Iloilo City News

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The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan.


No Iloilo prisoner gets VIP treatment

(Manila Bulletin)

Iloilo City - Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Region 6 (BJMP-6) Director Rex Delarmente has made assurances that no inmate in the facility receives special treatment.

Delarmente also said measures are being harnessed to make sure inmates would have no chance to sneak prohibited drugs and arms into the district jail.

The BJMP-6 official issued the twin statements amid the discovery of hotel-like prison cells equipped with high-end contraptionsoccupied by convicted drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Manila.

He however was quick to admit that previously, the Ungka Jaro District Jail fell into lapses when prisoners managed to hide gadgets like cell phones and deadly weapons in their cells.

But he said to prevent the repetition of such incident, visitors are now required to submit to bag inspection and body frisk.

Because it's holiday season, Delarmente said there is a standing order for prison guards to apply rigidly the inspection process twice a day so that nothing “irregular” is able to be smuggled inside the jail facility.

Irrespective of who they are, the official said no inmate here receives special treatment, and that “no inmate has the power to cast influence upon me.”

Traffic aides’ drug test results next week


ILOILO City — The results of the random drug testing on all traffic aides here may be released next week, according to the Transportation Management and Traffic Regulation Office (TMTRO).

A total of 263 traffic officers had undergone the drug test from Dec. 4 to 5.

Those who will test positive for drugs will be immediately relieved from their post or will not be allowed to renew their contract.

Drug use is considered a grave and major offense under the city government’s employee guidelines.

On Nov. 30, a 48-year-old traffic aide from Lapuz district had been sacked after admitting to using prohibited drugs.

He confessed when he was told that there was going to be a drug test among traffic aides.

A source from the city hall said the traffic aide has been spotted many times going to Barangay Bakhaw, Mandurriao district allegedly to buy drugs.

There are other traffic aides who are suspected illegal drug users, said the source who requested anonymity.


Meanwhile, TMTRO administration head Rhodora Katipunan said traffic aides will continue manning the city streets during Christmas and New Year’s days.

“They will also be present during the New Year countdown,” said Katipunan.

Traffic aides will be on their posts during their regular hours on the days toward the year’s end except on Dec. 28, TMTRO’s Christmas party, said Katipunan.

She said they already requested Iloilo City Police Office personnel to substitute the traffic aides on that day.

DOH shifts Iwas Paputok campaign to high gear


ILOILO CITY, December 19 (PIA) --- The Department of Health (DOH) will utilize both scare tactics and positive approaches to convey its messages in the agency’s “Iwas Paputok” campaign this year.

In a press briefing, Dr. May Ann Sta. Lucia, DOH-6 Medical Officer III, said that in the past, the health department alternately used the two approaches on their campaign against firecracker-related injuries during the holiday season.

“This year, we will utilize both strategies in various information and advocacy materials targeted on young children,” she said.

In 2013, the DOH recorded 1,018 cases from 50 sentinel hospitals across the country from December 21, 2013 to January 5, 2014. This figure was 9 percent higher compared to 2012 which recorded 931 cases.

In Western Visayas, 78 cases or 93 percent of firecracker-related injuries were recorded in sentinel hospitals while six cases or seven percent were reported in non-sentinel hospitals in the region.

According to the DOH-6 surveillance report, of the 78 recorded injuries in sentinel hospitals, 43 cases or 55 percent were reported from the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC), Iloilo City, while 35 cases or 45 percent were from Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH), Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

Sta. Lucia said that this year’s communication campaign is anchored on the theme, “Mahalaga ang Buhay, Iwasan ang Paputok,” with the key message “Salubungin ang Bagong Taon ng Ligtas, Masaya at Puno ng Pag-asa”.

“This campaign aims to inform the public, particularly the young male population, on how to prevent injuries from firecracker use,” she said.

The DOH will also give advisory on the alternative ways to spend the New Year’s Eve and information about proper wound care to avoid tetanus.

The Iwas Paputok campaign has been featured in the DOH Facebook since the first week of December and this encouraged the sharing of experiences and photos among members; while the DOH Twitter account is also sending out tweets at least three times a day.

Ilonggos mark Lopez Jaena’s 158th birth anniv today


ILOILO City – This city and Iloilo province are celebrating the 158th birth anniversary of Dr. Graciano Lopez Jaena today.

The center of activities this morning is the Graciano Lopez Jaena Park, also known as Jaro Plaza.

Lopez Jaena, born on Dec. 18, 1856 in Jaro district, is the only Ilonggo hero on the national level. He was considered the “first Filipino propagandist” in the struggle for freedom from the oppressive Spanish colonizers.

A foot parade kicks off the activities at 7 a.m. today from Jardin Elena on Fajardo Street, the hero’s birthplace. The parade will end at the hero’s monument where a program will be held.

The Graciano Lopez Jaena Foundation is spearheading today’s activities.

Dr. Luis Sorolla, president of West Visayas State University, is the guest speaker.

Lopez Jaena wrote the satirical story “Fray Botod” in Jaro, which depicted a fat and lecherous priest. Botod’s false piety “always had the Virgin and God on his lips no matter how unjust and underhanded his acts are.” He reaped the friars’ fury.

In Spain, Lopez Jaena founded and edited “La Solidaridad”, a newspaper that aimed to galvanize Filipinos to into demanding independence.

In Lopez Jaena’s honor, Dec. 18 is a special holiday in the whole island of Panay.

Lopez Jaena died of tuberculosis at age 39 on Jan. 20, 1896 in Barcelona, Spain. He was buried by the Sisters of Charity in an unmarked grave at the Cementerio Sud-Oeste.

After the program today, there will be a general assembly meeting and election of the new set of officers of the foundation.

Power firm positive to reach 1,000 MW by 2018

By Lydia C. Pendon

AN OFFICIAL from the Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) said the company is positive to breach beyond 1,000 megawatts (MW) power in the Visayas Grid by 2018 following the construction of another power plant in Iloilo City.

GBCP Executive Vice President Jaime Azurin said Wednesday in the city’s media fellowship that GBCP, the main firm of two energy generation plants in Iloilo City, is building another coal-fired power plant in Iloilo City with 150 MW slated for commissioning by 2016.

The P15 to P16-billion worth second coal fired power plant will supply enough power supply particularly in Western Visayas and the whole grid, Azurin said.

GBCP is the owner of the Philippine Energy Development Corp. (PEDC), the first coal-fired plant in the city with 164 MW and the Panay Power Corp. (PPC) diesel power plant with 72 MW.

The GBCP is also rehabilitating and upgrading the 35-year-old first coal-fired power plant in the Visayas in Toledo, Cebu with 150 MW. The area is set to shutdown until March 2015.

GBPC is also slated to put up the first big biomass power plant in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental using bagasse by-product of the sugar industry in Negros Island.

The renewable energy project is a commitment of GBPC in launching the renewable energy development in partnership with La Carlota sugar milling corporation.

Azurin also assured development of new programs and projects to compliment with the environment and building clean and livable communities.

Metro Iloilo has fair to good air quality


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 16 (PNA) –- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Office 6 has rated the ambient air quality in Metro Iloilo as still fair to good based on the department's monitoring stations in different areas in Iloilo province and city.

DENR 6 Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) regional director Jonathan D. Bulos said that EMB has monitoring stations at the University of San Agustin, Central Philippine University, Lapaz Police Station, Oton, Leganes and in other parts of Iloilo where they get monthly report of the quality of ambient air.

Bulos said that with the results, which EMB consolidates monthly and then yearly, the air pollution problem here is not yet as worse as that in Metro Manila.

He said that the air pollution quality could also be attributed to less emission of polluted air by properly maintained vehicles.

He also said the EMB continues to advocate the use of liquefied petroleum gas among public utilities to reduce emission of pollutants in the air. He cited a large fleet of taxis operating in the city now using LPG.

Best of WV provinces in films


ILOILO CITY, December 15 (PIA) --- All six provinces of Western Visayas will be showcased in films through the Cinekasimanwa 3 in 2015, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT)-6.

In a media briefing, DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the culture, stories, myths, and tourist attractions of each of the provinces of Western Visayas will be the center of the films for Cinekasimanwa 3: The Western Visayas Film Festival.

“This is an attempt at making Western Visayas films as vehicle for tourism promotion and marketing,” said Catalbas.

The CineKasimanwa, which started in 2013, features films and filmmakers from Western Visayas. It is being held every first or second week of December.

For the third year of the film festival, DOT-6 and CineKasimanwa will meet with all tourism officers and provincial representatives in Region 6 and discuss about the plans.

“The top-must experiences and destinations in each of the six provinces here will be incorporated in the films,” she said.

“We look forward to CineKasimanwa 3 next year with eager anticipation that more positive things will come out of this, with DOT more actively involved, as well as the local government units,” said Catalbas.

Elvert de la Cruz Bañares, film festival director and programmer, said CineKasimanwa was created in partnership with National Commission on Culture and the Arts, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), and DOT-6 to promote filmmakers in Western Visayas.

“There are at least 50 film directors from Western Visayas so there must be a venue for these filmmakers,” he said.

He said our filmmakers are going around schools every December in order to promote Western Visayas films instead of Western films.

More groups to take part in Kasadyahan


ILOILO City — At least 12 festivals from different provinces will be vying for the championship title of Dinagyang Festival 2015’s Kasadyahan Cultural Competition on Jan. 24.

“And we are expecting more participants,” said Eden Deriada, chair of the Kasadyahan committee. “We have invited private schools in this city and are still waiting for their confirmation.”

For the first time, groups from the provinces of Tacurong and Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao will be performing as guests during the Kasadyahan, revealed Deriada.

Unlike Kasadyahan in January this year and earlier years, the 2015 edition will be a contest and not merely a presentation of cultures, said Deriada.

“Last year, we only gave prizes to the best performer,” she said. “This year, we will pick a champion, then first, second and third runners-up.”

Non-winners this year may be given consolation prizes, unlike in the previous years. “We have already proposed it to the Dinagyang Foundation,” she said.

The Department of Tourism, headed by Regional Director Helen Catalbas, will provide the participants P50,000 for transportation and other expenses.

“That is apart from the assistance to be given by the Dinagyang Foundation and the city government,” said Deriada.

Each group will receive at least P150,000 as subsidy. “We have also proposed that the subsidy for each group be increased,” she said.

The groups will have a minimum of 7 minutes and a maximum of 12 minutes to set up and perform.

“We extended the performance time,” said Deriada. “In the previous years, we noticed that it took time to put up their props.”

Last year’s candidates were only given 5 to 7 minutes.

A guest group from the University of San Agustin on General Luna Street here will open Kasadyahan 2015, said Deriada.

Among next year’s Kasadyahan contestants are:

• Banaag Festival of Anilao, Iloilo
• Kaing Festival of Leon, Iloilo
• Salakayan Festival of Miag-ao, Iloilo
• Manggahan Festival of Guimaras
• Kasag Festival of Banate, Iloilo
• An entry from Roxas City, Capiz
• Pinta Flores of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental
• Ati-Atihan Festival of Kalibo, Aklan
• An entry from Tapaz, Capiz
• Binirayan Festival of Caluya, Antique
• An entry from Bago City, Negros Occidental
• MassKara Festival of Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

Banaag and Binirayan festivals and the contender from Tapaz, Capiz are first-time participants. Pinta Flores was this year’s winner.

The West Visayas State University in La Paz district has also been invited to perform but is yet to confirm, said Deriada.

“We are looking forward to more festive and unique performances, as well as more colorful costumes,” she said.

DSWD-6 recognizes volunteers for relief operation


Department of Social Welfare and Development 6 (DSWD-6), lead by regional director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre, thanked more than 700 volunteers coming from different organizations who voluntarily helped the department in the repacking of relief goods in four established repacking sites in Iloilo for immediate food assistance to evacuees of typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit).

“We are thankful to all volunteers who made the relief operation faster,” said Macapobre.

The DSWD-6 established four repacking sites are located in the Sports Complex in Iloilo City and in towns of Guimbal, Cabatuan, and Barotac Viejo, all in Iloilo to fast track the delivery of family food packs in all evacuation centers in the region.

These repacking sites produced around 12, 000 family food packs everyday with the help of these volunteers.

These volunteers are composed of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries and parents leaders; Philippine Bikers; Army Reserved; Philippine Navy; The Guardians Brotherhood Inc.; Barotac Viejo Barangay Volunteers; Philippine Army; 604th Company; John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University; Department of Public Works and Highways; Day Care workers; Church of the Latter Day Saints; local government units, and private sectors.

Batangas, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro to enter into Sisterhood Partnership


MANILA, Dec. 12 (PNA) -- The cities of Batangas in Southern Luzon, Iloilo in Western Visayas and Cagayan de Oro in Northern Mindanao will enter into a Sisterhood Partnership on Dec. 15 to jointly advance their shared goal of inclusive and resilient economic growth.

The three cities are the pilot areas of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Cities Development Initiative (CDI).

USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Africa and Partnership for Growth (PFG) coordinator Eric G. Postel will witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the three cities.

As part of PFG, CDI seeks to advance the development of second-tier cities as engines of growth that is inclusive and environmentally sustainable and resilient through mutual responsibility and collaboration in the areas of economic growth and investment promotion, health, education, and the environment.

The Sisterhood Partnership aims to strengthen the links between the three CDI cities to share ideas and best practices on further enhancing the gains that they have individually achieved, the reforms that they have instituted, and the level of competitiveness that they have successfully put in place.

Mayor Oscar Moreno of Cagayan de Oro City, Mayor Jed Mabilog of Iloilo City, Mayor Eduardo Dimacuha of Batangas City, Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero, Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya and USAID/Philippines Mission Director Gloria D. Steele are expected to participate in the event.

Research findings intend to promote people's health - DOST


ILOILO CITY, December 11 (PIA) --- Research studies promoting people’s health in Region 6 were presented in the 1st Western Visayas Health Research Conference held at Amigo Hotel here.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-6 Regional Director Rowen Gelonga said that the health research conference, with the theme “Science and Practice of People-Centered Health Systems”, aimed at promoting the dissemination and utilization of health research results in the region.

“We are not just conducting research for the sake of research but we would like to emphasize that we conduct these activities to address the welfare and the concerns of the people,” he said.

He said that the conference was conducted to establish mechanisms to strengthen health research capabilities and encourage resource sharing among partner institutions.

Among the topics presented include Kalusugan Pangkalahatan, Research and Development Presentations, e-Tablet, RxBox, and Ethics and System Approach to Improving Philippine Health Care System.

On one hand, Imelda Olaguer, University Research Director of St. Paul University Iloilo, said that the health research conference provided exposure for students on how to present, how to answer questions, and how to go about different researches in the field of health.

“The faculty and students will gain most of the research methods and practices of other academic institutions and this provided an avenue for the public to have raised awareness on the agenda of DOH on health research,” she said.

Charlize Mel Marquez, a medical student from Central Philippine University, said that the conference enabled student researchers like her to disseminate community health issues.

“The conference is beneficial to make agencies and concerned sectors be aware of people’s situations and practices in the communities especially our study was based on our community exposure,” she said.

The 1st Western Visayas Health Research Conference held December 11 to 12, was spearheaded by DOST-6 and the Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (WVHRDC).

This was in partnership with the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and the Department of Health- Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6.

Iloilo City Archived News

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