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Araw ng Sibugay kicked off


IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay– Sibugaynon’s flocked to the capitol grounds thursday, Feb. 20, to join the opening of the weeklong observance of the 13th Araw ng Zamboanga Sibugay.

With the theme, “Stand firm Sibugaynon’s, go for peace and prosperity,” the weeklong celebration started off with a motorcade followed by a thanksgiving mass and an awarding of plaque of appreciation by Governor Wilter Palma to the founding governor of Zamboanga Sibugay, George T. Hofer, who served the province from 2001-2010.

Zamboanga del Sibugay was carved out of Zamboanga del Sur in 2001.

Another plaque of appreciation was given to the “Yes Movement” for organizing the “Zamboanga Sibugay Team”, a civil society group that has contributed a lot for the province’s development.

The Agri-Fishery Trade fair was also officially opened yesterday, showcasing 16 booths filled with farm and fishery products which were set up by Sibugay’s 16 towns.





NYC invites youth leaders for

10th Nat’l Youth Parliament

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez


The National Youth Commission (NYC) here invites youth leaders to actively participate in the 10th National Youth Parliament (NYP) slated on May 15-19, 2014 in Metro Manila.

Applicants must be active youth leaders, ages 15-30 years old, and must not have been a previous NYP delegate.

Successful applicants will form part of the delegates to the 10th NYP. 

During the parliament, delegates will have the opportunity to get involve in plenary debates and discussions aimed at coming up with policy recommendations. 

The parliament stimulates our law-making process, as the policy recommendations made during the NYP are subsequently endorsed and lobbied to concerned government institutions.





DBM-9, LLBO hold barangay

Admin training in Dipolog

By Alfonso T. Ruda


DIPOLOG CITY - A total of 1,040 barangay budget officers participated in the three-day budget administration training conducted here by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the League of Budget Officers, Region IX Inc.(LLBO-INC) recently. 

The training was simultaneously held in three separate venues on Feb. 12 - 14 at the Top Plaza Hotel, Zamboanga del Nore Convention and Sports Center and at the second floor of Building I in Dipolog Boulevard.

Participants from Leon Postigo, Katipunan, Roxas and Labason held their training at Top Plaza while those coming from the municipalities of Pinan, Polanco, Mutia, Siayan, Jose Dalman and Siocon held it at the Zamboanga del Norte Convention and Sports and Center.

The third group which was composed of participants from the municipalities of Rizal, Sibutad, La Libertad, Sergio Osmena, Gutalac and Kalawit was holding it at the 2nd floor of Building I, Dipolog City Boulevard.

Dipolog City Mayor Evelyn Uy expressed her gratitude to the DBM for holding such seminar in the city and she hoped that the participants will apply their learning from the three-day training in handling the barangay funds. (PIA)




Geo-hazard map important,

says Zambo. Sur governor

By Gideon C. Corgue


PAGADIAN CITY – Geo-hazard map is very important; it shall not be taken as joke. 

Thus declared Zamboanga del Sur Governor Antonio H. Cerilles during the hazard maps turnover ceremony, orientation and briefing conducted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) at Alindahaw Hotel here over the weekend.

Governor Cerilles, the event’s guest speaker, said: “With the said map we can easily identify areas in the country which are susceptible and vulnerable to various geologic hazards. It will also help provide information to stakeholders in order to mitigate the impact of disasters such as landslide, flood, etc.”

Cerilles urged the local government units (LGUs) to be serious about urban planning to address disaster-related problems in their respective areas.      

He also challenged the participants to do their fundamental duties to save lives of the people.





ZNPPO marks PNP’s 23rd foundation day

By Alfonso T. Ruda

In recognition of the significance of the organization of the Philippine National Police (PNP),  the Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office (ZNPPO) has spearheaded the PNP’s 23rd foundation day celebration in Dipolog City with Mayor Evelyn T. Uy as guest of honor and speaker.


Speaking during the anniversary program held at the ZNPPO headquarters at Camp Hamac in barangay Sicayab, Mayor Uy cited the PNP’s enormous contribution to the peace and order condition in the province most especially in Dipolog City. 

Highlighting the celebration was the giving of recognition and awards to deserving police stations, personnel and civilian counterparts.

A bloodletting was also conducted by the Philippine Red Cross and was able to collect 15,000 cc of blood from the PNP personnel.

Police Provincial Director Sr. Supt. James B. Mejia personally handed the awards and recognitions to the awardees.





TESDA  holds training in Ipil on

competency-based supervision

By Emmanuel D. Taghoy


A three-day competency-based supervision training has been conducted here  starting yesterday, Feb. 18, by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). 

Attending the said training are heads of instruction, department heads and lead trainers from the Kabasalan Institute of Technology (KIT) and private Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs) in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Provincial Director Lorenzo Emanuel L. Guillermo in an interview said the training aims to improve participants’ effectiveness and job performance as supervisors in their respective institutions.

“The heart of technical-vocational education is training. Therefore it is very important that we give attention to the heads of instructions and administrators, who are responsible in nurturing the trainers in order to raise the quality of training,” Guillermo said.

The training comprises lecture, plenary discussion, role play, simulation, focus group discussion and open forum, covering topics on quality teacher development, supervisory framework for Technical-Vocational Educational Training (TVET), supervisory monitoring tools and overview of coaching counseling and mentoring, situational leadership, effective coaching techniques, coaching benefits, successful counseling and mentoring techniques.





Basilan hosts pre-EDSA

People Power events

By Rene V. Carbayas


ISABELA CITY, Basilan – The Province of Basilan played host to the 28th EDSA People Power Anniversary “Regional Salubungan” Thursday, Feb. 13, as  a prelude to the annual commemoration of EDSA revolution on Feb. 25.

Jamju A. Rivera, local project officer for EDSA 28 Regional Salubungan, said that Basilan was chosen to be the venue for the said “Salubungan” in the ARMM provinces and cities.

“During our last meeting at Bahay Ugnayan (formerly Malacañang Executive Guest House), with the EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC) on Jan. 29, 2014 we were informed that EPPC had chosen Basilan to be the venue for the ‘Regional Salubungan’ celebration which will be telecast nationwide during the EDSA People Power anniversary activities on NBN4, RPN9, IBC11 via Radio-TV Malacañang (RTVM) on Feb. 25, 2014,” he said.

He explained that the event was held earlier to facilitate the documentation and editing of programmed activities by RTVM, in time for its showing on the Feb. 25.





Bayog to conduct capability

Training for barangay officials

By Claro A. Lanipa


BAYOG, Zamboanga del Sur  – The municipal government here is slated to conduct a four-day Barangay Defense System Capability Enhancement Course (BDSCEC) for barangay officials starting tomorrow, Feb. 19.

The said training will be conducted in six batches with barangay chairmen, chairpersons of the committee on peace and order, members of the Barangay Emergency Response Team (BERT), Barangay Monitoring Action Team(BMAT) and Barangay Tanods as participants.

Mayor Leonardo Babasa Jr. said one of the objectives of this training is to impart knowledge and skills to the participants concerning information gathering and reporting to combat all forms of terroristic and illegal activities such as illegal drugs, illegal gambling, extortion, insurgency and others in their respective barangays.

The participants will also be trained on disaster relief and rescue operations. They will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to be employed before, during and after any emergencies. 

Aside from the Mayor’s Office and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMC), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) represented by the personnel of the 44th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire and Protection and the Rural Health Unit (RHU) are also supporting the said training.(PIA9)






IP education stakeholders’ forum

set on Feb. 20-21 in Pagadian City

By Franklin P. Gumapon


In keeping with the government’s goal to strengthen the educational program for the country’s cultural minorities, the Department of Education (DepED)-9 is slated to hold a forum with the stakeholders on Feb. 20-21, 2014 at the Bay Plaza Hotel this city.

The two-day activity aims to provide the Indigenous People (IP) community representatives a venue to work on addressing/resolving IP education issues and concerns. It also seeks to come up with certain guidelines on partnerships between and among IP communities and other private-public stakeholder groups, and to discuss ways to concretize understanding of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSPs) and Indigenous Learning System (ILS) among stakeholders.

It can be recalled that DepED-9 had already met with the IP stakeholders in November last year to initially discuss the ISKPS and ILS among IPs in the region.

Expected to attend the said forum are IP community/tribal leaders, representatives from national government agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs) and other civic organizations. 

In Zamboanga Peninsula, the IPs are composed of Subanens, Kalibugan, Samal, Yakan and Badjau. The Subanens are the largest tribal group in the region whose communities straddle the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay and Misamis Occidental. (pia9)





BFAR to lift shellfish

ban in Sibugay soon

By Emmanuel D. Taghoy


The shellfish advisory issued by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Jan. 13, 2014 imposing a ban on eating, gathering, harvesting or marketing shellfish from Sibuguey Bay may be lifted before the month ends.

This was the statement of Ms. Maria Eden A. Jimenez of the Regional Fisheries Laboratory Section when interviewed Thursday by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) at the Roderic’s Hotel and Resort in this municipality.

“After we had issued the advisory, we were conducting weekly monitoring in the area of Mabuhay. Based on the tests we conducted, the threat is going down,” said Jimenez referring to the level of toxicity found on Shellfishes where the tests are conducted. 

“So there is a possibility that one of these days the ban will be lifted,” she continued.

The shellfish toxicity level regulatory limit is below 60 ?gSTXeq/100g of shellfish meat which will be considered no longer harmful to the body when intake.

Jimenez also disclosed that after the shellfish advisory shall have been lifted, the BFAR will still continue monitoring the shellfish in the area.

“If the ban is lifted, it doesn’t mean that we will no longer monitor because the flora and fauna of natural bodies of water constantly change every day,” Jimenez stressed.

She also bared that the red tide taskforce was already established in each of the 16 coastal municipalities of Zamboanga Sibugay.

The taskforce is composed of a chairperson, co-chairperson and a subcommittee comprising the Information, Education and Communications (IEC) unit of BFAR. (PIA9)





DILG holds DED training for

2013 BUPB recipient-LGUs



PAGADIAN CITY – Provincial and municipal engineers together with provincial/municipal planning development coordinators from 30 local government units (LGUs) in the region have converged in Pagadian City  for an enhancement training on Detailed Engineering Design (DED) preparation.


Regional Information Officer Lemuel Mejares of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-9 said the participants came from the LGUs which received water system projects under the Bottom Up Planning and Budgeting (BUPB) with P1million allocation or more.


The training focused on the preparation of engineering designs for water supply projects in accordance with engineering standards to ensure smooth and sustainable operations.


Speaking before the participants, DILG-9 Regional Director Paisal O. Abutazil cited that “the failure of water supply systems is usually linked to poor design of the facilities.”


Besides, Abutazil also urged the LGUs to get updated on the new issuances and policies pertaining to procurement. “The LGUs should be updated on the new procurement policies since they will engage the services of a contractor for projects implemented by contract or they will be procuring supplies for projects implemented by administration,” he said.


Water supply project specialist, Engr. Ramon dela Torre, also told the participants that “the preparation of DED is one of the most critical stages of project implementation. Unlike other infrastructure projects, various elements have to be taken into consideration such as the complete drawing plans, specifications, cost estimates, design analysis, geo-resistivity and drilling test, among others.”


Engineer dela Torre also discussed the application of Epanet tools and practical skills on engineering design and standards in preparing the DED of water supply systems including the water source confirmation and hydraulic analysis.


On the other hand, State Auditor Eleazar Mantos apprised the participants of certain procedures, regulations and policies governing utilization, liquidation and reporting system of the project funds.


It can be recalled that 30 LGUs in region are now implementing the water supply system projects. These are the municipalities of Aurora, Dinas, Dumalinao, Labangan, Mahayag, Margosatubig, Midsalip, Molave, San Pablo, Sominot, Tabina, Tambulig, Tigbao and Tukuran in Zamboanga del Sur, Leon T. Postigo, Katipunan, Salug, Siayan, Roxas, Sergio Osmeña and Sindangan in Zamboanga del Norte, Alicia, Ipil, Mabuhay, Malangas, Naga, Olutanga, Talusan and Titay in Zamboanga Sibugay and Isabela City in Basilan Province. (PIA9)




101st Brigade to conduct

PAATB in Zambo Norte


The 101st Infantry (Three Red Arrows) Brigade, based in Barangay Del Pilar, Piñan, Zamboanga del Norte will  conduct an examination on Philippine Army Aptitude Test Battery (PAATB) in two separate dates and venues in Zamboanga del Norte this month.


The PAATB will be held at Andres Bonifacio College, Dipolog City on Aug. 17 at 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and in Sindangan on Aug. 18.


According to Capt. Ryan Braza, 101st Brigade Acting Civil-Military Officer, the holding of the examination in two separate venues aims to give the qualified applicants, particularly those living in the far-flung municipalities of Zamboanga del Norte, including some parts of Misamis Occidental and adjacent municipalities  an opportunity to take the examination and a chance to enter the military service.


The PAATB is one of the major requirements in entering the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comprising the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, and Philippine Air Force.


An applicant must be at least a high school graduate with special skills or a second year college student. He/she has to bring the following original documents to be allowed to take the examination: a copy NSO-authenticated birth certificate, two copies of Transcript of Records and Diploma, three valid ID and four one  2”x2” ID pictures with white background. (zno)



UN agency turns-over patrol

boats to Zamboanga del Norte


The United Nation-Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) which implements the Regional Fisheries Livelihood Programme (RFLP)in the Philippines has  turned-over 11 patrol boats to the Sindangan Bay Development Alliance (SBDA) in Zamboanga del Norte.

Dipolog City  Mayor Evelyn Uy said  these boat will patrol the waters of the  municipalities of Rizal, Sibutad, Katipunan, Roxas, Manukan, Sindangan, Leon Postigo, Salug, Liloy, and the twin cities of Dipolog and Dapitan all in the province.

The boats were turned over to the province, represented by Mayor Uy by UN-FAO representative Aristeo Portugal assisted by Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Director Ahadula Sajili and RFLP national project coordinator Virgilio Alforque.

Mayor Uy said “the provision of the patrol boats to these 11 partner LGUs  will be of big help to the LGUS in the implementation of fisheries law and discourage illegal fishing activities, and promote responsible fishing in the municipal waters” off the province.

For the past three years, the RFLP had been engaged in capacity-building activities in partnership with the member-local government units (LGUs) in the areas of fisheries co-management, livelihoods, safety-of-life at sea, post harvest and microfinance.

Under the component of fisheries co-management, the RFLP led the formation of Fisheries Law Enforcement Teams (FLET) as legal entities in each LGU and conducted orientation and training of FLETs to boost their capacity in handling law enforcement.

The FLETs are deputized as fish wardens and also work in tandem with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Coast Guard PCG) and other law enforcement government agencies.

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s Code of Conduct on Responsible Fishing decrees that , “the right to catch fish carries with it the obligation to do so in responsible manner so as to ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resources.”  (ZPJ)



Police assures enough measures to keep

Zamboanga Peninsula out of harms way.

The Regional Police Command has assured the public that the police have adopted measures in the Zamboanga Peninsula Region to preempt any possible repeat of violence occurring in cities and towns in the Mindanao area.

Police Regional Director Chief Superintendent Juanito Vaño said that in general as far as the police is  concerned “everything is under control, wherein the police and the military are hand-in-hand in managing the peace and order situation of Zamboanga Peninsula. “

On threats of bombing, the police regional director said that with the recent bombings that transpired in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Cotabato, his command has implemented various action plans aimed at strengthening the security stance of the entire region. 

This covers the implementation and deployment of pre-emptive defense system, target hardening measures, intelligence build-up and management.

On “target hardening measures” Supt Vano  said that his command has focused on police operations geared towards protecting vulnerable targets like malls, restaurants, public places, churches and other areas where people congregate.

The plan also includes the involvement of citizenry in identifying the usual suspect’s peculiarity, his unusual movements and behaviors in the community as well as to educate the public on the aspect of security, he said.

The measures also include the deployment of police personnel in the streets, visible to the public eye and ready to extend a helping hand when needed.

Another measure  is the intensification of intelligence monitoring activities designed to build-up and predict the possible targets of lawless groups.

Supt Vano said that ”information gathering and appropriate intelligence build-up guarantee the identification of the would-be-suspects and the subsequent application of proper police intervention process.”

He has also directed all unit commanders to adopt these measures and to supervise its implementation in the field.

The most important factor is the participation of the community for the security of the whole area which is paramount in the PNP’s campaign to make this region a safe place to live in. He  encouraged the populace to join hands with the police in a common quest towards a better and peaceful region 9. (ZPJ)


Kaninyumanggi- DOST’s brown rice

Kaninyumanggi what? This is actually a coined term for “kanin” (rice) and “kayumanggi” (brown), literally “brown rice.” The “nickname” originated from the Department of Science and Technology that launched a recipe book titled Brown Rice Recipes Para sa Lahing Kayumanggi on July 26 as part of the National Science and Technology Week 2013 celebration.

The cookbook features 23 innovative recipes using brown rice as appetizer, main course and dessert. It is a result of rigorous experimentation and testing by a team of nutritionists who developed and compiled kitchen tested recipes to serve as a menu guide for a healthy eating habit. The nutritionists are based in DOST’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

During the launch, Chefs Luchi Callanta and Timothy Neil Abuela from the renowned Center for Culinary Arts (CCA) conducted a cooking demonstration featuring a nouvelle cuisine called Pahiyas Rice [considered a rice dish], named after the famous fiesta in the town of Lucban, Quezon. As expected, the recipe included the very tasty Lucban longganisa (sausage).

“This dish is very colourful and appeals to the senses…. it is very important to create a healthy relationship with food,” relates Chef Luchi.

The other recipe demonstrated was a dessert called “onde-onde” (onde is a Malaysian word for sticky or “malagkit” in Pilipino) that looks like the common round-shaped “buchi” and cooked like the “palitaw”, a native rice-based delicacy that is boiled or immersed in boiling water.

Some of the recipes in the book include tinapa (smoked fish) sa brown rice, brown rice vegetable medley, sweet Italian brown rice, brown rice a la spaghetti, kalamay sa gata brown rice, Hawaiian rice balls, Pinoy maki, everlasting turon, kalamay sa salabat brown rice and a number of interesting and intriguing delights.

Also included in the recipe book are instructions on the proper way of preparing and cooking brown rice since it takes a different approach. Because the bran is still intact, brown rice has to be cooked with a ratio of one cup of rice to two cups of water. Further, brown rice has to be soaked first in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking to make it softer and more palatable.

DOST to launch Moses for Project NOAH

When  the weather remains to be unpredictable, there is no other way but to apply the most sophisticated scientific tool to mitigate, if not prevent, the negative impact of typhoons, floods, tsunamis and even volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

This is the reason why the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) has come up with a tablet device aptly called MOSES or Mobile Operational System for Emergency Services.

DOST and Project NOAH will formally launch MOSES on July 23, 2013, the opening day of the celebration of the National Science and Technology Week dubbed 2013 Expo Science.

MOSES is a tablet is capable of receiving real-time weather and flood information reports from DOST’s Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and Project NOAH that local officials, down to the barangay level, can access for accurate decision-making eventually to prevent massive destruction and casualties.

DOST aims to provide the 42,028 barangays with this tablets. For the pilot test, 1,000 units are expected to be distributed to different barangays in Metro Manila.

The 8-inch mobile tablet is designed locally with assembled chipset and circuit boards to ensure the availability of spare parts as well as service support. It has a dual SIM function, television, and radio component and is packaged in a rugged shell with a long-life battery that can last up to three days.

Further, MOSES also provides Doppler radar sensor data, water level sensor data and measurements culled from gauges strategically located in different high-risk areas. Also available in the tablet is a hazard map that is updated in real time.

More information about MOSES and Project NOAH are available during the National Science and Technology Week on July 23-27, 2013 at the SMX Convention  Centre, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. This year’s theme is “Science, Technology and Innovation: The Road to a Smarter Philippines.”

So if Moses could wave his staff and part the Red Sea, MOSES may be the answer to scientifically managing disasters and allow us to rise above the floods.  (By Rodolfo P. de Guzman, S&T Media Service, DOST-STII)


DOLE holds reintegration service to

displaced, informal sectors in Isabela


ISABELA CITY, Basilan – The labor department in Isabela City held recently a reintegration service through Kabuhayan starter kits for Sabah displaced persons and informal sectors in the city.

The seven displaced persons from Sabah received a livelihood package with an accumulated worth of P55,680.00 and the eight informal sectors received a livelihood package with a total cost of P62,120.00 in a simple turnover ceremony held last July 23 at the Provincial Capitol lobby.

The displaced persons from Sabah received implements and paraphernalia for food processing, native snacks preparation and apedicab. They come from the barangays of Tabuk, Kaumpurnah Zones 2 and 3, and the Malamawi island barangays of Diki and Carbon.

Meanwhile, the informal sectors served consist of parents with child laborers, locally displaced workers, people with disabilities (PWD), and parents of distressed children. Livelihood assistance was provided for food processing, native snacks preparation, sewing, carpentry, and therapeutic massage. They came from the barangays of La Piedad, Port Area, Aguada, Marketsite, Calvario, and from Malamawi island barangays of Sta. Barbara and Diki.



Cops protecting illegal gambling will face

full force of the law, says ZSPPO chief

By Gideon C. Corgue


PAGADIAN CITY – The confiscation of 24 video karera machines (VKMs) by the elements of Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) over the weekend here was a manifestation of the seriousness of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) campaign against illegal gambling.

Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Director Sr. Supt. Thomas Abellar in an interview with Philippine Information Agency (PIA) staff said the confiscation of the VKMs was in compliance with Executive Order No. 5 series of 2013 issued by Governor Antonio Cerilles last July 26.

Cerilles issued EO 5 to reconstitute the Anti-illegal Gambling Task Force (AIGTF) of the province to stamp out illegal gambling activities in the area.

It can be recalled that three days after the declaration of an all-out war against illegal gambling by the governor, the PPSC operatives under the command of Supt. Michael Palermo was able to seize the VKMs in barangays Balangasan, San Pedro and Sto. Niño.

Abellar said the series of raids of PPSC operatives against illegal gambling would continue as “it destroys the moral fiber of the people.”



DOH bats for extensive info drive vs. TB


DIPOLOG CITY - The Department of Health (DOH) is appealing to the local media to help disseminate appropriate information about tuberculosis (TB) to the public.

Ms. Wilma Bulahan, Health Promotion Officer of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) of Zamboanga del Norte said “although tuberculosis is already considered an ordinary illness, if not prevented, would still result to one’s death.”

TB ranks 6th among the causes of death in the country with an average 75 persons die of the disease daily.

Bulahan said “this happens because some still hesitate to go to the health center for checkup even if they are already suspecting to have been afflicted with the disease.”

“The reasons why the patients won’t visit the health center are: they don’t want to be known to have TB, the health center is quite far from their residence, and they think the medicine for TB is expensive,” Bulahan added.

Bulahan also appealed to TB patients to follow the prescribed medication period of six months to two years, as some TB patients who felt relieved of their ailment after taking the medicine for a few days stopped the treatment, resulting in relapse or recurrence of the disease.

In a related development, Zamboanga del Norte Governor Roberto Uy has committed to reopen the district hospitals in the province and activate the rural health units by providing the needed health personnel as well as medicines to cater to the health needs of the residents of the different municipalities particularly those living in the far-flung areas.

To ensure that all TB-infected patients - even those living in the remotest villages- are given adequate medical services, the barangay health workers including those who were recently trained in Zamboanga City are now required to monitor and provide the patients with the needed medicine, and to see to it that the patients religiously follow the doctor’s prescription.

The province together with the twin cities of Dipolog and Dapitan joins the entire nation in celebrating August as national lung month with the theme, “Tuldokan ang TB, Ipakalat ang Tamang Inpormasyon, Hindi Diskriminasyon.” (PIA9)



Candidates in brgy polls

warned vs. extortionists


ZAMBOANGA CITY - The police in Zamboanga peninsula are appealing to candidates of the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to report any acts of extortion done to them by lawless elements in the duration of the election period.

Regional police director Chief Supt. Juanito Vaño in a press statement said that the candidates should not “give in to the extortion demands” and instead, immediately report to the police or military such incidents.

According to the statement, “previous elections had (sic) been characterized by intense political rivalries, rampant vote-buying, extortion activities by threat groups and other factors affecting the peaceful conduct of the elections.”

Moreover, Dir. Vaño said that aside from the above-mentioned incidents, some candidates may also use private armed groups to coerce the populace to vote for them. Residents are warned not to be intimated by this, and to report such incidents as well.


Meanwhile, the police director emphasized that the police are ready in securing the upcoming polls on October 28. Regional Special Operations Task Groups are mobilized to immediately address and pre-empt all possible threats. More patrols will be visible and random mobile checkpoints will be set region-wide. 



Public warned vs. bogus

Interpolcom group recruitment

By Dominic I. Sanchez


ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Philippine National Police Regional Office IX (PRO9) has warned the public against a reported recruitment being conducted by a suspicious organization going by the name of Interpolcom.

In an advisory posted Aug. 2 in its official website (, the PNP asserted that “this group is not in any way connected with the legitimate International Police Organization (Interpol), which has its headquarters in France.”

The police received a letter dated July 25, 2013 from Police Director Felizardo Serapio, Executive Director of the Philippine Center for Transnational Crime (PCTC), stating that the public should be wary of such group, which claims to be a paramilitary organization composed of personnel with military ranks.

According to the advisory, members of this dubious group will recruit persons and require them to pay certain amounts for membership.

In September 2011, the authorities apprehended six armed persons connected with such group passing off as legitimate organization.

The regional police advised that if ever the public makes contact with such persons, they should immediately report it to the authorities.


DOT holds trainings for Zambo’s

tourism-related establishments

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is conducting series of manpower training workshops to enhance the quality of services of tourism-related establishments in the region.

DOT Regional Director Mary June Bugante said the training is for the management and personnel of the different hotels, pension houses and restaurants and other tourism-related establishments.

Bugante said the conduct of the training is in line with the implementation of Republic Act 9593, otherwise known as “The Tourism Act of 2009,” that tasked the DOT to provide manpower skills trainings to establishments accredited by the agency.

Bugante said they have already conducted two separate trainings in the province of Zamboanga del Norte last month.

It was followed by a two-day training on front office operations with effective customers service conducted last week in this city, according to Bugante.

The other schedule of the training workshops are as follows: bartending and waitering with customers service in Dipolog City from August 14 to 17 and from August 19 to 22 in Dapitan City; front office operations with effective customer service in this city from September 4 to 5; housekeeping from September 11 to 13 in Dipolog City and from September 16 to 18 in Dapitan City; getting to know your tourists in September 26 in this city; Top Cop Phase II in Dapitan City from October 29 to 30; tourism awareness and capability building seminar for Local Government Units (LGUs) from November 12 to 14 in this city and on the last week of November for the LGU’s of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur; and, Top Cop Phase II from December 4 to 5 in Pagadian City.

Bugante said resource speakers in the training workshops are experts in the field of tourism.(PNA)


OCENR intensifies anti-

illegal quarry drive 


The report for the recent apprehension of a vehicle believed to be involved in illegal quarrying operations has been turned over to the proper authorities for investigation and legal action, the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) said.


Reports reveal that a notice has been forwarded by the City Legal Office to the owner of the apprehended truck, tasking the recipient to “show cause why you should not be cited for violation of Section 41 of the City Ordinance No. 2002-094”.


This action was undertaken based on the incident report filed by the OCENR a day after the apprehension was made. As per protocol, all apprehension reports are submitted to the City Legal Office for further investigation and action.


On Tuesday, August 6, the OCENR intercepted and apprehended a truck transporting boulder materials without proper documentation, following complains of an alleged illegal quarrying operations at Calle Honor, Lunzuran.


Office records confirmed that the intercepted truck was one of the tree vehicles previously apprehended by the OCENR last July 11 at barangay Tulungatung.


The truck was conducted to the Zamboanga City Police Station 5, Divisoria, for disposition and investigation. (Jasmine Mohammadsali)



7 barangays hit by new flashfloods;

Beng, Celso distribute relief goods


Incessant rains Thursday placed at least 7 barangays underwater damaging at least 8 houses and displacing almost 200 families.

Mayor Beng Climaco and District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat Thursday night spearheaded the distribution of food and other relief goods in the evacuation centers set up for the families affected.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) headed by OIC Evelyn Las Marias in coordination with the barangays concerned for the intake of the victims and the distribution of the food packs.

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center with City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. as incident coordinator and CSWDO identified the barangays affected by the Thursday flooding as Limpapa, Labuan, Patalon, Ayala, Talisayan and Tugbungan.

A landslide covered a stretch of the road in sitio Latap, Limpapa that stranded some individuals.

A number of those affected by the Thursday floods were also among those displaced by the flooding Friday last week.

Orendain said the rains Thursday did not bring much damage as the rains that hit the city from Friday to Sunday last week. After a few hours of river swelling, the water subsided allowing families to return to their homes.

As of press time, the Ayala, Talisayan and Tugbungan evacuees have left the evacuation centers.

Based on records from the CSWDO, in Limpapa, a total of 47 families were affected. Of the total, 7 are from sitio Cumati whose houses were damaged by the landslide last week and remain in the barangay hall and the chapel. The 40 other families are from sitios Latap and Masalag also in Limpapa.

In Labuan, 22 families were affected with 3 families staying in the barangay hall. At least 6 houses—two of which totally washed away by gushing waters, were damaged.

 In Patalon, 28 families were affected with two houses totally damaged, families of which are staying at the barangay hall.

In Ayala, 15 families were temporarily sheltered at the Ayala gymnasium while in Talisayan 50 families were evacuated to the Talisayan Elementary School.

At least 18 families, mostly affected by Friday’s flashfloods were temporarily evacuated anew Thursday.

Damage to crops has yet to be determined but personnel from the CSWDO and City Agriculturist Office were in the affected areas yesterday to assess the situation.

Weather forecast said that the Thursday rains were part of the monsoon rains. (Sheila Covarrubias)

Zambo to amend defective Smoking

Ordinance, implementation delayed


The City Government will delay  its planned implementation of its No Smoking Ordinance earlier announced to be done next month or by the first day of September.

Ordinance No. 413 series of 2013  or the No Smoking Ordiance is supposed to be implemented complete with sanctions in this city with a committee headed by the city administrators office  already created to oversee its implementation.

But while this ordinance was passed and approved by the city council after a series of consultation and three reading and finally signed into law by then City Mayor Celso Lobregat days before the May 13 elections, the ordinance was found to be defective and lacked one provision.

Ordinance Author Councilor Myra Paz Abubakar said this missing or overlook “provision was to provide for the funding needed for its implementation is not included in the ordinance.”

“This provision escaped my mind. It also escaped the  attention of my fellow councilors who reviewed the ordinance several time until their approval.”

She said she only found this discrepancy when she called for a meeting last month to discuss procedure for the implementation of the law.

Among others, the city engineers office will need P15,000 to print 50 tarpaulins as part of the city’s information campaign before implementing the law.

These tarpaulins will be displayed in key selected areas of the city to alert the people to the impending implementation of the law.

The ordinance has identified places where smoking  will be prohibited such as  schools- elementary, secondary , college and universities ,  elevators  and stairways.

Also included as no smoking areas  areas are  fire stations, gasoline stations and other flammable and combustible  areas, hospitals  premises both public –government  and private, health centers , public conveyances like bus stations, ship and airport terminal and food preparations.

Owners of establishments and offices are mandated to provide their own signages for the information of the public patronizing their places or office.

 The penalties for violating  the said ordinance are for first offense P 500 fine  or one (1) day community services; 2nd offense – P 1,000 or 2 days community services; 3rd offense – P 2,000  or 3 days community services  and 4th offense – P 5,000 without  prejudice of the  filing of criminal case  or under the court discretion .

 Owners of business establishment who will not provide smoking area for their customer will be penalized as follows – P 1000 first offense; P 2000- 2nd offense ; P 3,000 for the 3rd offense and P 5,000 and revocation or cancellation of business permit (fms)


Phil Coco Authority reports scale

insects infest coconuts in Basilan


The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in Basilan province has reported the scale insect infestation of some 6,000 coconut trees in 15 barangays in Isabela City in the province.

This has prompted the PCA in that city to conduct massive leaf pruning of the infected coconut trees. The PCA is also checking of possible infestations in other parts of the province which is a coconut growing island in the region.

PCA Chief for Isabela City Rudy B. Corsame reported that the insects must have come from Batangas where the infestation has been destroying coconut trees.

He said scale insects (Aspidiotus destructor) are considered plant parasites as they  feed on the sap from the plant’s vascular system resulting in the yellowing of leaves progressing to drying and wilting in young and old palms.

This pest also attacks ornamental plants and fruit trees like mango, lanzones, mango, mangosteen, guava, papaya, avocado and others.

To control the pest, the PCA recommends leaf pruning of affected coconut trees and other plants to reduce its reproduction and to prevent its spread to other areas.

It also embarks on biological control by releasing “coccinellid predators” that feed on scale insects.

He also said that local quarantine regulations will  also be strengthened to avoid the transport of infested plants, coconut planting materials and other plants that may introduce the pest to other non-outbreak areas.

PCA theorized that the scale insect outbreak was wrought by “imbalance or loss of natural enemies” due to excessive use of pesticides or by natural causes such as long drought and climate change.

Reports also said that the scale insects have attacked fruit trees particularly lanzones in some parts of the Zamboanga Peninsula.

However, the Department of Agriculture (DA)-9 is still investigating the said report.(zpj)



Zamboanga  Sur governor declares

all-out war against illegal gambling


PAGADIAN CITY -- Governor Antonio Cerilles has declared an all-out war anew against illegal gambling which remain rampant in this province.

In line with his order, Cerilles issued Friday an Executive Order “reconstituting the anti-illegal gambling task force” to spearhead the campaign as well as monitor and address complaints against any form of gambling activities.

Provincial police director Senior Supt. Thomas Abellar has been designated as the task force head with officers and personnel from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Provincial Public Safety Company and the academe as members.

“I am calling the authorities, resident and even the local media to support the campaign against illegal gambling,” Cerilles said.

He also asked the religious group to help in the anti-illegal gambling campaign.

He said gambling makes the poor poorer as it entices them to bet even the money intended for the food of the family.

He noted that among the rampant illegal gambling in this province are video karera and swertres, among others.

Meanwhile, he warned politicians and policemen who are “protectors” of illegal gambling that if evidence warrants, they will be dealt with accordingly.

Cerilles led Friday the signing of a covenant against the entry and proliferation of illegal gambling in this province.




DENR 9 holds exhibits on

ENR technologies, programs

By Claro A. Lanipa


PAGADIAN CITY - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-9) has held this week “Exhibit 2013” featuring Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Technologies and Programs at the lobby of the City Commercial Center (C3) this city.

Anchored on the theme, “Rediscovering Research in Zamboanga Peninsula,” Regional Technical Director Gil T. Ona of the Ecosystems Research and Development Services (ERDS) said the weeklong activity presented “the magnanimous contribution of research to the development of Zamboanga Peninsula” adding “no projects have been implemented by DENR without passing through thorough research.”

“It is our hope that by this exhibit, we will successfully develop public awareness on what DENR has been doing in preserving, conserving and sustaining the environment,” Ona stressed.

In his message, Regional Executive Director Arleigh J. Adorable emphasized that the exhibit was not only made to showcase DENR’s successes in research - completed and on-going researches - but to present the agency’s accomplishments of protecting and developing the natural resources in the region as well.


Lamitan first couple clears

speculations on abuse

By Rene V. Carbayas


ISABELA CITY – Former Lamitan City mayor and vice-mayor-elect Roderick H. Furigay has clarified speculations on alleged political abuse by a husband-and-wife tandem to lead both the executive and legislative branches of the local government unit.

In a press statement, city information officer Felipe Fernando said that speculations arose as majority of the elected city councilors are allies of the present administration.

Mayor Rosita U. Furigay is said to easily get the cooperation of the city council as only four of the councilors belong to the opposition and his husband as the vice mayor.

“Some sectors are apprehensive about the abuse of power, that the chief executive and the presiding officer are couple,” the vice mayor said.

But he gave his assurance that transparency, accountability and good governance will be defended and protected at all cost.



A better life for PWDs

through “Kabuhayan”

By Gideon C. Corgue


PAGADIAN CITY – Persons with disabilities (PWDs) are often overlooked, neglected and deprived of their needs by society and many times denied involvement in decision-making that affects their very existence.

But this deplorable situation never happened in this municipality situated in the southern part of Zamboanga del Sur.

In Lapuyan, which is predominantly inhabited by Subanens, the PWDs were given access to livelihood by the local government.

It was in 2011 that Mayor Daylinda Sulong established a livelihood project for PWDs dubbed “Kabuhayan.” The good mayor chose a retired teacher, Josefina Semini to become the “Kabuhayan” project coordinator.  With an initial funding of P100,000.00, the project sought to improve the well-being of PWDs starting with only 13 members.

At the inception of the project, it was Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) superintendent Fatima Caminan of DSWD inZamboanga City who introduced the idea of providing free skills training for PWDs.



DSWD conducts mass

registration of Sabah DPs

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez


ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-IX will be conducting a mass registration of Displaced Persons (DPs) and families affected by Sabah conflict. The MR will be conducted starting August 5 to 9, 2013.

DSWD-IX Regional Information Officer Narabelle Z. Bue said the department is currently preparing concrete and complete data banking of Sabah DPs to pinpoint and identify their whereabouts and their total number (population) in the region.

“The data that DSWD will be able to generate will help us pinpoint who and where the Sabah DPs are in the region,” RIO Bue said.

Bue said the data collected “may also be used as basis for the formulation and conceptualization of programs and projects for their benefit.”

The profile may serve as a guide in the department’s efforts and even other agencies and organizations goal to assist the Sabah DPs in the region and as a basis in formulating and developing policies and programs intended for them.

The MR targets Sabah DPs who failed or refused to register in the “One-Stop Shop Processing Center (OSPC) set up by DSWD in Taganak Island.

“Ang nangyari kasi sila (DPs) mismo, they refused government help, o baka napapagod sila sa proseso kaya umuwi sila on their own, sakay ng bangka, kung baga nag “back-door” sila pabalik, di sila sumakay ng commercial vessel being provided to them by the government (What happened was they refused government help themselves. Perhaps, they got tired of the process, they went home on their own using other boats and not the commercial vessels provided for them),” Bue explained.




Agrarian reform-related

cases resolved – DAR

By Dominic I. Sanchez


ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) here reports that it has resolved a total of 353 cases under its agrarian reform legal assistance program.

In a press conference, DAR Regional Director Julita Ragandang said her office handled judicial, quasi-judicial, agrarian law implementation cases and mediation involving 398 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from all over region 9 from January to June of this year.

The common cases that the DAR handles are land tenure problems, like when tenant-farmers are asked to vacate their lands by the owners, without just compensation.

Director Ragandang also reported that a number of cases involving agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) are still pending right now. “We handle many cases, and the parties involved should help us resolve this by constant follow-up,” she said.


“Just like in the courts, cases with the DAR have no specific timetable. We share the same restrictions as those in the courts,” she stressed.



School principals, guidance

counselors play vital role in

preventing teenage pregnancy

By Mary May A. Abellon


DIPOLOG CITY – “School principals and guidance counselors play a vital role in guiding and teaching teenage students aged 11 years old and above on the dire consequences of pre-marital sex,” said Population Commission (POPCOM)- 9 Regional Director  Reynaldo O. Wong during the World Population Day celebration recently.

Wong underscored the importance of inculcating in the minds of the teenagers the value of preserving their chastity, not only to gain respect from their would-be espouses but to avoid the negative effects of unplanned pregnancy.

Some of the negative effects of teenage pregnancy are the unfair treatment from peers, forced marriage, financial woes and others.

Based on the record of National Youth Commission (NYC), the Philippines got the third highest incidence rate of teenage pregnancy in Southeast Asia.

Wong urged all school principals and guidance counselors to help in solving the increasing incidence rate of teenage pregnancy by making students understand by heart the dire effects of engaging in pre-marital sex.

“It is a big heartbreak for a family if one female member got pregnant in her adolescence. Teenage pregnancy is not only the responsibility of the parents but the local government also so that our teenagers would feel more love, care and support,” Mayor Evelyn T. Uy said.



Dipolog holds 2nd “Buntis” congress

By Mary May A. Abellon


DIPOLOG CITY - The city government here through the City Health Office (CHO) headed by Dr. Cecilio Siglos successfully conducted the “2nd Buntis Congress” last July 25.

This undertaking aimed to drum up awareness among pregnant women on pre-natal care and the need for family planning.

“Unborn babies are very sensitive while they are in the womb of their mother. It is better for a mother to communicate to her unborn child because this will make babies become more responsive and even intelligent,” said Vice Mayor Horacio Velasco, a physician.

Accordingly, contraceptives and pills are 99.9% effective to prevent pregnancy of women based on research and studies.

“If there could be a reaction from taking pills within three months, a woman should consult a doctor to give her the right kind of pills,” Velasco said adding “if a woman failed to continue using pills for a month to six month, a greater chance or probability that she will get pregnant.”

“It is false that the pills being taken will accumulate in the body because this will be excreted from the body,” he stressed.

Mayor Evelyn T. Uy, on the other hand, was hopeful that “the participating mothers would understand and apply all the lectures with all their heart because their participation is vital to the progress of their families, a way to the Swigapore 2030 vision of the city.”

Moreover, Mayor Uy urged every couple to adopt and practice family planning to raise healthy and happy family. (PIA9) 




DA: PHL moving strides

towards rice self-sufficiency

By Dominic I. Sanchez


ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Philippines is well on its way towards rice sufficiency and it does not have to import rice from other countries, as what was done in the past, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

An official from the DA here revealed that the country had drastically reduced rice imports from 2.4 million metric tons in 2010, to 187,000 metric tons this year.

In a media forum held July 24, DA regional technical director Dr. Dennis Palabrica shared that the decrease in imports was attributed to several factors: the expansion of irrigation areas, redesigned farm-to-market roads that withstand bad climate and fair procurement of quality post-harvest facilities.

However, Doctor Palabrica emphasized that the farmers, more often than not identified with the marginalized sector, will have to be trained further not only in the technical aspects of farming. They will also have to undergo social preparation, to help them identify their needs and challenges, and to map out the best possible interventions to address their persisting problems such as low yields in rice and other crops.

Many farmers still rely on traditional methods, ruling out almost entirely the benefits of farm equipment, machinery and facilities. In effect, this causes stagnant production.

“We need to have social preparation for them because we want certain behaviors to change – they have to see a wider perspective so as to become more efficient and increase their farm productivity,” said Palabrica.

In addition to social preparation, Palabrica disclosed that they are encouraging the farmers to insure their crops with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, an attached agency of the DA.




NCIP educational assistance benefits

Zambo. City indigenous students

By Felipo David Malcampo


ZAMBOANGA CITY - The National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP)-9 has extended educational assistance this school year to 46 college students from this city belonging to indigenous cultural communities such as Kalibugan, Sama, Bajaus, Subanon and Yakan.

Engr. George T. Jocutan, caretaker of the NCIP office here, pointed out that NCIP has been implementing the Educational Assistance Program (EAP) and the Merit-Based Scholarship Program (MBSP), which provide grants to students until they finish their respective undergraduate and/or postgraduate courses.  

Whichever program they belong, Jocutan said, these students are entitled to grants of P5,000 or P10,000 per semester for their educational expenses either in private or public universities.

“A prospective grantee must, however, pass a set of criteria to qualify, and must maintain and comply with academic requirements and conditions to be able to continuously avail himself of the assistance from NCIP,” Jocutan added.

The NCIP in Zamboanga City has allocated P490,000 for this school year’s 46 grantees.

Last school year, there were 62 grantees with an allocation of P620,000.(PIA9)



DOST bares interventions for SMEs

By Franklin P. Gumapon


PAGADIAN CITY – To encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to adopt technology innovations to improve their operations, the Department of Science and Technology is now pursuing a program dubbed “Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP)” throughout the country.

In region 9, the DOST has assisted SMEs operating in the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur as well as  those in the cities of Dipolog, Pagadian and Zamboanga.

DOST-9 Regional Information Officer Thelma Diego told a group of media practitioners in a recent press conference here that the “interventions” usually extended to the SMEs include equipment acquisition, system improvement, process improvement, plant layout, manpower development and others.

The Montaño Foods Corp., which is based in Dipolog City and whose main product is the Spanish-style bottled sardines, is one of the SETUP beneficiaries in the region. DOST-9 assisted the company in process improvement through technical consultancy on HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) compliance, technical assistance in plant layout and product testing, and equipment acquisition.

As a result, the Montaño Foods Corp. has been able to maintain the US seafood export standard on bottled sardines, increase production capacity by about 20 percent, and employ 20 full-time and 135 part-time workers.

Other SETUP beneficiaries in the region are Bongbong Mechanical Shop of Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay, Deli Food Line of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur, Marc’s Balut of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, Pimentel Creative Builders of Tambulig, Zamboanga del Sur, Wood Tech builders of Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur, Polyfruits Inc. of Polanco, Zamboanga del Norte, Jun-Ge Enterprises of Dipolog City, Goodies Milk Products of Dipolog City, Zambo Tropical of Zamboanga City and Nutri-Booster Foods Philippines of Pagadian City.



DPWH starts upgrading of coastal road

to boost agri-tourism in Zambo. Norte

By Michael Vincent D. Cajulao

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-9 continues to implement vital road projects in Zamboanga Peninsula to spur economic growth and address road congestions with the upgrading of the Rizal-Dakak-Dapitan coastal road.

DPWH-9 Information Officer Ma. Carla Miñoza said, “The road provides a new link between the City of Dapitan and the municipalities of Rizal and Sibutad, traversing an area with high potential for agricultural development and especially tourism. The road also serves as an alternate road to improve the traffic condition of Zamboanga del Norte.”

The project involves the concreting of the existing 41.558 kilometer road, two lanes, 6.70 meter wide carriageway, concrete sidewalk, slope protection works, bridges and other various minor structures.

It also includes the replacement of two temporary bridges, the Kanim and Balubohan bridges.

Miñoza said the total project cost is P991.83 million including the two bridges. Of the total amount, P283.90 million was taken from the DPWH’s 2012-2013 budget under the General Appropriations Act (GAA).



GSIS awards scholarships for

200 grantees for AY 2013-14

By Alma L. Tingcang

Two hundred scholars from all over the country have been chosen by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for its scholarship program for Academic Year (AY)2013-2014.

GSIS President and General Manager Robert G. Vergara has approved the GSIS Scholarship Program of 200 grantees on July 11, 2013 based on the following criteria: status of employment (permanent); length of service (at least 3 years); and lowest annual basic salary.

Engr. Leoncito S. Manuel, GSIS branch head here said that for Region IX, seven scholars have been chosen, namely: Amores, Frances Claire – Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology; Entienza, Betchyjoy Doring – Western Mindanao State University; Juaton, Keena Escote – Western Mindanao State University; Lozano, Allan Joseph Escano – Ateneo de Zamboanga University; Lumindas, Nova Mae Berug – Western Mindanao State University; Pimentel, Cassandra Nicole Jimenez – Ateneo de Zamboanga University and Singue, Elzon Esquirdo – Western Mindanao State University.

Manuel said qualifiers are advised to accomplish and submit the documentary requirements to GSIS within 30 days from the first day of publication of the list in a newspaper of general circulation.

He added that the grantees are required to submit the following:  signed and notarized Scholarship Contract; duly accomplished Scholar Information Sheet; certified true copy of scholar’s birth certificate; certified true copy of Registration and Enrollment Assessment Form for first semester AY 2013-2014; original copy of official receipts (for reimbursement of payment for first semester AY 2013-2014); and course curriculum.



LEaDGov Project to enhance

LGU governance,  planning

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez

Targeted to boost and enhance capacities of local government units (LGUs) that will lead to an improved governance and development planning, the Local Empowerment and Development towards Good Governance (LEaDGov) project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was recently launched in Zamboanga City with representatives from Siayan and Tungawan municipalities in attendance.

DSWD Regional Information Officer (RIO) Narabelle Z. Bue in a news release said the project will be implemented in three regions in the Philippines covering Regions 9, 5 and CARAGA.

Siayan in Zamboanga del Norte and Tungawan in Zamboanga Sibugay are the target municipalities for the LEaDGov project.

“LEaDGov, is a joint project of DSWD and the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID) which focuses on providing capacity building trainings to LGUs,” Bue said.

“Within 20 months the AECID shall fund the capability-building activities focused on improving local government units’ capacity to undertake community-driven development processes and resource mobilization,” the active lady RIO explained.


OSPC sets up passport enrolment

services in Bongao for Sabah repatriates

By Mary Jane R. Amarado

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has recently established a Temporary Passport Enrolment Center (TPEC) at the One-Stop Processing Center (OSPC ) in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi for Sabah deportees and displaced persons (DPs).

OWWA Regional Director Hassan Gabra Jumdain, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Director and head of the OSPC Operations in Sulu &Tawi-Tawi said the establishment of the TPEC was the result of meetings and consultation with different member-agencies involved in the OSPC and the Memorandum of Agreement signed on April 30, 2013 bearing the commitment of the different duty bearers

"The undertaking was a joint effort of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), OWWA, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), DFA, Crisis Management Committee and the Provincial Government of Tawi-Tawi through former Governor, Sadikul Sahali, and his son, newly elected Governor Nurbert Sahali," Jumdain stated.

According to Jumdain, DFA Undersecretary Rafael E. Seguis assured OSPC duty-bearers of the foreign affairs of the department’s continuing support and commitment to the success of the OSPC in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi towards the fulfillment of its mandate to address the needs of Filipino nationals from Sabah.


DOH-CHD 9 conducts orientation on

national filariasis elimination program

By Claro A. Lanipa

PAGADIAN CITY – The Department of Health-Center for Health and Development (DOH-CHD)- Zamboanga Peninsula in collaboration with the city government of Pagadian through the City Health Office (CHO) conducted an orientation on National Filariasis Elimination Program (NFEP) last Thursday at Anastacia Pension House this city.

City Health Officer Dr. Noel Ceniza said the NFEP had been implemented in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, and now including the city, to reduce the transmission of the disease through a Mass Drug Administration (MDA, which is being conducted during the month of November each year.

Dr. Nurussamsi C. Amilasan, medical coordinator for mosquito-borne disease said lymphatic filariasis is an elephantiosis, painful and disfiguring tropical disease caused by thread-like worms that live in the human lymphatic system. “It is one of the leading causes of disability in the world and can affect children, men and women young and old,” Dr. Amilasan explained.

Lymphatic Filariasis maybe acquired during childhood. It is a chronic parasitic infection caused by nematode parasites, transmitted through mosquitoes. The parasites live in human lymphatic system and maybe detected 5 to 15 years later, the young lady doctor explained.

In Zamboanga Peninsula, she said, DOH has positively identified 25 endemic municipalities and two cities. Of these, three municipalities are from Zamboanga del Sur,namely, Bayog, Lakewood and Kumalarang.

Dipolog City is generally

peaceful, -  Police Chief

By Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY - The peace and order situation in Dipolog City is generally peaceful, according to City Police Office chief, Police Superintendent Joven R. Parcon.

In a press conference held at his office Monday morning, Parcon admitted that robbery and thievery cases were happening in the city but “these are isolated cases and manageable.”

Citing the latest robbery incident wherein the two suspects took away more or less P200,000.00 from a lending institution along General Luna st. this city, Parcon said the suspects were already identified and are now being hunted down.

Parcon, however, felt dismayed by the indifference of the victims as they are showing no interest in pursuing the case.

According to Parcon, his office has recorded 16 shooting incidents from January to July this year, leaving eight dead and another eight wounded. Two cases have already been filed in court against the perpetrators.


PA’s 1st cavalry squadron 

PNoy’s greening program

By Gideon C. Corgue

PAGADIAN CITY – Members of Philippine Army (PA) were united in supporting the national greening program (NGP) of the government by conducting a tree planting activity dubbed “Tree Growing” recently.

First Cavalry Squadron, formerly the First Light Armor Battalion (ILAB) of the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division was established on August 16, 1963 providing armor support to infantry battalions engaged in combat operations. Its  area of responsibility covers  Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte,  Misamis Occidental, Basilan and Sulu. 

Lt. Col. Antonio John Divinagracia, First Cavalry Squadron commander, said some 200 mahogany seedlings were planted in Barangay San Isidro, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur in support of  Executive Order No. 26 issued by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on Feruary 24, 2011 declaring an interdepartmental convergence initiative for a national greening program.

“The ‘tree growing,’ is the 1st Cavalry Squadron’s initiative where 36 officers and enlisted men of the regiment have planted 200 mahogany seedlings in the river banks of barangay San Isidro, Labangan and another 200 mahogany seedlings in San Isidro Elementary School.   This is our own little way of support to the greening program of the national government,” Divinagracia said.

Pulmones orders firearms

inventory at  PNP station

By Claro A. Lanipa

PAGADIAN CITY – City Mayor Romeo P. Pulmones recently has ordered the legal department of the city government to conduct an inventory of firearms issued to the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at the City Police Station (CPS).

The new local chief executive wanted to ascertain whether these firearms issued to PNP personnel assigned at CPS are properly accounted for.

“These firearms should be used to protect  the people of Pagadian,” he said, adding he wanted these inventoried as there were reports that some of these guns were not returned by some policemen assigned in the city during the past administration.

”The legal department is conducting a thorough study on the situation wherein legal actions may be filed against these people if they refuse to return the firearms issued to them, especially those who are no longer assigned at the city police station,” the Mayor said.

“These are owned by the city government. If these are owned by the PNP, then they could bring them anywhere they are assigned. But, since these are owned by the city government, then they should return the firearms to the Pagadian City Police Station,” Pulmones stressed.


Most Zambo City businesses now

PWD-friendly, says DPWH architect

By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY - “Except for a few, majority of the businessmen in the city are complying with the building specifications provided for in the Accessibility Law for the persons with disabilities (PWDs),” said Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)architect Jun Obsequio.

Obsequio, in a media forum held Thursday at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here said that establishments such as churches, malls and business establishments are now sensitive to the needs of the PWDs.

Republic Act 344, or the Accessibility Law requires every business establishment to have ramps for those who are on wheelchair and to place universal accessibility signage indicating that the said establishment is giving due courtesy and priority to PWDs.

However, Obsequio said, there are still places in the city that do not meet these requirements. He added that the DPWH would create an inter-agency inspection team composed of representatives from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the PWD sector.

Meanwhile, Cynthia Julian, superintendent of the DSWD’s Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center said that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) should also be included in the monitoring team.

Scale insects hit coco plants

in Basilan, says PCA-9

By Franklin P. Gumapon

ZAMBOANGA CITY – After Batangas, coconut scale insects have found their way to the island-province of Basilan, prompting the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA)-9 to conduct massive leaf pruning of infected coconut plants.

In a briefing held here Friday for Information Center Managers (ICMs) of Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-9, Rudy B. Corsame, PCA chief of Isabela City in Basilan, reported that some 6,000 coconut trees in 15 barangays of said city got infested with scale insect.

Scale insects (Aspidiotus destructor), which are considered plant parasites, feed on the sap from the plant’s vascular system resulting in the yellowing of leaves progressing to drying and wilting in young and old palms. This pest also attacks ornamental plants and fruit trees like mango, lanzones, mango, mangosteen, guava, papaya, avocado and others.

To control the pest, the PCA recommends leaf pruning of affected coconut trees to reduce its reproduction and to prevent its spread to other areas. It also embarks on biological control by releasing “coccinellid predators” that feed on scale insects.

Local quarantine regulations shall also be strengthened to avoid the transport of infested plants, coconut planting materials and other plants that may introduce the pest to other non-outbreak areas.


DepEd holds education summit in Bayog

By Bernadine Astillero-Gabawan

BAYOG, Zamboanga del Sur – The Department of Education (DepEd) Zamboanga del Sur Schools Division in collaboration with the local government unit of Bayog conducted a two-day Education Summit last week at the Bayog Central Elementary School.

The summit aimed at surfing causes of low school performance and to formulate plans and strategies to improve the same, needing convergence of all government agencies.

Summit outputs will be presented to the Executive-Legislative Agenda meeting together with the outputs of the forthcoming health, agriculture and peace summit.

“We are part and parcel of the problem on educating our children. That is why we will look into where the problem had started,” said Mayor Leonardo Babasa Jr. during the opening program.


Dipolog City celebrates disability

prevention, rehabilitation week

By Mary May A. Abellon

DIPOLOG CITY – In support of observance of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week (NDPRW), the city government here has lined up a series of activities for persons with disabilities starting July 17-23.

Former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada had issued Proclamation No. 361 declaring every July 17-23 each year as National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, which culminates on the birthday of the sublime paralytic, Apolinario Mabini.

The weeklong celebration aims to encourage public support in helping uplift the economic and social conditions of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to make them active participants in nation building.

Anchored on the theme, “Building an Inclusive and Non-Handicapping Environment for Persons with Disability,” the NDPRW will be capped by a free medical and dental check by the City health office (CHO) and a free massage to be facilitated by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).


US Treasury awards Dev’t Impact Honors

to DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS project

By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the poverty-reduction and community empowerment projects implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the World Bank was chosen over 40 international candidates for the Development Impact Honors Awards by the United States Treasury Department.

Melanie Sison, National Social Marketing Officer of the project said that the Development Impact Awards “recognizes the different projects supported by multilateral development banks all over the world”. She furthered that the entries coming from the different countries all over the globe was based on criteria such as the quality of the results, focus on the primary sectors, innovations used, and risk mitigation strategies utilized.

In his letter to World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim, US Secretary of Treasury Jacob J. Lew said that Kalahi-CISS was chosen because it is “especially high-impact and noteworthy”.

Rodolfo Nillosguin Jr., regional monitoring and evaluation officer of Kalahi-CIDSS shared that in Region IX, 33 municipalities in Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay are currently implementing Kalahi-CIDSS. Over 900 community infrastructure and development projects were built by community volunteers, many of whom are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries.

The municipalities are Leon Postigo, Baliguian, Godod, Jose Dalman, Mutia, Salug, Gutalac, Kalawit, Katipunan, and Siayan in Zamboanga del Norte; Bayog, Dinas, Dumingag, Lakewood, Lapuyan, Midsalip, San Pablo, Dumalinao, Josefina, Kumalarang, Sominot, Dinas, Tigbao, Tukuran and Vincenzo Sagun, Zamboanga del Sur; Alicia, Mabuhay, Payao, Mabuhay, Ipil, Kabasalan, Malangas and Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay. These municipalities will continue the project towards 2014, which will transform into a “National Community Driven Development Program.”



Salintubig project benefits San Pablo town

By Franklin P. Gumapon

PAGADIAN CITY – Cases of waterborne diseases in San Pablo, Zamboanga del Sur have gone down after the P2 million water system project became operational, said a report released by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-9.

DILG-9 Regional Information Officer Lemuel Mejares said the newly completed water system supplies potable water to the Rural Health Unit (RHU) and 90 percent of the residents of Barangay Poblacion in said town.

“The beneficiaries are now enjoying 24-hour supply of potable water,” Mejares reported.

Implemented under the 2012 Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat (Salintubig) program, the project aims to provide the people in waterless communities access to safe water.



DOH-ARMM turns-over three speed

boat-type ambulance to Tawi-Tawi

By Nash Tahang

BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi - Three units of a speedboat-type sea ambulance were turned-over to the provincial government of Tawi-Tawi by Department of Health-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOH-ARMM) in a simple ceremony Friday at Lomboy wharf in this municipality.

Governor Nurbert Sahali received the sea ambulance from DOH-ARMM Secretary Dr. Kadil Sinolinding after the ribbon cutting ceremony symbolizing the formal turnover of the fast craft to the provincial government.

Sahali said the three speedboat–type ambulances are of great help to the people in the island municipalities as these will hasten the patient’s mobility to the nearest hospital.  “It will help save lives,” he added.

He said Tawi-Tawi, which is composed of island municipalities, really needs sea transportations.



Search for 6th RAFI Triennial Awardees is on

By Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY - The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.,(RAFI) is now accepting nominations for the 6th RAFI Triennial Awards for the Ramon Aboitiz Award for Exemplary Individual and the Eduardo Aboitiz Award for Outstanding Institution.

An orientation program on the nomination process was held at Top Plaza Hotel here last July 10 through the initiative of Center for Social Concerns and Development (CESCOD), one of the active members  of civil society in the Zamboanga Peninsula, headed by Jojo Leyson.

Dr. Jocelyn B. Gerra, Chairperson, Call for Nominations Committee, said the RAFI Triennial Awards is conferred every three years to men, women and organizations, who, through their efforts and selfless commitment, bring about change in the lives of the less-privileged in the various groups and communities in the country.

The Ramon Aboitiz Award for Exemplary Individual is open to every Filipino, natural born or naturalized citizen, at least 30 years old and of good character whose dedication to his/her profession has made significant contributions to the advancement of the well-being of fellow Filipinos.

DAR-Zambo Sur marks 25th

CARP, 4th CARPER anniversary

By Claro A. Lanipa

PAGADIAN CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Zamboanga del Sur has lined up month-long activities to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and the 4th anniversary of the CARP Extension with Reforms (CARPER) with the theme, “Security of Land Tenure, Justice for the Farmers.”

Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II Arturo Soria reported in a press conference that under the land tenure improvement, which is one of the major component programs of the department, some 64,448.5025 hectares out of the total target of 68, 077.0000 hectares of private agricultural lands covered under CARP have already been distributed to the identified beneficiaries as of December 31, 2012.

He said the remaining balance of 3,628.4980 hectares will be completed by 2014, benefitting 45,618 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

Under the cumulative land acquisition and distribution (LAD), Soria reported that as of December 31, 2012 a total of 64,448.5025 hectares were accomplished based on the following scheme: operation land transfer (OLT) with 6,149.9724 hectares; volunteer offer to sell (VOS) 904.6402 hectares; government financing institution (GFI) 5,910.4066 hectares; government own lands (GOL) 4,861.8936 hectares, compulsory acquisition (CA) 412.8801 hectares; and voluntary land transfer (VLT) with 64,448.5025 hectares.

“This year DAR will cover landholdings of five hectares and above,” Soria added.



Lady solon sets high hopes 

Zambo Sibugay Province

By Alma L. Tingcang


IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay - “I’m happy to be back because it is my pleasure to serve you and watch Zamboanga Sibugay bounce back to progress,” so declared Congresswoman Dulce Ann K. Hofer of Sibugay’s second district.


Hofer, daughter of former governor George T. Hofer who is considered the father of Zamboanga Sibugay, has started working long before her assumption to office for the good of the Sibugaynons.


She went on to clarify that contrary to what her detractors say, when her father lost in the 2010 elections, the older Hofer had turned-over to DILG on June 30, 2010 , P203 million  cash, savings of P130 million  and total assets of 1.125 billion, emphasizing the fact that Zamboanga Sibugay  was financially healthy when he left the capitol.


She laid out her plans for the province and her legislative agenda would center on  health and hospital services, agriculture, aquaculture, education, environment, farm-to-market roads, and irrigation facilities and many others.


Hofer intends to revive the longest Talaba Festival by February next year and focus on the production of high-value marine products such as prawn and crabs as well as the thriving rubber industry in Sibugay.



PhilHealth cards for Zamboanga

Sibugay will be a priority,-PNoy


IPIL, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY - Zamboanga Sibugay will be a priority in the distribution of PhilHealth cards. This was the assurance made by no less than President Benigno C. Aquino III to Governor Wilter Y. Palma when he took his oath last June 13 in Malacanang.


Governor Palma said during his inauguration that he would focus on the health problems of Sibugaynons and upgrade the Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Hospital (ZSPH) with a P12-million allocation from the Department of Health (DOH) for which he expressed his gratitude to President Aquino, Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona and DOH-9 Regional Director Teogenes Baluma.


Moreover, with P30 million available funds of the province, the governor said a three-storey building would be constructed to boost hospital services and cater to the health needs of the Sibugaynons.



New library cum museum in Aurora 

to contribute to students’ researches


AURORA, Zamboanga del Sur – “The local government has envisioned a library and museum so that students could hone their research skills, and expand their understanding of the history of our municipality,” thus said outgoing Mayor Enrique Cabahug Jr. during the inauguration and blessing ceremony of the municipal library and museum last June 28.


Cabahug said the P4 million two-storey municipal library and museum was the old municipal hall which was converted for the purpose to serve as a repository of artifacts and other objects that would give scientific, artistic and historical importance among students in the municipality.


Cabahug said the funds used in the renovation of the building were sourced from the local savings and not from outside sources.


Cabahug disclosed that it took them a few years to materialize the project out “of the good financial and planning management of his administration” that led to the realization of the municipality’s “long cherished dreams.”



Philippines biodiversity

depleting, DENR official


PAGADIAN CITY – Recent assessment made by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) revealed that of the 24 percent of the total of 44,000 square-kilometers of coral reefs of good condition in the Philippines, only two percent remain in excellent condition.


Mussaendra G. Tee, chief, Biodiversity Conservation and Management Section, Protected Areas Wildlife Coastal Zone Management (PAWCZMS), DENR-9 also presented during the weekly PIA Media Forum last Thursday that of the original 450,000 hectares of mangrove forests in the country only 149,000 remain untouched.


“But based on the 1995 DENR statistics, these mangrove areas were further reduced to only 117,700 hectares,” Tee added.


She further reported that “more than half of the country’s wetlands of international importance covering 14,000 square-kilometers are threatened.”


“The country had an estimated 17 million hectares of forest lands in 1935, but now only 6 million remain intact and only 800,000 hectares of these are old growth,” she reported.


“The Philippines is one of the 18 countries in the world identified as containing 60-70 percent of the world’s biodiversity next only to Brazil, Columbia and Indonesia,” Tee said.



Military  winning peace

in Basilan via education


ISABELA CITY, Basilan – The military in Basilan is now pursuing efforts at winning peace in this island-province by supporting programs and projects that promote quality education.


Recently, the military has assisted in the construction of two new classroom buildings for two high schools in Isabela City, namely, the Cabunbata National High School and the Baluno National High School.


According to the Western Mindanao Command, these school buildings were collaborative projects between and among the Department of Education(DepED)-IX, the local government of Isabela City, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P).


DILG-9 releases P 4.M for                                                 water project in Ipil town

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has released the amount of P3.44 million for a water project in Ipil town in Zamboanga Sibugay Province.

The project will provide water to some 1,300 waterless households in barangays Magdaup, Labe, Timalang and Lumbia of Ipil, capital town of the province. 

DILG-9 Assistant Regional Director Pedro G. Cuevas said the project will cost a total of P9.1 million and that the amount of P3.44 is only the first tranche released for the project.

Cuevas said the Ipil municipal government will provide an equity of P900,000 for the project under what is called its Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) fund for 2013.


Pagadian joins National Disaster

Consciousness Month celebration

By Claro A. Lanipa


PAGADIAN CITY – The city government of Pagadian headed by newly elected Mayor Romeo Pulmones in coordination with the provincial government of Zamboanga del Sur and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD-9) joined hands in the observance of National Disaster Consciousness Month with this year’s theme “Ligtas na Bayan, Maunlad na Pamayanan.”


The yearly event started on Thursday with a motorcade around the major streets in the city, followed by a simple program at the Executive Building within the city hall complex.


In his message, Civil Defense Officer II Angelito Casinillo of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said “the presence of everyone demonstrates that we are united here in the city and province.”


“We all know that Mindanao is not anymore spared by typhoons, so we have to be always ready and vigilant,” Casinillo said adding “united we stand, divided we fall.”



DepED hails Dapitan City

PPO as ALS Champion


DIPOLOG CITY - In recognition of its contribution to the successful implementation of the Alternative Learning system (ALS), the Dapitan City Parole and Probation Office (DCPPO) has recently been awarded with a Plaque of Commendation by the Department of Education (DepEd) as one of this year’s ALS Champions.


DCPPO Chief Ma. Jeanette Requina has received the award from Schools Division Superintendent Teresita Cascolan in a simple ceremony attended by all school administrators at the Gabaldon Building, Dapitan City Schools Division Office last June 27.


The said award was part of the national search for Outstanding ALS Stakeholders in every district of the division, requiring all district ALS coordinators and mobile teachers to make write-ups about their stakeholders and supporters, subject for review and evaluation by the Regional Panel of Judges before submitting the same to DepEd Central office for final evaluation and judgment.



DILG-9 chief urges local officials

to follow Local Government Code


DIPOLOG CITY - Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-9 Regional Director Paisal Abutazil has reminded all elected officials of Zamboanga del Norte of their responsibilities as mandated under Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.


Abutazil aired this reminder in his welcome message during the joint oath-taking ceremonies of Municipal, City, Provincial and Congressional Officials of Zamboanga del Norte at the Dipolog  City Sports Complex, Olingan this City last Saturday.


He urged all elected officials of their responsibility to their constituents and make RA 7160 as their “Bible” in the performance of their duties and responsibilities to the people who supported them last election.



PRO-9 celebrates Police

Community Relations Month


PAGADIAN CITY – Emphasizing the vital role of the community in crime prevention, this year’s observance of Police Community Relations (PCR) month will focus on soliciting public support to curb crimes.


Police Regional Director Police Chief Superintendent Juanito B. Vaño said the activities lined up for the month-long celebration include Muslims elders consultative assembly, drug abuse prevention and education symposium, social media seminar workshop, and message development workshop for street children and juvenile delinquents.


PRO-9 also directed the PCR month celebration to enhancing public awareness on its role in crime prevention, underscoring the need for public support and cooperation.



July 17-23 is NDPR week


With this year’s theme “Building an inclusive and non-handicapping environment for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs),” members of the Regional Council on Disability Affairs (RCDA) met Tuesday in one of the local hotels here to discuss among others the lined up activities for this year’s National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week celebration.


NDPR week is being commemorated annually every July 17-23 by virtue of Administrative Order No. 35 (2002) to stimulate public awareness on the issues and problems of disability so as to encourage every citizen of the country to take active responsibility in the upliftment of the economic and social conditions of the PWDs of our society.


Cynthia Bariga, Regional Program Coordinator, National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) during the RCDA meeting said this year’s theme was adopted to promote the principles and concepts relevant to disability inclusive development. “The theme also extends to advocate for the mainstreaming of disability agenda in all government agencies, non government organizations, civil society and the public in general,” she said.



3RD  Annual Business Week to showcase

investment opportunities in ZamboSur


The Pagadian-Zamboanga del Sur Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc. (PZCCIFI) will host the 3rdAnnual Business Week on July 5-12, 2013.


Ms. Mercedes Lourdes S. Quisumbing, PZCCIFI president said the event will gather at least 200 business and industry leaders, policy and decision makers, entrepreneurs, investors and stakeholders in Pagadian City and Zamboanga del Sur.


This year’s theme, “Moving. Ahead. Together.” gives emphasis on the partnership and synergy between the business community and government in achieving its goals in such areas as tourism, agriculture and mining.



NAPOLCOM accepts

applications for PESE exam


PAGADIAN CITY – The National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) announced this week that the filing of applications for the Police Executive Service Eligibility (PESE) written examination for Police Commissioned Officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has just started and will last until July 19, 2013.


NAPOLCOM 9 Regional Director Atty. Macapado P. Guro said the examination is open to qualified uniformed members of the PNP with the ranks of Police Chief Inspector and above with permanent status of appointment. It will be conducted on August 25, 2013 in the cities of Quezon, Cebu and Davao.


PESE is an eligibility requirement for promotion to the third level ranks of Police Senior Superintendent, Police Chief Superintendent, Police Director, Police Deputy Director General and Police Director General.


It focuses on six (6) categories, namely, job knowledge, leadership competency, communication skills, analytical/logical reasoning, values and emotional quotient.



ZNPPO to recruit new police officers


DIPOLOG CITY - The Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Police Office (ZNPPO) is going to hire new police officers to be assigned in the different municipal police stations of the province.


ZNPPO Officer-in –Charge Police Supt. James B. Mejia said the province will have 25 new police officers, consisting of 22 male and 3 females, as part of the 2013 allocation of new positions.


The municipality of Sergio Osmeña, Polanco, Katipunan, Roxas, Manukan, Sindangan, Siayan, Salug, Labason, Siocon, and Gutalac will get two new male police officers each, with additional one female police officer each for Labason, Manukan and Sindangan municipal police stations.


ZNPPO-Police Community Relations Office head, Police Chief Inspector Jonathan Yabo said the recruitment will follow the standard procedures set for the recruitment and selection of PNP uniformed personnel.



DTI to launch SME Roving

Academy in Dipolog City


DIPOLOG CITY - The provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Zamboanga del Norte in partnership with Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprises Development (BSMED) will conduct the 2013 SME Roving Academy at the function room of D’Hotel and Suites  in this city starting at 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on July 1-2.


DTI-9 Regional Director Nazrullah B. Manzur is expected to grace the two-day affair in Dipolog City, which will serve as the kickoff activity and launching of a series of SME Roving Academy to be undertaken by the DTI in Zamboanga Peninsula from July 1 to 19.



TB Care Program partners

hold consultative confab


ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Global Fund-Philippine Business for Social Progress (GF-PBSP) and the Mindanao Integrated Resource Development, Inc (MIRD), in partnership with the Provincial Health Offices of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi held their third consultative conference Tuesday in a local hotel here.


GF-PBSP TB Control Project Manager Romeo C. Bacharo Jr. said the conference was “primarily aimed at strengthening collaboration and support in sustaining close working relations and well coordinated efforts among all program partners in TB control under the umbrella of the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP), which is one of the flagship programs of the Department of Health (DOH).”


The PHO representatives from the BASULTA island-provinces attending the conference admitted that their partnership with the GP-PBSP-MIRD “did help a lot in carrying out their respective Community TB Care Programs.” They, however, expressed mixed emotions as MIRD’s project contract would wind up this June.


“I personally implore that the MIRD services be extended,” said Dr. Rhoda Delgado in an interview. She also said that through MIRD’s complementary manpower assistance and logistics, the Provincial Health Office was able to penetrate some geographically isolated and depressed areas (GIDA) to conduct TB case detection, smearing, and provide medication to positive individuals.


As DepEd physician some 10 years ago, Delgado recalls that she has diagnosed some 30 public school teachers in the different rural areas of Basilan to have contacted TB. 



Zanorte has sufficient rice

for lean season, says NFA


DIPOLOG CITY -The National Food Authority(NFA)  in Zamboanga del Norte assures the consuming public of stable rice supply during the lean season.


This was declared by NFA Provincial Manager Julakmad J. Lawama who said that despite minimal produce during the lean months of June to August, its office has enough rice supply.


Malou Kareen G. Sarenas, NFA  Acting Information Officer said as of June 7, 2013, it has a total inventory of 41,700 bags of rice and 1,817 of palay.



NGCP, ZANECO link up

host communities

along transmission lines


DIPOLOG CITY - The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) successfully conducted on Wednesday its Balik Eskwela Program to selected schools in barangays where its transmission facilities are located.


Balik Eskwela is a nationwide project of the NGCP which aims to strengthen its relations with the community and, at the same time, to raise the level of awareness about the transmission line safety and security measures.


“Our primary objective is to reach out to the host communities or those  near our transmission facilities expressing our deep gratitude for continuously supporting and protecting our transmission lines by giving students school supplies assistance package,” said NGCP Communication and Public Affairs Officer Elizabeth Ladaga.



GSIS issues advisory on computation of

GSIS retirement and pension benefits

By Alma L. Tingcang


PAGADIAN CITY -  “There is no truth to speculations that the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Average Monthly Compensation (AMC) will soon be based on the member’s salary for the last ten years of service.”


This was the gist of the message of Engr. Leoncito S. Manuel, GSIS branch head in an interview with Philippine Information Agency.


Manuel said the Average Monthly Compensation that is used as a basis in computing the amount of GSIS retirement and pension benefit is the average of the member’s basic salary in the last three (3) years or 36 months of his or her service in government.


Earlier, there were suppositions that the AMC will shortly be based on a member’s salary for the last ten (10) years of service. Manuel went on to explain that GSIS has no intention of revising the definition of the AMC under Republic Act 8291.


The AMC is one of the factors in the computation of the Basic Monthly Pension (BMP) of a GSIS member which is computed, BMP = (.025) x (AMC + P700) x Period of Paid Premium.


To better appreciate one’s benefits upon retirement, GSIS facilitates Pre-Retirement Counseling to its members which is scheduled every month and even accommodates special requests from national government agencies and local government units who wish to avail of such services.


For the month of May and June, it was held at the Department of Education and Department of Agriculture in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.


Manuel said the Pre-Retirement Counseling on July is slated to be held  in the island municipalities of Olutanga, Talusan and Mabuhay also in Zamboanga Sibugay Province to bring its services closer to the people.(PIA9)



DSWD campaigns Bawal Epal in

anticipation of barangay polls

By Dominic I. Sanchez

To ensure that its big ticket poverty alleviation programs remain free and untouched by politics particularly in the coming barangay elections this October, the Department of Social Welfare and Development is now lining up activities to continue its “Bawal ang Epal Dito” or BAED advocacy campaign.


The BAED campaign uses posters, tarpaulins, stickers and other materials to communicate to the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the general public that only the DSWD has the authority to remove or delist members from receiving the conditional cash grants. Moreover, the campaign emphasizes that the programs are implemented with no political intervention especially from local officials.


BAED is the department’s response to beneficiaries’ complaints that accordingly, many of them are pressured to favor certain political parties if they desire to continue receiving the cash grants from the government. The DSWD has continuously emphasized that local and barangay officials have no authority to decide who will or will not receive the cash grants, since this is a national government program backed by an objective data known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).


“In addition to producing advocacy materials, we shall also be conducting barangay-based forums on BAED,” said Jayson Elias, DSWD Information Officer for Pantawid Pamilya. “We want to emphasize to the beneficiaries that it is their right to receive the cash grants for their health, education and development, and that nobody, especially local politicians, can take these rights away from them. Only they themselves can cause their delisting if they don’t comply with their co-responsibilities.”


“Epal” is a Filipino derogatory slang that means someone who takes credit for somebody else’s work and accomplishments. (PIA9)






ZamPen SMEs get gov’t support

thru SME Roving Academy

By Michael Vincent D. Cajulao

Micro, Small, and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) will once again be receiving valuable assistance from the government to help them grow their businesses and become big players in the region’s economy thru the 2013 SME Roving Academy to be held region-wide from July 1-7.


Formerly known as SME Caravan, this year’s activity is still the same as the previous years with the sole intention of extending help to SMEs by way of technical and even financial support thru the convergence of all concerned government line agencies in the region, with the Department of Trade and Industry IX as the lead agency.


The activity also encourages everyone to venture into business to strengthen the region’s economy, provide added family income, and also address unemployment in this part of the country. Moreover, it will serve as a venue for existing SMEs to work hand in hand with the government to improve their products and look for potential local and international markets.



“If our SMEs grow more, we will have a stable regional economy and there will also be more job opportunities”, DTI IX Assistant Regional Director Sitti Amina Jain said during last SME Core Group meeting.


The SME Roving Academy will officially start in Dipolog City from July 1-2 with topics focusing on Business accounting and Marketing eco-tourism which include product packaging, destination events and promo materials preparation.


The group will then proceed to Pagadian City for the second leg on July 3-4 wherein participants will be trained on quality and productivity management in manufacturing, and internet/online marketing with fraud detection.


Next stop will be Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay Province where quality and productivity management in rubber and abaca production and processing will be tackled since Zamboanga Sibugay is the region’s rubber capital.


The Zamboanga City and Isabela City leg which was originally set on July 16-17 and 19 respectively, will be moved to September.


DTI is encouraging interested participants to register with the nearest DTI offices in their areas. (PIA9)




DOT-9 holds media familiarization tour in Davao

By Franklin P. Gumapon

DIPOLOG CITY – Five media men from this city have recently visited Davao City on a three-day “familiarization tour” jointly sponsored by the Department of Tourism (DOT)-9 and the Cebu Pacific Airline Company in coordination with DOT-11.

DOT-9 Regional Director Mary June Bugante said the media familiarization tour was designed to drum up awareness on the different tourist destinations from Dipolog City to Davao City and the neighboring provinces.

On the first day, the group was toured around the city where the biggest China town in the whole world is located. Passing through the old streets named after the country’s national heroes and leaders, the media men were brought to Davao City 911, a highly computerized and fully integrated emergency and rescue dispatch system.

Davao City 911 emergency response system is said to be the first of its kind in the country and in Asia, and the third in the world after the United States and Canada.

On the second day, the Dipolog media men were toured to Museo Dabawenyo, Malagos Garden Resort, Philippine Eagle Park, Eden Nature Park and Resort and Crocodile Farm. Then, on the last day, they were brought to Pearl Farm Beach Resort and to the 14-hectare marine reserve where the giant clams are being grown, all at the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte.

In a related development, DOT-11 Regional Director Art Boncato Jr. said in an interview that a group of media men from Davao will also be having their familiarization tour in Dipolog City either in July or August this year. “This is geared towards a good exchange of destinations between the two cities,” he said.

He also disclosed that DOT-11 currently embarks on three major programs, namely: eco-tourism, developing minds and promoting connectivity and access.

Eco-tourism aims to promote the different tourist destinations from island to island while the second program seeks to promote Davao City as the center for conventions/conferences.

Promoting connectivity and access program, on the other hand, refers to infrastructure and transportation facilities that will make travel among local and foreign tourists easier.


The media men joining the tour were Zamboanga del Norte Press Club President Rosemarie P. Miranda, Kapihan sa Dipolog host Editha P. Tomong, RMN-dxDR station manager Richard Villaronte, Sunny Dimasuhid Jr. of ABS-CBN and Franklin P. Gumapon of the Philippine Information Agency. (PIA9)





Tabak soldiers wounded in fight vs. rebels recognized

By Gideon C. Corgue

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur – “Wounded, injured, disabled or killed while in line of duty is part of an oath of soldiers in defending and protecting  the country against all enemies.”

This was how 1st Infantry (Tabak)) division officer-in-charge

Brigadier General (BGen.) Felicidad Virgilio Trinidad Jr. described the role of soldiers in an awarding ceremony for four wounded soldiers during the 115th  Independence Day celebration on June 12, 2013 at Kuta Cesar Sang-an Station Hospital, Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

Trinidad personally pinned the medals to wounded Tabak troopers, namely, 2nd Lt. Jose Aristeo Pamor, Sgt. Willy Paracale, Cpl. Joseph Vincoy, and Pvt. Rudy Leo Jr.

“The wounded troopers have shown their great love, service and dedication to our country, thus they absolutely deserve the honor they got today,” said Trinidad who also got wounded when he was then a lieutenant.

Trinidad said it has been a yearly tradition of the 1st Infantry division to give award to wounded soldiers in recognition of their exemplary acts of patriotism and sacrifice in the service of our nation.

Lt. Pamor said he had mixed feelings upon receiving the award, saying, “Masaya, at the same time,  malungkot ako sa pagtanggap ng award. Masaya dahil ginawa namin ang aming tungkulin na ipagtanggol ang bansa laban sa mga kaaway, at malungkot dahil may mga tropa rin na nasugatan na handang  isakrapisyo ang buhay para sa ating bansa (I am happy and at the same time sad in receiving the award. Happy, because we fulfilled our promise to protect our country from the enemies, and sad because there are still troopers who are wounded and are ready to sacrifice their lives for our nation).”

Pamor was wounded at his back and head during an encounter with 35 fully armed insurgents in Barangay Anonang, Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental on May 22, 2013. He was with Vincoy and Lee who also got wounded.

Paracale, on the other hand, was hit in an encounter with members of NPA in barangay Nacibac, Leon Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte on May 30, 2013. (PIA9)





Teen pregnancy endangers young moms, babies

By Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY - The 2008 National Demographic and Health Statistics (NDHS) of the National Statistics Office (NSO) revealed that 19 percent of the births delivered by the 26 percent of the total young mothers aging 15-24 years old have multiple medical risks due to a combination of the mother’s age, birth interval and birth order.

In a press release, Eva A. Goyena, of the S & T Media Service of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) said that in a related survey conducted by FNRI-DOST among 1,650 pregnant Filipino women showed that 40 percent of the pregnant teen-agers below 15 years old and 36 percent among pregnant women 15-19 years old are nutritionally-at-risk due to their gestational age.

According to the survey, 36 percent of pregnant women aging below 20 years old nutritionally-at-risk is almost twice higher compared to 23 percent noted among those aging above 20 years old.

Goyena said, the FNRI survey further disclosed that the low weight gain during pregnancy among 43.4 of the teen-age mothers due to under-nutrition most likely attributed to the mother’s short lactation and the babies’ low birth weight.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stillbirths and death in the first week of life are 50 percent higher among babies born to mothers younger than 20 years old than among babies born to mothers 20-29 years old.  

The WHO also noted that rates of premature birth, low birth weight and asphyxia or difficulty of breathing among babies of adolescents increased the chance of early death and future health problems.

In 2001, the Population Commission has also documented that poor nutrition aggravated by multiple pregnancies and closely-spaced births make younger moms more susceptible to infectious diseases as well as health complications that may result to maternal or infant deaths and low birth weight babies. (PIA9)




PCSO-Zamboanga spends P2.2-M

monthly for medical assistances

By Dominic I. Sanchez

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in Zamboanga City disburses P2.2 million monthly on various medical assistances being sought mostly by poor patients coming from the different barangays and even neighboring towns.

“We usually spend about P100 thousand daily, amounting to approximately P2.2 million in a month,” said Analiza Narciso, PCSO-Zamboanga’s chief financial management officer in a radio interview.

According to Narciso, the amount only caters to an average of 12 patients in a day, but in reality, more people come to their office seeking assistance on a daily basis. 

“Some come to queue as early as 1:00 a.m.,” shared Narciso, adding “pag dating ng alas 8 ng umaga, ang haba-haba na ng pila, hindi namin mai-accommodate lahat (at 8:00 a.m., the queue was already long and we could not accommodate all of them anymore).”  

“The 2.2 million pesos monthly allocation is really not enough,” she said. 

In availing of medical assistance, priority is given to the indigents. However, in certain cases, patients from the average-income bracket may be accommodated like treatment of cancer through chemotherapy and other serious ailments. 

The PCSO provides assistance for hospitalization expenses, laboratory procedures and purchase of medicines, chemo drugs, dialysis solutions, antibiotics, implants, devices and other medical needs such as wheelchairs. However, Narciso reiterated that other expenses such as food and the doctors’ professional fees are not covered. 

Those needing medical assistance should prepare the following documentary requirements for submission to the PCSO: letter request to the PCSO chairman / general manager, medical abstract, bill/quotation/costing from hospital pharmacy / supplies, lab request / medicine prescription, endorsement/acceptance letter from hospital social services /credit collection office. 

The PCSO is located in HC Marketing Building, Governor Camins Avenue in Zamboanga City. (PIA9)




Multi-media professionals undergo orientation 

STD, HIV and AIDS stigma and discrimination

By Gideon C. Corgue

PAGADIAN CITY – Multi-media professionals  play a vital role in diminishing the stigma and discrimination suffered by young people who are affected with Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) particularly Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV-AIDS).

This was declared by Claire Jose , DOH-CHD9 regional program coordinator for blood, HIV and AIDS programs during the one-day orientation among multi-media professionals at  Hotel Guillermo over the weekend.

According to Jose, since the 1980’s, young people who are bi-sexual , gay, sex workers, and transgender mostly affected by the disease suffered denial, stigma and discrimination in the community.  “In some cases, they are rejected by their loved ones, the communities where they live, unfairly treated in the workplace, and even worst, denied access to education and other health services,” Jose added.

Jose said because of discrimination, people are afraid to disclose their condition  in  society making the management of the disease very difficult.

“They go underground and never seek for professional health service in  social hygiene clinics until their symptoms have become serious because they are afraid  their situation will be publicized,” Jose explained.  

She said the government and stakeholders should develop strategies in addressing stigma for HIV-AIDS prevention on the marginalized group. Gender issues and stigma reduction should always be in every aspect of education and policy programs.

With the help of multi-media professionals, Jose said she is confident that patients infected with HIV will no longer suffer this unpleasant experience but instead, they will cooperate with health experts.   

The activity was conducted in key cities of the Zamboanga Peninsula region. (PIA9)




Continued breastfeeding  save

the lives of children, says FNRI

By Mary May A. Abellon

DIPOLOG CITY - The World Health Organization (WHO) gave emphasis on the benefits of breastfeeding to infants aged 0-6 months and when continued up to two years of age and beyond with the right complementary food, will help save the lives of an additional 1.5 million children below  five years old annually.

In a press release,  Ms. Marie T. Bugas, Science Research Specialist II of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), said among infants 0-5 months old, only 36 percent were exclusively breastfed.

“Only 37 percent were breastfed at the same time given complementary food, and as many as 27 percent of infants were given other milk and other foods based on the 7th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) conducted by the FNRI-DOST in 2008,” said Ms. Bugas.

Breastfeeding provides significant benefits to both the mother and the baby. It creates joyful bonding between the mother and her baby,  promotes cost savings, and  undeniably provides health benefits for both of them.

“Let’s work together to ensure the adoption of the breastfeeding practice by encouraging all sectors to help promote, protect and support breastfeeding,” urged Ms. Bugas. (PIA9)




Nutrition champions to

convene in Zamboanga

By Alma L. Tingcang

The Department of Science and Technology Regional Office IX   together  with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) will hosted a media forum for Nutrition Communication Network (NUTRICOMNET) on June 20 at Marcian Garden Hotel, this city.

Information officers, health and nutrition specialists of various government agencies, and faculty members of state colleges and universities involved in food, nutrition and health promotion, to include media practitioners  gathered to share and relate experiences in promoting food and nutrition information in the Zamboanga Peninsula region.

In a press statement, DOST-FNRI said the forum was conducted in 5 major cities in the country including Zamboanga City  in partnership with San Miguel Purefoods Company (SMPC) to tackle important issues such as protein-energy, micro deficiencies and meat safety, and how to fight malnutrition with accurate data, correct information and innovative technologies.

This year’s forum promised to be both informative and exciting considering the relevant issues to be addressed as it aims to provide local media practitioners and information officers with the recent food and nutrition trends in the country. Presentations will include the nutrition situation such as protein energy malnutrition (PEM) and micronutrient deficiencies, consequences of PEM and micronutrient deficiencies, Philippine food fortification program and meat safety.

NUTRICOMNET is a network of provincial and regional media practitioners as well as information officers of various agencies and institutions involved in food, nutrition and health promotion established to create a favorable interactive promotion program between the FNRI-DOST and the local media in the region.

DOST’s partnership with various media both in government and private entities will greatly help in sustaining combined efforts in fighting malnutrition in the country. (ALT/DOST9/PIA9) 






DAR implements ARCCESS

in Zamboanga del Norte

By Mary May A. Abellon

DIPOLOG CITY - Three selected municipalities in the province of Zamboanga del Norte have benefited from the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) program of the Department of Agrarian Reform.

Among the beneficiaries of the first batch were the Guinles Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative (GUIFAMUCO) in the municipality of Polanco, San Miguel Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-purpose Cooperative (SMARBEMCO) in Mutia, and the Joaquin Macias Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-purpose Cooperative (JMARBEMCO) in Sindangan town.

ARCCESS has two major interventions: the delivery of Business Development Services (BDS) to  Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) through the deployment of Community-Based Enterprise Organizers (CBEOs), and the provision of farm equipment and machineries of Common Service facilities (CSFs) to ARBOs.

In CBEOs, the government will hire a professional to assist the business and management of cooperatives and an agricultural extension technician to assist farmers in farm production technology.

Reynaldo Manigos, ARCCESS point person in Zamboanga del Norte, said during an interview that this program was conceptualized in 2011 but it was only this year that the equipment and machineries were delivered.

“The delivery of the needed equipment and machineries to the first batch of ARBOs was made only this year,” said Manigos.

The CSFs include threshers, dryers, shellers, automatic planters, sprayers, coffee roasters, cassava granulators, tractors and hauling trucks.

These CSFs will be granted based on the readiness of ARBOs to manage and optimize the use of the equipment, as well as the necessity of the equipment to the operation of each ARBO. 

“The role of DAR is to monitor  the proper use of common service facilities while the operation of the business and cooperative rests on the farmers,” Mr. Manigos bared. (PIA9) 




No disadvantage, only benefits in

donating blood, says Red Cross

By Dominic I. Sanchez

Donating blood produces fresh blood, which means better circulation, less incidents of high blood pressure and strokes, and a healthier immune system, shares Red Cross Zamboanga’s Blood Center Manager Kelly Geronimo.

“We have a lot of patients in need of blood every day. We cannot simply produce new blood and we depend on donors. There is no disadvantage, but there are plenty of benefits, one of which is to save lives,” Geronimo said.

Moreover, regular blood donation also reduces the risk of heart diseases and removes excess iron from the body.

On June 14 as the world celebrated  Blood Donors’ Day,  Zamboanga City  scored with a mass blood donation drive which was spearheaded by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). Over a hundred eager potential donors came to the PRC compound to give blood.

Vic Liozo, Red Cross Chapter Administrator was pleased by the turn-out. The volunteers were then screened for any traces of transmittable diseases such as hepatitis B and C, malaria, syphilis and HIV.

More or less 80 persons were able to share their blood, including students, government and non-government workers, personnel from the military and police, and eager walk-in donors.





DILG9 staff bags 6th place in LGOO training

By Franklin P. Gumapon

PAGADIAN CITY – Ms. Dishie Lauron, one of the participants in the recently concluded Local Government Operations Officer Training conducted by the Local Government Academy (LGA) in Koronadal City, was ranked 6th among her batch mates.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-9 Regional Director Paisal O. Abutazil recognized Lauron’s feat in a recent regional conference, saying: “We salute you in putting the name of DILG-9 in the limelight from a year-long training of Local Government Operations Officers.”

Lauron was among the 337 trainees from all over the country comprising the 47thbatch that underwent one year training on local governance.

DILG-9 awarded Lauron a Plaque of Recognition which was personally handed to her by Director Abutazil and Assistant Regional Director Pedro G. Cuevas Jr.

“I really do not expect it. What I prayed is just to pass (the training) but it’s more than enough. I asked only for ‘pandesal’ (bread), but the Heavens gave me hamburger,” said Lauron with tears of joy in her eyes.

Lauron failed to attend the graduation rites at Los Baños, Laguna as she is now on the family way.






DOH-CHD ZamPen beefs

up campaign vs. smoking

By Claro A. Lanipa

PAGADIAN CITY – The Department of Health-Center for Health and Development Zamboanga Peninsula (DOH-CHD ZP) is now intensifying its campaign on smoke-free environment in all local government units (LGUs) in the region.

DOH-CHD ZP Public Information Officer Ms. Teresita dela Cruz said “our campaign for a smoke-free environment is based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which is being supported by Republic Act No. 9211, otherwise known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2013.

FCTC aims to protect the present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke by providing a framework for tobacco control measures.

“It has 168 signatories including the European communities and the Philippines. The parties are determined to give priority to the right to protect public health,” she said.

“Every country or nation has the right to protect its citizens. In the Philippines the DOH is the lead agency to implement this right,” dela Cruz explained. (PIA9)





WesMinCom sees significant

progress of IPSP Bayanihan

By Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – To determine whether it is right on track with the campaign on Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan, the Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) hosted a command conference on June 10 to review its progress.

Commanders from the 1st and 6th Infantry Divisions, 3rd Air Division of the Philippine Air Force, Naval Forces Western Mindanao Command, PNP counterparts and other senior staff attended the conference to evaluate its Internal Peace and Security Operation efforts in Western Mindanao for the first semester of 2013.

Lt. Gen. Rey Ardo,  WesMinCom chief described the 1st Semester of 2013 as a very challenging period.

“Aside from having to accomplish the mandate on internal security, the Sabah crisis also gave the opportunity to employ AFP resources and assets of large magnitude and helped resolve and diffuse the tension which could have transformed into large-scale violence, thus preventing negative international repercussions,” Ardo said.

He added that the Command was able to successfully harness the support of all  stakeholders toward the realization of a secure, orderly and credible Elections 2013, saying that “the recently concluded national and local elections was a huge success when compared to past elections.”






NYC encourages  groups

to join 11th TAYO Search

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The National Youth Commission (NYC) encourages local youth groups to join the 11th Search for the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) and let the exceptional achievements of their group be recognized.

Vangie Olandag of NYC 9 said most  youth organizations spend their summer doing projects to help their communities and  this is one opportunity where they can choose their best project and submit it as entry for the 11th TAYO search.

Started in 2002, TAYO is the only award given to group achievements among youth. It aims to discover and laud exceptional youth organizations that have contributed to the development of their communities, schools, or work places through  innovative projects.

Changing the nation one community at a time, is what TAYO Awards Foundation Inc. is doing. It encourages the replication of noteworthy and unconventional projects to solve basic problems in the communities.  

Olandag said the annual search and recognition is given to 10 outstanding Filipino organizations with at least 15 members aged 15 to 39 working towards national growth and development.

It is open to all youth organizations who have implemented projects for their communities from June 2012 up to the present. 

         Interested  applicants may get in touch with TAYO Secretariat or at its Facebook Fan Page, Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations or inquire through: (0917) 898 8296 (txtTAYO); (02) 687 5917; or (02) 416 2833. (PIA9) 





DENR conducts NGP

forum to barangay

By Bernadine Astillero Gabawan

BAYOG, Zamboanga del Sur – In line with the National Greening Program (NGP) of President Benigno S. Aquino III, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-9) conducted a forum on Tuesday at Glupa Gulian Agro-Tourism Park at Barangay Kahayagan this municipality with barangay officials as participants.

Some 60 participants coming from barangays Conacon, Dimalinao, Pulangbato, Bantal and Liba attended the forum.

Forest Specialist Romi Ansale discussed the mechanics in the implementation of the Barangay Forest Program which was immediately followed by an open-forum.

After the discussion, a signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) took place between the officials of the five barangays and the DENR for the establishment of nurseries and seedling production in their respective barangays.

DENR will fund the program by providing P100,000 per barangay with 10,000 seedlings to be planted in a 20 hectares land.

As their counterpart, the barangay local government units (BLGUs) shall be responsible for the protection and maintenance of the areas they have developed. (FPG/BAG/CAL/PIA9)





22 youths complete C4TP

on culinary in Isabela City

By Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – The COMTECH Institute in Basilan awarded certificates of training to 22 young beneficiaries of the Cash for Training Program (C4TP), jointly undertaken by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the social welfare department.

The graduates have completed their culinary training on bread and pastry production and commercial cooking. Both courses qualify them for a National Certification II (NCII) upon passing the assessment made by TESDA.

Elinor Antonio, TESDA specialist for Isabela City said the C4TP is in support of the government’s thrust to provide a sustainable intervention to improve the plight and condition of the youth and empower them through skills training and assistance towards gainful employment and entrepreneurial activities.

She added that the objective of the program is to train the youths for possible employment in targeted communities and provide them the basic requirements that will enable them to practice their trade.

Jasi Kim G. Ramillano, one of the trainees said “Through this scholarship, we hope to change for the better.”





UNDP assesses implementation water

system projects in Katipunan, Kalawit

By Franklin P. Gumapon

PAGADIAN CITY – An evaluator from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has recently visited the municipalities of Katipunan and Kalawit in Zamboanga del Norte to assess the implementation of water system projects by conducting a series of interviews with Barangay Water System Associations (BWSAs), municipal officials and recipient-communities.

UNDP sent Richard Chiwara to gather the problems and challenges encountered in the project implementation, and more specifically to know its impact on the beneficiaries.

Chiwara said “it is important to assess the results of the program in order to improve and enhance some areas such as financing, planning and technical assistance.”

“Water is a governance issue for it serves community. In this governance, there must be mutual accountability between the consumer and the provider. The provider must see to it that the delivery of basic services in providing accessible and potable water must be properly managed,” said Chiwara.

In Katipunan, Chiwara advised Mayor Crisostomo T. Eguia to “think of innovative ways” such as engaging in Public-Private Partnership (PPP), tapping private investors and/or tying up with other organizations like JICA, AUSAID, etc. to augment funding support for water system projects. (FPG/PIA9/DILG9)






11th Festival de las Bellas

Y Flores Summer fun in Z

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez

ZAMBOANGA CITY - There’s no better way to end the summer festival in Zamboanga than to culminate it in style, fashion and parade of beauties as this year’s summer fest ended with the competition of arcos and gowns created by Zamboanga’s finest designers and the search for the prettiest  señorita dubbed as Festival del las bellas Y Flores.

Now on it’s 11th year, this annual activity locally known as “Santacruzan” is part of the city government’s 2013 Summer Festival, which is intended to involve the community and provide wholesome entertainment to local residents as well as visitors during summer. 

The undertaking also seeks to preserve the cultural heritage of the City as it showcases Zamboangueño creativity and craftsmanship.

The festival de Las Bellas Y Flores, which was held recently at the Paseo del Mar, had gathered ten (10) entries that competed in three festival categories- the Most Outstanding Arco; Best in gown; and Prettiest Señorita. 

The said 10 local fashion couturiers showcased their prowess as they battled it out in the contest of creativity, beauty and artistic ingenuity.(PIA9)





OWWA celebrate Migrant

Workers Day on June 15

By Mary Jane R. Amarado


The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Region 9 will celebrate the Migrant Workers Day on June 15 at the Marcian Garden Convention Center this city, starting 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.


With the theme, “Migranteng Pilipino: Tayo ay Magkasama sa Pag-abot sa Pangarap Mo,” a Jobs Fair will be conducted in coordination with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Regional Extension Unit-9 (REU-9) and the Association of the Zamboanga City Recruitment Agencies (AZCRA).


Hassan Gabra T. Jumdain, OWWA-9 Regional Director said that the event is open to all as the celebration will highlight the jobs fair, awarding of best OFW Family Circles in Region 9, launching of OWWA’s MTV “Abot Kamay” and raffle prizes. This is in recognition of the valuable contribution of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to our country.


This year marks the 18th annual observance of the Filipino Migrants’ day, also known as “Araw ng Pasasalamat” as a way of celebrating the signing into law of Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers Act of 1995.


“This is a big opportunity as we remain to be of service not only to OFWs but to the entire residents here in Zamboanga City,” Director Jumdain added.




Pagadian  mayor orders CSWDO

to attend to  200 evicted families

Acting City Mayor Romeo Pulmones has ordered the City Social Welfare and Development Office to look into the plight of hundreds of evicted families and provide assistance whatever the city government may extend to them.

Pulmones issued the order after some 200 families were evicted Tuesday, on the strength of a court order, from their homes in Purok Sweet Love, Barangay Dumagoc, this city.

They were evicted from a 2.5-hectare property owned by Ruth Duran and her family who agreed to provide relocation site but with corresponding payment and only to “pioneer” affected families only.

This means that only those families who were among the first ones to settle in the property years back will be provided relocation by the Duran family.

Court Sheriff Jimelito Babor said the demolition of the houses from the Duran property is in pursuant to a Writ of Demolition issued in March this year by Regional Trial Court Branch 20 Judge Dennis Vicoy.

Babor said the affected families will be relocated to Barangay White Beach.

Pulmones assured the affected families that they will be provided with tents as temporary shelter and other needs which the city government may extend to them.

Vivian Manlanat, the representative of Dumagoc Settlers Association, said there is nothing she can do but to respect the court order although some of her members refused to vacate unless the city government will provide them relocation site.

Some of Manlanat’s members said they are willing to accept whatever relocation site the city government would provide as long as they could own the land. (PNA)



DOLE warns employers vs.

violation of ‘Kasambahay’

A top official of the Dept. of Labor and Employment in Pagadian City has called on employers of domestic workers to extend to them the benefits stipulated under Republic Act 10361.

DOLE provincial head Lourdes Amores made the call after the “Domestic Workers Act” or “Batas Kasambahay” instituted policies for the protection and welfare of domestic workers has taken effect this week.

Amores warned employers that violation of R.A. 10361 is punishable with a fine of not less than P10,000 but not more than P40,000 without prejudice to the filing of appropriate civil or criminal action by the aggrieved party.

The legislation, commonly known as “Kasambahay Law,” entitles the domestic workers to a minimum monthly wage of P2,500, if they are employed in Metro Manila or in the National Capital Region).

Those working in chartered cities, like in this city, and first class municipalities are entitled to P2,000 monthly salary and P1,500 if they are employed in other municipalities.

They are also entitled to benefits like 13th month pay, incentive leaves and social welfare benefits such as the Social Security System, Pag-IBIG Fund, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Amores said.

Meanwhile, Amores said her office has yet to determine how many domestic workers would benefit from the law in this province, which comprises 26 municipalities and one city.

She urged employers to register the domestic workers they employed in a particular locality.

She said R.A. 10361 requires the employers to register their domestic workers in their respective barangays in order for the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the barangay to monitor the total household workers employed in its area.

As this developed, SSS Pagadian branch head James Buckly said they are open for business from Monday to Saturday this month to accept registration of domestic workers.(PNA)




DENR 9 joins the observance

of World Environment Day

By Claro A. Lanipa

PAGADIAN CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-9) headed by Regional Technical Director Arleigh J. Adorable joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Environment Day last Wednesday, June 5, 2013 with the theme “Think Eat Save.”

The event  kicked-off with a motorcade around the city’s main thoroughfares  followed by a simple program at the Taclobo Stage, Plaza Luz with the participation of national and local government offices including civic organizations and non-government organizations.

Pagadian City Mayor-elect Romeo P. Pulmones in his message said he was deeply touched by the facts earlier presented to him particularly on the report of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO), that 1 in every 7 Filipinos and more than 20,000 children at the age of five die daily from hunger.

He said even here in Pagadian City, there are people whose only means of livelihood is begging on the streets in order to survive. “And I believe majority of these people go to bed hungry every night. Yet, we can observe  the abundance of food around and it is sad to know that according to the estimates of UNFAO, about one-third of the global food production is either wasted or lost.”

Pulmones  considers the problem on food shortage as an additional challenge to his administration which will be given  priority. “May this also be a challenge to all not only to the DENR family. Together let us work and find a solution which we could effectively implement so that one day we could solve the problem and share by making people think, eat and save,” he added.

Meanwhile, Environment Management Bureau Director Sixto Tolentino  emphasized the United Nations Environmental Program’s (UNEP) call for an informed decision among consumerist – first, that we should make a good selection or choices in the food we eat, but the kind of food we eat should be organic, because it is free from chemicals.

Second, we should buy food that is produced locally. “When you buy imported food, the movement  causes energy releases and some of these releases  contribute to global warming.


Logically, “we should think first what to eat so that we don’t only save ourselves but the environment we live in,” Tolentino concluded. (PIA9)




DepEd Zambo Norte conducts mass

training for Grade II K - 12 teachers

By Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY - The Department of Education, Zamboanga del Norte Schools Division  recently conducted a “Mass Training for Grade !! K to 12 teachers.

The one-week training participated in by 360 Grade II teachers from the different municipalities of Zamboanga del Norte was held on May 27-31, 2013 at Top Plaza Hotel, this city.

The scope of the training included: (1) Use of Mother Tongue or L1as the Medium of Instruction which serves as the tool in bridging Language 2 (L2) which is Filipino, and Language 3 (L3) which is English; (2) Teaching Strategies and Approaches, and instructional materials; (3) Assessment tools; and Framing and Making Lesson Plans and Proper Classroom Management.

Ms. Lourma Poculan,  Assistant Schools Division Superintendent said the one-week seminar aimed to enhance the expertise of teachers and equip them on the new innovation of the basic education curriculum.

According to Poculan, the training is so vital among Grade II K to 12 teachers since it deals with the use of mother tongue as one of the medium of instruction and used as a tool in bridging Language 2 and Language 3.

Poculan, who was also the keynote speaker during the closing ceremony hoped that teachers will impart to the young children what they have learned during the one-week training. (PIA9)





Search for 10 most outstanding

Red Cross youth members

By Mary May A. Abellon


DIPOLOG CITY —  The Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Zamboanga del Norte Chapter announces the Search for 10 Most Outstanding Red Cross Youth (TORCY) members and School Council for the year 2014.

Youth members aged 12-25 with excellent and exemplary academic, community and extracurricular activities are encouraged to join the said nomination upon the recommendation of their Red Cross School Council.

A nominee should have undergone Leadership Development Training Program (LDP) and Standard First Aid Training; must be familiar with the history and guiding principles of the organization; and had paid the annual membership contribution.

“In order to qualify as a nominee, one must be a bonafide Philippine Red Cross member,” PRC-ZN Chapter Service Representative Nidoh Gen Regencia said in an interview.

Moreover, nominees should be Filipino citizen, fluent in English and Filipino languages, active in different services of PRC for at least two years and has not been convicted of a crime.

For the Best School Council category, one must accomplish the accreditation requirements and duly recognized by the PRC national office.

The general criteria for the Red Cross Youth category are the following: Academic Performance - 30%, Extra Curricular Activities - 30%, Red Cross Involvement  - 30%, Essay - 10%, for a total of 100%.

For the school council category, nominees will be judged according to the following criteria: Conduct of Red Cross Activities - 40 %, Participation to other NGO/ GO Activities - 30 %, and Participation to School Activities - 30% for a total of 100%.

Deadline for the submission of official nomination forms shall be on January 15, 2014 and submission of the requirements shall be on January 30, 2014.

The 15 finalists will be announced on February 7, 2014 and the awarding ceremony will be on April 15, 2014 in time for the celebration of Philippine Red Cross Day.

The 5 finalists will receive a medal and certificate of recognition while the 10 awardees will receive a medal, plaque and certificate of recognition. (PIA9)





New minimum wage rates

to take effect on June 10

By Claro A. Lanipa

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-IX) has approved the  new minimum wage rates on May 6, 2013 which shall take effect on June 10, 2013.

Under Republic Act No. 6727, otherwise known as the Wage Rationalization Act of 1989, which empowers the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards to determine and fix minimum wage rates applicable in the regions and to issue corresponding wage orders subject to existing guidelines issued by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).

After conducting an evaluation of the region’s socio-economic and labor market indicators, particularly the region’s poverty incidence, the erosion of the purchasing power of the peso, as well as the problematic power situation prevailing in the region, the Board deemed it just and equitable to adjust and increase the current minimum wage rates.

The regional board issued Wage Order No. 18 prescribing the new minimum wage rate increase of P13.00 per day for all industries and categories in the entire Zamboanga Peninsula as follows; for non-agricultural which includes private hospitals, educational institutions, security agencies, janitorial and retail/service establishments employing more than 30 workers will now receive P280 from the old rate of P267 per day.

For the agricultural sector (includes rubber-based plantation) P255 and P235 for plantation agricultural enterprise and non-plantation agricultural enterprise respectively. Retail/Service establishments employing not more than 30 workers receiving P247/day will now get P260 a day. While for  workers in the cottage/handicraft industry will now receive P235 per day from  the previous rate of P222 per day.

Wage Order No. RIX-18 applies to all the minimum wage earners in the private sector in the region, regardless of their position, designation or status and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid.

However, this wage order does not cover household or domestic helpers, persons in the personal service of another, including family drivers and workers in registered barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) with certificates of Authority pursuant to RA 9178.

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Production Board is composed of DOLE 9 Regional Director Sisinio B. Cano as chairman, NEDA 9 Director Teresita Socorro Ramos and DTI-9 Director Nazrullah Manzur as Vice Chairmen; Edgar Lim and Roberto Valerio, members Employers’ representatives; and Jose Suan and Rey Anthony Trio, members, Labor sector. (PIA9) 





DOST grants P600-T assistance

to SETUP program beneficiary

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez

JAM JC Marketing, a food processor  in  Mahayag, Zamboanga Del Sur finally gets the nod of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-9 as the department recently approved the sum of P676,000.00 as its financial and technical assistance to  the said firm.

Funded under the Small Enterprise Technology and Upgrading Program (SETUP) of DOST, the fund assistance will be used to upgrade the firm’s palay drying process by the fabrication of one unit 6-tons capacity mechanical rice dryer.

DOST in its press release said the mechanical rice dryer is capable of shorter drying period, therefore would yield higher output and more efficient production process.

The dryer will be utilizing the rice hull as its fuel, making way for cost-effective, environment-friendly, and more sustainable operation.

“The mechanical rice dryer will definitely hasten the drying process for palay thereby enabling the firm to increase productivity, reduce rejects of raw materials, increase income and generate at least two additional employment opportunities for the local,” the DOST statement reads.

Aside from the equipment, the amount approved will also include the conduct of a process and system improvement sessions to boost the competency of the firm and its workforce. 

The firm currently operates a total of 26 hectares rice plantation with the local farmers cultivating the area.

JAM JC Marketing also caters to other farmers and small palay buyers on drying and milling services. The current practice of the firm is open solar drying.

SETUP is a nationwide strategy to encourage and assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in implementing technological innovations and improvements in their operations to boost their productivity and competitiveness which focuses on six (6) priority sectors: 1. Food Processing; 2. Furniture; 3. Gifts, Decors & Handicrafts; 4. Marine and Aquatic Resources; 5. Horticulture (Cut flowers, fruits, high value crops); and 6. Metals and Engineering. (PIA9)





Tourism  pushes for accreditation of tourism-

related businesses for access to gov’t programs

By Michael Vincent D. Cajulao

 ZAMBOANGA CITY – “We are campaigning for accreditation of tourism-related establishments because if they are not accredited, they could not avail of  government programs”, Department of Tourism IX Regional Director Mary June Bugante said during an interview with local media here.

Bugante said being accredited with DOT has additional perks like being included in DOT programs and promotional materials, and will also be prioritized for trainings.

However, Bugante said they still have to convince most establishments in the city and the entire region for accreditation as most are not keen on this program.

“Most of them don’t see any reason to be accredited because they  are doing well whether they are accredited or not”, she said.

Bugante, however, said the government is intensifying its drive to encourage businesses or establishments to be accredited with DOT. She said accommodation businesses like hotels, travel inns and the like, including  travel tour operators should be accredited while restaurants and other food businesses are optional.

As per DOT IX record, there are at least 200 tourism-related businesses in Zamboanga Peninsula, with around 100 based in Zamboanga City. They are targeting at least 30% of these to be accredited. (PIA9)    




GSIS pensioners enjoy free

health and beauty treats

By Alma L. Tingcang

PAGADIAN CITY -  The Government Service  Insurance System (GSIS) treated pensioners to a day of free blood typing, blood pressure screening, massage, manicure, pedicure, and haircut on May 31.

But they were most amused with the orientation/lecture on acupressure, an alternative therapy that uses manual pressure and learned so much from the facilitator who also provided them with a copy of the body’s pressure points for them to use.

Dubbed as “GSIS Pensioners’ Day,” it was in line with the 76thAnniversary celebration of the state pension fund with the theme “Trending at 76.”

In a brief program, Atty. Edwin M. Tomon said that with the new direction that the GSIS is headed under the management of  President and General Manager Robert G. Vergara together with its Board of Directors, GSIS continues in its pursuit for a highly professionalized bureaucracy and thus providing excellent service to its clientele.

He said with the GSIS’ new battlecry, “Maaasahan ng Lingkod Bayan,” new initiatives are in place paving the way for a more consultative, more transparent and more  member-focused institution.

“Being member-focused, it means, member above all, and member includes pensioners,” Atty. Tomon clarified.

Engr. Alberto Y. Galicinao, a retiree for a couple of years and Dr. Emma R. Sanson who retired barely nine months ago gave inspiring messages to the pensioners and depicted their life after retirement.

Leoncito S. Manuel, GSIS branch head here was not able to join the occasion as he was on official travel to Manila to receive his service award. (PIA9)




ISAWAD, Basilan Rotary complete

model house for Gawad Kalinga

By Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – The Isabela Water District (ISAWAD) and the Basilan Rotary Club has completed the model house for the Gawad Kalinga housing project in Pamucalin Village, Lantawan town, Basilan.

It was the first completed house of the thirty houses that are being constructed at Pamucalin site.

ISAWAD General Manager and Vice-President of the Basilan Rotary Club Alelie Almodovar said that the organization immediately responded to the invitation of Team Basilan and Gawad Kalinga to take part in the housing project.

“More than building the house, we also believe that we can contribute in building a community of peace by assisting to build homes to the poorest of the poor for the betterment of the society,” Almodovar said.

She said that with the help of some personnel in the water district and the members of the Rotary Club, they were able to complete the house in just a few weeks with the support of the military who assisted the team with transportation.

“It’s always the commitment of ISAWAD and Rotary Club to community service,” she noted, adding that the construction team only goes to the site on Saturdays.

Kohlee Calzada, Gawad Kalinga project coordinator said that the project is part of the ongoing Bayani Challenge 2013 which was launched nationwide last March 23-27, 2013 in Lantawan with some 500 volunteers. The project, he said, is a yearly activity of Gawad Kalinga.

Calzada said GK values its partners because the projects could not be accomplished without them.

“We are lucky that we have ISAWAD and Rotary as our partners in this development program,” he said.

Calzada hopes that the project will contribute to peace building in this part of the island. He invited ISAWAD and the Rotary to continue to support the project even after the turnover of the model house last May 17. (PIA9)




NGCP surpasses target set for 2012 FOT

By Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY - On its way to fulfilling its mission of becoming the best transmission company in Southeast Asia, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) surpassed the target limit for frequency of tripping (FOT) set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the year 2012.

The FOT is a corporate performance indicator set by the ERC that measures the number of times the high-voltage transmission lines tripped or experienced forced outages for every 100 circuit kilometers (ckm). The ERC established the indicator to ensure minimal disturbance on power delivery service and to continuously improve the transmission system operator’s facilities. NGCP’s goal is to lower the FOT for the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao grids.

For the year 2012, the target FOT for Luzon Grid was set at 4.63 trippings per 100ckm, the Visayas Grid at 5.7 per 100ckm, and the Mindanao Grid at 5.52 per 100ckm. Having successfully reinforced the crucial lines and continuously improving the rest of its facilities, NGCP was able to reduce the frequency of trippings to 1.959 for Luzon, 1.081 for Visayas, and 2.595 for Mindanao, respectively. This represents a 58% improvement over the ERC-set acceptable levels for Luzon, 81% for Visayas, and 53% for Mindanao.

NGCP Spokesperson Atty. Cynthia P. Alabanza confirmed the actual FOT ratings. ”NGCP’s operations are centered on strengthening the transmission backbone that is why we strive hard year on year to lower our FOTs. Our FOT ratings, which are considerably better than the acceptable levels set by ERC, are a result of the continuous upgrade, expansion, and reinforcement of our facilities. Our customers and the public can be assured that NGCP will continue to improve its performance and exceed the targets set by the ERC to provide more reliable and efficient power transmission service.”

NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations, and related assets.

NGCP’s regular maintenance activities and expansion projects aim to enhance the reliability and quality of electricity delivered to grid-connected customers like generators, distributors, and large industries.(FPG/NGCP/ATR/PIA9)





Search for ‘13 Model OFWF

of the Year officially opens

By Alma L. Tingcang

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA9) is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Model Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) in the Zamboanga Peninsula region.

Labor Communications Officer Mary Jane R. Amarado said Overseas Workers Welfare Administration -IX Regional Director   Gabra T. Jumdain urges OFW, non-government organizations, peoples’ organizations, religious groups, community-based socio-civic organizations and local government units to submit their nominations to OWWA9. No individual nominations will be accepted.

“The search focuses on OFW families who have nurtured strong family relations and properly managed the financial benefits from overseas employment,” Director Jumdain said.

Ms. Amarado said MOFYA, now on its ninth year, aims to highlight best practices of OFWs and their families in overcoming the challenges of migration.

Criteria for nominations include the following: the family is headed by an OFW who is formerly or presently working abroad with a formal or informal contract of employment or work permit, and with proof of OWWA membership; the OFW, either married or single, is the breadwinner of the family and has at least four years of work experience as an OFW; the family is known as a solid/stable family in the locality; and the family is financially stable. 

The Regional screening and selection is tentatively set on September, 2013 and winners will be named on October 2013. There will be two families to be awarded model OFW families, the sea-based and the land-based.

“Special awards await the winners and a chance to be nominated and be named as a national OFW family in the National Awarding ceremony which will take place sometime in November,” Director Jumdain added. (FPG/ALT/PIA9/OWWA9/With report from Mary Jane R. Amarado)






DSWD, TESDA conduct “cash for training” in Bayog

By Bernadine Astillero Gabawan


BAYOG, Zamboanga del Sur – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in partnership with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in coordination with the local government unit of Bayog conducted a “Cash for Training” on Organic Agriculture Production (OAP) and Driving and Auto Servicing (D & AC) here on Tuesday at the Glupa Gulian Agro-Tourism Park in Barangay Kahayagan.


The program aimed to empower the disadvantaged youths through skills training and assistance for a gainful employment  by venturing them into entrepreneurial activities.


The training package  includes training cost, tool kits and transportation allowance amounting to of P20,000 per scholar.


Fifty three out-of-school youths and unemployed college graduates successfully completed the training - 28 on organic agriculture production and 25 on driving and auto servicing.


In his message, Mayor Leonardo L. Babasa Jr. expressed his appreciation on the program for “it gives the youths an opportunity to start their own livelihood.”


“With this, it will induce economic activity in the municipality,” Babasa added.

Moreover, Mayor Babasa gave assurance to the participants that they would be given an area at the Glupa Gulian for their gardening, hoping that “this batch will help in the production of rubber seedlings in the municipality.”


Also present during the occasion were SB member Celso Matias, TESDA Provincial Director Eulalio Lumactod, MSWDO Conchita Sucaldito, ZOOM Technical and Agriculture Training Center President Nelly Yting, ZOOM school registrar Ma. Dinah Marasigan, LGU department heads and key officials and ZOOM instructors Ruel Maraniag, Alejandro Gesta, Romson Jarantilla and Ridesh Jarantilla. (PIA9)






DSWD launches Reg’l Profile of Poor

Households; Tatsulo “stories of hope”

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez


The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 9 recently launched its “Regional Profile of Poor Households” (RPPH) back to back with its documentary film Tatsulo “Stories of Hope.”


The RPPH contains data that will serve as a guide to agencies and organization in developing programs and projects for the disadvantaged Filipino families and communities.


The roster of poor households found in the RPPH were identified through an information management system that identifies who are the poor, and this system is called the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (HHTS-PR) where series of activities such as house–to-house assessment and validation activities were conducted.


The RPPH launching was done through the symbolic unveiling of the life-size RPPH booklet led by DSWD Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Operations Consejo H. Usman.


A film showing on the documentary (docu) film Tatsulo “stories of hope” followed shortly after the RPPH booklet-launch.


ARD Usman said the docu film showcases life stories of DSWD Tatsulo program beneficiaries of how hope shine upon them in the midst of poverty.


“In our effort to provide general public as well as our partners an idea of our department’s gains and impact on our beneficiaries, we have documented grassroots stories which we hope will serve as an inspiration to our partners and comrades in our fight against poverty,” Usman said.


Tatsulo is a convergence strategy employing the three major social protection program of DSWD-the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), KALAHI-CIDSS and Sustainable Livelihood. It aims to promote total-well being of the family from the development of their human capacities and making income generating opportunities available for them.


Present during the launching were the Tatsulo “stories of hope” program beneficiaries themselves. They were presented to the media in a press conference. (PIA9)


ICRC eye projects in Zamboanga, Ipil 

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will implement several humanitarian projects in Zamboanga City and Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay Province before the end of this year.

Zamboanga City ICRC head Christophe Gillioz said that the planned projects for Zamboanga City are a Migrant Center for the deportees to be located at Mampang and a kitchen for the Zamboanga City Reformatory Center or the Zamboanga City Jail. 

There will also be a project in the Ipil District Jail, Zamboanga Sibugay, to improve the detention condition of the inmates.

Gillioz said that the rehabilitation of the jails are not done for the comfort of the inmates alone but for the  jail guards. “These will address humanitarian concerns.”

New PNP Chief: discipline in cops

Police Regional Office 9 Police Chief Superintendent Edwin Corvera has relayed that new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Police Director General Raul Bacalzo wants to emphasize discipline on policemen.

Corvera said that “The PNP Chief is emphasizing sa ating mga kapulisan ang discipline, courtesy and good moral and right conduct.”

Aside from these, policemen who will violate some laws or code of conduct will have to expect swift punishment.  

According to Corvera these instructions were relayed by the PNP Chief to all top officials of the PNP during a meeting in the PNP National Headquarters in Manila recently.

Gun ban begins

The Commission on Election (Comelec) started to implement gun ban effective at midnight of  Saturday, September 25, 2010 nationwide  for the election period government the Oct. 25 barrio eleccions.

The people are banned from bringing firearms outside their homes.  The ban will be in place  until November 10, 2010 as part of security preparations for the coming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, according to Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle.

The gun ban also covers all kinds of explosives, airsoft guns, and bladed weapons to include licensed firearms. Violators can be imprisoned for up to 6 years, Tagle warned.

Only regular officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and other government law enforcement agencies are allowed to carry firearms while they are on duty.

Only cockpits can be licensed

The City Permit and Licensing Division can only license  cockpit operations as part of gambling activities or business in this city.

All other kinds of gambling like “poker game”, wahoy,  tarian and similar games cannot be licensed,

There are reports that gambling games such sas “poker games “ , wahoy ,  tarian, cards games like tong-its and among others are proliferating in the area.

In an interview, Office –in-Charge  Ms. Cora Cairo said that the only gambling games they allow and give Business Permit is the operation of Cockpit.

There are now over a dozen places in town where poker is said to be proliferating –without any business permit.

Zamboanguenos unite vs dengue

Mayor Celso Lobregat and City Health Officer Rodel Agbulos spearheaded a recent  simultaneous noise barrage and clean up drive  to remind the public on the need to maintain cleanliness and sanitation to free the city from dengue and all forms of diseases. 

The citywide clean up drive, formalized through Executive Order 351-2010 issued by Mayor Lobregat August 31, enjoins all sectors to participate in the cleanliness activity not only last September 2, but all through the coming days.  

Focus of the clean up campaign is the search and destruction of breeding places of the dengue carrier mosquito larvae.  


NFA supply to yearend

The National Food Authority –IX  (NFA-9) has received the   150,000 bags of rice as the   last  importation  to complete the  2,240 million quota for the year 2010  .

NFA Provincial Manager Gaudencio Nuega said that the office  has the last importation of about 150,000 bags of rice as the 22th vessel  coming from Vietnam anytime of the month .

This  is to complete the quota of about 2.240 million bags of rice intended for the entire areas in the region .

Nuega said  that NFA  already received the 21th vessel  -importation of rice for the year 2010 which means the arrival of 150,000 bags of rice is the 22th  vessel   to complete the quota  unless head office Manila will make an additional for that matter.

On record, NFA has about 810,000 bags of rice stored at the NFA warehouse to include those rented in the Rojo and Zamboanga City Holding warehouses .

Biel checks trike “No Smoking” 

Zamboanga City District 1 Councilor Noning Biel will see to it that tricycles will display the no smoking sign on their respective tricycles to inform both the tricycle drivers and the passengers that smoking is not allowed in public utility vehicles.

Biel said that “Ta chekia se kame uno por uno conel maga tricycle el No Smoking sign. Hinde ta man process conel papers si nuay se sign”  

The franchise papers are only being signed after the operator complied with all the requirements to include the posting of this no smoking sign on the tricycle.

According to Biel who is also the chairman on the Committee on Franchise in the city council there are 6,000 running tricycles in this city.   

He said that he welcomes this kind of guidelines to protect the drivers and the passengers as well.


DSWD for possible 4P’s expansion

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in region 9 is preparing  for the possible expansion of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4P’s which aims to  alleviate the lives of the poor nationwide.

DSWD 9 Regional Director Teodulo Romo, Jr. said that “There is a proposed additional 4P’s beneficiaries next year of 1.3 Million.”

If the plan pushes through Romo said there will be a possible expansion of the program especially in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.

For Zamboanga City  there are about  1,500 registered beneficiaries from the different barangays and by October when all the process is finished they can start receiving their benefits.

There are 120,782 4P’s beneficiaries in Region 9 coming from Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.


Celso  to RPOC-9 chair post

Mayor Celso Lobregat has been nominated to head the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-9), the body that ensures a more comprehensive and effective coordination of government efforts and the active participation of citizenry in the campaign against criminality and insurgency.

The RPOC, in a meeting in Pagadian City Tuesday, Sept. 21, also listed down Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co and Sibugay Governor Rommel Jalosjos as nominees for the post.

City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr., who represented Mayor Lobregat in the meeting said however, Jalosjos backed out from the race.

It is recalled that Mayor Lobregat also obtained the highest number of votes in the secret balloting for nominees for the position of chairman in the Regional Development Council last week.

The list was submitted to the Office of President Noynoy Aquino, who is the appointing authority.

Like the RPOC, the mayor also suffered the same fate in the RDC during the time of the former president, as he was not appointed in 2004 and 2007 even if he was the top choice of the RDC then.

BIR: file Income Tax Returns early

 The Bureau of Internal Revenue 9 (BIR) Revenue District Officer (RDO) has appealed to the public to file their income tax returns early to avoid the rush and the inconvenience when the deadline on April 15 comes.

 Revenue District Officer Roberto Bucoy said that he is urging the public to pay early to avoid the rush and penalties.

 He added that aside from this, holy week is also coming so they can properly observe the holy week worry free. “Before the holy week I urge the public to file their income tax so they can properly observe the holy week.”  

 The income tax and value added tax are the sources of revenue collection according to Bucoy.  Last year Bucoy said that the office was able to collect almost P50 Million for the income tax alone.

Zambo named model in anti-red tape drive 

Zamboanga has been chosen as model city in Zamboanga Peninsula for the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) campaign otherwise known as Project CURE (Comprehensive and Unified Response to Eliminate Red Tape) in Local Government Units. 

Regional Director Macybel Alfaro Sahi of the Civil Service Commission (CSC-9) announced this yesterday morning during the opening of the two-day seminar workshop on Project Cure aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of LGUs in the delivery of public goods and services through anti-red tape practices, thus preventing graft and corruption. 

Director Sahi said Zamboanga City was chosen as ARTA model for good reasons: It has a very commendable administrative and personnel management and very commendable practices, particularly in the city government under the administration of Mayor Celso Lobregat.  As model city, Sahi said, Zamboanga is expected to fully and substantially comply with the requirements of ARTA, introduce the best practices and innovations to effectively implement ARTA. 

Project CURE is initiated by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in coordination with the Local Government Academy, Office of the Ombudsman, Local Research Institute, Development Academy of the Philippines, Presidential Anti-Graft Commission and CSC. 

Fabian favors revival of ‘City of

Flowers’ tag for Zamboanga City

District 2 Representative Hon. Erico Basilio Fabian favors revived his strong fortitude of retaining Zamboanga City brand as “City of Flowers”.

This after the clamor of his constituents in District 2 persist and made him heed into the demand of the people to retain the known brand for the city which has a historical value for the old and new generations of Zamboanguenos.

Fabian made this pronouncement while speaking as the Inducting Officer and Guest of Honor of the Zamboanguenos Senior Golfers Club 1st Golf Tournament at Marcian Garden Hotel, Sunday night.

“Without prejudice to Asia’s Latin City, Zamboanga City is still the City of Flowers, we are known for it, we will have to help each other to retain it,” Fabian said.

The solon said that in several occasions during Christmas season, senior citizens and historic local residents recall their memories of the city being known as the City of Flowers, the image it had and the beauty it gave to La Bella.

It was the same reason which was favored by Fabian to hear the call of the Zamboanguenos to retain its image and history.


Sadain wants more death aid for poor

 District I Councilor Melchor Sadain is batting for an increase in burial assistance provided by the city government from P3,800 to P5,000 to the poor to help them in burying their departed love ones.

Sadain said that in the annual budget for 2009 there was an increase in annual appropriation that is now almost P3 Million for this type of assistance for the poor.

The ordinance increasing the burial assistance from P3,800 to P5,000 is now being set for committee hearing on the committee on ordinance headed by councilor Juan Climaco Elago.


Despalo wants new wires for old buildings

The City Engineer’s Office (CEO) recommends all  dilapidated  buildings that have turned into fire hazards should be rewired to prevent fires and for added fire  protection in this city .

In an interview, City Engineer Luis Vicente Despalo disclosed that owners of dilapidated to include old buildings should replace their wirings, particularly the so-called “octopus” connection for fire safety.

Despalo said that based on record there are few old buildings within the city proper that were already recommended for rewiring.


LTO nabs, penalized  200 trikes, 50 bikes

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has apprehended at least 200 unregistered motorized tricycles for plying the streets without any registration or approved franchise.

The LTO has also intercepted at least 50 motorcyclists whose units lacked papers or were found to have violated rules.

LTO Operations Division Chief Rodolfo said that violators were penalized accordingly for several violations under R.A. 4136.

Those apprehended and penalized were some 200 motorized tricycle who did not registered their vehicle for the past three to four years while others were given minimal penalty of P 200  instead the regular penalty payment amounting to P 900 plus .



Guingona denounces prices of gasoline-oil

City Councilor Benjamin Guingona has denounced the refusal of gasoline and crude stations owners for refusing to reduce the prices of their products even if similar products are being sold nationwide at lower rates.

Guingona said that “That is unfair to the consumers,” referring to the present price of gasoline in Zamboanga.

According to Guingona in other places like Manila the price of diesel is now down to P28.93 but in Zamboanga City the price is still at P30.00.


No more asphalt overlays for damage roads

The City Engineer’s Office (CEO) will stop recommending the use of asphalt overlay to repair or cover defects of road or streets projects in the city.

In an interview, City Engineer Luis Vicente Despalo said that he has stopped recommending the use of asphalt overlay to cover dilapidated roads or those with potholes.

Despalo favors the concreting of roads since asphalt overlay is expensive and deteriorates during heavy rains.

ZCRC inmates’ number continues to decrease 

The population of the inmates detained in the Zamboanga City Reformatory Center continues to decrease because of the speedy disposition of the inmates cases by the courts.

City Jail Warden Jail Superintendent Ester Pepito said that that unlike before with many cases are pending in courts these days there is a 10% decongestion in the city jail.

The population of the male inmates has been reduced from 1,109 to 1,042, for the female inmates the reduction is from 170 to 130 and for the minors from 69 to 22.


Philippine NGO Council sees in Zambo

Seeing the great potential of Zamboanga City as a tourist destination, a top official of a known Non-Government Organization offered a joint venture with the local business sector in developing such potential.

Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare, Incorporated  (PNGO-CPHWI) Executive Director Eden R. Divinagracia yesterday discussed such opportunity with local prominent hotelier Mr. Danny Lim.

Divinagracia said that in her locally initiated tour during her visit here shows some perfect scenery of promoting local tourism which was un-discovered yet by the locals.


PRO9 to receive 23 new police cars 

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 9 is set to receive a total of 23 new police cars worth millions of pesos to add to the mobility of the police force this month.   

PRO9 Regional Director Chief Superintendent Angelo Sunglao said that “We will receive 23 brand new vehicles.”

These new cars for the police came from the Philippine National Police Headquarters at Campo Crame.


No shortage of sand gravel supply for projects

District Engineer Merham Acas of the Public Works and Highways District Office said that contractor and local suppliers are not affected by any shortages of sand and gravel materials in this city.

This assessment came about because of the increase in prices of these materials during the 3rd and 4th quarter of the previous year 2008.

Engr .Acas said that not a single project was affected since the office did not receive any complaint from the contractor and suppliers of sand and gravel materials.


LTO to buy guns for law enforcers   

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will buy rifles and pistols for the protection of their law enforcers who are tasked to apprehend traffic violators.

LTO Regional Director Atty. Aminola Abaton said that “This will enhance our law enforcement capability.”  

Abaton explained that the LTO main office in Manila will procure the guns worth millions and the firearms are on a nationwide acquisition.



SP oks 50 ordinances, 1,339 resolutions “08

The City Council approved 50 City Regulatory Ordinances and 1,339 Resolutions during the year 2008. 

In an interview,  Ms. Elsa Pioquinto of the Ordinance and Resolution Section  said that there were about 40’s City Regulatory Ordinances approved with two vetoed out by the Local Chief Executive .

In this number of ordinances, 18 ordinances were proposed this year while the remaining ordinances were those proposed in previous years but approved only last year.

Pioquinto also said that there are about 32 Proposed City Regulatory Ordinances pending for the current year 2009.

On record, City Mayor Celso Lobregat vetoed two City Regulatory Ordinances earlier approved by the city council.


NFA plans P10 new bodega ‘09

The National Food Authority (NFA) will construct a new 75,000 capacity warehouse this year to be able to house enough rice and palay stocks in the region.

NFA Assistant Regional Director Rolando Maravilla said that bidding for the new warehouse worth some P 10 million is scheduled for first quarter of the year 2009.

Maravilla said that the construction of new warehouse is in addition to the old warehouse that can accommodate some 75,000 bags of rice to be constructed inside the NFA compound.


District I barangays extol

Beng’s “exemplary services” 

Barangay officials from District I have cited the “exemplary services” rendered by Cong. Beng Climaco during the first 18 months of her stint as the representative of the fist district in Congress.  


In a resolution approved January 17, the 37 barangay chairmen from the west coast applauded Climaco’s capability to secure substantial congressional funds for the implementation of her priority infrastructure projects and funding for her educational, social and medical programs after serving just a little over a year.  


“The exemplary services rendered by Cong. Climaco is not only worth emulating but will serve as a showcase to all public servants and inspiration to our future leaders”, the resolution signed by all the 37 District I barangay chairmen said.  


SOCA failed to address livelihood,

poverty, crimes,  anti-poor –Dalipe

Vice Mayor Mannix Dalipe, Jr has rated as “incomplete” the State of the City Address delivered by  Mayor Celso L. Lobregat during the City Council‘s Maiden Session  last Thursday.


Dalipe told newsmen that Mayor Lobregat SOCA did not mention a lot of thing such as the poverty situation of the poor people and the economic problem brought about the unemployment status of the people.


Neither did the mayor speak much about the quality of education and the peace and order situation of the city like the kidnapping incidents, car napping, shooting incident, robberies and many more.

Dalipe said that the SOCA lacked substance and reality since the SOCA dealt with only part of the situation and did not touch on other important items for the city.


The vice mayor said no mention was made of the street children,   the projects that supposed to be implemented that will benefit the people so they will have work or jobs.


NFA assures public no

rice shortage this year 

 The National Food Authority (NFA) has assured residents in the region that there will be no rice shortage this year.  


NFA Assistant Regional Director Rolando Maravilla said that “Hinde ese possible este chempo.”


There is the possibility of a rice shortage again because of the global financial crisis but he says they are expecting more harvest from the local farmers in Region 9.


DOST plans 9 biogas plants in Peninsula

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is set to implement its project called 9 in 09 for this year, consisting the giving of nine bio reactors to nine Municipalities in Region 9.


DOST Regional Director Brenda Nazareth Manzano said that “We will be able to implement nine bio reactors in nine Municipalities in Region 9 for 2009.”


She explained that these bio reactors can process bio degradable things to turn them into compost.


Zamcelco to finish Camanchili

load center, lower systems loss  

 The Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (ZAMCELCO) is set to finish the 69 Kilo Volt Line and 41 Mega Bolt Ampere (MBA) load center, sub station costing P104 Million at Camanchili Road and to lower the systems loss to 14% percent this year.


ZAMCELCO Consumers Account Department Manager Edgardo Acheta said that “El load center sub station 90% percent completed ya.”


Upon completion, Acheta said that big establishments downtown will draw power from the new load center instead of drawing power from the Putik or San Jose Gusu Sub Stations.


BSP Chapter celebrates

50 years of Boy Scouting

The Boy Scouts of the Philippines- Zamboanga City Chapter is commemorating its 50th Golden Anniversary this month which marks another milestone in the scouting history of scouting in Zamboanga.


BSP-ZC Council will initiate series of activities this year, to celebrate the said occasion which commenced Tuesday with a simple ceremony at the Council Headquarters at Camp Jose Atilano in Pasonanca.


ZC Council Chairman Honorable Mannix Dalipe said that the occasion marks a history in the scouting movement of Zamboanguenos City considering that the movement still lives on and continue to mold the interests of the young generation for a responsible leadership.


50 join Work Safety,

Health Program gab

About 50 participants attended the Work Safety and Health Program conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment last Tuesday, January 13, 2009 held at a local hotel in this city.


Executive Director Dr. Dulce P. Estrella- Gust of the Occupational Safety and Health Center, DOLE said that the whole week was scheduled for all applicants for work safety and health program.


Dr.  Estrella –Gust said that was the proposal creating an OSHR Branch Office in Cagayan de Oro (Region IX) and the Zero Accidence Program or ZAP in Mindanao Regions through capability building of individuals and establishments.