Iloilo City News

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11 capitol scholars get top honors

(ECGarcia, Capitol News/PN)

ILOILO – Eighteen provincial government scholars under the “Iskolar sang Iloilo” program are graduating this year with 11 of them getting the top honors.

Seven graduates will receive cum laude honors while four graduates will receive magna cum laude honors.

The Iloilo provincial government will give cash incentives to 18 “Iskolar sang Iloilo” graduates in appreciation of their achievements.

Magna cum laude graduates will be given P5,000 each while cum laude graduates will receive P3,000 each.

Graduates without honors, on the other hand, will receive P1,000 each.

The magna cum laude graduates are: John Frederick C. Bugayong (West Visayas State University or WVSU), Jelyn L. Clar (WVSU-Calinog), Jonathan S. Peñol (WVSU), and Lea Joy S. Sicabalo (WVSU).

Graduates with cum laude honors are: Arlene B. Ciudad (WVSU), Reeann B. Dailo (WVSU), Mary Ann E. Elamparo (WVSU), Jose Fretz H. Morillo (WVSU-Janiuay), Angelie Christine A. Pomado (WVSU-Janiuay), Frea Lyn D. Soberano (Western Visayas College of Science and Technology or WVCST), and Deverly T. Torremoro (WVSU).

The other “Iskolar sang Iloilo” graduates are: Julie Ann M. Aceña (WVSU), Emie Joy A. Balayo (WVSU), Charlie G. Capili (WVSU), Charlene Mae V. Centeno (WVSU), Lorly J. Conejo (Iloilo State College of Fisheries – Barotac Nuevo), Bryan O. Molina (Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College – Estancia) and Danrey P. Pagaypay (WVCST).

“Iskolar sang Iloilo” was established by Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. in 1996 to assist poor but deserving students in the province by providing them the opportunity to pursue college education.

It is open to all incoming college students who are bona fide residents of Iloilo province, belong to families with annual gross income of not more than P120,000 per annum, and belong to the upper 10 percent of the graduating class.

Seven scholars from each of the five congressional districts are chosen every school year.

The qualified scholars will have the opportunity to enroll in a four-year baccalaureate degree in any state university or college in the city or province of Iloilo.

Aside from free tuition, the scholar is also entitled to P2,000 monthly allowance, P1,000 book allowance per semester, and P1,000 clothing allowance.

Bikers to “light up” Iloilo city during Earth Hour

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

ILOILO CITY, March 28(PIA)—The Iloilo Folding Bike Riders (I-Fold) and Fit Stop will light up the City of Iloilo for the duration of the Earth Hour, March 28, from 8:30 to 9:30 in the evening.

In a media advisory by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources -6, these bike enthusiasts will be joined by environmentalists around the city thoroughfares, passing the plazas of Jaro, Mandurriao and Molo districts. Dubbed as “Earth Hour Ride,” the event seeks to make the public aware of the impacts of climate change and the importance of a green lifestyle, according to the DENR.

DENR Regional Director Jim Sampulna said the Earth Hour ride will not only create awareness but will also encourage the citizens to practice measures that will create significant impact on energy conservation, healthy lifestyle, clean environment and promote the city’s tourist attractions at night.

“We are experiencing climate change now so we need to adopt measures on how to mitigate its adverse impacts, on us and our environment,” Sampulna said.

He added that it is important to constantly remind the people of their roles and responsibilities in promoting activities to safeguard the environment.

The ride will kick off from SM City, after the walkathon representatives from national government agencies and other sectors, and the program ushering in the Earth Hour at the SM City Iloilo.

Earth Hour Ride is a joint event with the SM-City Iloilo and the Iloilo City government.

Iloilo now a Local Learning Hub for Gender and Development Mainstreaming


ILOILO CITY, March 27 (PNA) –- The province of Iloilo is now a Local Learning Hub for Gender and Development Mainstreaming after it has been recognized by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW).

Commissioner Ma. Paloma B. Papa of the PCW said that they gave the recognition to the province of Iloilo because of its Gender and Development (GAD) program that is now institutionalized and empowering women through skills development and education.

”We foresee it (Iloilo province) to be role model to other Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Philippines,” Papa said. The commissioner said that in fact, Iloilo province is just one of the five LGUs now given such a recognition after their assessment and evaluation.

Papa also said that the ongoing gender sensitivity program in the province is successful because of the provincial government using its resources to see women change as well as its collaboration with other groups such as the Junior Chamber International Iloilo Ilang-ilang that was launched also Friday during the Women Leadership forum the Search for 10 Outstanding Community Women Leaders in Iloilo.

The recognition of Iloilo as a Local Learning Hub for Gender and Development Mainstreaming was held during the forum which is one of the activities lined up for the National Women’s Month celebration in the province.

Iloilo City joins Earth Hour


ILOILO CITY, March 26 (PNA) -- Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog is enjoining all city residents to celebrate Earth Hour 2015 with people around the world switching off their lights on March 28 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

“We are taking part in this global campaign to send a strong message for everyone to take action on global warming,” Mabilog said.

In support of the movement, the City Government is encouraging the public to switch off or dim non-essential lights in their homes, including streetlights, signages and key monuments for one hour on Saturday.

Main venue for the Philippine switch off is at the Quezon Memorial Circle grounds in Quezon City.

Mabilog said even beyond Earth Hour, the city is already practicing energy conservation efforts like the use of solar-powered streetlights, LED-lights instead of high powered sodium street lamps, switching off of lights during lunch break and use of solar-powered air conditioning units at the City Hall, among others.

The Earth Hour campaign is spearheaded by the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature Philippines, the world’s largest and most experienced conservation organization, operating in over 100 countries through the support of over five million people worldwide.

WWF started Earth Hour to engage a mass audience behind the issues facing the planet.

The organization also helps communities adapt to climate change, switch to clean sources of renewable energy and instill sustainability into the lives and businesses of Filipinos.

Atty. Angela Consuelo Ibay, Earth Hour Pilipinas national director, said a record of 7,000 cities and municipalities from 150 countries observed the 60-minute lights-out for the environment last year.

“Since 2008, the Philippines has been hailed as Earth Hour Hero country for having the most number of towns and cities participating,” she said.

City sees stronger tourism this year

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

ILOILO City – The city government expressed optimism that the tourism industry here will be more formidable this year following the increase in tourist arrivals in 2014.

“We are committed to be a premier destination in the country with culture, heritage and the warmth of Ilonggos as part of our main attractions,” said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

“This year is an exciting one for us as Iloilo City plays host to the Urban Environmental Accord conference and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in September and October. Prior to these, a bike festival and international dragon boat race will spice up the tourism arrivals in April and May,” he said.

The local chief executive was pleased with the report of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Western Visayas, noting the increase in tourist arrivals for 2014.

Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the city registered 676,287 visitor arrivals for 2014, with same day visitors or excursionists totaling 156,985.

This registered a growth rate of almost eight percent compared to 2013 and has earned more than P12 billion tourist receipts, she said.

“This clearly shows our painstaking efforts towards effective tourism promotions are paying off,” Mabilog said.

The city has produced brochures and posters, set up a tourism information desk, arranged for city tours, partnered with the private sector for better tourism promotions, among others.

The mayor said Iloilo City is now a preferred convention destination and a benchmark city for all other local government units to learn about best practices in governance.

“With all the awards and recognitions and the many improvements in infrastructure, Iloilo City has become a by-word not only locally but internationally, thus encouraging more visitors to come here,” he stated.

DENR urges new ways to grow bamboos

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

ILOILO CITY, March 24 (PIA6) - - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) advised farmers to practice cultural management for optimum growth and to be able to produce quality bamboos.

Dr. Alice Lustica, Head of the Ecosystem Research and Development Service (ERDS) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that “we thought growing bamboos is easy but there are steps that must be followed for its growth and health unlike our practice here where we just plant but we do not apply cultural management practices”.

She said among the first interventions that they have introduced to farmer beneficiaries of the science and technology community-based farm approach projects that they are currently implementing in the five barangays of Maasin, Iloilo is the rehabilitation of their existing bamboo clumps.

“We taught them how to manage their bamboo clumps by cutting their old poles or culms that will allow new shoots to grow,” said Lustica.

She said project beneficiaries were also taught the importance of fertilization in growing healthy bamboos either using complete or organic fertilizers.

Harvesting bamboos at the right age is also an important factor of bamboo plantation management and if it is going to be used for construction, according to Lustica. She said bamboos are good for construction when they are four to six years.

Other interventions that were provided to project beneficiaries under the two projects funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development are nursery establishment and bamboo potted propagules production and technologies on post harvest/treatment, bamboo weaving, and bamboo lamination and production.

The fifty farmer beneficiaries from Barangays Abay, Bolo, Daja, Dagami and Buntalan, all members of the Katilingban sang Pumuluyo sa Watershed sang Maasin (KAPAWA) have the opportunity to showcase some of the S&T interventions that they have learned from the projects through a recent Technology Field Day held at the Common Service Facilities in Brgy. Daja.

Lustica said the Technology Field Day is a requirement of the PCAARRD as the two projects which started in April 2013 are set to end this year.

The two projects are entitled “Enhancing Bamboo Production in Maasin, Iloilo: An S&T Community-Based Farm (STCBF) Approach” and “Production and Marketing of Bamboo Woven Products: Enhancing on Business Enterprise Through TECHNO Mart in Maasin, Iloilo”.

Bamboo which is abundant in Maasin is considered as one of the important components of the town’s agricultural economy. Maasin is known as the ‘bamboo capital of Iloilo’.

PHL to launch micro-satellite in 2016

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

ILOILO CITY, March 23 (PIA) --- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is planning to launch the country’s very own micro-satellite next year as part of the government’s disaster risk management program.

This is under the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Micro-Satellite (Phl-Microsat) program which aims to hasten the creation of the Philippine Space Agency to help sustain and enhance efforts in research and development in this area.

Rowena Cristina Guevara, executive director of DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), said the country needs a space agency and space policy to compete regionally and globally.

“The importance of satellite communication was underlined during the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda when most forms of communications were knocked off,” she said.

The Phl-Microsat is being led by PCIEERD, involving the University of the Philippines, Hokkaido University and Tohoku University in Japan, with the backing of the Japanese government.

The three year (2015-2017) budget for the program has been pegged at P840-million, with the Philippines chipping in P324-million while Japan is taking care of P515.92-million.

The micro-satellites are slated to be launched with the help of the Japan Space Exploration Agency with a data receiving station to be put up in Subic at a former communications facility used by the United States.

The data station is codenamed the Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation or “PEDRO”.

Meanwhile, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said the government-owned microsatellite can be used to improve weather detection and forecasts, agricultural growth patterns, and monitor forest cover and the country’s territorial borders.

“We can develop a lot more uses for the microsatellite if we keep on improving its capability to expand its applications,” he said.

He said that DOST is launching not just one, but two-micro-satellites as the country’s ambitious plan of sending its own satellites into space formally rolls out.

Iloilo City rides wave of new app

(RP Sombero, Iloilo City PIO)

ILOILO City – The city government and Tidal Solutions have collaborated to develop a free mobile application software (app), “I am Iloilo”, for android phones and tablets.

“We are pleased that a private firm has decided to put up this app that could help in the promotion of tourism as well as to provide information on the latest happenings in the city,” said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

At no cost to the city government, the free app includes latest news, attractions, vacations spots, where to dine in Iloilo City, emergency response, and many other features soon.

Android phone and tablet users have to access Google Play Store to download the app.

No less than Tidal Solutions president Harold Martinez visited City Hall on March 19, for the ceremonial signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the local chief executive.

“This is the first android app for a local government and city outside of Metro Manila, for we have seen the vast potential of Iloilo as a market for business and tourism,” he said.

Tidal Solutions is a company that provides key solutions and services on technologies and applications, offering services on sales and distribution, marketing applications, and software and app development.

Iloilo to host vin d’honneur


ILOILO City – President Benigno Aquino III agreed to hold the Independence Day vin d’honneur here, Senate President Franklin Drilon said.

“I discussed it with the President yesterday,” Drilon said. “He has given the go-signal to, for the first time in his administration, hold vin d’honneur outside Malacañang.”

The controversial Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) might also be set for a soft opening that day.

“It is a target [date] because the President will be here on June 12,” said Drilon.

President Aquino will raise the Philippine flag during the Independence Day celebration in Santa Barbara, Iloilo.

The old Iloilo provincial capitol, or Casa Real, is being eyed as venue of the cocktail.

“We are [yet to decide]. It could be the renovated provincial capitol,” said Drilon. “[The ICC] cannot be ready [for vin d’honneur] yet.”

The Ilonggo senator assured, however, that the convention center will certainly be ready for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit ministerial meetings here in September and October.

Drilon said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and the architects assured him that the structure will be completed in time for the international event.

“I had a conference today with DPWH and TIEZA assistant chief of operations for infrastructure Atty. Guiller Asido, and we are certain to finish the convention center by the time the APEC [Summit] is here,” he said.

If the ICC “can have a decent, substantial completion,” the President will lead its soft opening, the senator said.

“We will target — and underscore target — a soft opening by June 12,” said Drilon. “I would highlight and emphasize this is a target date.”

Ambassadors and all Cabinet members and high-ranking government officials are expected to attend vin d’honneur.

Vin d’honneur (French for “wine of honor”) is a traditional wine-toasting event.

It is traditionally hosted by the President on Independence Day and New Year’s Eve in Malacañang.

Ilonggo WW II vets recognized

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

ILOILO CITY, March 20 (PIA6) - - The provincial government of Iloilo on Wednesday recognized 150 living veterans for their selfless service and honorable performance during World War II.

Governor Arthur Defensor personally handed the certificates of recognition to veteran honorees in attendance or their representatives during the commemorative ceremonies for the 70th anniversary of the Victor Day in Panay, Romblon, and Guimaras held at the Balantang Memorial Cemetery National Shrine (BMCNS) in Brgy. Quintin Salas, Jaro district here.

The event was also witnessed by Lt. Gen. Ernesto Carolina, Administrator, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office; Congresswoman “Bethe” DL Santos, National President of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines Sons and Daughter’s Association, Inc.; Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa; Col. Raymundo Banares, Chief GSMO of the Philippine Army 3ID; and other VFP officials.

It was learned that 57 or one-third of the 150 surviving WW II heroes in the province are now in their nineties. The oldest is PFC Ariston Castrancio of Brgy. Guadalupe, Janiuay who turned 99 years old last February 16.

One of the recipients of the certificates of recognition is 93-years old Jose Margate of BLISS, Calinog. Margate was very happy and honored with the commendation as he considered his position at that time at the lowest level. He was a Supply Officer of the 6th Military District and his assignment includes supplying food to the fighting unit.

Chuckling, he recalled his unforgettable experience during WWII when they swam in the muddy creek somewhere in Brgy. Alibunan, Lambunao and hid in the water lilies with no food for one week because the Japanese soldiers are at the bank watching. They were only able to eat rice when the Japanese left.

Now, Margate wanted his ‘apos’ to remember the sacrifices that the veterans of war made for the love of country.

The award may have been long overdue, according to 87-year old veteran Gaudioso Defensor, Jr. of Brgy. Trapeche, Oton but this will serve as a memento for his sacrifices during the 1945 war. He was then the radio operator of the 97th Infantry Division.

Carolina, in his message, acknowledged the efforts and support of the Iloilo provincial government particularly of Governor Defensor for the successful commemoration of Victory Day for the last several years at the BMCNS as a way of increasing people’s historical awareness.

“By knowing our glorious history, especially the many victories and successful feats our veterans had in their campaign for liberation, we effectively instill a sense of national pride among our citizens, and inspire a sense of gratitude and appreciation for our heroes,” said Carolina.

He further said that the programs address the need to prepare today’s youth to become the future veterans – veterans who would become defenders and leaders of the country.

SP enacts ordinance to enhance mobility of PWDs, elderly, pregnant women in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, March 19 (PNA) -- The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) here has passed an ordinance that penalizes individuals, organizations, head of agencies and other concerned sectors for failure to provide access to persons with disabilities (PWDs), elderly and pregnant women in Iloilo City.

Authored by councilor Lady Julie Grace Baronda, the ordinance seeks to enhance their mobility by “requiring certain buildings, institutions, establishments and public utilities to install facilities and other devices.”

The ordinance, which is in consonance with the National Building Code (NBC), provides that five years from the passage of the ordinance buildings, institutions, establishments and public utilities should already make sure that necessary facilities are provided.

The penalty ranges from Php 3,500 to cancellation or revocation of permits for failure to comply.

“If corporation, organization or similar entity the officials directly involved shall be liable without prejudice to the penalties imposed under Magna Carta for Disabled Persons,” the ordinance further stated.

Women migration issues up in forum


ISSUES addressing gender, sexuality, reproductive health, human rights, HIV/Aids in the Philippines will be taken up at a forum on Women Migrants on March 25 at the Neda-RDC Hall in Iloilo City.

The forum is organized by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in Western Visayas and is part of the the observance of “Women’s Role in History Month.”

The Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC) of the Regional Development Council, in coordination with the Migration Development Initiative–Western Visayas (MDI-WV) Project, will conduct the forum to be attended by some 60 participants representing provinces and highly urbanized cities, regional line agencies, private sector organizations, academe, and the media.

The forum will have as resource persons actress singer Monique Wilson, Director of International Affairs for Gabriela Women’s Party and Sabine Claudio, Executive Director of Chameleon Association Incorporated.

Other speakers will be from the Philippine Council on Women and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

RDC-VI to tackle regional concerns in Q1 meeting , March 20


ILOILO CITY, March 17 (PIA6) -- The Regional Development Council (RDC) - Region VI is scheduled to convene for its 1st Quarter Regular Meeting on March 20 to discuss a number of concerns forwarded by its regular sector committees and special committees. Resource persons have, likewise, been invited to update the Council officers and members on specific topics of interest to them.

Regional Director Paul D. Ledesma of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will brief the provincial governors, mayors of highly-urbanized cities, mayors of components cities, mayors of capital towns, presidents of League of Municipalities, RDC-VI member heads of regional line agencies and private sector representatives on the Anti-Dangerous Drugs Enforcement Activities/Operations in Western Visayas during the meeting.

The RDC-VI requested for Director Ledesma to report on the anti-drugs operations given the recent occurrence of drug-related crimes in the region. The briefing is expected to solicit support and commitment from the local chief executives, heads of other national government agencies and the private sector leaders towards the eradication of the drug problem in the Western Visayas region.

The 1st Country Report on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) will also be presented by Mr. Renato Bañas, Chairperson of the Negros Organic Agricultural Movement, Inc., along with other major agenda, including : the forthcoming meeting of the RDC-VI Executive Committee to review the budget proposals for FY 2016 of 22 national government agencies and 11 state universities and colleges slated on March 26-27 at NEDA VI and; the RDC-VI Work Programming and Agenda Setting Workshop for 2015 to June 2016 which is scheduled in Bacolod City on April 15-16, 2015.

The Council is also set to confer and award its members, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick A. Mabilog and Economic Development Committee Chairperson, DOST-VI Regional Director Rowen R. Gelonga, the Plaque of Commendation as one of the Top 5 World Mayors for 2014 and the Gawad Career Executive Service Awardee for 2013, respectively.

Hotels, restaurants urged to upgrade services for Apec meetings


ILOILO City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is calling on hotels and restaurants to upgrade their services in preparation for the two ministerial meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) the city will host this year.

Mabilog said chefs, food servers and hotel staff need to be trained for the two events.

The Apec meetings will be on September 21-26, 2015 and September 28 to October 6.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is preparing seminars and training sessions for hotel and restaurant staff.

It will hold a seminar on halal food since most of the close to 2,000 delegates will come from Muslim countries in Asia.

Iloilo City has more than 2,000 hotel rooms and more than 200 regular and specialty restaurants to cater to the delegates.

The main venue of the meetings is the newly built Iloilo Convention Center in Mandurriao district.

Two five-star hotels have been built primarily for the Apec delegates.

Iloilo City tourist arrivals up 7.2%


ILOILO City – Tourist arrivals here reached 676,287 last year or a 7.15 percent increase from the 2013 figures, data from the City Tourism Office showed.

In 2013, 627,870 tourists visited the city.

Data also showed that 660,445 of the visitors were local travelers while 15,842 were foreigners.

City Tourism Officer Benito Jimena said tourism boosts the city’s economy. Tourism receipts from local and foreign tourists reached P12,264,414,098 last year.

However, the figures were lower by 0.16 percent compared to the total tourism receipts in 2013 which reached P12,284,414,958.

The City Tourism Office expects more tourists to visit Iloilo this 2015.

It will launch more programs to further boost tourism such as the “Arte sa Kalye” that will promote arts on the streets using roads and jeepneys.

Student achiever takes on Google challenge


IT felt like destiny was at play when 20-year-old Rommel Terante hurdled the challenge to become affiliated with the multinational corporation Google.

His name was nowhere in the list of 140 Filipino Google Student Ambassadors (GSAs). But when he knew that he was one of the nine more ambassadors that the company was taking in, he shed tears.

Now the University of Iloilo-Phinma senior student is proud to have become one of the first Ilonggo GSAs, along with three others from the University of the Philippines Visayas and John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University. They were among the 134 GSAs in Southeast Asia.

Rommel says the ambassadorship was part of Google’s promotion of community service through eligible college students all over the world.

“I am used to joining volunteer work. But this is what I love most because it is in line with my course,” Rommel says, marveling on how overwhelmingly exciting the tasks are. Google takes in “mostly those [who have information technology-related] courses,” he says.

Google is continuously taking in GSAs, he says, encouraging other young Ilonggos to grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“We are not receiving any payment for this title,” says Rommel, son of Mary Joann and Romeo Terante. “This prestigious title is not yet publicized, especially here in Iloilo, because it is still in the process of development, but I encourage students to apply because the application is open.”

Applicants are made to submit an application letter, a video clip about one’s self and a comprehensive essay. It is necessary, he says, that the applicants put in the essay their achievements in school and the fields where they excel.

After being named a GSA, Rommel went through trainings and travels all financed by Google. His title brought the Barangay Infante, Molo, Iloilo City resident to Cebu City, Bacolod City and Baguio City.

This year’s GSA Summit is in the Philippines, while the next one will be in Thailand.

However, “being a GSA is not easy,” Rommel warns. “You need to hold monthly events, like Google trainings, in different schools and universities.”

That he had to juggle being a GSA and being the president of their student council made the past year tough for Rommel.

There was too much pressure, all right, but giving up any of these responsibilities never crossed Rommel’s mind. Caving in won’t solve anything, he thought.

“School was demanding. There were many (student) council duties, and then the GSA events. I just took breaks,” he says. Time management and striking the balance is the key, and being busy is no excuse to make one’s social life suffer, he adds.

“Being a GSA has more advantages than disadvantages,” he says. It is an “opportunity to become part of something big, meet more knowledgeable people, and (look for) future employment.”

Rommel Terate held the ambassadorship only until May. Another set of GSAs will be selected.

His being an achiever did not stop there. Just this Feb. 21, he was named one of the recipients of The Outstanding Students of Iloilo Award, or TOSIA.

“Keep dreaming and serving your community,” he advises young Ilonggo students who want to achieve more at a young age. “Even if I am no longer an official GSA, I am still part of Google, and my commitment remains.”

NAPC allots Php1.5-M for livelihood projects in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, March 13 (PNA) --The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) has allotted some Php1.5 million for various livelihood projects to be implemented in this city.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is set to sign an agreement with the government agency following the authority given to him by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP)for the project implementation.

The project under NAPC’s Integrated Community Food Production program will be implemented through the City Social Welfare Office.

The project will specifically benefit the women sector, the mayor added.

Other parameters of the projects will be defined in the agreement that will soon be signed by the city government and NAPC.

USAID, Synergeia to make learning more fun in Iloilo

By Jezza A. Nepomoceno (Capitol News/PN)

ILOILO – Thousands of pupils in Grades 1 and 2 in all public schools in typhoon-ravaged towns here will find learning fun again with the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Synergeia Foundation.

This is expected after USAID Mission Director for Philippines Gloria Steele and Synergeia Foundation president and chief executive officer Dr. Milwida Guevara launched the Hugpong sa Pagbangon (Rising Up Together) in a ceremony held in Iloilo City on Monday.

Hugpong sa Pagbangon is a project under the Education Governance Effectiveness (EdGE) of USAID that aims to improve, among others, the basic education and literacy of pupils in areas devastated by super typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013.

According to Program Manager Rafael Coscolluela, the project will be implemented in 19 local government units (LGUs) in the Visayas wherein 13 are in the Province of Iloilo.

These are Ajuy, Alimodian, Batad, Balasan, Barotac Viejo, Cabatuan, Carles, Estancia, Concepcion, Dumangas, Lemery, San Enrique and Mina. The six others will be in Capiz (four towns) and Bohol (two towns).

“This project will make a ray of sunshine for the pupils and teachers in schools affected by the super typhoon and we hope that this can help learning more fun for them,” said the former governor of Negros Occidental and a trustee of Synergeia Foundation.Under this project, all the public elementary schools in 19 LGUs will be provided with P70,000 grant each which they can use to purchase teaching equipment, books, computers, wifi access and reproduction of learning materials (e.g. photocopying machines).

On top of the grant, each pupil in Grades 1 and 2 will be provided with school supplies worth P475, while their teachers will have P1,475 each for the improvement of their teaching aids.

“We choose to implement it in Grades 1 and 2 because these are the crucial years in child development. This is actually the stage where they learn how to read and write,” Steele explained.

Steele added that the project will last for one year or until the end of the next school year but the EdGE will be until 2018.

EdGE, which started in 2013, seeks to improve education governance through decentralization, with the end goal of improving learning outcomes, particularly early grade reading for at least one million children in 50 LGUs in the Philippines.

Aside from this, Steele said that USAID is also helping the government rebuild schools, clinics and variety stores in Visayas, particularly in Leyte and Samar.

USAID is also providing micro finance to the survivors to help them get back on their feet.

Outstanding Ilonggo students get awards

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

ILOILO CITY, March 11 (PIA6) - - Ten students from the public schools and ten from private schools comprised the twenty outstanding students of Iloilo in the elementary and secondary levels for academic year 2014-2015.

The twenty pupils and students will join the ranks of 180 outstanding students who have been recognized by the Outstanding Student Circle of Iloilo and the Department of Education-Iloilo since 2006.

They will receive their medals during the awarding ceremony on Friday, March 13 at Hua Siong College of Iloilo, Inc., Gymnasium in Ledesco Village, La Paz.

Pupils who successfully hurdled the Search for the Ten Outstanding Elementary School Pupils of Iloilo for AY 2014 – 2015 are: Braña, Arabella Shayne of Children's Integrated School of Alta Tierra, Inc.; Insigne, Ewemiz of SPED - Integrated School for Exceptional Children; Dequilla, Raphael Francis of St. Joseph School (Iloilo), Inc.; Peñaflorida, Ma. Abby Genevie of Ateneo De Iloilo; Engallado, Frelean Faith of Solomon Integrated School de Iloilo; Tabares, Shannalie of Cabatuan Central Elementary School; Dolendo, Joelian Marie of Iloilo Scholastic Academy; Andresio, John Mark of Sta. Barbara Central Elementary School; Valderrama, Matthew of PAREF Westbridge School, Inc.; and Aguila, Raniella Louise of Cabatuan Parochial School.

The Ten Outstanding Secondary School Students of Iloilo are: Galvan, Ramon III of Hua Siong College of Iloilo; Sibug, Antonio of Iloilo City National High School; Recabar, James Matthew of St. Joseph School (Iloilo), Inc; Castañeda, Ramon David of SPED - Integrated School for Exceptional Children; Silvederio, Julienne Marie of Oton National High School; Biso, Cedric Fritz of Central Philippine University; Lao, Nicole Casey of Iloilo Scholastic Academy; Gallaza, Andrea Louise of University of the Philippines High School in Iloilo; Labasan, Cherry Lane of Leonora S. Salapantan National High School, San Miguel, Iloilo; and Ruel, Philipp Centenni of Cabatuan National Comprehensive High School.

Brana and Galvan who topped their categories and named as Most Outstanding Pupil and Student respectively were tasked to deliver messages during the awarding ceremony.

A total of 56 students, 28 from each category qualified for the written examination and later trimmed down to 15 from each category for the panel interview which was held on February 11, 2015.

Iloilo City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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