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Iloilo News

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Province of Iloilo - Archived News

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DA-6 taps IOs in campaign vs rice wastage

ILOILO CITY– Director Larry Nacionales of the Department of Agriculture-6 has asked the Information Officers of Iloilo to help the agency in its massive information campaign against rice wastage.

Nacionales said this campaign is part of its interventions in establishing rice sufficiency in the region, by not only increasing yield but by avoiding wastage in various forms.

He said information officers can educate the people in their respective areas as rice wastage is increasing as much as the increasing population consumes more rice.

Nacionales hosted the general assembly meeting of the Association of Government Information Officers (AGIO) from the national agencies and local government units in Iloilo, taking it as an opportunity to enlist their help.

He said they have observed that there is so much wastage of rice in big growth centers like the cities, where people gather for conferences and seminars.

He added that DA is also campaigning for seminar/conference organizers to serve local food items, low cost and nutritious, like root crops, boiled bananas, corn, and other substitutes for rice, in support of staple food sufficiency, which is not only rice.

Nacionales quoted the data from food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) which showed that each person in the households is estimated to incur a rice wastage of three tablespoons per day, which, when put together can cost billions in a year.

Public education can also include identification of occasions of rice wastage, starting even from harvesting and storage, processing until preparation for cooking and improper eating habits.

Likewise, Nacionales said, government programs like farm mechanization, organic agriculture and community seed banking to increase production and profit should not be diminished by rice wastage.

“That is why we would like this campaign to take root in our villages, even schools, with your help,” Nacionales told the information officers

During the assembly, DA-6 Regional Information Officer Juvy S. Gaton was elected AGIO president for 2012-2014.

PRO-6 Prepares For 2013 Polls

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo – The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has ordered the monitoring of private armed groups in Western Visayas.

Police Director Gen. Nicanor Bartolome said he has been talking to top officials of Police Regional Office (PRO-6) in preparation for peace and security plan for the May 2013 midterm elections.

“We have to monitor as early as now,” said Bartolome while attending the graduation ceremony of 520 officers who finished PRO-6’ Special Counter Operation Urban Terrorist Course (SCOUT) at Camp Delgado in Iloilo City last May 5.

However, Panay island had its first political killing leading to the upcoming midterm elections when Vice Mayor Abel Martinez of Mambusao, Capiz was killed in an ambush last May 4.

Martinez, who was on his third and final term as vice mayor, was shot five times outside his house along Rizal St. while he was doing his early morning exercise.

Bartolome has directed all commanders to start with their own security plans to avert any major political violence.

The country’s top cop also ordered all units to beef up its operations against illegal firearms, which can be used my armed groups as weapons for politically motivated attacks.

According to PRO-6 records, there were 24 political-related incidents in Western Visayas during the May 2010 elections.

Meanwhile, Bartolome officially opened recently PRO-6’s Criminal Investigation Course.

OWWA celebrates 30th anniversary by recognizing partners, scholars

ILOILO CITY- The regional office of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA-6) here in Western Visayas recently hosted an awards ceremony to recognize partners and scholars to mark the agency’s 30th anniversary.

Partner awardees were cited for their support to the agency’s programs and help in the promotion of the socio-economic welfare of overseas Filipino workers and families.

OWWA-6 director Samuel Madrid in his welcome message took the opportunity to thank partners saying “OWWA-6 recognizes the fact that without you, our able partners, we would not have made it this far.”

Madrid added that without them they could not have achieved their milestone performances and activities that left a mark in the hearts of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the region.

The awardees include three local government units, 14 government agencies, eight non-government organizations/private sector, and 10 media organizations.

The awardees from the LGUs include the Iloilo City government and Congressman Jerry Trenas and Governor Arthur Defensor.

The awardees from the government agencies are: Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Science and Technology, Regional Tripartite Wages & Productivity Board, Department of Trade and Industry, National Labor Relations Commission, National Conciliation and Mediation Board, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Professional Regulatory Commission, Philippines News Agency, Home Development Mutual Fund, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.

For the non-government organizations/private sectors cited were Panay & Negros Service Exporters Association, Soroptimist International-Iloilo City Chapter, International Organization for Migration, Saudi Arabia Hiligaynon Incorporated, Globe Telecoms, SM City Iloilo, EXACT, and HALIGI Foundation.

The awardees from the media are the following: ABS-CBN Networks, GMA Network Group, Panay News, The Daily Guardian, The News Today, Aksyon Radyo, Radio Mindanao Network, Super Radyo, Bombo Radyo, and Radyo ng Bayan.

Also, the anniversary celebration gave due recognition to the achievement of this year’s OWWA graduates under its Education and Development Scholarship Program and Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program.

EDSP scholars who graduated this year are Arthur Jay Cordero, Meawyn Millan, Kennieth John Solas and John Rex Toledo. Cordero and Toledo graduated Cum Laude.

Joseph Alfred Rubinos is the lone CMWSP scholar who graduated this year.

Aside from the recognition program, OWWA 6 also mounted a photo exhibit as it looks back at its activities and accomplishments from the past decades to further highlight its anniversary celebration carrying the theme “Tatlong Dekada ng Serbisyong Tapat at Nararapat.” The month-long photo exhibit can be viewed at the OWWA 6 Regional Office at the 2nd floor of the AJL Building, Gen. Luna St. Iloilo City.

Victims of human trafficking in WV get assistance

ILOILO CITY– About P230,000 livelihood assistance was released for 23 out of 38 victims of human trafficking in Western Visayas.

The amount, according to the report of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-6), was under the recovery and reintegration program of the agency.

The same report also showed that P12,700 was released for the skills training of two trafficked persons, one from Bingawan, Iloilo and the other from Victorias City, Negros Occidental.

For support of victims and witnesses, a total of P38,000 was released for 13 recipients from Iloilo, Antique and one referral from Catanduanes, while P3,360 was spent for ICT Training of one from Bacolod City.

Based on the record, Social Worker Officer Nelia S. Surmilla said 18 of those under the care of the program were in the age bracket of 15 to 30 while the rest were above 30 and the oldest, a sixty-year-old woman from Tangub, Bacolod city, a victim of sexual exploitation.

Surmilla said majority of the cases were victims of forced labor, and sexual exploitation and two of debt bondage.

Most who came from Bingawan, Iloilo were duped into working abroad by their own kins and rescued by the authorities.

Surmilla added that most of these victims under the DSWD’s program, are now being gradually reintegrated into society with the livelihood assistance given and skills training provided, wherein they have started their own income-generating project, or getting employed locally.

“Some are still being counseled and guided by our local social workers, and being assessed as to recovery from trauma,” surmilla said.

Records also showed that two are now included in the Pantawid Pamilya Program of the government.

The trafficked persons under the DSWD’s program came from Iloilo City, Bingawan, Calinog, Passi, Lambunao, Anilao, Banate, in Iloilo; Bacolod City, Victorias City, Hinigaran in Negros Occidental; Roxas City and Maayon in Capiz.

Local legislation needed to combat child labor - DOLE-6

ILOILO CITY– Local legislation are needed to eliminate worst forms child labor at the barangay level.

This is because there are no corresponding local ordinances in the barangays to give teeth to Republic Act 9231 or the act providing for elimination of the worst forms of child labor, said Director Ponciano Ligutom of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-6)

The 2010 record of the International Labor Organization (ILO)-Philippines showed that there over 300,000 working children in Western Visayas, majority of whom are in dangerous environment. About 70 percent of them are in the rural areas.

Dir. Ligutom said majority of these child laborers are involved in agriculture, sugar industry, and mining, mostly in Negros Occidental and Iloilo, both agricultural and industrial centers in Western Visayas.

In 2010, Negros Occidental had 110,000 child workers, Iloilo, 109,000, Capiz, 49,000, Antique,28,000, Aklan, 17,000, and Guimaras, 4,000.

On the other hand, the Provincial Council for the Protection of Children (PCPC), chaired by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr., and Co-chaired by DILG Provincial Director Rosario Masa, had initiated the passing of a resolution for the local government units to organize or activate their local councils for the protection of children to address among others, issues on child labor.

Both the DOLE and the PCPC are encouraging the participation of multi-agency partners and private stakeholders in the responsibility of engaging parents and children to prevent child labor.

PCPC member agencies have been involved in orientations in the barangay level on children’s rights and responsibilities of parents and local officials.

The DOLE, on the other hand, have provided interventions for five poorest barangays chosen as pilot sites for its Child Labor Free Barangay program.

These sites are in the sugar plantations in Bgy. Jonobjonob and Balintawak in Escalante City, and Bgy. Antipolo in Pontevedra, all in Negros Occidental.

The other sites are in the towns of Libacao and Madalag in the province of Aklan.

DOLE-6 has, likewise, partnered with World Vision and the Educational Research and Development Assistance (ERDA) Foundation, Inc., where children from the pyrotechnic industry, in Arevalo, Iloilo City, and some children engaged in prostitution and scavenging, get the chance to catch up in learning through special sessions with trained Little Teachers, under the Ang Pag-aaral ng Bata Para sa Kinabukasan (ABK3) Project.

Some 5,000 child laborers in the sugar industry and deep-sea fishing in the towns of San Enrique, anilao, Barotac Nuevo, Dingle, Passi City, Duenas and Banate were also recipients of the ABK3.

DOLE-6 also reported that as of April this year, 210 parents of child laborers in different industries, underwent trainings in hog raising, rice retailing, vending, baking and food processing.

On the other hand, PCPC member Police Chief Inspector Rubenie Grandeza said, most of the child laborers they have apprehended in fishing industry in the coastal areas engage in such to augment school expenses which their parents cannot provide.

“Poverty is still a major factor, but with appropriate local ordinances and interventions, child labor can be addressed,” Grandeza said.

Iloilo supports gov't. climate change efforts

ILOILO CITY- Iloilo provincial administrator Raul N. Banias said that the provincial government headed by Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. supports the efforts of government to address the challenge of climate change by undertaking appropriate local initiatives such as tree planting activities.

Banias said that Iloilo has embarked on a program dubbed Action for Re-greening and Transformation (ART), which includes re-greening projects especially in watershed and mangrove areas.

Banias said that the primary goal of the program is to rehabilitate, restore, and enhance the tree covers of these vital areas to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

Target of the program is to plant one million trees in the province which is also in support to the National Greening Program (NGP).

Since the program was launched in 2011, the provincial government has planted more than one million trees.

The tree-planting activities were participated in by various sectors as a form of public-private partnership.The latest tree planting activity was conducted at a mangrove site in Leganes, Iloilo.

The provincial government has a yearly tree planting project dubbed, "Piyesta sa Kakahuyan," held every September as well as tree- planting activities during Arbor Day and other commemorative events including the "Kaadlawan sang Iloilo" in April.

Banias said that this year the province will focus on planting trees on mangrove areas.

He said that by greening our province we are addressing climate change.

Thorough Assessment Of Iloilo’s Hall Of Justice Structural Integrity Urged

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo — Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon wants an in-depth technical report on the status of the structural integrity of the P200-million Iloilo Hall of Justice which has been abandoned following the strong earthquake that hit the Visayas, including Iloilo last February 6, 2012.

“Let’s have a look at the technical assessment of the building’s structural integrity,” Drilon said.

Drilon, who was the brains behind the 20-year-old Ramon Q. Avanceña Hall of Justice when he was still Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary during the term of President Corazon Aquino, said he does not want to comment on reports that there was an anomaly during the construction phase that compromised the structural integ¬rity of the building.

Drilon said he will talk to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Sec. Rogelio Singson for further assessment.

“I will ask Sec. Singson to send special structural engineers who will assess the condition of the Hall of Justice and how to proceed,” Drilon said referring to the next step whether or not to repair the dam¬aged building or construct a new one.

After the occurrence of aftershocks following last February 6’s earthquake, major cracks were found by the DPWH-6’s Planning and Design Division on the building’s columns, pre-stressed slabs, concrete girders, parapet walls, and perimeter walls.

By last week of February, majority of the offices at the Hall of Justice along Bonifacio Drive abandoned the building.

Drilon said he is open to fund the construction of a new Hall of Justice in case the current one is beyond repair.

“I am open to looking for funding of the construction of a new structure if necessary,” Drilon added.

Earlier, Drilon, in fact, has allocated P200 million in his 2012 Priority Devel¬opment Assistance Fund (PDAF) for repair expenses for the country’s Halls of Justice.

Emphasized Drilon, “I will give priority to (repair) the Iloilo Hall of Justice.”

Iloilo town launches hymn composition contest

ILOILO CITY- The municipal government of San Miguel, Iloilo officially launched this week the competition for the composition of a town hymn.

Sangguniang Bayan Member Rochin Sherwin S. Sanchez, chair of the committee spearheading the competition, said contestants have until June 29, 2012 to submit their entries.

The Grand Prize Winner shall receive P30, 000, trophy and certificate. The second placer shall also receive a cash prize amounting to P15, 000 and certificate. All non-winning contestants shall each receive a consolation prize of P5, 000 and certificate.

Sanchez said the contest is open to residents of the municipality, their relatives and those related to them by affinity.

The hymn must be in Hiligaynon and reflect the culture, tradition, history, religiosity, values, resources and products of the municipality and its people.

The winners will be chosen at a public performance of the entries during the People’s Day Celebration of the municipality on September 29, 2012.

Earlier, Sanchez told the PIA that the competition was conceived to enable the town to have an official hymn that, among others, would afford a glimpse at its distinct identity.

The launching of the competition was made during the program of the May 1 opening salvo of the town’s fiesta, which falls on May 8. The opening activity was led by Mayor Victor S. Saclauso together with other local government officials and partners from the public and private sectors.

San Miguel, a 4th Class municipality located some 17 kilometers from Iloilo City, is a member of the Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Economic Development Council (MIGEDC) and the 2nd Iloilo Integrated Area Development Cluster.

P11.2-B Jalaur River Project Seen As Game Changer For Iloilo

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo – The P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project is expected to bring unparalleled development to the city and province of Iloilo.

“This will be the game changer for Iloilo,” enthused Ilonggo Sen. Franklin Drilon.

Drilon disclosed that the Philippines and South Korea are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to firm-up the second phase of the mega irrigation project today.

Phase II of said project will include the construction of a storage dam and reservoir along Jalaur River, considered the lifeblood Iloilo’s rice industry.

“It will irrigate 32,000 hectares of farmland and will generate 17,000 jobs,” said Drilon, who has been instrumental in lobbying for the project.

A priority program of the De¬partment of Agriculture (DA) and National Irrigation Administration (NIA), the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project is set to contribute to ensur¬ing the sustainability of the country’s self-sufficiency in rice production.

Needless to say, the mega irriga¬tion project will boost Iloilo’s stand¬ing as one of the country’s top rice producers.

Drilon added that the construc¬tion of a hydro electric power plant – which is part of said Jalaur River multipurpose project – will also help generate bulk water supply for Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD). The project will also include, among oth¬ers, the building of a storage dam.

Jalaur River runs through Passi City and several Iloilo towns includ¬ing Barotac Nuevo, Calinog, Duenas, Dingle, Dumangas, Leganes, Pototan, and Zarraga.

Ilonggo job seekers try luck at BPOs during Jobs Fair

ILOILO CITY- Thousands of Ilonggo fresh college graduates and job seekers gathered at the Amigo Plaza Mall, this City for opportunities that may be provided by the call centers or the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry during the Labor Day Job and Livelihood Fairs.

Assistand Regional Director Dax B. Villaruel of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE 6) said in a PIA interview that around nine call centers joined the Job Fair at the Amigo Plaza Mall exclusive only for the applicants for call centers.

“Business Process Outsourcing companies or call centers are in need of 800 customer service associates and 586 call enter agents,” ARD Villaruel said.

Villaruel said that there were three venues of the Labor Day Job and Livelihood Fairs in Western Visayas.

These job Fairs’ sites are located in SM City Iloilo for local job opportunities and overseas recruitment and sea-based seamen; the Amigo Plaza Mall for call center applicants; and at AM Bacolod City also for local and overseas jobs.

The DOLE 6 Assistant Regionla Director did not give the exact figure when asked how many jobs will be generated for Western Visayas as targeted for the Labor Day Job Fair, but he said that “there are about 35,000 job openings”.

Meanwhile, at the opening ceremony of the Job Fair, Mr. Johnson Lim of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Iloilo said that for Iloilo, Mang Inasal was the economic success story for the last decade, but for the entire country it is the Call Center or the Business Process Outsourcing industry.

Lim said that the Philippines overtakes India as BPO provider, where recently the Philippine tops the 2012 Business English Index with a 7.0 score and outscoring other countries like the Norway, Estonia, Esrbia, Slovenia and India.

“That’s great news,” Lim stressed before that audience of Iloilo city government officials, the business sector, and the applicants for the BPO, who someday will become contributors to the regional economy.

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