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Iloilo City News March 2012

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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Aerial View of Iloilo City

Contents

"Lin-ay sang Iloilo" bronze statue depicts appreciation for Ilonggas

(JCM/VWV/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, March 31 (PIA) - - The bronze statue of “Lin-ay sang Iloilo atop the dome of the new Iloilo City Hall symbolizes the city’s respect and recognition of the role of the women in the development of Iloilo City.

This was the gist of the message of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog during the observance of the International Women’s Month highlighted by giving recognition to fourteen (14) outstanding women of Iloilo in a ceremony held March 29 at the SM City Activity Center.

It will be recalled that the 19-feet-high statue of a female, designed by Prof. Eduardo Defensor of Mandurriao, Iloilo City who outlined the meaning, symbolism and history of the “Lin-ay Sang Iloilo was unveiled during Iloilo City’s 74th Charter Day last August 25, 2011.

Mabilog told the 14 outstanding Ilonggo women that “the women in the City will learn a lot from your experiences, and you are being honored for your exceptional and exemplary contribution in your respective fields.

The 2012 Outstanding Women of Iloilo (TOWIL) are Dr. Eden Deriada for Academe amnd Education; Gina Sarabia Espinosa for Arts and Culture; Marjorie Caperonce Florete for Business Corporation and Entrepreneurship; Rebecca Berlin for Civic Organanization; Marie Louise Cathryn Serbas for the Differently-Abled Persons; Regional Director Evelyn Trompeta for Government Service; Judge Marciana Deguma for the Judiciary; Regional Director Ma. Janet C. Mesa for Media, Public Information and Journalism; Rosalie Sarabia Trenas for Non-Government Organization; Ma. Teresea Chan for Philantrophy; SPO1 Ana del Rosario Baganes for Protection and Security Service; Lucy Buendia for the Religious Sector; Dr. Lilia S. Teves for the Professional sector; Ma. Rose A. Cacho for Values, Social and Community Service.

“They are worth emulating,” said Iloilo City Councilor Plaridel Nava, chairman, SP committee on Women and Family Relations, while Congressman Jerry Trenas firmly belives that “our nation has the responsibility of not only granting equal rights to women, but to empower them”.

Congressman Trenas said “the outstanding women of Iloilo City awardees truly exemplified the passion, the intelligence and sophistication of an Ilonggo woman”.

Keynote speaker Anakbayan Partylist spokesperson Risa Hontiveros Baraquel lauded the organizers of the 2012 TOWIL for “cultivating pride and valuing of the achievements of the women in Iloilo City”.

Baraquel urged the women sector here to monitor the progress of Bills such as the Reproductive Health Bills “to form our opinions on it and take our positions on the questions of free and responsible bill in family planning and health, and sexuality education for young people”.

PIA 6 Director Ma. Janet C. Mesa, who is one of the 14 awardees said that the words of former Prime Minister of Great Britain Margaret Thatcher, aptly describes the role of women “if you want something said, ask a man, if you want something done, give it to a woman”.

The celebration’s theme was “Kababaehan, bugal kag hiyas sang banwa sang Iloilo,” or “Women, pride and jewel of Iloilo”.

Make a commitment for Earth Hour and beyond

By TARA YAP (JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, March 30 (PIA6)--Earth Hour, the global symbolic action of switching off unnecessary lights will again be done on March 31, from 8:30-9:30 in the evening.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has called on everybody to get involved even in their communities and stage their own events for the protection of Mother Earth.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has called on people to begin the movement for energy efficiency in their households.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will lead the Earth Hour activity, with the theme 60+ and “I Will if You Will.”

The WWF urges individuals to save energy not just for an hour, but join in the campaign and commitment for a lasting change.

It further said that joining the Earth Hour is joining millions of businesses and individuals across all seven continents in a strong, powerful and symbolic demonstration to keep the planet Earth healthy for future generations.

Earth Hour began in 2007 when more than two million individuals and businesses in Sydney, Australia turned off their lights for an hour on March 31.

In 2008, Earth Hour reached 370 cities and towns in more than 35 countries across 18 time zones, with 50 million around the world switching off.

Earth Hour 2009 created history as the greatest voluntary action ever witnessed, with hundreds of millions of people participating in 4159 cities, towns and municipalities across 88 countries, 73 national capitals and 9 of the world’s 10 most populated cities.

The Philippines during that year, was heralded as the top Earth Hour country in terms of participation, with 647 major towns and cities switching off.

In 2010, Earth Hour succeeded in being a global call to action as a record of 128 countries and territories took part, including iconic landmarks from Asia Pacific, to Europe, to Africa and the Americas stood in darkness.

In 2011, a record-breaking 1661 Philippine cities and municipalities went dark, with the movement spreading and growing to include 5251 cities in 135 countries joining.

WWF said that the Filipinos, capitalizing on their potentials, shall continue to ignite the green imagination of many Filipinos for years to come, take real solutions for sustainable living, take actions against climate change every hour of every day.

Meanwhile in Iloilo City, the landmark venue for Earth Hour will be SM City in Mandurriao, where the program will begin at 8:00 pm with a series of pledges and performances by various artists, leading to the ceremonial turn-off of lights.

DSWD, LGU Chiefs Sign MOA Expanding WV 4Ps, Kalahi-CIDSS

By TARA YAP (With a report from PIA)

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo — Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman signed on Wednesday a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the chief executives of 38 local government units (LGUs) in Western Visayas expanding its major programs, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) in the region.

Soliman reiterated, during the MOA signing at the Smallville 21 Hotel here which was also attended by congressmen and governors of the six provinces in the region, the essence of said programs’ aim, which is basically poverty alleviation while giving livelihood to the less privileged and the promotion of socio-economic growth.

She further said that 4Ps particularly is an investment for the future and is seen to break the intergenerational poverty among families.

Iloilo province has the most number of LGU beneficiaries included in DSWD’s 4Ps, with 12 towns, that is, Badiangan, Barotac Nuevo, Cabatuan, Concepcion, Dingle, Dumangas, Estancia, Mina, New Lucena, Pototan, Tigbauan, and Zarraga.

Capiz province has 10 LGU beneficiaries including Roxas City and the towns of Cuartero, Dao, Dumalag, Dumarao, Ivisan, Mambusao, Panitan, Pontavedra, and Sigma.

Antique province has four LGU beneficiaries including Hamtic, Pandan, Sibalom, and Tobias Fornier towns.

Negros Occidental province also has four LGU beneficiaries including the cities of La Carlota, Silay, Talisay, and Victorias.

Guimaras province has two LGU beneficiaries including Jordan and Nueva Valencia while Lezo is the lone LGU beneficiary in Aklan province.

Agreements were also signed for expansion of KALAHI-CIDSS in Sibunag, Guimaras as well as Negros Occidental towns of Calatrava, Ilog, Isabela, and Murcia.

Millennium Corporation Challenge country director Matt Bohn was also present to ensure the Western Visayas local chief executives of the substantial partnership they will have with the funding agency.

He said that the LGU officials in the region should use the grant given them by the United States government judiciously so as to attain the objectives of government’s poverty alleviation programs.

Jalaur River project gets nod from NEDA Board

(JCM/JSC/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, Mar 28 (PIA) -- The construction of the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project-Stage II in Iloilo, which aims to boost the country’s rice self-sufficiency efforts, has gotten the go-signal of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board.

This was confirmed by Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga, Jr., director-general of NEDA, at the LGU Public-Private Partnership Forum for Visayas and Mindanao Regions held March 26 at Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center here.

With the Department of Agriculture (DA) as main proponent, the project is jointly funded by official development assistance (ODA) of P8.95 billion from the Korean government through the Export-Import Bank Economic Cooperation Fund, and a P2.2-billion counterpart fund from Philippine government.

The project is set to start next year and is expected to be completed in 2016.

It will be recalled that President Aquino has manifested his support to the project by ordering the release earlier of an initial funding of P450 million for the pre-engineering phase activities of the project.

Some 32,000 hectares of farmlands involving 783,000 farmers in Iloilo stand to benefit from the irrigation project, the first large-scale reservoir dam outside of Luzon. As such, the project is expected to further boost the capability of the province to produce rice which it is already having in surplus.

The subsequent phase of the project will include a power generation and water supply component.

Based on a NEDA report published in its website (www.neda.gov.ph), the Jalaur River multi-purpose project is one of 12 projects worth P133 billion nationwide that were approved recently by the NEDA Board.

The NEDA Board possesses the powers and functions of the agency as the country’s premier social and economic development planning and policy coordinating body.

The forum attended by Paderanga was organized by the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center with the support of NEDA and the British Embassy of Manila to enhance the knowledge of local government chief executives on the PPP, discuss issues and concerns relative the program and launch the LGU PPP Manual.

DENR-6 renews call for more responsible vehicle emissions

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

ILOILO CITY, Mar. 27 (PIA)—Motor vehicle owners should be more responsible for their vehicle emissions, to keep the air clean.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources-6 (DENR6) Executive Director Julian Amador said the Environment Management Bureau (EMB-6) recently reported that the rapid growth in motor vehicles is a major factor in air pollution in Iloilo City.

Amador said he is urging motor vehicle owners to ensure that their vehicle emissions are within the parameters set by the government.

“There should even be more stringent emission standards to be observed for motor vehicles,” Amador said.

Recently, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje has urged the motor vehicle owners to clean and keep in good condition their exhausts and ensure that emissions are within standards.

Paje said the Aquino government is also focused on disciplining erring vehicles and private emission centers (PETCs) in the country, citing about 50 erring PETCs already closed down so far.

He said the PETCs that were shut down accepts payments from “no show” registrants in exchange for certification that their vehicles have passed the emission test.

He also asked the public to cooperate with DENR’s efforts, and the motor vehicle owners to have their vehicles undergo an honest-to-goodness emission test before renewing their registration.

The DENR-6 Regional Public Affairs Office said the agency has strengthened its clean air campaign by getting the support of the Philippine Medical Association in disseminating the health effects of air pollution.

According to DOH data, air pollution-related illnesses such as acute lower respiratory tract infection, pneumonia, bronchitis, tuberculosis and heart diseases have consistently topped the list of causes of morbidity and mortality in the country.

Iloilo City has its own interagency Air Quality Task Force that consistently monitors the ambient air in the city.

Village officials key to energy conservation

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

ILOILO CITY, March 26 (PIA) -- Energy conservation should start in villages and the local officials should be examples to their constituents, said a DOE officer.

Senior Science Research Specialist Genevieve Almonares, of the Department of Energy, said barangay officials play an important role in informing their constituents on how to save energy.

Almonares was with the DOE-World Wildlife Fund (WWF) team that facilitated a seminar on Energy Efficiency and Conservation with the Philippine Information Agency, held in Iloilo City recently.

Almost half of the more than 250 participants were village officials and residents of the 180 barangays of Iloilo City.

Almonares said people in the villages must be vigilant with their energy consumption and limit usage to what they only need.

She said that prices will continue to rise, considering the decreasing number of energy sources in the country.

“We have a problem here, so we have to look for renewable sources and save on our consumption,” Almonares said.

“Know how many appliances you have that consume electric power, how much energy they use, and how can their use be limited,” she added.

She also called on the barangay officials to lead in monitoring electricity connections in their areas, especially the illegal ones, as they are a threat to the communities.

“They can start fires, because of short circuits,” she said.

Almonares, likewise, took the opportunity to encourage them to participate in the Earth Hour on March 31, a global turning off of unnecessary lights, to give a strong message of the need to conserve energy and protect the environment.

She said the collective effort of residents in the villages to turn off unnecessary lights for an hour on March 31, from 8:30-9:30 in the evening can save a huge amount of electricity.

DOH-6 to TB patients: Avail free treatment

(JCM/ESS-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, March 25 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) Region 6 has urged tuberculosis (TB) patients all over the region to avail of the free treatment offered by the government.

DOH-6 regional TB coordinator Dr. Edith Gimotea said they are alarmed over the low compliance in the treatment of patients with TB in Western Visayas.

She said that of the 277 patients detected in 2011 only 55 patients were able to avail of the treatment.

The government’s free treatment program, or the Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) may be availed of in the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City, in Riverside medical Center, Inc. in Bacolod City, and the City Health Office of Roxas City.

The 12 reported to have come from Iloilo province and another from Capiz, dropped out of the program after a six-month treatment believing that they have been cured.

Gimotea said they are still considered to be carriers as they exhibit risky behaviour, hence, may infect others.

Gimotea, meanwhile, said that even if those without TB, they should make it a habit to cover their mouths with hankies.

DOH-6 records showed that there are 1,145 morbidity cases in 2010, 160 per 100,000 population, and 150 deaths, which is 21 cases per 100,000 population in 2011, taking the region’s population to be 7,159,800.

The observance of World TB Day, carried the theme, “Stop TB in my lifetime.”

Unemployed women find fulfilment as Tech-Voc trainees

(JCM/ESS-PIA 6, Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, March 24 (PIA) -- Women, who otherwise would have been economically and socially unproductive because they lacked or did not finish formal schooling, are now finding fulfilment through the technical-vocational trainings given to them by the Technical Institute of Iloilo City (TIIC).

Eva H. Camaymayan of Bgy. Arguelles, Jaro, a college dropout and unemployed, enrolled in Beauty Care NC II at TIIC-Bo. Obrero Campus and upon graduating went to Saudi Arabia to work as a salon beautician.

After three years, she came home and volunteered as a charity trainer with the Religious of Mary Immaculate, assisting household help, houseboys, mothers and out-of-school youth. She is now manager of Peluqueria Salon which also serves as a venue for her charity training services.

Bernadette Magdael, another TIIC trainee, said they are now catering events to earn income. She thanked the TIIC for the training and is hoping to have further training on catering, table skirting, and other related aspects.

TIIC Administrator Carlito Jusa said it is the commitment of the institute to uplift the marginalized sectors in Iloilo City through technical-vocational skills training, which gave these women ample avenues to be productive.

The TIIC-Bo. Obrero Campus was formerly Helping Foundation, Inc., a livelihood and productivity center established in 1996 as a special project of then First Lady Amelita Ramos. After the Ramos Administration ended, it was turned over to the Iloilo City government and integrated with the Technical Institute of Iloilo City through Executive Order No. 31 s.2007.

Jusa said he is administering the school under the supervision of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Dr. Nelly Valerio of the Iloilo City Schools Division.

TIIC offers short term technical courses like Beauty care, Commercial cooking, Computer hardware servicing, PC operation, Consumers electronics servicing, Dress making and Food and Beverages.

Jusa admits that present operations of the institute have constraints, but the trainees and their teachers always find a way to create improvised tools and equipment to come up with the requirements of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The trainees often provide for what is lacking through resourcefulness but often the trainers lend their personal or family tools for use by their students.

“I am more concerned with the achievement of my students, especially in helping them pass the TESDA competency assessment,” Food and Beverages Services trainer Faith Cainday said.

Arlane Khrys Samson, a trainee in Computer Hardware Servicing said the inadequacy of tools and equipment does not affect her hands-on work because they are divided into groups to take turns.

“Our teacher can explain very well and she allows us to practice even beyond class hours,” Samson added.

For 2011, the TIIC catered to 472 female trainees enrolled in various courses, with more than 90 percent having completed training.

“Even with just little livelihood projects at the start, the women have surely made use of their skills gained from the training,” Terry Araña, director of a Child Survival Program of the Christ Centered Fellowship, whose women beneficiaries were trainees in the TIIC, said.

Some women have been contracted to provide meals to government agencies, or currently employed in fastfood chains, and one was able to work in Singapore.

“Because of the additional income, some were able to repair and improve their dwellings,” Araña added.

Meanwhile, trainers and trainees conduct livelihood sessions in partnerships with schools like the St. Therese College and agencies, like the Department of Trade and Industry.

Jusa said that aside from the regular course sessions, TIIC conducts outreach programs in communities, with organized groups, especially women, either on-site or in campus.

“In Commercial Cooking, for example, a course on Preparing and Baking Pastry Products and Preparing and Cooking Hot Meals to 30 women, where 25 of them were issued certificates of completion,” Jusa said.

Jusa said the TIIC-Bo. Obrero is firming up its commitment further with the completion of a new building in April this year, acquisition of some facilities and tools which can boost its full accreditation of courses with TESDA.

“With the sense of fulfilment our women trainees get, we just have to strengthen our commitment in helping the marginalized through tech-voc,” Jusa said.

Government pushes for energy efficiency and conservation

(JCM/LAF-PIA 6)

ILOILO CITY, March 23 (PIA6) -- The Department of Energy (DOE) Visayas Director Antonio Labios said the government, through DOE, is implementing the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program (NEECP) and the “Bright Now! Do Right” campaign among others as steps to address the growing concern on energy including energy conservation.

Labios cited these initiatives in his message read by DOE Energy Efficiency and Conservation Division Sr. Science Research Specialist Genevieve Almonares during the Seminar on Electricity Conservation in Households and Schools held in this city on March 19.

Launched in 2004, the NEECP primarily seeks to make energy efficiency and conservation a way of life.

It specifically aims to cushion the impact of increases in prices of petroleum products and electricity through the implementation of energy efficiency and conservation measures, promote cost avoidance and save on fuel and electricity without sacrificing productivity, get firm savings commitments from identified sector groups, and help protect the environment.

Through the NEECP’s information education and communication campaign, the DOE aggressively promotes energy efficiency and conservation as a primary commitment to protect the environment through avoidance of CO2 equivalent emissions.

DOE also partners with the World Wild Fund for Nature Philippines and the Philippine Information Agency to disseminate adequate information on ways and measures to conserve energy and at the same time focus on saving the environment.

The “Bright Now! Do Right” campaign focuses on properly educating the public on smart energy choices and the sensible use of these resources, and it also intends to imbibe the values of “bayanihan” through volunteerism.

“We would like to influence the mindset of the public that energy conservation is everybody’s concern and that every Filipino must start with his own conscious effort to conserve energy and in the long-term, help save the environment,” said Labios.

Labios also took into account the help of stakeholders, local and international organizations, private corporations especially the public in the attainment of the objectives of all these initiatives.

He also urged everyone to take time to switch-off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. during the Earth Hour on March 31 to send a stronger message in managing climate change.

Lawmaker maintains 1,250 college scholarships for poor students

By Lydia C. Pendon

REPRESENTATIVE Jerry P. Treñas (lone district, Iloilo City) is set to award incentives to public and private high school valedictorians and salutatorians this school year.

On top of gold medal and certificate, the amount of P6,000 will be given to each valedictorian in public, private high schools and state colleges and universities, while P5,000 will be awarded to each salutatorian in city public high schools.

The amount is expected to help the students seek college education by June 2012 school opening.

Treñas has earmarked more than P10 million from his priority development assistance fund (PDAF) in 2011-2012 to help 1,250 students with P5,000 each under his Uswag Scholarship Program.

The amount of P6.6 million will help the poor but deserving students in 2012, while another P3.1 million was awarded to 756 students to cover the program in 2011.

Treñas is known for his strong advocacy of providing poor but deserving students of Iloilo City with access to tertiary education.

The lawmaker has so far supported the college education of 2,230 poor college students studying in colleges and universities and other private schools in Iloilo City under his scholarship program.

Western Visayas regular fare now P8.00 – LTFRB-6

(PNA), LAP/AJP/MGCaoyonan/vlo

ILOILO CITY, March 21 (PNA) – The minimum fare in public utility jeepneys (PUJs) in Western Visayas has now been raised to P8.00 from the previous P7.50 for the first five kilometers.

For students, disabled persons and senior citizens, the discounted fare is P6.40.

The rate adjustment has been made after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 6 (LTFRB-6) approved the provisionary fare of 50 centavos while the board hears a petition filed by different transport groups seeking for a P2 increase in the minimum jeepney fare.

LTFRB-6 director Romulo Bernardes, however, emphasized that fare hike will only be strictly enforced in Western Visayas once they already receive the formal Board decision.

“We will not enforce the order as long as we have not received the communication, however, if we already have the copy of the Board decision, the order will automatically take effect,” he said.

Bernardes said jeepney drivers or owners must post notice of fare increase inside their vehicle. He further said there is no need for the drivers to secure fare certification from their office.

In this city, the Iloilo City Alliance of Drivers Association (ICADA) assured commuters that drivers will be following the new fare rates.

ICADA president Nick Dalisay assured the public that they will obey the order of LTFRB to secure new fare certification.

Dalisay also said the fare discount for students will be honored only from Monday to Friday.

In Manila, LTFRB chairman Jaime Jacob said the provisional increase will stay for as long as diesel prices remain high. He said, however, that jeepneys will be required to roll back the minimum fare once diesel prices go back to P45.00 per liter.

WWF for Nature stresses need to adapt, mitigate climate change

By Vicente W. Villavert (JCM/VWV-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, March 20 (PIA) -- Citing the extreme weather pattern and Iloilo’s experience on typhoon Frank, which brought multi-million pesos’ worth of devastations to life, property, infrastructure and agriculture, Climate Change and Energy Program of World Wildlife Fund for Nature has stressed the need to come up with strategies on how to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Denise Danielle Galvez, project officer of the Climate Change and Energy Program of World Wildlife Fund for Nature, was in Iloilo City to discuss “Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation” before a crowd of about 300 barangay officials, students, representatives from national and local government agencies and the media, during the seminar on Electricity Conservation in Households and Schools, organized by the Department of Energy, in cooperation with the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines and the Philippine Information Agency.

Galvez said that global warming and climate change is caused by among others, emission of Carbon dioxide and other human activities. She added that stronger greenhouse effect will warm the oceans, partially melt the ice and will contribute the projected sea level rise in coming decades.

The transport sector also contributes a large percentage of carbon dioxide emissions, she said, “Even while the Philippines is not a major emitter of carbon dioxide in the entire world, yet according to a study, the Philippines is considered as the sixth most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.”

She emphasized the need for increasing the level of understanding of the public as well as educating them about adaptation to climate change.

PIA 6 director Janet C. Mesa urged the participants also take active part in global warming as she encouraged everyone to join in the launching of the Earth Hour 2012 on March 31.

Earth Hour is a global environmental initiative started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia where both households and businesses made a stand against climate change by switching off their lights for one hour.

Mesa said she hopes that the seminar on electricity conservation in households and schools will move the participants to share what they learned from the lectures to their friends and to the rest of the community so that they will be more aware of their energy usage and its effect on the environment.

Senior Science Research Specialist Genevieve L. Almonares of DOE discussed on the DOE Efficiency Plans and Programs, while Joan Sotelo and DOE, and Engr. Randy Pastolero of the Panay Electric Cooperative, gave household energy conservation tips; and teaching consumers how to read electric meter and understand electric bill, respectively.

LGU to hold women's forum on March 20

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

ILOILO CITY, March 19 (PIA6) -- More than 200 women from the different municipalities of the province of Iloilo are expected to meet and take part in a Provincial Women’s Forum that will be conducted at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol lobby on March 20, 2012.

Provincial Capitol Human Resource Management and Development Office Officer-in-Charge Alma Ravena said the event will center on the theme of this year’s National Women’s Month celebration “Women Weathering Climate Change: Governance and Accountability, Everyone’s Responsibility”.

Among the resource speakers are Philippine Commission on Women Chaiperson Remedios Rikken and representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources 6 and Office of Civil Defense 6. They will talk on Women’s Empowerment, climate change and disaster preparedness, respectively.

Ravena said invited to attend the gathering are women representatives from the Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina and other sectors in the province.

Organized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, KALIPI intends to assist women through various activities and programs to further harness their potentials and abilities.

To date, there are now 26 municipalities in the province that have organized their KALIPI based on the record of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.

The one-day forum is organized by the Iloilo provincial government spearheaded by the PSWDO.

Iloilo Readies Launch of Major Projects In Mid-Year Presidential Visit

(PNA)

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo (PNA) — At least four completed major city projects await the arrival of President Benigno Aquino III when he comes here for their launch and blessing by late May or early June this year.

The projects expected to be completed in time for the President’s visit include the R70-million Esplanade by the Iloilo River, the new Iloilo City Hall building, the city hospital annex at the Western Visayas Medical Center and the P125-million Iloilo City Community College for poor but deserving city high school graduates.

The Esplanade project was designed by architect Paolo Alcazaren with funding assistance from Ilonggo Senator Franklin M. Drilon to widen, rehabilitate and improve the Treñas Boulevard. It is designed to be the newest fun and recreation area of the city.

The imposing seven-storey new Iloilo City Hall houses city government offices which do not have their own building. Considered as a “green building,” it will feature solar panels and a rain catchment system in producing electric power and water.

The 40-bed city hospital was funded by the city government and amounts from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of Iloilo City lone district Rep. Jerry P. Treñas.

Meanwhile, City Community College construction was funded by Ilonggo businessman Edgar Sia and built under a public-private partnership scheme to provide college education to poor students in two baccalaureate courses.

Mabilog said the President will also be invited to lead in the groundbreaking of the P344-million relocation sites housing displaced families along riverbanks and other danger zones in the city. The amount was facilitated by Drilon with P144 million from the National Housing Authority, P100 million from the Office of the President and another P100 million from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)’s core shelter program, with the city government providing 5.6 hectares of land in Brgy. Lanit in Jaro district.

Also in the President’s itinerary when he comes to visit Iloilo by mid-year this year will be the rehabilitated and upgraded to Double AA city slaughterhouse in Brgy. Tacas, Jaro district. The slaughterhouse project is spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture’s National Meat Inspection Commission (NMIC) in an effort to upgrade the processing of meat for local consumption and for exports.

Ilonggo Farmer Finds 'Gold' In His Ready-To-Lay Hens

(PNA)

ILOILO CITY (PNA) — It might be already on his bloodline being a business-minded person when Benjamin Tan decided to raise ready-to-lay hens after resigning from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

Tan was inspired to enter into business after visiting the office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Barangay Buntatala, Jaro, Iloilo City supposedly to inquire only about their agriculture and organic farming.

Tan is maintaining a backyard plantation of banana and papaya fruit trees in Barangay Buntatala, Leganes, Iloilo. He said raising chicken is much easier than farming.

As his starting capital investment, Tan spent P51,000 to buy 45 hens (lohman) worth P36,000 and construction of his cage worth P15,000.

The ready-to-lay hens are five-month old and 70 percent of the hens started laying eggs.

He said one hen can lay 21 eggs in just one month up to 16 months or 1 year and four month-old when reaching its maturity period.

PDIC to pay depositors of Cooperative Bank of Iloilo

(PNA), lgi/PR/JS/utb

MANILA, March 16 (PNA) — The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) announced it will start paying deposit insurance claims of depositors of the closed Cooperative Bank of Iloilo on March 14, 2012.

The claims settlement operations (CSO) will be held at the bank’s premises located along Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City and will continue until March 27, 2012.

Earlier, PDIC started mailing the Notice of Payments to depositors with valid accounts with balances of P10,000 and below. The filing of claims for accounts with balances of P10,000 and below is waived when the depositor has no outstanding obligation with the bank, has no other deposits with the bank with balance of above P10,000 and has complete mailing address found in the bank records.

Meanwhile, PDIC has started distributing Priority Numbers to depositors at the bank premises. PDIC advised all depositors of Cooperative Bank of Iloilo including those with deposit balances of P10,000 and below who have not yet received their Notice of Payment to proceed to the bank premises to get their Priority Numbers.

The Priority Number given to the depositor corresponds to an appointment date or the schedule when the PDIC representatives will service the depositor’s claim. The schedule of appointment dates will be posted in the bank’s premises and at the PDIC website, www.pdic.gov.ph.

PDIC advised depositors to transact only with authorized PDIC representatives and to bring on their appointment dates their accomplished Claim Form, Claim Status Sheet (CSS), original evidence of deposit, and original and photocopy of two valid IDs bearing the signature of the depositors. Depositors below 18 years old are required to submit a photocopy of their Birth Certificates issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) or duly certified copies from the Local Civil Registrar. Claim Forms and Claim Status Sheets may also be downloaded from the PDIC website, www.pdic.gov.ph.

In case the claimant is not the signatory in the bank records, an original copy of a notarized/authenticated Special Power Attorney (SPA) issued by the depositor or parent of minor depositor has to be submitted.

Depositors are encouraged to bring with them complete documentation to allow processing and payment of their claims on their appointment dates onsite.

Those who lack supporting documents will have to submit the necessary documents before they are paid. Documents may be completed during the CSO period or mailed to the PDIC if the CSO period has ended.

Depositors who may be issued Priority Numbers beyond the duration of the CSO may still file their claims with the PDIC representatives during the onsite CSO. However, their claims will be processed at the PDIC-Home Office in Makati City and notices of payment will be sent through mail.

Depositors who failed to file their claims within the duration of the CSO may submit their claims starting April 12, 2012 either through mail or personally during office hours at the PDIC, 4/F SSS Building., 6782 Ayala Avenue, Makati City.

Groundwork for GBPC’s carbon sink project underway

(PNA)

Global Business Power Corporation (GBPC), through its subsidiaries Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC) and Panay Power Corporation (PPC), has started the groundwork for the realization of its multi-million carbon sink project.

The five-year private-public partnership (PPP) project aims to sequester, among others, the carbon emission of GBPC’s diesel and coal-fired power plant in Brgy. Ingore, La Paz district.

Early this week, GBPC President Arthur Aguilar reiterated their commitment to care for the environment while offering a reliable power supply.

The carbon sink project includes the reforestation and rehabilitation of 40-hectare Bulabog-Putian National Park within the complex of Jalaur Water River Basin in Dingle, Iloilo.

It will also develop and convert the 35-hectare land in Barangays Ingore and Hinactacan in La Paz District into an ecological park.

It will enhance the state of the existing mangroves in the two villages.

All these initiatives will be made in partnership with the city government and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6.

“This (carbon sink project) is not just a mere compliance with the provisions of DENR’s Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) but our environmental legacy,” Aguilar said.

To ensure its sustainability, GBPC has created a special committee composed of key members from the community, people organization and non-government organization who will protect and manage the project.

Iloilo City to host national observance of World TB Day

By Vicente W. Villavert (JCM/VWV/PIA 6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, March 14 (PIA 6) -- Iloilo will play host to the national observance of the World TB Day on March 24 with Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona as guest speaker.

According to DOH 6 Director Susan K. Madarieta, this annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause tuberculosis or TB.

Tuberculosis, or TB, is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. It is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the throat and lungs of people with the active respiratory disease.

The campaign against TB is doing well in the region, according to Dr. Edith Gimotea, DOH 6 Regional TB Coordinator because “ from year 2000, we have 238 TB cases per 100,000 population and it reduced to 160 per 100,000 population in year 2010”.

“The reduction of TB cases in the region is in step with the Milllennium Development Goals to reduce it by half by the year 2015,” Gimotea said during the press conference.

Gimotea said that the TB treatment in year 2010 was recorded at 93 percent, stressing the good collaboration of the private sector in the fight against TB and the DOTS or Directly-Observed Treatment Short-course. It is a comprehensive strategy endorsed by the World Health Organization to detect and cure TB patients.

“DOTS remains at the heart of the Stop TB Strategy where medicines are given for free to the identified patients,” Gimotea said.

She said there are about 156 certified/accredited DOTS facilities in Western Visayas with the Iloilo province having the bigger number of 46; followed by Negros Occidental with 34; Aklan- 22; Capiz- 18; Antique- 16; Iloilo City- 10 and four (4) for Bacolod City.

As for the observance of the World TB Day on March 24, Director Madarieta said that the event will be held at Plaza Libertad, Iloilo City. To deliver health messages are: DOH Secretary Enrique T. Ona; Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog; Representative Jerry Trenas of the Lone District of Iloilo City; Iloilo Provincial Administrator Raul N. Banias; Dr. Susan K. Madarietta; Dr. Vincent M. Balanag Jr, National Chairperson of the PhilCAT; Dr. Edith Gimotea, Regional National TB Program Medical Coordinator; Provincial Health Officer II and Provincial Health Officer I Dr. Maria Socorro C. Quinon.

City to honor 15 outstanding graduating students

By Lydia C. Pendon

A TOTAL of 15 graduating high school students in Iloilo City will be honored by the City Government and its partner non-government organization the Haligi Foundation on Friday at the Robinsons fountain area.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will lead the awarding ceremony of the Batang Lider 2012 awardees, which he founded and spearheaded 10 years ago before being elected in a public office.

Now on its 10th year, the Mabilog project currently has 135 high school student alumni that carry the banner of development in Iloilo City and selected from state colleges and universities, private and public schools in the city.

Mabilog said the students, mostly high school valedictorians and salutatorians, are expected to bring the goodwill of Iloilo City with expertise to influence their fellow youth with honor, integrity and service.

This year, Batang Lider awardees include Beatriz Tobongbanua, Rhea Jane Germia, Gloria Mar Sayson, Primi Jun Hareso, Francis John Conde, Luis Miguel Tirador, Jothamme Enriquez, Kyzel Dagdag, Krizza Grace Bas, Riza Gemma Que, Christel Angela Daplas, Ruth Laurio, Jade Kristian Jamero, Airah Leen Atienza, and Aserina Yvonne Baladjay.

Retired SC Chief Justice Calls For Prioritization Of Socioeconomic Rights

By TARA YAP

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo – A former Supreme Court chief justice is pushing for the amendment of the Philippine Constitution to prioritize socio-economic rights.

“The amendment should be made in giving more teeth to the philosophy of social justice in order to alleviate the plight of the poor and the powerless in our society,” said retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno during an ecumenical conversation at the Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC) over the weekend.

Addressing members of the Western Visayas Ecumenical Council (WVEC) and the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR), Puno noted that the Constitution has given more priority to civil and political rights over and above the Filipino people’s socioeconomic rights.

Puno strongly urged Congress to pass laws to concretize socio-economic rights including rights to education, housing, health services, and a sustainable environment.

“Our present laws which would give muscle to these rights are almost nonexistent,” Puno declared.

He said Congress’ Lower House should also promulgate laws that would give additional protection of the rights of those in the so-called vulnerable sectors of society including farmers, fishermen, and informal settlers.

Puno said if this is not possible, then the Supreme Court must step in.

“The Supreme Court should come to the rescue of the socio-economic rights of our poor people,” Puno said.

“It is its duty to protect, respect and fulfill our people’s socioeconomic rights,” emphasized Puno.

Saudi Ministry of Health offers jobs for doctors and specialists

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

ILOILO CITY, March 11 (PIA) -- The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has reported that there are employment opportunities for physicians, doctors and specialists in this city who are looking for a job abroad.

According to POEA 6 Officer in Charge Rhea Glynda Calantas, the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom Saudi Arabia is currently in need of around 500 qualified physicians, doctors and specialists.

Qualified are those not more than 60 years old, Bachelor of Science graduate, with board of license and at least one year hospital work experience.

Calantas said the salary offer ranges from SR 10,000 to SR 25,000. Other benefits include free food and accommodation, paid annual vacation with free round trip economy ticket and free tickets for the family.

Applicants are advised to register on line at www.poea.gov.ph or www.eregister.poea.gov.ph. and personally submit a detailed resume with job description, school credentials, employment certificates, PRC credentials, photocopy of their Board Certificate rating valid NBI, original and photocopy of the first page of their passport and 6 pieces 2x2 recent photo at the Manpower Registry Division, Window M, Ground Floor, Blas F. Ople Building (formerly POEA Bldg.), Ortigas Avenue, corner EDSA, Mandaluyong City.

Submission of application will remain open until further notice.


Feature: Farm youth find farming profitable

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

While the country’s farmers are greying (average age is 57) and poor (P27,000 annual income)*, the Iloilo city government has found a way to encourage the youth to go into farming.

Through its vegetable farming project, the Office of the City Agriculturist (OCA) provides training, funds and technical assistance to the youth who are members of a barangay organization called the 4-H Club.

“My income from growing vegetables is more than enough for my personal needs, so I shared part of it to my sister for her graduation expenses,” said 4-H member Joemart Sasa, 20, in the dialect.

The Barangay Lanit 4-H Club is an organization of farm youths aged 15-30 years old in or out of school. The club aims to develop “the head, the heart, the hands and health of the person.” Now with 29 members, it was organized 1994 when personnel of the DA were devolved into the local government unit.

Four members of the 4-H club qualified for the Vegetable Gardening Project, which was launched in December 2010. Each beneficiary received P10,000 as seed capital from the ATI on the condition that the loaned amount will be repaid after harvest.

“The project was intended for the youth members of the 4-H Club as part of the youth development program of the OCA,” said Iloilo City Agriculturist Renato C. Madrilejo.

Madrilejo said the youth farmers are visited regularly and provided with technical assistance by a farm youth development program coordinator (FYDPC).

“We see to it that the youth members become productive, so we thought of vegetable gardening as an approach to achieve it,” FYDP Coordinator Georgia Lapastora said.

Thus, equipped with capital, knowledge and skills in farming—land preparation, planting, watering and nurturing their vegetable garden—the beneficiaries were able to harvest and market their produce in two to three months, said Madrilejo.

Another beneficiary, Julian Dionio, 25, is a son of a farmer from Barangay Lanit, in Jaro, and a member of the 4-H Club.

Jobless only three months ago (at best, he would be in and out of job as a construction worker), he is now P10,000 richer from the sale of green onions he harvested from his vegetable garden.

Another beneficiary, third year high school student Speed Jasmin, 15, said, “I only wanted to have a source of income for myself while studying to ease the burden of my family. Now I have enough money for my needs in school.”

The first batch of beneficiaries are now into their third cropping, expanding to other vegetables like pechay, tomatoes, and lettuce using their initial incomes.

The next five beneficiaries will venture into the project for the third cropping using the seed money returned by the first batch, in a roll-over scheme, to ensure that other 4-H club members will have an opportunity to avail of the project.

Meanwhile, Julian, now the president of the 4-H Club Federation of Iloilo City, said he saw much hope for the farm youth to be more productive with sustaining efforts in vegetable gardening.

He added that more than the money they earn, they have learned to be more industrious, hard-working and dedicated; and that “what they sow, they reap.”

  • Ernesto M. Ordoñez, "A useful agri-fisheries vision for 2025," Philippine Daily Inquirer, 11 Oct 2011

DOST to install more water level sensors in WV

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

ILOILO CITY, March 9 (PIA6) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will install three (3) more automated water level sensors (AWLS) in Western Visayas, particularly in the Tigum-Aganan River System in Iloilo.

The additional units will be installed in the towns of Alimodian, San Miguel and Sta. Barbara, said DOST Regional Director Engr. Rowen Gelonga.

This is part of the agency’s weather monitoring system project to assist in disaster risk reduction program of the government, Gelogna said. Apart from these areas, the DOST is set to install additional AWLS in the towns of Maasin and Pavia and Jaro, Iloilo City this quarter.

The AWLS are designed to help weather forecasters in tracking river water levels and potential floods.

One-half of the cost of equipment was funded by the DOST while the other half was funded by Smart Communications as a public-private partnership project with DOST and local government units, said Gelonga during the recent first quarterly meeting of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC).

The DOST has already installed Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) and Automatic Rain Gauges (ARG) in Aklan (2 AWS and 1 ARG), Antique (1 ARG), Capiz (1 ARG), Guimaras (1 AWS and 1 ARG), Iloilo (4 AWS and 3 ARG), and Negros Occ. (5 AWS and 3 ARG) as part of their weather monitoring system project in the region.

Gelonga said the three different kinds of equipment are designed to empower local government units in disaster risk reduction and mitigation by providing them with real-time information on weather conditions and river water levels in their respective localities.

The AWS are monitoring stations equipped with different sensors capable of measuring wind speed and direction, air temperature, humidity and pressure, and rainfall amount, duration and intensity.

On the other hand, ARGs have been developed to gather and record the amount of rainfall over a set period of time and selected ARGs are capable of measuring air pressure.

Community college approved for June opening

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE City Council unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday approving the school opening of the government-owned Iloilo City Community College (ICCC) in June 2012 even without a confirmation from the Commission on Higher Education (Ched).

Councilor Plaridel Nava, chair of the council’s committee on education, said that under the local government code, the moratorium established by Ched on the creation of new colleges and universities can never be applied to a local government unit (LGU).

Plaridel said they are supporting and adopting the position of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to open the college to the first batch of 300 poor but deserving city high school graduates as City Government scholars to take up baccalaureate courses on Bachelor of Travel Management and Bachelor of Office Management as initial offered courses.

The councilor maintained that Ched has no jurisdiction over the government-run college as long as the LGU meets minimum requirement of Ched.

Nava told the council that there are existing 21 colleges and universities in the country and foremost are the University of Makati and Marikina which do not have confirmation from Ched.

The University of Makati is operated by the Makati City Government for the past 40 years without Ched accreditation but empowered by a city ordinance mandated by the local government code.

Nava said the ICCC is applying for membership with the Association of Local Colleges and Universities and University of Makati president Tom Lopez will help in the membership application. Lopez is also willing to join and help the ICCC Board of Trustees.

Mabilog has appointed the ICCC Board of Trustees composed of Prof. Mary Anne Gumban, Dr. Erlinda Gencaya, businessman Joel Adrias, former city councilor Erlinda Liberiaga and Nava, with Catalina Sanico as college dean.

Iloilo, USAID Now Development Partners

By TARA YAP

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has chosen Iloilo as a partner in its Cities Development Initiative (CDI) program.

“Iloilo City has been selected because it demonstrates economic potential,” said Gloria Steele, USAID Mission Director for the Philippines.

The CDI is a five-year program under the U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Growth signed last November 2011 during the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

It is designed to find solutions on constraints of economic growth and development in Iloilo City through partnership between USAID, the city government, business sector, civil society, and the academe.

The CDI will also tackle issues including lack of stable electric power and water supply, poor health facilities, and improving the conduciveness of doing business.

The program works on the premise that economic growth and employment opportunities are parallel with urban development.

Steele explained that once Iloilo City’s economic potentials are harnessed, it will pave the way for the eventual development of nearby areas and is expected to grow “the way Metro Manila has grown.”

Steele added that USAID Philippines applauds the commitment of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in promoting good governance as well as attracting investors.

“It takes a strong partnership between the public and private sectors to work towards long-term and inclusive development,” Steele said.

US Sailors Enjoy Iloilo Visit

By TARA YAP

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo – United States Navy sailors visiting Iloilo for the first time expressed enthusiasm about their initial impressions of the city.

“The people of Iloilo are very friendly; it was overwhelming,” enthused USS Chafee commanding office, Cmdr. Justin Kubu.

The missile guided destroyer dropped anchor off the coast of Iloilo for a few days as part of the US Embassy-organized “America in 3D: A Road Show in Diplomacy, Development and Defense.”

At least 80 American sailors went on shore to mainland Iloilo, participating in community outreach programs including mangrove planting and painting of classrooms.

Other sailors conducted basketball and soccer clinics at the Central Philippine University (CPU) in Jaro.

A special tour on board the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Chafee which is deployed in the Asia-Pacific, saw invited guests including local government officials, government workers, Iloilo entrepreneurs, teachers, students, and civic leaders.

The USS Chafee has a crew of some 300 sailors, 30 of which are Filipino-Americans.

Kubu expressed high praises for said Filipino-Americans serving on board the US naval ship, saying “they are hardworking individuals integral to the ship’s operation.”

The naval ship is named after the late Sen. John Chafee, who served as Secretary of the US Navy during the presidency of Richard Nixon.

Iloilo government officials, meanwhile, say that aforesaid “America in 3D” show held in Iloilo City last March 2 to 4 certainly helped in the strengthening of ties between the Philippines and the United States.

Iloilo Lauds Stronger US-Phl Ties

(Manila Bulletin Article)

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo — A three-day road show organized by the United States Embassy named America in 3D which was held March 2 to 4 in this city was a manifestation of stronger Filipino-American relationship in the province and city of Iloilo, said Iloilo officials.

For his part, for instance, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., said the show “further strengthened our friendship as the US continues to be our partners in advancing Iloilo’s development and progress.”

The road show which underlined diplomacy, development and defense themes, showcased American culture as well as tips on securing a visa to the U.S., as well as business and educational opportunities in the U.S. for Filipinos.

“ America in 3D brought the US Embassy closer to the Ilonggo community, showing us the value of brotherhood and friendship,” said Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

According to Mabilog, American influence is very strong in Iloilo.

“We have an American community here. Iloilo hosts an American Cemetery and Americans were also responsible for constructing in Iloilo the only passenger and freight railway system outside of Manila,” Mabilog added.

America in 3D put up exhibits at SM City Iloilo, a basketball and soccer clinic at the Central Philippine University (CPU), and a tour of the American naval ship, USS Chafee.

US Deputy Chief of Mission Leslie Bassett and other American diplomats participated in outreach activities including mangrove planting at Sooc village in Arevalo district and painting classrooms at Esteban Juntado Sr. Memorial Elementary School in Calumpang village of Molo district.

Iloilo is the fourth Philippine city where the US Embassy brought the America in 3D show launched in 2011 by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry Thomas Jr. Previously, it was brought to Quezon City, Baguio and Cebu.

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