Part Ia
 The Bases of  the Plan


D.     Human and Social Development Sector


1.2.36    Emerging Issues and Concerns

As the City moves towards its place in the BIMP-EAGA and in a globalized community, the need for connectedness among our people’s concerns becomes more and more pronounced in certain areas. There is urgency for specific action and policy pronouncement not only at the nationwide and global level but also at the local level. Among the major issues and problems that the City must address in this Social Development Master Plan is:


Reduction of Poverty Incidence Issue

The relatively high percentage (38.5%) of families below the poverty threshold. For Zamboanga City, this proportion of the total population is about 225,000 people. The rural poverty level in the rural areas has been found to be generally higher than the urban poverty level. The City’s Master Plan should review the anti-poverty programs and other related measures being implemented based on the premise that the human development and alleviation of poverty are best achieved through the direct and combined efforts of people themselves. Human capabilities are best expanded through their direct exercise. Sectoral biases to addressing poverty should be checked and more converging efforts and activities should be done in responding to the needs of the masses of poor.


Literacy and Education


The literacy rate of the school-age population (between 82% and 88%) and adult population (79%) has been relatively low. In poverty studies, education has been considered to be the fulcrum that tips and breaks the poverty cycle. It should also be noted that language and literacy learning are interrelated. The classrooms in the 12 districts and 21 secondary high schools in Zamboanga City contain a mixture of cultures, experiences and social backgrounds. Some, if not a majority, of the children are bilingual, speaking a language other than English in their own home into the classroom with diverse oral and literate competencies.

The substantial proportion of primary school children who fail to acquire basic learning skills by the end of the primary cycle is also a major concern. Such non-achievement can result in high dropout rates and class repetition rates. Finally, there is a growing awareness and concern for the increasing number of people with special physical, social and mental needs. Thus, the need to establish special educational institutions4 in the City is being considered. However, as of date, there is really no such school in the City yet.


Relevant Education and Training

There is a need to review and assess the educational standards for post-secondary education within the framework of the Zamboanga Economic Zone and the BIMP-EAGA initiatives. Improvements in the curricular programs and services should be made more accessible through telecommunications, quality improvement of instruction considering the stringent budgets and the installation of quality assurance mechanism. In the future, a city university should be considered. In line with the philosophy of cultural pluralism, this city university should instill harmony, mutual trust and acceptance despite diverse cultures and beliefs, and it should promote peace and development education.


Health Care System

In the past five years, health care in Zamboanga has improved and reached more parts of the City. These improvements included a more focused health care delivery system built on a network of health, diagnostic and treatment facilities operated by the government and a loosely linked aggregation of privately operated medical facilities. The City should initiate a comprehensive health program based on the so-called 10 Ps Policy which includes: (a) primary health care; (b) preventive and promotive health; (c) people empowerment and participation; (d) the periphery as biased; (e) population management; (f) Philippine medicine; (g) pesos for health; (h) partnership with organized groups; (i) peace-building initiatives; and (j) positioning for performance. These policies hope to invigorate health delivery so it is affordable, reaches the most marginalized and meets the needs of the poor.

Shelter Program and Housing Backlog

There certainly has been continuing efforts to address the housing needs of the growing populace, particularly for the less privilege and homeless. Although the local government has embarked on programs such as the MMP, sites and services, and resettlements, geared towards the provision of decent housing for the poor, the desired impact has apparently been wanting. As of recent estimate, the City’s housing backlog is about 28,000 dwelling units. The government has taken strategic steps to improve the housing delivery, starting with changing prevailing notions about the government’s role in providing shelter. First, it has promoted housing provisions as a social responsibility. Second, the government has shifted from its role as housing producer to that of enabler and facilitator. Third, through the creation of the Urban Development and Housing Act, the government (both national and local) has forged a strategic alliance with the private business sector, NGOs, people’s organizations. Cooperatives, and housing beneficiaries themselves anchored on the principle of active partnership.


Urbanization and Mushrooming of Urban Poor Colonies

The disintegration of families and communities is due to the increasing urbanization of Zamboanga City, making it a major concern. Urban barangays have grown at the expense of the rural areas. However, the slum areas, visible in many sections of the city, are not just a result of the lack of the housing in the city. Slums are seen to accommodate the poor and their needs for cheap shelter, health, jobs and a web of support. Slums reduce the social displacement of rural migrants.

On the down side, rapid urban growth reduces the gains of urban poverty alleviation programs. The growth of slums from continued migration raises conflicts between slum and urban dwellers. They cause tension because of social crowding and increased competition for scarce community resource. The number of squatter families has mushroomed and brought about by many social problems in the process. The City has to consider resettlement sites for peace and order found in most of these slum areas is another issue that has to be tackled.


1.2.37    Conflicts among Christian and Muslim and Lumads

Surrounded by an internal armed conflict, the Muslim secessionist movements of the MILF, the City in coordination with the National Leadership, has placed the pursuit of peace in its priority agenda. A national unification process is ongoing, consistent with the recognition that political stability and national/regional unity are major prerequisites for socio-economic developments.

There is really a need to study and consider the socio-cultural differences between Christians and Muslims in the preparation of the Social Development Masterplan. Some of the expressed observations on the sources of the Muslim-Christian conflict include land disputes, the minoritization of the Moro Population within their traditional homeland, the shifting of political power from traditional Muslim leaders to Christian settlers and the economic displacement of Muslims, among others.


1.2.38    Nutrition

The malnutrition problem in the city has been remarkably improving as shown by the gradually decreasing prevalence of severely and moderately underweight pre-schoolers. From 7 cases per thousand in 1992, the prevalence of severe malnutrition has declined to 4.37 cases per thousand children in 1996. Prevalence of moderate malnutrition has likewise declined from 78.13 cases per thousand children down to 37.61 cases per thousand during the same period. The “Operation Timbang” activity undertaken in 1996 to determine the nutritional status of children aged 0-83 months revealed that of the total eligible children weighed (98,970 or 96 percent of the total), 451 or 5.0 percent were severely underweight; 3,881 or 4 percent moderately underweight; 23,188 or 23 percent mildly underweight; and 10,335 or 10 percent overweight. The rest, 61,115 or 62 percent had normal weights.


1.2.39    Health Status Indicators

Health and Nutrition Status Indicators: Zamboanga City







Crude Birth Rate (CBR)






Crude Death Rate (CDR)






Child Mortality Rate






Infant Mortality Rate






Neonatal Mortality Rate






Maternal Mortality Rate






Prevalence of Severely

Malnourished children






Prevalence of Moderately

Malnourished children








1.2.40    Social Hygiene

In 1996, there were 724 total number of registered commercial sex workers, an increase of 11 percent from the previous year’s count. The figure was accordingly an underestimate of the actual number of sex workers in the city as it excluded a significant number of freelancers or transient sew workers which is estimated to be almost half of the number registered. Control and prevention of STDs should be another health concern of the City as most of those who are prone to be afflicted of such diseases belong to the more economically productive segment of its populace. Monthly prevalence of sexually transmitted disease (STDs) was on a fluctuating trend in 1996. The most prevalent types of STD in the city were identified as gonorrhea, syphilis, mucopurrulent cervicitis, trichomonas vaginatis and candidiasis. HIV tests administered to the registered sex workers, however, yielded zero positive result.


1.2.41    Health Gaps and Unmet Needs

Inception activities under the Social Reform Agenda (SRA) included the identification of unmet needs at the household level. Initial results of the SRA survey (covering 63 barangays) conducted in 1996 indicate the magnitude of resources and range of services that will be required to operationalize the SRA’s ultimate goals of poverty alleviation and countryside development. Table V-7, annex of Volume 2, shows the health gaps in each barangay measured in terms of absolute number of households plague with specific health problem and thus, wanting in specific health services. Apparently, as suggested the barangay-level data on unmet needs, proximity of residence to the city proper is not an assurance of effectively meeting the household’s basic health needs. For instance, Barangays Baliwasan and Rio Hondo, which are situated almost at the heart of the city, have the most number of households with lesser access to basic health services and with seemingly lower health status.


1.2.42    Education, Culture and Sports

Basic Learning Skills


There were a substantial proportion of primary school children who failed to acquire basic learning skills by the end of the primary cycle. Such non-achievement can result in high dropout rates, early dropping out of school and high repetition rates. In addition, children who remain in school may fail to achieve a level of education at which learning skills can be used for further secondary and eventually tertiary learning. This becomes another problem of underachievement.


School Achievement

Officials from DECS Regional and Division offices and members of the local Scholl Board also decried the quality of educational delivery in the school system as evidenced by low school achievement performance especially in the rural and under-served communities. The achievement performance in the 1996-1997 regional examinations of elementary school children in Zamboanga City has been reported to be 54.52 for Grade IV and 54.88 for Grade VI—too low for successfully learning difficult concepts at the secondary and tertiary levels. It was also discussed that reading comprehension and English grammar skills were very poor. The major problems appear to be in the areas of communication (English and Filipino) and Mathematics.


Instructional Aids

The availability and creative use of relevant classroom instructional teaching aids and materials still remain to be a problem. There seems to be a need to assist teachers in making available resource materials, instructional teaching aids, workbooks and textbooks for these teachers to effectively teach concepts in the different subject areas. There is a scarcity of modules, printed texts and concrete hands-on materials for use during classroom instruction. A number of teachers are found not adept in the imaginative and creative use of local materials in the classroom. Moreover, classroom facilities like desks, chairs and writing tables are still lacking in some schools.


Teachers Selection and Appointment

In terms of the selection and appointment of teachers, it was discussed that many teachers are in big urban central schools. The best teachers seem to be mostly assigned in the urban area when their expertise could be made more meaningful if some could also be deployed in the rural areas. There was also the concern of the manner and procedure of reviewing the selection, recruitment, promotion and eventual assignment of teachers. There was discussion on the degree of training given to prospective teachers in teacher-training institutions. It was also noted that there were stark differences between the cultural and socio-economic demography of rural and urban children and the relative homogeneity of the current teaching force and new graduates.


The teaching profession is overwhelmingly female and the percentage of teachers belonging to cultural groups is very small. Moreover, many teachers come from middle-class backgrounds unlike the rural students whose families mostly are poor. As a result of these different experiences, teacher’s expectations about their students reflect their own cultural orientation. They often disregard the experiences and orientation of the students. Teacher-training programs should be made more relevant. One area explore and emphasize is the ability of new teachers to work with culturally and socio-economically diverse student learning groups.


1.2.43    Performance Indicators in Government Schools

The participation rate or net enrolment ratio is the ratio between the enrolments in the school age range to the total population of that age range. Date shows participation rate to be high for the elementary grade level (as much as 94.61%), which is a significant increase from the 79.99% in 1992-1993. Participation rate of 42.62% is very low, however, in the secondary level, lower than the rate of 44.13% during 1993-1994.


Cohort-survival rate (CSR) is the proportion of enrollees at the beginning grade or year who reach the final grade or year at the end of required number of years of study. The Cohort-Survival Rate for the elementary level at 53.93% is moderate, while in the secondary level it is 68.38%. The transition rate is the percentage of pupils who graduate from one level of education and moved on to next higher level. Data in Table V-21, Volume 2 shows that the transition rate is high at 90.35% for the elementary level and very low for the secondary level (58.21%).


End-of Year performance indicators include completion rate or survival rate. Completion rate is the percentage of first year entrants in a cycle of education surviving to the end of the cycle. This is low at 59.61% for the elementary level and 64.58 for the secondary level in the last academic school year. The dropout rate is the proportion of pupils who leave school during the academic school year. This is 0.13% for the elementary level and 5.10% for secondary students. The graduation rate is the proportion of pupils who finish Grade VI or Year IV in the present year to the number of pupils who enrolled in Grade VI or Year IV in the present year.


1.2.44    Cultural/Ethnic Group/Communities

The Commission on National Integration (CNI), created in 1967, made an official listing of the national cultural communities. Mindanao has 27 of these cultural communities of which 10 are listed under the term “moro”. Among the moro group in Mindanao and Sulu, the following are recognized; Badjaw, Maguidanao, Iranun, Kalibugan, Maranaw, Pullun, Mapun, Samai, Sanguil, Tausug and Yakan.

The ethnic groups of Western Mindanao constitute around 36% of the total population of almost 3.2 million people. The Tausogs of Sulu are most numerous consisting of 41.8 percent of the total ethnic group. The Samals who predominate in Tawi-Tawi and its environs constitute 29.6% while the Subanons of the two Zamboanga provinces represent 18.4% of the total ethnic population.

The Moro people are made up of 13 ethnolinguistic groups. Although classified under general headings of Muslims, these cultural minority groups are distinct from one another in many ways like language, costumes and artifacts. These indigenous cultural communities in Mindanao and Sulu regard themselves as the real owners of the greater part of the region.

Other indigenous inhabitants constitute the Christian converts during the Spanish Period. Today, except for four provinces and a few other towns for the Muslims and about 8 or 10 towns for the Lumad, these ethnic groups have become minorities in their ancient territory. Pressed to their limits, deprived of land and dignity, decisions have been made to take their survival into their own hands.

In 1972, the Moro National Liberation Front (MILF) launched its revolutionary war of independence for the Bangsa Moro. In Mi1986, Lumad Mindanaw initiated and led the Lumad struggle foe self-determination. Other sources of conflict are illustrated in Table V-28 (annex of Volume 2).


Tausug, considered the most “politically” dominant group, is dispersed into communities in the smaller islands of Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, and Southern Palawan. Fishing is one occupation many Tausugs are engaged in. As farmers, they engage in planting upland rice intercropped with cassava, coconut, abaca and others.

Subanons, “people of the river”, are considered the aborigines of Zamboanga City upland rice, corn and root crops.

Badjaos, “sea gypsies”, spend their lives on their small boats and also in the coastal areas in the city.

Samals, also a major group, generally inhabit the shorelines of the Zamboanga peninsula.

The Yakans is another tribe whose home base is in the biggest district of Basilan, Lamitan.

The Kalibugans are a class of people who are generally Subanen who have embraced Islam. They are an ethnic group splintered from the Subanen tribe found in the coastal towns of Ipil, RT Lim, Tungawan, Olutanga Island and in the interior town of Siay. Some of the Kalibugans who had migrated are now located in the villages of Vitali, Labuan, Limpapa, Patalon, Ayala and Cawit in Zamboanga del Norte.


Like most cities in the Philippines, Zamboanga City is predominantly Roman Catholic (70%). A sizeable Muslim community is in Zamboanga where 11 barangays have a 100% Muslim residency. P.D. 291 recognized the City as part of Muslim Mindanao by declaring a number of Muslim Mindanao by declaring a number of Muslim religious holidays as official holidays. Ironically, the City voted overwhelmingly to be excluded from the ARMM.


1.2.45    Public Safety and Protective Services

The maintenance of law and order and the establishment of peace is a basic right of people. A growing urban center’s characteristics have traditionally been observed as pull factors for the convergence of a wide range of people which eventually results in the deterioration of the ideal of a crime-free system. Zamboanga City has, over the last over 20 years, been in the headlines where the commission of crimes common in many Philippine cities are bannered. It is also one of continuous government. It is also one of the premier cities in Mindanao – the center of continuous government and secessionists’ confrontations. The incidents occur despite the city’s being the center of police and military operations in the region. Incidentally, it is the seat of the Southern Philippine’s Military Command.


1.2.46    Social Welfare

Social welfare and development programs, projects and activities in Zamboanga as in other towns and cities of the country are focused on those marginalized by various circumstances due to their disadvantage position. They belong to 20% of the poor families in the city. Program beneficiaries/clientele include indigents, street and urban, working children, out-of-school youths, juvenile delinquents, drug users, pre-schoolers, disabled persons, tribal communities, senior citizens, rebel returnees, evacuees, women and others.

One of the main programs to improve individual and family welfare is the Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) Program. This has provided opportunities for the clients to engage in productive undertakings/income generating projects either through open, sheltered or self-employment. Another is the Comprehension and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (CIDSS), a project for the disadvantaged and marginalized families. The city also participates in the CIDSS DSWD Program for Women in Especially Difficult Situations, Reception and Study Center for Children (Center for Street Children), and the Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Persons.

However, the general findings of the January 1997 Minimum Basic Needs Survey in 63 barangays out of the 98 indicated that an averaged of 45-55 percent of the needs were met. There are definitely a number of welfare services that still need improvements as well as needs that must be addressed more adequately.


Day Care Service

Changed lifestyles find parents with less time for quality parenting as a result young children grow up not given adequate care and attention by their parents. This situation prompted the CSWDO to push for the establishment of at least one day care center in every barangay to serve children who do not have access to private preparatory schools or early childhood learning experiences. A vital social infrastructure of the city that can carry out The Family and Child Welfare Programs is the Day Care Center plan for every barangay. To date, the city has a total of 145-Day Care Centers in 71 barangays.

For the past four years, The City Government has been appropriating between P7M to P11M to Social Welfare Services and Infrastructural Support. In 1997, to fully implement the program, the City Government appropriated P7, 006,000.00 to sustain the operations and improved the quality of pre-school education citywide. About 88% of the budget went to the construction of permanent concrete and safe day care centers. Another 11% went to the monthly allowance of Day Care Workers, which is P500.00 per month for each of the 130-Day Care Workers. This is augmented by monthly contributions of parents amounting to P20.00 to P25.00 per child per month. In addition, 12 barangays namely Baliwasan, Tugbungan, Mampang, Lumbangan, Taluksangay, Guisao, Tolosa, Vitali, Culianan, Mercedes, Limoco and Tictapul appropriated an honorarium to DCW of not more than P500.00 per month. However, only four percent of the budget went to program implementation activities.


Community Action Service Division

As in previous years, the year 1996 has provided a number of occasions for the staff of the Office of the City Social Welfare and Development Office to meet the clients’ emergency needs borne out of natural and man-made disasters. They have also had to assist individuals in crisis that needed immediate government intervention.

Services of the division have not been limited to the City’s constituents alone. Services have also been extended to out-of-town clients who need service interventions to be able to uplift their emotional and social well-being.

In 1996, the Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery Services Community project’s physical target was 20,012, but only 8,072 (26%) was accomplished. The same year, financial allocation for this project was P10,9 million, but only P3.8 million was expended. This kind of situation indicates that the CSWSDO should be better organized and managed to effectively carry out the social welfare services. However, it is worthwhile to note that services were delivered smoothly in accordance to the needs of clients that came to the office.


E.     Transportation and Infrastructure

1.2.47    Circulation Network


Land Transportation

Zamboanga City, one of the largest cities in the world in terms of land area, has a low population density of 1,102 persons per sq. km. (or 11 persons per ha.) in 1995. However, urban development has been concentrated just within 7km. radius from the city core thus creating a number of problems related to provision of basic services, one of which is transportation. The number of registered motor vehicles in Zamboanga City is about 44% of the total for the whole Region IX. Despite the relatively low motor vehicle registration within the city (estimated at 5 vehicles per 1oo population), heavy congestion has been a major problem (Table VI-1, Volume 2).


Road Network

The road length is by system classification and surface type within Zamboanga City. The road density of Zamboanga City is roughly 1.04 km. per sq. km. based on 1990 data (Table VI-2, Volume 2). This ratio is good enough in terms of accessibility (The country’s average density is about 0.56 km. per sq. km.). However, it must be noted that the more than 300 kn.-barangay roads within the city are of the gravel type (Table VI-3, Volume 2).


City Proper

The road network within the city proper was originally planned for horse-driven calesas. No adjustments were made even when big commercial establishments continued to develop. This led to small blocks with narrow roads. Intersections became very close to each other causing frequent interruptions in traffic flow due to lack of appropriate traffic management. There is no clear separation of vehicles and pedestrians as vendors occupy most sidewalks. There is practically no control over the pedestrians—they can cross anywhere and are not restricted to use carriageway. This practice definitely reduces the capacity of the road network. This also adds to the high risk of accident occurrence. Off-street parking has aggravated the situation of the road network. Due to lack of off-street parking facilities, on street parking, and in particular, diagonal parking is being practiced on many streets. Effectively, parked vehicles occupy almost two thirds of the total road width.


Urban Public Transport Modes

Public transport modes range from the non-motorized pedicabs to buses. The city mainly depends on jeepneys (utility vehicles, for hire) and tricycles for commuting to and from work and school. Buses largely serve provincial trip. Except on a few roads and streets, the tricycle operates in all national and city roads. Under Ordinance 1996, it was decided not o phase out motorized tricycles mainly due to the employment opportunities. Many operators and drivers depend solely on their earnings for their basic needs. Pedicabs have been earning limited to barangay areas particularly serving subdivisions.


1.2.48    Sea Transport


The present seaport can still meet the present demand. However, based on traffic trends and berth capacity, the Philippine Transport Strategy Study (PTSS) strongly suggests that there will soon be an urgent need for more capacity at the Zamboanga Port. Two plans are suggested to meet the growing demand. One is a long-term plan – to move the port out of the city because it is presently at the center of the city and has no space for expansion. The other plan is to expand it as far as possible on the present site, despite difficulties with squatters and neighboring activities, as a temporary solution. Some reclamation would be involved, with construction of additional freight station (CFS) and back-up area for container handling.


1.2.49    Air Transport

In the Final Report of the Zamboanga International Airport Master Planning Project, the demand/capacity analysis reveals that the existing airport’s capacity can still be expanded to accommodate the projected aviation demand until the end of 20-year master planning period. Based on the result of this analysis, it was established that a new airport for Zamboanga City is not an immediate need considering the operational and engineering requirements. However, due to the airport’s proximity to the city (the airport is located just 3 km. to the northwest of the business district of Zamboanga City) and its effect on the city’s development (the runway severs the city into two), a new site for the international airport is being considered. Based on the data, the airport will be good for the next 5 years, but beyond that, will need upgrading to higher standards, i.e. of the terminal facilities, the runway, and navigation aids.


1.2.50    Water Supply

Due to leaks, pilferage and malfunctioning water meters, 39% or 18,158 CMD is accounted. The current average water demand of 64,716 cmd is 23.49% less than the supply of 79,920 cmd. However, during peak hours, the demand is more than this supply. This accounts for the noted low water pressure in the Water District service area during peak hours. By the year 2002, the average demand shall have not been tapped. The turbidity level of Tumaga River is high during heavy rains.


Water District

The Zamboanga City Water District handles water distribution system in and around the city proper within the radius of 7 km. It is now expanding at the west coast up to the in anticipation of the development that will be induced by it. It covers an area of 10.080.10 hectares and serves 170,436 out of the 338,035 populations of the covered area, or 31.85% of the current total city population of 535,074. Zamboanga City has a relatively good present and potential source of potable water namely: Tumaga and Mercedes rivers, various springs, and deep wells (Putik, Guiwan, Gov.Camins, Gov. Ramos, San Roque, Baliwasan, etc.).

The water district started opening on April 1, 1974 on a 24-hour basis. It has a present capacity of 79,920 CMD, 70,000 of which is sourced from the spring and surface water of Tumaga River (which is solely decreasing its water holding capacity due to siltation and sedimentation). It has a water treatment plant located in Pasonanca, which has an output capacity of 70,000 CMD of potable water, which is directed, to a 7,500 cubic meter ground reservoir for storage and eventual distribution to the demand areas. It has a production capacity of 1,979,432 cubic meters per month.

The quality of water from Tumaga River, which is the main source of supply from the Water District, is relatively acceptable. During heavy rains, when the turbidity is high, methods of water treatment used are sedimentation. Filtration, chlorination, and coagulation. Table VI-20, Volume 2, shows the existing and operational production wells, which contribute barely 12.41% to the total production of the water district. On-going and proposed construction of production well, and the projected production capacity are also shown.



a) Sufficient water supply in most parts of the service area evidenced by: 1) low water pressure especially during peak hours, and 2) the limit in the availability of water from one hour per day to four hours per day in most of the areas; b) slow expansion program outpaced by the increasing demand due to the growing and rapid urbanization


·         Limited distribution lines,

·         Lack of storage tanks in some water production areas,

·         Insufficient capacity of some pumping equipment,

·         Lack of ground water facilities to complement the existing systems

c) Expensive water generation cost to areas where water is pumped up to the reservoir for distribution; d) unwillingness of some end users to pay water dues, poor policies on disconnection; e) depletion of ground water resources due to forest denudation and over-extraction of water;


1.2.51    Drainage

The existing drainage system is only available within the radius of 15 km. from the city proper. It is composed of reinforced concrete pipes and canals with a collection system that discharge into the creeks and river crossing the city. Outlying areas do not have drainage facilities except for earth swells or shallow ditches, which connect, to the natural drainage of the areas. Flooding occur occasionally at the following low lying areas: Near San Rogue Creek and Zamboanga City National Road; Nunez Ext. and Buenavista Road, Zone 4, Zone 3, Sto. Nino Village, and Luzon/Divisoria. Unlike Metro Manila flooding, Zamboanga’s flood subsides in just one or two hours. This drainage difficulty can be attributed to the stagnant waterways near the outlets and insufficient capacity of the drainage systems. Areas of settlements near San Roque Creek have a very low elevation. Unless the creek is desilted and dredge, flooding problems will continue to recur.


1.2.52    Sewerages

Zamboanga City is one of the three cities all over the country, which has a piped system for collection, and disposal of sanitary sewage. The U.S. Government built the original system in 1933. It serves as an area of approximately 80 hectares covering most of the downtown area. The collection consists of approximately 11,400 lm of vitrified clay pipes with diameter broken down as follows: 30 lm of 100mm, 5390 lm of 150mm, 960 lm of 250mm, 220 lm of 300mm. these does not include the numerous lengthy private lines of large establishments connected to the sewer mains.

The Sucabon Creek divides the sewer pipe network into the east and west drainage areas. Wastewater generated in the east drainage is conveyed by gravity through the sewers to the east pumping station. These are then pumped, via two 200 mm diameter cast iron pressure pipes to the west pumping station. Likewise, wastewater from the waste drainage basin is collected in the receiving tanks of the west pumping station. All wastewater reaching the west pumping station are then pumped to the Basilan Strait for final disposal. Each sewage pump station is equipped with three vertically mounted, non-clog, and dry pit setting sewage pumps. Each is connected to a 7-½ hip vertical induction-type motor through flexible shafting. All mechanical and appurtenant equipment in the east and west pumping stations are the same original equipment installed in 1933. Both stations use two-phase 4-wire wiring connections.

The significant increases through the years in the service area population without a corresponding increase in the carrying capacities of the collection pipe network has made the sewer system grossly undersized. Likewise, because of the age that the pipe networks, it is most probable that the pipes have become mis-aligned at the joints or has developed some cracks along its sides. This has allowed the infiltration into the pipes. The clayey nature of the soil in some portions of the service area, which allows some degree of movement and settlement of the pipes, is another contributory factor to the reported excessive infiltration.

The unregulated discharge of the greasy waste into the sewers is a major problem of the system. The prominent contributor to this problem is the numerous gasoline service stations and institutional kitchens within the existing sewerage service area. This problem could be minimized by requiring the installation of suitable grease and garage traps in the waste pipes of these establishments. Although the National Plumbing Code requires this, no government agency has actively sought to implement this provision. Another deficiency of the system is the condition of the marine outfall. Its discharge of raw sewage only 40 m offshore has created an unsanitary condition, which presents a serious health hazard.


1.2.53    Power


Frequent brownouts; system losses due to illegal connection and pilferage; the power supply of 65MW is more than the demand of 56MW. However, by the year 2005, where the demand shall have increased to 70 MW there will be a deficit of 5MW. Thus the need to utilize additional power source.

Power supply is being provided by the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) and distributed by the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ZAMCELCO) which has four substations namely; Putik, San Jose, Gusu, Recodo and Singali substations having a capacity of 15 MVA, 15 MVA, 5 MVA, 5 MVA respectively. The construction of Singali power station with a capacity of 100 MVA has been completed recently. The power substations energize a total of 75 Barangays. A total of 20 Barangays mainly islands are still un-energized and expected to remain so unless the funds for the plan to put up power facilities there, are provided for.

Of the 98 Barangays, three are energized by Zamsureco II of Zamboanga del Sur. These are barangays Vitali, Tictapul and Licomo. On the whole, 79.59% of the city is energized. However, only 52.20% of the households have electrical connections. This can be attributed to the poor living condition of families in the outlying barangays who did not request power connection. Details are presented in Table VI-28 (see annex of connection, residential has the number of connection with 42.063, followed by commercial with 7.301 and industrial with 139. from 1992 to 1996, the number of power connections increased at an average rate of 6.49% for residential, 4.95% for commercial, 8.41% for industrial and 1.71% for institutional. Table VI-29, Volume 2 shows the power service connection by type of consumer.


1.2.54    Communications        


Telephone services are only limited to areas near and around the city proper. There is limited public access to modern communication facilities.        

The Philippine Long Distance Company (PLDT) is the only telephone company operating in the City. It provides both domestic and direct dialing services up to Recodo in the West Coast, Talon-Talon in the Eastern part, and Pasonanca and Putik in the Northern part. It has a total capacity of 20,638 and a total subscription of 12,570, broken down into 8547, 3934, 36 and 26 for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional uses respectively. About 39.09% or 8,068 units are still open for subscription. Public phones are also provided by PLDT in strategic places where the demand is high.

There are three cellular phone companies providing mobile communication services in the city, with a total subscription of 6,800. Of this, 4,500 is provided by Pilipino Telephone Company (Piltel), 1,500 by Smart Communications, and 800 by Globe Telecoms. Islacom is also joining the bandwagon to complete in service with the three-cellphone companies.


1.2.55    Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats



·         Availability of portable water sources all over the City

·         Presence of springs and rivers as sources of potable water

·         Presence of organized Barangay Waterworks and Sanitation Associations

·         Recognized need for expansion/rehabilitation of drainage and sewerage systems

·         Newly constructed power station with a capacity of 100 MVA to increase the electrification capacity

·         Electrification is relatively high at 75.59%

·         Presence of various broadcast and print media

·         Availability of international telephone and courier services

·         Availability of international and domestic satellite for radio and TV network



·         Inadequate water supply in most areas not covered by the Water District

·         BWSAs lack financial resources to fund tapping of additional water sources to increase their capacity to supply water

·         Slow expansion program outpaced by the increasing demand due to growing and rapid urbanization, evidenced by: limited distribution lines, lack of storage tanks in some water production areas, insufficient capacity of some pumping equipment, lack of ground water facilities to complement the existing systems

·         Depletion of water resources due to forest denudation and over extraction of water

·         Occasional flooding of identified flood-prone areas

·         Limited coverage of sewerage systems and absence of treatment facilities

·         Overlapping water systems

·         Most public deep wells are now non-operational due to any of the following: poor water quality, maintenance problems, design/construction deficiencies, lack of support from end users

·         Frequent short power interruptions

·         Most road networks are damaged due to absence of drainage systems to protect them from water infiltration



·         Availability of potential sources of potable water which can be tapped for distribution

·         Promotion of the reforestation program of the government which could enhance the ground water potential of water sources

·         Expansion of drainage coverage

·         Availability of pre-feasibility study for the expansion/rehabilitation of the existing sewerage systems

·         Program of the ZAMCELCO to energize the whole city including island barangays by the year 2005

·         Wide potential market for modern telecommunication systems

·        Geographic expansion of telephone coverage



·         Drying up of some water sources due to over extraction and forest denudation

·         Incidence of water-borne diseases in areas inadequately supplied with potable water

·         Continuous dilapidation of most road sections due to absence of drainage facilities to prevent infiltration of water to the road structure

·         Ground water contamination due to absence of appropriate sewerage systems


F.      Development Administration

1.2.56    The City Bureaucracy

The government bureaucracy of Zamboanga City is relatively large and complex (see Figure 1, Organizational Chart Volume 2). There are currently twenty-one (21) city government offices charges with various regulatory, service-delivery and administrative functions. The mandates of each office seem to be relatively well defined and delineated. There is, however, an obvious lack of interfacing, synergy and complementation among the various agencies. Thus, there is a need to further streamline the bureaucracy with a view towards achieving greater efficiency in the administration and delivery of certain services. This move should further be geared towards institutionalizing linkages and coordination among city government agencies, and probably between these agencies, and probably between these agencies on one hand, and private sector institutions and higher level, and private sector institutions and higher-level offices, on the other hand.


1.2.57    City Planning Organizations and Approaches

The Local Development Council

Formally, the main planning body at the city level is the Local Development Council (LDC) composed of the Mayor as Chairperson, and with the following as members: all punong barangays in the city; the chairman of the committee on appropriations of the Sangguniang Panglungsod; the congressman or his/her representative; and representatives of non-government organizations (NGOs) operating in the City who shall constitute not less than 25 percent of the total membership of the fully organized council. The main function of the LDC is to set the overall direction of the LGU’s development through the formulation of appropriate plans and programs. Below the LDC at the barangay level are the Barangay Development Councils, which perform simple functions (as the LDC) at lower levels.  

The LDC in Zamboanga City has largely been inactive, in part because of the relatively large composition of the body. According to informants at the City Planning Development Office (CPDO) the LDC has been convened only once, following the completion of the city’s draft master plan in 1993. Present during this meeting were the Mayor, ninety-six (96) punong barangays and representatives of some 39 accredited NGOs.


The Executive Committee of the LDC

Relatively more active in Zamboanga City is the Executive Committee of the LDC. Composed of  the Mayor as a chairperson, and the Chairman of the Sanggunian’s Committee on Appropriations, the President of the City League of Barangays, and an NGO representative as members, the executive Committee in the city has acted in behalf of the LDC in the identification and prioritization of programs and projects. In many ways, this situation is less than ideal because the Executive Committee does not provide the wide forum for discussion and exchange ideas, and for the articulation of the needs and interests by various sectors of society. Planning and decision-making thus become less participatory in character.


1.2.58    The City Planning Development Office

The City Planning  and Development Office (CPDO) serves as the Secretariat of the Local Development Council and is charged with the function of formulating development policies and programs, including a comprehensive development plan for consideration by the LDC. It shall also conduct continuing studies and training programs necessary for the preparation of development plans and programs.

The main activity of the CPDO is the preparation of development plans and investment programs. Also conducts training programs for, and extends assistance to the Barangay Capital Development Councils (BDCs) in the preparation of barangay development plans which serve as a basis for the formulation of an over all plan for the city. The CPDO staff feels, however, that the plans and programs prepared by the office have generally not been acted upon by the mayor and the Sangguniang Panglungsod as noted earlier a draft Master Plan prepared by the CPDO in 1993 was not approved by the Sanggunian.


1.2.59  The District Development Council (DDC)

On paper, there is an institutional arrangement in Zamboanga City for grass roots consultation and participation. The barangays have been clustered into six (6) District Development Councils, corresponding to the city’s Agricultural Districts as shown in Table VII-2, Volume 2.


1.2.60  Local Development Investment Programming

In the absence of an updated comprehensive development and land use plan, there is also no institutionalized Local Development Investment Programming (LDIP) in the city. Given an active LDC, programs and projects have largely been identified and prioritized by the Executive Committee. Without an institutionalized LDIP in the city, the programs and projects identified by the Executive Committee become the basis for the budget, which, in turn, becomes the basis for Annual Investment Program (AIP). The City Planning and Development Office prepare the AIP based on what is allocated in the budget. The preparation of the AIP, therefore, becomes an exercise in compliance with Local Government Code.


1.2.61    Local Finance Committee

The Local Finance Committee (LFC), the activity of which is also critical to the local investment programming process has likewise been inactive. The LFC is composed of the City Planning and Development Coordinator, the City Budget Officer, and the City Treasurer. The Committee has apparently not been convened as a formal body in the past 3-4 years, so only one or two of the members take on the task of performing some of the LFC’s functions as stated in the Local Government Code. These functions are: determination of the income projected as collectible for the ensuing fiscal year; recommendation to the city mayor the level of annual expenditures and ceilings of spending for economic, social and general services; review of the barangay budgets; and review and analysis of the annual regular and supplemental budget of the respective LGUs.


1.2.62    NGO Participation

There are some forty-(40) Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s) and/or Peoples Organizations that have been accredited by the Sanggunian Panglungsod in Zamboanga City (see Table VII-2, annex-volume 2). The organizations have varying memberships, objective and activities. Most of them however, perform an “advocacy” function with regard to certain pressing development problems and concerns of the city (e.g., better quality of life, financing for farmers, enforcement of the zoning ordinance, etc.). It is noteworthy that some of these organizations have openly advocated for the completion and early approval of the Master Plan for the city. More importantly, these organizations could be mobilized to serve as an important resource of the various development programs and projects of the city government.


1.2.63    Public Finance

City Expenditure Growth and Allocation Patterns

The City of Zamboanga is rising to the challenges of urbanization and the 1991 Local Government Code. The total expenditure of Zamboanga City increased for a nominal annual growth rate of 22.14 percent (see Table VII-4, Volume 2) between 1990 and 1996. Such increase may be attributed to the following factors1 

Income effects, e.g. rising standards of living and greater expectations from the city constituents with regard to the city services and facilities. The income effects are further heightened by demonstration effects as urban dweller Filipinos, get exposed to developed country standards arising from the increasing thrust toward the globalization of the Philippine economy.

Inflation, which averages about 10% inflation drives up urban government spending because it increases the cost of materials and supplies, and eventually, increases the salaries of government employees.

Diseconomies of agglomeration, e.g., traffic congestion and tremendous pressures brought about by unplanned “mega-developments” which city governments have to increasingly deal with at high incremental cost. Dealing with these largely external costs are critical to keep the cost of doing business in the clients competitive; and,

Public service employment, when urban governments are viewed as local employers of last resort. While the number of regular plantilla positions in many urban governments is moderate, the figures do not reflect the vast amount of part-time casual workers that work for various programs of the city government.

Except for housing and community development, each sectoral concern registered significant increases particularly social security, labor and welfare employment with 36.43 percent increases. Education, culture and sports generated the heftiest increase with 58.31 improvements. These indicators reflect the city government thrust toward increasing the quality of life of its constituents. In per capita terms, however, Zamboanga City registered an 18.66 percent annual growth rate for the same period. From a government expenditure of P287.85 in 1990, the city posted a per capita expenditure of P788.78 in 1996. on the other hand, total local government expenditure for the country registered a higher growth rate of 27.67 percent between 1990 and 1994, from a per capita government expenditure rose to P803.71 in 1996.


Distribution of City Government Expenditure

In 1996, the biggest chunk of the budget went to economic services, which covered 43 percent of the total expenditure, or P178, 418,047.96 (see Figure VII-1, Volume 2). This sector covered agricultural services, engineering and construction services, operation of markets and slaughterhouses, and other economic development projects. It was followed closely by general public services registering a high 35 percent of the total city expenditure. This sector, on the other hand, takes care of the city government’s executive services, legislative programs, and administrative costs. The total expenses spent of general public servies in 1996 amounted to P146, 004,081.12.


Revenue Dimensions of City Development

As development activities gravitate towards southern Philippines, urbanization will continually pressure the city government budget by driving up expenditure. Between the period 1990 to 1996, city revenues improved at an annual growth rate of 14.10 percent (see Table 3-6, Volume 2).

During the same period, tax revenues, including real property taxes, business taxes and internal revenue collection, registered an increase of 14.42 percent. On the other hand, capital revenues in the form of registration fees and other permit fees had a 12.04 percent growth rate for the same period. A source of income, which posted the highest growth rate, is the extraordinary receipts at 50.67 percent increase. This component covers repayment of advances and loans and other extraordinary receipts.


Revenue Performance

Low revenue performance of the city may be attributed to its failure to pass a revised comprehensive revenue code. Zamboanga City is still operating on an outdated code that dates back to 1974. Real property tax collection constituted only 2.04 percent of the total tax revenues. This was a drop from the 11.31 percent coverage of the total tax collected in 1990. Zamboanga City remains highly dependent on local government shares on internal revenue collections. It accounted for 76.7 percent of the city revenues in 1996. This is a significant increase as compared to the 58.5 percent figure in 1990.


1.2.64    Fiscal Constraints and Opportunities

Key obstacles. Similar to most LGUs in the Philippines, the key obstacles toward the improvement of local government financial management systems in Zamboanga City include the following:

Negative inertia efforts toward improvement of financial management systems are hampered by the fact that involves going against the grain more than twenty years of thoroughly entrenched negative inertia. Existing systems are largely iniquitious in that they do not recognize much less reward, good fiscal performance, nor penalize non-compliance.

Antiquated and Cumbersome Systems and Approachesthe efficiency of existing systems, as well as attempts at introducing improvements is inhibited by the use of cumbersome and antiquated systems and forms that were dumped on the local finance officials with virtually no technical support. As a result, few officials possess a strong conceptual grasp as to how interrelated systems, processes and forms are part of local governments, or significantly, how these can be utilized “intelligently” and to full effect.

Lack of Appreciation of Available Options and Key Conceptsat the local level, there is a lack of systematic appreciation of what is involved in weighing the technical and political “trade-offs” for effective local financial management. Few, it would appear, are fully conversant in a process that requires a familiarity with the “push” and “pull” of these forces – the technical and political – on both the selection of tools and approaches and their implementation under an overall financial management system. Additionally, there seems to be little understanding of the importance of dynamic self-sustaining systems that respond flexibly to everyday realities. Local officials are not grounded in the key concepts behind approaches; thus the result is poorly implemented “improvements” that fail to improve the system.

Lack of Dialogue and Information Sharing A notable impediment appears to be the continuing failure of local officials to share ideas, innovations and problems among themselves in the areas of revenue mobilization, budgeting, credit finance and capital investment programming.


1.2.65    Financing Schemes for Local Government

Financing schemes are available to local governments for capital project financing. They include the following3

Pass-as-you-go – A method of financing capital projects with current revenues. Cash is usually paid out instead of borrowing against future revenues. The amount available for capital financing is the difference between what is required for operating expenses and prudent reserves. The method may include: (1) multi-year budgetary appropriations for projects that are implemented over two or more years; and (2) multi-year build up of a reserve capital project fund using available surprises.

Debt Financing – Borrowing is the major alternative to the pay-as-you-go method. A local government can opt for either: (1) long term borrowings backed by bonds or (2) short term borrowings. This financing technique when applied to costly but long-life assets lightens the financing burden on the project year(s), and allows the payment for the cost of the project to be shared by future users. Borrowing by local government units are covered under Sec. 295 to 302 of the 1991 Local Government Code. In particular, Sec. 485 (a)(2) provides authority for the city government to use appropriations or borrow funds, including bonds, for building construction.

BOT Method (BOT) Under the lease-purchase approach, the city government infrastructure project, and have it constructed by a private company. The facility is then leased by the city at an agreed rental rate and lease period, the title to the facility is conveyed to the city government without any future payments. Under Sec. 302 (b) of the 1991 Local Government Code, BOT arrangements are authorized with amortization up to as long as 50 years.

Special Assessments – Public works that benefit certain properties more than others may be more equitably financed by special assessment. Such projects as street paving, sanitary sewers, and water mains inside high value residential and commercial enclaves may be financed by this method. Under Sec. 240 to 245 of the 1991 Local Government Code, up to 60 percent allocated and recovered from infrastructure beneficiaries.

Central Government and Foreign Grants – This is a major source of project financing which should be explored by the city government of Zamboanga Sec. 23 of the Local Government Code provides that the local government may negotiate and secure financial grants and donations from any source, foreign or local, in support of basic services and facilities that must be provided by the city.

In 1994, the city government was able to avail of a financial aid from another level of government amounting to P1, 550,788.89.

Joint FinancingZamboanga City has to explore with other cities and municipalities the possibility of joint development and cost sharing for large capital-intensive projects. There is likewise a need to assure that spatially contiguous infrastructure networks are constructed by coordinating national and local plans as provided under Sec. 455 (b) (4) of the Local Government Code.

Land Readjustment – Under Sec 458 (2) of the Local Government code, land may be subdivided with lots sold finance the on-site infrastructure and connections to off-site trunk lines.


1.2.66    The City’s Proposed Investments Incentive Code

In line with the Zamboanga City Development objectives and as a strategy to attract investments, an ordinance, proposed by Councilors Baban, Enriquez and Bruno, is now pending before the Sangguniang Panglungsod for the enactment of a Zamboanga City Investment Incentives code.

Key Provisions

·         Adoption of a policy to attract and promote investments in any area which can provide employment opportunities, equitable distribution of wealth income, and contribute to Zamboanga City’s prosperity and well-being.

·         Creation of Zamboanga city Investment Incentive board, with the Mayor as Chairperson and Three (3) representatives from the private sector and Five 95) representatives from other government agencies.

·         Initial Identification of priority areas as follows:


Ø      Labor generating enterprises;

Ø      Enterprises to be established in less developed areas of the city;

Ø      Manufacturing enterprises using locally available raw materials;

Ø      Manufacturing of processing plants;

Ø      Tourism oriented enterprises;

Ø      Service oriented enterprises;

Ø      Pioneering enterprises; and

Ø      Water and power resources development enterprises.


·        The proposed incentives as follows:


Ø      Exemption from mayor’s permit Fees, building permit fees and business sales tax

Ø      2 to 4 years exemption on basic real property taxes

Ø      Amusement Tax Exemption for 2 years, whenever applicable

Ø      Franchise Tax Exemption for 2 years whenever applicable

Ø      Transfer Tax Exemption, if transfer is made within 2 years from the enactment of the       ordinance

Ø      Land Tax Exemption for five years for commercial tree plantation and fruit bearing tree plantation.




·         A policy to attract and encourage investments in Zamboanga will contribute to the broadening of the City’s revenue base in the long in terms of business taxes, service fees and charges and property values. The proposed code should therefore, merit some priority consideration ion the legislature agenda of the Sangguniang Panglungsod.

·         The proposed code should be subjected to careful study by the Sangguniang Panglungsod to fine-tune its provisions and make it more effective.


Among the provisions that require careful study and fine-tuning are:

·         The identification of priority investment areas. The inclusion of general merchandising and consumer-oriented enterprises, for example may have negative impact on enterprises already operating in the city.

·         The definition of categories of enterprises by amount of capitalization and the minimum number of employment generated by each category to qualify incentives may be too restrictive.

·         The composition of the Zamboanga City Investments Incentives Board should be viewed particularly in terms of representation of the Sangguniang Panglungsod and the private sector.

·         The inclusion of non-fiscal incentives such as the proposed one stop shop, facilitation services, information services and other forms of assistance.

1 Zamboanga City-Pagadian National Road (northeast), Veterans Ave. (north), Pasonanca-Sta. Maria Road (north), Zamboanga City-Labuan-Limpapa National Road (west), RT Lim Boulevard (west), Don E. Alfaro Road (east) and the Sta. Catalina-Talon-Talon Road (east).

2 Giant sea waves by the under-the-sea earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Tsunamis can only occur when the earthquake is shallow-seated and strong (magnetic 7.0) to displace parts of the seabed and disturb the mass of water over it.

3 Source: Philvocs

4 4Special Education refers to the education of pupils who are physically, mentally, emotionally, socially or culturally different from so-called normal individuals, such that they require modification of school practices/services to help them develop to their maximum potentials.

1 Ramos, N.R. “Fiscal Management Dimensions of Urbanization in the Philippines”


3Capital Investment Programming For Local Governments. Vol. II A Manual of Procedures, pp.37-40





Search WWW Search