IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay -- The Provincial Government is all set for the eight-day celebration marking its 16th foundation anniversary on February 17 to 24 that will highlight the socio-economic development of the province.

Governor Wilter Palma said the commemoration of the province’s founding day will kick off on February 17 with agri-fishery, tourism potential and sports activity, and the cultural tradition of its tri-people -- Muslim, Christian and indigenous peoples. The celebration has a theme “Sa pagbag-o adunay kalinaw ug kalamboan (There is peace and progress in change).”

“We will be displaying the socio-economic development aspects of the province,” Palma said.

The lined-up activities are agri-fishery trade fair, animal clinic, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, Binibining Sibugay, bike race, car show, cheerdance competition (high and college level), dart, DepEd night, drum and lyre competition, environment day, fiesta carnival, fire dance, free legal clinic, globe nights (band completion), jobs fair, mass graduation of farmers field school, mixed martial arts, hip-hop competition, motocross, motorcade, motor show, rave party, street dance competition, tourism queen, security, parachute/parabolic exhibition, and medical-dental–surgical mission.

Dr. Ulysses J. Chiong, chairman of the Araw ng Zamboanga Sibugay, said 16 municipalities are expected to join the agri-fishery and tourism trade fair.

On February 17, the opening day of the foundation day, a mass will be celebrated and will be followed by the parade and program.

The province was created on November 17, 2000 pursuant to Republic Act 8973, comprising 16 municipalities with 389 barangays. It was formerly the third congressional district of Zamboanga del Sur. It has a total land area of 3,363.22 square kilometers or 336,332 hectares.

The province is divided into two districts and based on the 2015 Census, it has a total population of 633,129 inhabitants.

“We are looking to display the progress our province has reached at this point in its short history in this year’s celebration,” Palma said. (Sunnex)