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South African Covid-19 variant now in Zambo! IN A report by the Wall Street Journal in April 12, it said a fast-spreading strain of the coronavirus, first discovered in South Africa, has been detected in at least 60 countries, including the U.S. The variant, it added, appears to make some Covid-19 vaccines less effective and has raised concerns that

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people who already had the disease could get it again from the new strain. Now, the Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines announced on May 30 that it has detected the same South African Covid-19 (B.1.351) variant in Zamboanga City and warned the public that it is “one of the most virulent variants”

today. The DOH also said in March that the U.K. variant was also present in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte after two overseas Filipino workers returned home in February infected with it. The Wall Street Journal report further quoted South African researchers as saying that B.1.351 may be around 50% more

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contagious, based on the much faster rate of Covid-19 transmission since its emergence and biological studies of changes to the structure of the virus, which appear to make it easier for it to attach to and infect human cells. And that’s not all because according to the Continue on page 7

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June 7-13, 2021

Region 9 under MECQ! ‘Zambo folks told to vaccinate’

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HE NATIONAL government has placed the entire Zamboanga Peninsula region under a stricter community quarantine status following the continuing increase in Covid-19 cases in Western Mindanao. The decision to place the Modified Enhance (MECQ) status until June Continue on page 2 the whole region under Community Quarantine

13 Councilors approve ‘Supplemental Budget,’ Climaco critics say no! President Rodrigo Duterte. (PCOO)

Those who approved the supplemental budget are Councilors Kim Elago, Cesar Jimenez , Khymer Olaso, El King Omaga, Jerry Perez, Pinpin Pareja, Bong Atilano, Jihan Edding, VP Elago, Jimmy Villaflores, Gerky Valesco, Cary John Pioc, and Tungkuh Hanapi.

Zambo to use digital Covid contact tracing app CHIEF COVID frontliner Mayor Beng Climaco has issued Executive Order BC 657-2021 adapting the StaySafe.Ph application as the official digital contact tracing system in Zambo-

anga City. She said all city and national government offices, including private establishments, and the public are enjoined to use the application and utilize

a uniformed quick response (QR) code in all entrances; and designate a help desk or customer assistance desk for the registration with Continue on page 3

And Councilors John Dalipe, Lilibeth Nuño, Litlit Macrohon, BG Guingona and Mike Alavar voted against the approval of the Covid-19 supplemental budget. THE CITY Council has approved the P1.36 billion supplemental budget requested by the

Climaco administration needed badly to address the Covid-19 pandemic, among others.

Mayor Beng Climaco thanked 13 council members, including political Continue on page 7

Zambo barangays now drug-free OVER A dozen barangays in Zamboanga City have been declared “drug-free” as the local

government continues its anti-narcotics campaign in support to President Duterte’s “war on drugs.”

Zamboanga Peninsula

The Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug-Clearing Continue on page 2

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June 7-13, 2021

Region 9 under MECQ! ‘Zambo folks told to vaccinate’

Continued from page 1 15 was announced by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID). It took effect on June 1, but Zamboanga City has been under since May 8 due to the high number of Covid infections. President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the IATF-MEID to place the whole of Zamboanga Peninsula under MECQ. The region comprises the provinces of Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga City. This was also confirmed by Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco, who chairs the local Covid-19 task force. She again appealed to the public to strictly follow the health protocols and urged residents to register online through zambocovax.com or to barangay health centers for free vaccination. “We have re-

quested for more vaccines because Zamboanga City has been identified as one of the priority areas of concern in the country. Take this opportunity because it will be an added layer of protection against Covid-19,” Climaco said. Aside from Zamboanga Peninsula, Duterte also placed the following areas under MECQ - the City of Santiago and Cagayan in Region 2; Apayao, Benguet, and Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region; and Puerto Princesa in Region 4-B; Iloilo City in Region 6; Cagayan de Oro City in Region 10; and Butuan City and Agusan del Sur in CARAGA region. Duterte also extended the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, or the socalled NCR Plus and some restrictions shall still be in place, limiting the capacities of certain industries. Also under GCQ status

from June 1 to June 30 are Abra, Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province; Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino in Region 2; Batangas and Quezon in Region 4-A; Iligan City in Region 10; Davao City in Region 11, and Lanao del Sur and Cotabato City in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. All other areas not included or mentioned above are placed under the Modified General Community Quarantine until June 30. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque also echoed Climaco’s appeal and asked the public to get vaccinated. “Tayo po’y maging parte ng solusyon. Tara na po at magpabakuna – para sa iyo, para sa inyong pamilya, para sa inyong komunidad. Balik buhay sa bakuna,” he said. He said the IATFMEID has approved the vaccination of those under the expanded A4 priority list which now includes workers in the

private sector who need to physically report to work outside of their residences, government workers including those under government-owned and

controlled corporations, and local government workers. Also included in the A4 priority group are informal sector workers and those who are

self-employed who need to work outside of their homes, as well as those who are working in private households. (Zamboanga Post)

Zambo barangays now drug-free Continued from page 1 (ROCBDC) said Barangays Licomo, Limaong and Lapakan are now free from the drug menace after Presenting their respective anti-illegal drugs campaign, complete with documentary evidence on both past and ongoing intervention programs to rehabilitate identified persons who use drugs. Mayor Beng Climaco reassured the ROCBDC of her administration’s strong commitment to help authorities in the anti-drug campaign. Emerson Margate, regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and also the ROCBDC chairman thanked Climaco for her continuing support to the government’s anti-drug campaign despite the health crisis. “The triumph against illegal drugs can be measured not by the number of operations or the volume of drugs seized but by the number of barangays cleared. The drug-clearing

program is the main and best strategy. We can win because we work together,” Margate said. Other barangays which were previously declared drug-free are Lumayang, Lansones, Capisan, Dulian, Tigbalabag, Pasilmanta, Landang Laum, Sibulao, Tictapul, Tolosa and Pamucutan. Barangay Pangapuyan was also certified unaffected by the drug menace. The ROCBDC is composed of representatives from the Department of the Local and Interior Government, the Philippine National Police, the Department of Health and local governments. Climaco, who chairs the Zamboanga City Anti-Drug Abuse Council, previously conducted seminars and workshops to members of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADAC) to further strengthen the fight against drug menace. She ordered authorities to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs

hand-in-hand with the implementation of rehabilitation programs. The Zamboanga City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office facilitated the training with the objective of making BADACs better equipped in undertaking pre-emptive and pro-active measures in the campaign against illegal drugs. The seminar also discussed topics on new laws and regulations on drug operations and to make BADAC members understand and implement the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program. Among those who participated in past seminars were representatives and resource speakers from the PDEA, City Prosecutor’s Office, Sonshine Rehabilitation Center and Ronald Rivera, the Technical Adviser to the Davao City Anti-Drug Abuse Council, including secretaries and focal persons on peace and order and women and family from 98 barangays. (Claudine Uniana and Zamboanga Post)


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Free rides for healthcare workers lauded

LTRFB Region 9 photo shows the vehicles use for the “Libreng Sakay Para sa Healthcar Workers.” MAYOR BENG Climaco lauded the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for offering free rides to healthcare workers in Zamboanga City. Climaco said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) which is under DOTr, recently launched its “Libreng Sakay for Healthcare Workers” and shall run until the end of June. “Thank you so much DOTr Secretary Arthur Tu-

gade and LTFRB (in Region 9) headed by Regional Director (Johnson) Almazan for the free rides. We thank you for this Libreng Sakay for Healthcare Workers program,” the mayor said. Almazan also said the program is pursuant to Republic Act No. 11519 or the Bayanihan II and aims to provide free rides exclusively for frontline healthcare workers. He said the Libreng Sakay for Healthcare Workers program has

3 routes plying hospital zones in the west coast, east coast, and the central business district. He said the schedule of trips are 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. “The free transport service will run until June 30. For queries, our contact hotlines are 0926-3734052 and 0955-7413073,” he said. (Jasmine Mohammadsali and Zamboanga Post)

Zambo to use digital Covid contact tracing app Continued from page 1 the StaySafe.Ph or for the generation and printing of the QR code for those who do not have smartphones. The executive order makes it mandatory for citizens - whether local residents or visitors who will enter, work or do business in all indoor and enclosed public and private establishments here - to download and register at the StaySafe.Ph application which can be accessed on App store for iPhone, Google Play for Android devices and App Gallery for Huawei. There is also a penalty for those, including establishments which fail to adapt the digital contact tracing system and for the first offense, the penalty is P2,000 and P3,000 for the next offense, and P5,000 for the third offense. The application was developed by Multisys Technologies Corporation in collaboration with PLDT-Smart Group and PLDT Enterprise, and the national government’s Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the National

Task Force on Covid-19. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also renewed its call to all local governments and the public to use and patronize the StaySafe.Ph application. DILG Officer-In-Charge Bernardo Florece Jr. said the online application is an effective tool for contact tracing nationwide to ensure consistent, and unified contact tracing reporting. “Instead of using other apps, it is imperative for local governments to use the StaySafe app for a unified system that will allow seamless, fast, and efficient contact tracing efforts,” he said, adding the digital contact tracing application will make it easier for government authorities and medical experts to keep track of the cases all over the country and carry out decisive actions to stem the rapid transmission of the virus. “Hindi po puwedeng kanya-kanya tayo. We need a macro view of the situation on the ground so that we will be armed with up-to-date information that will aid us in

implementing Covid-19 response policies and measures,” Florece said. The StaySafe.Ph application is currently being used by some 15 million users and 700 local governments in the country, according to the DILG. It aims to reach at least 50 million users and connect all 1,634 city and municipal governments across the country. David Almirol, President and CEO of the Multisys Technologies Corporation, said the digital contact tracing application is designed to aid in the management of Covid-19 cases by reminding people to maintain physical distance, as well as recording and monitoring symptoms of the deadly respiratory disease. The application engages the public against the spread of Cobid-19 and aggregates all reports available in desktop and mobile versions, allowing the government to respond quickly to people’s needs and make informed and timely decisions to keep the public safe during this time of the pandemic. (Zamboanga Post)

A crowded fish section at KCC Mall de Zamboanga supermarket. (Zamboanga Post)

Pedicab drivers in Barangay Guiwan are spotted not wearing face mask and face shield as they wait for passengers. (Zamboanga Post)

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June 7-13, 2021

Zamboanga Pictures in the News Local government of Zamboanga City at work. This is where your taxes go.


June 7-13, 2021

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Zamboanga Pictures in the News Photos by : Bong Serondo, ZCPO, Rey Javier, Bj Angeles, and LTFRB Region 9.


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June 7-13, 2021

Across : 1. Table part 4. Wood strips 9. Conceit 12. Anger 13. Blooming bush 14. Wicked 15. Fish feature 16. Praiseworthy 18. Adolescents 20. Thick slice 21. Pep rally sound 22. Vanity 26. Con game 28. Scatterer 31. Overdue 32. Objective 33. Char 34. Quarantines 36. Rustic hotels 37. Kitchen gadget 38. Building site 39. Guess 42. Garlic’s kin 45. Without meaning 49. Undercover gp. 50. Restaurant bill 51. Scoundrel 52. Swiss peak 53. “One Day ___ Time” (2 wds.) 54. Positive replies 55. Caustic chemical

Down : 1. Hoist 2. Great Lake 3. Electricity source 4. Long cut 5. Pot cover 6. Charity 7. Peacock’s pride 8. Skin abrasion 9. Subside 10. Lass 11. Shelley work 17. Scrape 19. Anonymous 23. Like some twins 24. College official

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South African Covid-19 variant now in Zambo! Continued from page 1 report, the results from human clinical trials and laboratory tests released so far suggest that some of the current Covid-19 vaccines may not work as effectively against the South African variant. But the World Health Organization and other experts said that weakened vaccines should still provide protection against serious illness and death, even if they cannot prevent all Covid-19 symptoms. South Africa decided not to use the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca PLC after a small clinical trial there found that the shot did not protect recipients from mild and moderate Covid-19. It has also said that it does not believe that a vaccine developed by Novavax Inc., for which a clinical trial in South Africa also showed significantly reduced efficacy, was fit for use in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal report. It said data on other vaccines, including those

made by Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. has been more encouraging, although laboratory tests for those have also shown that the triggered antibody response was somewhat weaker against the South African variant. Several drug makers, including Moderna and Pfizer, are already testing updated versions of their vaccines to better target the B.1.351 strain. With the South African variant in Zamboanga City and more likely elsewhere in the country, the DOH has urged the public to strictly comply with the minimum health standards such as wearing of face mask and face shield in public places and the frequent washing of hands and maintain physical distancing as well. The same call was also made by Mayor Beng Climaco, head of the local Covid-19 task force. “The City Government reiterates its call to the public for stricter and religious observance of the health

and safety protocols and stricter implementation of quarantine protocols to stem the Covid transmission and slow down virus mutations,” she said. Climaco said the local government, in coordination with DOH and Interior Department, has intensified its contact tracing to further slowdown the community transmission of the deadly respiratory disease. But despite the presence of the new Covid-19 variant and probably other mutations since genomic sequencing continues, many residents remain complacent and others do not believe such virus exist. And many more even cast doubts on the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines and believing it would kill them if not sooner, later. Fake news and false information from social media added to their fear of the vaccines. One such news claimed that Covid-19 vaccines contain Nano materials such as magnet and microchips and even a tracker that

forced the DOH to issue a public notice, saying: “Hindi naglalaman ng magnets, microchips, at trackers ang mga bakuna. The Department of Health reminds the public to always verify information available online with legitimate sources.” Zamboanga City now has over 2,000 active Covid-19 cases and more than 400 deaths due to the virus since the pandemic began early last year. Climaco has repeatedly appealed to residents to register and get vaccinated against Covid-19. “We have requested for more vaccines because Zamboanga City has been identified as one of the priority areas of concern in the country. Take this opportunity because it will be an added layer of protection against covid,” she said. “So we appeal to our residents to have themselves registered for vaccination without preference of which brand of vaccine they want though they have the right known the kind of vaccine adminis-

tered on them,” she added. But Climaco was quick to say that a fully vaccinated person is not totally immune to Covid-19 or can walk freely without face mask and face shield. “It does not mean you cannot be infected anymore. No, there is yet a certain period when the vaccine can develop an anti-body in the system. You still have to observe the protocols, limit your movements to

accessing essential goods and services,” she explained. The City Health Office said nearly 36,000 people received their first dose of the vaccines mostly medical frontliners, senior citizens and people with comorbidities or other medical conditions. And more than 4,000 people were fully vaccinated after getting their second and final dose. (Zamboanga Post)

No negative RT-PCR test, What are the symptoms no entry in Zamboanga of Covid-19? (WHO)

Mayor Beng Climaco undergoes nasal RT-PCR test. ALL TRAVELLERS and even individuals who have received their Covid-19 vaccine or those fully vaccinated are required to present their negative RT-PCR test results upon entering Zamboanga City as part of stricter health protocols in combating the spread of the deadly virus. Mayor Beng Climaco, head of the local Covid-19 task force, said: “Zamboanga City is strictly implementing the No RT-PCR Test, No Entry Policy for all travellers, including those from Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur.” She said travellers must have negative Covid-19 test results – whether by

Saliva RT-PCR test or nasopharyngeal RT-PCR test. Climaco earlier issued Executive Order 651-2021 that mandates all inbound passengers, whether APOR (Authorized Persons Outside Residence) or private individuals, regardless of reason or purpose of entry, including transit travellers to present negative RT-PCR test result within 5 days from date of specimen collection, whether swab test or Saliva RTPCR test, together with their valid identification cards to entry into Zamboanga City. “These are temporary measures designed to curb the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in order to promote the health and safety of the general welfare of the citizens,” the mayor said. Zamboanga City has over 2,000 active Covid-19 cases and now slowly decreasing since the implementation of the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine on May 8 and extended until June 15 following the discovery of the South African variant here. City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite said residents must at all times wear face masks and face shields while in public places, and frequent washing of hands and physical distancing. “All these health protocols remain effective measures for the prevention of Covid-19 infections. These measures will work no matter what the variant is,” she said. Miravite said discipline among residents is the key to curb the spread of the respiratory virus. “Our policies are in place, implementation is in place, we have to be disciplined and we really have to follow these minimum health standards,” she said. Many residents are not only undisciplined, but complacent and continue to ignore the health protocols resulting in Covid-19 infections in the community. (Zamboanga Post, Jasmine Mohammadsali)

The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are: Fever, Dry cough and Fatigue. Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include: Loss of taste or smell, Nasal congestion, Conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes), Sore throat, Headache, Muscle or joint pain, Different types of skin rash, Nausea or vomiting, Diarrhea and Chills or dizziness. Symptoms of severe Covid-19 disease include: Shortness of breath, Loss of appetite, Confusion, Persistent pain or pressure in the chest, and High temperature (above 38 °C).

Other less common symptoms are: Irritability, Confusion, Reduced consciousness (sometimes associated with seizures), Anxiety, Depression, Sleep disorders, More severe and rare neurological complications such as strokes, brain inflammation, delirium and nerve damage. People of all ages who experience fever and/or cough associated with difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, or loss of speech or movement should seek medical care immediately or call the City Health Office Operation Center at this number 0975-0730151.

13 Councilors approve ‘Supplemental Budget,’ Climaco critics say no! Continued from page 1 allies of former congressman and defeated mayoralty candidate Celso Lobregat, for approving the supplemental budget. “We thank the move of the majority of the Sangguniang Panlungsod members who went beyond party lines and treated the approval of the Supplemental Budget No.1 amounting to P1.368 Billion with a sense of urgency - this is a clear indication that in a period of financial challenges and public health crisis, we, as servants of the people, can

unite over common goals and respond to a more genuine conscience call - to heal the sick, feed the hungry and promote the general health and welfare of all our people,” Climaco said. “We thank our SP members for showing unity and a whole-of-society approach for our Covid-19 response and capacity management. With God’s grace, hay puede kita dale curada y comida para ayuda alivia el vida del diatun maga vivientes na este tiempo de pandemia. Muchas gracias,” she added. Climaco said those

who voted for and approved the supplemental budget were Councilors Bong Atilano, Jihan Edding, Kim Elago, VP Elago, Tungkuh Hanapi, Cesar Jimenez, Khymer Olaso, El King Omaga, Pinpin Pareja, Jerry Perez, Cary John Pioc, Gerky Valesco and Jimmy Villaflores. And those who voted against it were Councilors Litlit Macrohon, Mike Alavar, BG Guingona, John Dalipe and Lilibeth Nuño – all staunch supporters of Lobregat and fiercest critics of Climaco. (Zamboanga Post)


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June 7-13, 2021

The Zamboanga Post

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Sunday Reflection by Mayor Beng Climaco ‘The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity’ Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40 Psalm 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22 Romans 8:14-17 Matthew 28:16-20 “Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; to God who is, who was, and who is to come.” AFTER LUNCH, we got a call and spoke to the kambal. They, like their dad and lolo, are named the same. We were on Viber and we asked them

to pray. Quatro complied and left. While Tres closed his eyes, made the sign of the cross and prayed the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory be with such childlike faith and reverence. Thanks to their mom who taught them. The sign of the Cross is the sign of our Faith. This is the earliest prayers Children are taught. However as adults, we take the sign of the cross for granted. Mechanically moving our hands hurriedly. At times when we are too tired and sleepy, we could hardly

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raise our hands. Today is a most important feast. Jesus commands his Apostles: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” We are called by Jesus to go and work to fulfil His mission. With more than

Basilan

2,400 active cases and 392 deaths, God tells me to continue with healing the sick and feeding the hungry. Isolation facilities are needed to separate the Covid positive. We have to meet the need of our neighbour and a minister to the sick. There are big gaps, lapses, and areas that are needed to Protect, Detect, Isolate, and Treat and do Reintegration. These have to be acted with urgency in a cohesive system. Basic testing needs to have immediate result. Tracing has to be confined to first generation contacts. Treatment should free-up hospitals to focus on the severe and the City takes care of the mild to mod-

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June 7-13, 2021

erate patients. Santisima Trinidad dale el guia y claridad responde con amor, fe y compassion na todo que necesita hace compli tu mission. Por amor del di aton familia, coopera y disciplina el caminada y usada propio de face mask, face shield, sanitizer y physical distancing. Despite the repetitive appeals, these fall on insensitive, deaf ears of 300 violators daily. At times I am at a lost on what needs to be done. It takes one self to stand up and commit to comply por amor de familia. If we can do this as a Family and as a community, our Barangays and City will be able to Heal the Sick and

people’s livelihoods will be realized with vaccination to protect our loved ones. I do not have the secret formula to get people’s cooperation. But one thing is for sure, I will continue to work in faith even in times I felt discouraged. People may step on us, be cruel and unkind. Such is human nature. I “catch the gaze of Jesus” as Sr. Agnes taught me. And pray “Mary, show yourself as true mother to Zamboanga City!” Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen! (MBC)

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