Mindanao Newsbits for September 14, 2013
Globe Telecom set up a Libreng Tawag station in Zamboanga City on September 10 in response to the clashes that swept four barangays in the city on September 9. The Libreng Tawag station is located at the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex, an evacuation center in Barangay San Jose Cawa-Cawa currently housing 5,000 people or 800 families. Globe Telecom will be setting up four more Libreng Tawag stations over the next week in various evacuation centers and mobile hospitals, starting tomorrow at the Western Mindanao State University gym, where patients of Zamboanga General Hospital are temporarily evacuated. Through these stations, evacuees can text and make local calls to all networks, as well as international calls, all for free.
Davao City — Due to the growing needs of the thousands of displaced individuals in Zamboanga City as the standoff between the government forces and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) continues, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in region 11 has sent about 3,000 food packs to the said battered city as an augmentation to the local DSWD in the area. DSWD-XI Assistant Regional Director for operations Ma. Vilia Vigil said that the first batch of food aid containing 1,000 family food packs were transported to Zamboanga on Wednesday, September 11. Each food pack contains 12 canned goods, assorted noodles and 3 kilos of rice, all worth P250 per pack, Assistant Director Vigil added. (Alexander D. Lopez)
General Santos City — Peace and development advocates have launched an initiative to build better protection for children in impoverished villages in the provinces of Sarangani and Maguindanao. The project dubbed “Resilience and Change for Children and Families in Mindanao” or REACH Mindanao is being undertaken by Plan, an international humanitarian and child-centered organization and funded by Sweden and Germany. Plan Country Director Carin Van Der Hor said the project focused on the thematic areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (wash), child protection, disaster risk reduction and learning. (Joseph Jubelag)
Alabel, Sarangani — Local and military officials and leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front signed a peace covenant here to ensure that there will be no spill over of atrocities in the area amid the ongoing stand off between government forces and MNLF rebels in Zamboanga City. The signing was led by Sarangani Gov. Steve Solon, Winnie Hadjirul, MNLF Central Committee political director and Col. Norman Flores, 1002nd Army Brigade commander, Senior Supt. Edwin Minion, Sarangani provincial police director and MNLF spokesman lawyer Emmanuel Fontanilla. (Joseph Jubelag)
General Santos City — Banana growers expressed confidence that the city could be a good site for growing bananas for export, officials of the 2013 Mindanao Banana Congress said.
With the exception of General Santos City, the rest of SoCSKSarGen contributes about 15 percent to the whole banana industry of Mindanao according to Jun Roque, chairman of the 2013 Mindanao Banana Congress. “Opening the city for such opportunities will augment the economy of the region,” Roque stated. (Nonoy E Lacson)