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Iloilo City News

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Kids should learn energy saving tips

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

ILOILO CITY, April 24 (PIA) --- Parents are encouraged to teach their children on the importance of saving energy while they are young.

In the Earth Day celebration spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-6 held recently, Engr. Rex Debuque, Environment Head of the Global Business Power Corporation (GBPC), said that training kids on the different ways to save power will not only contribute to energy conservation but will also help protect the environment.

“Reminding the children to turn off the lights after and when not in use can already make a difference in saving energy,” said Debuque.

He said that children should also be informed of the household electricity consumption every time the power bill comes so they will be aware of what to do to save money and conserve electricity.

“Parents can also ask suggestions from their children ways to make the home more energy-efficient in order to lower the power bills,” he also said.

He also advised parents to remind the children to put only enough food on their plates during meals as a means to conserve energy and preserve the environment.

“Putting more than what you can consume will not only result to wasted food but also wasted energy that was utilized during the food processing,” he said.

He stressed that energy conservation is not only the role of the Department of Energy and the DENR but also of ordinary citizens consuming power at home or at work.

He added that teaching the younger generation the value of energy conservation now will impact on their lifestyle in the future.

DSWD-6 readies social pension for senior citizens


ILOILO CITY, April 23 (PNA) -– The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 6 is all set to start validation of at least 11,873 indigent senior citizens aged over 77 years old and targeted to receive a monthly social pension of P500 each.

The new validation to start in May will also focus on 940 families in need of special protection in Western Visayas under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program-Families in Need of Special Protection (MCCT-FNSP).

Wenna Bendol of the DSWD regional office said the special validation by the Listahanan is expected to legitimize the resumption of the payment of monthly stipends to senior citizen beneficiaries.

The special validation of the MCCT-FNSP beneficiaries will result in their inclusion in the Listahanan database that will guarantee their advancement to the regular Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Bendol said that for the first quarter of 2014, only 4,478 indigent senior citizens have received their monthly stipend after it was found that they are the only ones who are included in the database of Listahanan.

The suspension of the payment of the monthly stipends of those who are not in the database is based on the General Appropriations Act which includes a provision that only those in the NHTS list, now known as Listahanan, can be paid.

Presently, there are more than 32,000 indigent senior citizens in the entire Western Visayas. With the special validation, it is expected that senior citizens who are not in the database but were earlier recommended by their respective local government units be included in the Social Pension and receive their monthly stipends.

City council okays P7.4-M supplemental budget


ILOILO CITY, April 22 (PNA) -– The Sangguniang Panlungsod has approved without cut the P7.415 million General Fund Supplemental Budget No. 1 for 2014 but rejected the Local Economic Enterprise (LEEO) Supplemental Budget No. 1 for 2014 amounting to P15.34 million as payment to the Panay Electric Company (PECO) for electricity consumption from December 2012 to June 2013.

Appropriations committee chairman, city councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo said the General Fund supplemental budget will include the fund for capital outlay for Peace and Order Program in the purchase of three new units of L-300 vans amounting a total of P2.7 million.

Peñaredondo said the three vans will be placed under the city mayor’s office for use of visitors of the city and other emergency uses since the city government is hosting an Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) Ministerial Meeting by 2015.

General Services Office chief Joren Sartorio said the purchase of the vans will be placed under an open public bidding while admitting that supplier Avescor Corp. has offered the city government the use of two new vans without cost to the city as a way of helping the city cope up with its hundreds of visitors everyday including foreign dignitaries, top corporate and national government officials.

Other particulars under the General Fund supplemental budget are payment of terminal leave benefits of employees, salary, PERA and premiums, capital outlay for projects of disability affairs office, Breaking Barriers for Young Adults with Disabilities, peace and order program, documentary stamps, repair and maintenance of office equipment, fund for the city assessor’s office, city treasurer’s office, BAC office and local disaster risk reduction management office.

On the other hand, the LEEO supplemental budget of P15.34 million payable account for electricity consumption at the Iloilo terminal market was put on hold pending a copy of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) order to obligate payable accounts within the year.

City councilor Plaridel Nava and Joshua Alim claimed the payable accounts to PECO can be paid from funds sourced from other programs but the payment cannot go beyond the DBM order.

Nava said he doesn’t want city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog facing a case at the Ombudsman because of infraction of the DBM order.

However, Peñaredondo said the offices of the city mayor and the city councilor nor the city treasurer and city budget have not received a communication from the DBM regarding payment of the PECO payable accounts in 2012-2013 using the budget of 2014.

Iloilo Commercial Port Complex gears for ISO certification

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

ILOILO CITY, April 21 (PIA) --- The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is gearing towards the implementation of the Quality Management System (QMS) on the facilitation of Vessel Entrance and Clearance (VEC) procedures at the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex.

In the project launching of the QMS-VEC held Monday at the Iloilo Grand Hotel here, Engr. Manuel Boholano, Port Management Office (PMO)-Iloilo Port Manager, said that Iloilo has been identified as one of the key ports in the country working towards the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 certification.

He said the ISO Quality Management System (QMS) is being pushed by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in compliance with the requirements of Executive Order 605 which directs all government instrumentalities to be ISO certified.

The ISO 9001:2008 specifies requirements for a QMS where an organization aims to align work or business processes to consistently meet citizen’s requirements and achieve customer satisfaction.

“The PPA top management has declared its commitment to develop and implement the QMS in the Port of Iloilo” he said

Boholano said that the ISO certification will pave way for the Port of Iloilo to become globally competitive in terms of prompt but quality rendering of services for client satisfaction.

“The QMS-VEC procedure will have an improvement in the port’s core processes including vessel entrance formalities, assessment of charges, collection of charges and departure clearance,” he also said.

He added said that if Iloilo obtains the ISO certification, it will be the sixth standardized port in the country after Batangas, Zamboanga, Cagayan De Oro, Davao, and General Santos City.

Volunteerism new currency for dev’t


ILOILO City – Gawad Kalinga (GK) executive director Jose Luis Oquiñena said volunteerism is the new currency for development.

At the closing ceremonies of Bayani Challenge 2014 here, Oquiñena said volunteerism can tap massive resources from people that even the poorest can contribute.

“When we work together and we join hands together, what is built is not the school or a house but the sense of nationhood,” he said.

“Walang Iwanan” (leaving no one behind) was this year’s tagline for the Bayani Challenge. This was so, he said, because there was a need for Filipinos to be intimately connected to each other.

“We cannot be disassociated from the pains or issues of the people from Luzon or Mindanao nor they can be disassociated from the sufferings of the people here in the Visayas,” he explained.

He said Filipinos should expect help from one another when disaster strikes or when issues are being faced by our fellow countrymen.

Oquiñena lauded the “100 percent participation” of the 180 barangays during the city-wide do day clean up activity last week as part of the Bayani Challenge here in Iloilo City.

Aside from the city-wide clean up activity, the Bayani Challenge 2014 event also accomplished the following:

  • path walk build
  • house build
  • crochet workshop
  • health mission, and
  • paraisong pambata workshop.

Bayani Challenge is an annual volunteerism activity.

P212M allotted for TESDA trainings in WV


ILOILO City -- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has a budget of P212 million for technical-vocational training programs in Western Visayas for the current year 2014.

It is a substantial part of the P1.02-billion budget for the entire country.

No less than TESDA’s Secretary-General Joel Villanueva broke the news yesterday in a breakfast forum with the local media at the Amigo Terrace Hotel on Tuesday.

The lion’s share of the Western Visayas budget, he enthused, would cover TESDA’s Special Training for Employment Program (STEP).

Its allocation of P99.4 million would cover 4,356 beneficiaries.

TESDA in Western Visayas is now under the leadership of a veteran marketing executive, Regional Director Toni June Tamayo.

Villanueva revealed that through STEP, even the out-of-school youths from far-flung areas, may enroll for free in a skill training of their choice.

“Our office will reach out to the communities to attract trainees,” Villanueva said. “The vocational courses we offer will assure them of job placements as soon as they pass assessment.”

Even women in men’s jobs such as welding, carpentry and masonry are in demand abroad.

Among the successful trainees who have trained and received their national certificates from TESDA, Villanueva revealed, are more than 100,000 sari-sari store owners. These store owners have studied basic accounting, bookkeeping and accountancy.

Other training programs offered by TESDA are Training for Work Scholarship Program, Private Educational Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) and TESDA Emergency Response Rehabilitation and Recovery.

DOH lauds Iloilo for anti-smoking policy


ILOILO City – The Department of Health (DOH) supports concerted effort to make this city smoke-free.

“Iloilo City is one of the few local government units in the Philippines that have successfully passed a very comprehensive ordinance on tobacco control,” said Dr. Paulyn Rossel-Ubial, DOH assistant secretary.

She was referring to the Iloilo City Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance.

Ubial told participants of the “Orientation of Iloilo City’s Punong Barangays on Tobacco Control Policies” held at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center on Wednesday that Iloilo City is next to Davao and Marikina cities that have “excellent” anti-tobacco policies and campaigns.

Almost all of Iloilo City’s barangay captains present in the seminar agreed to help enforce the city’s anti-smoking ordinance.

The biggest challenge in eliminating tobacco use is not passing an anti-smoking ordinance but enforcing it, Ubial pointed out.

She added that nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco, is more addictive than common illegal drugs such as cocaine, shabu and marijuana.

The DOH also considers tobacco smoking as the No. 1 cause of fatal but preventable diseases in the world, including lung cancer.

An estimated 600,000 Filipinos die every year from smoke-related diseases, Ubial revealed.

The top two causes of death in the Philippines are stroke and heart attack and the risk of dying from these diseases is 10 times higher for people who smoke, she stressed.

The Global Adult Survey conducted in 2010 showed that 44 percent of the male population and 19 percent of the female population in the Philippines are smokers.

Around 22 percent of the populace, or one out of five Filipinos, are engaged in smoking.

“The percentage is very high and we hope to have it lowered,” Ubial said.

Meanwhile, the city government is continuously working towards the strict implementation of the anti-smoking policy, said Inigo Garingalao, Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Taskforce (ICAST) director.

The city government, through ICAST, is concentrating on the elimination of campaign posters and print advertisements promoting the consumption of cigarettes in places where teenagers are exposed, including malls, sari-sari stores, restaurants and eateries.

These ads are also banned in schools, medical facilities.

Garingalao said almost all of these ads have been pulled down, and a good number of store owners and barangay officials who know about the policy have taken them down voluntarily to avoid the fines imposed on violators.

The total ban on these advertisements is stated in the comprehensive anti-smoking and was based on Republic Act (RA) 9211, the law regulating the packaging, sale distribution and advertisements of tobacco products.

The anti-smoking ordinance also includes the following prohibitions:

(1) Not putting up “NO SMOKING” signboards in the entrance and interior areas of the establishments;

(2) Providing ash trays in tables within the NO SMOKING AREA;

(3) Knowingly allowing, abetting or tolerating smoking of any tobacco products or using electronic device systems;

(4) Designating Smoking Areas within the buildings or establishments is a smoke-free establishment;

(5) Selling/allowing minors to smoke in their establishments;

(6) Non-declaration in the business Permit indicating that their establishment is a smoke-free one.

(7) Allowing smoking during events;

(8) Selling cigarettes in front of schools within 100 meters as stated on RA 9211 / No cigarette poster, billboards, tarpaulins and promotion materials and the like;

(9) Selling of cigarettes within the 20-meter perimeter or recreational activities, hospitals, medical clinics pharmacies and laboratories and

(10) Not putting up “NO SMOKING” signs on public utility vehicles.

DOT eyes Iloilo River as anchor in city tours


ILOILO CITY, April 16 (PNA)– The Department of Tourism (DOT) regional office is eyeing the Iloilo River as an anchor of all city tours here.

DOT Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the inclusion of the river in all city tours notched a sustained implementation since January 2013 until December 31, 2016 and beyond.

Similarly, the Seven Bridges of Blessings tour to be implemented this year is based on the inspiration of great people and events while awaiting completion of bridges repair and development along the Iloilo River.

The amphibious bus and boat tour shall be used in all city tours to be implemented in the third quarter until the last quarter of 2015. The project was proposed to Senate President Franklin M. Drilon and the project is in partnership with the private business sector to present a bid for prototype and design.

However, the project will have to wait until further dredging of the Iloilo River especially under the bridges as recommended.

The cruise and drive tour within this year will start from Iloilo City for a tour of Western Visayas connecting the islands of Panay, Guimaras and Negros Occidental using the roll on-roll off (roro) ships and tour buses and vans.

On the other hand, DOT is now finalizing the express elevator project at the cityhall. Committed by DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez, the Php 15 million elevator was designed with budgetary requirements by the Tourism Investment Enhancement Zone Authority (TIEZA).

Catalbas said the tourism office is also planning an investment and tourism mission in Malaysia and Singapore proposed last week of May this year. Also, a two-week presentation and travel fair showcase is planned to be held at the Luneta Park in September 2014.

CAAP, MARINA say all systems go

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

ILOILO CITY, April 16 (PIA) --- The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) in Western Visayas assured that all systems are in place to ensure a safe and convenient observance of the Holy Week.

This is in line with the Oplan Ligtas Biyahe of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) that has instructed all transport agencies to take necessary measures to ensure security at terminals and stations, quick response capability in cases of emergencies, and enhanced facilities and services to meet the needs of our travelers during this peak season.

CAAP-6 said that they have set up information desks in all airports in the region including the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan town here since April 11 and will run until April 22.

The help desks are positioned in the arrival and departure areas with personnel ready to handle passengers’ questions and concerns.

CAAP-6 said that they are also conducting random airport facility inspections.

Meanwhile, MARINA-6 has also been conducting random monitoring of all passenger vessels in all ports in the region since April 2 and will run until April 18.

MARINA-6 has put-up public assistance desks that are ready and prepared to respond to any maritime incident immediately.

CAAP-6 and MARINA-6 are mandated to be on heightened alert during the observance of Holy Week.

For CAAP-6 hotlines, call 329-9500 local 3312 for police assistance and local 3287 for civil service intelligence. For MARINA-6 in case of complaints and queries, call 329-6490.

Iloilo breaks new Guinness world record for largest flaming image


ILOILO CITY, April 15 (PNA) -- Rain could not even hamper placing the Philippines, particularly Iloilo’s name, again in the Guinness Book of World Records for lighting up a total of 56,680 candles on a 20-hectare vacant lot located within the Savannah City in Oton, Iloilo, Monday night.

The lighted candles were formed by thousands of volunteers into its “Light of Peace” logo and its motto, “World Peace Through Inner Peace” with the Philippines map on its side while the other candles were also lit reaching the 100,000 goal.

The Middle Way Meditation Institute (MMI) of Thailand organized the event.

The country broke the record of Pakistan of 35,478 lighted candles four years ago.

Guest and former Senator Manuel Villar Jr. said our country has suffered from conflicts, violence and calamities but peace can be attained.

“We will continue the spirit of community beyond this event to continue cultivating that peace is possible”, he said.

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro said peace has been the dream of all nations.

“We should not stop dreaming big and very big. Every dream begins within. Let’s just watch miracle as lights merge with 100,000 candles”, he said.

MMI chairperson Anant Asavabokhin said no such happiness could ever explain experiencing the joy brought by meditation within. "Seeking happiness could be found in the center of the body and the everlasting peace that we are longing for has already come true," he said.

One of the volunteers Lilibeth Huergo said they are very lucky to be part of making the new record of largest flaming in world. She said as one of the homeowners, they are blessed to witness the event just outside their residence.

“It is very amazing and something that we are very proud of”, she said.

Since last year, Iloilo has started making its name in the field of world records for releasing simultaneously 15, 185 sky lanterns in just a single event at the University of the Philippines–Visayas Miag-ao campus breaking the record of Romania's 12, 470 lanterns released in 2012.

Iloilo is food-ready for APEC 2015


ILOILO CITY, April 14 (PNA) -– Business establishments catering to the food industry in this southern city are ready to serve some 1,500 guests and delegates to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 conference with Iloilo City hosting the Ministerial Conference on Food Security slated on October 15-17, 2015.

The Iloilo Business Club and the Department of Tourism regional office here, in collaboration with the Iloilo Hotel, Restaurant and Resort Association (IHRRA) recently finished a training on international cuisine designed primarily for APEC delegates.

The mentoring and certification on food preparation and presentation for APEC 2015 was highlighted by a graduation of chefs and cooks. However, the DOT said the training on international cuisine is ongoing as more business establishments in the food industry is sprouting in the city.

On the other hand, a seminar on the preparation of halal food is being planned for the first quarter of 2015. The DOT regional office, the city government of Iloilo and IHRRA will be on the front line in food presentation for APEC delegates mostly composed of Muslim country representatives.

APEC is composed of 21 member nations and only the Philippines is considered a Christian country while the rest are Muslims and other Asian races. The Ministerial Conference on Food Security is spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Similarly, DA Regional Director Larry Nacionales said that Western Visayas is a top food producer of the country and there is no fear of acute shortage of food materials for the specific needs and taste of APEC delegates.

Nacionales said the region is ready to supply food materials including halal food not only to the APEC delegates but also for the burgeoning international community and business locators in the city and province of Iloilo.

Digital media, climate change up in IO training


ILOILO CITY, April 13 (PIA) – The Philippine Information Agency in Western Visayas is set to facilitate training on “Maximizing the Use of Digital Media, Social Networks for Climate Change Mitigation and Tourism Promotions.”

This three-day live-in training will be on May 7-9, 2014 at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center, Iloilo City.

PIA-6 Director Janet Mesa said the recent calamities in the region have shown the importance of the digital media and social networks in effecting fast response, recovery and rehabilitation of hard-hit areas.

“The front liners here are our disaster risk reduction and management officers, information officers and even tourism officers,” Mesa said.

The training, Mesa said, is intended to equip these front liners with ample knowledge and skills in the effective use of the digital media and relevant applications.

Among the resource persons are Dr. Cedric Daep of Albay Provincial Government, Max Limpag of Innopub, Cebu City and a host of other experts, on topics like Blogging, Cyber Ethics, Infographics, Effective Social Media Tips/Tools and Mindset, Online Journalism.

PIA will partner with Smart Communications which will provide the speakers during the seminar.

“Smart Communications has always been supporting our training initiatives and we hope to make this work well with our partners in government agencies and the grassroots,” Mesa said.

Mesa added that it is also the aim of the training to develop among the front liners the confidence to use the digital media as an indispensable tool in their work, especially in promoting development through climate change mitigation.

For other details, interested participants may inquire from the PIA Information Centers in the provinces, or at the Regional Office through telephone numbers (033-3378719/509-09-93)

Citywide cleanup today

By Lucy Montealto-Sinay (Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City — All 180 barangays here and city government officials and employees will take part in a citywide cleanup today from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the activity is in line with Bayani Challenge 2014, the “largest volunteer action in history.”

Participants are encouraged to tie a yellow ribbon on their wrist, document their activity and post pictures on the official Facebook page created specifically for the event.

All the barangays will upload their pictures on the Doc Jed Mabilog Facebook account.

“Together with a million volunteers in 12 provinces, let us put our faith into action by rendering service to our communities,” Mabilog said in a memorandum on the cleanup.

Mabilog led the launching of Bayani Challenge in Ateneo de Iloilo yesterday.

Eleven towns in Iloilo province will soon hold their respective activities related to Bayani Challenge: Batad, Sta. Barbara, Concepcion, Sara, New Lucena, Dumangas, Carles, Barotac Viejo, Ajuy, Estancia and Pototan.

Organized by Gawad Kalinga, the event seeks to gather one million volunteers to aid in nation-building efforts for disaster-stricken provinces in Visayas and Mindanao.

Activities from April 9 to June 12 will include building of homes, repair of classrooms, mangrove planting, coastal cleanups and health missions.

The summer event has earned support from Malacañang, with no less than a memorandum from Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. encouraging the participation of all heads of departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the national government, including government-owned and -controlled corporations, state universities and colleges, and local government units.

Take the Bayani Challenge: Build and transform lives

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

ILOILO CITY, April 11 (PIA6) -- Gawad Kalinga’s 2014 Bayani Challenge through its summer activities is embarking on a journey to build and transform families, homes and communities in Iloilo affected by typhoon “Yolanda” and thus contribute to nation-building.

This is the gist of the message shared by former Ateneo de Manila University president and Gawad Kalinga champion Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, S.J. at the launching on Friday, April 11 of the 2014 Bayani Challenge at the Ateneo de Iloilo gym attended by hundreds of GK leaders, organizers and volunteers.

Fr. Nebres, who has actively joined Gawad Kalinga in its community activities since 2003, said this would be the ultimate triumph of the program and where families are bound by better and stronger relations with God, their own members and community and others.

Speaking before Fr. Nebres’ turn, GK Iloilo head Mary Rose Cacho said that together with its volunteers Bayani Challenge will not only build houses of survivors destroyed by the November 2013 super typhoon but will build them better and more beautiful.

And in keeping with the GK mission, Cacho said we will build lives, give back to the least, and empower the weakest through the bayanihan, which is a uniquely Filipino trait.

The grand opening ceremonies ushered in hometown activities that will bring Bayani Challenge to Iloilo City and the municipalities of Batad, Sta. Barbara, Conception, Sara, Dumangas, New Lucena, Carles, Ajuy, Barotac Viejo, and Estancia.

New Lucena was the host of Bayani Challenge 2013. This year, it’s Iloilo City’s turn to host the event. During the launch, Mayor Liezel Mondejar Seville turned over the GK Bayani Challenge host flag to Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Mabilog said the city is giving some 16,000 volunteers to the BC 2014 activities here. The GK San Isidro Villages in Jaro district and GK Uswag-Smart-PLDT Amazing Village in Sooc, Arevalo are the sites of Bayani Challenge in the host city.

The mayors and representative officials of the municipalities involved this year were formally introduced as part of the opening ceremonies.

Bayani Challenge activities will include house-building, Paraisong Pambata, health training, school refurbishing, balangay boat making, relief operations, river and coastal cleanup, psychological first aid, rehabilitation of GK villages, tree and mangrove planting, and building of artificial reef and marine sanctuary.

The event has for its theme “Walang Iwanan”. The nationwide program of GK targets to have 1 million volunteers.

Iloilo City Archived News

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