLP, will be signing for their companies. Chairman Arnuco will be signing as a witness, as the ZAMBOECOZONE has a crucial role in the project as its end user.

City Hall honors 29th SEA Games medalists

By Sheila Covarrubias

As a show of recognition for their impressive performance in the recently concluded 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Zamboangueño athletes will be given a special welcome ceremony Monday, September 4.

Mayor Beng Climaco will personally welcome boxing gold medalist Eumir Felix Marcial and bronze medalist Jefferson Rhey Loon of the pencak silat event during fitting rites Monday morning after the flag raising ceremony in front of City Hall.

Other SEA games medalists – Chezka Luy Centeno who won a gold medal in the Women’s 9-pool ball single, Chris Michael Tolomia who bagged a gold as part of the Gilas Pilipinas basketball team that won over Indonesia in the finals and bronze medalist Ryan Jakiri who placed third in the muaythai 63.5 kg category will be ably represented by their relatives during the ceremony as they are still in Manila undergoing continuous training.

Also to be recognized and honored today is Sharif Afif who won a silver medal in the Karatedo senior male team kumite category and a bronze medal in the senior individual male kumite (85 kg) category during the Thailand Karatedo Open Championship 2017 held at the Huamark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand from April 22-24.

The athletes will be presented with a certificate of recognition and later treated to a special breakfast at the City Hall conference room, after which, a motorcade in their honor will be held around the city’s main thoroughfares.

A total of 9 Zamboangueno athletes were part of the Philippine delegation to the Kuala Lumpur games held from August 19-30. Five of the 9 athletes reaped 3 gold and 2 bronze medals.

Mayor Climaco has expressed jubilation over the victory of the local athletes saying they brought honor and fame not only to the city but to the entire country.

The medalists will also receive cash incentives based on the provisions of an ordinance. A gold medal in the SEA games is equivalent to P150,000; silver medal is P100,000 while a bronze medal is equivalent to P75,000.

During the 28th SEA Games in Singapore in 2015, Zamboangueno athletes harvested 3 gold medals and 1 bronze courtesy of Eumir Marcial (gold in boxing); Chezka Centeno (gold in billiard); Sonny Boy Acuna, Rolando Binarao, Emerson Atilano and Vermond Diaz (gold in softball) and Alshamir Ibnohasim (bronze in pencak silat).

Zambo road project gets P500-M more

By R. G. Antonet Go (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has earmarked additional P500 million budget to speed up the construction of the 14-kilometer highway in the east coast of this city.

Zamboanga 2nd District Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe II on Saturday said the amount has been included in the 2018 General Appropriations Act with the representation made by DPWH Sec. Mark Villar.

The road project covers Barangays Cabaluay, Mercedes, Talabaan, and Zambowood. A bridge will also be constructed in Zambowood to connect the highway to Barangay Mampang.

The national government has initially allocated this year P150 million for the acquisition of the road right-of-way.

Dalipe initiated the road project to hasten development in the east coast as well as to help decongest traffic in this city.

It is also in preparation for the transfer of the Zamboanga International Airport from Sta. Maria to Mercedes.

Zambo qualifies for Gawad Kalasag National Awards

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr (TPGJR/PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Zamboanga City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (ZCDRRMC) has been selected as one of the finalists in the Gawad Kalasag National Awards for Highly-Urbanized City Category.

Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Manuel Luis Ochotorena on Thursday said the ZCDRRMC has passed the evaluation in accordance with the guidelines of Gawad Kalasag Search for Excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Humanitarian Assistance.

Ochotorena said that the National Selection Committee (NSC) concluded the Desk Validation of entries submitted by the Regional Selection Committee (RSC).

He said a two-day field validation in this city was conducted on August 30-31 by the NSC.

The NSC is headed by Charmaine Villamil of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) central office with National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Spokesperson Romina Marasigan and Hailey Meriel of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) central office, as members.

The Gawad Kalasag is the country’s premier annual awards for outstanding contribution in the fields of disaster risk reduction and management and humanitarian action.

Kalasag is a Filipino term for “shield” used by early Filipinos as a means of protection from attacks of enemies or harmful animals.

The annual Gawad Kalasag Search aims to recognize outstanding performances of Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils, Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committees, Civil Society Organizations, educational institutions including Early Learning Centers and Higher Education Institutions, Government Emergency Management (Basic and Advance), Hospitals, Volunteer Organizations, Private Organizations, and individuals who have shown acts of heroism during disasters and emergencies, and other major stakeholders who continue to render exemplary contribution in promoting and implementing significant and gender sensitive DRRM-Climate Change Adaptation programs and innovations that build community resiliency in the long term.

Zamboanga allocates P40M to rehabilitate market

By Bong Garcia (SunStar Philippines)

THE old public market of Zamboanga City, previously known as the waterfront market, is set to undergo a total rehabilitation and improvement.

Engineer Chris Navarro, officer-in-charge of the City Engineer’s Office, said the local government has allocated P40 million for the project.

Navarro said practically all structures from Building A to G of the old public market will be repaired and improved.

He said the buildings will have a new appearance to allow more ventilation and elevation.

He said that stalls with comfort rooms will also be constructed along the fence of the Philippine Ports Authority.

He added that construction works will include removal and replacement of roofing sheets and accessories, trusses and grits, retrofitting and restoration of columns, removal and replacement of tiles at counter tables, restoration of concrete floor slab and curbs.

Rotary Zambo - East organizes “Copa de Paz” golf tournament


The Rotary Club of Zamboanga City - East in Cooperation with Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA ) will organize a pre Hermosa festival golf tournament dubbed “COPA DE PAZ” on September 30,2017 at Zamboanga Golf Course and Country Club, Upper Calarian , this City.

President Edgar Miranda of Rotary Club of Zamboanga City East disclosed the said golf tournament aims to converge golfers from the different police and military agencies and other civilian peace advocates in the city which will later on be the prime movers of service projects in relation to the promotions of peace aspect.

Promoting Peace is one of the key areas of Rotary International through “service projects, peace fellowships, scholarships that can take action to deal with causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education and unequal distribution of resources.”

Meanwhile, the “ COPA DE PAZ “ golf tournament has been included in the official list of activities in this year’s HERMOSA FESTIVAL 2017. It is open to class A,B,C and guests categories using the system 36 formula.

Philhealth provides benefits for newborns


The Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) regional office 9 has provided benefits for challenging cases involving premature babies and small newborns which can be availed of by members and their dependents.

Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial said that the benefits are intended to provide specialized care to premature and small newborn babies.

Ubial, who also sits as Philhealth Chairperson, signed Philhealth Circular 2017-0009 last April 25 mandating the provision of the benefits to Philhealth members.

The resolution aims to reduce infant death due to prematurity and low birth weight as the Philippines.

The premature and small newborns package ranges from P35,000 to P135,000 depending on the diagnosis of the doctor.

“Si tiene ansina caso grande el gasto del pamilya y amo se tiene kita package to address the mortality rate of these pre-term and small newborns,” Bryan Jabay, PhilHealth 9 Information Officer, said in an interview.

The office is waiting for hospitals in the region to be accredited with PhilHealth so they can offer the said Z Package.

He explained that the hospital will apply for accreditation to offer the said package, then the office will check on the hospital facility and make sure they can cater to the needs of these pre-term and small newborn, and the office in Manila will deliberate after that they can offer the package.

According to Jabay, Zamboanga City Medical Center and other hospitals in this city and the region may apply for accreditation.

In region 9, PhilHealth has more or less 1,894,231 members and some 1,831,450 dependents. Both members and their dependents are covered by PhilHealth incase they get sick.

PeaceTech seminar on peace communication slated on Sept 24-30

By Felipo David G. Malcampo (ALT/FDM/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PIA) – Calling all youth aged 18-23 years old in Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi!

PeaceTech, a non-government, non-profit organization will be conducting a free Empowerment for Peace through Information and Communication seminar from September 24-30 in Zamboanga City, said Jules Benitez, project coordinator.

The seminar is open to either in-school or out of school youth coming from the mentioned areas, and this workshop will connect simultaneously with Baguio City, Cagayan de Oro City, Cebu City, Cotabato City, Metro Manila and Zamboanga City.

The workshop objective is to connect youths coming from the different areas especially in Mindanao using video conferencing and social media and discuss about peace building. “We aim to bring the youth into the peace process so that they will feel included,” Benitez said.

Modules on conflict management and resolution, history and culture, management skills and project implementation have been knit into the weeklong seminar.

Application forms can be secured thru Mr. Jules Benitez’s Facebook page ( The deadline for submission of the forms is on or before September 1, 2017.

This project is done in partnership with the United States Embassy and Globe.}

OCENR renews campaign on solid waste management

By Jasmine Mohammadsali

As a follow up to its initial information drive last year, the local government through the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) will spearhead a renewed information campaign for the solid waste ordinance on September 4.

Beginning September 4, the OCENR will spearhead a massive information drive for Ordinance 2016-176, otherwise known as the Integrated Solid Waste Management System of Zamboanga, beginning with the unveiling of a billboard during the Monday flag ceremony at City Hall.

The renewed campaign seeks to inform the public on the provisions of the ordinance, including the prescribed rates, charges, and penalties for violations thereof, in preparation for its implementation.

Since October 2016, the OCENR has regularly conduct information drives and orientations, particularly in the barangays who are expected to have greater responsibilities in the implementation of the ordinance.

Ordinance 2016-176 reconciles two past ordinances, Ordinance 92-013 of 1992 and Ordinance 211 of 1998, with Republic Act 9003 which is known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, in a bid to enhance the ecological balance of the community through sustainable and integrated waste management, and to ensure effective and efficient solid waste management.

The Ordinance, which was approved July 7, 2016, contains, among others, provisions on mandatory segregation of solid waste in residential, institutional, agricultural, and commercial establishments, deputation of barangay and law enforcers for the issuance of citation tickets for violations, and the imposition of a garbage fee for business establishments and residential units.}

Zamboanga City donates P40-M worth of armchairs

By Bong Garcia (SunStar Philippines)

THE Zamboanga City Government has donated 44,000 monobloc armchairs worth more or less P40 million to the Department of Education (DepEd) through the City Schools Division Office.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar led the turnover of the donated chairs held on Tuesday, August 15, at the gymnasium of the Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School.

Schools Division Superintendent Felix Roy Triambulo and Assistant Superintendent Julieto Fernandez accepted the donation on behalf of DepEd.

Salazar said the armchairs will be distributed to all public elementary and secondary schools in this city, particularly the highly populated schools with huge shortage of armchairs.

This, she stressed, is in line with her administration’s priority thrust on education, being a component of the She Program for Security, Health and Education.

Salazar said the city government puts premium on education as it is the key to providing the children with better future.

“Let us continue to help make our children’s future a reality today,” she said.

Salazar said her administration does not just construct school buildings and classrooms, but “we will fill them up with armchairs to address the gab.”

Through the Local School Board, the city government had appropriated initially P15.7 million for 19,625 units of armchairs for elementary schools, and P8.9 million for 11,200 armchairs for secondary schools.

Beginning this year, the City Government brings about a new design for school buildings which will allow natural light, greater ventilation and environment-friendly concept.}

PCSO-Zambo opens STL

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr (TPGJR/PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The public has been urged to support the programs of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in this city.

Gloria Ibañez, PCSO department manager for Mindanao, made the call as she led Friday the launch of the Small Town Lottery (STL) operations here.

Ibañez said the public should support the STL operations in order for the PCSO to generate more funds for the government.

Ibañez said they launched the STL in response to the call of President Rodrigo Duterte “to increase the funds of the government through the PCSO.”

She said the city government will receive monthly three percent revenue share from the gross sales of the local approved Authorized Agent Corporation (AAC).

The local AAC of the PCSO is the DJL1 Gaming Corp. that has established an office in Barangay Sta. Maria.

PCSO-Zamboanga branch manager Raul Regondola said that the DJL1 Gaming will be the sole AAC in this city.

Ibañez said the operation of the STL is to help the government eliminate illegal gambling and to provide decent job to the people.

Regondola said the DJL1 Gaming Corporation have employed coordinators and sale agents in the different barangays of this city.

Regondola said the establishment of the STL is to help the PCSO source out more funds for charity program of the agency.

Regondola said the opening of the STL in this city is the third here in the region.

The first was in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, which opened on June 23 and second was in Isabela City, Basilan that was launched on Thursday, August 17.

The STL draws is thrice daily; 11 a.m., 4 p.m., and 9 p.m.

The DJL1 will officially start operations on Monday, August 21.}

Zambo is most improved LGU

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr (TPGJR/PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The National Competitive Council (NCC) adjudged this city as “Most Improved Local Government Unit (LGU)” among 33 highly-urbanized cities in the country.

The city ranked first in this category.

The City Hall Information office said in a statement Friday that Zamboanga City also ranked fourth in “Resiliency for Highly Urbanized Cities.”

Among 145 cities nationwide, Zamboanga ranked 16th in “Overall Competitiveness” category, and 19th in terms of infrastructure projects.

The award was conferred during the 5th Regional Competitive Summit held on Wednesday at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

These awards were anchored on the “Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index,” an annual ranking of Philippine cities and municipalities based on competitiveness framework developed by Michael Porter, which is being used in a number of global surveys on competitiveness.

The most competitive and improved local government unit (LGU) is awarded based on such indicators or measurements as economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure.

The NCC is a public-private sector organization in the Philippines with a mandate to promote and develop national competitiveness strategies and push for the implementation of the Action Agenda of Competitiveness and link it to the Philippine Development Plan.

The NCC is specifically directed to measure performance and provide recommendations on the following: Agri-trade logistics, anti-corruption, budget transparency, business permits and licensing system, education and human resource development, information and communication technology (ICT) governance, infrastructure, judicial system, national quality infrastructure, national single window, performance government system, and power and energy services

It is chaired by Department Trade and Industry (DTI) Sec. Ramon Lopez, with Guillermo Luz, a private sector representative, as vice-chair.

The NCC has 10 members, five of them are department secretaries--Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Education (DepEd), and the director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)--and five private sector representatives.}

Child-friendly seal for Zamboanga City

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr (TPGJR/PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The city government received the 2016 Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

DSWD has chosen this city as among the 33 local governmeunits (LGUs) in Region 9 to receive the child-friendly seal.

Ma. Socorro Rojas, city social welfare and development office (CSWDO) chief, received the child-friendly certificate during the policy forum headed by DSWD regionaldirector Araceli Solamillo on Wednesday.

Rojas on Friday said the award was given to LGUs that passed the annual mandatory Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA).

The DSWD first conducted the CFLGA with its 12 indicators.

The indicators included the following: increased number of children attending day-care services; reduced number of children who are victims of violence and abuse; and, absence or reduced number of child labor cases.

The other LGU-recipients of the child-friendly seal are: Buug, Imelda, Ipil and Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay province; Dapitan and Dipolog Cities, Leon Postigo, Mutia, Polanco, Rizal, and, Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte; Pagadian City, Aurora, Bayog, Dumingag, Guipos, Vicenzo Sagun, Lapuyan, Lakewood, Molave, San Pablo, San Miguel, Sominot, Ramon Magsaysay, Midsalip, Pitogo, Margosatubig, Tambulig, Mahayag, Tambulig, Tabina, and Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur.}

23k kids immunized in school-based program

By R. G. Antonet Go (RGAAG/PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The City Health Office has already vaccinated a total of 22,914 school children in the ongoing school-based immunization program of the government.

Corazon Pagotaisidro, city health office immunization program coordinator, on Wednesday said that covered by the program are children enrolled in Grades 1, 4 and 7.

But Pagotaisidro said the immunization for Grade 4 only covered female students aged nine to 13.

Pagotaisidro said Grade 1 pupils were immunized with measles and tetanus diphtheria vaccines; for Grade 4, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccines for the prevention of cervical cancer; and, Grade 7, tetanus diphtheria and measles vaccines.

She said that 5,065 of the total immunized children are enrolled in Grade 1; 2,294 in Grade 4; and, 15,555 in Grade 7.

She said the target goal of the month-long school-based immunization program, which is from August 1 to 31, is to immunize 44,544 students.

To be immunized are as follows: 16,092 in Grade 1; 10,072, Grade 4; and, 18,380 in Grade 7.

Pagotaisidro is optimistic they could meet the target number of children to be immunized since more than half are already vaccinated.

Pagotaisidro said the objective of the program is to protect the younger population from tetanus and diphtheria, measles, rubella, and cervical cancer.

She said these diseases are fatal but can be prevented with complete immunization.

Zambo joins IHL Walk for Humanity

By Dexter Yap

Thousands of participants young and old alike flocked to Paseo del Mar last Saturday to participate in the annual conduct of Walk for Humanity which is on its 14th year already.

The event coincided with the celebration of the International Humanitarian Law in the entire world in which the Philippine Red Cross was the lead agency in the said event.

People from all walks of life and from the various sectors of the city gathered together early dawn along Nuñez extension which is the starting point of the activity, then walked towards Gov.Alvarez Avenue, to Mayor Climaco Avenue, to NS Valderoza Street then ended in Paseo del Mar where a short program was held.

The office of the President in 1999 issued an Executive Order 134 declaring August 12 as International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Day to commemorate the signing of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The Philippine Red Cross took step further by designating the whole month of August as IHL month. The National Ad Hoc Committee on IHL has approved the theme for this year’s celebration “IHL: Pagsulong ng International Humanitarian Law, Pananagutan ng Lahat”.

Philippine Red Cross Governor and Congressman Celso Lobregat who graced the occasion was overwhelmed over the response and support of all sectors of society here in the city for IHL.

“I am very inspired seeing thousands of people who flocked together here in Paseo, to give your support to IHL, humanitarian law should be respected in times of peace and war, because even wars have limits if we invoke the provisions of IHL,” Lobregat said.

Congressman Lobregat also elaborated the importance of respecting human rights in times of war, especially here in Mindanao where martial law is still declared due to present conflicts in nearby provinces.

The solon also lauded Red Cross Zamboanga City chapter board of directors headed by Chairperson Dr. Milagros Fernandez for initiating the said activity.

Lobregat said that the IHL walk is a humanitarian endeavor for a cause with good intentions for the benefit of humanity as the prime mission of the Philippine Red Cross

DOST offers high school, college scholarship in Region 9

By R. G. Antonet Go (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announced the opening of its scholarship programs for poor but deserving secondary and college students here in Region 9.

Josephine Nohay, DOST center manager for scholarship, on Thursday said there are three available scholarship programs to choose from and these are: the Philippine Science High School; 2018 Science and Technology Undergraduate Scholarship; and, the 2017 Junior Level Science Scholarship for Third Year College Students.

The qualification for the Philippine Science High School are the following: must be a Grade 6 pupil; must have a final grade of 85 percent; Filipino citizen with no pending or approved application as immigrant to any foreign country; born on or after August 1, 2003; satisfactory character rating; have not taken the examination previously; and, in good health.

The applicant should also submit recent 2x2 picture and pay PhP100 testing fee for those in private schools. The deadline to submit application is on September 1 while the examination is on October 21.

The requirements for the 2018 Science and Technology Undergraduate Scholarship are as follows: must be a graduate of Senior High School Grade 12; and, a testing fee of PhP200 for merit scholar applicants. The deadline for filling of application is on August 25 and the examination is on October 15.

The 2017 Junior Level Science Scholarships qualifications are: the applicant must be a third year college student; and, a testing fee of PhP200 for merit scholar applicants. The deadline for filling of application is on September 22 and the examination is on November 19.

Nohay urged those who possess the necessary qualifications to avail of the DOST scholarship programs.

She said for more information of the program, they may visit the DOST Regional Office located at Pettit Barracks in this city.

Zambo readies for Hermosa Festival 2017

By R. G. Antonet Go (RGAAG/PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The city government is making the necessary preparation for the upcoming Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2017 to showcase this city’ cultural heritage.

The Zamboanga Hermosa Festival is the grandest celebration held every October of the year the highlight of which is the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, the most revered patron saint of this city.

Christian Olasiman, city government’s special events head, on Wednesday said they have lined up different activities for the month-long festival.

The opening salvo is on October 1 with a grand parade and sports competition as well as the Cosechas de Zamboanga (Harvest of Zamboanga), which is until October 15.

The Cosechas de Zamboanga features the different farm produce of the local farmers.

The other activities will include: Novena masses at Fort Pilar shrine, October 3 to 11; Conferencia de Cultura y Artes de Zamboanga; Zamboanga dance sport competition; Noche de bailes y Canciones; Launching of Mi Ciudad Limpiyo y Floriao, October 7; Hermosa Cheer Leading Competition, October 7; Original Chavacano video-music festival, October 7; Regatta de Zamboanga, October 8; Wow sardinas grand boodle fight, October 7; Mascota de Zamboanga, POctober 7; Parade of lights competition, October 8; Fiesta main program, October 11; and, Balik Zamboanga night, October 11.

Olasiman said they will conduct caravan in schools starting this week to encourage participation and to promote the different activities of the Zamgoanga Hermosa Festival

He said they have also lined-up pre-Zamboanga Hermosa Festival activities that will be held a week before October. These will include the following: dog walk; grand launching of the original Chavacano video-music category; smoke out Zamboanga; and, grand midnight sale.

He said they will also invite the different stakeholders from nearby provinces here in the Zamoanga Peninsula visit this city during the festival.

Zamboanga City joins Asean celebration

By Bong Garcia (SunStar Philippines)

THE 110-year-old City Hall will be the center of attraction on Tuesday, August 8, as it lights up for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

This, as Zamboanga City is one of the 53 cities in the country chosen to be the site for the simultaneous landmark lighting ceremony in celebration of Asean’s golden anniversary.

The event, which will start at 6 p.m. at the City Hall premises, will be simultaneous in selected cities nationwide.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar will lead Zamboanga City officials in the celebration which will be opened by performances from the Sinagtala Dance Troupe, the Cantamos Chorale, the Jambangan Dance Troupe, and the Ignite Volunteers.

The lighting of the Asean landmark will cap the event.

Asean is a regional intergovernmental organization that promotes cooperation and facilitates economic, political, military, educational and cultural integration among its members.

P34.7-M allocated for ZSCMST Fisheries program


A total of P34.7-million had already been allocated by the national government for the extension campus of the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology in barangay Victoria (ZSCMST.)

ZSCMST President Dr Milavel Nazario said that the area will serve students of Bachelor of Science in Aquaculture where the students specialize in fish pond operation and management.

The students are expected to use the campus for the school year 2018-2019 once the facilities are completed. The students come from areas in region 9 where most are scholars of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST.)

New and related courses are also expected to be launched with the completion of the campus.

The national government started to allocate funds in 2015 when it provided P10-million for land development of the Victoria campus. Developments include the construction of dikes, fishpond and fencing for the property.

The following year, the college again received P10-million. The amount was spent for the construction of a building that housed a classroom, the administration office and a laboratory.

The construction of a wooden pier was also started.

That same year, Senator Pia Cayetano also gave the amount of P4.7-million for the construction of floating fish cages.

For this year, the national government provided the amount of P10-million for the institution’s Ocean Farming Training Center Building. Bidding is expected this month.

The ZSCMST extension campus in Victoria is housed in a 9.5-hectare property of the school donated by the late Ricardo Marmoleño, a former member of the Board of Trustees.

ZSCMST is the only school specializing in Fisheries courses in region 9.

Zamboanga IT council signs deal with Chinese online school

By Albert F. Arcilla

THE ZAMBOANGA City Information Technology Council (ZCITC) has forged a partnership with a China-based online school for the hiring of part-time Filipino teachers who will teach Chinese students basic English.

Michael Tiu-Lim, ZCITC president, told BusinessWorld that there are 30 slots available for the position.

“The applicants will have an initial test with the Chinese school,” Mr. Tiu-Lim said.

Those who pass the test will then have to get accreditation from the Department of Information and Communications Technology regional office. The qualified applicants, who will be working from home, will also undergo training by the ZCITC.

Zamboanga City honors 23 retirees

By Bong Garcia (SunStar Philippines)

ZAMBOANGA City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has urged the latest batch of retirees to continue being productive despite have already left the government service.

Salazar made the call as she feted on Monday, July 31, the 23 retirees who have left public service this year.

Former City Treasurer Soledad Li and former City Engineer Luis Vicente Despalo were among the honorees of the simple ceremony organized by the City Human Resource Management Office.

“There is life after retirement. Take the time to get to know your family more,” Salazar told the retirees.

She likewise reminded the group to be mindful of their health and recommended they find and do something they are passionate about.

The mayor personally handed each of them a token of the City Government’s gratitude for their service and sacrifices.

City Hall, DOT-9 to promote Zambo as City of Flowers

By Vic Larato

Zamboanga has long been known for its moniker as the country’s “City of Flowers,” owing to the ornamental flowers mostly bougainvillea of different colors and varieties that adorned most of the traditional homes then. Years later, however, the bougainvillea followers have gradually frittered away.

Thus, the city government stands supportive of an initiative by the Department of Tourism regional office 9 to re-bloom Zamboanga City in line with Mayor Beng Climaco’s promotional campaign dubbed “I Love Zamboanga”.

In a letter to the city mayor, Tourism Regional Director Antonio Fernando M. Blanco announced his office’s component activity to promote the involvement of Zamboangueños for the project “Mi Ciudad: Limpio Y Floriao.”

He said the project calls for residents of Zamboanga to plant, grow and generate pots of bougainvillea for use in reblooming Zamboanga.

Blanco said his office will be coming out with a video to encourage compoblanos de Zamboanga to donate at least one pot of flower bougainvillea as an expression of their love for the city.

To add premium on the campaign, the video will feature Mayor Climaco herself being the staunched advocate of “I Love Zamboanga.” It will be uploaded to DOT9 Facebook Page and will also be used as in office and TV stations to solicit for donations of bougainvillea.

Blanco further said the desired response is for everyone to make his/her own personalized heart tags bearing the same inscription, take a selfie with the tag and bougainvillea for donation and upload selfie photo on DOT9 FB Page.

“With the video, we hope to touch the heart of everyone and make “Me Ciudad: Limpio Y Floria’ a personal commitment,” the DOT9 regional director said in a letter dated Aug. 1 to the mayor.

For a start, he said all DOT9 personnel have committed to donate one pot of bougainvillea for the project, hoping other employees will do the same.

Zamboanga City backs tourism department project

By Bong Garcia (SunStar Philippines)

THE Zamboanga City Government announced on Wednesday, August 2, that it fully supports the initiative of the Department of Tourism (DOT) to re-bloom the city.

The support is in line with Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar’s promotional campaign dubbed as “I Love Zamboanga.”

DOT Regional Director Antonio Fernando Blanco announced his office’s component activity to promote the involvement of Zamboangueños for the project “Mi Ciudad: Limpio Y Floriao (My City: Clean and Blooming).”

Blanco said the project calls for residents to plant, grow, and generate pots of bougainvillea for use in re-blooming Zamboanga.

Blanco said his office will be coming out with a video to encourage compoblanos de Zamboanga to donate at least one pot of flower ougainvillea as an expression of their love for the city.

Culianan village gets P2.5-M fire sub-station

By Bong Garcia

THE City Government of Zamboanga turned over on Friday, July 28, the newly-constructed fire sub-station in the village of Culianan in line with its unyielding support to the security sector.

The fire sub-station, which cost P2.5 million, is located at the Culianan Rural Service Center and was constructed by a private construction company under the supervision of the City Engineer’s Office.

City Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde spearheaded the turnover of the facility to City Fire Marshal Clint Cha.

Iturralde said the project forms part of Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar’s priority agenda under the Security, Health and Education (SHE) program and is intended to help ensure safety and security of the residents in Culianan and the nearby villages.

Zamboanga City Archived News

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