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.


Ilongga represents PH in Japan arts festival

By Tara Yap

Iloilo City— A 16-year-old Ilongga student was the lone representative of the Philippines during the 2015 International High School Arts Festival in Japan.

Eouia Aum Gonzales Dueñas just came back from Japan’s capital city of Tokyo after participating in an exhibit organized by the International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC).

Exhibited was her painting “Amburukay’s Gold Hair.” That particular painting of Dueñas is a visual rendition of one of the female characters in the Hinilawod (Epic of Panay), the oral literature of the indigenous group Panay Bukidnon or Sulodnon who dwell in the mountains of Central Panay.

“I was very happy to share our culture as portrayed in my art work,” said “Dueñas.

Her participation in the international art exhibit began last March when she emerged as winner of a painting contest amongst students of the Philippine High School for the Arts, where she is currently a 10th grade student.

More popularly known as Om, Dueñas learned to draw and paint at a very early age.

When she was two, she could identify secondary colors and started water-based paintings with assistance from her father Guijo, an artist and photojournalist.

By three-years-old, Om was beginning to sketch and paint flowers, rainbows, butterflies, and dinosaurs.

Om began exhibiting works of art when she was four-years-old. “My Own World”, her first solo exhibit in Iloilo featured 21 acrylic paintings.

On March 2006, Om’s second solo exhibit dubbed as “My Dreams” also featured acrylic paintings.

By November 2011, Om had her third solo exhibit dubbed as “Iwag sa Laragway.” It featured pastels on paper boards.

Aside from her solo exhibits, Om also won the 2007 painting contest that was part of the European Commission’s Global Gender Equality project.


Engineers, architects urged to build quake-resistant houses

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) urged engineers and architects to help people build earthquake-proof houses, as it conducted a forum on earthquake risk reduction and disaster preparedness Friday.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum challenged engineers and architects to give back to their communities and get involved by designing and building houses that can withstand an earthquake.

Solidum was the main speaker in the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s second quarter meeting and earthquake disaster awareness forum held on July 3 at the Iloilo Grand Hotel.

He said there are technologies today that can help houses nearly earthquake-resistant and housing materials used, such as hollow blocks and reinforcement bars should also conform to safety measures.

The local government units (LGUs) must ensure house building safety even if it’s the building owner’s responsibility. The LGUs should help potential victims of earthquakes and protect the families as part of its governance development, he added.

The Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) has a checklist on standard materials while the regional disaster risk reduction management council should lead in the survey of safe houses and buildings.

“The major goal is to develop governance and business buildings and houses must be earthquake-resistant”, the Philvolcs chief said.

Solidum also pointed out the presence of West Panay fault line, which is the major earthquake generator in Western Visayas.

The municipalities near the West Panay Fault are the towns of Ibajay, Malinao, Madalag in the province of Aklan; Pandan in Antique; Jamindan and Tapaz in Capiz; and Lambunao, Janiuay, Maasin, Alimodian, Tubungan, Leon, Igbaras, Miagao and San Joaquin in the province of Iloilo.

However, warning is up in Iloilo City, Kalibo in Aklan, Roxas City in Capiz and San Jose in Antique as these areas have rivers prone to liquefaction and possible road fissures. Where there are rivers, there is liquefaction underground that may start ground rupture and ground shaking to earthquakes and landslides.

Solidum also said that Western Visayas tsunamis are mostly related to earthquakes, adding that southern Iloilo and Antique may have tsunamis two to four meters high.

More skills training eyed to boost IT industry in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, July 2 (PNA) -- Western Visayas is positioning itself for the continuous growth of the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry in the region by seeing to it that it could meet the manpower requirement of around 12,000.

In line with this, through a resolution that was enacted by the Economic Development Committee (EDC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC) has urged the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) to expand its training for work scholarship program (TWSP) on IT.

Data from the RDC disclosed that IT-BPO investment in the region has increased from PHP6 billion in 2012 to PHP11 billion in 2015, thereby creating 142,000 indirect jobs.

Currently, TESDA has 200 TWSP vouchers for IT courses.

The EDC in a resolution submitted to the RDC cited that increasing the number of vouchers “will improve the skills of more individuals and increase their eligibility for employment in the IT-BPO industry.”

DENR-DPWH Roadside tree planting, answer to tree-cutting

By Lilibeth A. French

ILOILO CITY, July 1 (PIA6) - - The regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH in Western Visayas have agreed to further enhance their partnership in the tree planting and growing along roadsides of the region.

DENR 6 Director Jim Sampulna and DPWH 6 Director Edilberto Tayao formalized the agreement with the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Tuesday, June 30, at the DPWH 6 Conference Room here. DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations Demetrio Ignacio, Jr. and DPWH Undersecretary for Technical Services Raul Asis also signed as witnesses to the MOA.

In his message, Ignacio commended the DPWH for the initiative and hoped that this will be replicated nationwide.

He said roadside tree cutting has become a major issue in infrastructure projects “maraming infrastructure projects natin, yong pinakamalalaki yan po ay naantala, nadedelay yan dahil sa isyu ng tree cutting.

Ignacio said the roadside tree planting activity of the DPWH is an ideal solution to the roadside tree cutting problem.

“Mawawala ang problema sa tree cutting sa roadside kung ang DPWH ang magtatanim dahil alam niyo kung saan magtatanim,” said Ignacio.

Under the agreement, DENR shall assist the DPWH in the survey and mapping of identified areas in the determination of appropriate species to be planted which it will provide. It will also provide technical assistance to the DPWH in their tree planting and growing activities and assist in the conduct of periodic monitoring and documentation of the said tree plantation.

On its part, DPWH in coordination with DENR will identify and conduct survey and mapping of roadsides that will be subjected to tree planting activities it will undertake as an integral part of its regular road maintenance program. It will also maintain a close coordination with DENR in the implementation of the activity. Likewise, conduct a periodic monitoring and decumentation of the established plantations.

The initiative is also in accordance with DPWH Department Order No. 15 series of 2000 and DPWH being a partner of DENR in the implementation of the National Greening Program as mandated under Executive Order No. 26 issued by President Benigno Aquino III.

DPWH Department Order No. 15 makes the planting of trees along national roads as a standard component of all road construction and improvement projects requiring the inclusion of said activity to the engineering design, program of work, estimates budget, and bidding and contract documents of these projects.

All the provincial and city environment and natural resources officers of DENR and district engineers of DPWH in the region are also involve to ensure that the implementation of the program at the field level will be successful.

The joint efforts seeks to address the following: to add value to urban areas; to mitigate climate change; to enhance beauty of the roadside; to provide shed to commuters; and to minimize glare from sunlight to drivers along the roads. (JCM/LAF/PIA-Iloilo)

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TESDA holds regional Korean speech contest


ILOILO CITY, June 30 (PNA) -- The Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) Regional Office 6 held a Korean speech Ccntest recently at the West Visayas State University.

Michelle S. Song, a 31-year-old mother of two, won first place and the chance to join in the 4th national contest at the Women’s Center, TESDA Main Headquarters in Taguig, Manila on July 4, 2015. She received a certificate and PHP10,000 cash plus free travel and accommodation in Manila.

Second prize winner was Michael Francis Braga and third prize winner was Bryan Rosete. Both work as English tutors for Koreans. They were each given PHP5,000 and PHP3,000, respectively.

Held in partnership with the Korean Community Association (KCA) in the Philippines and the Korean Cultural Center (KCC), the contest was intended to promote the Korean language to Filipinos who are seeking job opportunities in Korea. This is also in line with the skills enhancement program of TESDA under the leadership of Sec. Joel Villanueva.

This was the first time the contest was held in Iloilo City.

RDC Western Visayas eyes improvements in city roads

By Lydia C. Pendon

The Regional Development Council (RDC) Western Visayas said that it is eyeing for improvements in Iloilo City roads.

The RDC requested the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to conduct regular anti-over speeding operations along the newly completed President Corazon S. Aquino Avenue in Iloilo City.

RDC co-chair Ro-Ann Bacal, concurrent regional director of the National Economic Authority, admitted that many accidents happen along this avenue.

In line with this, Iloilo will soon implement the speed limit for all types of motor vehicles within the territorial boundaries of the city. An allowable speed of 30 to 60 kilometers per hour are designated for passenger automobiles and motorcycles while trucks and buses are limited to 50 kilometers per hour in certain areas.

The council also asked the Department of Public Works and Highways regional office to install road safety devices, signs and structures in the area.

The City government is also planning to ask the national road board for funding of street lights in three road intersections along the Corazon Aquino Avenue to avoid accidents in these intersections.

The road project is a component of the improvement and widening of circumferential road aimed to reduce traffic congestion and provide a smooth access to the new Iloilo International Airport, new business centers and opening up of new areas within the city.

Iloilo City: Moment and memory

By Hazel P. Villa (PN)


WITH the aim of capturing the essence of past and present Iloilo City through the eyes of visual artists, the Iloilo Convention and Visitors Bureau (ICVB) will launch the 1st Iloilo Art Prize on June 29, 2015 at the Business Room of the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center.

An entry must be an oil-based or acrylic painting on an 18 x 24 canvas stretched on a box frame and must revolve around the theme, “Iloilo City: Moment and Memory.”

A participant must be a Filipino citizen aged 18 years and above on the dates of submission which are July 1 to 31, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the La Fiesta Hotel, M.H. del Pilar Street, Iloilo City.

The first prize is P20,000, second prize is P15,000, and third prize is P10,000, with winning artists consenting to the replication of their work as stipulated in the competition rules and regulations.

The 1st Iloilo Art Prize is organized by the ICVB in cooperation with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, the Department of Tourism and the St. Therese MTC Colleges.

“The price of the replicated work will be determined by the artist and the buyer who will be duly designated by the ICVB wherein the ICVB is entitled to 10 percent of the price agreed upon by the artist and the buyer,” said the competition rules and regulations, adding the proviso that winning entries will be the property of ICVB but with the artist retaining intellectual property rights.

Moreover, the ICVB emphasized that the artwork to be submitted or portions thereof should not have been entered in any other painting or design competition, nor ever commercially printed or published in any form; members of the ICVB Board of Directors including their relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity and affinity are disqualified from joining the competition.

Moreover, participants consent that their works be selected as part of the ICVB Iloilo Art Prize Exhibit, which will be held between August and October 2015 in selected hotels and malls.

Entry forms are available at V & P Digital Worx Co., Sto. Rosario Street, Iloilo City (behind Perla Insurance). Inquiries may be made at the same office via telephone number 300-1387 (please look for Daisy) and email address

Iloilo City councilor recommends demolition of 'useless' flyover to reduce traffic jam

(Philippines News Agency)

ILOILO CITY - Iloilo City Council Plaridel Nava has recommended the demolition of a “useless” flyover project built under the Presidential Bridge Program during the Arroyo administration in 2008 as a long-term solution to the severe traffic congestion in the city proper here.

The other long-term solutions he proposed include the road widening and construction of alternative roads so that commuters will have a leeway in using these roads.

Nava, chairman of the city council committee on transportation, pointed to the multi-million peso flyover project along the busy Gen. Luna and Jalandoni streets as seldom used and useless that only adds to traffic congestion and woes of commuters in the city.

He said he was informed the city government never asked for the flyover project nor was consulted by the national government. But people from the national office went ahead and built the flyover, which until today is not appreciated by city residents.

Other proposed solutions

The short- and medium-term solutions include the strict and consistent implementation of traffic rules and regulations; apprehension of on-road and illegal parking, "trisikad" and tricycle operating in the national highway; demolition and removal of illegal structures in the streets; deployment of traffic enforcers in the area of concern; turning off the traffic lights during peak and rush hours; installation of traffic signages; appointment of a permanent chief of the transport management and traffic regulation office (TMTRO); establishing new loading and unloading areas for PUJs; regulation of infrastructure projects; and coordination of TMTRO, LTO and Iloilo City police office in the implementation of traffic ordinances.

In a privilege speech on June 23, Nava admitted having submitted several proposals to city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to at least help decongest the traffic situation here. Among the proposals include the possible relocation of the Jalandoni flyover to the intersection of Taft North Mandurriao and El 98 Jaro, and the reduction of the seven islands along Bonifacio Drive fronting the provincial capitol, among others.

On the other hand, Nava said the city council has slated a public hearing and consultation on June 26 at the session hall to discuss the burgeoning problems caused by the city traffic lights installed in nine busy street intersections in the city proper, Molo, Mandurriao, La Paz, and Jaro districts.

The city councilor said he filed a resolution and approved unanimously by the city council calling for an inquiry on the installation of the traffic lights. No less than the General Services Office head Joren Sartorio confirmed that P29 million has already been spent for the traffic lights, Nava said.

He said there has been a no updated feasibility study and survey on the traffic lights installation, no consultation or discussion, no social experimentation, improper timing of signals, and improper distance of traffic lights.

To his surprise, Nava said more traffic lights have been installed which created negative reactions from the transport groups and private motorists due to lack of feasibility and necessity in at least three areas.

Nava said he is inviting stakeholders such as public transport groups, some city government officials, installers and suppliers of the traffic lights to come and participate in the discussion.

Iloilo town to host Light of Peace rite in August


ILOILO CITY: The town of San Enrique, Iloilo, some 61 kilometers east of Iloilo City, will host the third Light of Peace ceremony slated on August 29, 2015 featuring some 10,000 to 15,000 lighted candles signifying inner peace and brotherhood of mankind. Mayor Ramona Go of San Enrique said a memorandum of agreement was signed between the organizer Middle Way Meditation Institute of Thai monks and the local government unit and provincial government officials on Thursday at the Iloilo capitol to launch the program in the town.

NGAs mark Arbor Day with tree planting

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

ILOILO CITY, June 25 (PIA) --- Various national government agencies here converged to plant tree seedlings in observance of Philippine Arbor Day which is celebrated every June 25.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-6 Regional Director Jim Sampulna said that the Arbor Day is an opportunity for those in government service to plant trees.

“We should be reminded of the importance of trees in our life as we are also enjoined by the President of the country to plant at least ten trees every year for a period of six years as part of the National Greening Program (NGP),” he said.

The NGP is a massive forest rehabilitation program of the government established by virtue of Executive Order No. 26 issued on Feb. 24, 2011 by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

It seeks to grow 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares nationwide within a period of six years, from 2011 to 2016.

Meanwhile, Arbor Day in the Philippines has been institutionalized to be observed every June 25 throughout the nation by planting trees and ornamental plants and other forms of relevant activities.

The necessity to promote a healthier ecosystem for the people through the rehabilitation and re-greening of the environment was stressed in Proclamation No. 643 that amended Proclamation No. 396, s. 2003.

Proclamation No. 396 enjoined the “active participation of all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations, private sector, schools, civil society groups and the citizenry in tree planting activity”.

On one hand, some 580 “golden shower” tree seedlings were planted along the Corazon Aquino Avenue here for the Arbor Day celebration spearheaded by DENR-6.

Cervical cancer vaccination open to grade 4 kids

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

ILOILO CITY, June 24 (PIA) --- The Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas said that Grade 4 female students in all public schools in Iloilo and Negros Occidental can avail themselves of free anti-cervical cancer vaccination starting August.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is part of the school-based immunization program of the DOH dubbed “Bakunang Tuloy-Tuloy para sa Malusog na Batang Pinoy”.

Dr. Renilyn Reyes, DOH-6 Family and Nutrition Cluster Head, said that the HPV vaccination will only be implemented in 20 provinces in the country with high poverty magnitude which include Iloilo and Negros Occidental.

“The vaccination will be administered to grade 4 female students aged 9 to 13 years old,” she said.

She emphasized that students need to get consent from their parents to avail of the two doses of the HPV vaccine within 6 months.

Based on the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO), early adolescence is the best time to get vaccinated since there is no exposure yet to the virus. It is also at this time that the body mounts the highest immune response to vaccination.

The HPV vaccine is also recommended before young girls become sexually active.

Cervical cancer, which is known to be caused by HPV in over 99 percent of cases, is the second most common cancer in women globally.

It remains a public health concern that continues to threaten the welfare and well-being of women and the population as a whole.

In the Philippines, studies show that cervical cancer is the third leading cause of mortality among females as it claims the lives of 12 women each day.

This makes cervical cancer control as one of the major priorities of DOH thru the National Cancer Prevention and Control Program.

LGUs to focus on nutrition month celebration

By Elsa S. Subong (JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, June 23(PIA)—The Department of Interior and Local Government has issued a memo circular directing all local government units from the provincial down to the barangay levels to participate in the celebration of nutrition month.

Dr. Marlyn Convocar, Department of Health-6 Director, said this is a relevant call as the local communities are enjoined to be vigilant about health concerns like good nutrition.

Convocar, who is also the chair of the Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC), said the circular should be taken seriously by local officials.

Memo Circular 2015-58, signed by DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, says the 41st Nutrition Month Celebration this July carries the theme “Timbang Iwasto, sa Tamang Nutrisyon at Ehersisyo.”

This theme, according to Nona Tad-y, regional nutrition program coordinator, said in the recent RNC meeting, that the theme aims to increase awareness on the role and importance of proper nutrition in the prevention of overweight and obesity among the people.

Further, she said, the theme seeks to encourage Filipinos to make positive decisions on consumption of healthy foods and practicing healthy lifestyle.

“In this, we expect the local officials, the academe and the private sector to put in place an enabling environment that promotes proper nutrition and physical activity,” Tad-y said.

The DILG circular has suggested some activities and campaigns which the LGUs and those concerned can undertake.

These are promotion of the 10 Kumainments, the simplified messages of the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos; conduct of seminars, fora; dissemination of advocacy materials through all forms of media, including social media; and, promotion of Pinggang Pinoy, developed by the NNC, FNRI and DOH.

Further, the circular also suggested the conduct of “Belly Gud for Health” of the DOH, where a contest where personnel are encouraged to reduce their waist by holding a contest. Likewise, the circular encourages that healthy food options in office canteens should be ensured also.

RNC Chair Convocar said all member-agencies of the committee should be in the front line of initiating activities to promote the celebration of Nutrition Month and its theme.

Thai faculty, students at WVSU on exchange program


ILOILO City – Three faculty members and five students of the Kamphaeng Phet Rajabhat University (KPRU) of Thailand are currently at the West Visayas State University (WVSU) on a Faculty and Student Exchange Program that started on June 20 and ends on June 24.

WVSU has a memorandum of understanding with KPRU inked last August 2013 that will allow the universities, both having strong teacher education programs, to undertake academic exchange of students following the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific rules and regulations.

Led by Choowit Chaibao, head of the KPRU Social Study Program; Boonloom Duangwiset, KPRU associate dean; and Phimchanok Neryplub, KPRU English Program instructor, the program consists of a WVSU campus tour and local studies focusing on Ilonggo heritage and natural resources, as well as observation of English classes and a research forum.

The Exchange Program is hosted by the WVSU College of Education (COE) that also hosted the Thai awardees of the 2014 Thai-Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Student Exchange Program Scholarship last July 2, 2014, wherein under specified subjects, the Thai students stayed at WVSU until the end of October 2014 studying mathematics together with sophomore and senior students of COE.

ICPO’s anti-illegal drug operations gain ground

(Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City – The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) achieved a 358-percent increase in drug cases filed in court last year from its 2013 record.

This achievement impressed the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that it gave the ICPO with a Plaque of Recognition during the agency’s anniversary celebration at Hotel Del Rio here on June 18.

PDEA director general Arturo Cacdac Jr., who awarded the ICPO, also lauded the city police for achieving a 358-percent increase in drug cases filed in court last year.

The ICPO also posted a 200-percent increase in positive operations conducted, 151-percent increase in persons arrested, and 132-percent increase in illegal drugs seized in 2014.

“We are committed in pursuing a drug-free Iloilo City,” stressed Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

The city government had given equipment to the ICPO to enhance police mobility in the apprehension of drug pushers and users.

Currently, ICPO is spearheading drug-clearing operations in clustered barangays next in the districts of Mandurriao, Arevalo, Jaro and City Proper, following the successful campaign in La Paz and Molo.

Iloilo City Archived News

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