Zamboanga del Sur News June 2013

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Zamboanga del Sur - Archived News

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Seal of Zamboanga del Sur Province
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Zamboanga del Sur
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Zamboanga del Sur Map Locator
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Municipalities within Zamboanga del Sur
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Provincial Capitol of Zamboanga del Sur
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Provincial Capitol of Zamboanga del Sur, Santo Niño, Pagadian city

Dietary supplement is a product that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and/or other ingredients intended to supplement the diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has special labeling requirements for dietary supplements and treats them as foods, not drugs.

Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded. That means that these firms are responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products before marketing to ensure that they meet all the requirements of DSHEA and FDA regulations.

Lapuyan Falls: The favorite haunt of the fair Subanen maidens of Sitio Baga and all its neighboring areas, usual meeting place with many a young country swain in some secluded cavern beneath the rocky forest lane.
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Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines
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Village of Pedagan

Wars of ancient history were about possessions, territory, power, control, family, betrayal, lover's quarrel, politics and sometimes religion.

But we are in the Modern era and supposedly more educated and enlightened .

Think about this. Don't just brush off these questions.

  • Why is RELIGION still involved in WARS? Isn't religion supposed to be about PEACE?
  • Ask yourself; What religion always campaign to have its religious laws be accepted as government laws, always involved in wars and consistently causing WARS, yet insists that it's a religion of peace?


There are only two kinds of people who teach tolerance:
  1. The Bullies. They want you to tolerate them so they can continue to maliciously deprive you. Do not believe these bullies teaching tolerance, saying that it’s the path to prevent hatred and prejudice.
  2. The victims who are waiting for the right moment to retaliate. They can’t win yet, so they tolerate.
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Lintugop, Aurora
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Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur
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Provincial human resource management office of santo niño pagadian city
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Civil Service Commision office in santo niño pagadian city

DENR IX Leads the Observance of Philippine Arbor Day

(H. A. Ascura/DENR-IX PR).

PAGADIAN CITY - Heavy rains greeted the tree planters as they converged at the regional center site in Barangay Balintawak, Pagadian City on June 25, 2013 in observance of the Philippine Arbor Day.

A total of 300 assorted seedlings of Mahogany, Narra and Lumbayao were planted along the road network and stream banks within the regional center site with tree guards provided by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Pagadian City.

The planting activity was led by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR IX Regional Executive Director (RED) Arleigh J. Adorable participated in by officials and personnel from the Office of the RED, Ecosystems Research and Development Services (ERDS), Land Management Services (LMS), Protected Areas Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Services (PAWCZMS), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) -Zamboanga del Sur and CENRO Pagadian City. They were joined by local officials and residents of Barangay Balintawak headed by their Chairperson Dionisio F. dela Peña.

According to RED Adorable, similar activity was undertaken by DENR-IX field offices pursuant to Proclamation No. 643 Series of 2004 enjoining the active participation of all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations, private sector, schools, civil society groups and the citizenry in tree planting activity and declaring June 25 as Philippine Arbor Day.

This urban greening was done in coordination with the Pagadian RegionalCenter Management and Coordinating Office and in accordance with the National Greening Program (NGP) being implemented by DENR which seeks to plant and nurture some 1.5 billion seedlings covering about 1.5 million hectares for a period of six (6) years from 2011-2015 in lands of the public domain, Director Adorable added.

DOLE, Saint Columban College launch YES project


PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, June 29 (PNA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in partnership with the Saint Columban College (SCC) have launched the Young Entrepreneurs Support (YES) to help poor but deserving students finish their studies.

The launching of the program Friday coincided with the distribution of checks amounting to P444,288 to 80 SCC working-students who are beneficiaries of the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES).

The amount was derived from this year’s SPES budget of P1 million.

Public Employment Service Office (PESO) manager Mary Jane Omandam said the YES association was granted P400,000 for the young entrepreneurs who are poor but deserving students to start their own business to help their financial needs while studying at SCC under the YES projects of the DOLE.

Omandam said the project was realized after the SCC constructed a building to house the YES office as the school’s counterpart while DOLE provided the amount of P387,993 for the procurement of a photocopier and other equipment for the livelihood project.

DOLE Regional Director Sisinio Cano advised the beneficiaries of the project to nurture their business.

“It is a great opportunity to finish your study at the same time developing your entrepreneurial skills and become more prepared for the world of work after college life. With this grant, there’s no doubt for you not to finish your studies,” Cano said.

“We, in the DOLE family will continue to give our support to our partners who have been implementing the many projects of the Department effectively to help the youth and the Philippine constituents,” Cano added.

SCC vice-president for Finance and Administration Fr. Belstar Ediang thanked Cano and DOLE for the many projects they have poured to the school.

Ediang encouraged all the beneficiaries to really take responsibility on their business in order to be of service to others while helping themselves as well.

“Before the release of the DOLE’s YES funding, many of my companions were already telling me that they might not be able to enroll for this first semester because they have no enough budget for it, and when Ms. Omandam told the group to be ready for the turning over of the funding to the school, everybody seemed to see some hopes and they all looked for the entrance fee in order to study,” YES association president Diamante Aras said.

Omandam said the YES project would be of great help to the entire institution to cater the services needed by the students as essential tool in their researches.

The launching of YES was also graced by DOLE provincial chief employment officer Lourdes Amores, Public Employment Service Office (PESO) focal persons Camilo Encila, Norma Ondo, and Anecito Ochotorena, and SCC guidance counselor Dr. Nora Agustero.

Canadian mining firm TVI Pacific reports gold, silver recovery from Balabag sample ore

By Orti Despuez (

MANILA - TVI Pacific Inc today announced that its Philippine unit has successfully undertaken the recovery of gold and silver from ore excavated from its Balabag mine in Zamboanga del Sur province.

In a statement, the Canadian company said TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc (TVIRD) extracted gold and silver from 30 metric tons of sample ore.

TVI Pacific said the recovery rates stood at 93 percent and 90 percent for either mineral, respectively, after 36 hours of leaching, which pertains to the process of recovering minerals from the ore.

The sample ore had a grade of 4.8 grams of gold per metric ton, and of 212 grams of silver.

“These initial metallurgical test work results are very encouraging,” said TVI Pacific chairman Cliff James.

“Confirmation of metal recoveries in this larger-scale pilot plant will help establish the recoveries of gold and silver that can be achieved in a commercial process,” he said.

James said the results will guide the construction of the Balabag processing plant, which would start as soon as the government issues an environmental clearance certificate (ECC) and a declaration of mining project feasibility (DMPF).

The Environmental Management Bureau issues the ECC, while the Mines and Geosciences Bureau approves the DMPF. Both agencies fall under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Located in the town of Bayog, the Balabag gold-silver project

Covered by a mineral production sharing agreement, the Balabag gold-silver project is located in the town of Bayog, or 75 kilometers east-northeast of the company’s Canatuan copper-zinc mine.

The Balabag mine holds an estimated 1.78 million tons of mineral resources at a grade of 2.34 grams of gold and 72.3 grams of silver, resulting in more than 134,000 ounces of gold and at least four million ounces of silver.

‘Tabak’ division holds free cataract operation, benefits 54 indigent patients


LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur, June 27 (PNA) -– Some 54 indigent patients availed of free cataract operation conducted by the Army’s First Infantry “Tabak” Division in partnership with Mabuhay Deseret Foundation and Alpha Phi Omega-Southern Zamboanga Alumni Association.

Capt. Jefferson Somera, spokesman of the First Infantry Division, on Thursday said the free cataract operation was held from Sunday until Monday at Camp Cesar Sang-an Station Hospital in Pulacan, this municipality.

Somera said that 54 individuals from among the 311 pre-screened patients have qualified to undergo free surgery operations and subsequently entitled for free medications.

The 54 beneficiaries of the two-day cataract operation, dubbed as Brotherhood Operation Saving Sight (BOSS), were mostly indigent Subanen tribes living within the area of responsibility of the Tabak Division, according to Somera.

Acting First Infantry Division commander Brig. Gen. Felicito Virgilio Trinidad, Jr. has expressed his gratitude to the Mabuhay Deseret Foundation and Alpha Phi Omega who help them made the undertaking a success.

“We find this project BOSS a rewarding experience knowing that as members of organizations moved by public service, we were able to contribute in improving each patient’s quality of life that comes with the restoration of vision,” Trinidad said.

He said the activity is a concrete testimony that “Bayanihan” is very much alive between the military and civic groups in the area.

He hoped that the activity will inspire others to come up with programs to help the less fortunate.

Pagadian-Zambo Sur Chamber of Commerce to host Business Week


PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, June 26 (PNA) -– The Pagadian-Zamboanga del Sur Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (PZCCIFI) will host next month a week-long business conference in this city.

The week-long event dubbed as the 3rd Annual Business Week will be held from July 5 to 11, according to PZCCIFI president Mercedes Lourdes Quisumbing.

Quisumbing said Wednesday the event is the annual gathering of business and industry leaders, policy and decision makers, entrepreneurs, investors and stakeholders that provides a venue to showcase investment opportunities in the city and in the province.

Quisumbing said about 200 participants coming from the different municipal chambers of commerce, trade and industry associations, national and local government officials and the academe from this province are expected to participate in the business event.

The theme for this year’s event is: “Moving. Ahead. Together.” which gives emphasis on the partnership and synergy between the business community and government in achieving its goals in areas of tourism, agriculture, and responsible mining, Quisumbing said.

Among the schedule of the activities were the following: opening and trade exhibit, July 5; Business night, July 6; Hataw, July 7; Agri/aqua cultural forum, July 8; Feeding and bloodletting program, July 9; Pakals (interschool and inter-barangay competition), July 10; and, awarding and closing ceremony, July 11.

Tabak soldiers wounded in fight vs. rebels recognized

By Gideon C. Corgue (PIA9)

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.

DSWD-9 to conduct series of consultation dialogue among social pensioners, stakeholders

By Claro A. Lanipa (PIA9)

PAGADIAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office 9 (DSWD-9) will conduct a series of re-orientation and consultation dialogue among social pensioners and stakeholders on the Social Pension Program of the government.

Social Pension Regional Coordinator Evelyn Lingatong said the dialogue will take place in Aurora, Margosatubig and Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur on June 19, 20 & 21, 2013 respectively.

The activity will focus on the review of the department’s Administrative Order No. 15 Sections 3 and 4 which states the operational procedure in the implementation of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC).

The SPISC is one of the provisions stated under Section 5 of Republic Act No. 9994 otherwise known as the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.”

It is an additional government assistance in the amount of P500.00 as monthly stipend to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens.

According to Section 3 of RA 9994, an indigent senior citizen is as an elderly aged 77 year old and above; frail, sickly or with disability; not receiving any other pensions and with no permanent source of income, compensation and not receiving any financial assistance from relatives to support his/her basic needs.

“To date, Zamboanga del Sur has a total 5,412 social pension beneficiaries out of 17,296 in the entire Zamboanga Peninsula Region,” Lingatong said. Issues and concerns about the program will also be tackled during the activity after which will be the assessment and evaluation.

TVIRD moves closer to operating Zambo del Sur mine


MANILA, Philippines - TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) said it has submitted to the Philippine government its Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF) for its Balabag gold-silver project in Zamboanga del Sur.

The document confirms the technical and economic viability of the mine and is a key requirement for the company’s bid to mine the area.

TVIRD, the local subsidiary of Canadian mining firm TVI Pacific Inc., said the DMPF will now be reviewed by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

In January 2013, TVIRD filed for an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), another key component of the government’s regulatory regime for mine exploration. The ECC stipulates conditions that the company must meet before, during and after the operation of the project.

"The Balabag project is ready to go, as soon as these documents get the final approval of the government," said TVI Pacific Chairman and CEO Cliff James.

"We have the funding in place, and we have completed all the technical requirements needed for approval. Once the documents are signed, we will be in a position to accelerate development of the Balabag project to the benefit of all stakeholders," he added.

The 4,779-hectare Balabag property, located in the town of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, is estimated to hold 1.78 million tons of mineral resources with over 134 thousand ounces of gold and over 4 million ounces of silver.

"With the necessary project requirements in place, we have reason to have a positive outlook on the forthcoming issuance of our ECC," said TVIRD President Eugene Mateo.

"We draw confidence from TVIRD’s successful operational track record in Canatuan and wish to bring to Balabag the same successful business model, which presents inclusive benefits to all sectors," Mateo added.

The company also runs a copper-zinc mine in Canatuan, Zamboanga del Norte.

DA to establish 600 Gulayan sa Paaralan in Zambo Peninsula


ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Department of Agriculture (DA) in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) will establish Gulayan sa Paaralan or school gardens in 600 public elementary schools in the region for school year 2013-2014.

The Gulayan sa Paaralan Program aims to provide nutritious vegetables for the school feeding program to improve the nutritional status of the students and pupils in the region.

These 600 schools where the school gardens will be established are nearly half of the 1,790 public elementary schools in Zamboanga Peninsula.

High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) regional coordinator Ana Aying said these 600 schools include the 400 schools already involved in the program since 2006.

For the current school year, the school gardens will be established and maintained in 90 schools in this city, and 40 schools each in the cities of Dapitan, Dipolog, Isabela and Pagadian.

In the provinces, Zamboanga del Sur will have the biggest number of school gardens at 130, followed by Zamboanga del Norte with 120 and 100 in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Vegetables raise in these school gardens will be used for the schools’ feeding program and the extra harvest will be given to the pupils to be brought home for the consumption of their families.

Schools involved in the Gulayan sa Paaralan program will be provided with garden tools and vegetable seeds.

They will be advised by agriculturists on the proper culture of vegetables in school gardens.

Garden teachers may make use empty containers to grow vegetables in schools where there is no sufficient space for the Gulayan sa Paaralan program.

These containers would be arranged into what is now popular in the Internet -- vertical home gardens -- to maximize spaces and keep the plants off the ground where the plants may die when rainwater flood gardens in schools.

DILG releases P2.9-M for water system projects Dinas, Zambo Sur


PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, June 21 (PNA) -- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has released the first tranche funds of P2,973,500 to Dinas municipality to jumpstart the implementation of water system projects under the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB).

Dinas, which comprises of 30 barangays, is a 4th class municipality of this province with 31,570 individuals in 6,033 households as of 2000 census on population.

DILG Regional Director Paisal Abutazil said Friday the P2,973,500 fund released in check is part of the P5,947,000 water system projects to be implemented in Dinas town.

Abutazil said the remaining P2,973,500 will be released upon the full utilization of the funds disbursed in the first tranche.

Abutazil turned over the check on Tuesday to Dinas municipal collecting officer Elsie Galace and witnessed by DILG Assistant Regional Director Pedro Cuevas and Municipal Local Government Operations Officer Marica Ceniza.

Three barangays of Dinas town will benefit from the water system projects and these are the villages of Poblacion, Don Jose, and Benuatan, Abutazil said.

He said the municipality of Dinas is the first local government unit here in Zamboanga Peninsula to receive its funding for water system project this year.

“It is good to note that the allocation is not in the form of a loan rather it was an assistance fund intended for the LGUs provision to potable water as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG),” he said.

DSWD-9 to conduct series of consultation dialogue among social pensioners, stakeholders

By Claro A. Lanipa (PIA9)

PAGADIAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office 9 (DSWD-9) will conduct a series of re-orientation and consultation dialogue among social pensioners and stakeholders on the Social Pension Program of the government.

Social Pension Regional Coordinator Evelyn Lingatong said the dialogue will take place in Aurora, Margosatubig and Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur on June 19, 20 & 21, 2013 respectively.

The activity will focus on the review of the department’s Administrative Order No. 15 Sections 3 and 4 which states the operational procedure in the implementation of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC).

The SPISC is one of the provisions stated under Section 5 of Republic Act No. 9994 otherwise known as the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.”

It is an additional government assistance in the amount of P500.00 as monthly stipend to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens.

According to Section 3 of RA 9994, an indigent senior citizen is as an elderly aged 77 year old and above; frail, sickly or with disability; not receiving any other pensions and with no permanent source of income, compensation and not receiving any financial assistance from relatives to support his/her basic needs.

“To date, Zamboanga del Sur has a total 5,412 social pension beneficiaries out of 17,296 in the entire Zamboanga Peninsula Region,” Lingatong said.

Issues and concerns about the program will also be tackled during the activity after which will be the assessment and evaluation.

DSWD expands coverage of Social Pension Program in Zamboanga del Sur


PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, June 19 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has announced the expansion for this year’s Social Pension Program for indigent senior citizens in this province.

DSWD regional coordinator for social pension Evelyn Lingatong said the beneficiaries for this year will increase to 5,412 as a result of the expansion as 1,059 indigent senior citizens will be added to the list of grantees.

There were 4,353 beneficiaries of the program last year.

Lingatong said the DSWD has allocated funds this year amounting to P32,472,000 for the implementation of the Social Pension Program in the province.

The pension is being released on a quarterly basis, according to Lingatong.

Each of the qualified beneficiary is entitled to receive P500 monthly to augment their daily subsistence and medical needs pursuant to the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2010, she said.

The program is intended for senior citizens aged 77 years old and above who are not pensioners of any insurance providers such as the Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), among others.

Lingatong said they will improve the process of the program and payment schemes especially in the remotest areas of this province for the convenience of the beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, DSWD regional information officer Narabelle Bue said politicians are not empowered delist or enlist indigent elderly-beneficiaries of the Social Pension Program.

“No one can delist or enlist names of beneficiaries aside from the DSWD Office,” Bue emphasized as she added that the beneficiaries need not worry as long as they comply with the requirements.

DILG9 staff bags 6th place in LGOO training

By Franklin P. Gumapon (FPG/PIA9/DILG9)

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 47th batch 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.

“It really came to me a great surprise,” she quipped.

She also expressed her thanks to the management for giving her the opportunity to be trained on local governance.

Her co-participants from DILG-9 were Chandiramani Obut, Philip Cuevas and Junil Cabahug.

DOH-CHD ZamPen beefs up campaign vs. smoking

By Claro A. Lanipa (PIA9)

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.

“Research made by scientists on the ill effects of tobacco use had revealed that tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke would cause death. It can no longer be contested,” dela Cruz emphasized.

She also encouraged all LGUs in the region to support this cause for a smoke-free environment, as they have full jurisdiction and control over their respective provinces/cities/municipalities.

“It is now for us to do something - it may not be for us anymore - but for the next generations,” dela Cruz said.

DILG: Asjali’s death a big loss to the agency


PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, June 15 (PNA) -- DILG Regional Director Paisal Abutazil described the death of Abcede Asjali as a big loss to the agency.

Asjali, the DILG provincial director, died on June 6 while being treated at the Pagadian City Medical Center. He was 61.

“Asjali’s death is a big loss not only to the DILG family in Region-9 but also to the Department as a whole,” Abutazil said, describing Asjali, who died of cancer of the bladder, as a passionate man.

Abutazil noted Asjali has asked his physician to allow him to attend the regional conference last May 30 even though he was confined at the hospital.

“We saw his sincerity and passion toward his responsibility. In my observation as we have been together, he is a person who doesn’t speak against his co-worker,” Abutazil added.

DA-Zamboanga Peninsula holds entrepreneurship seminar for food terminal project operators


ZAMBOANGA CITY, June 13 (PNA) -- The Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division of the Dept. of Agriculture has completed holding of Entrepreneurship Seminar for Food Terminal Project Operators here in the region.

The seminar was held at Springland Resort in Tuburan District, Pagadian City, the capital of Zamboanga del Sur.

AMAD Chief for the Zamboanga Peninsula Ferdinand Gamorot said the seminar drew 76 participants, two from each Barangay Food Terminal in Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur provinces.

Gamorot said the event enhances DA’s effort to develop food terminal as a competitive enterprise and as a venue for agribusiness investment.

DA Regional Technical Director for Operations and Extension Constancio Alama said the Barangay Food Terminals (BFTs) or Bagsakan should be empowered.

“We have to learn to manage our resources and stop the ningas-kugon attitude…may we learn seriously not to waste the investment of the government,” Alama said.

“Let us nurture and improve our BFT in the region. Our fellowmen worked hard so that we can have these blessings through the taxes they paid. Let us be models in our barangays and apply what we have learned from here when we go back to our respective places,” he added.

Zambo Sur-based 1st ID starts training of 144 new recruits


MANILA, June 16 (PNA) -- The Zamboanga Del Sur-based 1st Infantry Division has formally started the training of its 144 new recruits Saturday morning.

The trainees will undergo eight-month long jungle warfare and mountain operations course to test their suitability and aptitude as military men.

Training will be done at 1st Infantry Division headquarters in Kuta Cesar Sang-an, Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga Del Sur, unit spokesperson Capt. Jefferson Somera said.

He added that the 144 recruits, aged 21 to 26 came from the different provinces and tribes in Western Mindanao.

Somera said these men passed the rigid and meticulous screening and processing standard set by the Philippine Army.

DepEd turns-over two-classroom school building to Bayog town

By Bernadine Astillero Gabawan (PIA9)

BAYOG, Zamboanga del Sur – The Department of Education Regional Office IX (DepED-9) through the Physical Facility Division Supervisor Dr. Duton Casla turned-over early this month a two-classroom school building to this municipality. The P1.04-million school building was constructed at Pulangbato Elementary School.

Mayor Leonardo L. Babasa Jr. has expressed his heartfelt thanks to the DepED for the said school building, saying it would really be a great help to accommodate the increasing number of enrollees in the area.

He also urged the parents to cooperate with the teachers believing that the parents play an important role in educating the children.

“Our task is to provide for primary education which is one of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) with the parents, teachers, the municipality and the barangay,” Babasa said.

“Let us help one another in this noble cause, for the future of these children is anchored on good education,” Babasa added.

Mayor Babasa accepted the building in behalf of the municipality.

The turnover of said project was witnessed by Mr. Perlito Labisto, the head teacher, the teaching staff, Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members, Vice Mayor-elect Celso Matias, SB member-elect Ronilo Yamaro, barangay officials headed by Barangay Chairman Felisa Antonio, Bayog Central Elementary School Principal Dr. Minda Castillo, Engr. Marlon Tejano, Engr. Jocile Codilla, the contractor, pupils and parents.

The ceremonies ended with the words of thanks from Mr. Randy Yamyamin, PTA Vice President.

Stakeholders attend forum on “Kasambahay law”

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

PAGADIAN CITY – After the Department of Labor and Employment announced that Republic Act No. 10361 otherwise known as “Domestic Workers Act” took effect on Tuesday, June 4, a media forum was hosted by the Philippine Information Agency 9 at Anastacia Pension House to discuss the salient provisions of the law.

“It is very timely that the forum on Domestic Workers law is conducted by PIA along with the stakeholders to disseminate the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law,” labor and employment office chief Lourdes Amores announced.

Amores said RA 10361, which was signed by President Benigno Aquino III on January 18 mandates that the minimum wage of household service workers (HSWs) in the country is set to P2,500 a month for those employed in the National Capital Region; P2,000 a month for those employed in chartered cities and first class municipalities; and P1,500 a month for those employed in other municipalities.

Amores said the purpose of the law is to protect the rights and provide better privileges of domestic workers for them to become more productive citizens of the country. She said they have contributed a lot in the daily activities of our family and the community as well.

Meanwhile, Social Security System branch head James Buckley said SSS welcomes the signing of the “Kasambahay Law” saying that it will give more benefits to domestic workers. “With the implementation of the law, they can now avail the disability, sickness, loan, maternity, death and funeral benefits of our agency,” he opined.

Buckley said before, there were only very few house helpers enrolled since there was no law that mandates compulsory coverage of kasambahay in their social security programs.

However, SSS is now working for the full implementation of the law expressing optimism that domestic workers will register and enroll in their programs. Pag-IBIG fund marketing specialist Miraflor Eballena said they are doing the same campaign with fellow stakeholders. “With the law, we expect to have many domestic workers to register as members of Pag-IBIG,” Eballena assured saying that almost all employees of their agency have already registered their domestic workers in their programs.

PhilHealth public relation officer Ronald Jabay is grateful that the government is putting teeth into the law so that employers can now enroll and register their domestic workers with PhilHealth.

Jabay said domestic workers are entitled to avail social protection benefits such as health insurance under the PhilHealth program. “They are entitled to full in-patient benefits when confined in any government and private hospitals accredited with PhilHealth,” he added.

Pagadian mayor dismisses scam charges as politically motivated

By John Unson (The Philippine Star)

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Pagadian Mayor Samuel Co described yesterday the charges linking him to the large-scale financial scam of the Aman Futures as politically motivated.

Co denied that he imposed taxes on every investment entered to the Aman Futures.

Co, who’s term ends this June 30, ran but lost in the congressional race for Zamboanga del Sur in the May 13 elections.

Julius Labunog, one of the victims of the pyramiding scheme, had implicated Co in the syndicated estafa case filed against the incorporators, directors and agents of the Aman Futures.

Judge Alberto Quinto has issued warrant for the arrest of the respondents, including Co.

Co said that aside from Labunog’s affidavit, no other document or testimony had linked him to the controversy.

In his affidavit, Labunog claimed that Co imposed taxes on every investment to Aman, which would be payable to the City of Pagadian.

Co said the city government has not collected and did not collect the supposed four percent tax on Aman investments.

However, he admitted that the city government had collected P39,790 business tax from Aman when it opened its branch in the city last year. He said the tax was required under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

He said just like the petitioners, he was also a victim of the “get-rich quickly” scheme.

Pagadian City mayor orders CSWDO to attend to the plight of 200 evicted families


PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, June 8 (PNA) -– 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.

DENR 9 joins the observance of World Environment Day

By Claro A. Lanipa (PIA9)

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 on 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.

Columbian Autocar Corporation announces nationwide recall campaign of KIA vehicles

By Miriam Fe E. Jacinto (MEJ/DTI/ALT/PIA9)

PAGADIAN CITY - Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC), authorized distributor of KIA vehicles in the Philippines announces a nationwide recall campaign of KIA vehicles starting June 3, 2013.

DTI Provincial Director Ma. Socorro M. Atay said the CAC, through its nationwide dealership network shall conduct a limited recall campaign to inspect, repair and replace the stop lamp switch of certain vehicles belonging to some production batch of Sorento (BL and XM0, Carnival (VQ), Carens (UN), and soul (AM) models sold in the Philippine market.

Further, she said the recall campaign is in line with the worldwide program of KIA Motors Corporation (KMC).

In the Philippines, the recall will cover 301 units of Sorento BL, 1037 units of Sorento XM, 266 units of Carnival VQ, 1018 units of Carens UN and 394 units of Soul AM.

All parts and services will be provided free of charge. Owners of the above-mentioned models are enjoined to take advantage of this recall campaign.

New minimum wage rates to take effect on June 10

By Claro A. Lanipa (PIA9)

PAGADIAN CITY – 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.

President Aquino declares June 17 as special non-working day in Molave, Zamboanga del Sur in celebration of its 65th Foundation Day


MANILA, June 4 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared June 17, which falls on a Monday, as a special (non-working) day in the municipality of Molave in Zamboanga del Sur in celebration of its 65th Foundation Day.

The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 587 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on May 28, to give the people of Molave the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

June 16 marks the 65th Foundation Day of Molave, the President noted.

The President granted the request of the Office of the Mayor of Molave to declare June 17 as special (non-working) day in the municipality instead of June 16, which falls on a Sunday.

Molave served as the capital of Zamboanga province until it was divided into Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur on June 6, 1952. The municipality of Molave remained under Zamboanga del Sur.

The City of Pagadian is currently the capital of Zamboanga del Sur.

DOST OKs P676,000 grant to Zambo Sur rice firm


ZAMBOANGA CITY, June 3 (PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology-9 has approved the P676,000 grant to JAM JC Marketing in Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur for the upgrading of its palay drying process.

DOST Information Officer Thelma Diego said the project is funded under the Small Enterprise Technology and Upgrading Program (SETUP) of DOST which will primarily cover the fabrication of one unit of 6 ton capacity mechanical rice dryer.

This technology is capable of shorter drying period, 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.

Diego said the DOST-9 will conduct process and system improvement sessions to further enhance the competency of the firm and its workforce.

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

Aside from managing the farm, the firm also caters to other farmers and small palay buyers on drying and milling services.

The current practice of the firm is open solar drying. Its use of 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.

Diego said 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.

SETUP focuses on six 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.

Decorated Filipino general dies while diving off Zambo Sur beach

(Mindanao Examiner)

PAGADIAN CITY (Mindanao Examiner / June 2, 2013) – A decorated army commander, who was a combat veteran in Mindanao, died on Sunday after his diving gear malfunctioned off the coast of Zamboanga del Sur province, his grieving wife Maria Consuelo said.

Captain Jefferson Somera, a spokesman for the 1st Infantry Division, earlier said the 54-year old Brigadier General Daniel Lucero had a heart attack while diving with his staffs and wife at a beach in Tukuran town.

“It was a sad day us all. We lost a good man, a good officer, a good friend,” Somera told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.

But Lucero's wife said his husband died after a malfunction in the diving gear. "He is gone. There was a malfunction in his diving suit," she said in a separate interview.

Lucero, who belonged to the Philippine Military Academy Class 1983, was rushed to Mendero Hospital in Pagadian City, but died along the way, according to Somero.

The Armed Forces and the Philippine Army said Lucero collapsed in the beach and was rushed to hospital where he died. Basilan and Sulu and fought insurgents, until his assignments brought him to Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte, also in Mindanao; and eventually to Aurora province in Luzon as infantry brigade officer.

He served as the commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade in Lanao del Sur province and replaced Major General Ricardo Rainier Cruz in April this year.

A holder of Master Degree in International Studies from the University of the Philippines, and Masters Degree on International Relations in Australia, Lucero also served as the first commander of the Philippine contingent to the United Nations mission on the Caribbean island from 2004 to 2005.

Lucero, who started his career in Mindanao, was awarded three Distinguished Service Star Medals, Gold Cross Medal, Outstanding Achievement Medal and the Honor Graduate Medal and a number of Military Merit Medals and one of the Metrobank Foundation 2011 awardees of The Outstanding Soldier of the Philippines.

He is also survived by his only daughter Paula Divina.

NDRRMC: Tornado in Zamboanga del Sur displaces 28 families

(VVP, GMA News)

A tornado hit a residential area in Zamboanga del Sur province last Wednesday, affecting at least 28 families and destroying nine houses, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Saturday.

In its 8:00 a.m. report, the NDRRMC said the tornado hit at 5:30 a.m. at Barangay Marcos village in the Port Area of San Pablo town in Zamboanga del Sur.

"The incident may be related to the wind convergence weather system prevailing over Mindanao," it said, citing belated reports.

While there was no one initially reported killed or hurt, the NDRRMC said 28 families were affected, with 10 staying in evacuation centers and 18 staying with kin and neighbors.

At least nine houses were destroyed and 12 more were damaged.

The NDRRMC also said an undetermined number of fishing boats were damaged.