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Zamboanga del Norte News August 2011

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Zamboanga del Norte Province

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Dipolog bags 2011 TESDA Kabalikat Award

DIPOLOG CITY- Having put up the Livelihood Skills Development and Enhancement Center (LSDEC) which provides skills training on technical and vocational courses to women and out-of-school-youths, the city government here led by Mayor Evelyn T. Uy has recently received the 2011 TESDA Kabalikat Awards.

Mayor Uy together with LSDEC head Angelita Collyer attended the awarding ceremonies held at Taguig City during the 17th anniversary of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) last Aug. 24.

Awardees from other regions also participated in the said awarding rites.

The lady mayor expressed her gratitude to TESDA and to her constituents for the support extended to LSDEC and its programs.

It was also learned that among the cities and municipalities in region IX, only Dipolog made it to this year’s TESDA Kabalikat Awards.

RMN-DXDR spearheads bloodletting cum medical mission in Dipolog

DIPOLOG CITY— Seventeen bags of different types of blood were collected in yesterday’s bloodletting activity spearheaded by RMN- dxDR in partnership with the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC)-Zamboanga del Norte Chapter, Philippine Army’s 101st Infantry Brigade and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

The bloodletting coupled with medical and dental services took place at the Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School in this city with military doctors, dentists and nurses attending to the patients.

PNRC personnel were primarily in charge of the bloodletting wherein the blood donors were mostly army soldiers.

Local PNRC administrator Joshua Bicoy also told the PIA that another bloodletting activity with army soldiers will be conducted at barangay Maras in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte on Aug. 31.

Bicoy also appealed to the public to support the bloodletting campaign to ensure blood supply for the patients needing blood transfusion more especially those infected with dengue.

Dipolog steps up cleanup drive vs. dengue

DIPOLOG CITY- With the onslaught of dengue virus in the country more particularly in Metro Manila, the city government here led by Mayor Evelyn T. Uy has designated the City Health Office (CHO) as the lead agency in the campaign against dengue-causing mosquitoes.

The CHO has conducted year-round “search and destroy operations” of all potential breeding places of dengue carrying mosquitoes resulting in the decrease of dengue cases in the city from January to June this year.

CHO records showed that only 30 dengue cases were reported from January to June this year as compared to 131 cases during the same period last year.

Earlier the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has issued a memorandum to the local government units (LGUs) urging them conduct cleanup activities aimed at destroying all potential breeding places of dengue carrying mosquitoes.

The said circular also calls for the enforcement of environmental sanitation such as dredging of clogged canals, esteros and other waterways, pruning thick bushes or tree branches and removal or draining of receptacles containing stagnant water, and the conduct information drive on environmental control of breeding sites of dengue-causing mosquitoes.

In a related development, Undersecretary Yolanda Quijano of the Department of Education (DepED) has urged the school principals and teachers to be models in leading the campaign against dengue in their respective communities.

During the Communication and News Exchange (CNEX) program on PTV 4 and Radyo ng Bayan recently, Quijano disclosed that the DepED is now pushing for a program dubbed “Eskwelahan, simbahan, Barangay, Palenke at Buong Komunidad, Sama-sama Nating Sugpuin ang Dengue” as contained in the department’s Memorandum 152.

PNoy’s supports RH bill, says Popcom chief

DIPOLOG CITY- Commission on Population (POPCOM) Executive Director Tomas Osias said in a media interview in Dapitan City yesterday that the Reproductive Health (RH) bill has been one of the priority bills endorsed by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).

Osias underscored the importance of passing the bill for the country to have a national policy on population management and development.

Contrary to what the critics of the RH bill are saying, Osias said the bill seeks to save life and uphold the rights of the couple.

Gabriela Partylist representative Emmi de Jesus, on the other hand, said the RH bill will champion the rights of the women as it assures them of greater and wider access to health services.

De Jesus appealed to the press to help disseminate correct information about the bill to the public.

She said those who are opposed to the bill “have reduced it to the use of contraceptives and condoms, when in fact it is not.” Once passed into a law, the RH bill will serve as the national policy on population management and development that will redound to the benefit of the poor sector of society.

According to Osias, the RH bill is not population control; it is more of population management, “giving a breathing space to accelerate economic growth.”

He also cited that the country today has around 98.5 million people with a population growth rate of 2.04 percent per year. “Given this growth rate, 2 million individuals are added to the population each year and this will hamper the government services due to lack of resources, he said.

Osias and Congresswoman de Jesus came over for a policy forum on RP-RH bill with the local chief executives, religious and civic leaders, academe, students and other concerned individuals.

191 couples attend health classes

DIPOLOG CITY- As the country celebrates the month of August as National Family Planning Month, the City Health Office (CHO) here has spearheaded the conduct of health classes in six cluster areas in the city.

A total of 191 couples attended the health classes which focused on responsible parenthood and family planning.

CHO family planning coordinator Rhodora Yrañela disclosed that the participants particularly the young couples were urged to adopt birth spacing to protect the health of the mother and children.

It can be recalled that the Department of Health (DOH) designated the month of August every year as National Family Planning Month with the goal of increasing public awareness on the importance of responsible parenthood to attain a better quality of life for the mother, the father and the family as a whole.

Latest results of the Pulse Asia survey on reproductive health showed that five out of 10 Filipino couples no longer want to have more children while seven out of 10 really want to practice family planning.

In a related development, a policy forum on Responsible Parenthood-Reproductive Health (RP-RH) bill is slated to be held in Dapitan City tomorrow to be attended by local chief executives of Zamboanga del Norte, religious leaders, academe, students and other stakeholders. This activity is organized by the Commission on Population (POPCOM).

To serve as resource speakers in the activity are POPCOM Administrator Tomas Osias and GABRIELA party-list representative Luz Ilagan.

Zambo Norte to benefit from DA’s certified corn seeds distribution

DIPOLOG CITY- The two Congressional Districts of Zamboanga del Norte are among the recipients of the certified corn seeds that will be distributed by the Department of Agriculture in region 9.

Dionisio Adante, Regional Seeds Coordinator said each Congressional District will get 800 bags of certified corn seeds. This includes a special project for the municipality of Siayan and another 800 bags in support to National Agri-business Corporation that will soon be inaugurated in Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte.

According to Adante, his office has already identified the farmer-beneficiaries and the areas where it will be distributed and planted in coordination with the local government units in the area.

Other areas in the region to benefit from the certified corn seeds distribution are Districts I and II of Zamboanga Sibugay which will get 600 bags each, while Zamboanga del Sur and Isabela City will also get 500 and 100 bags respectively.

DA-Regional Field Office 9 Regional Corn Coordinator Felizardo Salomes said anytime this quarter, DA-RFU 9 will be distributing the certified corn seeds to all its target beneficiaries, including those within the expansion areas, under the AgriPinoy Corn Program.

According to Salomes, the certified corn seeds will be coming from the University of Mindanao in Kabacan, North Cotabato. This is composed of two varieties – USM-VAR-10 and Institute of Plant Breeding IPB VAR 6 with high protein, high lysine and tryptophan variety.

Under the DA’s Open Pollinated Variety (OPV) white corn seed exchange program, each targeted farmer-beneficiary will be given nine (9) kilos of seeds which they will pay in form of seeds to the agency at 18 kilos after harvest. This will be distributed to the farmer-beneficiaries in queue for the next planting season. The same seed varieties will serve for three generations to sustain seed availability every cropping season.

The certified corn seeds’ distribution aims to increase corn production and ensure food security, adequate and affordable food for all Filipinos in support to the food sufficiency program of the government; ease the pressure in rice production; minimize rice importation and teach the people to eat corn especially in Visayas and Mindanao.

57 Pantawid Pasada beneficiaries to get their gasoline allowance next week.

DIPOLOG CITY— Their long wait will be over soon. This developed as the Land Transportation Office (LO), Dipolog City District Office has assured the Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP) beneficiaries in Zamboanga del Norte who have been issued Pantawid Pasada Cards can already get their gasoline allowance next week.

Mr. Amado D. Denoyo, Transportation Regulation Officer II of LTO Dipolog City District Office said, 57 Pantawid Pasada applications have already been reported to its Central Office for validation and their corresponding PPP cards will be activated next week.

Once activated, the 57 legitimate Public Utility Jeepney operators in the province who are Pantawid Pasada Program beneficiaries will then be able to withdraw their one-time gasoline allocation of P1,500.00 from the designated gasoline stations in the Zamboanga del Norte.

However, Denoyo clarified that 106 Pantawid Pasada applications, though have met all the requirements of the program are still pending at the LTO Dipolog City District Office for having been submitted late. “They will be included in the next batch,” he said.

He also urged the jeepney operators who have not yet availed of the program to visit their office at Upper Turno, Dipolog City, even before the renewal date of their vehicle for the processing of their application.

Among the documents that must be submitted by the PUJ operators to avail of the Pantawid Pasada Program are the Certification of Registration; Official Receipt; Confirmation of Units; LTFRB Franchise(Xerox); Driver’s license/ID Card (owner); and Valid ID (Xerox).

It maybe recalled that on April 1 this year, President Benigno Aquino III has issued Executive Order No. 32 establishing the Public Transport Assistance Program, popularly known as Pantawid Pasada Program to address the impact of the soaring oil price hike in the world market.

Under the program, qualified Pantawid Pasada beneficiaries will receive P1,500.00 as one-time gasoline assistance to cushion the impact of the soaring oil price hike in the world market on the public transport sector.

Nurses, midwives trained on interpersonal communication

DIPOLOG CITY- Eleven nurses and midwives have recently completed a three-day training on interpersonal communication and counseling conducted by the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Health Office (PHO) in cooperation with the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Gerry Roxas Foundation and Health Pro.

Ms. Elena Daarol, PHO family planning coordinator said the training sought to give the nurses and midwives the basics in interpersonal communication and counseling to make them effective in dealing with their patients and clients.

Complaints were rife against health workers who appeared snooty to their clients.

The participants were also urged to always encourage their clients particularly the pregnant women to visit the nearest health centers for their regular prenatal checkups. Each pregnant woman has to see the doctor or any health personnel four times before giving birth.

With the new law prohibiting “hilots” (traditional birth attendants) from assisting pregnant women in giving birth, expectant mothers are advised to go to the nearest hospitals and birthing homes to have their babies delivered by professional health workers to avoid complications.

Wanted NPA Commander arrested

DIPOLOG CITY- Jerney Cabal alias Sanny/Benjie/Sandy, 25 years old, single, the No. 2 New People’s Army( NPA) Commander operating in Zamboanga del Sur and some municipalities of Misamis Occidental who has a standing warrant of arrest in Zamboanga del Norte was re-arrested recently in Tangub City.

Cabal was re-arrested on August 17, 2011 by elements of Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Police Office (ZNPPO) at Tangub Police Police Station when he was about to post bail for his temporary liberty for Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition.

The re-arrest was conducted through the coordination initiated by the ZNPPO with its counterpart and military units in Misamis Occidental after it was learned that Cabal, who has a standing warrant of arrest was detained at Tangub City Police Station detention cell.

Cabal, together with Julio Puyot y Bontia a.k.a. Casan/Elmar was first arrested on July 22, 2011during a raid conducted by combined elements of Bonifacio Municipal Police Station; Misamis Occidental Provincial Police Office; Intelligence Operatives of the 55th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army’s First Infantry Tabak Division at Sitio Matun-og, Barangay Montol, Misamis Occidental while holding a dialogue with the local residents in the area.

Recovered from the possession of Cabal and Puyot were Caliber 45 Colt Pistol, cal. 45 Llama pistol and a Hand Grenade.

Cabal was listed in the second quarter of 2011 Order of Battle as Deputy Secretary of Komiting Taga-pagpaganap/ Sangay ng Pinag-iisang Platon (KT/SPP/SECOM “JOJI,” operating in Zamboanga del Sur and some municipalities of Misamis Occidental.

Dipolog to hold business forum on Sept. 2

DIPOLOG CITY- In keeping with its goal of promoting employment opportunities, the city government in coordination with the newly organized Dipolog Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (DTIPC) is slated to hold a business forum on Sept. 2.

Mr. Henry Tianero, provincial head of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Zamboanga del Norte disclosed that the activity aims to hold a consultation dialogue with the business sector to find out the manpower needs of business establishments not only in the locality but also in other places.

Tianero also said DOLE Undersecretary Lourdes M. Trasmonte would be coming over to grace the occasion.

In a related development, DTIPC is now in the process of finalizing its constitution and by-laws so that the duties and functions of the its officers and members shall be properly defined.

DTIPC is chaired by City Mayor Evelyn T. Uy, with representatives from the labor, employer and government sectors as vice chairmen.

The council also seeks to provide the workers an opportunity to actively participate in decision making process.

Active members of the council include officials of private learning institutions, local businessmen, representatives from labor organizations, and representative from national government agencies such the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and National Labor Relation Commission (NLRC).

No major labor disputes and problems have so far been reported in the city.

Joint PNP-AFP troops arrest self-confessed MILF members in Sirawai, Zambo Norte

DIPOLOG CITY—The combined elements of the 44th Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army and Sirawai Municipal Police Station recently arrested two (2) self-confessed members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for illegal possession of firearms and explosives at the check-point in Barangay Doña Cecilia, Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte.

In its report to the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Police, Sirawai MPS identified the suspects as Jaafar Aban y Hassan aka “Commander Agila” 28 years old, , and Usman Haliki y Nawya, 30 years old, both married and residents of Barangay Sipakil, Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte.

According to Sirawai MPS, Aban and Haliki were riding on a black TMX Honda motorcycle with plate number 5472-JB when flagged down at 5:15 P.M. August 16, 2011 by the joint PNP and PA personnel manning the checkpoint.

The subsequent search conducted on the compartment of the motorcycle yielded one (1) .380 caliber pistol with five (5) live ammunitions; one (1) rifle grenade; 1.5 centimeter-long detonating cord; 1 piece blasting cap; and an empty magazine for cal. 45.

The two are now detained at Sirawai MPS detention cell, while appropriate charges are being filed against them in court.

Northern Mindanao researchers bag awards

RESEARCHERS in Northern Mindanao were recognized during the awarding of the search for Asian Outstanding Researchers on Wednesday at Pryce Plaza Hotel.

Dr. Anthony M. Penaso, Vice President for Academic Affairs of Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Maramag, Bukidnon, took home the Asian Research Leader Award while Dr. Andrea G. Azuelo, Faculty Researcher of CMU’s College of Education, is cited as Outstanding Filipino Researcher for Science Education.

For the Asian Research Journal and Editor Awards, Dr. Teresita T. Tumapon of Liceo de Cagayan University in Cagayan de Oro won platinum awards for Liceo Journal Higher Education Research, while Dr. Lesley C. Lubos also of Liceo University got the gold awards for Asian Journal of Biodiversity.

Dr. Donna Lou E. Neri also of Liceo University won silver award for Nursing Journal.

The other awardee for the Outstanding Asian Research Leader Award, which aims to recognize the exemplary contribution of researchers who lead the advancement in research in Asia and beyond the borders, is Dr. Angelica M. Baylon, Director for Research and Extension Services of Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific.

For the Outstanding Asian Researcher Award, the other awardees are Dr. Eddie R. Babor of Holy Name University in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, for Philosophy and Education Research and Prof. Dr. Tatik Suryani, president (Dean) for business and governance research of STIE Perbanas Surabaya, Indonesia.

For the Outstanding Filipino Researcher Award, the awardees are Dr. Anacleta P. Valdez, Dean of the College of Allied Medical Professions of Lyceum of the Philippines University in Batangas, for Health and Education research; Dr. Maria Rio A. Naguit, Dean of the college of Education of Jose Rizal Memorial State University in Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte, for Marine Biology; Joel G. Becira, CFMT Research coordinator/assistant professor IV of Western Philippines University in Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan, for Marine Conservation; and Mervin G. Gascon, chairperson of the Department of Governance Studies of the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City, for Public Governance.

For the Asian Research Journal and Editor Awards, the other platinum awardee is Dr. Evelyn R. Campiseño of Jose Rizal Memorial State University in Zamboanga del Norte for Threshold; while the other gold awardee is Dr. Eddie R. Babor of Holy Name University in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

The other silver awardee for the Asian Research Journal and Editor Awards is Rommel V. Tabula of the University of Northern Philippines in Vigan City.

For the Asian Leadership Merit Awards, the gold awardees are Dr. Carmen C. Menes, Research Director of La Consolacion College in Bacolod, and Dr. Rolando A. Alimen, Research Coordinator of John B. Lascon Foundation Maritime University in Molo.

The diamond awardees for the Asian Research Journal Consortium Award are Electronic International Scientific Research Journal Consortium and Philippine Electronic Journals.

The awarding was one of the highlights of the Asian Conference for Academic Journals and Higher Education Research and Asian Conference for Research Journalism slated August 17 to 20 at Pryce Plaza Hotel, attended by academic experts and researchers from nations across the Asia Pacific and Africa. Alvin B. Caluba, PhD, president of the National Research Council of the Philippines, was one of the invited speakers of the conference’s opening day on Wednesday.

Caluba said the National Research Council of the Philippines, an agency under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), is the only National Government agency in the Philippines that promotes funds and implements research in basic sciences, humanities and art.

He said there was a proposal for the creation of the Department of Information and Communication Technology wherein it will infuse expertise for the advancement of communication technology.

Caluba made a premature announcement that he is working very hard for an increase in the budget that supports researches, from P9 million to P29 million.

“This is a significant development and this is only for the 2012 budget,” he said.

He added that if researchers can deliver what is expected of their researches in 2012, the budget might even increase in the years ahead.

PCA to beef up coco industry

DIPOLOG- As the coconut remains number one agricultural export of the country, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is now intensifying its efforts to perk up the coconut industry.

PCA Administrator Euclides G. Forbes told the local press in a news conference here yesterday that the country has around 3 million coconut farmers, contributing significantly to the country’s economy.

Forbes also said the PCA is not only concentrating on coconut copra production but it will also provide technology training for farmers and stakeholders to produce other coconut by-products like coconut flour, virgin coconut oil and coconut sugar.

The PCA administrator even said that a training on furniture making would be provided to interested groups/individuals to enable them to make fine and quality furniture made of coco wood/lumber.

It was also learned that the ban on coco tree cutting imposed by the government was already lifted as of April this year.

In a related development, the PCA is now adopting measures to cushion the impact of the US credit rating downgrade, which has adversely affected all exporters, on coconut products.

To prevent the copra prices from further tumbling down, PCA has recommended the use of coco oil in other industrial purposes.

Presently, PCA is celebrating the 55th national coco week which will culminate on Aug. 20.

PCA-IX to celebrate 25th National Coco Week in Dipolog

DIPOLOG CITY- The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA)-IX has chosen this city as host to this year’s observance of the 25th National Coconut week on Aug. 14-17.

To highlight the coconut week celebration, a farmers’ forum and a technology demonstration shall be conducted today and tomorrow, respectively.

PCA programs and projects, trade and market activities, research and development, brontispa control project, high value coconut products and by-products, Trade-Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) and other related topics will be tackled in the farmers’ forum.

During the technology demonstration, the participants will be taught how to make coco sugar, virgin coconut oil, coconut flour and other coconut products with emphasis on the quality mark campaign such as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and others.

In Zamboanga del Norte, coconut is considered a major export crop with an estimated nut production of 745,502,586 per year.

Presently, 597 of the province’s 699 barangays have been planted to coconut covering a total land area of 211,843.95 hectares.

This year’s coconut week celebration carries the theme, “Niyog: Yaman ng Nasyon, Noon Man Hanggang Ngayon.”

Siayan bats for good governance

DIPOLOG CITY- Having earned the moniker as the poorest town in the country, the municipal government of Siayan led by Mayor Flora Villarosa has inked sisterhood agreements with best performing local government units in the country to acquire better ways in promoting socio-economic development in the municipality.

In her State of the Municipality Address (SOMA)on Thursday, Mayor Villarosa disclosed that Siayan had entered into sisterhood agreements with Naga City, Quezon City, Makati City and Dipolog City to strengthen technical assistance support aimed at improving local governance.

Naga City is known for its good governance, Quezon City for its fiscal management reforms, Makati City for its efficient delivery of social services, and Dipolog City for its economic development initiatives.

Guided by the principle of good governance, Siayan was able to raise its local tax collection from P1.7 million in January to June last year to P2.2 million for the same period this year.

The municipal leadership has also tapped the support of academic institutions and foundations to help in drawing up plans and programs to improve the delivery of basic services to its constituents as well as peace and development initiatives. Assisting the municipality in this endeavor are Governance and Leadership Institute of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Assisi Development Foundation, Inc. (ADFI) and Zamboanga del Norte Center for Social Concerns and Development (CESCOD).

Mayor Villarosa pledged that she would strive to bring down poverty incidence in the municipality by providing her constituents with livelihood opportunities, better access to health services and education, and other basic services.

Presently the municipal government is pushing for backyard gardening to improve health and nutrition of its people by providing free vegetable seeds and planting materials.

Poverty incidence dips in PHL’s poorest town

SIAYAN, Zamboanga del Norte- From a whopping 97.5 percent poverty incidence in June 2010, the poverty incidence of this town went down to 87 percent after a year in office of Mayor Flora Villarosa.

This was the report made by Mayor Villarosa before her constituents, fellow municipal officials and employees, barangay officials, media men, Zamboanga del Norte second district representative Rosendo S. Labadlabad, public school teachers and other guests during her State of the Municipality Address (SOMA) yesterday.

Mayor Villarosa said Siayan became the poorest town in the country because majority of its residents suffered hunger due to lack of livelihood opportunities and many of them were illiterate.

Upon her assumption to office, the first lady mayor of this town worked closely with the national government agencies (NGAs) especially the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which is the implementing agency of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps),Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (KALAHI-CIDSS) program and Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) program.

The implementation of DSWD programs in the municipality succeeded in bringing down the poverty incidence, as these programs help the beneficiaries cope with their basic needs.

Aside from the support extended by NGAs to the municipality, Mayor Villarosa also instituted reforms in local governance to make it more responsive to the needs of the people.

According to Villarosa, the municipality is now strictly implementing the “government hours” for its employees from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., a “one stop shop” to effectively attend to the clients, energy conservation which efficiently brought down the electricity consumption of the municipal government from P100 thousand to an average of P40-50 thousand a month.

To improve the delivery of social services, Mayor Villarosa disclosed that the municipal government has also reconstituted the special bodies like the Local School Board, Health Board and other mandated committees.

The Grassroots Livelihood Development Coordinators (GLDC) were also organized to help strengthen the livelihood development initiatives in the barangays and to stir economic activities in the grassroots.

Mayor Villarosa is also donating her entire monthly salary to each barangay for a livelihood program. She will continue giving out her monthly pay until the 22 barangays and two big sitios are all covered.

Siayan, which is an agricultural town, is situated in the interior part of Zamboanga del Norte, only some kilometers away from Dumingag town in Zamboanga del Sur.

Regional Development Committee-Mindanao commends Dipolog mayor

DIPOLOG CITY- Armed with a strong political will, Mayor Evelyn T. Uy has been able to push for a no-nonsense implementation of programs geared toward the protection of women, children, environment and even the health of her constituents in this city.

Because of her remarkable performance as the city mayor, the Regional Development Committee-Mindanao (RDCom-Mindanao) headed by the chair of the Regional Development Council (RDC)-IX and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has passed a resolution during its recent meeting here naming Mayor Uy as one of the best mayors in the country today.

Sponsoring said resolution was RDC-X chairman and Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz who cited Mayor Uy’s efforts in protecting the environment by creating “Task Force Kalikasan” and strictly enforcing city ordinances 123 and 196 which prohibit indiscriminate throwing of garbage and smoking in public places in the city, respectively.

During the conference, Mayor Uy was also chosen to chair the two sub-committees on economics and environment.

To head the other committees are Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz on infrastructure, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Technical Secretariat head Diamadel E. Dumagay on governance concerns, RDC-CARAGA chairman Sol F. Matugas on social concerns, and RDC-XII-Vice Chair Teresita Socorro C. Ramos on special concerns.

Livelihood opportunity for remote villagers

DIPOLOG CITY, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines – The Region 9 office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE-9) has launched its “Negosyo sa Kariton” or “Nego-Kart” project in the mountain town of Labason, Zamboanga del Norte, initially benefiting at least 10 recipients of traveling carts.

Zamboanga del Norte DoLE Provincial Officer Henry Tianero said the Nego-Kart project is one of the latest livelihood initiatives of the labor department that is designed to help uplift the financial condition of rural residents by providing the deserving beneficiaries with livelihood grant through the provision of a push cart, tools, equipment, and raw materials to serve as their working capital.

Tianero said the joint launching and turnover program, held at the Labason town plaza, was attended by Labason town officials led by Mayor Wilfredo Balais, Vice Mayor Virgilio Go, and members of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) together with the DoLE provincial personnel.

The special occasion was witnessed by local residents and entrepreneurs in the area.

Balais said the initial Nego-Kart beneficiaries are mostly low-income vendors selling various products that were earlier identified and recommended to the municipal government by local staff members of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

One of the Nego-Kart recipients, solo parent Porferia Morales, expressed her gratitude to the DoLE for the livelihood opportunity.

She said her Nego-Kart would enable her to travel around Labason’s outskirts and expects to increase her vending for the sake of her growing children.

According to Tianero, the DoLE regional office has scheduled the expansion, up to the end of this year, of its Nego-Kart project in strategic areas of Zamboanga del Norte as well as in other areas of the adjacent provinces of Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.

In a related development, the national government stepped up its assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFW’s) by way of providing entrepreneurial development training (EDT) in an effort to uplift their living condition.

Initially, at least 35 individuals composed of OFW’s and OFW beneficiaries attended the EDT seminar and workshop Cagayan de Oro City last week.

The EDT is part of the social preparation of the OFWs who would like to venture into entrepreneurship and establish or strengthen their own business.

EDT is a pre-requisite before a prospective OFW entrepreneur could avail of the Reintegration Loan Program (RLP) of the national government for the OFWs.

Included in the EDT are subjects on entrepreneurial orientation, business counseling, and business planning.

As output of the training, OFWs were made to submit their effective business plans.

Currently, the national government is allocating some P2 billion for the RLP of OFW entrepreneurs.

CSWD starts supplemental feeding in 21 barangays

DIPOLOG CITY- More or less 2,675 pre-schoolers in Dipolog City are now benefitting from the “Supplemental Feeding Program” implemented by the Dipolog City Social Welfare and Development Office.

Ms. Emma Pantoja, Dipolog City Nutritionist said the program is being implemented in all 51 Day-Care Centers in 21 barangays of Dipolog.

The primary purpose of the program is to encourage parents to send their children to the Day-Care Centers, keep them healthy and reduce the cases of malnutrition.

According to Ms. Emma Pantoja, beneficiaries of the program are the pre-schoolers enrolled in all Day-Care Centers of the different barangays.

It was learned that the Department of Social Welfare and Development has allocated the amount of P6-million for the implementation of the Supplemental Feeding Program in Dipolog City.

According to City Social Welfare Officer Nelson Ladera, the program will be implemented within 200 days with the active participation of the pre-schoolers’ parents.

Under the program, the parents are the ones assigned to prepare nutritious food for their children from Monday to Friday.

1,963 Dipolognons benefit from DSWD’s Cash for Work Program

DIPOLOG CITY- More or less 1,963 small-scale farmers and fisherfolks have benefitted from the cash-for-work program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development since its implementation in the city on June 21 this year.

Nenita Maningo, Dipolog City Assistant Social Welfare and Development Officer said the beneficiaries coming from the different barangays were deployed in the different working areas in the city like the site at Barangay Biasong where the President Corazon Aquino Hospital will be constructed; Drainage Canals in Galas and Olingan Boundary; Demo Farm and Dipolog City Sports Complex in Olingan; Cogon and Pamansalan nursery and Estaka River Control.

Under the cash-for-work program, identified beneficiaries were made to work for eleven (11) days at P230.00 a day which is the prevailing minimum wage in the region.

Maningo stressed that the program is not a dole-out as the beneficiaries are made to work before being paid.

So far, a total of 678,621 small scale farmers and fisherfolks all over the country have benefitted from the program since the DSWD started its implementation in May this year.

According to the DSWD, Aside from this number, some 805,020 small scale farmers and fisherfolks are still expected to benefit from the program very soon.

The Cash for Work Program has an allocation of P4 billion.

SMEs play crucial in society, says DTI-IX chief

DIPOLOG CITY-3- Regional Director Nazrullah Manzur of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-IX has underscored the important role played by the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country’s development.

In a message read on his behalf by DTI Provincial Director Noel R. Bazan during the trade fair opening this morning at Lee Plaza Central this city, Director Manzur said “SMEs constitute 99.6 percent of all businesses registered in the country,” absorbing an estimated 70 percent of the country’s total labor force and contributing over 32 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “It is not surprising that the SMEs are considered the backbone of the Philippine economy,” Manzur added.

An SME is an enterprise whose capitalization does not exceed P100 million. With this, Director Manzur said that “almost a hundred percent of business enterprises in region 9 are considered SMEs – with the exception of a handful of really large firms such as canneries in Zamboanga City, the big oil firms and TVI mining company in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte.”

A total of 30 exhibitors from Zamboanga Peninsula and Cebu came to participate in the trade fair which highlights the 7th Zamboanga Peninsula Business Conference starting Aug.5-7.

Regional Development Committee-Mindanao meets today in Dipolog

DIPOLOG CITY- The officers and members of the Regional Development Committee-Mindanao (RDCom-Mindanao) consisting of Regional Development Council (RDC) chairmen of regions 9 to 13 and ARMM will meet here today to discuss issues and concerns relating to the island’s socio-economic activities.

RDCom-Mindanao chairperson Mayor Sara Z. Duterte of Davao City will preside over the meeting which will tackle sustainable energy for Mindanao, regulation of roll-on, roll-off terminal system charges, access of local government units (LGUs) to the Special Local Road Fund (SLRF) and environmental concerns.

Dipolog Mayor and RDC-IX chair Evelyn T. Uy will also present updates and accomplishments of the city’s Task Force Kalikasan for the past few months.

In a related development, businessmen from all over Zamboanga Peninsula will also converge here on Aug. 5-7 for the 7th Zamboanga Peninsula Business Conference. The gathering will also be attended by the regional directors of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Science and Technology and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to present business opportunities in agriculture, aquaculture, Information Technology (IT) and tourism.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Environment Secretary Ramon Paje are also coming to grace the occasion.

Zam Pen business confab to highlight SME successes

DIPOLOG CITY- Anchored on the theme, “Zamboanga Peninsula SMEs: Facing Challenges, Creating Opportunities,” the 7th Zamboanga Peninsula Business Conference slated to be held here on Aug. 5-7 will highlight the successes among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the region.

Dipolog Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Michael Malacca said in a press briefing yesterday that there will be sharing of best practices and success stories among businessmen during the conference.

Malacca also disclosed that aside from businessmen, delegates from the different local government units (LGUs) in the region are also joining the conference.

The business conference primarily aims to unite the business community of the entire region to face the challenges of doing business in the area.

Specifically, the conference seeks to highlight “the successes beyond all challenges” among SMEs in the region, promote investment opportunities, foster closer relations between and among businessmen, and formulate resolutions enjoining both the local and national government agencies to act on certain concerns and issues affecting business activities in the area.

DCCI plays host to the 7th ZamPen business conference to be held at the newly opened C & L Seaview Hotel along Quezon Avenue, this city.

A trade fair showcasing the different products of the region will also be simultaneously held at the Lee Plaza Central, the biggest mall in town.

Top government officials who confirmed to come and grace the occasion are Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Environment Secretary Ramon Paje.

Dipolog bats for waste segregation

DIPOLOG CITY- In support to Republic Act (RA) 9003 otherwise known as the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000,” the city government here has pushed for waste segregation starting this week.

The City General Services Office (CGSO) has already notified all the residents of this city through the barangay chairmen that CGSO personnel will not collect their garbage if this is not properly segregated and that violators shall also be fined.

For first, second and third offenses, the fines are pegged at P200, P500 and P1,000 respectively. On the fourth offense, a case shall be filed against the violator in court through the City Prosecutor’s Office (CPO).

According to the CGSO, each household should segregate their wastes based on these classifications: compostable waste such as plant leaves, animal waste, kitchen rubbish, etc.; recyclable waste like newspapers, magazines, corrugated boxes, plastics, scrapped iron, and others; residual waste such as sanitary napkin, disposable diapers, worn-out rugs, ceramics, tiles, broken glasses, candy wrappers, etc.; and hazardous waste like busted fluorescent lamps, toilet cleansers, pesticides, medical waste, and the like.

Households with recyclable wastes are also advised to bring and sell them to junkshops. The campaign for waste segregation would be intensified in five poblacion barangays, namely: Central Barangay, Estaka, Barra, Biasong and Miputak.

CGSO personnel will collect compostable garbage at 5:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. daily while non-biodegradable waste will only be collected at 5:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. every Sunday.

DSWD conducts orientation on laws concerning women, children

DIPOLOG CITY, - Laws concerning women and children have been tackled in a forum conducted here recently by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Regional Field Office IX. Attending the said forum were personnel from the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Dipolog and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Women and Children’s Protection Desk as well as the barangay chairmen of the 21 barangays of this city.

Resource speakers from the Commission of Human Rights (CHR)-IX and DSWD-IX discussed the salient features of Republic Act (RA) 9262 otherwise known as “Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004,” RA 9208 also known as “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003,” and RA 9344 known as “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.”

In a related development, law enforcement agencies like the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Justice (DOJ) and other government agencies are stepping up its campaigns against human trafficking.

Based on the reports of trafficked persons worldwide, the victims accounted for six to eight hundred thousand each year and 70 percent of these were women and 50 percent were children.

In the Philippines, the courts have already convicted 57 persons accused of human trafficking from 2003 to June 2011. Their fines, aside from imprisonment, ranged from P20,000 to P8 million depending on the nature of the case filed against them. Those who were charged with “qualified trafficking” were meted out life imprisonment and fines amounting to millions of pesos.