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.


Historians to gather in Iloilo on Oct. 22-24


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 8 (PNA) -- Nineteen historians from different higher educational institutions in the Philippines and abroad are set to present scholarly papers on local history in October 22 to 24 at Casa Real de Iloilo, Iloilo City.

The scholars will gather for the 36th National Conference on National and Local History to be hosted by Iloilo province, in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Philippine National Historical Society, Inc.

The papers will cover various topics, including the three papers dealing with the experiences of Iloilo and Negros Occidental.

Historian Iloilo Board Member Demy Sonza will discuss the history and relevance of reviving the Old Provincial Capitol building in his paper entitled Casa Real de Iloilo: The Tale of a Heritage Provincial Capitol.

Nereo Lujan, chief, Iloilo Public Information and Community Affairs Office, will present the paper The Life and Works of Pedro Casanave while Earl Jude Paul L. Cleope of Silliman University will present the paper One Island, One Region: A History of Dominance and Union in Negros Island.

Other presenters include Marya Svetlana T. Camacho, Clement Camposano and Grace Liza Y. Concepcion of University of Asia and the Pacific; RegaladoTrota Jose of University of Santo Tomas Archives;John N. Crossley of Monash University, Australia;Marcelino M. Macapinlac Jr. of St. Scholastica’s College Manila; Maria Nela B. Florendo of UP Baguio; Glenda C. Oris of Ateneo de Manila University; Nick Deocampo of UP Diliman; Rolando O. Borrinaga of UP Manila School of Health Sciences; Greg Hontiveros of Butuan Historical Society; Tirmizy E. Abdullah of Mindanao State University - Marawi City; Calbi A. Asain of Mindanao State University-Sulu; LabiHadjiSaripRiwarung of Mindanao State University Marawi; Marco Stefan B. Lagman of UP Diliman; and Analyn Salvador-Amores of UP Baguio.

Bernardita R. Churchill, president, PNHS, is the National Conference convener.

The conference will cap with the launching of Journal of History 2015.

PNHS is the oldest voluntary professional organization devoted to the study and research in Philippine history.

Organizing committee exec praises Iloilo's 'seamless, successful' APEC hosting


ILOILO CITY, Oct 7 (PNA) -- Iloilo’s hosting of 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings was “most seamless, most successful,” according to Junel Ann Divinagracia, executive director of the Iloilo Organizing Committee (IOC).

This was the feedback she gathered from top officials of the National Organizing Council (NOC) like Ambassador Marciano A. Paynor, Undersecretary Natalio Ecarma III and PNP director-general Ricardo Marquez as the city’s hosting of major meetings culminated Tuesday.

“We are deeply appreciative. We worked together for this hosting to be realized. We are thankful that it was very successful,” Divinagracia said.

Iloilo hosted the Strengthening Capital Market and Infrastructure Development meeting in July 23-24, Senior Officials Meeting for Disaster Risk Management on September 23-24, Small and Medium Enterprise Ministerial meeting last September 21-25 and Food Security Week and High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy and Related meetings from September 28 until October 6.

IOC deputy director Jose Ariel Castañeda said that “finances were managed properly” as he stressed that “we are the most prudent city as far as APEC hosting is concerned.”

“Our preparation was more than a year but we managed resources of the city government to be within the most prudent,” he underscored.

Ambassador Marciano A. Paynor, Director General of the APEC 2015 National Organizing Council (NOC) during Wednesday evening’s volunteers’ appreciation program expressed his gratitude for the collaboration and partnership extended to them by the IOC.

In his message, he cited that Iloilo now has a group that could properly host international meetings.

He also urged local volunteers to “pass on their learnings” to their colleagues.

Iloilo Plan of Action to boost earnings of farmers and fishermen


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 6 (PNA) -- The Iloilo Plan of Action will boost the income of farmers and fishermen by giving micro enterprises direct access to the upper level of the value chain.

Direct access to the upper value chain, one of the elements of the action plan, will allow farmers and fishermen to sell their products at a higher price because there will be no need for middlemen, said Agriculture Undersecretary Asis Perez, Co-Chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy, here Monday.

"Enabling fishers to directly deal with market is important," Perez said.

The Iloilo Plan of Action is also pushing for APEC economies to have resilient oceans, coastal resources, and ecosystems, which are prerequisite to sustaining production, the undersecretary said.

There can be no boost in production, which is one of the focuses of the Plan of Action, without seagrass beds and mangrove trees that protect the environment, he added.

Once coastal areas and marine ecosystems become degraded, small fishermen are the ones "primarily affected" because they will be unable to increase or sustain their production, Perez explained.

Member economies of the APEC have agreed to adopt the Iloilo Plan of Action, which focuses on three areas: (1) Resilient Oceans, Coastal Resources and Ecosystems, and Sustainable Aquaculture, (2) Fish Loss Reduction, and (3) Agribusiness and Blue Economy.

The Plan of Action will be endorsed at the Leaders' Summit in Manila in November.

After APEC, PHL to push MSME agenda in WTO

By Kris M. Crismundo [(PNA), LGI/BNB/KMC]

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 5 (PNA) -- The Philippines will be putting its agenda for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in a global level as the country pushes for discussions concerning the said industry in the upcoming 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In a statement on Monday, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the Philippine Mission to the WTO (PMWTO) submitted two documents on “Fostering the Participation of MSMEs in Regional and Global Markets” to the international organization.

Prior to the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya from Dec. 15-18, DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo recently attended the WTO Public Forum in Geneva, Switzerland where he emphasized the need to include MSMEs in the global trade.

The Public Forum is the WTO’s largest annual outreach event, which provides a platform for participants to discuss the latest developments in world trade and to propose ways of enhancing the multilateral trading system.

The event attracts over 1,500 representatives from civil society, academe, business, media, governments, parliamentarians and inter-governmental organizations.

Domingo noted that MSMEs should be at the forefront of trade policy making in order to open more opportunities for small businesses.

He stressed involving MSMEs in global value chains will promote inclusive growth.

Aside from the WTO conference, the Philippines now moves forward with its MSME agenda in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as the country is hosting this year’s summit.

Only on Sept. 25, the APEC concluded the 22nd SME Ministerial Meeting in Iloilo City with the theme of “Mainstreaming MSMEs in the Global Economy”.

The Philippines underscores the role of MSMEs in the economy as the sector accounts for more than 90 percent of total businesses in the country and employs over 60 percent of the total labor force.

APEC members agree on regional plan to ensure food security


ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Oct. 4 (PNA) -- Member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) agreed on Saturday on a food security plan contained in a declaration following the two-day meeting on food security here.

The policy declarations, which will be forwarded to the APEC economic leaders in November, have four priority areas: stock-take and food security roadmap toward 2020, sustainable development of agriculture and fishery sectors, facilitation on investment and infrastructure development and enhancing trade and market.

"Food security has come to be one of the most urgent and important challenges confronting the world, especially APEC economies," said Undersecretary for Fisheries Asis Perez, the chair of the APEC Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) Meeting here.

The Philippines, a predominantly agricultural country, has focused on attaining food security and rice self- sufficiency in the last five years under the Aquino administration.

This government goal coincides with APEC PPFS goal of attaining an institutionalized food system structure by 2020, that will ensure sufficient food supply for the entire region.

But having a secured supply of food goes beyond increasing production, Perez said, adding it also involves enhancing producers' competitiveness and having fair policy regimes that promote sustainable growth and recognize the participation of women, farmers and fisherman in the value chain.

Among the major agenda during the meeting is the major role that the private sector will play in assisting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) production process, which is part of the PPFS 2015 work plan.

To push this regional agenda, the Philippine government has been working to bridge the gap between the public and the private sectors, especially in the agriculture and fishery sectors so that small entrepreneurs receive the necessary support as they become part of the value chain.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, under the Department of Agriculture hosted the APEC 2015 PPFS meeting in Iloilo City.

Southeast Asian Fish Center showcases biotech to APEC delegates


ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Oct. 3 (PNA) -- The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) based in Tigbauan here in Iloilo has showcased to APEC delegates the biotechnologies that strengthen the production of the region's fisheries resources to ensure food safety and security.

Delegates of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group and the High Level Policy Dialogue on Agriculture Biotechnology visited SEAFDEC last September 29 and October 1.

Felix Ayson, head of the Aquaculture Department of SEAFDEC, said these technologies enable seaweeds to grow faster and produce Class A oysters, mud crabs, soft-shell crabs, and abalone in captivity.

Ayson explained that before, farmers could only grow 2 to 3 percent of seaweeds a day, but the technology currently being used by SEAFDEC makes seaweeds grow faster 6 to 8 percent a day.

The technology also allows oysters, which normally grow in clusters, to grow faster individually, making them easy to harvest and market.

Ayson also said his department monitors the environment in which these oysters grow, putting them in Class A category that can be exported to the stringent European Union market.

Class A oysters can be eaten straight after harvesting. They differ from Class B and Class C, which have to undergo relaying activities to be safe for human consumption.

Aside from seaweeds and oysters, SEAFDEC also makes sure mud crabs, soft-shell crabs, and abalones could be bred in captivity.

Soft-shell crabs, or crablets, are transferred from seawater to fresh water after molting, so their shells won't get hard.

In the Philippines, these are sold deep fried straight after cleaning and freezing.

Ayson said the technology allows these species to be produced in captivity -- grow in nursery to a marketable size in grow-out pens.

Farmers urged to organize as mechanization steps up

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 2 (PIA6)—Farm laborers and farmers themselves should form associations and cooperatives to avail of machineries and equipment.

The farm mechanization program of the Department of Agriculture through the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), distribute farm machineries, facilities and equipment through farmers cooperatives.

In the current APEC meeting on Food Security, PhilMech Director Rex Bingabing encouraged farmers to become service providers, as with their access to machineries, displacement of labor may occur.

When they organize themselves, Bingabing said, PhilMech will provide farm machineries, equipment and facilities, like tractors, transplanter and mechanical harvester.

“That way they can be called professional farmers,” Bingabing said. The farmers’ productivity can be enhanced for they will be trained further in land preparation, planting and harvesting.

“Moreover, they are more productive because they are managing the machineries,” Bingabing added.

The farm mechanization program is also intended to address post-harvest loses.

“When farmers have access to technologies, they would know how to be productive and prevent losses because of efficient processing,” the PhilMech director said. In an experience with some farmers in Nueva Ecija, PhilMech found out that post-harvest losses have gone down at 10-11 percent through efficient mechanization.

Biotech adds USD 200 million to annual income of corn farmers


ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Oct 1 (PNA) -- The Philippines is one of the successful models in the Asia Pacific for the application of biotechnology in crops, Chair of the Department of Agriculture’s Biotechnology Advisory Team, Saturnina C. Halos, said on Thursday.

Applying biotechnology on corn has improved the economic status of corn farmers, Halos said during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology Meeting here.

She noted that corn farmers using biotechnology have increased their income by USD 200 million per year.

Biotech corn farmers have an 8-percent income advantage over hybrid corn farmers, while return on investments can go as much as 42 percent.

The improved income of biotech corn farmers was mainly due to a 19 percent increment in yields.

Halos stressed that utilizing biotechnology in the APEC region could thus alleviate poverty.

She further said that based on studies, 60.9 percent of Filipino biotech corn farmers spend their income on their children’s schooling, especially university-based education.

“It means, those who can already send their children to university are already out of poverty,” Halos said.

“If you apply that to the current number of farmers, (a) big number of (their) population are out from being resource-poor,” she added.

In 2014, more than 400,000 corn farmers used biotechnology in the Philippines, most of whom started out resource-poor.

On the other hand, 79 percent of local biotech corn farmers use their income for day-to-day expenses; 46 percent for home improvements; 23 percent for farm capital; 4 percent for buying a vehicle; and 0.5 percent for leisure.

The Philippines is one of seven APEC member economies that utilize agricultural biotechnology along with the United States, Canada, China, Chile, Australia, and Mexico.

About 800,000 hectares of land are allotted for biotechnology farming in the Philippines.

However, biotechnology in the country is currently applied to corn crops only.

The APEC region accounts for 90.15 million hectares of farmland or half of the total land area in the world used for biotech crops.

“There is a continuing growth for biotech crops,” said Halos.

She added that there is a sustained growth of 3 percent to 4 percent, or about 6.3 million hectares of farmland expansion, for agricultural biotechnology globally.

Aside from corn crops, biotechnology is applied to alfalfa, eggplant, canola, cotton, maize, papaya, poplar, potato, squash, soybean, sugar beet, sweet pepper, tomato, rose, carnation, apple, beans, and sugarcane.

Iloilo City to create permanent housing for indigenous peoples

By Tara Yap

Homeless kept out of sight of APEC delegates

Iloilo City – After keeping local tribal Aetas out of the sight of delegates to ongoing Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings here, the Iloilo city government vowed it will expend efforts in providing them with permanent housing.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the city government is looking at formalizing the existing housing of a group of Aetas in Lanit village, Jaro district.

The Aeta community there is near the relocation site of former informal settlers displaced by various development projects.

According to Mabilog, the Iloilo city government is now conducting dialogues with property owners and hopes to reach an agreement for land where the permanent housing for idigenous peoples will stand.

Aside from talking to property owners, the city government is coordinating with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to help in the program.

Mabilog gave assurances that the city government is not taking for granted the native Aetas locally known as “Atis.”

The Iloilo City mayor pointed out that in fact, the annual Dinagyang Festival, which is held every January, actually pays homage to the Aetas.

Aside from the Aetas, also kept from the APEC delegates’ sight were native Badjaos from Mindanao and homeless street children begging on Iloilo City streets.

A number of these homeless children roaming the streets of the city were gathered and taken to the Crisis Intervention Center run by the Iloilo City Social Welfare and Development Office.

The APEC ministerial meetings here will go on until October 6.

Heritage jewelry captures Iloilo’s rich culture and history


ILOILO CITY, Sept 29 (PNA) -- Iloilo’s famous landmarks found their way among the intricate designs developed by Sarabia Jewelry, Iloilo’s trusted jewelry maker that has been in the industry for 70 years and been passed on to three generations.

Kathy and Kathy Bespoke – a keepsake jewelry brand formed under the partnership of Kathy Sarabia-Babst and Kathy Gregorio Añover- designed the collection as a tribute to Iloilo.

“They were specifically made for this APEC event,” said Babst, who belongs to the third generations of the Sarabias.

The limited “Panubli-on” collection was inspired by the neo-gothic St. Anne Church in Molo district; beaux-art inspired Nelly Garden Mansion of the Lopezes in Jaro district; century-old Miagao church; Jaro Cathedral and the historical art deco, Calle Real.

“They are individually hand-carved to create a realistic pattern of the leaves and the colors are cascading from white to light green to green,” said Añover as she described the Tree of Life Medallion inspired by the Miagao Church, which is a UNESCO heritage site.

The two best of friends flew to Iloilo from Manila to join an activity that was dedicated to the spouses of ministers attending the series of meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

The spouses program chaired by Iloilo City First Lady Marivic Mabilog, Iloilo Province First Lady Cosette Defensor and Ms. Gina Sarabia-Espinosa, wife of city vice-mayor Joe Espinosa III, organized a Heritage Jewelry Fashion Show: The Ilonggo Story in Gold to entertain the spouses while their husbands are busy attending high-level meetings.

Some of the collections were paraded alongside a “hablon” fashion show held at the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) and at the Royal Garden during welcome dinners for delegates of the 22nd Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM) and related activities.

An intimate lunch held at the residence of Gina Sarabia-Espinosa, however, showed a bigger collection of the jewelry that was on display at the Sarabia museum that also featured designs made by Gina Sarabia-Espinosa, Regine Espinosa and Mila Imson.

Everything about the designs of Kathy and Kathy Bespoke is personalized, said Babst who handles the logistics and production. Añover takes care of creative and marketing.

“Every time you buy our product you help preserve the art of handcrafted jewelry. Right now, everything is stamped, molded and mass-produced. So, with us, workers really make everything without these machines,” Añover said.

Aside from the Ilonggo heritage collections, Kathy and Kathy Bespoke had already developed other keepsake collections.

Babst said interested customers may choose the materials that they would like to form part of their personalized jewelry.

Disaster ‘text alerts’ prepare Ilonggos


ILOILO City – Have you subscribed to the Iloilo BLAST Project?

It is a mobile phone-based alert system that informs the public about possible impending calamities through text messages.

In the Iloilo BLAST Project, important announcements from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and other line agencies are gathered, verified then “blasted” to the public.

According to Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Carmen Rita Monfort-Bautista, a “BLAST team” verifies the information then broadcasts it through the Smart Inforboard.

The chairperson of the Provincial Board’s science and technology committee, Monfort-Bautista worked out this text arrangement with Smart Communications.

Information dissemination is important in disaster preparedness, stressed Monfort-Bautista on Reklamo Publiko program yesterday.

“It was my personal choice to take the committee chairmanship because I really wanted a different take on it,” said Monfort-Bautista who represents Iloilo’s 4th District in the Provincial Board.

Now, she said, Ilonggos can be informed of weather disturbances and other important announcements.

Those who want to receive text alerts just need to subscribe online for free or through text for a P1 fee.

Currently, the Iloilo BLAST Project has close to 3,000 subscribers, said Monfort.

She urged more Ilonggos to take advantage of this disaster preparedness alert scheme.

Meanwhile, Monfort-Bautista said her “Tulay sa Kinabukasan” adopt-a-school project has brought Internet access to students of the 4th District.

“Schools in the district were given Internet connectivity for two years,” she said.

The project is in partnership with the Department of Education, Guevara Foundation and Radiowealth Finance Company, Inc.

Schools in the 4th District also received a multimedia system composed of a flat screen television, digital video disc player, sound system, laptop, public address system, amplifier, and microphones.

Project beneficiaries included the national high school in Anilao town, Banate National Science High School, Barotac Nuevo National Comprehensive High School, Dingle National High School, Dumangas National High School, P.D. Monfort National Science High School, Don Jose Sustiger Monfort National High School, Dueñas National High School, Passi National High School, and San Enrique National High School.

Monfort-Bautista also chairs the Provincial Board’s committee on health and sanitation, and committee on youth affairs and sports development.

‘2 APEC meetings successful’


ILOILO City – The two ministerial meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held here were successful, according to Ariel Castañeda, head of security and local APEC liaison officer.

The APEC Small and Medium Enterprise Meeting was from Sept. 21 to 25 while the Senior Disaster Management Officials Forum was from Sept. 22 to 23.

The venue was the Iloilo Convention Center.

The APEC National Organizing Committee commended the Iloilo Organizing Committee for a job well done, said Castañeda.

There’s one more APEC meeting to be held here – the High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6, also at the Iloilo Convention Center.

The expected guests for next week’s meeting are more or less 300, said Castañeda.

“We will do our best to do better,” he said.

APEC is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies. It promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

APEC was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies.

An annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting is attended by the heads of government of all APEC members. The location of the meeting rotates annually among the member economies.

This year, the Philippines hosts the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and its ministerial meetings.

Apec adopts 'Iloilo iniative'

By Lydia C. Pendon

ASIA Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) ministers adopted on Friday the Apec Iloilo Initiative which seeks to give access to Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in international trade.

The APEC Iloilo Initiative: Growing Global MSMEs for Inclusive Development is the result of Apec Small and Medium Enterprise Ministerial Meeting held in Iloilo on September 21-24.

Apec ministers affirmed in a statement that the importance of addressing trade and investment barriers and implementing trade facilitation measures in order to provide a better business environment for the MSMEs.

They agreed that corruption and unethical business practices act as a significant market access barrier for MSMEs which disproportionately impact on their ability to succeed.

"We agree that APEC economies must continue to address these barriers, as they undermine innovation, job growth, economic stability and cross-border trade," the statement reads.

The ministers also acknowledged the important role that the digital economy plays in enhancing access to the global market and driving innovation for MSMEs and the importance of leveraging the digital economy to expand internationalization opportunities by widening access to the internet.

"We agree to launch the 'APEC MSME Marketplace' as a one-stop portal to facilitate access to information related to doing business in the region and to inform on projects and activities that promote MSMEs’ integration to international trade," the statement reads.

The ministers affirmed that they will work to implement the initiatives under this framework to maximize the benefits of cooperation.

Iloilo City to put up IP community

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) - - The city government sees to it that the welfare of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in this city are taken care of.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, in a recent press conference held at the APEC International Media Center here, said that the city is now into its plan of creating a cultural community for IPs.

“As a matter of fact, it is existing in one of the districts here, the district of Jaro. We are developing an IP community where in they will be provided with their own cultural houses,” said Mabilog.

About 60 of the IPs who used to be on the city’s streets are already living in this community.

Mabilog said the usufruct agreement with the owners of the property is now being processed so that the city government can put in some funds for the infrastructure needed.

Concerned agencies like the National Commission on Indigenous People, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Commission on Human Rights and the University of the Philippines in the Visayas were also tapped to help in the preparation and provide necessary support for the project.

“With CHR we would like to provide assurance to those beneficiaries that their rights are protected and at the same time their culture shall be preserved and protected as well,” said Mabilog.

The unique culture and heritage of the IPs are also given due recognition in the city’s annual festivity popularly known as Dinagyang Festival.

“The very famous Dinagyang which we hold every 4th Sunday of January wherein there are cheographed dances that follow takes into consideration their culture and heritage,” said Mabilog.

Some of the Dinagyang Festival costumes are currently exhibited at the dearture area of the Iloilo Airport.

Also, ongoing at the lobby of the Iloilo Convention Center is the

APEC Artisanal Exhibit featuring premier artisanal handicrafts in the city and the province of Iloilo. The event intends to showcase the cultural diversity and masterful craftsmanship of local artisan craft makers to local and foreign guests attending the APEC events here.

Iloilo City's secrets for being chosen as 'most livable city in the Philippines' revealed


ILOILO CITY, Sept 24 (PNA) -- What is the secret of this city for being adjudged as the most livable city in the Philippines?

According to Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, they have several pillars of good governance that has brought and made Iloilo City livable.

First, Mayor Mabilog revealed during a media briefing in the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings held here this week, is unity. This has enabled the local government to conduct and implement programs without any hurdles.

"Everybody in the local scene, the leadership especially the mayor, vice mayor, congressmen has the support of the provincial government of iloilo," he said.

"It is not difficult to implement whatever programs there are, that is before a political season," the mayor added. "We do strategic developmental plans, we have a very comprehensive land use plan we are implementing."

Second is political will to implement "what is morally right rather than what is politically correct."

"We have a cradle of great programs, meaning that this city government has plans and has a program that would be for the start from the time a child is conceived by the mother until the time this person dies there is complete social, education and even housing program that is already in place," said Mabilog. "All they have to do is fit into the program of the city government of Iloilo."

After the city's hosting of several APEC related meetings, Mabilog said the global strategies that they will learn and which will be formulated, "we, as host city, should maintain same status, we should adopt whatever policy that will be agreed upon."

With regards to the best practices during natural disaster that Iloilo City can share with APEC member economies, the mayor proudly shared them with APEC delegates.

"We have learned from experience during the devastation of typhoon Frank (international name: Fengshen) in 2008 that within 15 minutes time, water rose 10 feet and covered almost the entire half of the city," he said.

Out of the city's expereince, the city created a floodway that would handle the volume of water and bring it down the mountains and out to the sea .

Second, said Mabilog, they have observed most causes of flood is because of man himself throwing garbage everywhere.

"We have to do regular cleanups like every Saturday. we do weekly volunteer cleanups," he disclosed. "One of the biggest chalenge is a clogged river full of informal settlers. There were also fish cages that impeded the flow of water."

Mayor Mabilog said they "seriously went into the removal and relocation of informal settlers plus these illegal fish cages."

"Now we have free flowing river," he said. "Each time when there's heavy rain, within an hour water will subside because of clean drainage and waterways including a structure-free river."

Iloilo City is currently hosting APEC meetings on disaster risk reduction, small and medium enterprises, food security and agriculture.

Apec forum on disaster management opens in Iloilo


OFFICIALS from Asia-Pacific are in Iloilo City to discuss various disasters risk reduction topics and discuss best practices in disaster management.

More than 400 participants attended the opening two-day 9th Senior Disaster Management of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (Apec) on Tuesday, September 22, at Iloilo Convention Center.

This is one of the meetings held in Iloilo in which the Philippines is the host country.

Specialist topics will be presented by subject-matter experts on disaster risk reduction management hailing from international DRR agencies, more particularly the Asean Centre for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Management and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Office of Civil Defense are the host agency of the said forum.

Civil Defense Administrator Undersecretary Alexander Pama said there is a need for an inter-economy cooperation in dealing with disasters to ensure sustainable economic growth in the Asia-Pacific Region.

2015 National MSME summit opens Monday in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 21 (PNA) -- The 2015 National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Summit opened Monday in Iloilo.

The summit aims to create greater awareness on the MSME development initiatives in the country as well as empower MSMEs to become more competitive and innovative to foster their participation in the global markets.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said during the opening session that the MSMEs will easily fuel the nation’s nonstop drive for a better future.

“I am confident that the national MSME summit 2015 will unite, will encourage everyone to plan and have a political will in the national MSME community to do what is right rather than what is politically correct,” Mabilog said.

Around 600 participants from the different parts of the country gathered for the summit. Discussions that include the existing MSME development initiatives being implemented and proposed by the Philippine Government in collaboration with the private sector and development partners will be tackled during the summit.

Mabilog said that they are currently continuing to take the initiative and to partner to both the public and private sectors to come up with the MSMEs compete in the global competitive market.

Specifically, Mabilog pointed out that many of the graduates in Iloilo City have already put up their micro, small and medium enterprises and now playing important roles in the socio-economic development of the country.

“We maintained the growth of the MSME sector because we believe that the sector is not only a constituent of the economy but is also playing a crucial role in realizing our goal to make Iloilo city one of the top destinations and one of the best livable cities in the Philippines,” Mabilog added.

On Tuesday, the participants will be divided into two groups wherein the activities will be held in Bacolod City and Guimaras to expand the opportunities within Western Visayas.

The MSME Summit 2015 is part of the 22nd Asia Pacific and Economic Cooperation (APEC) Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Ministerial Meeting and Related Activities held in Iloilo starting this September 21 until September 25.

Iloilo City Archived News

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