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Contents

WV joins celebration of World Humanitarian Day

(PNA), LAM/AJPETINGLAY/VLO

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 19 (PNA) -- For the first time, Western Visayas on Tuesday joined the World Humanitarian Day celebration recognizing the great efforts and heroes during the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda on November 8, 2013.

Kenga Shandralingam, chief of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) Iloilo Sub-Office, said that the region is celebrating the event Tuesday with support from government bodies.

“Through a joint well coordinated manner, Philippine government with the support of humanitarian community, managed to meet the basic needs of the people affected by the super typhoon and committed to provide continuous support to give a better life to those communities,” Shandralingam said.

Due to the devastation of the super typhoon last year, the Philippine government sought help from humanitarian partners all over through the coordination of UN OCHA.

Iloilo Vice Governor Raul C. Tupas, who represented Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr., said the province is very grateful for the help extended by the humanitarian heroes and the UN as Iloilo would really had a hard time recovering if left alone.

”We then needed badly the private sector and international communities,” Tupas said.

This was underscored by Western Visayas Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chair Rosario T. Cabrera, also the regional director of the Office of Civil Defense.

In her message, she said that during the height of "Yolanda," the national government already fell short on its capacity to respond with the devastation but thanks to the humanitarian agencies which came to Iloilo province and the rest of the region to help with their volunteers even giving their lives for the fulfillment of their mission.

Because of the help extended, typhoon hit areas are now on the early recovery stage with livelihood and shelter establishments.

The celebration is being held with photo exhibits at the capitol lobby that will run for a week. The photos showcase the activities of partners as well as their efforts during the Yolanda response.

On Tuesday night, a musical program will be held at Shoemart (SM) City Iloilo with the support of the Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division.

The celebration this year is also simultaneously held in other parts of the country such as Tacloban, Zamboanga, Manila and Cotabato.

Iloilo City holds First Baby and Mom Expo 2014

(PNA), SCS/AJP/LCPENDON/VLO

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 18 (PNA)-- The Iloilo City government, in coordination with the private sector and government agencies, is holding the First Baby and Mom Expo 2014 with a search for Mother and Child 2014 and Best Star Baby 2014.

The two-day exposition will start with a caravan on Tuesday with an opening program at the Robinsons Mall here.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will give the inspirational message after the declaration of the First Baby and Mom Expo 2014.

Lone District Rep. Jerry P. Trenas will give a message in the afternoon activity for the Search for Mother and Child 2014.

On the second day, the search for the Best Star Baby 2014 will reel with Mayor Mabilog as guest of honor. A special award will be given to the best photogenic baby.

The City Heath Office, City Social Welfare and Development Office and the Red Ladies are coordinating the activities with other agencies and sponsors.

Iloilo-based BPO rises to become among world’s best

By Hazel P. Villa (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

7:45 am | Sunday, August 17th, 2014

ILOILO CITY—A Filipino-American systems engineer visited a relative here in July 2004 and chanced upon an Internet cafe in La Paz district.

Little did Rom Agustin know that the fateful visit to the cafe would lead him to establish Iloilo City’s first and largest homegrown business process outsourcing (BPO) marketing company, providing business-to-business (B2B) multi-channel marketing services to a number of leading multinational companies in industries such as software development, information technology and financial, medical and business services.

Callbox Sales and Marketing Solutions marked its 10th year here on July 4 and celebrated how it overcame the many challenges it faced in an industry dominated by inbound call centers that continues to grapple with the shifting tides of the international economy.

Agustin and his college friend, Glen Norris, originally wanted a virtual answering company—hence the name Callbox—but saw that manpower was more affordable in the Philippines compared to the United States where they had prior business experience.

With the majority of BPOs here handling inbound calls, Callbox decided to venture into the more difficult service of outbound calls such as making appointments for sales representatives and qualifying prospective customers for a product or service. This work is done according to a script and information on rebuttals to negative responses.

“If there are companies who want lead generation, the first name they think of is Callbox. We are now a household name in Singapore and Australia,” said Ian Van Cubing, Callbox’s IT manager.

The job of lead generation companies such as Callbox is to look for potential buyers of their clients’ products and services and qualify them through phone calls or through an “intelligent” online system. The names of potential buyers are then sent to clients who, in turn, are free to “chase” them and make a sale.

On the other hand, B2B is a service or product not sold directly to the consumer but to another business.

One such service is selling IT networking products for another company.

Considering the cost and the decision-making process involved, B2B services and products are not purchased on the spot.

Rather, they are “considered purchases,” thus, the need for a pipeline through which client and buyer information is generated so that decision makers can make informed choices.

According to Van Cubing, Ilonggo software developers were able to develop a unique pipeline that helped boost Callbox’s productivity.

“It used to be that an agent can manage an account that earns $200 to $300 a month in 2005. But now, an agent has been earning $2,000 a month for the company since 2013 because the pipeline is very targeted,” said Van Cubing, an electrical engineering graduate of Central Philippine University whom Norris immediately hired as IT manager in 2005.

Callbox’s operations started with only two Ilonggos hired in 2004 and by 2005, three more joined the team that worked on basic search tools and basic controls for telephone systems.

The systems became more complex as the business grew.

“We made the pipeline from the ground up and made software for each feature, with Rom giving us the ideas and the IT team working on the tools,” said Van Cubing.

“As a lead generation company, we give our clients an online system where they can get the information, which in turn comes from our existing database that is constantly updated. If the client says, ‘I’d like to contact a thousand IT managers,’ we could do that,” said Van Cubing.

He added that companies approach Callbox just to buy its targeted and updated information from the pipeline that Ilonggos were able to build.

The pipeline of information is a major revenue earner for Callbox that now has 800 employees in its Iloilo and Davao offices.

It also has 20 software developers seeking to further finetune the company’s pipeline.

Callbox chief executive officer Agustin, whose family comes from Pangasinan, said that when he set up the company’s first office in Iloilo City, he wanted Callbox to be known as a Philippine-born company that is globally competitive.

His goal has been achieved.

Callbox is now one of the world’s largest and most recognized companies in the B2B marketing industry.

It was awarded Top Outsourcer of outbound services by industry authority Contact Center World in 2009 and in 2010 and named Leading Provider of Outsourced Sales and Marketing Services by Datamonitor, which investigates hundreds of top performing BPO organizations around the world in an independent survey.

“Companies don’t hire us because we are cheap, but because we are good,” said Agustin.

2 Ilonggos Metrobank outstanding teachers

By PRINCE GOLEZ (Manila Reporter, PN)

MANILA — Two Ilonggo teachers were among this year’s Outstanding Teachers recognized by the Metrobank Foundation.

Dr. Jesus C. Insilada of Alcarde-Gustilo Memorial National High School in Calinog and Dr. Resurreccion B. Sadaba of the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) in Miag-ao, both in Iloilo province, will be formally awarded during a ceremony on Sept. 5 in Makati City.

They will receive a gold medallion, a trophy and a P500,000 cash prize each.

Insilada, also a creative writer, is a two-time recipient of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature.

On the other hand, Sadaba, a newly conferred UP scientist, is a faculty member of the UPV College of Arts and Sciences–Division of Biological Sciences.

“I am very thankful to God. He has best plans for me,” Insilada told Panay News.

Insilada earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial education from West Visayas State University (WVSU) Calinog Campus.

With a master’s degree in English and literature, which he earned from WVSU Main Campus in Iloilo City, Insilada is now a full-time English teacher.

Being recognized as one of Metrobank’s Outstanding Teachers is “not all about prestige,” he said, but “a reminder to always do my best.”

Insilada was nominated by their school principal.

While saying he was confident that he would make it, Insilada believes that “all the finalists deserved to win.”

For his part, Sadaba said he was “happy” with his recent achievement.

“As a teacher, we should be facilitators of learning and sensitive to the individual needs and differences of our students,” he said.

Asked if he expected this feat, Sadaba said, “It was difficult to know if one will win since we were not familiar with each others’ work. What was important to me was the experience.”

Winners in the elementary schools category were Anna Bella F. Abellera of Naga Central School I (Naga City), Sharon Rose P. Puyo of Cabadbaran South Central Elementary School SPED Center (Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte), Dr. Enerio E. Ebisa of Doña Juana Actub Lluch Memorial Central School (Iligan City), and Dr. Allan Moore S. Cabrillas of San Jose West Central School (San Jose City, Nueva Ecija).

Aside from Insilada, also winning under the secondary schools category were Dr. Juanito A. Merle of Talipan National High School (Pagbilao, Quezon), Dr. Matrose P. Galarion of Angeles City National High School (Angeles City) and Dr. Noel V. Ibis of Vinzons Pilot High School (Vinzons, Camarines Norte).

Under the higher education category with Sadaba was Dr. Teodora D. Balangcod of the University of the Philippines Baguio (Baguio City).

Iloilo softbelles pocket first win in final World Series game

By Edwin L. Torrecampo [(PNA), LAM/AJP/ELTORRECAMPO/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 15 (PNA) -- Ilonggos who followed the lackluster performance of their home team in the just-concluded World Series in Kirkland, Washington, USA could probably heave a sigh of relief after the IloiloSoftbelles Asia-Pacific champion team snatched a well-earned victory at the expense of Jeffersonville, Indiana onThursday, in their final game which brought little smiles on the weary and dimunitive but scrappy lasses fromrural Iloilo.

Royeve Palma pitched a no-hitter in six innings against the well-fed and burly American girls, and thentriggered a savage 4-0 run for the Philippine side to ensure a 5-1 win at last bat.

The Ilonggas shed some tears knowing that they would not be going home with bowed heads and empty-handed. But in spite of their dramatic victory, the Philippines bottomed out in last place with a 1 win-3 loss record.

The sun-baked faces from Iloilo have nothing to be ashamed though, as they lost by a hairline to Fort Myers 4-3, Victoria British Colombia 4-3, and District 9, 7-4.

Iloilo City braces for natl heritage conservation summit

(PNA), LAM/AJP/LCPENDON/VLO

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 14 (PNA) -- This southern city will host the third National Heritage Conservation Summit slated on October 24-26, 2014 to be participated by some 200 participants from various parts of the country.

The summit will be facilitated by the Heritage Conservation Society and the city government with a theme “Revitalizing Historic Downtowns” to discuss the current state of heritage conservation and best practices in historic old quarters and districts and of downtown revitalization and reuse in the Philippines and Asia.

The Heritage Conservation Society is headed by chairperson Gemma Cruz Araneta and president Ivan Anthony Henares.

A case study on the revitalization of Calle Real as a historic business district will be presented by Dr. Kristin G. Trenas, president of the Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council.

Other case studies to be presented in the Iloilo summit are in Escolta, Manila for the revitalization of an historic business district; Taal, Batangas for the revitalization of a historic town to be presented by Ernesto Villavicencio, president of Taal Active Alliance Legion; and Angeles City, Pampanga for the removal of street wires in historic center.

A roundtable discussion on revitalizing the old downtowns will be conducted with panelists Architect Paulo Alcazaren, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Dr. Trenas and Architect Joy Martinez-Onozawa.

The National Historical Commission and National Council on Culture and the Arts last week declared Calle Real as a cultural heritage zone that covers the old central business district of Iloilo City.

On the other hand, city lone district Congressman Jerry P. Trenas has led the enactment of Republic Act 10555 that declared seven areas in the city including the central business district and Calle Real as a cultural heritage tourism zone.

‘Intelligent film viewing’ workshop set

By Lilibeth A. French (JCM/LAF/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) - - More than 170 Private Sector Representatives (PSRs) of the Regional Development Councils (RDCs) throughout the country are meeting in this city starting Wednesday, August 13, 2014.

National Economic and Development Authority 6 (NEDA 6) Director Ro-Ann Bacal said the RDC-PSR National Convention is a biennial event conducted for PSRs to get to know their counterparts in other regions and for them to discuss major issues and concerns that they would like to bring to the fore of the RDCs.

PSRs comprise one-fourth of the membership of the fully constituted RDC pursuant to Executive Order 325. The group’s active participation in planning, investment programming, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation are also promoted in the EO given their important roles in the development of the regions.

The three-day national event also intends to strengthen the role of the PSR in the RDC particularly in getting their full support and cooperation in the implementation of the Updated Philippine Development Plan, and the Updated Regional Development Plan, 2011-2016.

In fact, one of the highlights of the event is the signing of a Manifesto of Support for the Updated PDP and the updated regional plans by the heads of the regional delegations.

Bacal said Iloilo City was chosen as the venue of the 5th RDC-PSR National Convention to show to participants what are the exciting things happening in Iloilo City, the regional seat of Western Visayas.

Other regions in the country that hosted the PSR National Conventions are Region VII (Cebu City); Region IV-A (Los Banos, Laguna); Region XI (Davao City); and Region III (Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga).

NEDA Deputy Director General Margarita Songco, Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncoto, Jr. and Jones Long LaSalle Country Head Mr. David Leechiu are among the guests and resource persons during the opening of the conference guided by its theme “RSRs:RDCs’ Crucial Partners in the Pursuit of Inclusive Growth and Job Creation”.

PSRs gather in Iloilo City for nat'l confab

By Lilibeth A. French (JCM/LAF/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) - - More than 170 Private Sector Representatives (PSRs) of the Regional Development Councils (RDCs) throughout the country are meeting in this city starting Wednesday, August 13, 2014.

National Economic and Development Authority 6 (NEDA 6) Director Ro-Ann Bacal said the RDC-PSR National Convention is a biennial event conducted for PSRs to get to know their counterparts in other regions and for them to discuss major issues and concerns that they would like to bring to the fore of the RDCs.

PSRs comprise one-fourth of the membership of the fully constituted RDC pursuant to Executive Order 325. The group’s active participation in planning, investment programming, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation are also promoted in the EO given their important roles in the development of the regions.

The three-day national event also intends to strengthen the role of the PSR in the RDC particularly in getting their full support and cooperation in the implementation of the Updated Philippine Development Plan, and the Updated Regional Development Plan, 2011-2016.

In fact, one of the highlights of the event is the signing of a Manifesto of Support for the Updated PDP and the updated regional plans by the heads of the regional delegations.

Bacal said Iloilo City was chosen as the venue of the 5th RDC-PSR National Convention to show to participants what are the exciting things happening in Iloilo City, the regional seat of Western Visayas.

Other regions in the country that hosted the PSR National Conventions are Region VII (Cebu City); Region IV-A (Los Banos, Laguna); Region XI (Davao City); and Region III (Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga).

NEDA Deputy Director General Margarita Songco, Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncoto, Jr. and Jones Long LaSalle Country Head Mr. David Leechiu are among the guests and resource persons during the opening of the conference guided by its theme “RSRs:RDCs’ Crucial Partners in the Pursuit of Inclusive Growth and Job Creation”.

Iloilo’s heritage zone Calle Real seen to attract more businesses

(PNA), JBP/AJPETINGLAY/VLO

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 11 (PNA) -- The National Historical Commission of the Philippines' (NHCP) declaration of Calle Real -- considered to be Iloilo city’s business district -- as a heritage zone on Aug. 8 is expected to attract more businesses to situate in the area.

Charles Salazar of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Subcommittee on Cultural Heritage, last Friday said the declaration would be attractive to businessmen for it would add character to their companies being situated in a heritage zone.

He likewise said that after the declaration the NCCA will now consider the area as priority for their funding in the restoration of historical sites.

”The declaration is a recognition of the efforts to preserve the district in the city,” Salazar contended.

He said that there are other local government units that even push for preservation even without the national declaration because of the positive gains it could have.

Iloilo City Councillor Jason Gonzales has shared this idea citing that when the malls started to sprout in the city, Calle Real -- that used to be known as the Royal Road because of the rich people frequenting it for their shopping needs -- experienced some set back that is why they are now trying to restore the prestige of the area.

Gonzales said that it is because of the historic significance of Calle Real that he passed the so-called pedestrianization ordinance of Iloilo city for the purpose of enticing more people to shop and experience the old downtown area where there are unique Chinese architectural structures.

The pedestrianization ordinance implements road closure of Calle Real from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Sunday starting June 2014 to let the people experience shopping among stores as in the olden days and see also the cultural presentations of performing troupes.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog also said that the declaration will further boost their effort to promote Calle Real.

Iloilo to export black rice

(PNA)

ILOILO – The province will start exporting nutritious black rice this year.

Around 500 hectares were planted with organic rice from June to July and will be harvested September to October this year, said Elias Sandig, Provincial Agriculture Office’s focal person for organic rice.

Some of the rice output will be initially exported to Hong Kong, Singapore and the Middle East, said Sandig.

Black rice to be exported are the Bingawan long grain black and the balatinao whose seedlings came from Ilocos Norte.

Organic rice is currently being sold in the local market.

Black rice has a shelf-life of one to two months but can be prolonged if properly packed.

It is being sold in the world market for $11 per kilo.

Black rice is high in nutritional value and is a source of iron, vitamin E and antioxidants.

The bran hull (outermost layer) of black rice contains one of the highest levels of anthocyanin antioxidants found in food.

The grain has a similar amount of fiber to brown rice and like brown rice, has a mild, nutty taste.

In China, black rice is claimed to be good for the kidney, stomach and liver.

Black rice is deep black and usually turns deep purple when cooked. Its dark purple color is primarily due to its anthocyanin content, which is higher by weight than that of other colored grains.

It is suitable for making porridge, dessert, traditional Chinese black rice cake or bread. Noodles made from black rice have also been produced.

NCCA opens cultural grants for 2015

By Lydia C. Pendon [(PNA), CTB/AJP/LCP/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 9 (PNA) – The National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has sounded the call for submission of project proposals for competitive grants in 2015.

The grants encourage cultural and art groups, academic institutions, local arts organizations and non-government organizations involved in culture and arts to submit and beat the deadline by August 31, 2014.

An NCCA team composed of Charles Salazar of the Sub-commission on Cultural Heritage, Reinerio Alba of the Sub-commission on Cultural Dissemination and Nino Selibio on Sub-commission on the Arts visited Iloilo City on August 8, 2014.

The team revealed the agency’s main function in the preservation, development and promotion of Philippine arts and culture and to administer the National Endowment Fund for culture and the arts. Financial assistance ranges from P50,000 to P1 million per approved project.

Individuals and groups interested with the NCCA assistance grants may submit their proposal to avail of the P5 million fund of approved projects in each 19 committees.Western Visayas was given ready access to the grants through culture and arts as the region has very high incidence of poverty and calamities.

Salazar admitted that the focus now is at the Guimaras aeta community in sitio Cati-cati, Jordan, Guimaras and other calamity-stricken areas.

The region has no regional office yet but there are volunteer individuals acting as coordinator of NCCA. They are Pilar Mejica, Annie Sartorio, PG Zoluaga and Fe Batiloy, among others.

Iloilo province has many national cultural heritage treasures. Among these are the churches of Miagao, San Joaquin and Sta Barbara and the Pan-ay church in Panay, Capiz.

The Iloilo City Calle Real or central business district of the city was declared a heritage site and national treasure on August 8 by the National Historical Commission with the unveiling of a marker in front of the recently rehabilitated old Villanueva building.

Caligdong in 2-day Iloilo futsal tournament

(PNA), LAM/AJP/ELTORRECAMPO/VLO

ILOILO CITY, Aug 8 (PNA) -- A two-day inter-football tournament which starts Saturday at the Iloilo Sports Complex Gym here has attracted five teams, and organizers have high hopes that the event will fill up the rafters with football enthusiasts coming from across the region.

Futsal, a modified version of open-air football, is garnering adherents the last few years in the country,and one of the more heralded teams in the competition is La Salle Green Archers spearheaded by Azkal star Chiefy Caligdong of Barotac Nuevo.

Other teams seeing action are San Carlos Football Club from Negros Occidental, Stallion Football Club of Barotac Nuevo, Jaro Football Club Iloilo powered by Korean students, and Lapaz Football Club.

Game opener is at 9 am pitting the Green Archers against dangerous Jaro Football Club. Admission is free, said Duffie Botavara of the Iloilo Football Club.

Esplanade to be part of study tours

(RP Sombero, Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City – The Iloilo Esplanade in Mandurriao district is becoming a popular tourist attraction, drawing a lot of visitors everyday.

The Department of Education – Division of Iloilo City is inviting public school teachers and pupils to visit the Esplanade during their study tours.

“This is a laudable project since at an early age, our children can learn how to appreciate our very own pride. People from other places take time to visit our famous Esplanade but some of us fail to do so,” said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

He also encouraged parents or guardians to bring their children during their spare time or family bonding.

The activity aims to expose children to the beauty of the Iloilo River and let them appreciate and commune with the environment of well-manicured plants or gardens overlooking the river, said Dr. Nelly Valerio, city schools division superintendent.

The endeavor will also allow one and all to establish a sense of ownership of a well maintained Esplanade and show awareness and instill commitment to the clean and green program and beautification project of the city covernment, she added.

The assistant schools division superintendent, division supervisors and coordinators, and 54 public elementary school principals were advised of the undertaking.

UN-OCHA to mark World Humanitarian Day Aug. 19

By Jaime S. Cabag, Jr. (JCM/JSC-PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 6 (PIA6) – The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) will celebrate for the first time in Iloilo the World Humanitarian Day (WHD) on August 19 with the Iloilo Provincial Capitol as center of activities.

Kenga Shandralingam, UN-OCHA head in Western Visayas, said they will be organizing an art exhibition to kick off the one-day event with Governor Arthur Defensor as guest of honor.

The UN-OCHA official said they will also have an art competition for children living in bunkhouses, blood-letting activity with the Philippine Red Cross, and musical event in the evening with SM City Iloilo at the said mall.

He said they will undertake these activities with the support of all stakeholders including the government, humanitarian community, and private sector.

Shandralingam said World Humanitarian Day is a global event that marks the 2003 bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad wherein 22 aid agency workers lost their lives.

A UN-OCHA infographic on the event said that in an effort to raise public awareness of humanitarian assistance worldwide - and the people who risk their lives in order to provide it - the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 designated August 19 as World Humanitarian Day.

WHD recognizes the humanitarian personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice in relieving the suffering of those in humanitarian crises.

UN-OCHA said that six years later, World Humanitarian Day has become a global celebration of humanitarian action. This year, they want to bring the focus back on the humanitarian workers as Humanitarian Heroes and organizations that risk their lives every day to bring relief to communities in need of assistance.

Shandralingam said all countries of the world celebrate World Humanitarian Day.

He and other representatives of UN-OCHA and international humanitarian organizations helping in recovery and rehabilitation efforts for typhoon Yolanda affected areas in the region participated in the meeting of the DILG-chaired Disaster Preparedness Committee of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council held at Iloilo Grand Hotel here Aug. 5.

NHCP to declare Iloilo’s Calle Real a heritage zone

(PNA), FPV/AJP/VLO

ILOILO CITY, Aug 5 (PNA) -- The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) will declar Calle Real considered to be Iloilo city’s business district as a heritage zone on Aug. 8.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, in an interview Tuesday, said that the declaration will further boost the local government's effort in promoting the city as a heritage and cultural area with the support from the NHCP.

He further said that the city government could ask for funding for the maintenance of the place once it has been officially declared as a heritage zone.

”Calle Real will become a part of the local destination to be visited during the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Conference),” the mayor contended. The declaration is also in time for the hosting of Iloilo city of the APEC by next year.

Meanwhile, Iloilo City Councillor Jason Gonzales said that Calle Real is historic for national hero Jose Rizal himself on his way to Manila from his exile in Dapitan trod in there and even bought a cap from the merchants. Rizal had also described the place as the “liveliest” because of the teeming businesses.

Chinese merchants constructed beautiful buildings with truly unique architectural designs along Calle Real that also used to be known as the Royal Road where the rich people from all over come to buy their merchandise.

Councilor Gonzales said that it is because of the historic significance of the area that he passed the so-called pedestrianization ordinance of Iloilo city for the purpose of enticing more people after the place experienced set back with the construction of the malls in other parts of the city.

The pedestrianization ordinance implements road closure of Calle Real from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Sunday starting June 2014 to let the people experience shopping among stores as in the olden days and see also the cultural presentations of performing troupes.

Bamboo basketmaking gets much needed boost

By Lilibeth A. French (JCM/LAF/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 4 (PIA6) - - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Iloilo has partnered with local government units to help restore the vitality of bamboo basketry in the province.

Since February this year, DTI-Iloilo has embarked on skills trainings that will help the bamboo sector of LGUs improve their traditional baskets to make them acceptable in the market.

Almost 100 people from the municipalities of Badiangan, Balasan and San Dionisio have undertaken the training which is also in support of the environment protection initiatives of the LGUs.

The introduction of plastic as packaging material has replaced bamboo baskets that have been used by many people decades ago to contain fruits, vegetables and other items during market days and even as storage of food.

DTI Iloilo Industry Development Division OIC Rachel Nufable said the use of bamboo baskets will be an alternative to plastic bags where excessive use and improper disposal of them pose a problem to the environment such as clogged waterways and drainage system.

With the devastation of typhoon Yolanda in Balasan and San Dionisio towns, the skills trainings are also expected to provide additional source of income to the people who were trained from the said places.

The skills training consists of bamboo preservation and finishing techniques to make the products acceptable in the market. It also involves the use or mix of bamboo with the available indigenous raw materials in the locality such as nito and other vines available in order to create good quality products to make them attractive for people to buy.

Bamboo bags or bayong that can be used as school bag, conference kit, shopping or grocery bag, fashion bag are just some of the target outputs of the skills training.

P38M FOR RIVER REHAB

BY FREDA MAE SORSANO (PN)

ILOILO City – A total of P38 million will be infused to the program designed to rehabilitate the Iloilo River and Batiano River whose neglect for decades has resulted to their deterioration.

The fund will be included in the 2015 national budget to be deliberated in Congress beginning August 28, said Secretary Ramon Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The Iloilo-Batiano River Rehabilitation Project aims to improve water quality and promote tourism activities in the two rivers, said Paje at the recent Iloilo River Development Council meeting here.

A clean Iloilo River would be conducive not only for boat competitions but for swimming, too, said Sen. Franklin Drilon.

The budget will help realize the Ilonggo Senate president’s wish, said Paje.

The Iloilo River is actually an “arm of the sea” or an estuary. It is connected to the Batiano River in Oton, Iloilo. The Batiano River is also an estuary.

From Oton, the Iloilo River traverses the Iloilo City districts of Lapuz, La Paz, Mandurriao, Molo, Arevalo and the City Proper, before emptying into the Iloilo Strait.

But the entire Iloilo-Batiano River Basin spans along the Iloilo municipalities of San Miguel, Sta. Barbara, Oton, Pavia and Iloilo City, according to the DENR.

For decades, both the Iloilo and Batiano rivers have similar problems – pollution, siltation and illegal structures.

With the help of Drilon, the city government started rehabilitating the Iloilo River in 2010. Illegal structures were removed. The river was dredged and a long stretch of its banks from Molo to Mandurriao have been transformed into what is now a tourist attraction – the Iloilo Esplanade.

Years of disregard resulted to the Iloilo River’s decline. At one point, was declared a “dying river” by the DENR itself.

Now, the rehabilitation efforts are starting to pay off. Fishes have started to come back at the Iloilo River. Tourists and businessmen have started noticing its beauty and economic potentials, too.

Plans are afoot to replicate the Iloilo River’s success in the Batiano River.

DENR has also made a commitment to donate a boat for Iloilo City’s “dream river cruise” tourism program at the Iloilo River, in addition to the solar boat donated by the 1Meal Program.

The 1Meal boat, 13 meters long and 4.5 meters wide, weighs 10 tons and can accommodate up to 40 passengers.

The city aims to put in place the program before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting that Iloilo City will host next year.

Paje said DENR has been chosen as lead agency of the APEC ministerial meeting on Food Security and the Blue Economy from October 4 to 6, 2015.

DENR has batted for the formulation of an Integrated River Basin Management and Master Plan for the Iloilo-Batiano River Basin. One of its aims is to address flooding and sustainable water supply in the city.

A river basin is also called drainage area, drainage basin or catchment area. According to the DENR, it is the horizontal projection of an area from which a stream or lake receives surface water originating as rainfall.

The effective management of river basin can bring many benefits as it would help improve the quality of living of the people through sustainable water supply, access to clean drinking water and income-generating livelihood program, said DENR.

Eventually, an effectively managed river basin will improve environmental stability and integrity, it stressed.

The Iloilo-Batiano Integrated River Basin Management and Master Plan, once implemented, can also help improve many lives economically as it is also seen to boost environmental conservation and protection.

DENR is the lead agency tasked to do an integrated planning, management, rehabilitation and development of the country’s river basins.

Campus journalists urged to write for social mobilization

By Leonard T. Pineda I (JCM/LTP/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, August 2 (PIA) --- Campus journalists are encouraged to write stories that can mobilize people and boost development in their respective communities.

In the campus journalism seminar-workshop conducted by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-6 held July 30-August 1, 2014 at Sarabia Manor Hotel here, Atty. Ma. Janet Mesa, PIA-6 Regional Director, said that student writers can utilize their campus publications to communicate development in their area.

“Development communication seeks to inform, educate and more importantly to motivate,” she said to some 350 participants.

She said that campus journalists can become development communicators who take an active role of mobilizing the audience.

“Student writers can help the government by disseminating information and writing stories of interesting developments in their area,” she said.

She also said that student publications can utilize the thrusts of the Aquino Administration under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016.

Under the PDP, Director Mesa said, the following development clusters namely economic development, good governance, climate change, human development, and security, justice and peace can be used by campus journalists as areas for the subjects of articles they will write in their respective publications.

This series of campus of journalism seminar-workshop included the following general modules for both college and high school levels: news and feature writing, journalistic writing in Filipino, sports writing, editorial and opinion articles, online journalism, cyberlaws/cyber ethics, photojournalism, copy editing/headlining, page design, and collaborative publishing.

The seminar-workshop also presented a lecture on climate change anchored on the advocacy campaign of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and PIA dubbed “Nagbabago na ang Panahon, Panahon na para Magbago”.

Iloilo City to host int'l UEA Summit in 2015

By Lydia C. Pendon [(PNA), LAM/AJP/LCPENDON/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 1 (PNA)-- City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog announced on Friday the hosting of the Urban Environmental Accord (UEA) Summit slated two weeks before the Ministerial Meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on September 2015.

Mabilog said the UEA Summit will be participated in by more than 200 cities all over the world in encouraging environmental protection and preservation of urban centers. The last summit was held in Texas, United States of America in 2013.

The city environment and natural resources office is in-charge of preparations for the UEA Summit in 2015 as a dry run for the APEC hosting.

The APEC 2015 national organizing council has chosen Iloilo City to host the SME Ministerial Meeting slated on September 21-25, 2015 to be participated by more than 700 delegates from 21 countries in Asia.

Iloilo City will also host the APEC Food Security and the Blue Economy Meeting on October 4-6, 2015 with more than 900 international delegates expected.

Iloilo City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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