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Iloilo City News

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Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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Molo Church, Iloilo City
Iloilo dinagyang festival.jpg
The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan.
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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.

Contents

Iloilo City PPP gets boost

(PR)

THE Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center in Manila has extended its expertise to help Iloilo City Government in realizing priority infrastructure initiatives for the people.

Both parties entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) Wednesday, August 14, for the purpose of providing a framework for cooperation and coordination with the goal of developing a robust pipeline projects.


Mayor Jerry P. Treñas was authorized by the City Council, through a resolution, to sign on behalf of the City Government.

The City Hall is looking for investors to upgrade the slaughterhouse, waste-to-energy facility and public markets.

“We are excited because this will allow us to free a portion of the budget which we will be able to use for other social projects to benefit the people. We look forward to a very fruitful relationship with the PPP Center,” said Treñas.

“We are excited, too, to work with city officials and employees for us to push for important projects. Aside from benefits of working with the private sector, one of the issues we are closely monitoring is social concerns. We should not forget that people in need are not taken for granted,” said PPP undersecretary and executive director Ferdinand Pecson.

Pecson said partnering with the private sector is not merely for profit but for social services.

“We commit that when we do the studies, that is one great concern of course, including environment, even gender; it's going to be a consideration, it's not just all about money, or income or cost-savings. It's really a holistic approach that we will be doing,” he added.

“I am very glad that we are very much alive in that respect and that really makes it easier for our team to move forward. And we understand also that time is of the essence, we have to move very quickly, we have to show results quickly. They're eager to already start working. There's really lots of work to be done but with everyone's support, we will be succeeding, I'm sure,” Pecson said.

MTRCB: Support TV programs, films promoting positive Pinoy values

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

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) -- The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) encouraged the public to support television programs and films that promote positive Filipino core values.

In the 7th MTRCB Family and Child Summit held at the Diamond Jubilee Hall, Iloilo City, MTRCB Chairperson Rachel Arenas emphasized the board’s role in preserving, enriching, and promoting Filipino cultural values, customs, and traditions to strengthen national identity.

“We are conscious of our bigger commitment to be an instrument in raising awareness of our core values,” she said, adding that their role is not merely regulatory but also developmental.

She said that MTRCB can be likened to a parent who is responsible for the value formation of the children.

“One of our duties is to regulate access of the children to age-appropriate TV programs,” she said.

She also cited some of the values which can be promoted in television programs and films which are uniquely Filipinos including “utang na loob,””bayanihan,”“malasakit,”“pagmamano," and the strength of our “faith in God.”

“These are so unique to our way of life that there are no literal translations in English of ‘utang na loob,’ of ‘bayanihan,' of ‘malasakit,’ yet we Filipinos understand them by heart and the practice of which is second nature to us,” she said.

Meanwhile, the MTRCB held the 7th Family and Child Summit in Iloilo City, in celebration of the 100 years of Philippine Cinema

The theme for this year’s summit is “History of Philippine Cinema in Western Visayas.”

The event aimed to recognize the colorful history of Ilonggo Cinema and to reflect on how the Filipino family is depicted in Philippine Cinema throughout the years.

lloilo youth train on leadership, governance

By Gail Momblan (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- Seventeen youngsters from different schools in Iloilo province will be trained on leadership and governance for the Sangguniang Kabataan’s (SK) Boy and Girl Officials 2019 as part of the celebration of the Linggo ng Kabataan.

The chosen youth will serve as counterparts for Iloilo provincial government officials from the governor, vice-governor, and Sangguniang Panlalawigan members from Tuesday to Friday, said Maria Bianca Requinto, SK provincial federation president.

The boy and girl officials were formally introduced in a program at the Casa Real de Iloilo on Tuesday.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr., in his speech, underscored the importance of the youth in nation-building.

“Youth is the future of the country, but we need you now. Under our law, the youth is already given responsibilities and obligations,” he said, adding that their four-day service at the Iloilo provincial government will exercise their sense of responsibility.

With the program's theme "Transforming Education", Requinto said the chosen boy and girl officials should serve as a tool to help fellow youth attain relevant, inclusive, and accessible education.

Education should also respect the diverse needs and unique abilities of the youth and shall, therefore, honor gender equality, human rights, and culture.

"Learning does not end in the classroom so this 'Linggo ng Kabataan', our activity will help the youth be empowered through engaging them inside the province," she said.

The boy and girl officials were chosen after a thorough interview, on-the-spot essay writing, and paper screening.

Pia Victoria Graza of Guimbal National High School will serve as governor and Gizzele Amour Tagabi as vice-governor.

Mark David Nalinga of A. Firmeza Memorial National High School and Frans Adellie Gargantiel of Guimbal National High School as first district board members; Charisse Camarista of Leonora Salapantan National High School and Jie Anne Faith Ausmolo of Pavia National High School as second district board members; Kevin Rey Deanon and Bea Ramirez of Zarraga National High School as third district board members; Crisfe Vergara of Dingle National High School and Rey Ann Destua of Dumangas National High School as fourth district board members; and Arian Mark Lebuna of Lambunao National High School and Alen Tolentino of Barotac Viejo National High School as fifth district board members.

Meanwhile, Lea Barta of Leonora Salapantan National High School, Azriel Dominik Almacen of Iloilo National High School, and Mary Jun Viray of Alimodian Comprehensive High School will be the counterpart of Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s ex-officio members.

Aside from being the counterparts of Iloilo government officials, the boys and girls will also attend talks, team-building activity, and will be oriented on the roles of provincial government offices.

"We expect them to gain significant lessons and experiences after these activities," Requinto said.

Ilongga teacher among Metrobank Outstanding Filipino awardees

(Daily Guardian)

FOUR teachers—two from basic education and two from higher education—were among the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos presented in a press conference at Marquis Events Place, Bonifacio Global City.

The Recipients of the 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Teachers are:

• Dorothy Tarol, Ph.D., Master Teacher II, Special Education-Integrated School for Exceptional Children (SPED-ISEC) in Iloilo City;
• Cristina Cristobal, Ph.D., Special Science Teacher 5, Philippine Science High School Main Campus in Quezon City;
• Ricardo Jose, Ph.D. Professor 12, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City; and
• Eva Maria Cutiongco-dela Paz, M.D., Professor 10, College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila.

Tarol is cited for championing inclusive education, especially through her action research designed to enhance basic literacy skills of learners with hearing impairment.

Meanwhile, Cristobal is honored for promoting Philippine history among her students through an approach that encourages hands-on experience with the use of primary sources.

Jose is acclaimed for being the country’s foremost scholar on World War II in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific, while Cutiongco-dela Paz is cited for her prolific work on clinical genetics and shedding light on genetic disorders.

DepEd Secretary Leonor MagtolisBriones extended her greetings to the awardees who have proven that teaching is not just a profession, but a lifetime mission and vocation.

“On behalf of the Department of Education (DepEd), I salute you for your unwavering commitment and dedication to the noble mission of raising and nurturing lifelong learners,” the Education chief shared.

Together with three soldiers and three police officers, the four outstanding teachers shall receive a cash prize of P1 million each (net of tax), a golden medallion, and a trophy during the formal conferment ceremonies on September 4.

“We believe that the call to recognize excellence resonates truer than ever as we celebrate Metrobank Foundation’s 40th year founding anniversary this year. We sustain our commitment to honor exemplary servants from the academe, military, and police sectors whose stories inspire action and whose contributions to society represent the best in our people,” Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña said during the press briefing.

The awardees underwent a rigorous selection process and were chosen from hundreds of nominations. A Board of Assessors, composed of members from the government, academe, military, and NGO sectors, identified semi-finalists through a review of documents submitted.

Eighteen finalists were chosen whose accomplishments in service and community underwent the field validation process spearheaded by third-party organizations¾the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC) and the Career Executive Service Board (CESB). This process verified the significant contributions of the finalists to their respective fields and communities of influence.

As a career-service award for Filipino exemplars in the academe, military, and police sectors, Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino is steered by the theme, “Beyond Excellence,” and is granted to those who render service above and beyond their call of duty. Their accomplishments must have inspired and influenced their peers, as well as the people in their respective communities, and their works must have transformed a community with a lasting positive impact on people and the country.

Premier Volleyball League set to play in Iloilo City on Oct. 5

By Adrian Stewart Co (PN)

ILOILO City – Premier Volleyball League will make its return in this city with a double-header Open Conference matches on Oct. 5 at the University of San Agustin Gymnasium.

Reinforced Conference champions Petro Gazz Angels will battle Pacific Town-Army Lady Troopers at two in the afternoon while defending champions Creamline Cool Smashers will face sister team Choco Mucho Flying Titans at 4 p.m.

The Angels will banner Jovielyn Prado, Djanel Cheng, Jessey de Leon, Stephanie Mercado, and Jeanette Panaga while the Lady Troopers has Guimarasnon Jovelyn Gonzaga and Ilonggas Nerissa Bautista and Jeannie delos Reyes.

The Cool Smashers will have powerhouse Alyssa Valdez, Jessica Galanza, Julia Morado, Michelle Gumabao, Celine Domingo, and Bacolodnons Melissa Gohing and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano.

The Flying Titans, on the other hand, has Kat Tolentino, Bea de Leon, Madeleine Madayag, Manilla Santos-Ng, Bacolodnons Kassandra Gequillana, and Dancel Dusaran and Ilongga Shannen Palec.

Event organizer Rodolfo Go Villaruz told Panay News tickets will be available starting on Aug. 19 with the price details to be posted on Biron Cup Facebook page in the coming days.

“This will be a blockbuster game since all teams are loaded in talents. The fans would surely eager to see her live once more,” said Villaruz, who added that part of ticket sales will proceed to dengue victims.

At dusk, lights illuminate along Benigno Aquino Avenue in Iloilo City

By Jed Del Rosario (PN)

ILOILO City – Iloilo Business Week 2019 promises to be an exciting weeklong event, not only because of the fairs and celebrations, but also because of the launching of Innovate Iloilo, a new initiative that will act as roadmap for Iloilo’s long term development.

The annual celebration will consist of four critical events. First is the Trade, Travel and Fiber Fair from August 12 to 18, which is to be held at the SM City Activity Center. Second is the launching of Innovate Iloilo on August 13, at the SM City Activity Center. The third event is the Economic and Business Outlook 2019, which is expected to take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on August 14 at the SM City Cinema 6. And finally, there will be a “Dinner/Show: Celebrating the Ilonggo Spirit” on August 16 at the Grand Xing Imperial Hotel. Senator Franklin Drilon is also expected to show up at this event.

Iloilo Business Club Executive Maria Lara said that this year’s Business Week will function as a platform for “stakeholder advocacy concentrated in making Iloilo a destination for innovation.”

Although the week-long celebration will feature several events, most of the excitement is focused on Innovation, particularly with regards to commercial applications.

“We want to create a venue where stakeholders can talk about how to streamline services and facilities and kung paano ma-create mga new products na ma-push ang economic development, and at the same time, to be able to leverage science and technology gid as a core product nga pwede ma-commercialize later on,” Lara said.

About 25 stakeholders will be participating in the Iloilo Business Week, including the DOST, the DTI, the DOT, the LGU’s, the Iloilo Business Club, the Global Shapers, the Iloilo Federation for Information Technology, the Startup Founder’s Circle and various local colleges and university.

Aside from discussing business and development related topics, speakers in numerous events will also speak about the corporate code and entrepreneurship.

“The whole week, these activities is to create parang to celebrate the business sector,” Lara explained. “Again, a forum to meet up and network and see yung potential opportunities. That is really the goal of the Iloilo Business Week. This was started by PCCI last year. Just the trade and siguro forum; but this one is something bigger, and we’re doing this to celebrate the charter day also.”

3 groups eye waste-to-energy project in Iloilo City

By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY — Three groups are interested in setting up a waste-to-energy system in this city.

Mayor Jerry Treñas said the proposal of the three groups will be reviewed by a panel from the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, which is scheduled to conduct site inspection on August 14.

Treñas consulted the PPP Center, which has given technical expertise in waste management initiatives for cities in Metro Manila.

“We are going to study if the smoky mountain can be mined to be used as fuel in waste to energy process,” Treñas noted.

The city opened a P200-million sanitary landfill in August 2016, but it has encountered problems.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Western Visayas investigated the Calajunan landfill last year after residents complained of the stench from the facility.

The Treñas administration is also looking at new technologies to solve waste problems while improving waste management.

The Iloilo City Environment and Natural Resources Office will work closely with the EMB in assessing the waste-to-energy project proposal.

MTRCB to hold '7th Family and Child Summit'

By Lilibeth A. French (JBG/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 8 (PIA) -- The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board is bringing its 7th Family and Child Summit (FCS) in Western Visayas in celebration of 100 years of Philippine Cinema.

The summit, carrying the theme “History of Philippine Cinema in Western Visayas,” will recognize the colorful history of Ilonggo Cinema and to reflect on how the Filipino family is depicted in Philippine Cinema throughout the years.

It will be held at the Iloilo City Hall Diamond Jubilee Hall on August 9, starting at 9:00 a.m., featuring seasoned personalities from the industry like professor Nick Deocampo, film directors Elvert Banares and Lawrence Fajardo.

Also, an Ilonggo film entitled “High Tide” will be screened and an open forum will follow with director Tara Illenberger.

According to the advisory sent by MTRCB chaired by Rachel Arenas, the event is free of charge.

For more information, interested parties may reach MTRCB Public Information Office through 02-3767380 (local 108).

POPCOM-6 holds regional forum on population, dev’t

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- Various stakeholders from government agencies, local government units, academe, and the media participated in the regional forum on World Population Day (WPD) held here on July 30.

This activity, spearheaded by the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM)-6, was in line with the commemoration of WPD held every July 11.

POPCOM-6 regional director Harold Alfred Marshall said POPCOM, with its partner agencies and advocates, has been actively pushing for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Program of Action.

“We, at POPCOM, are always proactive in the delivery of the goals of the ICPD especially in the promotion of family planning and adolescent sexual and reproductive health as population and development integration strategies especially now that we are working towards the attainment of our demographic dividend,” he said.

During the forum, talks on the Philippine Report on the implementation of the ICPD Program of Action, Western Visayas’ Health Outcomes and its Contributions to Population and Development, and Ambisyon Natin 2040 and its relevance to population and development were conducted.

He said POPCOM is also celebrating this year its golden anniversary as the lead government agency in population management program.

The ICPD which took place in Cairo, Egypt in 1994 was the largest inter-governmental conference on population and development ever held, with 179 governments participating and some 11,000 registered participants.

The said conference adopted the program of action (PoA) by consensus, which emphasized the fundamental role of women’s interests in population matters and introduced concepts of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.

Lawn tennis, skateboarding, e-sports events in Iloilo City

By Adrian Stewart Co (PN)

ILOILO City – As part of its 82nd Charter Day celebration, Iloilo City is hosting lawn tennis, skateboarding and e-sports pockets tournaments later this month.

The 1st Mayor Jerry Treñas Cup lawn tennis tournament from Aug. 17 to 19 at the La Paz district tennis courts will serve as preparation for the Ilonggo netters for upcoming tournaments.

The three-day tourney is divided into 11 categories:

• 8 and under (unisex)

• 10 and under (unisex)

• 12 and under (boys and girls)

• 14 and under (boys and girls)

• 16 and under (boys and girls)

• 18 and under (boys and girls)

• 10 and under (unisex doubles)

• 14 and under (boys and girls doubles)

•18 and under (boys and girls doubles)

The 1st Mayor Jerry Treñas Skateboarding Competition, on the other hand, is on Aug. 24 at the Iloilo Public Skatepark.

Among those to be played in the competition are special games such as best rail, best ledge, highest ollie, and longest gap.

Also on the same day is the 82nd Iloilo City Charter Day League of Legends Inter-School Tournament at the Diamond Jubilee Hall of the city.

The one-day e-sports tournament will be open to all schools in city. The registration period started on Aug. 2 and will end on Aug. 8.

Twenty-four 24 teams will be admitted.

The tournament champion will take home the top prize of P10,000. The second and third placers will have P3,000 and P2,000, respectively.

Iloilo City responsive and responsible at 82

(Panay News)

ILOILO City is celebrating its 82nd Charter Day celebration which climaxes on Aug. 25.

This year’s theme, “Responsive and Responsible Governance”, highlights the efficient and effective delivery of public service to address the needs of the people.

“I ask everyone’s help for the city to level up. Let us make it easier for the people to avail themselves of the city government’s services,” said Mayor Jerry Treñas.

On Aug. 25, 1937 Iloilo was formally inaugurated as a chartered city after the municipalities of La Paz, Mandurriao, Molo, and Arevalo were merged on July 16, 1937 by virtue of Commonwealth Act No.158.

This edition of Charter Day will be modest but meaningful as the metropolis looks back to its glorious days and looks forward to a vibrant future.

The mayor wants Ilonggos to be proud of their rich heritage and colorful culture.

The City Gallery will be refurbished at Ker & Co. heritage building. The city’s cultural excellence is fit to be showcased in the age-old structure situated beside the Elizalde Building which houses the Museum of Economic History of the Philippines.

A multimillion-peso major facelift for Mandurriao Plaza in now in the drawing board to rehabilitate the public park that seemed to have been forgotten for quite some time.

The rehabilitation plan is being coordinated by City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) and Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council (ICCHCC).

The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Authority (Tieza) has also started a P15-million rehabilitation work at La Paz Plaza.

Treñas talked to Ilonggo senator Franklin Drilon as the latter wanted to improve Molo Plaza.

The city’s chief executive also wants to landscape Plaza Libertad.

Treñas also sought the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority’s (Tieza) help for some P40-million fund to bring back the old glory of Jaro Plaza.

“We want to have the best plazas in Western Visayas,” he stressed.

Treñas has prioritized heritage conservation since he was congressman.

He authored Republic Act 10555 or “An Act Declaring the Jaro Cathedral, Molo Church, Iloilo City Central Business District, Fort San Pedro, Jaro Plaza Complex, Molo Plaza Complex and Plaza Libertad Complex, as Cultural Heritage Tourism Zone.”

Such law provides that these heritage and tourist spots shall be accorded priority development by the Department of Tourism through Tieza.

Heritage tours are vital components of Iloilo MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibits) Tourism Marketing Plan.

The goal is to make Iloilo the next MICE destination, not only a livable city but a destination for tourism and investments.

Senator Drilon wants to restore Calle Real to its original grandeur. He has enjoined Treñas to regulate signages in the heritage Central Business District and maintain its cleanliness.

Plans are also underway to make the newly-restored Aduana Building along Muelle Loney Street, City Proper into a museum of maritime history featuring Iloilo’s rich seafaring culture and traditions, and into a war veteran museum.

Iloilo market collection up 69 percent

(PR)

ILOILO City’s market collection report for two weeks has posted a percentage increase of 68.8 percent covering the period July 16 to 30, 2019.

From July 16-22, total collection has reached P758,703, while the week of July 23-30 posted P1,281,310.62, or a difference of P522,607.62.

Mayor Jerry Treñas said the increase is due to the intensified efforts of market supervisors to collect necessary fees in city public markets, slaughterhouse and bus terminal.

“I have ordered market supervisors to be diligent in their work, otherwise they will be removed from their present posts and re-assigned to other offices,” he said.

He expressed satisfaction that the city’s collection efficiency is doing well under his watch.

The mayor also eyes efficient collection standards in the slaughterhouses, and bus terminals as the city gears for level-up business approaches within the year.

Iloilo City’s new grandstand finally gets official name

By Glenda Tayona (PN)

ILOILO City – The new grandstand built along Dela Rama Street, Muelle-Montes, City Proper replacing the demolished Freedom Grandstand on JM Basa Street has been officially named.

Henceforth, it would be called “Iloilo City Freedom Grandstand”, stated Mayor Jerry Treñas in Executive Order No. 29 issued yesterday.

Construction of the grandstand started in late 2018. It was inaugurated on Jan. 11 this year with then mayor Jose Espinosa III temporarily naming it “Iloilo City Dinagyang Grandstand.”

According to Treñas, the old Freedom Grandstand was a memorial to the Iloilo City Freedom Law or Republic Act 1209 that then congressman Rodolfo Ganzon authored in 1955 empowering the people of Iloilo City to elect their own leaders.

Prior to the law’s enactment, officials of Iloilo City were appointed by the President.

The old Freedom Grandstand, built in front of the Custom’s House, was demolished last year to give way to the revival of Sunburst Park, an open space for recreation.

There was a previous proposal to name the new grandstand in honor of Ganzon who also became this city’s mayor and senator. Other suggested names were “Muelle Loney Grandstand” and “Graciano Lopez-Jaena Grandstand”.

Ganzon’s son, the current vice mayor Jeffrey Ganzon, sought to delay the demolition of the old Freedom Grandstand last year, arguing that it had historical significance.

He also pressed that the new grandstand keep the old name and requested that a plaque bearing his father’s name be put on it.

According to then mayor Espinosa, he thought of temporarily calling the new grandstand “Iloilo City Dinagyang Grandstand” to focus the public’s attention to the 2019 Dinagyang Festival.

The highlights of the Dinagyang – the Kasadyahan cultural contest on Jan. 26 and ati-ati tribes competition on Jan. 27 – were staged at the new grandstand.

Espinosa said the new grandstand’s name “should have relevance” and “something that reflects the history of Iloilo City.”

The old Freedom Grandstand was visited by World War II hero US’ General Douglas MacArthur on July 10, 1961 and was also a venue of political rallies, cultural shows and religious gatherings.

Iloilo fraternities unite for blood donation activity

By Perla Lena (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- Various fraternities and sororities committed to join together and help the local government unit of Iloilo City address the dengue crisis.

In a press conference Thursday, the fraternities and sororities that came together under the United Fraternities and Sororities of Panay group announced their plan to hold a blood donation drive on August 4 at the Gaisano City in La Paz district here.

Dubbed “Dugo Para sa Banwa Ko, the blood donation drive hoped to gather close to 100 frasority (fraternity and sorority) members to donate blood.

“We know that dengue is prevalent now. We came up with an idea to help Iloilo City fight against dengue,” said Ian Ferdinand Rico of the Tau Gamma Phi.

Rico said the advocacy will not stop on August 4. Another donation drive will be held on August 14 as part of Iloilo City’s Charter Day celebration.

He shared the advocacy initially started with just three fraternities -- Scouts Royale Brotherhood and Sisterhood, Tau Gamma Phi and Alpha Phi Omega -- when they organized a unity run last summer.

“This does not stop here. We have future plans to engage in other community services,” he said.

The blood donation drive is in partnership with the Iloilo City government and the Philippine Red Cross-Iloilo chapter.

Rico also called on other fraternities and “join the cause” so they can extend help to a bigger number of patients in need of blood.

Those that have already committed to join are Alpha Kappa Rho, Tau Gamma Phi, Alpha Sigma Rho, Alpha Phi Omega, Gamma Phi Omicron, and Scouts Royale Brotherhood and Sisterhood Inc.

Councilor Alan Zaldivar said they hope that the target of 100 blood donors will be successful.

“We are going to send out flyers so they can prepare for the event on August 4,” Zaldivar said.

Meantime, he said that he still has to find out whether or not the city government can shoulder the expenses for the processing of blood intended for dengue patients.

He said that the fund, following the declaration of the city under the state of calamity, was intended for manpower, medical equipment, facilities, and assistance.

“We wanted to make it clear if what will be the coverage of this assistance,” Zaldivar said.

Data from the Iloilo City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (ICESU) revealed that from January 1 until July 27, 2019, the city has 1,391 dengue cases with 10 deaths.

The ICESU also noted that one barangay remains to be a hot spot while 62 others have clustering of cases.

The clustering of cases refers to the presence of three or more cases within four consecutive weeks while the hotspot shows an increasing number of cases for four consecutive weeks or record of deaths.

PCSO-Iloilo continues medical assistance

By Perla Lena (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will continue to accept applications by patients seeking help under the individual medical assistance program.

PCSO Iloilo branch manager Janette O. Lloyd made the announcement upon receipt of a memorandum from their central office on Monday.

The announcement came amidst the suspension of the operation of all gaming activities of the PCSO effective Saturday.

“If their papers are complete, they will be entertained. It’s still on a first-come, first-served basis,” she said in a phone interview, adding that they still have to undergo an interview with the social welfare office.

She said that the daily allocation of the PCSO was reduced to PHP400,000 from PHP800,000.

“It was reduced because the income from STL and lotto is not good,” she said.

The ZFIC Gaming Operations that operate the STL in Iloilo City based on presumptive monthly retail rates (PMMR) is supposed to pay PHP60 million to PHP70 million a month while Red Subay Gaming Corporation owes PCSO PHP111 million a month.

She added that 65 percent of the revenue of the PCSO goes to the prize fund, 30 percent for charity fund where the medical assistance, acquisition of ambulance and wheelchair is being sourced, and 15 percent for the operating fund of the office.

Meanwhile, a report from the Police Regional Office Western Visayas (PRO6) showed that 100 percent of the PCSO gaming stations in Western Visayas are closed or equivalent to 283 lotto outlets, 60 Keno stations, 212 small town lottery (STL) outlets, and eight Peryahan ng Bayan.

Lloyd said that in Iloilo, there were two STL outlets and 150 lotto and Keno outlets.

Lloyd said thousands of workers employed by operators of various gaming stations were affected but President Duterte, in ordering the closure, only wanted what is “good for the Filipino people”.

“In his SONA (State of the Nation Address), it’s not only PCSO, in fact it was not even mentioned. But all government agencies should be transparent to the people,” she said.

She hoped that the issue will be resolved as early as possible so that the PCSO can resume operations.

Simple Iloilo City Charter Day celebration eyed

(PR)

ILOILO City will just hold a modest 82nd Charter Day celebration, which climaxes on August 25.

“Our Charter Day this year will be scaled down. We can’t be celebrating while many are sick with dengue. What we can do is to help. I hope you understand. We will review the list of events lined up,” Mayor Jerry Treñas said.

As of July 10, the City Health Office recorded 619 dengue cases with six deaths.

On August 25, 1937, Iloilo was formally inaugurated as chartered city after the municipalities of La Paz, Mandurriao, Molo and Arevalo were merged on July 16, 1937 by virtue of Commonwealth Act 158.

The celebration usually highlighted big parade, street dancing, cultural presentation, sports events, and recognition rites.

Waste-to-energy conversion of garbage mulled

By Glenda Tayona (/PN)

ILOILO City – How do you solve a problem like the piling garbage at the city’s dumpsite in Barangay Calajunan, Mandurriao district?

Mayor Jerry Treñas is planning a waste-to-energy project through the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

Treñas, who had an initial meeting with the national government’s PPP Center prior to his inauguration, said he was told the agency was helping the cities of Quezon and Marikina realize waste-to-energy projects and he thought Iloilo City could have one, too.

The city mayor said he also consulted the Department of Environment and Natural Resources about this technology.

“The PPP Center will capacitate our people so we can start the program,” said Treñas.

The PPP scheme is a contractual agreement between the government and a private firm targeted towards financing, designing, implementing, and operating infrastructure facilities and services traditionally provided by the public sector.

The plan to convert solid waste at the city’s Calajunan dumpsite is not new. In fact, in 2014 the city government then under Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog signed a memorandum of agreement with South Korean firm Dream Engineering Company Ltd. for the establishment of a waste-to-energy project at the city’s waste disposal facility.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod authorized Mabilog to enter into the agreement via Resolution No. 2014-163.

“This joint venture agreement will be beneficial for us especially in helping solve the garbage problem and augmenting the power supply in the city,” Mabilog said during the agreement signing in February 2014. What happened to that agreement was unclear as of this writing. It was previously reported that the contract for the solid waste-to-energy plant was for 20 years and renewable.

The city was then collecting around 300 metric tons of garbage daily from six public markets, residential subdivisions, downtown business areas, shopping malls, and streets; 250 metric tons of it was targeted for the Mabilog initiative.

Under the agreement, over six megawatts was expected to be generated: one megawatt would be used to light up the industrial complex while five megawatts would be sold to the city’s power distributor under a power purchase agreement.

Region 6 forms livelihood cluster to boost EO 70 implementation

By Gail Momblan (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- Western Visayas has organized its Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) on Monday.

The PRLEC is being chaired by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA-6) and vice-chaired by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Gaspar Gayona, regional director of TESDA 6, said government agencies should come together in tackling the problem on poverty and unemployment in the country.

“The government agencies should come together if we want to solve poverty,” he said in an interview Tuesday in a hotel in this city’s Molo district.

The formed cluster will work through a value chain programming to achieve the “whole-of-nation" approach or the Executive Order 70 to end local communist armed conflict.

The cluster will identify livelihood suited for a certain area and its needs for skills training, he said.

“You can train the husbands to become carpenters but all of the members of the family should contribute to the earnings, so we can help them in that matter,” he said.

The programs of different member agencies, such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), will help in the area that cannot be covered by TESDA’s mandate.

For instance, the DTI or the DOST can provide equipment on locals trained by TESDA in bread and pastries, Gayona said.

He said actions of the cluster will be implemented in “priority villages” infested by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and villages that are “vulnerable” to rebels.

“But we cannot deny the help to other villages who requests for it,” he clarified.

Through the organization of the cluster, Gayona expects that more rebels will be encouraged to go back to the fold of the law.

“That is expected. If there are no villages that support them (rebels) because there are many who already surrendered and they were taken care of with the framework. The cause is poverty, so we attack the cause and that will yield positive results,” he said.

Megaworld to open P350-M Iloilo Business Park Transport Hubs

(PR)

PROPERTY giant Megaworld Corp. is set to open its Transport Hubs this year to serve the requirements of Western Visayas’ first premium point-to-point (P2P) service in Iloilo Business Park in Iloilo City.

The firm, in a press release, said the P350-million Iloilo Business Park Transport Hubs will have two terminals – one for departures and another for arrivals.

The project will be strategically located along the township’s Megaworld Boulevard, just in front of the Festive Walk Mall.

Each terminal sits on a 4,000-square meter lot each.

It will feature its own Traveler’s Lounge, an airconditioned facility where passengers can relax and wait for their trips at the Departure Terminal.

It will also cater passengers waiting for their transits or pick-up vehicles at the Arrival Terminal.

Each lounge will have shower rooms and toilets, all for the convenience of departing and arriving passengers, it said.

At the Traveler’s Lounge of the Departure Terminal, passengers will also have the convenience of booking and purchasing their tickets at its own ticketing booths.

It will also have Breastfeeding Stations with Free Wi-Fi access.

Each terminal will also have its own Food Park where passengers can indulge in wide array for food choices while waiting.

At the second and third level of each terminal, 200 parking slots will be made available for free.

Jose Arnulfo Batac, Megaworld’s head for estate management, said they aim to provide world-class and convenient service in land transport for the local and international travelers in and out of Iloilo City.

“Hopefully, this will serve as a model for other transport hubs in the region,” he added.

The Land Transportaion Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Region 6 is rolling out the first premium P2P buses in the region today with Iloilo Business Park as its main hub in Panay Island.

The project is part of the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), a flagship program spearheaded by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Around 106 P2P buses equipped with the auto-pay system will be launched serving various routes including Iloilo Business Park to Iloilo Airport, Iloilo Business Park to Roxas Airport, Iloilo Business Park to Kalibo Airport, and Iloilo Business Park to Caticlan Airport (Boracay), and vice versa.

Also, LTFRB-6 will simultaneously launch other modernized PUVs comprises of 365 taxis and 165 jeepneys, which are also equipped with the auto-pay system.

“We thank LTFRB Region 6 for this partnership, and we hope that we are able to contribute to the success of this modernization campaign for the betterment of the country’s transport industry,” Batac said.

Batac said that all of their townships, especially those in urban centers, serve as convergence points of motorists and commuters.

“We integrate transport hubs in our developments to meet the transport needs of the local community,” he added.

City Gallery to transfer to Ker building

(PR)

THE Iloilo City Gallery at ground floor of City Hall will be transferred to the historic Ker and Co. heritage building just behind it.

Mayor Jerry Treñas said the transfer will give way to urgent needs of the elderly who transact and avail themselves of services with the City Government.

“We will prioritize frontline services, particularly senior citizens so they will not find it difficult to go up to second floor where the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca) is located,” Treñas said.

Osca processes discount identification cards and booklets the beneficiaries can use to avail themselves of discounted privileges in groceries, food and medicines, among others.

The City Gallery, which houses plaques of awards, memorabilia and photo walls of Ilonggo festivals and cultural excellence, will be fitted at Ker building to complement the City Tourism and Development Office.

NEDA eyes improvement in WV tourism

By Carlson B. Alelis

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-6 plans to sit with local planners in the region to discuss how they can take advantage of tourism in localities.

According to NEDA-6 regional director Ro-Ann Bacal, the things that cannot be achieved by Boracay island anymore can be done by other areas in the region.

One of the things that she mentioned is the possibility of having a holding area for certain destinations in the region where they can pay their fees and be oriented about the location and the dos and don’ts in the area.

This can be done to “avoid being disorganized and to monitor the transport of boats going to-and-from the different islets,” she said.

“This is what we intend to do to regain the losses from Boracay,” she added.

Bacal attributed the temporary closure of Boracay for rehabilitation last year, as one of the factors that slowed down the region’s economy, which was 6.1 percent in 2018 compared to 8.6 percent in 2017.

Meanwhile, Maria Teresa Guadalupe, chief economic development specialist of NEDA-6, said tourism arrivals in the region went down from 5.85 million in 2017 to 4.96 million in 2018.

However, she mentioned that Western Visayas is still the fifth largest economy in the country, outside of the National Capital Region in 2018.

“The tourism sector will certainly pick up, especially also that many more provinces are taking a second look at their attractions and see how they can maximize also the benefits from developing these attractions and getting more out of these attractions,” Bacal said.

7K seedlings ready for Iloilo tree planting

By Perla Lena (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- The city government here has prepared around 7,000 seedlings for the tree planting activity, the date has yet to be determined following the postponement of the July 6 schedule due to inclement weather.

In an interview on Monday, Armand Dayrit, Executive Assistant for Environment in Iloilo City, said they intend to plant on both sides of the flood control project in Barangay Buhang, Jaro.

The seedlings donated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) were of various species that include some fruit-bearing trees.

“We cannot plant fruit trees along the highway because children will be climbing them and might cause an accident,” he added.

Meantime, there is a plan to replicate the concept of the Global City where narra trees are lined up along its thoroughfares. Currently, they already have 50 narra trees but they intend to clone more.

Dayrit added they intend to establish a small forest area that will be called a botanical area.

“We cannot really duplicate a forest,” he said.

On Monday, city officials led by Mayor Jerry Treñas, department heads and media practitioners covering the city hall beat, did a ceremonial tree planting at the Plaza Libertad.

The city government prepared “Balayong” or golden shower seedlings for the ceremonial event. The flowering plant blooms between May and June.

Treñas said the tree planting is “only one of the mitigation (measures) against climate change”.

“We will undertake sustainable tree planting,” he said, noting the city government is talking with the DENR and the Department of Agriculture on what trees to plant.

He was also happy to note that the private sector is willing to help in the initiative.

Nutrition Month 2019 opening draws health, education officials

By Lilibeth A. French

ILOILO CITY, July 8 (PIA) -- The regional launching of the Nutrition Month celebration in Iloilo, July 1, gathered health, nutrition and education top officials of Western Visayas.

The event held at Mandurriao National High School (MNHS) here was attended by Department of Health (DOH)-6 regional director and Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC)-6 chairperson Dr. Marlyn W. Convocar, National Nutrition Council (NNC)-6 regional nutrition program coordinator Nona B. Tad-y and Iloilo City Office of the Schools Division Superintendent officer-in-charge Dr. Clarissa G. Zamora.

2019 NUTRITION MONTH THEME

In her message, Convocar underscored the importance of healthy diet and increasing physical activities to prevent non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, kidney diseases and hypertension.

She told students that these two healthy habits and limiting sedentary behaviors such as phone and gadget activities are also the focus of this year’s Nutrition Month celebration with the theme, “Kumain nang Wasto at Maging Aktibo…Push Natin ‘to!"

Convocar reminded students that they are in the prime of their life that they have to eat the right diet and avoid intake of junk foods and sweetened beverages which are high in salt and sugar that will affect their health.

She urged schools to ensure that no junk foods and sweetened beverages are sold so that children will learn to eat healthy and right foods. They should also allot even at least an hour, three times a week, for physical activity of their students.

Tad-y, in her presentation, bared that the recent expanded nutrition survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) showed that the number of insufficiently physically active adolescent Filipinos is increasing.

This means that as adolescent Filipinos, both male and female, grow older they also become inactive, according to Tad-y.

She further revealed that the prevalence of overweight and obesity increased among Filipino adolescents from 2003 to 2018 at 11.6 percent.

“This is alarming because of the problem of non-communicable diseases occurring henceforth,” said Tad-y.

The recent Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) study also showed that anemia is still a problem especially among females from 2013 to 2018.

“This is the reason why we are advocating for healthy diet particularly rich in iron,” added Tad-y.

NEW SCHOOL YEAR’S RESOLUTION

On her part, Zamora said nutrition should be integrated in people's day-to-day lives.

“The span of our lives will depend on the food we take, among other factors. We must consider good nutrition when we take our daily meals,” said Zamora.

She thanked the government for giving importance to nutrition as she emphasized that a country cannot move forward if its people are sickly and weak.

“We can be very good learners if we include good nutrition in our mindset from day to day. Teachers and health workers must be models in so far as good nutrition is concerned,” said Zamora.

She encouraged students to have a new school year’s resolution which must include taking into consideration good nutrition in their meals.

Zamora also cited officials, teachers and students of MNHS for hosting the regional launching of the 2019 Nutrition Month celebration for Western Visayas.

NUTRI VISIT

Tad-y said MNHS is at risk to double-burden of malnutrition with undernutrition since a considerable number of underweight/wasted students from Calajunan are recipients of a feeding program, and also overnutrition.

She said Mandurriao is also a fast-growing district with the proliferation of fast food chains and other establishments accessible to students which brings concerns on changing lifestyles and food habits.

Aside from the program, a Nutri-Visit event was conducted composed of various nutrition-related activities to instill to students the value of healthy diet and physical activity with other member agencies of the RNC 6.

Assessment of nutritional status of identified students where their weight and height were measured, blood pressure check-up and distribution of weekly iron and folic acid supplements and deworming tablets were done in coordination with the Department of Education.

Students also learned Pinggang Pinoy, a food guide that uses a familiar food plate model to help Filipinos adopt healthy eating habits at meal times with dietary and healthy lifestyle messages, from a representative from DOST.

They, too, participated in Zumba exercises led by the MAPEH and TLE teachers of MNHS and learned yoga poses and their benefits from Ravi Cambronero, a yoga instructor.

Vegetables and fruit trees seedlings from the Department of Agriculture were also distributed.

Some one thousand fans on 10 Kumainments, another nutritional guidelines for Filipinos that encourage healthy lifestyle, were given to participants as part of NNC's advocacy and promotion of good nutrition.

NUTRITION MONTH

Pursuant to Presidential Decree 491 of 1974, the month of July is declared as Nutrition Month for the purpose of creating greater awareness among Filipinos on the importance of nutrition.

It also mandates the NNC to take the lead and coordinate activities of Nutrition Month nationwide campaign. (JBG/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)

Iloilo mayor eyes parking building

(PR)

ILOILO City Mayor Jerry Treñas is eyeing the establishment of a multi-purpose parking building adjacent to City Hall.

He has instructed the City Engineer’s Office (CEO) to conduct a study on the proposed parking facility.

“We are planning to have a four to five stories parking building beside Ker and Co. The two floors will accommodate the City Council for them to have bigger offices,” Treñas said, noting the limited space when he took rounds of councilors’ offices.

The City Council is located at the sixth floor of City Hall. If plans push through, they will transfer to the legislative/parking building just beside Ker and Co. heritage building situated behind City Hall.

Multi-level parking building is considered a solution to lack of parking spaces in congested centers, especially City Hall, where the transacting public converge.

W. Visayas elders start receiving DSWD social pensions

By Gail Momblan (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- Eligible senior citizens have started receiving their social pensions as the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office in Western Visayas (DSWD 6) kicked-off its initial round of pay-outs since last week of June.

May Castillo, regional information officer of DSWD 6, on Thursday said that 10,686 elderly beneficiaries have received their financial assistance since the start of its release.

Each eligible indigent senior citizen received PHP500 monthly stipend to augment his or her daily subsistence and other medical needs.

The assistance was received by 876 elders from Barotac Viejo; 425 from San Rafael; 2, 032 from Igbaras; and 1, 661 from New Lucena. The pension was also received by 1, 635 elders from Dueñas; 1, 661 in Dumangas; 1, 670 in Dumarao; and 726 in Anilao.

"In Western Visayas, we have 365,908 elderly eligible for a social pension for 2019," Castillo said.

Iloilo has the most number of social pensioners with 147,144; Capiz with 54,953; and Negros Occidental with 46,699.

Giving out of social pensions will be made per semester, thus each elderly will receive PHP3,000 every six months.

The DSWD 6 has allotted a total of PHP2,195,448,000 for social pensioners this year, Castillo said.

Citing the Omnibus Guidelines in the Implementation of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, Castillo said recipients are 60 years old and above; frail, sickly or with disability; no pension from Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. (AFPMBAI) or any other insurance company; no permanent source of income; and no regular support from family or relatives for his or her basic needs.

An eligible senior citizen has to present his or her valid identification card to be able to receive a social pension.

Organic rice program to supply Iloilo with ‘safe' variety

By Gail Momblan (PNA)

ILOILO CITY – A total of 688 farmers in the province of Iloilo will produce “safe rice” at the end of the year through the organic rice program being implemented by the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO).

The organic rice program covers a total of 344 areas equally distributed to 42 towns and one component city of the province, Nancy Superal, provincial rice report officer said.

“Each municipality will have an eight-hectare area dedicated to growing organic rice. The Municipal Agriculture Offices are tasked to identify the land area and the farmers that will implement the program,” Superal said in an interview Tuesday.

Superal said PAO has already started its campaign on farmers to venture into organic farming last year.

Through the organic rice program, Iloilo will soon be able to have access to “safe rice”, she said.

“We can have a supply of safe rice. We eat rice three times a day and it contributes greatly to our health. We have a supply of organic vegetables and fruits, and eventually supply of safe rice,” she said.

Aside from this, the organic rice program can also reduce the cost of farmers as they can make their own inputs or buy organic fertilizer at a lower cost.

Superal clarified that farmers should not fear the organic way of farming.

“There is a misconception that when you go into organic farming, your production will be reduced but we have proven it otherwise,” she said.

She cited that a farmer in Igbaras town which first tried organic rice farming in January and harvested in May this year has produced 90 sacks of rice in one hectare.

“The average in Iloilo is 70 to 80 sacks per hectare,” she said.

According to Superal, the province has allotted PHP6 million fund to procure organic rice inputs and organic rice seeds which were already distributed to municipalities.

Organic rice inputs include microbial inoculants which will hasten the decomposition of rice straw and other organic matters in the soil; potassium humate which will help neutralize soil acidity and increase the effectivity of fertilizers; and organic liquid fertilizers.

“Our farmers were already oriented and trained on the organic way of growing rice,” she said.

Some of the farmers under the organic rice program have already planted last month. By this month, PAO anticipates that all farmers under the organic rice program are done with planting.

Superal said the farmers will continue to be monitored and will be assisted by PAO as they grow their rice plants. The harvest of organic rice in the province is expected in September or October this year, she said.

“We expect our farmers to get 80 to 100 sacks per hectare,” Superal said.

Farmers who are outside the organic rice program are also encouraged to organically grow their hybrid rice.

Superal said PAO has also trained local government units on how to use organic technology in hybrid rice production.

She said, however, that the undertaking needs “more motivation.”

W. Visayas productivity winners set best practices examples

By Gail Momblan (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- The best practices of the productivity Olympics regional winners should be an example for other micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) official in Western Visayas said Monday.

Together with the National Wages and Productivity Board 6 (NWPB) and Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB), the DOLE has awarded five productive enterprises in a ceremony in a hotel in this city’s Mandurriao district.

“The awards given to them should serve as an example for other companies,” Cyril Ticao, DOLE 6 regional director, said in an interview.

He said other enterprises should emulate the best practices of the regional winners.

Criteria for choosing the winners include total productivity, expansion and growth, management of people, among others.

The Dreamers Valley Camp and Resort was named winner for the agri-business, micro-enterprise category; Belison Multi-Purpose Cooperative Dairy Enterprise for industry, micro-enterprise category; Pontevedra People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative for service, small enterprise category; Harbor Town Hotel Management for service, small enterprise category; and Barbaza Multi-Purpose Cooperative for service, medium enterprise category.

Rebecca Rascon, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Western Visayas regional director and RTWPB member, meanwhile, noted that two of the awardees were clients of DTI’s shared service facility (SSF).

The awarding has the DTI’s full support.

“Barbaza Multi-Purpose and Belison Multi-Purpose were given our SSF and its good that they were declared winners because they will be encouraged more to improve their business operation,” Rascon said in a separate interview.

She said productivity in enterprises is important as the enterprise can deliver quality service and products its clients are looking for.

Rascon also noted that productivity is not only based on the output of employees but also their safety.

“We also promote safe work practices to avoid incidents that can harm the employees,” she said.

Feliza Necesario, Barbaza Multi-Purpose Cooperative board of director, thanked the DOLE for the award.

Necesario said one of their best practices is always taking care of its estimated 130 employees in Panay.

“Our employees are satisfied with their workplace and they are satisfied with their salary. They are encouraged to be more productive because they are well-compensated with bonuses, and the likes,” Necesario said.

Keeping a good working condition also contributes to the productivity of the employees, she added.

PhilHealth 6 launches ‘Text BPN’

By Lilibeth A. French

ILOILO CITY, July 3 (PIA) -- The regional office of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in Western Visayas launched "Text BPN" on June 17 this year.

"Text BPN" is a platform where members can now receive their Benefits Payment Notice through text messaging instead via postal or “snail” mail.

PhilHealth 6 Public Affairs Unit Head Jhanime Cam-Jalbuna said the BPN contains the member’s name, patient’s name, date of confinement, diagnosis, details of hospital bills and PhilHealth payment.

“Before, PhilHealth sent the copy of the BPN through postal mail, but we have noticed that there were members who have not received their BPN copy or have not even received copy of the Notice probably because of their change in residence, thus, we are implementing this innovation,” said Jalbuna.

She said that once the member received the BNP, they could compare this with the statement of account from the hospital.

When there are discrepancies, they can visit the nearest PhilHealth office to verify their claim at the same time be guided on the refund or reimbursement.

“This is also one way we can prevent unscrupulous individuals using names of other members to claim for admission that never happened,” said Jalbuna.

She called on members to continue to be vigilant against fraudulent activities that may affect their claims and benefits and the agency’s delivery of services. (JBG/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)

Over 300 underweight high school students fed

By Ime Sornito (/PN)

ILOILO – Over 300 underweight students of Mandurriao National High School were fed with nutritious food and given folic acid and de-worming tablets yesterday.

It was the National Nutrition Council’s (NNC) way of kicking off the observance of July as Nutrition Month in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Health (DOH).

This year’s Nutrition Month theme is “Kumain nang wasto at maging aktibo…push natin ‘to!”

According to Regional Nutrition Program coordinator Nona Tad-y, Mandurriao National High School was chosen for the Nutrition Month kickoff because “adlaw-adlaw may cases sila mga kabataan nagakalipong, nagasakit ang ulo.”

This Nutrition Month, the NNC also wants to address concerns on obesity and overweightness.

“Ang data nagapakita nga madamo sang adolescents ang overweight and obese,” said Tad-y.

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.

According to Tad-y, the NCC supports DepEd’s promotion of nutritious food in school canteens (Department Order No. 13, Series of 2017 or “Policy and Guidelines on Healthy Food and Beverage Choices in Schools and in DepEd Offices”).

The department order is a detailed guideline promoting healthy eating habits among young learners by restricting the school marketing, sale and consumption of food and beverage that are too fatty, too sweet or too salty.

It specifically enumerates healthier food and beverage choices, and introduces a system of categorizing locally available food and drinks (red, yellow and green categories).

Those listed in the green category should always be available in school canteens. Those classified as yellow should be served carefully, and those categorized as red are not recommended in the canteen menu.

Examples of food and drinks in the green category listed in the DepEd Order were: unsweetened milk, safe and clean water, fresh buko water, rice, corn, whole wheat bread, cassava, boiled sweet potato, boiled saba, boiled peanuts, suman, puto, fishes, shellfish, small shrimps, lean meats, chicken without skin, nuts, eggs and fresh fruits in season.

Among the food and drinks in the yellow category were: 100 percent fresh fruit juices, fried rice, bread, biscuits, banana cue, camote cue, turon, maruya, pancakes, waffles, champorado, pancit, arroz caldo, sandwiches, processed foods (subject to evaluation of saturated or transfat and sodium content), stir-friend vegetables.

On the other hand, examples of food and drinks in the red category under DO No. 13 were: soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, sports waters, sports drinks, flavored mineral water, energy drinks, sweetened waters, powdered juice drinks, any products containing caffeine, any processed fruit/vegetable juice with added sugar of more than 20 grams or 4 teaspoons per serving, any jelly, ice crushes and slushies, any ice cream, ice drops and ice candies, cakes and slices, donuts, sweet biscuits and pastries, chocolates, hard/chewy candies, chewing gums, marshmallows, lollipops, yema, French fries, bicho-bicho, instant noodles, all types of heavily salted snacks such as chips or chichiria, chicharon, chicken skin, bacon, deep-friend foods including fish balls and kikiams, canned fruits in heavy syrup, sweetened fruits, deep-fried vegetables.

Nat'l Disaster Resilience Month kicks off in W. Visayas

By Perla Lena (PNA)

ILOILO CITY – The celebration of the National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM) here kicked off on Monday amidst rains that started pouring Sunday night, spawned by the southwest monsoon or “habagat”.

The month-long activity started with a motorcade in the city’s major thoroughfares and ended with a short program at the new grandstand along Muelle Loney Street here.

“This is part of awareness (campaign). The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) is giving them (local government units) the challenge if what disaster preparedness really means,” said Jose Roberto Nuñez, Civil Defense Regional Director for Western Visayas, in an interview.

He underscored the significance of having a resilient community, especially in schools as classes have opened.

“We have priority activities, such as trainings. They just have to inform or request from our office,” he said.

Nuñez also advised LGUs to prepare and determine the needs of their barangays identified as prone to flood and landslide.

“Jot down everything so we will know what to do and if it is necessary to give them projects,” he said.

The official likewise urged the public to join the series of activities lined up for the NDRM observance, among them the Bike for Resilience that will be held in Guimaras on Sunday, July 7.

Meanwhile, due to inclement weather, several local government units in Iloilo declared the suspension of classes on Monday.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas declared the suspension of classes for elementary and secondary levels, both in public and private schools, for the safety of the pupils.

Other Iloilo LGUs that suspended classes were Alimodian, Leon, Leganes, Pavia, San Joaquin, Miagao, Sta. Barbara, Lambunao and Zarraga.

Iloilo's winning Palaro athletes receive cash incentives

By Gail Momblan (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- A total of 146 student-athletes and 54 coaches have received cash incentives from the Iloilo provincial government for their outstanding performances during the Palarong Pambansa held in Davao City last April.

The winning athletes and coaches received the incentives during a program at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol lobby on Thursday.

Dr. Jerry Bionat, secretary of the provincial school board, said the cash incentives were meant to recognize the athletes for the pride they brought to the province.

"They deserve the incentives because our athletes had brought distinction not only to their respective schools but the whole of Iloilo," Bionat said in an interview Friday.

Gold awardees were given PHP15,000 cash incentives; silver awardees, PHP10,000; and bronze awardees, PHP7,500.

Aside from the recognition, the incentives will also provide the students the encouragement to do better in the next competitions.

“Some of them are still on the elementary education and we expect that for the next years, they will still be our athletes to represent the province,” Bionat said.

He noted that the “most bemedaled” athlete for 2019, Vince Jason Buhayan of the Nicomedes R. Tubar Sr. National High School in Carles town, harvested gold medals in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and 4x100 relay.

He also won a silver medal in the 400-meter run and a bronze medal in the 4x400 meter run.

A representative of Buhayan has received his total cash incentive of PHP87,500 as he was in Metro Manila to process his scholarship.

“Our athlete Buhayan has received not only the cash incentive but also the privilege for a scholarship from university because of his talent and skills,” Bionat said.

In Western Visayas, Iloilo also reaped the most number of medals with 154 during the Palarong Pambansa 2019, Bionat said.

4Ps beneficiaries trained as teachers

By Perla Lena (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- They are not just parent-leaders (PL) but they will also serve as teachers handling and facilitating family development sessions (FDS) for members of the government’s Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps).

This was the idea behind the “PL na, Teacher Pa” module conceptualized by the West Visayas State University (WVSU) – Lambunao campus under its “WVSU-Helps for 4Ps” project.

“Helps for 4Ps is an engagement of WVSU with the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) in response specifically to the conduct of family development sessions,” said Dr. Jaime G. Latoza, head of the Planning and Development Office, in an interview on Thursday.

Latoza, also the program leader of the WVSU-Helps, said the university through its extension and training office has been involved in the delivery of the FDS.

However, they noticed that one of the challenges was that the town has only seven municipal links (ML) and three local government unit links who handle the FDS for the more than 3,000 members enrolled with the 4Ps in Lambunao’s 73 barangays. There are also a limited number of civil society organizations (CSOs) that get involved in the FDS.

“We come up with an idea to have a training to enhance the capability of parent leaders because we see the potential in them and found it useful in the delivery of family development sessions,” Latoza added.

As of March this year, the WVSU-Helps for 4Ps trained 120 parent leaders and 20 CSOs. They had their first FDS with 4Ps members in April.

They will be closely monitored by the MLs and WVSU research and extension office for seven months, after which they will be considered graduates.

“This is the first in Western Visayas and in the Philippines. I was told that DSWD is actually targeting to develop a module to train parent leaders to facilitate the FDS this year. They still have no mechanism to do that,” Latoza said.

Along with the “PL na, Teacher pa” module, the WVSU has developed topics for the FDS that the parents have crafted based on their needs assessment.

“The topics were approved by the region (DSWD). This is what is unique in Lambunao because the topics that we are using are prepared by the parent leaders,” Latoza said.

He said the topics focus on elections, disaster preparedness, education, community involvement, climate change, facing life’s challenges and tips on strengthening families.

“The effect is good because the approach is not highly technical, it is more community-based such that parents understand each other. There is no gap between the facilitator and the community,” he said.

Latoza hopes that the initiative will be sustained and the parent-leaders on their own can already handle the sessions themselves.

He said the next plan is to have the parent leaders handle the FDS of other barangays and not just limit their exposure in barangays where they reside.

The initiative is very timely especially that the 4Ps has been institutionalized, Latoza said.

“It is important that we deliver the FDS well because it is one important tool of the 4Ps to achieve its objectives. If we strengthen families, then 4Ps will have a good result,” he said.

FDS is one of the requirements for 4Ps members to continue receiving their grant.

The other requirements should be for school-age children to be in school and availment of health services in the government’s health facility.

PCOO roadshow enlightens various sectors on ‘Rehabinasyon’

By Vicente W. Villavert (JBG/VWV/PIA Antique)

ILOILO CITY, June 28 (PIA) -- The real stories, numbers and solutions especially on the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign were highlighted recently by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) during a roadshow at the Iloilo Science and Technology University, this city.

The war on drugs has become a political issue to further the policies of the government, but at the same time it has become a tool of the enemies of the government to destabilize and destroy the government through disinformation,” said PCOO Assistant Secretary for the Office of Brand Integration Ramon L. Cualoping III before the audience coming from the various sectors of the community.

According to Cualoping, some 1.3 million suspected drug users and pushers have surrendered under the police's "Oplan Tokhang” and because of that number the PCOO with the Office of the President established a program with the PDEA dubbed as Rehabinasyon.

He explained that Tokhang is a combination of Visayan words “toktok” or knock and “hangyo” or request/plead, where policemen go from house to house of suspected drug addicts and drug pushers to persuade and warn them to stop from their illegal activities and submit themselves to the government for rehabilitation.

“This is about fixing our country through Rehabinasyon,” Cualoping said as he emphasized that the program aims to rehabilitate and reintegrate the surrenderers into becoming active members of the society again.

Video presentations conveyed the government’s thrusts to raise civic awareness about how innocent lives get wasted due to illegal drugs.

Cualoping ended his presentation by urging the participants to help and be part in the campaign against illegal drugs.

He expected that the participants were equipped with the knowledge about the government’s program towards the attainment of the drug-free Philippines and comfortable life for everyone.

Other parts of the roadshow include the discussion on the Freedom of Information (FOI) by PCOO Assistant Secretary and FOI Program Director lawyer Kristian R. Ablan; and Safeguarding Press Freedom in the Philippines by the Presidential Task Force on Media Security Chief of Staff lawyer Abraham A. Agamata.

Iloilo Province revises Citizen’s Charter for better service

By Gail Momblan (PNA)

ILOILO CITY –- The public can expect better and more efficient service delivery from the Iloilo provincial government after the revision of its Citizen’s Charter, an official said on Wednesday.

The Citizen’s Charter is an official document that communicates in simple terms the information on the services provided by the government to its citizens, said Alma Ravena, chief of the Human Resource Department (HRM).

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has signed an Executive Order (EO) that implements the second edition of the provincial government’s Citizen’s charter.

The EO is pursuant to Republic Act 11032 or “An Act Promoting Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Services, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act 9485, otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.”

The new edition was launched at Casa Real de Iloilo or the old provincial capitol building in this city.

“We follow the Citizen’s Charter standards but along the way, we review it and we amend some aspects like the time requirement needed for a certain transaction,” Ravena said.

The first edition of the provincial government’s Citizen’s Charter was printed and published in 2009 during the time of late Governor Niel Tupas. It contains the Vision, Mission, Service Pledge, Service Standards of Offices, Feedback and Redress Mechanism.

Ravena said the department heads were responsible for the review of its frontline services.

“There had been amendments on the past 10 years after the first edition was published and now it was formally consolidated into one whole document,” she said.

Services included in the second edition are services in laboratories and consultations in 13 district hospitals in the province; processing of documents in the Assessor’s Office; processing of tax payment at the Treasurer’s Office; access to legal advises from the Provincial Legal Office; catering of walk-in applicants in the Human Resource Department, among others.

After the launch, the new service standards will be posted in the hospitals and offices to deliver effective service to the public.

Iloilo university continues to produce medical top-notchers

By Gail Momblan (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- Staying true to its branding of “where excellence is a tradition,” the West Visayas State University (WVSU) La Paz Campus, in this city's La Paz district has once again produced top-notchers in the recent Nursing Licensure Examination.

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) said 12 WVSU graduates landed on the top 10 spots. A total of 5,059 out of 9,691 passed the examination that was given by the Board of Nursing this month.

Almira Louise Hinsoy of WVSU bested the other board passers with an 87.4 percent rating. She shared the top spot with Jeremiah Paula Caceres of Angeles University Foundation.

Other WVSU graduates who made it to the top 10 are Dennise Kim Marie Luig with 87.2 percent; Michaelle Christiane Con-El (87 percent); Gernoe Marie Saquian, Shaniah Grace Condag, and Joseph Dann Enero, Kaila Mae Laurete Macairan (86.8 percent); Thomas Benroe Supena (86.2 percent); Jenrose Victor Buenvenida with (85.8 percent); Rona Jane Lanzuela (85.8 percent); Tristan James Amaguin (85.6 percent); and Angel Mae Malones (85.60 percent).

Aside from the inclusion of 12 of its examinees in the top 10, the WVSU also secured a 100 percent passing rate in the recent examination.

Luis Sorolla Jr., WVSU president, said all of their 163 examinees passed the exam.

“We secured 100 percent passing rate and this is also the first time that we had a lot of graduates (who) made it to the top 10,” Sorolla said.

The university president attributed the success first to the graduates themselves who undeniably worked hard.

The WVSU also conducts a rigid selection and admission requirements in the screening process where only the “academically performing” were chosen.

Being the “home of the top-notchers,” Sorolla said the university entices enrollees.

“There are a lot who compete, and out of those who apply, only a few are chosen,” he said.

The instructions at the College of Nursing at WVSU are also “updated and modern” where students are provided with the latest information and knowledge about the course.

Students’ skills and knowledge are also enhanced through their first-hand hospital experience at the West Visayas State University Medical Center, also in this city’s La Paz district.

“The hospital experience provides them with a rich background, rich experience to help them. We also embark on continuous training of faculty for them to be able to deliver the instructional process and the teaching-learning process,” Sorolla said.

The WVSU has also produced the top examiner in the March 2019 Physician Licensure Exam.

Clinton Rosita Rabadon, with a rating of 89.83 percent, led the 1,209 Physician Licensure Exam passers out of the 1,759 board examinees.

‘Innovative Iloilo’ roadmap aims to tap technology, science for better local governance

By Emme Rose S. Santiagudo (Correspondent)

THE DEPARTMENT of Science and Technology (DoST) and stakeholders in Iloilo City are working on the “Innovative Iloilo” plan, a roadmap towards better governance using science, technology and innovations (STI).

“In 2017, Iloilo City was named as one of the 25 digital cities in the country. It has the potential of becoming a smart city. Ngayon ‘yung (Now the) challenge, if Iloilo City will adopt the technologies being offered by DoST, then maybe they can be the first smart city,” DoST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena L. Guevara said during the recent 9th anniversary celebration of the DoST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).

DoST-Western Visayas Regional Director Rowen R. Gelonga said they already had discussions with officials of the city and Iloilo provincial governments, private sector, and other stakeholders for the roadmap.

“Here in Iloilo, we have initial discussions involving the city government, provincial government, other government agencies, and private sector. We are coming up with ‘Innovate Iloilo’… where we would like to position Iloilo City and province as an innovation hub,” he said.

“We are hoping that some of the technologies which will be presented today can be considered for adaptation and utilization of the LGU (local government unit),” Mr. Gelonga said.

The DOST has been encouraging LGUs to adopt STI to provide better governance and services to the people.

“It’s about increasing the role of data and information in governance, that’s making them smart. There is no more ad hoc decision-making done. Every decision is based on science, its evidence-based, and we’re looking forward to this kind of future in governance,” said DoST-PCIEERD Executive Director Enrico C. Paringit.

As part of the celebration, DoST-PCIEERD presented 13 technologies made by local researchers and scientists from DoST and universities around the country.

These technologies can be used by LGUs to provide solutions to key issues such as transport system, environmental protection, critical infrastructure monitoring, housing, disaster risk reduction, education, and food safety.

Iloilo Economic Development Foundation Inc. Executive Director Francis Gentoral said having a “smart” LGU forms part of the wider smart city goal.

“DoST plus the academic institutions and the business groups and DTI (Department of Trade and Industry), we are having ‘Innovate Iloilo’ this October and the idea of having this program is really to develop the ecosystem for a start-up community, and of course part of that ecosystem is to ensure that LGUs are smart,” he said.

Calixto V. Chikiamco, political economist and president of Foundation for Economic Freedom, said Iloilo has the potential to “be a hub for tech industries” given its “good universities.”

He said, “Good software programmers and developers could form the core for tech start-ups, that would be the basis of whole new industries but that would need support from the government and investor. But you have the people, that’s the advantage of Iloilo, their educational system… You can be a tech center here, but of course with the right policies in place.”

63 CRVS mobile registration held in Iloilo

By Lilibeth A. French (JBG/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) - Iloilo has conducted a total of 63 Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System (CRVS) mobile registration so far this year in partnership with the local civil registrars here.

The 63 CRVS mobile registrations were held in the towns of San Dionisio and Guimbal and the cities of Passi and Iloilo from January to May 2019. Iloilo City has the most number of mobile registration activity with 47.

PSA Iloilo Provincial Statistical Officer Nelida Amolar said seven more CRVS mobile registrations are scheduled to be conducted in 2019 including two which is held today, June 21, in Brgy. Nito-an Lupsag, Guimbal and Brgy. Tolarucan in Janiuay.

The other five will be held in Janiuay town on the following schedules: July 26 in Brgy. Cabantog; August 23 in Brgy. Caranas; September 27 in Brgy. Gines; October 25 in Brgy. Tuburan; and November 22 in Brgy. Sto. Tomas.

Amolar encouraged residents in the said areas especially those unregistered with PSA to take advantage of the opportunity.

Through the free CRVS mobile registration, beneficiaries are assisted with problems regarding their birth certificates.

CRVS generates information on births, deaths and causes of death which are of fundamental importance for the country’s development process and governance.

PSA personnel also briefed participants on civil registration laws for them to understand the importance and process of correcting errors in their birth certificates.

Amolar also urged local civil registrars to continue holding mobile registration to ensure that every resident in their respective localities has birth certificate and legal identity.

“Let us make sure that no one will be left behind and every Ilonggo and Ilongga will be in the picture,” she said.

PSA has been tasked to carry out, enforce and administer civil registration functions in the country and to conduct activities related to “Get every Pinoy and Pinay in the Picture!" program of the government in line with Proclamation No. 1106 signed by former President Benigno Aquino which declared the year 2015 to 2024 as Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Decade.

Amolar is looking forward to zero unregistered birth in 2024 with the help of mobile registrations.

“This will only be possible if local civil registry offices and local government units in Iloilo will cooperate in conducting activities that will educate and inform Ilonggos of the importance of CRVS”, she said.

DTI-Iloilo donates computer sets to 25 schools

By Perla Lena (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- All 25 barangay high school recipients of the Personal Computer for Public Schools 5 (PCPS 5) have already received their computer packages, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) - Iloilo has said.

“The 25 schools were able to receive 10 sets of computer packages funded by the government of Japan through DTI,” trade and industry development specialist Kurt Maurice S. Tugaff, who is the focal person for the project of DTI-Iloilo, said in an interview Thursday.

The PCPS project, funded through the Japan International Cooperation Agency under the Non-Project Grant Aid Counter-Value Fund, gave each school 10 computer sets. Each set contained a central processing unit, a monitor, keyboard, mouse, an Uninterruptible Power Supply, and a wireless printer.

The project, in its fifth phase, aims to enhance the Information Technology skills of the youth, as well as to address computer backlogs in schools.

The recipient schools were chosen by the Department of Education (DepEd) and endorsed to the DTI, the proponent agency and in-charge of the procurement and distribution of computer packages.

“The distribution was done first and the second week of April while the inspection and audit were done by the DTI last week of May,” he said.

The PCPS project also covers the establishment of computer laboratories in public high schools, teacher training, and implementation of a computer education curriculum in the recipient schools.

The recipient schools were from Tigbauan, Miagao, Calinog, Carle, San Joaquin, Oton, Badiangan, Lambunao, Batad, Concepcion, Barotac Nuevo, Ajuy, Sara, Alimodian, Maasin, Bingawan, Banate, and Leganes.

Meanwhile, DTI 6 (Western Visayas) Assistant Director Ermelinda P. Pollentes said the people in the community can also use the computers during weekends.

“That is only for students during weekdays but it does not deter the recipient schools (from) also offering them as an alternative learning system for the unemployed and even the out-of-school-youth during the weekends,” Pollentes said in a press conference on Wednesday.

PCOO to hold IEC roadshow on gov’t programs in Iloilo City

By Carlson B. Alelis (CBA/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY (PIA) – The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) will conduct a forum on various government programs and initiatives as part of the 2019 PCOO Roadshows at the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT-U) here, June 24.

Representatives from the PCOO and the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) will give their presentations on the Freedom of Information (FOI) program, Rehabinasyon, and Safeguarding Press Freedom in the Philippines.

The said topics will be delivered by PCOO assistant secretaries lawyer Kristian Ablan and Ramon Cualoping III, and PTFoMS secretariat chief-of-staff lawyer Abraham Agamata.

The event aims to inform and engage more than 200 representatives from national government agencies, local government agencies, civil society organizations, non-government organizations, the academe, and the media.

Prior to the talks, the PCOO will hold the FOI Campus Caravan in the morning to educate members of the academe on their right to information and promote the use of the FOI program as a tool for academic research.

The 2019 PCOO Roadshows leg here is being done in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency – 6 and ISAT-U.

It is part of PCOO’s information, education, and communications (IEC) campaign.

The roadshows this year are held in various locations in the country to ensure the extensive reach of the campaign.

DTI brings ‘Mentor Me on Wheels’ to Iloilo City

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

ILOILO CITY, June 21 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Go Negosyo hold here today, June 21, the “Mentor Me on Wheels” (MMOW) at the North Point Event Center of SM City Iloilo.

DTI-6 assistant regional director Ermelinda P. Pollentes said that MMOW is a free one-on-one nationwide mentorship session with aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.

“We expect around 200 to 300 mentees comprised of micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs), students, and other clients,” she said.

This mentorship event will focus on two topics with regard to business mentorship: entrepreneurial mind-setting, and marketing.

“This will use a personalized approach because they will have a one-on-one consultation with the mentors concerned,” Pollentes said.

According to DTI, entrepreneurial mind setting and values formation is the introduction to entrepreneurship or the addition to knowledge thereof.

This module primarily focuses on establishing the foundation of a values-oriented entrepreneur who maximizes resources effectively; capacitates his team objectively; honors obligations and agreements religiously; and most importantly, manages and operates the enterprise sustainably.

A total of 50 Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship-accredited mentors will simultaneously listen and coach participants in various business industries like food, manufacturing, healthcare, service, agriculture, creative, information and technology, retail, and education, among others.

Meanwhile, Pollentes said that there will be a simultaneous Money and Market Encounter at Westown MO2 Hotel here for the 200 mentee-graduates of the Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) program from Region 6.

Module on markets will be discussed with partner institutions that are into digital platforms, the brick and mortar and the cashless payment applications.

Money module will follow through as banking and other financial institutions present their organization’s latest offering for MSMEs.

Business matching will be done in the latter part of the program where mentee graduates can freely interact and potentially get partners to support by providing additional capital and potential markets - online and offline.

Iloilo gov’t aids schools in sports varsity program

By Gail Momblan (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- The Iloilo provincial government helps public schools to secure their sports specializations through a strengthened varsity sports program.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with principals of five public high schools on Monday.

Ray Cabarles, sports development officer, said on Thursday the partnership between the province and the public high schools is geared towards the fulfillment of the Center for Sports and Physical Fitness (CSPF) to be the center for excellence in physical fitness and sports promotion.

The province and the schools aim to produce high-performing athletes by supporting their whole-year training, among others.

The schools will identify and recruit talents under its “Sports-for-All” Program and form varsity teams, which will represent the school in any sports competition and a training pool which is composed of the school reserves.

“The schools will provide food, training allowance, uniform allowance, incentives and benefits, insurance coverage, among others,” Cabarles said.

The varsity team members and the training pool athletes will be funded through the income from school canteens, sports fee from the Parent and Teachers Association (PTA), and other sources under the control of the schools, he added.

Meanwhile, the Iloilo provincial government will provide logistics like sports facilities, sports supplies, sports gear, among others.

Varsity team members and training pool athletes also have free access to facilities and equipment at the Iloilo Sports Complex in this city’s La Paz district, he said.

“Their coaches will also be supported by the province for the government will provide them with free training to level up their coaching skills. We will hire high caliber coaches from even outside the province to mentor our coaches here,” Cabarles said.

The pilot schools for the said program are Iloilo National High School with sports specialization on basketball, volleyball, football, futsal, and chess; Oton National High School on basketball, volleyball, archery, and chess; Pavia National High School on volleyball and basketball; Passi National High School on basketball, volleyball, lawn tennis, table tennis, athletics, and chess; and Pototan National Comprehensive High School on basketball.

Cabarles clarified that these schools are not confined within the sports they initially specialized in. “They can expand if they have talent on other sports,” he said.

He assured that athletes will not be left behind from class lectures as a “supervisory body” that includes academicians will check on them from time to time.

The program will also boost the confidence of the athletes and urge them to do better not only in sports but also in academics, he said.

Schools in the province are most welcome to partner with the province to support and produce sports champions.

Iloilo has produced various sports icons like basketball players Kris Ann Pingol of Pototan, Ronald Tubid of Oton; Danny Basilan of Passi City, volleyball player Lutrel Bugna of Pavia and high jump queen Alexi Mae Caimoso of Iloilo National High School.

DTI eyes 'entrepreneurial revolution' through village services

By Perla Lena (PNA)

ILOILO CITY – Eighty-seven barangays (villages) from 17 fourth to fifth class municipalities of Iloilo province were chosen for the “Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay” program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) this year.

Ermelinda P. Pollentes, DTI assistant regional director and concurrent director for Iloilo, said they hope to embark on an entrepreneurial revolution by opening the eyes and minds of the project recipients on starting a business through information dissemination.

"We go to barangays because we want them to become entrepreneurs. We want to create entrepreneurial revolution because that’s the only way we can compete with our neighboring countries in the context of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) economy,” she said in a press conference Wednesday.

Pollentes said that after the training, those who are already engaged in business can have them registered with DTI so they could later on transact with more suppliers and buyers.

For startups, they can probably think of a product or service that is not yet available in their barangays, then embark on it, the official said.

DTI’s Industry Development Division Senior Trade and Industry Development Specialist and Negosyo Center Account Officer Mutya D. Eusores said they target 100 participants for every batch of Negosyo Serbisyo activity.

During the session, they will be made aware of the services available at the DTI and Negosyo Center as well as their other partners in business development.

DTI hopes to cover 87 barangays by November as they target to commence the activity this July.

The villages listed for the Negosyo Serbisyo are in the towns of Guimbal and Tubungan in the province's first district; San Miguel, Leganes, New Lucena and Zarraga in the second district; Badiangan, Bingawan and Mina in the third district; Anilao, Banate and Dueñas in the fourth district; and Balasan, Batad, Lemery, San Dionisio and San Rafael in the fifth district.

Pollentes said the DTI provincial officer chose the recipient barangays and residents who are interested to avail of business services may just approach their village officials.

1K volunteers to join tree-planting event in Iloilo

By Gail Momblan (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- About 1,000 volunteers are expected to take part in a tree-planting activity of the Iloilo provincial government on June 22.

Lawyer Arturo Cangrejo, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENRO), said the tree-planting activity in Pangilihan village, Janiuay is part of the Philippine Arbor Day celebration every June 25.

“We propose to plant 7,500 seedlings, including forest trees and fruit-bearing trees, such as cacao, duhat (Java plum), and jackfruit,” he said in an interview Tuesday.

Cangrejo called on partners and Iloilo locals to also participate in the activity.

He reminded participants to bring water with them but discouraged the use of single-use water plastic bottles.

“We advise them to bring their own water bottle. The PENRO will provide water to refill their containers,” he said. Participants were also encouraged to wear appropriate outdoor attire, he said.

Cangrejo said participants will assemble at the Ceres Motorpool, Dungon B village in this city’s Jaro district.

The Philippine Arbor Day is celebrated annually to promote a healthier ecosystem, he said.

Proclamation No. 396 enjoins the “active participation of all government agencies, including government-owned and -controlled corporations, private sector, schools, civil society groups, and the citizenry in the tree-planting activity.”

Iloilo establishes counseling centers for family dev't

By Gail Momblan (PNA)

ILOILO CITY-- Geared on building a strong nation through strong families, Iloilo continues to establish spaces for counseling sessions and parenting programs.

The Provincial Population Office (PPO), headed by its chief Ramon Yee, has already established seven Multi-Purpose Counseling and Family Development Centers in different municipalities in the province.

Yee underscored the importance of pre-marriage sessions to couples who wanted to tie the knot.

"Pre-marriage sessions give couples the information and the instructions on responsible parenthood and family planning. Couples who undergone the sessions will build a strong family, strong community, and eventually a strong nation," Yee said in an interview Friday afternoon.

Present in these centers are television sets and education-information materials needed in the counseling.

"These centers provide conducive counseling because giving information to the couple needs privacy. There are matters that shall be kept confidential," he said.

During the counseling, he said the couple separately accomplish "marriage expectation inventory", which will then be compared.

"If their goals vary, they will be enlightened by the counselor," Yee said.

On Wednesday, the Iloilo provincial government has inaugurated the Multi-Purpose Counseling and Family Development Center in Santa Barbara town.

The center in Santa Barbara is the first to be inaugurated this year, Yee said.

Other centers that were first inaugurated and made operational since 2017 are in the towns of Alimodian, San Miguel, Oton, Cabatuan, Duenas, and Concepcion.

"Our ultimate goal is to establish the same center in all the 43 local government units in the province," he said.

The commitment from the municipality is important before establishing the centers.

Yee said the local government unit shall first allot a space where a center will be put up.

The Liga ng mga Barangay, meanwhile, is responsible for disseminating to locals in the villages the significance of pre-marriage counseling.

"They will disseminate the program and encourage locals to have pre-marriage counseling or otherwise they will not be issued with marriage license," he said.

Remaining municipalities that are still without the centers conduct pre-marriage counseling in free spaces in the municipal hall, such as session halls and conference rooms.

Yee, however, said the Multi-Purpose Counselling and Family Development Centers alone cannot provide successful pre-marriage counseling.

He said the pre-marriage counselors composed of officials from the offices of population, social welfare and development, and health should also be equipped with proper knowledge. With this, he assured that the pre-marriage counseling teams will undergo training.

"A good multi-purpose counseling centers with capable, ready, and enhanced pre-marriage counselors make effective counseling," he said.

Yee said the municipalities of Anilao and Pototan also want to open the next counseling centers in the province.

Blood donation drive to highlight ‘Dengue Day’ in Iloilo

By Leonard T. Pineda, I

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) – The city government here, through the City Health Office, in partnership with the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6, commemorates “Dengue Day” today, June 14, 2019, at the Diamond Jubilee Hall here.

Maria Lourdes Monegro, DOH-CHD 6 Regional Entomologist, said the blood donation drive is one of the highlights of the event which is in line with the ASEAN Dengue Day held every June 15.

“This blood donation drive is facilitated by the Philippine Red Cross,” she said.

She said this advocacy event aims to increase public awareness of dengue; to mobilize resources for its prevention and control; and to demonstrate the commitment of ASEAN in to tackling the disease.

The conduct of such advocacy event was agreed upon during the 10th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting in Singapore in 2010, according to DOH-CHD-6.

The event started with a motorcade in major thoroughfares in the city and a program held at the Diamond Jubilee Hall.

“Booths and kiosks are established in the venue that will promote the advocacy to further raise public awareness on dengue,” she said.

Meanwhile, data from DOH-CHD 6 showed that a total of 8,613 dengue cases were recorded in Western Visayas, from January 1 to June 1, 2019.

Monegro said these cases reflect an increase of 198 percent compared to the cases recorded in the same period last year.

According to DOH-6, Aklan recorded 1,019 cases; Antique - 285; Capiz - 1,245; Guimaras - 187; Iloilo Province - 2,516; Iloilo City - 557; Negros Occidental - 2,277; and Bacolod City with 433 cases. (JBG/LTP/PIA-Iloilo)

Cash gift sought for residents reaching 90th, 95th birthdays

By Perla Lena (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- The elderly in this city need not wait to reach the centennial age to avail of cash incentives once the proposed ordinance, granting benefits and privileges to residents celebrating their 90th and 95th birthdays, is approved.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), in its regular session on Tuesday, approved on first reading the proposed ordinance that will grant 90-year-olds with PHP5,000 and PHP10,000 for 95-year-olds.

The money will be given just one-time once the elderly will turn 90 or 95.

“Living for almost a century old is very challenging in this modern time. Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle has become a great endeavor,” said proponent Councilor Lyndon Acap in pushing for the ordinance.

He said that while centenarians are entitled to avail of PHP100,000 from the national government and another PHP10,000 as provided for in the city ordinance, yet the benefits seemed to be “useless”.

“That benefit supposedly is for them to enjoy. So how can they enjoy if they are already bed-ridden and some could not even recognize the money,” he said in a follow-up interview.

He added that giving them the said amount is a way for them to avail of the cash incentives without waiting to become centenarians.

He recalled that the late councilor Armand Parcon passed an ordinance two years ago increasing the PHP10,000 incentive to centenarians to PHP50,000 but it was vetoed because it might affect the delivery of other services.

Acap said that the city is progressing and senior citizens also need little support.

Once passed, the qualified senior citizen has to submit the same requirements when thy process for the national incentive.

Added to those, they have to be residents of this city for at least five years.

As of 2018, Iloilo City 59,293 registered senior citizens.

The proposed ordinance is now with the committees on appropriations and the elderly for appropriate action.

39K vacancies up for grabs in Iloilo job fair

By Gail Momblan (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- A total of 39,305 vacancies are available in the one-day job fair to be facilitated by the Public Employment Services Office (PESO) in Iloilo this June 7.

Francisco Heler, PESO-Iloilo chief, said 8,025 job vacancies for local employment are up for grabs.

Also available are 31,374 jobs in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), tutorial, real estate, bank and microfinance, hotels and restaurant, retailers, medical fields, construction, hospitality; seaman, second cook, oiler, for sea-based agencies tanker; bale seaman and wiper for container; and master, chief officer, second and third officer for bulk carriers.

Heler said the job vacancies are expected to rise to 40, 000 as more companies expressed their intent to participate in the job expo. On Tuesday, a total of 150 companies already confirmed their participation.

Heler said an estimated 900 to 1,000 applicants had pre-registered at their extension office located at the third floor of the Iloilo Provincial Capitol here.

“This excludes those who pre-registered in different municipalities where the participants can also pre-register,” he said.

He also encouraged applicants to prepare their certificate of employment, clearances, and resume on the day of the expo.

The PESO chief also expressed his gratitude to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Social Security System, and special lanes for Persons With Disability (PWD) and Indigenous Peoples (IPs), among others, which will establish help desks during the job expo.

A total of 12 municipalities and the Newtrals Philbikers Organization in the province also extended their support to the job expo by offering free rides to jobseekers who will travel from municipalities to the Capitol.

An employment orientation will also be held on June 7 to teach participants on financial literacy and other topics, to help them in their employment, Heler said.

Tourism officers to meet with stakeholders for MICE preps

By Perla Lena (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- Accommodation and food sectors will be meeting with the City Tourism and Development Office (CTDO) on Thursday to determine packages to be included in the kit to be distributed to organizers of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibits (MICE).

“Hotels will meet to agree on a certain percentage while our food sector will also come up with what they can offer when you come to Iloilo to have your conventions, meetings or conferences,” said Junel Ann Divinagracia, City Tourism Officer, in an interview Tuesday.

Divinagracia said that they have done researches on packages of other MICE destinations such as Davao and Manila at the national level and Singapore and Malaysia as part of benchmarking.

However, Iloilo City will come up with a unique package that could not be found in other MICE destinations. Among others, there will be attractive discounts, which normally could not be found in ordinary transactions.

“We hope to complete our kit by July because we set our tentative launching at the local level in October,” she added.

They have yet to finalize national and international launching.

Prior to the May 30 meeting, Divinagracia said they also met with the transportation, security and the academe. She said they will meet again after the meeting on Thursday.

She added that once the packages for these various groups are ready, they will submit these to the Department of Tourism (DOT) for consolidation and come up with a very nice and attractive kit.

In a previous interview, Divinagracia said 50 to 70 percent of the 1.2 million tourist arrivals last year were due to MICE.

She added that arrivals in this highly urbanized city are already MICE-driven because most of the tourists are delegates of conventions.

P8.7-B earmarked to develop Iloilo port

By Perla Lena (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- The Iloilo Economic Development Foundation (ILED) is looking at the support of both the city and provincial governments of Iloilo for the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Board to act swiftly on a project of a private firm to improve the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex in Loboc, Lapuz, this city with a budget of PHP 8.7 billion.

In a phone interview Monday, Francis Gentoral, executive director of ILED, said the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) intends to upgrade the Iloilo Port once its unsolicited proposal, dubbed the “Original Proponent Status” is approved.

During their May 24 briefing in Manila, they were told that the ICTSI wanted to upgrade the port into a world-class level by “maximizing big ship capability; installing ship-to-shore gantry cranes; and continuously upgrading yard capacity aligned to traffic studies”.

It also intends to build a terminal for cruise ship passengers, to meet the objectives of the National Tourism Development Plan.

Present during the briefing were Senator Franklin Drilon, Iloilo City Lone District Representative and now mayor-elect Jerry P. Treñas; Congresswoman-elect Julienne Baronda; and ILED chairperson Narzalina Lim, Jocelyn Perez, Terence Uygongco, Rex Drilon, and Gentoral.

“We thought at ILED to encourage local governments to write a letter that supports the acceleration of the process,” he said.

They were informed that the proposal is now with the PPA Board for review but for now they have no idea what will be the next step of the ports authority.

Once the PPA approves the proposal, ITCSI can already start with the groundwork next year, he added.

Gentoral said that once the proposal is realized, it will create a significant impact on Iloilo. He said Iloilo can already send agriculture products to other outbound markets.

With this, he cited the need to improve agricultural productivity to be able to export.

The export potential of agriculture products is expected to get a boost once the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project will start operations in 2022. Its irrigation component is expected to cover an initial 31,000 hectares of rice land.

“This early we are seeing a heightened shipping activity in the province due to the economic development that has taken place in the province for the past years,” Drilon said.

Treñas, as incoming mayor of Iloilo City, committed to upgrading the road network going to and from the port to accommodate bigger traffic. “One priority project is to update the land use plan to capture the expansion of road networks that are needed for the port,” Gentoral added.

Moreover, if the traffic limit of the Iloilo Port is about to be reached, the ICTSI is also willing to develop the port of Dumangas, which has been pushed by the provincial government of Iloilo for development.

“Our advocacy is to fast-track the processing of the unsolicited proposal so they can already start. If approved this year, they can start the ground running by January next year,” Gentoral said.

Lim also offered to mobilize all the business associations in Iloilo to throw their support behind the ICTSI proposal.

Razon firm plans to invest P8.7 billion in Port of Iloilo

(TDG)

BUSINESSMAN Enrique Razon’s International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) is willing to plunk in P8.7 billion to develop the Port of Iloilo in Iloilo City, particularly the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex in Brgy. Loboc, Lapuz, Iloilo City.

In a briefing before Ilonggo political leaders and business groups on May 24, 2019 in Makati City, ICTSI Global Corporate Head Christian Gonzalez said the investment aims to upgrade the Iloilo port complex once the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) acts on its unsolicited proposal which is up for review by the PPA Board.

Among those present in the briefing were Senator Franklin Drilon, Mayor-elect Jerry Trenas, Congresswoman-elect Julienne “Jam Jam” Baronda, and Ilonggos business community represented by Narzalina Lim, Jocelyn Perez, Engr. Terence Uygongco, Rex Drilon and Francis Gentoral of the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation (ILED).

Gonzalez said that when the traffic limit in the Iloilo port is about to be reached, the port in Dumangas, Iloilo will be developed.

Fourth district Rep. Ferjenel G. Biron earlier welcomed ICTSI’s desire to improve Dumangas port which is located in his constituency.

Biron has also included the development and upgrading of the Dumangas port into international standards in his campaign platform.

Biron added that he will lobby with the PPA to consider ICTSI’s plans for the Dumangas port development project.

During the briefing, Gonzalez revealed ICTSI’s objective to modernize Iloilo Port to world class levels:

- maximizing big ship capability;

- installing ship-to-shore gantry cranes; and continuously

- upgrading yard capacity aligned to traffic studies.

The form also plans to build a terminal for cruise ship passengers, to meet the objectives of the National Tourism Development Plan.

Gonzalez said that with their development plans, Iloilo can be the major regional transhipment hub for the Visayas.

Additionally, the agri-aqua products of Iloilo can be shipped to domestic and foreign markets in refrigerated containers, driving costs down, making them very competitive.

In an interview with the Daily Guardian on Air over Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo on May 25, 2019, Treñas also welcomed ICTSI’s keen interest in developing the port of Iloilo.

Treñas said he will ensure full cooperation of the Iloilo City government so that the road network to and from the port is upgraded to accommodate the expected traffic.

Local incentives will also be reviewed to make it attractive for exporters and importers to use the port.

ILED chairperson Narzalina Lim offered to mobilize all the business associations in Iloilo to throw their support behind the ICTSI proposal and write a letter to PPA to accelerate the process of review and approval of the Original Proponent Status of ICTSI.

In a statement, Drilon said ICTSI’s plan “is very timely given that Iloilo is poised to become a major exporter of agricultural products once the Jalaur River Multi-purpose Project is completed in 2022.”

The megadam project will irrigate 31,000 hectares of rice land, doubling the rice production of Iloilo.

The senator also urged the PPA to act on ICTSI’s unsolicited proposal.

Iloilo City works on tourism shift from festivals to MICE

(Politiko Visayas)

Iloilo City is now implementing a shift in its tourism promotion efforts from being a destination for festivals to one for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE).

The city government is using as a guide the P50-million, three-year marketing plan launched by the Department of Tourism in Region 6 last February.

“Statistics show that before we are festival-driven but now we are MICE-driven because most of the tourists that come here are attendees of the regional conventions in the city,” said City Tourism and Development Officer Junel Ann Divinagracia (https://thedailyguardian.net/local-news/iloilo-city-eyes-shift-from-festival-to-mice-tourism/).

“The product portfolio of Iloilo City now does not only include arts and culture, culinary, and faith, but also the MICE. We are thankful with tourism stakeholders here especially the accommodating sector for their cooperation,” she added.

Divinagracia noted conventions held in Iloilo have been attracting more tourists and have eventually overtaken festival tourism since last year.

Of the 1.2 million tourist arrivals in Iloilo City last year, 50 to 70 percent are attendees of various conventions, she said.

She added the temporary six-month closure of Boracay Island in 2018 also boosted the MICE tourism in Iloilo City as some conventions in Boracay were diverted there.

Divinagracia said they will launch MICE packages by October 2019, since they will be expecting two to four large conventions every month in Iloilo.

She added a MICE alliance composed of tourism stakeholders has been created to prepare for the influx of conventions in the metro.

For its part, property giant Megaworld Corp. is now gearing up to become the center of conventions.

Jennifer Fong, vice president for sales and marketing of Megaworld’s Iloilo Business Park (IBP), said the IBP plans around 1,000 hotel rooms, up from 475 rooms, in the next five years, to accommodate travelers and guests.

The IBP also houses the Iloilo Convention Center which can accommodate to 3,700 persons. Fong said the park is 60 percent complete.

Meanwhile, Divinagracia said other budget hotels and destinations are also stepping up their efforts to prepare for the MICE tourism.

“We want to balance it. We have been talking to other hubs and destinations and they are also stepping up their efforts. We are helping them so that they will not be left behind,” she said.

SM opens office building in Iloilo

By Arra B. Francia

SM Prime Holdings, Inc. has opened a new office tower in Iloilo City targeted toward business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, as its seeks to boost the presence of outsourcing companies in the area.

Located along Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue, the Sy-led property developer said the Strata Tower offers 23,000 square meters (sq.m.) in total leasable area. Office spaces will be located on 13 floors, while the ground floor will house retail shops such as SM Savemore Supermarket.

“Strata Tower aims to establish BPO and office presence within the city and its neighboring towns,” the company said.

The office building is located across SM City Iloilo, and is accessible to the mall through a covered bridgeway on its second floor.

Strata is one of SM Offices’ 35 operational office properties covering a combined gross floor area of about 642,000 sq.m. across 20 locations.

The office group accounted for about nine percent of SM Prime’s revenues in the first quarter of 2019, alongside other leasing businesses such as hotels and convention centers. The segment saw its revenues rise 14% to P2.3 billion.

Overall, SM Prime’s consolidated revenues climbed 14% to P26.5 billion, resulting to a 16% increase in net income to P8.8 billion.

Shares in SM Prime fell 1.52% or 60 centavos to close at P38.80 each at the stock exchange on Friday.

Visayas Minerals and Energy Summit opens in Iloilo City

By Lilibeth A. French (JBG/MGB6/laf/PIA6- Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, May 24 (PIA) -- Some 200 to 300 delegates across the country are attending the 9th Visayas Minerals and Energy Summit which opens on May 23, 2019 here.

The Philippine Society of Mining Engineers (PSEM) Visayas Chapter organized the event which will end on Saturday, May 25.

PSEM, Inc. is an association of Mining Engineers in the Philippines that works for the advancement and welfare of individuals in the profession.

Its main goal is to give projects and improve chances to individuals in the profession to work dependably as experts for the advancement of a suitable minerals industry with regards to practical improvement, according to a report from the Mines Geosciences Bureau Region 6 (MGB6).

The three-day event will be highlighted by paper presentations of stakeholders from the public and private sectors focusing on the theme “Minerals and Energy – Indispensable in the Government’s Build, Build, Build Program.”

A Mining Engineers' Assembly is slated in the afternoon of the first day which will begin with an update from the PSEM president.

Paper presentations on May 24 include the following topics: MGB Updates-Policy Directions for the Mining Industry; Coal and Nuclear Energy Program of the Philippines; Government’s Build, Build, Build Program; The Iron and Steel Industry in the Philippines; Cement Industry Capacity Expansion Projects to Support Build, Build, Build Program of Government; and Sustainability of Aggregate Supply in the Country for the Government’s Infrastructure Program and Policy Direction.

Other topics are Geological Considerations in the Government’s Infrastructure Development; Ease of Doing Business; and Rehabilitation and Restoration on Mined-out Areas: Philex Sibutad and Bulawan Project Experiences.

DOH6 to launch 1st mall-based clinic in PH

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

ILOILO CITY, May 23 (PIA) -- The Department of Health - Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) 6 is set to launch on May 28, 2019 at Robinsons Place Iloilo the country’s first mall-based clinic that will provide preventive and promotive health care.

In a press conference held recently at the Eon Centennial Hotel here, Joseph Carlo Carillo, DOH-6 Nurse V, said that the facility aims to serve the unmet health needs of clients by improving access to health services.

“This is part of the commitment of DOH to ensure access and availability of our services. Our clients are provided these services at the most convenient time for them,” he said.

Dubbed as “kNOwTell,” the clinic aims to ensure that the reach of health information is expanded through health information sharing or “what you KNOW you TELL,” while keeping private information confidential or “No Tell.”

“However, it will not bear the word ‘clinic’ to remove the barrier to health access,” he said, adding that "a person does not need to be sick" to access and avail services of a health facility.

He said that kNOwTell is a venue for health education and counseling in order to be healthy and to stay healthy.

The mall-based health facility will be open from Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and weekends from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Services that will be offered include pregnancy testing; pre-natal check-up (to include physical check-up, vitamins and pregnancy counseling); Family Planning (FP) services (short or long acting FP commodities); and HIV screening, counseling, and testing.

Likewise, clients can also avail psycho-social risk assessment, counseling (to include psychometrician services and referral); “Brief Advise” 5 (counseling on tobacco, alcohol and drugs); and screening, counseling, and referral for chest X-ray.

According to Carillo, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will be considered “Teen Days” as there will be special services and workshops that will be conducted targeting this particular age group.

The facility will be situated in the 3rd floor of Robinsons Place Iloilo, beside Fun Time.

NFA Iloilo puts up 11 palay buying stations

By Lilibeth A. French (JBG/NFA/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- The National Food Authority (NFA) has 11 buying stations strategically located in the different areas of the provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras to ensure that farmers can avail of the government’s incentives and support price for palay.

The buying stations are located at NFA Main Office in Jaro, Iloilo City, Dumangas Grains Center, Pototan Grains Center, San Dionisio Warehouse, Brgy. Punong in Passi City, Brgy. Jibolo in Janiuay, Poblacion in Barotac Viejo, Brgy. Mapili in San Enrique, Suclaran Warehouse in Guimaras, and Jordan Warehouse in Guimaras.

Buying station in Brgy. Punong in Passi City is open every Tuesday; in Brgy. Jibolo and Brgy. Pasig every Wednesday; in Poblacion, Barotac Viejo every Thursday; and Brgy. Mapili every Friday.

Currently, the NFA buys palay at a support price of P17.00/kg and provides additional incentives of P3.00/kg for buffer stocking; P0.20/kg drying incentive; P0.20/kg delivery incentive and P0.30/kg for Cooperative Development incentive fee.

“This means an individual farmer can get a maximum of P20.40/kg while members of farmer cooperatives/organizations will get a maximum of P20.70/kg. of palay sold to NFA,” said NFA-Iloilo provincial manager Oliver Cambas in a press report.

Cambas encouraged farmers to sell “clean and dry” palay to enjoy the maximum buying price of P20.40/kg and P20.70/kg.

He added that they have also eased requirements for their procurement program, requiring farmers only a Farmer’s Passbook/Master Passbook as proof of their legitimacy.

Farmers who are selling their produce to NFA for the first time can deliver up to 200 bags even without a Farmer’s Passbook, however, their succeeding deliveries will be covered by a passbook.

Under Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Liberalization Law which took effect March 5 this year, NFA has shifted its focus on buffer stocking, which is sourced solely from local farmers, for calamities and emergencies.

DAR gathers farmers in WV

(PIA/ DAR-Public Assistance and Media Relations Service)

ILOILO CITY, May 21 – Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Western Visayas gathered for a symposium in Iloilo City.

The event held in Iloilo City, May 6, was led by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) - Regional Office 6.

Some 134 ARB organization representatives participated in the conference to include the 42 participants from Iloilo, 30 from Antique, 27 from Capiz, 22 from Aklan, and 13 from Guimaras.

Also in attendance were the provincial agrarian reform program officers II and the regional and provincial chief agrarian reform program officers.

DAR Undersecretary Karlo S. Bello of the Field Operations Group also attended the event.

The conference aims to capacitate and create awareness to farmer group leaders and members, specifically on the principles of land amortization; cooperative tax exemption and privileges; and available credit programs.

The resource speakers were from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).

LBP-Agrarian Office Center representative Lemuel Sembrano discussed matters pertaining to land amortization, while lawyer Roumilia Alpasan-Base of the CDA focused on the pertinent policies on cooperative taxation.

The benefits of the ARB Insurance Program were discussed by a team from the PCIC led by Vice President Antonio Uy II.

It was also an opportunity for the farmers and farmer-leaders to reconnect and to expand their knowledge and share their experiences in enhancing the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

Likewise, the conference hoped to widen the participants’ information on the different programs and services offered by DAR and other partner agencies to the ARB organizations.

Catholic leaders lead AIDS candlelight memorial in Iloilo

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

ILOILO CITY, May 20 (PIA) -- Catholic leaders in this city spearheaded the commemoration of this year’s International AIDS Candlelight Memorial (IACM) on May 19.

The Philippine Catholic HIV and AIDS Network (PhilCHAN)-Iloilo, which is under the PhilCHAN of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in collaboration with the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6, led the IACM at St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary in Jaro district here.

Sr. Mila Grace Silab, SPC, PhilCHAN-Iloilo chair and president of St. Paul University Iloilo, said the IACM commemoration is part of their mission to spread and raise awareness on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and aquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

“We are spearheading the activity to strengthen our support to our brothers and sisters living with HIV and promote our mission to raise awareness,” she said.

The event started with a Eucharistic celebration at 5:00 p.m., followed by a short program and the Candlelighting Ceremony.

“It was an evening of songs and prayers. There was also be a special presentation by the group ‘Little Theater’ from the University of San Agustin,” she said.

She added that the PhilCHAN gave the group a session tackling HIV which enabled them to come up with an original play.

“The script was based on the session provided to the group,” Silab said.

During the Candlelighting Ceremony, the participants were grouped into sectors including faith-based organizations, support groups, health sector, business, youth, government agencies, civil society organizations, among others.

Rev. Fr. Dan Vicente Cancino Jr., executive secretary of the Commission on Health Care of CBCP, also attended the event and delivered the inspirational message.

Silab said that various multi-sectoral partners from the different government and private agencies, organizations, hospitals, and schools also joined the event.

This year's local theme is "One Big Fight for PLHIV Health and Rights."

CCP launches the encyclopedia of PH art in Iloilo

(CCP)

PASAY CITY, May 19 -- The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) will hold the regional launch of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art (2nd edition) on May 24, at 5 pm, at the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA).

CCP vice president/artistic director Chris Millado, who is also the project director of EPA, will give an introduction; followed by series of talks by Dr. Nicanor G. Tiongson, EPA editor-in-chief, Dr. Ruth Pison, associate area editor for the EPA’s dance volume; and Elmer Gatchalian, creative director.

The event is expected to gather writers, artists, and key representatives of cultural organizations and institutions from Iloilo and other provinces in Western Visayas.

Initially launched at the CCP, the CCP EPA is the most comprehensive and authoritative reservoir of information on Philippine art and culture. Divided into twelve volumes, the encyclopedia covers the different Philippine art forms, such as architecture, visual arts, film, music, dance, theater, broadcast arts, and literature, as well as the study of the peoples of the Philippines.

The second edition of the EPA was initially launched at the CCP last November 28, 2018, over 20 years after the original nine-volume edition came out. The volume on broadcast arts is the latest addition.

Written by more than 500 brilliant scholars and experts from different regions of the Philippines, the CCP EPA seeks to contribute to the enrichment of Filipino-oriented scholarship and help shape Filipino identity and nationhood.

The CCP EPA is now available for pre-order at the ILOMOCA at a discounted price until May 15 only. For reservations, call (033) 501-8622 or (033) 501-8621. ILOMOCA is located at Casa de Emperador Festive Walk Parade, Mandurriao, Iloilo City, Iloilo.

Firm inks deal for power in Iloilo

By JORDEENE B. LAGARE

MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power), the power firm of tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., has sealed a deal with Kepko SPC Power Corp. (KSPC) to supply electricity to Iloilo.

Under the one-year interim power supply agreement, KSPC will deliver 5 megawatts (MW) of electricity to MORE Power, with the option for another 5 MW.

MORE Power said KSPC, which operates a 2×100 MW Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustor (CFBC) coal-fired power plant in Naga City, Cebu, had agreed to provide “reliable power” to the city “at a much lower rate” than its current supplier.

“We are happy to be in partnership with Kepco SPC as we commit to bring more to the lives of the Ilonggos by delivering cheaper power,” MORE Power President and Chief Operating Officer Roel Castro said.

In February this year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11212, granting the Razon-owned firm a franchise to establish and operate as a power distributor in Iloilo City.

The franchise calls for a two-year transition period, which entails negotiations on the use of facilities to prevent blackouts throughout the city.

Founded in 1923, Panay Electric Co. Inc.’s (PECO) franchise to supply electricity to end-users in Iloilo City expired on Jan. 18, 2019.

But PECO continued to operate under the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission, which will expire on May 25.

Hotel industry benefits from Iloilo City’s MICE tourism

By Perla Lena (PNA)

ILOILO CITY -- The hotel industry in this city is benefitting from the growing meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibits (MICE) tourism, the new direction that is being pursued by the local government here.

“Before, Iloilo City was festival driven, now we are MICE driven because most of the tourists are delegates of conventions,” said City Tourism and Development Officer Junel Ann Divinagracia in a recent press conference with selected media held at the C’s by L’Fisher at the Iloilo Business Park Festive Walk Mall in this city.

Divinagracia said 50 percent to 70 percent of the 1.2 million tourist arrivals last year were due to MICE.

She said that with the six-month closure of Boracay Island in 2018, some of the conventions were diverted to Iloilo City. It was also fortunate she said that stakeholders from this part of the country have prepared destinations for tourists who opted to divert to Iloilo rather than proceed to Boracay.

“It was of great help that we are ready,” she said.

In a follow-up interview Thursday, Divinagracia said a MICE alliance composed of tourism stakeholders has been created. Last week they met with lawyer Helen Catalbas, Tourism Regional Director, where they were asked to submit their packages.

“We will be lobbying, we will be bidding for international events here in Iloilo,” she said.

Jennifer Palmares-Fong, vice-president for sales and marketing of the Megaworld Iloilo Business Park (IBP), stated that they are preparing for the influx of guests due to MICE.

“Right now we have a total of 475 hotel rooms and we will be adding. By the end of 2022 we will have 1,000 rooms to accommodate travelers here,” Palmares-Fong added.

Courtyard by Marriot Hotel and the Richmonde Hotel have a total existing capacity of 475 rooms, with an additional 405 hotel rooms courtesy of Belmont Hotel Iloilo.

Harold Brian Geronimo, Megaworld’s senior vice president and head of public relations and media affairs, said there are boutique hotels coming in at the IBP. They will be constructed in a nine-hectare commercial district just beside Courtyard.

He said that with their current capacity, IBP can only cater to around 10 percent of the close to 4,000 hotel rooms needed for big conventions.

Currently, there are only around 4,700 hotel rooms in the city including those of small businesses.

Once they increase to 1,000 hotels rooms, still the number only represents 20 to 30 percent of the total room capacity of the entire city, he added.

“IBP cannot accommodate everyone. Everyone else in Iloilo will really benefit and IBP inspires smaller businesses to really upgrade,” he stated.

Palmares-Fong said that the coming in of Megaworld is “not a threat” because they have a focused market. While they cater to MICE executives, their staff and those that they could not accommodate spread to other hotels.

“We are not killing small businesses, we are actually helping because it brings business to the city,” Palmares-Fong said.

She added that the vision of their chairman for the township to be able to cater and make Iloilo as a convention city is “taking place already”.

Divinagracia said the MICE tourism is a big help to budget hotels. “They are very happy because in 2018, they have high occupancy rate due to regional conventions,” she added.

This year, the city has many upcoming conventions. She added that every month they expect two to four big conventions happening in Iloilo City.

Apart from boosting the hotel room capacity, Geronimo said they also beefed up security in consideration of the upcoming conventions.

They are also building a transportation hub to serve a lot of routes such as from the airport, ports, and other routes from the provinces.

The tourism officer added that last February, Senator Franklin Drilon requested the Department of Tourism to prepare a travel mart to further promote Iloilo.

Iloilo levels up from festival destination to top MICE hub

By Rhick Lars Vladimer Albay (PN)

ILOILO City – “In the past, Iloilo’s tourism has been largely festival-driven. Now, we have the potential to be a premier MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) destination,” Iloilo City Tourism and Development Officer Junel Ann Divinagracia recently said at a media roundtable held at C’s by L’Fisher in Festive Walk Mall, here.

Divinagracia explains that despite still being known as the city of the Dinagyang Festival, introducing Iloilo as an emerging MICE hub brings the potential of a year-round surge in tourist arrivals, compared to the seasonal draw of the much-hyped festival – celebrated annually in late January.

The city official shares that for the next year, Iloilo City is girding to host at least two to four large conventions every month, adding that around 50 to 70 percent of the city’s 1.2-million tourist arrivals last year can be attributed to confab delegates. According to a study by the Department of Tourism (DOT), MICE attendees are seen to spend six times more compared to a typical tourist – the industry being a potent economic multiplier.

Among the headway heralding this rapid growth in the local MICE industry are the introduction of new direct flights to and from Iloilo, a thriving and competitive hotel and hospitality sector, and robust infrastructure.

Just this February, Sen. Franklin Drilon and the office of DOT undersecretary Art Boncato championed and announced a three-year P50-million marketing plan to promote Iloilo as a world-class MICE destination.

“In the next three years, we [are set] to focus our marketing efforts in promoting Iloilo as one of the premiere MICE hubs in the country,” added Divinagracia.

‘GROWTH FOR ALL’

Megaworld’s 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park township is quickly emerging as the center of this MICE development, being home to the Iloilo Convention Center and two respected hotel brands – with one more major hospitality label in the horizon.

The Iloilo Convention Center, with its 3,700-seat capacity main hall on the ground floor and 500-seat function rooms on the second floor, sits strategically between the Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo and Richmonde Hotel Iloilo.

Currently, the city has around 4,700 DOT-accredited hotel rooms, and the Megaworld township is set to add more than 400 rooms in the next four years.

By 2023, Iloilo Business Park will add 405 more hotel rooms to the existing 475-room capacity of both Richmonde Hotel Iloilo and international hospitality brand Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, with the grand unveiling of the property giant’s own Belmont Hotel Iloilo. This is on top of the boutique hotels that the township is set to host in its 9-hectare commercial district, set to rise beside the Courtyard by Marriott soon.

“In the next five years, Iloilo Business Park will have around 1,000 hotel rooms in the township alone. This will further help bridge the gap in the hotel requirements of the city as we remain optimistic on the growth of MICE tourism,” said Jennifer Palmares-Fong, vice president for sales and marketing, Megaworld Iloilo Business Park.

Megaworld senior vice president and head of public relations and media affairs Harold Brian Geronimo added that dedicated transport hubs are also set to rise inside the township, slated to include shuttle services to and from the Iloilo International Airport, routes to Antique and Southern Iloilo, as well as premium P2P services to Boracay Island.

Despite all the growth and development in the local MICE sector seemingly centralized at Iloilo Business Park, both Palmares-Fong and Divinagracia brushed off fears that the Megaworld township will “monopolize” this emergent industry, saying there is enough of the market to go around – enough even to benefit the small and medium businesses in the city.

“With us coming in here, Megaworld has become a multiplier of sorts for the economy of the city,” Palmares-Fong told the media. “Iloilo Business Park has led in supporting the growth of the MICE industry here, but we are not [hogging] the business. I believe all, the entire local hospitality industry, can benefit from all this growth. It’s all for the city.”

“At the end of the day, not all delegates can be accommodated by Iloilo Business Park, there will always be spill over [to the other tourism stakeholders],” she continued. “We each have our own target markets and demographics we cater to, there is room for everyone to benefit from this growth.”

Divinagracia, for her part, claims that talking to other businessmen involved in the hotel industry of Iloilo, most are really thankful for the presence of Megaworld and Iloilo Business Park, seeing its vital boost to the local economy.

“Budget hotels are actually really thankful for the existence of the Iloilo Business Park,” Divinagracia explained. “Here in Iloilo, their occupancy rates are even higher compared to bigger hotels in the city, whole-year round even, largely because of the year-round conventions and events in Iloilo, some of which hosted inside this township.”

Led by the DOT Region 6, an Iloilo MICE City Core Group has been created to ensure the implementation of this burgeoning tourism plan. The Iloilo City MICE marketing plan is set to be implemented within a three-year period with the first year focusing on the creation of an Iloilo City MICE desk, a MICE Alliance, and a venture into a series of MICE roadshows.

“Our concept for Iloilo Business Park s to really make it a tourist destination for Iloilo City. Iloilo Business Park is certainly more than just a township, and we are proud to take an active role in making Iloilo City the country’s premier MICE destination,” Palmares-Fong concluded.

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