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Iloilo City News

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Contents

Iloilo Capitol releases P15-M aid for poor schools

By Jezza A. Nepomoceno (Capitol News)

FINANCIAL assistance worth P15.1 million will help improve the learning environment in 60 public schools located in 26 poor municipalities in Iloilo province.

The aid coming from the budget of the Provincial School Board will be used to construct additional school buildings and facilities for the convenience of the teachers and pupils.

“I do not want the children of today to suffer the same predicament I had when I was a pupil in public school,” said Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., who cited an incident where he tripped during his performance due to unstable stage made out of plywood and bamboo in Mina.

Of the total assistance, P7.4 million will be used to repair school buildings stricken by recent typhoons, P4.9 million for construction of school facilities (e.g. stage, fence, covered court, social hall, comfort room), and P2 million for construction of new school buildings.

The remaining P740,000 will be used for the procurement of books, instructional materials, and other school equipment like computers.

The distribution of cheques on Wednesday, February 3, was assisted by Vice Governor Raul Tupas, Maasin Mayor Mariano Malones, Pototan Mayor Tomas Peñflorida, and Mina Mayor Rey Grabato.


3 DENR 6 officials train on environmental governance

(PNA), RMA/PGL/DENR-PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -– Two Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs) and one Community ENR Officer (CENROs) from Western Visayas were among the 30 learners of the ongoing program for environmental governance implemented by the University of the Philippines (UP).

The pilot implementation of the UP Program for Environmental Governance (UPPEG) admitted PENRO Ruel delos Reyes of Antique, PENRO Vicente A. Sardina of Guimaras and CENRO Louie Laud of CENRO Belison, Antique.

The training seeks to develop better field implementers by enhancing their capacities through an intensive training on environmental governance.

The program aims to enhance the capacity of the environmental and natural resources officers in the country by strengthening their competency on the management of the environmental functions of the position.

Sessions are now going on at the UP Visayas that will end until Saturday. Next sessions will be held at the ENR Academy, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija on February 8-12 and DENR, Quezon City on February 14-20.

The UPPEG was launched last January 18, 2016 as part of the President’s Toast – a celebratory event for high impact programs and projects undertaken by the UP.

“We commend the efforts of the higher office in providing our field officials this kind of training. We honestly need to strengthen the capacity of our PENROs/CENROs to become better environmental managers,” said DENR 6 regional director Jim O Sampulna.

A Memorandum of Understanding between UP through President Alfredo Pascual and DENR through Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje was signed on February 6, 2014 which laid down the agreements of both parties in implementing UPPEG.

Organizers slate activities for this year’s Paraw Regatta Festival

(PNA), LAP/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 5 (PNA) -- Another tourist attraction is set to take off here as this city government and the Paraw Regatta Foundation lines up various activities to usher the highlight of what has been dubbed as the largest sailing event in the country and the oldest traditional craft event in Asia.

Opening the month-long festival is the week-long activities in line with the search for 2016 Miss Paraw Regatta from February 8-14. The winning candidate will be crowned on February 19.

Other side events of the festival are photo exhibit, miniature paraw making, musical show, inter-school cooking competition, on-the-spot painting contest, deep sea fishing competition, national women’s volleyball, Frisbee competition, paraw painting and body painting.

The highlights on February 21 will be a race among the more than 50 double-outrigger boats also known as paraw covering an approximate distance of 30 kilometers of the Iloilo Strait.

The search for a perfect wind, as the paraws are dependent on their sails, will take off at the seafront of the Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafood in Sto. Niño, Arevalo.

The racers have to pass by Fort San Pedro to Sto. Rosario, Buenavista in Guimaras to Nagaba Point of Jordan, Bundolan point and back to the finish line at Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafood.

The festival will culminate with the Sinadya sa Baybay (lighted paraw sailing) in the evening of February 21.

Iloilo Chinese New Year celebration reels on

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE fifth year celebration of the Chinese New Year in Iloilo City is reeling on with a cultural parade on February 12.

With a theme “Chinese-Filipinos: Catalysts of peace and progress” this year, the city is the first outside Metro Manila to celebrate the Chinese cultural program.

The Ilonggo-Chinese population in the city has evolved and some of them are now connected with the national and local government units.

They are also the dominant businessmen in the city which accounted more than 85 percent of the total businesses.

The Ilonggo-Chinese nationals are known to preserve the tradition and culture of their ancestors which are being displayed during their Chinese New Year festival.

The activities this year include an opening ceremony last January 30, 2016 and astrology forecast by Jeffrey Ventura, photo exhibit on February 1, Sun Yat Sen High School Musical Band on February 6, Chinese New Year mass, Sun Yat Sen High School Lion and Dragon Dance and Jubilation cultural show on February 7, Hua Siong College of Iloilo Lion and Dragon Dance and Splendor cultural show on February 8, cultural presentation and dinner on February 9, cultural presentation on February 10, food festival on February 11, luncheon by the City Government, cultural parade, show, food festival and fireworks display on February 12, and medical mission on February 13.

DOLE cites construction, BPO as lead employment generators in W. Visayas

(PNA), FFC/PGL/CBF/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The booming construction industry and the business process outsourcing (BPOs) are two leading employment generators in Western Visayas, according to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 6 officer-in-charge Salome Siaton.

Siaton pointed out that unemployment rate in the region went down by two percent in 2015 as compared to 2014 and is continuously reducing because of the improvements in infrastructures being put up in the region.

In the regional scenario, Siaton said that the indicators of improvements in terms of infrastructures are the vertical and horizontal constructions.

“The more constructions we have, the more employment we have in this industry,” she said,

“If there are more expansions, more buildings, more hotels, more business establishments, which are being put up in the region, particularly here in Iloilo, will generate more employments,” she added.

Another employment generator is BPO.

Specifically in Iloilo, Siaton said that the Megaworld area in Mandurriao, Iloilo is housing the BPOs in the city.

“They are also among the employment generators,” she said.

While the available jobs in the region are improving, Siaton said that DOLE is pushing for companies to provide decent employment to workers.

She further said that decent employment is provided if workers have social protection and there is a social dialogue between them and their respective employers.

Western Visayas prepares to be a favorite cruise destination

(PNA), FPV/PGL/DOT-PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 1 (PNA) -- This region is now becoming popular as a cruise destination, according to the Department of Tourism in Western Visayas.

This weekend, executives of the Sharp Travel Service, one of the top existing corporate, marine, and meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions (MICE) and events travel management company in the Philippines capped their three-day visit to various tourist attractions of Iloilo and Guimaras.

An ocular inspection and assessment of Iloilo City, southern Iloilo, Guimaras and Northern Iloilo, especially Gigantes for possible inclusion in the shore excursion of their guests on-board their different international cruise/expedition for 2017 and 2018 was conducted starting January 28.

DOT 6 director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas said that Western Visayas has several potential cruise/expedition destinations apart from Boracay Island.

“DOT is looking at the Philippines as an ideal destination for cruise tourism given that the country is an archipelago. DOT Region 6 is pushing to strengthen shore excursions to other provinces so as to promote various tourist destinations that may be possible side trips during the cruise ship arrivals in the region,” director Catalbas said.

She added that northern Iloilo and Guimaras are idyllic and rustic destinations suited for tourists going on cruise and are sites for future tourism investments.

“With northern Iloilo’s secluded and private getaway atmosphere and Guimaras’ pristine white beaches, tourists will surely enjoy going to this places. Plans are being laid down to provide a package that will attract these visitors to come and come back to invest in the future,” she added.

A cruise ship with 2,000 passengers is estimated to generate USD 250,000 in revenue but a turnaround ship of the same volume would generate as much as USD 1.2-million, according to DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr.

EMB 6 eyes more adopters for its “Adopt-an-Estero” program

(PNA), ZST/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Western Visayas is encouraging more organizations and partners to be part of its “Adopt-an-Estero” program.

As of date, 24 water bodies in Western Visayas were already adopted by private establishments, schools, national government agencies, local government units and civil society organizations, according to Arjunn Calvo, information officer of EMB 6.

Calvo explained that under the program, adopters conduct a quarterly cleanup drive, which is being done simultaneous with other adopters nationwide.

Cleanup drives are being done during environmental events such as the World Water Day, Environment Month, International Coastal Clean-up, and Environmental Awareness and Clean Air Month.

In 2015, he disclosed that the cleanup activities collected 88,948 kilograms of solid wastes along Iloilo-Batiano River system in Iloilo, Bagumbayan Creek in San Jose, Antique, Magsungay River in Bacolod City, Cadimahan River in Roxas City, Capiz, and Nabaoy River in Aklan.

3 ‘Timbangan ng Bayan’ at Central Market

By MERIANNE GRACE EREÑETA (PN)

ILOILO City – Three weighing scales aimed at preventing unscrupulous vendors from taking advantage of customers were placed at the Iloilo Central Market.

A total of 16 “Timbangan ng Bayan” were donated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to the city government.

The other 13 mechanical hanging-type weighing scales will be placed at five other public markets here and the Iloilo Fishing Port, according to the Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO).

“These weighing scales will protect consumers from dishonest vendors,” LEEO head Ariel Castañeda told Panay News in Hiligaynon.

These will also correct the notion that public markets in this city lack weighing scales, the government official said.

The Iloilo Terminal Market, Jaro Big and Jaro Small markets, and public markets in La Paz, Mandurriao and Arevalo will get similar weighing scales.

Castañeda said the market-in-charge shall supervise the weighing scales, which shall be made available for use by 4 a.m. until the market closes.

The distribution of the weighing scales was part of the DTI’s Timbangan ng Bayan Project.

Over 22,000 business names approved and renewed in Western Visayas in 2015

(PNA), LAP/PGL/PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 29 (PNA) -- The rapid infrastructure developments in Region 6 have spurred a conducive economic environment and opportunity to entrepreneurs as manifested by last year’s data on business name renewal and registration.

Data from Trade Development Division (TDD) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-6 disclosed 19,267 new applications for business name registration in 2015.

Aside from this, renewal of business name registration increased from 2,786 in 2014 to 2,968 in 2015, or an increase of roughly seven percent.

DTI-6 TDD Chief Felisa Judith Degala said that the result could be perceived that the public is confident of the economic condition in the region and the continuous effort to provide an enabling environment for entrepreneurs “that is why many engaged and ventured into business.”

Other contributing factors considered for the vibrant economic environment in the region are the establishment of Negosyo Centers, and the conduct of business consultations and entrepreneurship seminars conducted by the DTI, she added.

DTI-6 OIC-Regional Director Rebecca M. Rascon said that a DTI-registered business entity could easily avail of the services and programs of the government and is protected by law because it has a legal identity and ensures that consumers are protected, among others.

DTI provides more than Php17-M worth of shared service facilities in Western Visayas

(PNA), FPV/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 28 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has already provided 52 shared service facilities (SSF) in Western Visayas amounting to more than Php17 million since the start of the project in 2003.

SSF is a major component of the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) development program of the DTI to boost their competitiveness by means of providing machinery, equipment tools and other auxiliary items and skills and knowledge under a shared system.

The highest number of SSF was established in Aklan with 24 facilities; 23 were for abaca loom weaving and one for the establishment of a business resource center (BRC). The facilities amounted to P2.9 million.

Meantime, Iloilo received 13 SSF costing some Php6.948 million. The facilities were for food processing, furniture and furnishing, packaging and labeling, garments, coco fiber production, abaca stripping and BRC.

DTI poured in some Php2.92 million in Capiz for coco oil mill, packaging facilities, wearables, abaca stripping and BRC.

Guimaras availed of Php1.32 million for the hot water treatment for mangoes and a BRC.

Moreover, the province of Antique got facilities for coffee processing costing and a BRC some Php1.177 million while Negros Occidental received four SSF to include a high speed sewing machine, garments, vermin composting and a BRC amounting to Php1.73 million.

DTI regional director Rebecca M. Rascon said that more SSF will be released this year as they continue to strengthen the capability of MSMEs in the region.

LDSC turns over wheelchairs, walking aids to selected PWDs from Iloilo

(PNA), PGL/PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan 27 (PNA) -- The from Latter-Day Saints Charities (LDSC), a charitable institution operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, on Wednesday turned over wheelchairs and walking aids to selected persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Iloilo.

LDS Philippines program director George Kenneth Lee and Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. led the distribution of the wheelchairs for PWDs suffering from neuromusculoskeletal impairments.

PWD Affairs Officer Mario Abaygar said other beneficiaries will receive clutches, walkers, and cane depending on their needs.

“There are supposed to be 60 beneficiaries here today but only few can make it to the ceremony due to the bad weather. Instead of going here, we will bring the donation to their homes,” Abaygar said.

The Province of Iloilo has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with LDSC last year for 600 wheelchair donations and additional 300 assistive devices for PWDs in 43 local government units.

Mormons were fasting every week and the savings out of their food budget were used to buy the wheelchairs and walking aids to help poor PWDs in the country.

He added that the PWDs from Iloilo were very lucky since they could avail most of their donations or twice the number of wheelchairs they gave out to other provinces.

“This donation will go a long way on helping poor PWDs in their line of work, in their schools or at home,” Lee said.

Teary-eyed, 63-year-old amputee Jerry Daniocop was filled with joy when he received his brand-new wheelchair for the first time.

The gasoline vendor from Poblacion, Dueñas lost both of his legs due to diabetes. Since then, he would crawl or kneel to move from one corner to another.

“Tuman gid akon nga kalipay nga may wheelchair na ako. Indi na ako mabudlayan sa pagubra (I am very happy now that I have a wheelchair. Working won’t be hard anymore),” said Daniocop.

After receiving the donation, the beneficiaries are required to undergo community service for couple of hours in their respective barangays.

Calinog Mayor Alex Centena, Provincial Administrator Raul Banias and PSWDO Chief Neneth Pador were also present to assist in the distribution.

Russian envoy eyes possible trade exchange between Iloilo and Russia

(PNA), FFC/PGL/CBF/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 26 (PNA) -- Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor A. Khovaev on Monday cited the potential of Iloilo to trade agricultural products with Russia.

“I think the province of Iloilo has a great potential especially in the agricultural field,” he said,

“The town produces a lot of tropical fruits and vegetables and in my country, there is a great demand for tropical fruits and vegetables,” he added.

Khovaev made a courtesy call with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. on Monday.

“In particular, we discussed opportunities for business activities between the province of Iloilo and the different Russian regions,” he said.

“And I think we have good prospects for establishing mutual and beneficial corporation ties in trade and investment fields,” he added.

Defensor, together with Provincial administrator Raul Banias, briefed Khovaev the areas in Iloilo with good agricultural production and with potential for international trade.

“As the ambassador of Russia in the Philippines, we will do our best and we will try to explore every and each opportunity,” Khovaev said.

Khovaev was here in Iloilo City over the weekend to witness the annual Dinagyang Festival.

Iloilo's Dinagyang Festival awes visitors

(PNA), ZST/PGL/LCPENDON/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 25 (PNA) -- For first timers, no other festivals are comparable with Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival as they expressed how amazed they were with the performances of tribes depicting the culture of Ilonggos.

“Nothing compares with this festival in Iloilo City,” said Swede Kari Isommaa, head of delegation of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) based in Metro Manila.

Isommaa, together with IFRC field program coordinator Mijanur Rahman and Philippine Red Cross Governor Richard Gordon, were in this city to witness the world famous Dinagyang Festival, rated as the best tourism event of the Philippines by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) Sunday.

The Red Cross official said he has been to several countries in the world and seeing tourism events and festivals but Dinagyang in Iloilo City is beyond compare.

He said he has many pictures taken during the performances of the tribes Sunday and he is going to show these off to his friends in other countries.

On the other hand, Ray Sauter of Houston, Texas, USA cannot describe his feelings upon seeing for the first time the performances of tribes.

He admitted seeing many festivals in several countries but Dinagyang is the first awesome and glorious street dance performance he had ever seen.

“The best I have seen and I highly recommend Dinagyang to the world,” Sauter said.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said this year’s staging of Dinagyang is still apolitical with no politician guests taking the microphone.

Among the guests are ambassadors and diplomats of 11 countries, including the US, China, Russia and South Korea.

Other guests were Senate President Franklin Drilon,former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Congresswoman Leni Robredo, Congressman Sherwin Gatchalian, Congressman Carlos Zarate, former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and former senator Miguel Zubiri, among others.

The honor of being a Dinagyang Warrior was awarded to Mayor Hwang Eun-seong of Anseong City, South Korea, who brought with him to Iloilo the acrobatic and cultural dancers of Anseong to be the guest performers Sunday.

NYC to hold first consultative meeting on IRR of SK Reform Act in Iloilo

(PNA), RMA/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The National Youth Commission will hold its first consultative meeting for the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10742, or the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015 in this city on Jan. 30, 2016.

Rey Jason Gregorio, executive director of the Iloilo City Youth Development Office, said that the consultation was necessary for the commission to know the pulse of the concerned sector in coming up with the guidelines on how the new law would be implemented.

Republic Act 10742 that was signed into law by President Benigno S. Aquino III on Jan. 15 this year tasked the NYC to lead in the crafting of the IRR, Gregorio said.

Expected to attend the whole day consultation are 15 representatives each from the out-of-school youth, in-school, persons with disability (PWD) and working youth.

Newly appointed executive director and chief operating officer Nielex Tupas will spearhead the consultation.

After Iloilo, the NYC will travel to Mindanao for another consultation meeting.

Philhealth introduces kidney transplant package in Iloilo

(PNA), RMA/PGL/CBFERRER/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) launched its Php600,000 kidney transplant (Z-benefit) package in Iloilo, Friday.

Philhealth , through type Z, its highest benefit package, now shoulder the total cost of treatment including the drugs and medicines, operating room and professional fees for the entire course of treatment, as well as mandatory and other health services of the patients who undergo kidney transplant.

To avail the package, a PhilHealth member and his dependent should pass the selections criteria and should be pre-authorized by the contracted facility before the services can be provided.

Dr. Helen Caro Pastolero, head of St. Paul’s Hospital Iloilo’s Kidney Center, said that there were 10-12 patients on the list of PhilHealth members who wanted to avail of the package. First on the list is Marites Olivares Eusoya, who was diagnosed with a stage 4 , going stage 5 chronic kidney disease in October 2010

Pastolero said that kidney transplant would take two to three hours.

St. Paul’s Hospital Iloilo is the first private hospital in the country that becomes a Z benefit provider for kidney transplant.

In 2015, PhilHealth 6 paid more than Php300 million for around 52,500 patients who are undergoing dialysis due to kidney disease.

This year, as Philhealth launched its kidney transplant package, Pastolero said that they hope to provide hope for patients who had illnesses that were perceived to be medically and financially catastrophic that further pushed patients into prolonged hospitalization and very expensive medical treatment.

Ilonggos to have a glimpse of Korean culture through Anseong Baudeogi Festival

(PNA), LGI/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 22 (PNA) -- For the first time in the history of the Dinagyang Festival, spectators will be treated to a performance of a dance troupe from Anseong City's Baudeogi Festival in South Korea.

Some 20 members of the Anseong Municipal Namsadang Baudeugi Pungmuldan Troupe are now in Iloilo as guest performers during the Ati-ati tribes competition of the Dinagyang Festival on Sunday.

The dance troupe was formed in an effort to preserve the tradition in Anseong, the home to Namsadang. Its performance provides an opportunity for everyone to better understand Korean culture through Namsadangnori, according to the Dinagyang Festival organizer.

The performance by a group from the Baudeogi Festival is a result of the signing of a Friendly City relation between the Anseong City and Iloilo City last year.

In October last year, the Iloilo City sent its Dinagyang Festival to perform at the Anseong Baudeogi Festival.

The delegation from South Korea is led by Mayor Hwang, EunSeong.

DPWH to inaugurate PHP180-M bridge project on Friday

(PNA), FFC/PGL/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 21 (PNA) -- The newly-completed PHP180- million Muelle Loney Bridge will be officially opened to public in an inaugural ceremony that will be graced by Public Works and Highways secretary Rogelio Singson and Senator Franklin M. Drilon on Friday.

The bridge is expected to decongest traffic leading to the new Iloilo Ferry Terminal.

The new bridge crosses the Iloilo River and connects the city proper to the new ferry terminal in Lapuz district.

The two-lane 125 linear meters prestressed concrete girder bridge is complemented by a 157-meter promenade at the Lapuz side and another 536.6 meter Esplanade at the Muelle Loney side.

SP names SM City Iloilo as senior-citizen friendly mall

(PNA), PGL/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -– This local government unit through the Sangguniang Panlunsod (SP) on Tuesday has cited one of the big malls in this city as a senior-citizen friendly mall taking into account the various projects and activities that it has engaged for the welfare of the elderly sector.

Councilor Armand Parcon, chair of the elderly committee at the Sangguniang Panlungsod, authored the resolution that was adopted by the council sans councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo.

Parcon, in his report, said that the distinction is one of the two requests that were sought by the management of the SM City Iloilo though its CARES committee.

SM, as part of its corporate social responsibility (CRS), has been conducting activities such as complimentary health and fitness classes and computer literacy sessions to senior citizens, according to Parcon.

Also more than 20 elderly were tapped as mall greeters and ushers through the Senior Citizens Service Program of the Casual Employment in partnership with the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) of the city government.

“SM Mall management gave assurance that it will continue and expand its partnership program with the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs Office (OSCA) on casual employment,” Parcon added.

The request of the mall for an allowable reduction in taxes is yet with the SP’s committee on ways and means.

Tourism boosts Western Visayas economy

(PNA), ZST/PGL/DOT-PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan 19 (PNA) -- The Department of Tourism in the region was elated knowing that the industry is among the three big economic drivers of Western Visayas.

A recent report of the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) attributed the 171.81 percent increase on the value of investments poured in the region to the energy, housing and tourism sectors.

A total of Php495 million worth of tourism projects were approved in 2015 next to energy with Php57.76 billion and economic housing with Php2.49 billion.

Western Visayas ranked second among other regions with the highest approved investments in the Philippines.

Lawyer Helen J. Catalbas, DOT regional director, said she is very interested to know what businesses are included under the tourism sector.

“Tourism has always been a good business because it works both ways. Both parties gain from it, the investor and the benefactor. Investments create livelihood and generate jobs for the locals living around the tourist destination, thus, as the investors benefit so are the residents,” Catalbas said.

Catalbas said that she will ask the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and BOI for the list of included businesses under the tourism sector.

She said it is important that these establishments be identified to know if they harmonize with those in the DOT Region VI listing and also they will be encouraged to secure accreditation from DOT.

“Western Visayas is a fast blooming region tourism-wise.

Various components of tourism in Region VI, including accommodation, transportation, food and beverage, tours, tourism products, accessibility, manpower, job creation, tourist markets are all in upward trajectory,” she added.

PHP2.167M up for grabs in various activities highlighting Dinagyang Festival 2016

(PNA), FFC/PGL/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 18 (PNA) -- The Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI) has earmarked some PHP2.167 million as prizes for various activities that will highlight this year’s Dinagyang Festival.

IDFI president Ramon Cua Locsin said that there has been an increase in this year’s prizes compared with the PHP2 million prize that was released in 2015.

Data provided by the foundation showed that PHP995,000 was allotted for prizes in the Ati-Ati competition while PHP730,000 will be for the winners of the Kasadyahan regional cultural contest.

Moreover, PHP163,000 will be awarded to winners of the Tambor, Trumpa, Martsa, Musika; PHP114,000 for the photo contest, PHP125,000 for the Ilonggo Arts Festival and PHP40,000 for on-the-spot painting contest.

Aside from cash prizes, winners from selected contest categories will also take home a Dinagyang Festival trophy.

The highlights of this year’s Dinagyang Festival will kick off on Friday with the Tambor, Trumpa, Martsa, Musika in the morning and the religious fluvial procession in the afternoon.

A total of 13 public elementary schools will join the drum and lyre competition while the drum and bugle contest has two participants from public secondary schools.

On the other hand, 10 festivals from various provinces in the region and 10 tribes composed of school-based participants will vie for the championship crown during the Kasadyahan and Ati Ati competition, respectively.

This year’s celebration anchors on the theme “Senor Santo Nino: Hope of the People” with the tagline Beyond Fun, Beyond Fame, Beyond Borders.

DSWD to implement new payout schedule for 4Ps beneficiaries this year

(PNA), FPV/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be strictly implementing its new schedule for payout to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Montessa Caoyonan, program information officer said that changes were made in consideration of the adjustment in the amount the beneficiaries will receive for the months of April and May.

During these months, the DSWD will not provide educational assistance to school age children because its vacation time. Instead, each household will receive Php500 per month as health assistance.

In the new schedule, the payout for December 2015 until January this year will be in March. The February to March subsidy will be released in May.

Moreover, the April and May subsidies will be credited in June; June and July in September; August and September in November and October to November in January next year.

The amount of subsidy to be released to beneficiaries will also depend on the compliance of beneficiaries to the conditions set forth by the program.

Php91.5-M road concreting project in Iloilo kicks off Friday

(PNA), FPV/PGL/CBFERRER/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Palm Concepcion Power Corporation (PCPC) kicked off its Php91.5 million road concreting project in Concepcion, Iloilo Friday.

The road is another project of PCPC in the said municipality aside from its coal-fired power plant ,which is currently 95 percent completed.

The project covers the 4.2- kilometer road of barangayas Poblacion, Nipa and Lo-ong where the said power plant is located.

PCPC president Roel Z. Castro, in today’s ground breaking ceremony, said that the road will “bridge to real progress and sustainable development.”

“I hope that all of us will feel the economic and social improvements that are happening as a natural consequence while we are building the plant and ensure to operate this plant within the year,” he said.

“And equally important the environmental development when all the projects that we have started will grow to its fullest,” he added.

He also pointed out that the circulation of money in the municipality has increased tremendously and more opportunities have been provided to the residents because of the constructions coming up in the municipality.

Specifically, 600 local workers were hired in the construction of the coal-fired power plant.

Further, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. said that the projects of PCPC in Concepcion will bring more progress in the municipality.

“This power plant will be the light, and the road will be the engine of growth and development and the road to real, substantive progress in the municipality of Concepcion,” Defensor said.

The road concreting project is expected to be finished by July 15, 2016.

Philippine ambassadors to Europe visit Iloilo destinations

(PNA), FPV/PGL/DOT-PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan 15 (PNA) -– Nine Philippine Ambassadors to Europe visited various destinations in Iloilo and got a taste of this place’s native delicacies during Thursday’s appreciation tour here.

“The appreciation tour was not just for leisure purposes. It should be noted that these visitors are Philippine Ambassadors to Europe and this visit can be turned into a huge opportunity for the province and the city of Iloilo to promote their best products and services to the European market,” said Atty. Helen J. Catalbas, regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Western Visayas.

The ambassadors visited heritage houses and churches in Miagao, Tigbauan and Guimbal and the city’s booming business area, the Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao district here.

They also tasted the authentic Ilonggo dishes at Camiña Bala nga Bato in Arevalo district.

In the evening, they were presented with the investment portfolio of the province and city of Iloilo.

Catalbas explained that the appreciation tour only goes to show that Western Visayas has increased its presence in the market as more investors, foreign and Filipino dignitaries and business stakeholders come and visit the region.

The group was here for the two-day regional consultative meeting of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that will commence today.

Iloilo eyes to anchor rural dev’t on Saemaul Undong

(PNA), FPV/PGL-PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 14 (PNA) --If Koreans could liberate themselves from the shackles of poverty, the chief executive of this province believed that Ilonggos could do it too.

Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. said Ilonggos could make Saemaul Undong (SMU), the driving force behind the economic success of South Korea, “our guiding model in developing rural areas.”

“Not all Filipinos appreciate Saemaul Undong. It took me a long time to appreciate it as well. But later I realized and understood that it was the movement responsible for the rapid development of South Korea,” Defensor said during the recently-concluded 2nd Foundation Anniversary of Philippine Saemaul Undong here.

Defensor was in South Korea for the first time in October 2014 to attend the 1st Global Saemaul Leadership Forum with his wife and Bingawan Mayor Matt Palabrica.

“I saw it with my own eyes how they rose from the debris and ashes of Korean War through Saemaul Undong. Now, South Korea is one of the most developed countries in the world,” he added.

But the effort to replicate Saemaul Undong was barely visible in 1990s — the period when the movement was introduced in Bingawan town by Presbyterian missionary Dr. Chung C. Young.

The reason for this was mainly due to lack of understanding that Saemaul Undong was about income generation, living environment and basic rural infrastructure improvement and capacity building and attitude change.

The mental reform aspect of Saemaul Undong was designed to inculcate three values or virtues of the movement: diligence, self-help and cooperation.

“Saemaul Undong is all about people’s participation in transforming their community into a better place to live in. Koreans held hands together believing that through their common effort they can survive from absolute poverty brought about by the war and colonization,” he said.

With the strong support coming from Defensor, Provincial Planning and Development Officer Mario Nillos proposed to anchor Iloilo’s rural development on Saemaul Undong.

Specifically, Nillos, also the president of Philippines SMU, looks forward to integrate SMU on Iloilo’s program on agricultural development, rural water system and sanitation, local economic development and community-based ecotourism.

“The Philippine Saemaul Undong’s 2nd founding anniversary comes in appropriate times when we are starting new and fresh engagement with new partners for laudable community projects that would uplift the lives of our intended communities,” he said.

Nillos said the organization has to revisit its strategies to fast track its efforts on localizing Saemaul Undonh in Iloilo so that more communities could benefit from it.

“Saemaul Undong’s mission is attuned to that of the Iloilo Provincial Government's. As such, we are one in enabling our communities towards growth that is inclusive and self-sustaining,” he said.

Devoid of all hope, South Korea was in the midst of oppression and suppression for 35 years under Japan during the World War II.

When it gained its independence on 1945, eight in every 10 Koreans were poor farmers suffering from perpetual hunger.

The division among Koreans led to war which lasted for three years from 1950-1953 and its Gross Domestic Product per Capita was only USD67 in 1953.

It was only during the term of President Park Chung Hee from 1961-1979 when the period of modernization and industrialization began in South Korea.

The people of South Korea refused to become poor and so they gave birth to Saemaul Undong in 1970 and it became a national movement through the help of President Park.

Because of Saemaul Undong plus the 5-year Economic Development Plan of President Park in 1960s, South Korea transformed itself from an aid-recipient to a donor nation.

City government to extend incentive award to additional centenarian residents

(PNA), FPV/PGL/PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The city government is preparing the necessary documents to extend its incentive award to three more centenarians this year.

The Centenarian Incentive Award has already been presented to a total of 17 senior citizens 100 years old or more since 2014.

The first who benefited from the project is Quirico Baldomar of Democracia, Jaro who turned 101 years old in 2014.

“Taking care of our older generation is a way of paying back their hard work and sacrifices when they were still able and productive members of our society,” Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said.

Cakes, a check worth P10,000 and a Mayor’s Citation are awarded to the beneficiaries.

“We are hoping that the little amount we give to the centenarians can help provide for their medicines and other needs,” he added.

Only residents of Iloilo City are qualified to receive the incentives.

The project is under the Senior Citizens Welfare Program and part of the City Government’s “womb-to-tomb” initiative to recognize the elderly persons’ contributions to the Ilonggo community.

Birth certificate or any legal document should be shown as proof of the centenarian’s age in order to be considered for the award.

Western Visayas rakes in PHP60.75-B worth of investments in 2015

(PNA), BNB/PGL/DTI PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 12 (PNA) -- Western Visayas ranked second among all the regions in the country to have lured billions worth of investments in 2015.

The Board of Investments (BOI) recently reported that Region VI captured PHP60.75 billion worth of investments or equivalent to 17 percent of the country’s registered investments last year.

It came second to Region IV-A’s P165.68 billion covering 45 percent of the BOI-approved investments in 2015 that reached PHP366.74 billion; posting a 3-percent growth from the PHP354.76 billion in 2014.

Central Visayas (Region VII) came in third with PHP32.23 billion or nine percent; and the National Capital Region in fourth place with PHP29.50 Billion worth of investments.

These investments are expected to generate over 58,000 jobs when they become fully operational in the succeeding years.

The BOI is the industry development and investments promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

DOT 6 hopes to sell Western Visayas as preferred tourism destination at ASEAN tourism forum

(PNA), FPV/PGL/DOT-PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 11 (PNA) –- Tourism regional director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas is positive that the upcoming ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) will create more opportunities and investments for Western Visayas and uplift the tourism industry of the region to the ASEAN community.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is on top of preparations for the ATF to be held at the SMX Convention Center on January 18-25, 2015.

ATF 2016 brings thousands of guests from across the globe, including buyers of tourism goods and services, exhibitors from the 10 ASEAN countries, top tourism officials and dignitaries.

“Western Visayas has strengthened its product portfolio featuring the best tourism attractions and services of its provinces and highly urbanized cities. We believe that ATF is a huge platform to sell these products and create an impression to the investors as an investor-friendly region, “director Catalbas said.

This is also a call to our LGUs and tourism stakeholders to improve and upgrade their services and products to meet, if not exceed, the standards of the ASEAN community,” Catalbas added.

Catalbas explained that the region should not be complacent with its present status but should exert more effort to become a top destination in the ASEAN level. She added that after the success of APEC in Western Visayas, the region can expect to host more local, national and international MICE activities in the future.

“The DOT will create the atmosphere and bring in investments but it will be up to the local government units to implement and maintain these endeavors. We will continue to elevate and develop our tourism industry by going down to the grassroots-level through Bottom-Up Budgeting Process. We will train, educate and enhance the skills and amenities of the community so everyone will benefit,” she concluded.

Iloilo City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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