Zamboanga del Sur News June 2016

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Province of Zamboanga del Sur - Archived News of Zamboanga del Sur

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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.

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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?

WHY??

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

DOLE–DEPED-PRC convergence project hire OFWs as teachers

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez (ALT/JPA-PIA9)

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PIA)- - Three (3) Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Region 9 who used to work as household service workers (HSW) were given the opportunity to work as teachers under the pioneering convergence project of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) - Department of Education (DepEd) and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) dubbed “Sa Pinas Ikaw ang Ma’am/Sir.”

“Sa Pinas Ikaw ang Ma’am/Sir” is a component program part of the comprehensive package of the National Reintegration Program of DOLE for OFWs who are LET passers and which aims to offer local employment to OFWs,” said Imelda Gatinao of DOLE.

The three OFWs - Marizon C. Ortega, Windelle E. Dago-oc and Marilou C. Parilla were given opportunity to return to the country and are now part of the DepEd workforce in the region.

Gatinao narrated how Marizon Ortega of Zamboanga City successfully made it as program recipient.

Ortega used to work in Mongolia as a tutor. She was surfing the net when she chanced upon the program for HSWs who are LET passers. She tried her luck and applied online. She was immediately hired, so she returned to the country in June 2015 and by September of same year, she was already working as a Science teacher for Grade 9 at the Zamboanga National High School West.

“Este trabaho bien grande gracia para comigo y mio familia. Del primero yan lingasa yo na mio bolbida aqui pero ya ayuda el DOLE ase comigo campante,” (this work is really a blessing to me and my family”, my homecoming created a considerable anxiety in me and DOLE helped me by easing that anxiety) Ortega said.

Another beneficiary is Windelle Dagoo-oc. She finished her education course in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur in 2009. She left the country in 2012 to work as HSW in Hongkong and took the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) in 2013 administered by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and PRC and passed it.

In 2015, when she learned about the program, she applied online and was luckily hired. She returned to the country in October 2015 and was given the assignment to teach at Bagong Jerusalem Elementary School in Dumingag, Zamboanga Del Sur in January 2016.

Dago-oc is now enjoying her teaching profession and feels happy that she is back in her hometown and enjoys her time with her family. The 3rd program recipient is Marilou C. Parilla, also from Zamboanga City who is at the moment “awaiting her assignment instruction,” Gatinao said. Parilla is set to work this month (June) either in Zamboanga del Sur or Zamboanga Sibugay.

21 officers, 170 enlisted personnel undergo squadron battalion retraining

By Gideon C. Corgue (FPG/GCC/PIA9/Zamboanga del Sur)

LABANGAN, June 29 (PIA) – “A dream doesn’t become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

A favorite quote from American statesman Colin Luther Powell cited by Brigadier General (BGen.) Alexander Gonzales, division commander of the Mechanized Infantry Division, Philippine Army during the closing ceremony of battalion retraining held at Camp Colonel Jacobe Zobel, Upper Pulacan, Labangan on Friday.

Some 21 officers and 170 enlisted personnel of the 1st Cavalry (Tagapanguna) Squadron successfully completed the one year and a month retraining conducted by the training staff from “The Armor School” in Camp O’Donnel, Capaz, Tarlac starting on May 15, 2015 to June 24, 2016.

“Congratulations to the graduates! I appreciate your efforts for completing the battalion retraining. This manifests your commitment and dedication to serve our country and our people,” Gonzales said in his message as read by assistant division commander Colonel Gilbert I. Gapay during the closing ceremony.

“It shows your willingness and strong desire to be part of the program of the Philippine Army in order to contribute in nation building toward achieving more progressive and peaceful society.

During the intensive training, Gonzales said, the graduates underwent series of military instructions, lectures, demos, physical examinations, practical exercises, etc.

“The knowledge and skills you’ve learned from the training staff will definitely help improve your performance in your unit,” Gonzales pointed out.

The Mechanized Infantry Division commander said the 1st Cavalry Squadron is now better prepared to face various challenges that would come along as a dependable unit of the division.

“You have now the distinct opportunity to display your natural prowess as a fighting unit,” Gonzales maintained.

The retraining is a manifestation of the dreams and aspirations of division to be able to train the unit in cohesiveness and coordination, as directed by the higher headquarters.

PRO-9 lauded for attaining PGS compliance stage

By Gideon C. Corgue (FPG/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PIA) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) units in the region have received accolade from a police official after they hurdled the compliance stage of the Performance Governance System (PGS).

Chief Supt. Eduardo Serapio M. Garado, deputy director for Directorate for Plans and chairman of the technical working group on PNP P.A.T.R.O.L. Plan 2030 commended the Police Regional Office (PRO9) for the conferment of the PGS compliance stage award on the PNP units during the awarding ceremony last June 21 at the PRO-9 office, Camp Col. Romeo Abendan, Barangay Mercedes here.

The PGS is a process that assesses the overall performance of the Philippine National Police (PNP) units across the country based on their accomplishments of their target through the implementation of strategic initiatives.

Garado, the event’s keynote speaker, congratulated the unit commanders who received their PGS compliant status certificates especially the four units who got the silver eagle awards, namely, the Zamboanga City Police Office, Regional Public Safety Battalion, Zamboanga Sibugay Police Provincial Office, and Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Office.

He also expressed his gratitude to the members of validation team who painstakingly conducted the performance audit and the multi-sectoral panel members of advisory council who conducted the revalida.

Garado said that the PRO9 has a functional scorecard that facilitates the effective monitoring attained by the PNP units through their identified and validated accomplishments.

The awarding and conferment ceremony, Garado said, “is meaningful saying that it recognized the remarkable accomplishments of the PNP units based on the PNP PATROL Plan 2030.”

“Your accomplishment against wanted persons, illegal drugs, loose firearms, illegal logging, illegal fishing, illegal gambling, and among others has improved,” Garado pointed out.

“It also shows that good governance and genuine peace is being attained in region 9 as highlighted by your crime statistics from January to June this year,” he added.

The PNP official said their accomplishments were complemented by the sustained partnership and collaboration with their partners especially the local government units and other stakeholders.

“Your continuous engagement with them is worthy and would definitely bring back the trust and confidence with the community by soliciting their support and assistance,” the official stressed.

Garado said PNP chief Police Direcctor Ricardo Marquez commended the awardees for their utmost dedication adding that their accomplishments is leading the PNP to be closer in the attainment of their vision of becomingly highly capable, effective and credible police service by 2030.

Troops foil NPA rebels’ bombing plan in Zambo Sur

By Bong Garcia

THE government security forces have foiled a possible bomb attack by the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels as they recovered an improvised explosive device (IED), ammunitions and other items following a clash in the Zamboanga del Sur, a military official said Tuesday, June 21.

Major Filemon Tan, Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesman, said the clash ensued around 6:45 a.m., Tuesday, in the village of Ocapan, Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur.

Tan said he troops from the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion were on combat patrol when they clashed with a group of NPA rebels who belong to the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP)-Kara led by a certain Ka Nathan.

Tan said the firefight lasted for about 40 minutes after which the NPA rebels fled to the deep forest of San Miguel town.

He said the NPA rebels were believed to have sustained casualties.

He said the troops have recovered an improvised bomb, 13 ammunitions for AK-47 assault rifle, a revolutionary flag, two backpacks, ponchos, boots, slippers, plastic, containers, toiletries, and other personal belongings.

The town of San Miguel is known to be an infested area in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.

Tan said the combat operations is in continues support to the police in the intensified conduct of law enforcement operations to expedite the arrest of lawless elements in Zamboanga del Sur.

DQ case vs Zambo Sur town mayor-elect dismissed

By Bong Garcia

ALL is set for returning and Mayor-elect Wilfredo Asoy Sr. to assume the mayoralty post come June 30 in the town of Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur.

This, as the Commission on Elections (Comelec), through its second division, has dismissed the disqualification case filed against Asoy by incumbent and outgoing Dinas Mayor Basilio Vidad.

The resolution dismissing the case against Asoy was promulgated on May 8, 2016 by the second division chaired by Comelec Commissioner Al Parreño.

Vidad has filed a petition before the Comelec asking to declare null and void the certificate of candidacy of Asoy on the basis that the Ombudsman has found probable cause and has filed malversation and corruption charges with the Sandiganbayan against the latter.

The case against Asoy stemmed from his alleged failure to liquidate and account P2.4 million in government funds since 2011. Asoy served as mayor of Dinas for three straight terms from 2004 until 2013.

Attorney Domingo Redelosa, IV, the legal counsel of Asoy, said the Comelec turned down the petition of Vidad since the Sandiganbayan has not yet rendered a decision on the cases filed against his client.

“From the foregoing, it is clear that finality of the decision from a competent court finding respondent to be suffering from a disqualification is necessary. In the case, the Ombudsman resolution referred to by the Petitioner only points to a finding of probable cause to indict the respondent,” the Comelec second division stated in its decision.

“Probable cause, for purposes of filing a criminal information, has been defined as such facts as are sufficient to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that respondents are probably guilty thereof. As such, the finding of probable cause has no bearing to the instant Petition, that these reasons the Commission decided to dismiss the case,” the Comelec added.

Redelosa said Asoy was elated over the decision of the Comelec.

Redelosa added they will furnish a copy of the Comelec decision to the Regional Trial Court Branch 19 in the city since there is a pending similar case Vidad has filed against Asoy.

Asoy is optimistic the RTC will also dismiss the case against him filed by Vidad.

Asoy ran and won as a village chairperson in Don Jose, Dinas, after he ended his third term as town mayor in 2013.

Later on, he became an ex-officio board member since he was unopposed when he ran as Liga ng mga barangay president in Dinas as well as of the province of Zamboanga del Sur.

He defeated Vidad for the mayoralty post by a margin of 637 votes in the May 9 local and national elections garnering 7,835 votes while Vidad got 7,198 votes.

Troops foil NPA attack, seize improvised bomb in Zambo Sur

(PNA), BNB/TPGJR/PFN

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) -- Government security forces have foiled a possible bomb attack by the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels as they recovered an improvised bomb, ammunitions and other items following a clash in the hinterlands of Zamboanga del Sur, a military official disclosed Tuesday.

Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesman, said the clash ensued around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday in the town of San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur.

Tan said the troops from the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion were on combat operations when they clashed with the members of the NPA’s Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP)-Kara led by a certain Ka Nathan.

Tan said the firefight lasted for about 40 minutes after which the NPA rebels, who were believed to have suffered casualties, fled to the deep forest of San Miguel town.

He said the troops have recovered an improvised bomb, 13 ammunitions for AK-47 assault rifle, a revolutionary flag, two backpacks, ponchos, boots, slippers, plastic, containers, toiletries, and other personal belongings.

"The Armed Forces of the Philippine continues to support the police in the intensified conduct of law enforcement operations to expedite the arrest of lawless elements in the province," Tan said.

10 ‘drug personalities’ surrender in Zambo Sur town

(PNA), LAP/TPGJR

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, June 24 (PNA) -– Ten “drug personalities,” including two teachers and two students, have surrendered to the authorities late Thursday in the nearby municipality of Dumingag, this province.

"Drug personalities" is being referred by the police authorities to either pushers or users of prohibited drugs.

Chief Insp. Edgar Hinoctan, Dumingag police chief, identified those who surrendered as the following: Virnie Lascuña, 35 and Rogelio Sarueda Jr., 43, both teachers; Roneil Managing, 17 and Jolieto Somolong, 14, both students; Vernie Lou Espinosa, 34; Bernie Baut, 27; Elmer Cag-ong, 36; Martchan Ornopia, 31; Jumar Dapanas, 31; and, Rico James Quilog, 31, all farmers.

Hinoctan said the surrender of the suspects was facilitated by their respective barangay chairpersons.

He said the suspects are from the following barangays: three, San Pedro; three, Licabang; two, Marangan; one, Canibongan; and, one, Upper Timonan.

He said the suspects have surrendered out of fear since they had been hearing in the news there is ongoing massive crackdown and were informed they will undergo rehabilitation and given livelihood assistance.

He said the suspects have vowed to fully support the campaign of the government against the proliferation of prohibited drugs.

Pagadian City to implement curfew

By Bong Garcia

THE police authorities in Pagadian City are set to implement curfew against minors as well as the prohibition of the sale of intoxicating beverages to children.

Superintendent Michael Palermo, Pagadian City police chief, said the imposition of curfew is pursuant to a directive from higher headquarters given to the chiefs of police during the recent command conference.

The order, according to Palermo, is to implement existing curfew ordinance for children in their respective locality.

Palermo said Pagadian City has an existing ordinance known as City Ordinance No. 43, which was approved on October 1, 1984, imposing curfew for minors.

The ordinance prohibits children aged 18 and below to loiter outside their residence from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. the next day, according to Palermo.

He said the implementation of the ordinance is also in line with the proposal of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to impose a nationwide curfew for minors.

Paleremo added that they will also implement Ordinance No. 40, which was approved last October 3, 1983 that prohibits the sale of intoxicating drinks and/or intoxicating beverages to minors in the public places in this city.

He said that violators of the two ordinances will be properly dealt by his office.

Tabak sends off new soldiers

By Franklin P. Gumapon (FPG/PIA9)

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur, June 22 (PIA) – “When you are already in the field, learn from your seniors, recognize the differences in people, and relate to cultural diversity.”

This was the advice of Brigadier General (BGen.) Demy Tejares, assistant commander of the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army, to the new soldiers during the entrustment of firearms and sendoff ceremony held on Monday at the Tabak headquarters in Kuta Major Cesar L. Sang-an, Barangay Pulacan in this municipality.

Tejares also emphasized to the soldiers that the firearms entrusted to them would serve as their “friend, wife and companion in the field” while protecting the rights of the Filipino people.

In the same occasion, Mayor Leonardo Babasa of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur also told the young soldiers “the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is a co-manager in providing the basic services to the people.”

Babasa traced the roots of insurgency in the country to poverty, social injustice, ignorance or lack of education, corruption, absence of economic opportunities, and fulfillment of personal goals.

To solve this problem, he said, there should be coordination, cooperation and collaboration between and among the AFP, civilian government, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations (POs), and other stakeholders.

Babasa also cited discipline as the best formula to drawing support from the masses saying, “The best Civil-Military Operation (CMO) is a well-disciplined soldier.

Representatives from the government line agencies, NGOS, POs, religious groups, youth groups, indigenous peoples (IP), business organizations and farmers’ association personally handed the firearms to 200 privates who are due for deployment within Tabak’s area of jurisdiction which covers the whole of Zamboanga Peninsula region including the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the province of Misamis Occidental of region 10.

Pagadian City marks 47th Charter Day anniversary

(PNA), BNB/TPGJR/HIROHITO D. CADION

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, June 21 (PNA) – Gov. Antonio Cerilles announced that he will support the programs of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte despite they don’t belong to the same political party.

Cerilles made this announcement Tuesday as the guest speaker of the 47th Araw ng Pagadian program where he also expressed gratitude to the people for giving him the mandate to serve on second term as governor.

Cerilles ran under the banner of the Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC) while Duterte under the Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

The NPC allied with the administration’s Liberal Party (LP) in the May 9 elections in this province.

Cerilles said he will support the administration of Duterte since it will be beneficial to the welfare of the Filipino people.

Mayor Romeo Pulmones led the city government officials and employees as well as students from different schools in the street parade at 7:00 a.m. that kickoff the celebration of the 47th Araw ng Pagadian.

The Araw ng Pagadian is celebrated every June 21 of the year in commemoration of its founding as a chartered city.

The celebration will end tonight with a foam party at the local wharf.

This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme: “Kahiusahan sa katawhan, kusog sa dakbayan alang sa malahutayong kalinaw ug dugang kalambuan (The Unity of the People, The Strength of the City for the Sustainable Peace and More Development).

1CAV spearheads distribution of school supplies to children in remote village

By Gideon C. Corgue (ALT/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

TUKURAN, Zamboanga del Sur, June 20 (PIA) – Looking around Man-ilan Elementary School in the rural community of Tukuran, one might think it is for privileged children.

Arnold Tagalog, the school head said it has large classrooms, a computer laboratory, a small garden, and large playground. “Children not only get traditional education here but they learn about art, technology and the English language,” he said.

“But the children who attend this school, which is more than 20-kilometers from the town proper don’t come from rich families. Instead, most are poor, and their parents struggle to provide for basic needs, so buying school supplies like pad papers, notebooks, pencils, crayons, erasers, and rulers is a luxury,” Tagalog explained.

Over the weekend, the 1st Cavalry (Tagapanguna) Squadron, Mechanized Infantry Division, 1st Field Artillery Battalion (1FAB), Army Artillery Regiment and the Philippine Army Finance Center Producers Integrated Cooperative (PAFCIFIC) provided school supplies to 120 schoolchildren.

Students, parents, teachers, and barangay officials of Man-ilan were surprised by the generous gift.

“All the students were happy and parents were happy too. It’s really nice to receive these gifts from generous people,” Tagalog said.

Mayor Francisvic S. Villamero said the basic school supplies bring hope for children whose education is hindered by poverty. “I encourage you to strive hard in your studies. And I hope that you will grow as intelligent and industrious students,” the good mayor quoted.

Capt. Gabriel Lastimosa, civil-military operations officer of the 1st Cavalry Squadron said the distribution of school supplies project will motivate children to attend school and to take continued interest in their schooling.

“I believe that you will be motivated to go to school. We wish you success in your studies and become professionals in the future,” Lastimosa urged.

PAFCIFIC Manager Romelie Lawagon said they partnered with the project of 1CAV and 1FAB because this would help ease the financial burden of parents and give kids a good start of the school year.

She encouraged the children to study seriously, and not allow poverty to hinder their education, as she believes that education is a proven way to break the vicious cycle of poverty.

Lawagon said like them, she came from a poor family but along with her brothers and sisters, they strived hard in their studies and fulfilled their dreams of becoming professionals.

Comelec dismisses DQ case of returning Zambo Sur town mayor

(PNA), JMC/TPGJR/HIROHITO D. CADION

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur (PNA) –- It’s a go for returning and Mayor-elect Wilfredo Asoy Sr. to assume the mayoralty post on June 30 in the nearby town of Dinas in this province.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division has dismissed the disqualification case filed by incumbent and outgoing Dinas Mayor Basilio Vidad against Asoy.

The resolution dismissing the case against Asoy was promulgated on May 8, 2016 by the second division chaired by Comelec Commissioner Al Parreño.

Vidad has filed a petition before the Comelec praying to declare null and void Asoy’s certificate of candidacy on the basis that the Ombudsman has found probable cause and has filed malversation and corruption charges with the Sandiganbayan against the returning mayor.

The case against Asoy stemmed from his alleged failure to liquidate and account PHP2.4 million in government funds since 2011. Asoy served as mayor of Dinas for three straight terms from 2004 until 2013.

However, lawyer Domingo Redelosa IV, the legal counsel of Asoy, said the Comelec turned down the petition of Vidad since the Sandiganbayan has not yet rendered a decision on the cases filed against his client.

“From the foregoing, it is clear that finality of the decision from a competent court finding respondent to be suffering from a disqualification is necessary. In the case, the Ombudsman resolution referred to by the Petitioner only points to a finding of probable cause to indict the respondent,” the Comelec second division stated in its decision.

“Probable cause, for purposes of filing a criminal information, has been defined as such facts as are sufficient to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that respondents are probably guilty thereof. As such, the finding of probable cause has no bearing to the instant Petition, that these reasons the Commission decided to dismiss the case,” the Comelec added.

Redelosa said Asoy was elated over the decision of the Comelec.

Redelosa added they will furnish a copy of the Comelec decision to the Regional Trial Court Branch 19 in this city since there is a pending similar case (Quo Warranto) Vidad has filed against Asoy.

Asoy is optimistic the RTC will also dismiss the case against him filed by Vidad.

He vowed to further develop the town of Dinas once he will assume as mayor on June 30.

Asoy said he will give priority to peace and order program and will promote Dinas as a peace-loving municipality.

Asoy ran and won a barangay chairperson in Don Jose, Dinas, after he ended his third term as town mayor in 2013.

Later on, he became an ex-officio board member since he was unopposed when he ran as Liga ng mga barangay president in Dinas as well as of this province.

He defeated Vidad for the mayoralty post by a margin of 637 votes in the May 9 local and national elections.

Asoy garnered 7,835 votes while Vidad got 7,198 votes.

Dinas, which comprises of 30 barangays, is a fourth class town of this province with a population of 34,768 as of the 2010 Census on Population.

Capitol salutes scholar graduates

By Morexette Marie Erram (UP Cebu Intern)

Maeshael Fuentes, who was born in Zamboanga del Sur and grew up in Argao, was among the 132 graduates from Cebu Technological University (CTU) and Cebu Normal University (CNU) who were recognized by the Cebu provincial government in a ceremony at the Capitol Social Hall on Friday.

She also received a cash incentive worth P5,000 from the Provincial Employment and Services Office (PESO).

Fuentes, an Industrial Engineering graduate from CTU, was a grantee of the provincial government’s Scholarship Assistance Program (SAP). She grew up in a rural neighborhood and helped her father in managing a farm in Mandilikit, Argao. A few years of her childhood were spent in Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur.

The 21-year-old Fuentes was the class valedictorian of Mandilikit National High School in 2012.

The provincial government made a deal with CTU and CNU last 2009 to grant valedictorians from all public schools in Cebu province free tuition fee and a monthly stipend of P2,000.

This program took into full effect last 2011 with the Development Bank of the Philippines as partner for the Salutatorian Scholarship Assistance Program.

Her parents and her two siblings decided to move to Cebu when her grandmother offered them to manage a farm in Argao.

When she graduated from high school, Fuentes aspired to be an engineer.

“I wanted to be an engineer, and the only engineering-related program offered in CTU Argao was IE,” said Fuentes.

She spent her freshman and sophomore years in CTU Argao. When her father started to work as a messenger for a dental laboratory in Cebu City three years ago, she tagged along and pursued the three remaining years of her program in the main campus of the university.

She said the monthly stipend she received from SAP was a big help for her stay in Cebu City.

Her parents’ financial obligations then were just for the meal allowance and money for the rent. The fresh graduate currently rents a room in a boarding house along Urgello Street, Sambag Uno while her father stays in his employer’s laboratory.

She said she successfully attained the minimum 85 percent general weighted average required to maintain the scholarship without being too stressed out.

The scholarship will be revoked if the student cannot achieve the said condition.

She graduated from college without any honorific awards.

“I was glad enough to receive my college diploma without wasting too much resources and sacrificing myself for nothing,” Fuentes said with a soft laugh.

Fuentes said she always prioritized her health over grades. “That way, I did not feel any pressure at all,” she said. Fuentes believed that placing heavy importance on her health during her college years was one key factor in surviving a 5-year program.

She claimed that her goal in life also helped her in getting her college diploma. “I always aim for the best and in doing so, I need to do my best,” said Fuentes.

Fuentes is a time-conscious woman who thinks time equals money.

“In our program, we were taught that the cost of the industry’s operation grows as the time it takes to finish goes longer. And I believe the same thing applies to our personal aspects,” said Fuentes.

Fuentes does not like the idea of an all-nighter to finish her projects and tasks. She said that when she is given an assignment, she plans it in a very structural manner and starts ahead of time.

“I always create a timeline of my projects, and I map them out rather meticulously. I want everything on plan. Mistakes and errors always lead to bigger costs and heavier consequences,” said a smiling Fuentes.

Fuentes was a student in night classes and did not mention any sort of difficulties along the way.

She also said that mastering time management will help any student to balance time among academics, peers and personal concerns.

“When you cannot practice efficient time management, then chances are you cannot give yourself some time and break,” she commented in Cebuano.

Capitol Public Employment Service Office (PESO) head Dr. Mathea Baguia said that PESO will also provide employment assistance to the scholars.

The grantees of the SAP will be referred to companies that are looking for new recruits.

She, however, clarified that their assistance is intended for all job seekers.

“The PESO job fairs are just one of the many successful job assistance programs we had,” said Baguia.

Fuentes said that managing people may sound appealing to her but heading a department or an organization is not in her mind yet.

“Life is a journey, and I take this journey seriously,” she said.

Fuentes said she wants to start as an ordinary employee. She said she saw no point in hurrying to become a future head of a company.

RPDCC-9 bats for curbing teenage pregnancy in ZamPen

By Franklin P. Gumapon

PAGADIAN CITY, June 17 (PIA) – Alarmed by the unprecedented rise in teenage pregnancy and unprotected sex in Zamboanga Peninsula region, the member-agencies of the Regional Population and Development Coordinating Committee (RPDCC)-9 met here on Wednesday to discuss specific actions to address the problem.

Regional Director Reynaldo O. Wong of the Commission on Population (Popcom)-9 presented to the participants the results of the study conducted by Prof. Rosalyn Romo-Echem of the Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga City which found that a there is a dramatic rise in premarital sex incidence in Zamboanga Peninsula particularly among female youth.

In the same study which titled “Gender Differentials in Premarital Sex Initiation Among the Youth of Zamboanga Peninsula,” it was discovered that two in every five youth in the region have sexual experience and that the region has the highest incidence of unprotected premarital sexual initiation among all regions at 92 percent.

The study also pointed out “the absence or lack of supervision from parents and other adults to have encouraged youth’s sexual activity within their own homes.”

RPDCC-9 has considered adopting the study’s policy recommendation that age and culture-appropriate sexuality and reproductive health (RH) education for in-school and idle youth should be fully implemented by trained and gender-sensitive teachers and health service providers to avert early sex engagement to include modules on values formation, negotiation and life skills for the youth in terms of reproductive, sexual and health rights.

It was also agreed in said meeting that pregnancy cases among learners especially high school students be monitored and reported to get factual data on teenage pregnancy.

Setting up of teen centers in schools has also been recommended to assist the learners in addressing some of their personal problems.

Forty-one representatives from the member-agencies like the Department of Health. National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Labor and Employment, non-government organizations, academe and others attended the RPDDC’s second quarter meeting. (FPG/PIA9)

Over 200 school children receive school supplies from DXPR, 1FAB

By Gideon C. Corgue (ALT/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur (PIA) – The Annual School Supply Drive, a project spearheaded by RMN-DXPR in partnership with the 1st Field Artillery Battalion (1FAB), Army Artillery Regiment, Philippine Army and Philippine Information Agency recently distributed school supplies to some 255 children at Old Labangan Elementary School.

Tirso Dumapit, program director of DXPR said the school supplies consist of notebooks, pad papers, pencils, sharpeners, and erasers to encourage children in their schooling.

“Padayon kami sa among legasiya pag-edukar sa mga kabataan pinaagi pagtanyag kanila sa mga school supplies pagseguro kanila sa maayo nga kaugmaon,” Dumapit said.

(We continue the legacy of educating the youth by providing them school supplies to ensure a better future).

Captain Reynaldo Ricafort, civil-military operations’ (CMO) officer of 1st FAB encouraged the pupils to take care of the items.

“Ayaw gamita ang pad papers ug notebooks nga eroplano ug tabanog. Gamita ang mga items sa tukma nga pamaagi aron nga magmalampuson kamo sa inyong pag-eskwela,” Ricafort urged.

(Do not use the pad papers and notebooks as an airplane or kite. Use the items properly so that you will be successful in your studies).

Ricafort underscored the importance of education saying that this cannot be taken away from us. “Education is the key to be free from the bondage of ignorance,” he added.

“We are extremely grateful that the donors have chosen our school to be one of the recipients of this project. This is the first time that a project like this was conducted in our school,” Ms. Gemma Dionaldo, the school principal proudly said.

Lolita Sadik was also happy that her son Zurin, a kindergarten pupil received the school supplies.

“Nalipay ko ug dako na nakadawat ang akong anak sa school supplies. Tungod niini nadugangan ang iyang mga gamit sa eskwelahan. Imbis nga mopalit ko notebook ug papel, ako na lang gamiton ang kwarta pagpalit sa iyang pagkaon,” Zadik explained.

(I am very happy that my son received school supplies. Instead of buying notebook and pad papers, I will use the money to buy food).

Old Labangan Elementary School is located in an interior barangay of Labangan town where majority of the students enrolled are Muslims.

First 1,000 days, right start of life forever for children

By Claro A. Lanipa (ALT/CAL/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY June (PIA) – “First 1,000 days is a unique window to give the right start of life forever for children.”

In a media forum held Friday, June 10, Ms. Evelyn Capistrano, nutritionist/dietician of the Department of Health - IX said the first 1,000 days is the window of opportunity for our children, to give them the right start to development and for them to enjoy it forever. “There is forever in 1,000 days,” she added.

We all know that we have a problem on malnutrition and one form of malnutrition is undernutrition. As stated in the children’s rights of the World Health Organization (WHO), every child has the right to survive and develop normally and even attain the highest standard of health. “If they will not receive the highest standard of health, we are violating their rights,” Capistrano explained.

There are two forms of undernutrition; one is low height for age, meaning the height of the child do not correspond to his age or we call it a stunted child. Given the optimum nutrition for the child and all the health care interventions, then, there is no question the child will grow normally, according to Capistrano.

The other is low weight for height, which means the weight of the child is not consistent to his height or we call it wasted child. Stunting in a child starts while still in the womb of the mother where it fails to grow and develop to full potential.

“If a child is stunted, there will be a mental and physical defects and this is irreversible after two years of age,” Capistrano said. The long term effect would be poor cognition and learning performance in childhood and lower productivity, increased risk of chronic diseases in adulthood.

The National Nutrition Survey of 2013 showed that 30.3 percent of children ages 0-5 years old or 3.4 million children in the Philippines are stunted. The Philippines is one of the 10 countries in the world with the most number of stunted children.

On the other hand, 7.9 percent of children in the country ages 0-5 years old are wasted.

Undernutrition in the first 1,000 days is the underlying cause of almost half (45%) of child death in the world and 95 child death per day associated with undernutrition was recorded in the Philippines.

Nutritional interventions starts from conception to childbirth (270 days), mothers are encouraged to prevent becoming anemic and ensure that pregnancies and deliveries are safe for mother and child. From birth to 6 months (180 days), optimal breastfeeding is advised. From six months to two years (550 days), continued breastfeeding is still encouraged supported with supplementary food.

In the first years of life, an infant’s brain forms 700-1000 new neural connections per second. This pace is never repeated again and undernutrition directly affects this developmental process.

Pagadian City police set to implement curfew for minors

(PNA), FFC/TPGJR/HIROHITO D. CADION

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, June 14 (PNA) -– The local police is set to implement curfew against minors as well as the prohibition of the sale of intoxicating beverages to children in this city.

Supt. Michael Palermo, local police chief, told the Philippines News Agency that the imposition of curfew is pursuant to a directive from higher headquarters given to the chiefs of police during the recent command conference.

The order, according to Palermo, is to determine whether there is an existing curfew ordinance for children in their respective locality and if there is, it must be properly implemented.

Palermo said this city has an existing edict known as City Ordinance No. 43, which was approved on October 1, 1984, imposing curfew for minors.

He said the ordinance prohibits children aged 18 and below to stay outside their residence from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. the next day.

The implementation of the ordinance is also in line with the proposal of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to impose a nationwide curfew for minors.

Palermo added that they will also implement Ordinance No. 40, which was approved last October 3, 1983 that prohibits the sale of intoxicating drinks and/or intoxicating beverages to minors in the public places in this city.

He said that violators of the two ordinances will be brought to the police headquarters for appropriate actions to include filing of charges as well as payment of corresponding fines.

118th Independence Day: A story of our noble ancestors’ courage, struggles and sacrifices

By Gideon C. Corgue (ALT/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, June 13 (PIA) – Independence Day is always a significant event for a nation brought about by centuries of struggles against powerful nations.

Thus disclosed Mayor Romeo Pulmones during the 118th Independence Day celebration held at the City Hall complex.

“May we truly learn the values of our heroes and use them for the well-being of the nation in the context of this year’s theme, “Kalayaan 2016: Pagkakaisa, Pag-aambagan, Pagsulong,” Pulmones said.

“We remember the ultimate price that our patriotic and idealistic forefathers paid for the freedom that we enjoy today,” he added.

SSupt. Michael Nicolas, PNP provincial director said, “Today, is a special day to all of us Filipinos because we do not only remember the success that we achieved but the sacrifices of our ancestors who fought and died to regain our freedom from 333 years of Spanish colonization.”

“Hayaan ang kanilang dakilang sakripisyo na maging inspirasyon natin habang tayo ay nagsusumikap ngayon na palakasin ang ating minamahal na Republika bilang isang makapangyarihang ekonomiya at isang buhay na may dignidad at kapayapaan,” Nicolas said.

(Let us allow their great sacrifices to be our inspiration while we exert efforts to strengthen our beloved Republic to be a powerful economy and to live with dignity and peace.)

Meanwhile, MGen. Gerardo F. Barrientos, Jr., 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division commander in his message delivered by acting chief of staff, Colonel Jacinto Bareng said the martyrdom and legacy of our heroes had freed the nation from the bonds of the colonizers.

Barrientos said notwithstanding the freedom that we enjoy now, our country is bombarded with economic, political and social dilemmas that hinder positive and progressive reforms initiated by the government.

Despite these challenges, Barrientos urged everyone to have unity of action and common vision for our country saying that no one else will act for the betterment and future of our country, and no one else would push for the protection of our freedom except we, Filipinos.

He said the Armed Forces of the Philippines has expanded its horizon of service. “We engage in both combat and non-combat activities to promote peace, security and development,” Barrientos announced.

The army chief said our greatest challenge today is to achieve a just and lasting peace. “Our collective effort to pursue this objective is a manifestation of our gratitude to our forebears and of our hope for the future generations,” Barrientos concluded.

Citywide clean-up marks 118th Independence Day celebration in Pagadian City

(PNA), BNB/TPGJR/HIROHITO D. CADION

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, June 12 (PNA) -- A citywide clean up drive marked the 118th Independence Day celebration as the kick-off ceremony of the week-long 47th “Araw ng Pagadian” was simultaneously held in this city.

The simultaneous ceremony, which was held at the Rizal monument in his city’s Plaza Luz, started at 7:00 a.m. with a holy mass and was followed with the flag raising and floral offerings.

Mayor Romeo Pulmones, in his message, has called for “unity with harmony” and urged the people to contribute efforts in moving the Philippines towards “a better tomorrow and a better Pagadian” as the country is about to welcome a new set of elected national leaders.

Pulmones quoted former United States President Franklin Roosevelt who cited four fundamental freedoms that people everywhere in the world ought to enjoy and these are: freedom of speech; freedom of worship; freedom from want; and, freedom from fear.

The Independence Day celebration was attended by officials and representatives from the local police force, Army’s 1st Infantry Division, the city government and from other sectors.

The 118th Independence Day celebration is anchored on the theme “Pagkakaisa, Pag-aambangan, Pagsulong.”

Meanwhile, sports activities followed the Independence Day commemoration as part of the activities lined up for the week-long celebration of the 47th Araw ng Pagadian.

Councilor Bienvenido Culve, Araw ng Pagadian steering committee chairperson, said several other activities will follow that will include a thanksgiving mass on Tuesday; motorcade; barangaylimpics; raising of barangay banners; beauty pageant; and, agro-trade fair.

The Araw ng Pagadian will culminate on June 21. The celebration is anchored on the theme: “Kahiusahan sa katawhan, kusog sa dakbayan alang sa malahutayong kalinaw ug dugang kalambuan” (The Unity of the People, The Strength of the City for the Sustainable Peace and More Development).

Jail official urges to solve congestion problem

By Bong Garcia

AN OFFICIAL of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is urging the National Government to address the congestion problem in the detention facility of Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.

Chief Inspector Nathaniel Aljas, Pagadian City Reformatory Center warden, made the call in anticipation to the intensified anti-criminality campaign by the incoming administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Aljas said the detention facility in Pagadian City is 300 percent overcrowded since there are 415 inmates detained although the capacity of the jail is only for 150 detainees.

The BJMP has constructed an additional building with two detention cells to increase the capacity of the Pagadian City Reformatory Center.

However, Aljas said the completion of the project will not fully address the congestion problem due to the continued anti-criminality drive of the police dubbed as “lambat-sibat” operation.

He said there should also be active follow-up of cases and to implement Republic Act (RA) 10592 to help address the decongestion problem in detention facilities.

RA 10592 is an act approved on May 29, 2013 that amended the penal code provisions on the period of preventive imprisonment deducted from term of imprisonment, partial extinction of criminal liability, allowance for good conduct, special time allowance for loyalty, and who grants time allowances, respectively.

GSIS offers emergency loan to members in El Nino-hit Zambo areas

(PNA), SCS/PR-GSIS/EDS

MANILA, June 10 (PNA) -- Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) allotted more than Php116 million in emergency loan for its active members and old-age pensioners in the entire province of Zamboanga del Norte, R. T. Lim in Zamboanga Sibugay, and Dimataling in Zamboanga del Sur due to ill-effects of El Niño.

A total of 1,224 members in Zamboanga del Norte who are borrowing for the first time may avail of a Php20,000 emergency loan, while 1,023 members with existing emergency loans may borrow Php40,000, from which the outstanding balance will be deducted.

In R. T. Lim and Dimataling, all 1,033 members may borrow Php20,000.

A total of 1,519 old-age pensioners in the three calamity areas may apply for the Php20,000 pension emergency loan.

Active members are qualified to apply if they are working or residing in the calamity-declared areas, are not on leave of absence without pay, and have no arrears in paying premium contributions in the last six months.

Emergency loan is payable in 36 equal monthly installments and carries a 6 percent interest rate per annum computed in advance. It is covered by a loan redemption insurance, which deems the loan fully paid in case of the borrower’s demise provided the loan repayment is up to date.

Active members may apply through any GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System (GWAPS) kiosk located in all GSIS branch and extension offices; provincial capitols; city halls; selected municipal offices; large government agencies such as the Department of Education; Robinsons Malls; and selected SM City branches in North Edsa, Manila, Pampanga, Cebu, and SM Aura in Taguig.

Old-age pensioners are required to personally apply at the GSIS Dipolog or Pagadian Branch Office to secure their identity and loan transaction. If they are also active members (for having been reemployed in the government service), they may borrow emergency loan only once.

The deadline for loan application is June 28, 2016.

For inquiries, members and pensioners may call the GSIS Contact Center at 847-4747; visit the GSIS website, www.gsis.gov.ph; or email gsiscares@gsis.gov.ph.

Dengue fever cases decline by 12%

By Bong Garcia

DENGUE cases in Zamboanga Peninsula (Western Mindanao) region declined by 12 percent or a total of 1,841 cases from January to June 3 this year, a government officer said.

Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Health Education Promotion Officer Delton Ace Ignacio said they recorded 1,841 dengue cases for the first semester of this year, lower by 1,113 compared to the 2,954 cases recorded for the same period last year.

The dengue cases recorded since January this year in the different areas of the region are as follows: Zamboanga City, 871, Zamboanga del Norte, 318, Zamboanga del Sur, 231, Zamboanga Sibugay, 220, and Isabela City, 201.

There were nine dengue fatalities since January this year in the entire region, Ignacio said.

Four of the nine fatalities were from Zamboanga City and the others were from Pagadian City, one, Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay, one, Diplahan, Zamboanga Sibugay, one, Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur, one and Isabela City, one.

Ignacio said they advised the residents to continue practicing the “4S” strategy in a bid to further lessen the cases of dengue in the region.

The 4S strategy include the following: search and destroy, self protection measures, seek early consultation, and say yes to fogging only when there is an impending outbreak.

RPO9 to confer PGS compliance status to police units

By Gideon C. Corgue (ALT/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, June 9 (PIA) – The Philippine National Police (PNP)-Regional Office IX is slated to confer Performance Governance System (PGS) “compliant status” to six (6) provincial and city police offices who have successfully completed the second stage of PGS-PNP Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and Upholding the Rule of Law (P.A.T.R.O.L) Plan 2030.

Chief Supt. Randolf R. Delfin, deputy regional director for administration said PRO9 will confer the award to the following: Zamboanga City Police Office, Regional Public Safety Battalion 9, Zamboanga Sibugay Police Provincial Office, Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Office, Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office, and Isabela City Police Station in a ceremony to be held at PRO9 Quadrangle, Camp Col. Romeo A. Abendan, Mercedes, Zamboanga City on June 21.

It can be recalled that these units have successfully passed the compliance evaluation process composed of three sequential phases – the strategic readiness test or SRT, the performance audit, and the unit revalida on December 3, 2015.

The PGS is an adaptation of the balanced scorecard where its concept is introduced, understood and valued in the entire administration and operations of the PNP. On the other hand, the PNP P.A.T.R.O.L. Plan 2030 institutionalizes an experimental tool in measuring accomplishments, various plans, programs and activities embodied in the agency scorecard to ensure the continuity of change and transformation within the organization.

Meanwhile, SSupt. Michael M. Nicolas, provincial director of the Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Office (ZSPPO), the provincial police strategy management unit (PPSMU) staff, and chairman and vice-chairman of the provincial advisory council have confirmed their attendance to the conferment and awarding ceremony.

1CAV supports Brigada Eskwela 2016

By Gideon C. Corgue (FPG/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, June 8 (PIA) – The recently concluded nationwide National School Maintenance Week or Brigada Eskwela 2016 proved that members of the Philippine Army (PA) were not only prepared for war and disaster but they are also prepared to share their knowledge and skills in repairing classrooms, dilapidated chairs, tables and many others.

Lt. Colonel Charlemagne Batayola Jr., commanding officer the 1st Cavalry (Tagapanguna) Squadron, Mechanized Infantry Division said the troops participated in the Brigada Eskwela starting May 30 to June 4 in these schools: Western Mindanao State University-External Studies Unit (WMSU-ESU) and Bulatok Elementary School in Pagadian City ; Upper Pulacan Elementary School of Labangan; and Man-ilan Elementary School, Manlayag Elementary School, and Navalan Elementary School in Tukuran.

Batayola said the soldiers together with the school faculty, Parents Teachers Association (PTA) members and some students cleaned the surroundings of the schools, repaired broken desks, chairs and tables, did landscaping on the school ground and repainting works, etc.

Jessica Casio, principal of Manlayag Elementary School in Tukuran said the way the 1st Cavalry troopers did their jobs impressed a lot of teachers, students and the community.

“We are grateful that the 1st Cavalry troopers participated in this year’s Brigada Eskwela. Their active participation in this event has strengthened the relationships among teachers, parents, students and the soldiers,” Casio maintained.

It can be recalled that the 1CAV recently inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the barangay officials designating Manlayag as one of the adopted barangays of the unit.

Meanwhile, Antonio Cadotdot, a PTA member, said the presence of the 1CAV troopers had helped the parents in the repair of the perimeter fence and classrooms.

Sgt. Bernie Selebrar, who helped a parent in constructing a classroom at Margarito Lagare Memorial Elementary School in Navalan, Tukuran, said he did not mind working long during the Brigada Eskwela, as he felt happy in preparing for the opening of classes on June 13.

In recognition of the valuable support extended to the schools, the unit was awarded a certificate of recognition for actively supporting Brigada Eskwela 2016.

DENR spearheads Environment Month celebration

By Claro A. Lanipa (ALT/CAL/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, 7 June (PIA) – The month of June has been declared Philippine Environment Month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 237 signed in 1998 by then President Corazon C. Aquino, with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as primary focal agency, implementing different activities.

This year’s theme is “Go Wild for Life, Combat Biodiversity Loss #GreenEnvironmentGawingForever.”

“We celebrate Environment Month this year with a renewed and strengthened conviction to care for the land we live on, the air we breathe, and the water which gives us life. More than any time in this planet’s history, it is now that we must put our acts together to combat increasing threats to our ecosystem,” DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, DENR-IX kicked off the celebration in Lake Maragang Rainforest Park, Mt. Timolan Protected Landscape (MTPL), a declared protected area by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 354 signed on August 14, 2000 pursuant to Republic Act No. 7586, also known as the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992.

Regional Director Arleigh J. Adorable said, “the establishment of the NIPAS is primarily aimed to combat biodiversity loss and Mount Timolan is a perfect venue to launch the celebration of the Environment Month.”

The Philippines is part of the 18 “mega-diverse” countries in the world, and considered as a biodiversity hotspot. It also contains two-thirds of the earth’s biodiversity.

“Combating biodiversity loss and being an advocate of wildlife protection starts with being vigilant. Report any illegal trade activities, any plant or animal species that are in the verge of abuse, maltreatment, or any illegal activities being held in protected areas to agencies like the DENR, World Wildlife Fund and to local government units,” the DENR official urged everyone.

Other environmental celebrations being observed in the month of June are as follows: June 5 – World Environment Day; June 4-10 Philippine Eagle Week; June 8 - World Ocean Day; June 9 - Coral Triangle Day; June 17 - World Day to Combat Desertification; and National Arbor Day on June 25.

Pagadian City jail warden urges national government to address detention congestion

(PNA), LAP/TPGJR/HIROHITO D. CADION

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, June 6 (PNA) -– An official of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is urging the national government to address the congestion problem in the detention facilities.

Chief Insp. Nathaniel Aljas, local reformatory center warden, on Monday made the call in anticipation of the intensified anti-criminality campaign by the incoming administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

He said the local detention facility is 300 percent overcrowded since there are 415 inmates detained although the capacity of the jail is only 150 detainees.

Aljas said they have constructed an additional building with two detention cells to increase the capacity of the local reformatory center.

However, he said the completion of the project will not fully address the congestion problem due to the continued anti-criminality drive of the police dubbed as “lambat-sibat” operation.

He said there should also be active follow-up of cases and to implement Republic Act 10592 to help address the decongestion problem in detention facilities.

R.A. 10592 is an act approved on May 29, 2013 that amended the penal code provisions on the period of preventive imprisonment deducted from term of imprisonment, partial extinction of criminal liability, allowance for good conduct, special time allowance for loyalty, and grants time allowances.

5 classrooms in Pagadian City to be abandoned due to fear of landslide

(KG, GMA News)

Due to heavy rainfall, five classrooms in Pagadian City may not be available for use when school opens this month due to the possibility of landslide, a report on Unang Balita on Friday said.

Teachers of the Otto Lingue National High School in Brgy. Lower Sibatang are afraid that a landslide may occur again.

In 2015, a landslide occurred in the direction of the classrooms but the building was not damaged.

The local government initiated rip-rapping construction work in the area, the report said.

While the rip-rapping work is still being done, students will be asked to go to other rooms in the school building in the meantime.

Meanwhile, construction work on two new classrooms in the same school has resumed last April. The new classrooms are expected to be finished in July.

Work on the two new classrooms was stopped in January after the City Disaster Management Office declared the area not fit for public use.

The said office lifted the declaration in April.

DTI sets Mobile Diskwento Caravan in Region 9

(PNA), RMA/TPGJR

ZAMBOANGA CITY, June 4 (PNA) - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), due to the resounding success of the first Mobile Diskwento Caravan (MDC) last year, will conduct another round of similar program starting on Monday, June 6, until June 11 covering four far-flung areas here in Region 9.

Dr. Sitti Amina Jain, DTI regional director, on Saturday said the success of the first MDC and the feedback gathered from the beneficiaries are key considerations for the conduct of similar caravan this year.

“Last year was sort of testing the waters. We wanted to bring discounted basic and prime commodities for low income earners in hard-to-reach areas, where programs like these are seldom delivered. The overwhelming success and the clamor from our beneficiaries from last year solidified our decision to again serve the people through this program this year,” Jain added.

Last year’s MDC has served 2,179 individuals from Barangay Labuan, this city; Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay; Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte; and, Sominot, Zamboanga del Sur, according to Jain.

This year, she said the MDC would kick off in Barangay Vitali, this city, on June 6. From Vitali, the group composed of DTI regional office staff, to be led by Consumer Protection Division OIC-Division Chief Samuel Delos Reyes, will proceed to Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay for the second leg on June 8.

She said the next stop would be in the municipality of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur on June 9 and finally in Manukan, Zamboanga del Norte on June 11.

Jain is inviting the residents of the four areas to avail of the discounted commodities ranging from school supplies, canned goods and other basic commodities.

“We invite the residents from the said areas to come and avail of the program. This is all intended for them. We want them to know that we at the government are thinking of initiatives and programs that will benefit them. This is just one of the many programs that we have to help our brothers and sisters in far-flung areas where government assistance is really needed,” she said.

Jain said the conduct of the MDC is in partnership with the local business establishments and distributors.

Jain expressed her gratitude to “our partners from the business sector for helping us realize this project.”

“This partnership will go a long way for our intended beneficiaries, and we hope to continue our partnership with them,” Jain added.

1FAB joins Brigada Eskwela 2016

By Gideon C. Corgue (ALT/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur, June 3 (PIA) – The 1st Field Artillery Battalion (1FAB), Army Artillery Regiment, Philippine Army actively participated in the Department of Education’s ‘Brigada Eskwela” or the National Schools Maintenance Week.

Brigada Eskwela is a nationwide yearly undertaking of concerned government agencies a month before the opening of classes. This year’s Brigada Eskwela activities will be held from May 30 to June 4 under the theme "Tayo Para sa Paaralang Ligtas, Maayos at Handa Mula Kindergarten Hanggang Senior High School."

Capt. Holly John Godinez, 1FAB civil-military operations’ (CMO) officer said starting May 30 to June 1, the troopers were deployed in San Isidro Elementary School and Tabak Elementary School in Labangan, and Man-ilan Elementary School in Tukuran. Teachers and parents also helped in cleaning the schools, repair damaged school facilities and do maintenance work especially landscape painting.

The activity is also “our way of communicating with the children as per Army’s Transformation Roadmap—an Army that is more responsive, reliable, capable, and committed to its mandate of serving our people and securing the land,” according to Godinez.

He said though the unit has limited number of troops, still they participated and contributed their time, efforts and resources to the school maintenance effort in ensuring that public school facilities in their adopted barangays are ready for the school opening.

“It has been a yearly tradition of our unit in helping the community and various government agencies to join the Brigada Eskwela,” Godinez concluded.

DSWD reports 82% well-being improvement on 4Ps beneficiaries in Region 9

(PNA), BNB/TPGJR

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced that 229,375 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) households are now with improved well-being level representing 82 percent of the total population of 4Ps beneficiaries in the region.

Atty. Araceli Solamillo, DSWD regional director, said Wednesday that the 4Ps households were identified as self-subsistent families after undergoing the Social Welfare and Development Indicator (SWDI) Assessment last year.

Solamillo said this means that these beneficiaries are now exposed and can readily access to resources and alternatives provided by the government to make ends meet.

“It is inspiring to note that while most of the Pantawid families started on survival when they entered the program, on the fifth year, 82 percent have moved up to subsistence level, while a good number of 15 percent of the once identified as poorest of poor households are now with sufficient capacity to live a decent and dignified life,” Solamillo said.

Solamillo said SWDI is a tool that aims to determine the level of well-being of Pantawid beneficiaries so that appropriate interventions will be provided to them not just by DSWD, but by other social protection programs implementers as well.

Through the administration of the tool last year, the department was able to identify 6,336 4Ps households are still in level 1 (survival level), 229,375 in level 2 (self-subsistent level) and 43,501 are now in level 3 (self-sufficient level).

Following the SWDI result generation, Solamillo said DSWD now makes available the SWDI data to its partner agencies which they can use as a baseline data for planning and implementing interventions to enable beneficiaries to pass through survival, subsistence up to self-sufficient standard of living.

Survival is a set of condition where there is lack of inner and external resources which make households unable to resolve problems and survive in a daily basis.

Subsistence is a condition that opens some resources and alternatives to the beneficiaries to surpass basic needs daily, while self-sufficiency means the households have already other sources of income and can already stand without interventions from the government.

“The SWDI is a comprehensive assessing tool where we can identify the gaps in the services that we provide the Pantawid beneficiaries, and through identifying these gaps, we can tap or partner with other agencies that can give them the appropriate intervention, like livelihood and employment so that they can elevate further to self-sufficiency level.” Solamillo added.

DOLE 9 turns over P8.6M livelihood checks to ZamboSur

By Claro A. Lanipa (ALT/CAL/PIA-9 Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY June (PIA) – Eight (8) local government units in Zamboanga del Sur received today livelihood checks worth P8.6 million under the Department of Labor and Employment’s Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) and the Bottom-Up-Budgeting/ Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (BUB/GPB) at the DOLE Zamboanga del Sur Field Office here.

DOLE-9 Regional Director Sisinio B. Cano said DILEEP aims to enable the unemployed poor, seasonal and low-waged workers to start individual livelihood or collective enterprise undertakings with the goal of moving them out from poverty and make them productive.

The following LGUs received the Kabuhayan starter kits: Molave (31 skilled beneficiaries) P230,500; Tigbao (83 skilled beneficiaries) P564,400; Dinas (70 skilled beneficiaries) P476,000; San Pablo (47 skilled beneficiaries) P319,600 and Lower Guipos Farmers Association of Guipos for swine fattening (lechon type) P458,000.

The National Irrigation Administration Regional Office IX also received P4 million for El Niño intervention covering 1,328 farmer beneficiaries under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) program of the department.

On the other hand, under the BUB/GPB, LGU beneficiaries are as follows: Lakewood for the Kabuhayan Repair Shop of the Lakewood Riders’ Association and Poultry Raising of the Women’s Association of Lakewood with P500,000 each; Kabuhayan starter kits for Margosatubig (50 skilled beneficiaries) P500,000, and Tabina with 101 skilled beneficiaries at P1.1 million.

DOLE Regional Director Sisinio B. Cano personally turned-over the checks to local chief executives of recipient LGUs.