RDC Communicator EDITORIAL STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Phlorita A. Ridao, OIC-RD ASSOCIATE EDITORS Susan C. Valerio, OIC-ARD Renato C. Herrera, CEDS, PDIPBD Eleanor M. Reyes, CEDS, DRD Norman Jose E. Ramirez, CEDS, PMED Rodrigp A. Manuel, OIC, PFPD Ronald Von D. Rivera, CAO FAD PUBLICATION COORDINATOR Vilma M. Julian DESIGN AND LAYOUT Daryll L. Cabico
Isabela City Mayor Al Qaid J. Akbar delivering his welcome message to the participants of the 162nd RDC IX Meeting
RDC IX revisits
Isabela City T
hree years since it had its meeting there in 2015,
CONTRIBUTORS Ardi Abril T. Layugue, NEDA IX Edward Non, DA IX Marlyn Anoos, ICFO Karen Claire Q. Grafia, DOLE IX Fatima Jane Salihuddin, OWWA IX Manolette Jude M. Mercado, NEDA IX Dahlia A. Paragas, DepEd IX Graebert S. Echin, NEDA IX Jonabeth G. Agana KC-DSWD IX Ma. Nelida A. Rojas, NEDA IX
Regional Development Council IX once again conducted
its Regular Meeting in the City of Isabela, on 20 June 2018 at the Basilan State College Amphitheater, Isabela City, Basilan Province. The meeting was hosted by Mayor Al Qaid J. Akbar and the local government of Isabela City . It was the Council’s 162nd Regular Meeting.
INFO The RDC Communicator is published quarterly by Regional Development Council (RDC) IX. The Editorial Board reserves the right to choose the articles to be published due to space limitation. Articles and pictures will become property of RDC IX. Comments and suggestions are welcome. Contact: The Editorial Board NEDA Regional Offifce IX President Corazon C. Aquino Regional Government Center Balintawak, Pagadian City 7016 Telephone Nos. (062) 913-0164, 0165, 0168 Fax No. (062) 945-0049 Email Address: email@example.com URL: http://nro9.neda.gov.ph facebook.com/nedaregion9
Mayor Akbar welcomed the RDC IX members and guests and expressed his gratitude that the Council’s meeting was again conducted in the said city. In his message, he shared about the growth of the population and the City’s economy, as well as, the development initiatives of the local government unit (LGU). Dr. Nasser A. Salain, President of the Basilan State College, also welcomed the participants and said that the meeting is a blessing to the province of Basilan and the City of Isabela.
Dr. Nasser Salain, President of Basilan State College, welcomes the members of RDC IX and guests to Basilan State College
Members, guests, and participants during the 162nd Regular Meeting of Regional Development Council IX on June 20, 2018 at Basilan state College, Isabela City, Basilan
The meeting was presided by Mr. Jose J. Suan, RDC IX
Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law;
Co-Chairperson and Private Sector Representative-
and, (f ) Supporting the Conduct of the 2018 National
Labor Sector. In attendance were 26 regular and
six special non-voting members of RDC IX. Among the guests present were Deputy Executive Director
In recognition of the gracious hosting of the RDC IX
Eleazar Ricote of the Public-Private Partnership Center,
Meeting, Co-Chairperson Suan sponsored resolutions
Ms. Odessa Ann A. Taguibao of DBM Central Office,
expressing gratitude to the LGU of Isabela City and the
members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Isabela
Basilan State College.
City, and other officials and staff of Isabela City LGU. After the meeting, the participants proceeded to the RDC IX passed a total of 17 resolutions, which include
Isabela Waste Water Enhancement for Environmental
the following: (a) Approving the CY 2017 Zamboanga
Care Treatment Plant at Brgy Tabiawan for an
Peninsula Regional Development Report; (b) Endorsing
educational visit. The plant is the first of its kind in
the Creation of Additional Three Assistant Schools
Mindanao and was implemented in the City through
Division Superintendents for the Schools Division
the initiative of the Isabela City Water District.
of Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga Sibugay; (c) Requesting the National Peace
The conduct of the regular meeting is aligned with the
and Order Council to Consider the Membership of the
RDC’s mandate stipulated in Executive Order No. 325,
Armed Forces of the Philippines in the Barangay Peace
series of 1996, that it shall be the primary institution
and Order Committees as may be Required by Local
which shall set the direction of economic and social
Conditions; (d) Supporting the Passage of House Bill
development of the region and through which regional
No. 2912 “An Act Establishing the Philippine Rubber
efforts shall be coordinated. The Council is furthermore
Industry Development Board in Zamboanga Peninsula”;
designed to be an effective institution in the region
(e) Requesting the Temporary Suspension of the
responsible for ensuring sustainable, participatory and
Imposition of Excise Tax on Fuel and Coal Under the
equitable development. (Ardi Abril T. Layugue, NEDA IX)
Participants joining the 3rd Regional Cacao Forum in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay
ZamPen conducts 3 rd Regional Cacao Industry Forum
acao has become one of the emerging priority commodities in the region with farmers and their families getting engaged in cacao production. The growing demand for cacao raises the need to further capacitate the farmers on cacao production, processing, and marketing. Engr. Roger Bagaforo, Chief of Research Division of the Department of Agriculture (DA) IX said that the Cacao Forum will serve as an avenue for farmers and government institutions to discuss and agree on how to further develop the cacao industry. â€œIn the next two years we will not focus on the distribution of cacao seedlings but rather on the establishment of processing centers for cacao to further boost the cacao industry and make it more competitive in the local and international market as a processed product,â€? Engr. Bagaforo said. The forum hosted by the DA - Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Division gathered almost 70 participants. It was held on June 19-20, 2018 in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay province, with extensive exchange of views and opinions from among cacao farmers/producers, LGU representatives and government line agencies. The forum aimed to provide participants with updates on the latest market trends of the cacao industry, business and market opportunities, and, to address issues and concerns that may have been affecting the industry in the region.
According to DA-High Value Crops Development Program Report Officer Albert Cuadra, the region has a total area of 603 hectares planted to cacao and volume of production at 135.30 MT. The province of Zamboanga Del Norte has the highest area of 465 hectares and volume of production at 83.19 MT followed by Zamboanga Sibugay with 101 hectares and volume of production at 30.44 MT. Zamboanga Del Sur has a total area of 26 hectares and 7.70 MT volume of production while Zamboanga City has 11 hectares with 5.97 MT volume of production. A market-matching activity was also conducted where a dialogue was made with prospective buyers and representatives from National Food Authority (NFA), KCC Mall de Zamboanga, Mindpro CitiMall, and LB Supermarket. The activity served as venue to buyers to present their agricultural product needs and the volume of consumer demand, and farmers/producers to present their products to the buyers. The market matching seeks to improve relationship between buyers and suppliers to facilitate increased market opportunities and profits. The forum and market-matching, were followed by a field visit to a cacao farm in Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay. Among the resource speakers were Valente Turtur, President, CIDAMI & Philippine Cacao Council; Emiliano Carandang, PhilGAP Consultant; Dr. Romulo Cena, Professor, USM; and Angelo Sunglao, President, Cacao Industry for Zampen and Cacao Farmer. (Edward Non, DA
SPES beneficiaries with Isabela City Mayor Al-Qaid Akbar (middle)
150 SPES workers in Isabela City receive more than P760,000
total of 150 young Isabeleños received wages for rendering services under the Department of Labor and Employment’s Special Program for the Employment of Students or DOLE-SPES on May 30, 2018 at Isabela City, Basilan Province. The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Isabela City employed the students for 22 working days doing clerical/administrative work for various government offices.
OWWA IX assists OFW families affected by calamities
verseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) IX provided
P14,974,060 welfare and calamity assistance to 3, 430 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families residing in Region IX, for the period of June 2017 to April 2018. OWWA IX Head Dr. Hassan Gabra T.
Regional Director Ofelia B. Domingo shared that SPES is one of the DOLE’s youth employment-bridging programs which aims to provide beneficiaries with shortterm job opportunities during summer and/or Christmas vacation or any time of the year to help them continue their education in any secondary, tertiary, or technical-vocational institution. She said that through the amended SPES law, the age qualification of applicants was raised from 15 to 25 years old to 15 to 30 years old, at the time of application.
Jumdain said that the said budget is
The program also expanded its reach by targeting not only the poor but deserving students, but also the out-of-school youth (OSY), or those who are not enrolled in a formal educational or training institution; and dependents, whether student or OSY, of displaced or would-be displaced workers due to business closures, work stoppages, or natural calamities.
magnitude six and up earthquake, heavy
Another amendment in the SPES law is the extended period of employment. From the previous 20 to 52 days, SPES beneficiaries may now be employed from 20 to 78 days; except during Christmas vacation when employment is from 10 to 15 days only.
covered by the MEDPlus.
Isabela City Field Office Head, Ma. Elena T. Alabata, reported that beneficiaries were paid in cash. Each SPES beneficiary shall receive a total of Php 8,483.93. Following the applicable minimum wage, Isabela City Mayor Al-Qaid Akbar together with PESO Rosella Torralba Luna distributed the LGU’s share of Php5,090.36 (60%) to all SPES worker-beneficiaries while the remaining Php3,393.57 (40%) will be paid to them by DOLE. Each year, the City Government under Mayor Akbar steadily increases the number of SPES worker-beneficiaries and has committed to sustain the initiative considering the importance of providing financial assistance for work done, veering away from the usual dole-outs.
taken from OWWA’s Welfare Assistance Program fund which aims to give assistance to OWWA members, whether active or inactive, facing any of the following circumstances: those affected by calamities such as super typhoons, flooding; bereavement for the family of OFWs who were victims of crimes or accident; disability of a member; medical assistance for OWWA members not
For Region IX, OWWA reached out to several municipalities severely hit by Typhoon Vinta, among which are Kabasalan in Zamboanga Sibugay; Siocon, Sirawai and Labason in Zamboanga del Norte; and Bayog, Tambulig and Salug in Zamboanga del Sur; and gave out cash assistance to affected OFW families. OWWA also conducted an advocacy of the agency’s programs and services to ensure that the members are informed and aware of the existence of the
SPES beneficiaries will now be entitled to the Group Personal Accident Insurance of the Government Service Insurance System for one year. (Marlyn Anoos, ICFO and Karen Claire Q. Grafia, DOLE IX)
programs. (Karen Claire Q. Grafia, DOLE IX
with reports from Fatima Jane Salihuddin, OWWA IX)
Left to right : Director Teresita Socorro C. Ramos, NEDA IX, RDC IX Co-Chairperson Jose J. Suan; Director Feroisa Francisca T. Concordia, Capacity Building and Knowledge Management Service, PPP Center; and Assistant Regional Director Phlorita A. Ridao, NEDA IX doing the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon during the PPP-KC launching at NRO IX
NEDA IX launches PPP Knowledge Corner The PPP Center at the ground floor of NEDA IX Building, Balintawak, Pagadian City
The PPP-KC shall serve as a hub and coordinating unit between the PPP Center and the local government units, implementing agencies, the private sector and other stakeholders in the region. It shall also act as the main portal to the technical and advisory services, data information bank in the region on PPP concerns. The PPP-KC shall answer queries on PPPs and coordinate closely with the PPP Center for technical support,
he National Economic and Development
updates and other relevant information, as may be necessary.
Authority Regional Office IX in collaboration with
the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center launched
Around sixty-three participants from the provincial,
the PPP Knowledge Corner (PPP-KC) on May 3, 2016
city and municipal local government units (LGUs),
at NRO IX, Pagadian City.
regional line agencies (RLAs), private sector and media representatives of Zamboanga Peninsula attended the
The PPP-KC in Pagadian City is among the first batch
activity. The launching was graced by the team from
of KCs established nationwide after the signing
the PPP Center headed by Director Feroisa Francisca
of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the
T. Concordia of the Capacity Building and Knowledge
Establishment of PPP-KCs in all NEDA Regional
Management Service, together with Ms. Dionna Fe M.
Offices on January 26, 2018 between Socio-Economic
Falamig, Training Specialist II and Mr. Ramil E. Luteria,
Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia and PPP
Information Officer and PPP Center Focal Person for
Executive Director Ferdinand A. Pecson.
The PPP-KC is located at the ground floor of the NEDA Regional Office IX. RDC IX Co-Chairperson Suan with Director Concordia, led the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon of the PPP-KC to mark the opening of its services in Region IX. They were assisted by Director Ramos and Assistant Regional Director Ridao. During the Orientation on PPP-KC that followed, Director Concordia gave a message on behalf of Executive Director Pecson and an overview on the PPP Knowledge Corner. Director Concordia said “the PPP Center is guided by the principle of transparency, accountability, and good governance and engages the private sector as vital partners who can bankroll critical infrastructure projects that will deliver much needed service for its growing
Ms. Dionna Fe M. Falamig, Training Specialist II of the PPP Center briefing the members of RDC IX and guests during the launching of PPP Knowledge Corner
population.” Authority is among the lowest in the country at Ms. Falamig provided a briefing on the Philippine
only 2.3 percent.” This was attributed to the poor
PPP Program and the LGU PPP strategy. Mr. Renato C.
performance of the construction sub-sector,
Herrera, Chief of the Project Development, Investment
particularly on government construction. She
Programming and Budgeting Division (PDIPBD), provided
emphasized that the government envisions to
the participants a list of regional programs/projects with
implement infrastructure projects to generate
significant employment opportunities and boost economic activities to attain inclusive growth. It
RDC IX Co-Chairperson Suan conveyed in his message
is but timely that the PPP Center has forged a
that he welcomes this initiative of NEDA and the PPP to
memorandum with NEDA to advocate PPP as an
establish KCs in all the regions nationwide for this is one
option for infrastructure project funding. She
way of enabling LGUs and other government entities to
added that the establishment of the KCs is also PPP
fully tap PPP as a viable option for the implementation
Center’s positive action in bringing government
of major capital projects at the regional and local levels.
services closer, more accessible and faster to its
He also shared that currently the San Ramon Newport,
stakeholders in the region. She committed to
an international port to be located at the Zamboanga
endeavor to provide needed information and
City Special Economic Zone Authority (ZamboEcozone),
facilitate the referral of concerns to the PPP Center
is currently being assisted by the PPP and is now for ICC
to ensure the successful implementation of PPP
Technical Board action on May 10, 2018. Mr. Suan is one
projects in the Zamboanga Peninsula. (Manolette
of the Board members of the ZamboEcozone.
Jude M. Mercado, NEDA IX)
In her message, Director Ramos said “Zamboanga Peninsula 2017 Gross Regional Domestic Product growth rate as released recently by the Philippine Statistical
(L-R) Cong. Seth Frederick Jalosjos, Zamboanga del Norte 1st Dist. Representative receiving a Plaque of Recognition in the presence of Atty. Revsee Escobedo, and Dr. Isabelita Borres
Brigada Eskwela bolsters ties with DepEd partners
he successful commencement of the Regional Brigada Eskwela in Sulangon Elementary School, Sulangon, Dapitan City on May 26, 2018 was highlighted by the presence of Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Procurement Service and Project Management Service Atty. Revsee Escobedo, Zamboanga del Norte 1st District Representative Cong. Seth Frederick Jalosjos, DepEd IX Regional Director Dr. Isabelita M. Borres, regional directors of participating NGAs, officials of LGUs, NGOs, private organizations and entities, communities, parents and other stakeholders. This year’s Brigada Eskwela lodged the highest resources ever bagged by this region amounting to P48 million on the first day and increased to over P110 million in the whole duration of the activity from May 28 to June 2, 2018. It included slippers, solar panels, teachers and learner’s kit, and technical assistance by other partner stakeholders.
Simultaneous to the affair was the launching of “Oplan Kalusugan.” It addressed not only the preparation of the physical aspect of the school but also of the medical and dental needs of pupils in the classroom. Asec. Escobedo encouraged the DepEd personnel to get more support from various stakeholders. He emphasized that the children’s future is very important. He thanked all the support and cooperation extended by partner stakeholders. He also announced a proposed budget in 2019 that will provide tablets for senior high school students to supplement their learning and also payment for their assessment fees. There will be more Technical Vocational Livelihood tools to be procured. RD Borres expressed her concern on the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy in the region. “The data is alarming” she said. “This is not only the responsibility of school but
at home, school and community” she added. She also discussed issues on the Feeding Program in school, support to the National Drug Program and other concerns of the region. Cong. Jalosjos said, “I had been attending several events for DepEd even when I was yet a Board Member. I will ensure that madagdagan at ma fulfill ang ating 2020 law on additional salaries for our teachers.” He is presently a member of the Commission on Appointment. TESDA IX Regional Director Lorenzo Macapili spoke on harmonizing efforts on whatever resources the region has to connect the links in serving more clients and to offer technical vocational education and trainings or K to 12 Progress that are responsive and relevant. He said that DepED schools are qualified for the assessment program provided they have the manual. (Dahlia A. Paragas, DepEd IX)
ZamPen economy grows by 2.3% in 2017
amboanga Peninsula’s economy grew by 2.3% in 2017. The slower economic growth is attributed to
the deceleration of the Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing (AHFF) sector’s growth of negative 0.4% and
Presidential Table: NEDA IX RD Teresita Socorro C. Ramos (2nd from left) Chair of RSC IX with PSA IX Regional Director Mewchun WS. Pamaran (3rd from left) and two (2) PSA CO representatives. Lower Tables: Representatives from DA, DPWH, Sophil and BFAR
Industry sector’s growth of negative 0.8%. The declined performance of the AHFF is caused by the 9.4% negative growth of the fishing sub-sector. The canning industries in the region before the implementation of the closed fishing season from December to February,
and Restaurants, Sewage and Refuse Disposal Sanitation
were able to store more than enough for their production
and Similar Activities, Recreational, Cultural and Sporting
needs during the three-month ban in fishing. This led to the
Activities and Other Service Activities.
low demand for fish from the industries causing fish surplus in the market and fish sold at cheaper price prompting local
With this performance of the region in 2017, the region
fish sellers to sell their catch in other parts of the country
would benefit greatly from increased government
at better prices. The region’s fishing sub-sector may have
and private sector assistance and investments in 2018.
been affected, however, this situation confirms the region
Specifically, the industry sector needs to rebound, aided by
has sustainable fishing grounds and affirms its vision of
the efforts of ZamboEcozone to accelerate development
becoming the Center of Sustainable Agri-Fishery Industries
and raise productivity in this sector. The ZamboEcozone is
of the Philippines.
the only Freeport in Mindanao and gateway to the rest of the world.
The Industry sector decelerated to negative 0.8% growth in view the significant decline in the construction sub-
The Service sector is seen to remain strong, supported by
sector which posted a negative growth of 9.4%. The
moderate inflation, price stability, and healthy financial
lack of aggregates for construction, limited availability
system. Further, the Build, Build, Build program strategy
of contractors and dearth of skilled workers/laborers for
of the government is expected to implement more
infrastructure projects have been identified as the culprit
infrastructure projects which have high labor absorption
for this decline. Furthermore, while the government has
capacity. Hence, manpower development would have
already started its Build, Build, Build program, tighter
to be redirected to the training of more skilled workers
procurement policies have also been put in place for
for the construction industry. The implementation of the
transparency of project implementation.
Roads Leveraging Linkages for Industry and Trade Program, Tourism Road Infrastructure Projects and roads leading to
The Service sector is the biggest contributor to the region’s
fish landings are anticipated not only to boost construction
economy. It posted a 6.3% growth in 2016-2017. This is
but also to accelerate the growth of Micro Small and
due to the improved performance of the Other Services
Medium Enterprises. (Ma. Nelida A. Rojas, NEDA IX)
sub-sector like Education, Health and Social Work, Hotels
RPMC IX visits BEEF, HFEP and BFAR projects
present, it has been notably addressed by the implementing units. This was attributed to the adherence of DPWH and DepEd to the recommendations of RPMC relative to the previous field monitoring visits to BEFF projects. Onsite discussions and validations were made with the Project Engineers of
n its 2nd Quarter Field Monitoring Visit on April 2327, 2018, Regional Project Monitoring Committee
the contractor and DPWH, as well as the concerned Division Engineer of DepEd. A total of eight (8) school buildings were visited.
(RPMC) IX, through its Technical Working Group (TWG), visited selected ongoing projects funded through the
Meanwhile, the monitoring team covered a total
Basic Education Facilities Fund (BEFF) of Department of
of eight (8) projects of the following hospitals: (1)
Education (DepEd) and Health Facilities Enhancement
Mindanao Central Sanitarium; (2) Labuan Public
Program (HFEP) of Department of Health (DOH) .
Hospital; and (3) Zamboanga Sibugay Medical Center. A
The Community Fish Landing Centers of the Bureau
number of HFEP projects incurred substantial negative
of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Katipunan,
slippages which were attributed to lack of construction
Zamboanga del Norte and Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur
materials and other implementation concerns of the
were likewise monitored.
contractor. RPMC IX intends to conduct a problem solving session with the concerned entities to facilitate
The monitoring team was joined by the newly
the completion of affected projects.
confirmed Private Sector Representatives (PSR) of RPMC IX, Atty. Paulino G. Gudmalin and Mr. Roberto L. Sabar.
The exit conference conducted on April 27, 2018 at Top Plaza Hotel, Dipolog City was attended by
BEFF projects of DepEd are implemented by the
RPMC IX Technical Working Group members and
Department of Public Works and Highways IX. While
the representatives of DepEd, DPWH, and BFAR. The
the problems on school site preparation are still
implementation issues/concerns seen on the ground were discussed and validated with the implementing
agencies. The activity generated concrete commitments
Guard District Southwestern Mindanao (CGDSWM). The
from the implementing agencies with the end in view
implementation of the projects of the Philippine Coast
of expediting the completion of the projects.
Guard is centrally managed. The status of said project will be further deliberated during the 3rd Quarter
A quick visit was likewise conducted on the delayed
Regular Meeting of RPMC IX on August 29, 2018 in
construction of the Building Facilities of Coast
Kalahi-CIDSS inaugurates IP Heritage Village in Siocon
he Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Kapit-Bisig
Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated
Village aims to conserve the cultural practices of the
Delivery of Social Services National Community Driven
Subanen Community in Barangay Tabayo.
Development Program commonly referred to as Kalahi-CIDSS or KC-NCDDP inaugurated the Subanon
DSWD FO IX OIC-Assistant Regional Director for
Piglompukan Nog Baloy Nog Mokogulangan known
Operations Carmencita D. Luna commends the natives
as the IP Heritage Village on April 19, 2018 in Barangay
for empowering themselves through community
Tabayo, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte.
participation and understanding the difference they can achieve in helping each other not just for the
This one-of-a-kind eight structure sub-project is a
community but for the efforts poured to cultural
convergent effort of both the Tabayo IP Community
preservation, one that is worth replicating in other IP
and the Barangay Local Government Unit under the
areas as a unique sub-project of the region.
congressional fund of Congressman Isagani Amatong
Deputy Regional Program Manager Roleiste Falsis
for the construction of IP Museum and Kalahi-CIDSS
also challenged the community that through this
which funded the IP Heritage Village.
sub-project “we seek to restore the discipline, the culture, and the practices that would help promote the
The conceptualization of this sub-project was based on
community’s development based on the capacity of its
the fear among the tribal elders who perceive that the
own community and not from the western influence.”
new generation is no longer practicing the Subanen Cultural processes handed over by their forefathers.
The IP Heritage Village is one of the most awaited sub-projects completed in December 2017 with a
“Dako kaayo mig pasalamat ani kay kami mismo, proud
total cost of P854,468 under KC-NCDDP. It is one of the
mi nga naa mi ingon ani maski asa mi makaadto nga
poverty-alleviation programs of the DSWD which uses
area,” shared by Barangay Sub-Project Management
community-driven development approach, a globally
Committee Chairperson Bonifacio Patoh during the
recognized strategy for achieving service delivery,
turn-over ceremony. The construction of IP Heritage
poverty reduction, and good governance outcomes.
(Jonabeth G. Agana KC-DSWD IX)
The RDC Communicator is the official quarterly publication of Regional Development Council IX.