Iloilo City News April 2012

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Iloilo City - Archived News

Barangay anim 4500.gif
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.
Aerial View of Iloilo City
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


Iloilo airport ready to accept int'l flights -CAAP

((JSC/LAF-PIA6 Iloilo))

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – The New Iloilo Airport is now ready to accept international flights, said Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) area manager Efren Nagrama on Monday.

Nagrama said that except for some last minute works such as putting up of counters and tables for the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration and Deportation and the Quarantine, the Iloilo airport in Sta. Barbara-Cabatuan towns is almost ready to accommodate international flights.

He confirmed that the Cebu Pacific airline company is already intending to start its direct international flight from Hong Kong and Singapore to Iloilo by October or November this year.

The CAAP official said the airport could now accommodate Airbus 330 which could carry around 300 passengers.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and Sen. Franklin M. Drilon are working together so that the Iloilo airport could finally accommodate international flights soon.

The duo were also instrumental in the relocation and upgrade of the airport from its old site in Mandurriao, Iloilo City to the new location in Sta. Barabara-Cabatuan towns which opened its doors to commercial traffic on June 14, 2007.

Nagrama said opening international flights would really have a big impact on the local economy and tourism as more foreign students from Hong Kong and Singapore could be invited to study in the prestigious universities here.

Overseas Filipino workers and tourists could also avail of direct flights to Iloilo without passing by Metro Manila or Cebu City.

WV council tackles five-year plan for children

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

ILOILO CITY, April 29 (PIA6) - - The Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC) in Western Visayas recently met for a two-day strategic planning to determine its direction towards the development of the children in the region for the next five years.

Department of Social Welfare and Development 6 Director Minda Brigoli said the activity is a realization of previous discussions on meetings about the various concerns for children in the region especially on how to pursue plans geared towards their development.

Brigoli added that also given attention during the recent presentation of accomplishments of various agencies on the seven millennium development goals for Western Visayas was on how to firm up plans for children along poverty and hunger, education, health, employment and others.

"We really wanted that our children get nurtured, protected and be provided with the necessary kind of care because we know their situation", said Brigoli as she lauded the participation of the representatives of some 25 member agencies in the activity which according to her was one of the suggestions of the Council for the Welfare of Children on how to run the affairs of the RSCWC.

Organized in 1990, RSCWC is composed of representatives of various agencies with DSWD as Chairperson. It served as the extension of CWC at the regional level and replicates the CWCs functions to coordinate the implementation and enforcement of laws relative to the promotion of child and youth welfare in the region.

Aside from coming up with a five-year inter-agency strategic plan of action, the activity revisited the roles and functions of RSCWC in terms of program implementation by its member agencies. It also sought to strengthen the RSCWC coordination, linkages and leadership in providing technical assistance to local government units especially in the Search for a Child Friendly LGUs.

CWC Executive Director Brenda Vigo who attended the strategic planning briefed the participants on the on-going search for the 2012 Presidential Award for Child Friendly Municipalities and Cities, a recognition given to deserving local government units for their vital role in promoting children’s rights to survival, development, protection and participation as well as in ensuring child-friendly governance.

181 firms to offer 39, 234 jobs in May 1 job fairs

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

ILOILO CITY, April 28 (PIA) -- Some 181 local companies and overseas recruitment agencies offering 39,234 jobs will join in the simultaneous job fairs that will be held in the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod for the Labor Day on May 1.

Data obtained from Department of Labor and Employment 6 showed that of the 181 participating agencies, 135 are local companies and 46 are overseas recruitment and manning agencies.

As of April 27, DOLE 6 data indicated that the 135 participating local companies committed to bring some 4,492 job positions including those in the Business Process Outsourcing while the 46 overseas recruitment and manning agencies have lined up some 34,742 sea and land based job opportunities.

Sixty-three firms with 3,826 local and overseas vacancies will participate in the Bacolod City job fair while 117 companies with 35,408 job opportunities both here and abroad will be at the Iloilo City job fair.

The venues for the job fairs in Iloilo City will be at SM City Mall in Mandurriao for the local companies and overseas recruitment and manning agencies while Amigo Plaza Mall in Iznart Street for the Business Process Outsourcing.

The participating firms will also be joined by about 10 government agencies aside from DOLE during the job fair to provide frontline services related to entrepreneurial opportunities and job applications.

Officials from the city and provincial governments of Iloilo and from the employer and workers sectors as well as DOLE are expected to grace the opening of the job fairs in Iloilo City which will be preceded by a mass and a motorcade.

DILG looks into LGUs’ technical capability vs disasters


ILOILO CITY, April 27 (PIA) -- The local government units and the country in general, are ready for disasters in terms of institutional set up, protocol and people, the Department of Interior and Local Government said.

“But as to technical preparedness we still have to look into it,” Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo told media during a press conference here, April 26.

Robredo, who was here for the Tapatan on Disaster Preparedness, said there is still the need to boost equipment as well as financial capability of the LGUs to enable them to be fully prepared.

Robredo said the readiness of the LGUs are to be assessed as to how transparent and accountable the disaster preparedness fund is used and whether the infrastructures such as roads, bridges and buildings that are vulnerability factors are addressed.

Robredo said the Tapatan, which is a series of summits focused on disaster preparedness of LGUs, is setting measures of compliance that must showcase exemplary environmental governance.

He said the series of Tapatan summits are being kicked off here in Western Visayas as the experience of the region serves as model for the country.

On the other hand, the DILG-6 annual report for 2011 showed that the agency, being the Vice-Chair for disaster preparedness, has embarked on a project called “Enhancing LGU Capacity on Disaster Reduction and Management and Climate Change Adaptation.”

In the region, two provinces were identified as pilot areas for the project, namely, Capiz and Iloilo.

The identified vulnerable municipalities in Iloilo are Tubungan, Alimodian and Igbaras, while for Capiz, there are the municipalities of Sapi-an, Sigma and Roxas City.

DILG said these municipalities were already given series of basic trainings on Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation, Workshop on Updating the Ecological Profiles, Rationalizing the Local Planning System, Community-Based DRRM and Early Warning System, and Social Preparation.

Meanwhile, Secretary Robredo said the series of Tapatan activities seeks to instil in the minds of the LGUs, the public and all stakeholders, their respective tasks, functional and operational roles, before, during and after disasters.

“We must always prepare for the worst, for it is better to be safe than sorry,” Robredo said.

News Feature: CSC,DOH bats for smoke-free gov't offices in WV

(JCM/VWV/PIA 6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, April 26 (PIA 6) -- Sanctions ranging from administrative charges to dismissal from service will be imposed on government workers found violating the Civil Service Memorandum Circular 17, Series of 2009, which prohibits smoking in government offices and premises.

Dr. Ma.Julia Z. Villanueva, DOH 6 Cluster Head of Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control said that objective of the government’s policy is to afford the government workers and transacting public to enjoy fresh air in smoke free government buildings and premises.

Smoking is also prohibited in government vehicles.

In her lecture during a seminar sponsored by the Department of Health and Civil Service Commission, Dr. Villanueva said that 10 Filipinos die every hour due to tobacco-related diseases, such as heart disease and lung cancer, among others.

According to a study, workers exposed to second-hand smoke have 35-50 percent increased risk of heart disease, and constant exposure to second-hand smoke nearly doubles the risk of a heart attack.

Workers exposed to second-hand smoke at work have 25 percent elevated risk of lung cancer.

Villanueva said that deaths due to smoking in the Philippines in year 2003 was recorded at 23,250 of which 4,307 died of lung cancer; 7,705 died of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; 5,384 of Coronary Artery Disease; and 5,854 of Cerebrovascular disease-.

She quoted the WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan as saying “reversing this entirely preventable tobacco epidemic must now rank as a top priority for public health and for political leaders in every country of the world”.

Dr. Villanueva also aired the threats posed by second-hand smoke which has at least twice the nicotine and tar as the smoke inhaled by the smoker.

Nicotine is the addictive ingredient of tobacco, while tar is the black, thick, sticky substance that when inhaled sticks to the lungs which results to reducing its elasticity and narrowing the tubes that transport air. It has five times the amount of carbon monoxide, the poisonous chemical found in car exhaust fumes that decreases the amount of oxygen in the blood.

Tobacco smoke also contains 7,000 chemicals and 70 of the chemicals are carcinogens or cancer causing substances, Dr. Villanueva said.

DOH 6 Human Resource Management Officer Mary Ann C. Bachoco said that human resource is the most important asset of the organization as she cited Section 18 of the of Article 2 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution that the “State affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and promoted their welfare”.

Bachoco said that the CSC Mermorandum Circular No. 17 is designed to promote safe and healthy workplaces and to protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke which can cause life-threatening diseases.

She said that documentary evidence must be submitted against any violators of the 100% smoke-free government bureaucracy.

Section 36 of the CSC Rules state that the respondent must be given by the disciplining authority not less than 72 hours or 3 days to submit his/her answer to the charges which answer must be in writing and under oath. Supporting sworn statements and documents may also be submitted.

For successful implementation of the CSC Memorandum Circular No. 17, the management of each government agency is enjoined to designate an implementation committee to enforce the policy, particularly on raising the awareness of employees; conduct survey on the smoking prevalence among employees; putting No Smokinbg and/or Smoking Area signages in conspicuous places; and compliance monitoring, reporting of violations, investigating and acting on decisions.

Mr. Vizur Ty C. Gaitano, CSC 6 Division Chief, Public Policies and System Evaluation lectured on Joint DOH and CSC Memorandum Circular 2010-01: prohibition Against Tobacco Industry Interference in the Bureacracy.

Preparations for disability prevention and rehab week on

By Lilibeth A. French (LAF-PIA 6)

ILOILO CITY, April 25 (PIA) -- The Regional Council on Disability Affairs (RCDA) in Western Visayas has started to plan out this early, activities for the 34th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week in the region.

In a recent meeting, Department of Social Welfare and Development-6 Focal Person for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) Judith Marte, presented the suggested activities from the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) for the commemoration of the observance on July 17 to 23, 2012.

The NCDA’s suggested activities include a dialogue or round table discussion regarding PWDs employment in big corporations; re-run of entrepreneurship appreciation seminar; skills training; fun run; forum on sensitivity training; early prevention, detection, and intervention of children with disabilities; mobility clinic; franchising for PWDS, among others.

Some of the initial activities identified by the group to be undertaken this year are a motorcade, mass, a two-day regional congress of persons with disabilities, and an exhibit of various products of PWD organizations in the region.

The Department of Labor and Employment, which is one of the member-agencies of RCDA, was tasked to chair this year’s celebration with the primary aim to pay tribute to millions of Filipino PWDs nationwide in recognizing their valuable contributions to nation building.

Carrying the theme “Mainstreaming Persons with Disabilities Program in Economic Development,” the annual observance also seeks to stimulate public awareness on disability related concerns particularly on disability prevention, rehabilitation, and equalization of opportunities for PWDs.

Robredo, Salceda To Lead 1st Regional Summit On Disaster Preparedness

(Manila Bulletin Article)

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo (PIA) — Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo and Albay Governor Joey Salceda will lead the first regional summit on disaster preparedness in Western Visayas.

The DILG-initiated event, slated this Thursday, April 26 at the Sarabia Manor Hotel here, is themed “2012 Tapatan on Disaster Preparedness.”

Joining Robredo and Salceda as resource persons will be Climate Change Commission Secretary Mary Ann Lucille Sering.

Robredo said the summit seeks to develop a culture of preparedness among local government officials and the public for them to be able to respond more effectively and mitigate the adverse effects of disasters.

DILG-6 Director Evelyn Trompeta said participants to the summit will include local chief executives of 139 provinces, cities, and municipalities in the Western Visayas region, with their local disaster risk reduction and management officers, partner agencies, and representatives from the academe and civil society.

She said summit participants are expected to sign a pledge of commitment for disaster preparedness indicating their firm resolve to carry out their local disaster risk reduction and management plans.

The Tapatan will build on the success of last year’s series of summits focused on the Full Disclosure Policy (FDP), which requires making public all pertinent financial information about programs and projects.

Nuclear energy safe, says Cojuangco

BY SAMMY JULIAN-Manila News Bureau Chief (PN)

ILOILO City – Former Pangasinan congressman Mark Cojuangco is taking his campaign for nuclear energy down to the grassroots.

The people themselves will push for nuclear energy if they fully understand its benefits, he said over popular radio-television program Reklamo Publiko yesterday.

During the 14th Congress, Cojuangco authored a resolution seeking the revival of the mothballed Marcos-era Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

Nuclear energy is safe, the former lawmaker stressed. He cited the situation in Japan.

“Some people were worried about radiation. However, the fact of the matter is that life in Japan is quite normal right now,” Cojuangco said.

When a 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit Japan last year, nuclear reactor Fukushima Plant 1 suffered a major damage.

The earthquake and tsunami disabled the reactor’s cooling systems, leading to nuclear radiation leaks and triggering a 30-kilometer evacuation zone surrounding the plant. On April 20, 2011, Japanese authorities declared the 20-kilometer evacuation zone a no-go area and may only be entered under government supervision.

However, Cojuangco pointed out, the incident did not generate a nuclear catastrophe as feared.

Nuclear energy is the cheapest source of power; it is also the most reliable, cleanest and answers the problems on global warming and climate change, said Cojuangco.

Modern nuclear power plants, he said, uses the “passive cooling system” that no longer needs human intervention.

Cojuangco is proposing the use of small modular reactors, a relatively new and safer form of nuclear power, for Mindanao.

He said small modular reactors were favored by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US-NRC) and it even issued combined licenses to the states of Georgia and South Carolina to build small modular reactors.

Cojuangco said the Philippines should start constructing the plants now so that it could go on stream by 2018.

“It takes time to build a nuclear power plant. So the Philippines, this early, should already decide to secure permits from international nuclear commissions,” he said.

As part of his own research, Cojuangco said, he even went to South Korea and inspected a turbine generator and other nuclear equipment being auctioned there.

Cojuangco also said the government should seriously consider reviving the BNPP which was completed in 1984 after eight years of construction by the government of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

Built 100 kilometers north of Manila at a cost of $2.3 billion, the BNPP was hounded by controversy and has never produced power after President Corazon Aquino ordered its closure, one of her first decisions after she took over as president in 1986.

A strong advocate of nuclear energy, Cojuangco said fears about the dangers of the BNPP remain unfounded, pointing out that the facility does have the same safety features as its “twin” power plants are still currently in use.

Cojuangco said the country needs at least 2,000 megawatts of electricity to address the current power crisis, adding that the BNPP, which can generate at least 620 megawatts, could help ease the power situation.

The National Power Corp. (Napocor) earlier received a report from the Korea Electric Power Corp. that $1 billion is needed to rehabilitate the BNPP, a move opposed by several sectors.

Napocor also identified at least 14 prospective sites for a nuclear power plant, with one in Cansilan Point in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental, and Cauayan and Talusan Point in Sipalay in Negros Occidental.

Cojuangco’s proposal provides that the host community where the proposed nuclear power plant will be built would be assured of power supply at a discounted rate -- or even supplied with free power – for as long as 60 years, the life span of the nuclear power plant.

The host community would also be given a share of the tax derived from the sale of the nuclear power, he added.

TUMADOK DUPED TO OK MEGA DAM? Dialogue done in haste – group


ILOILO – An organization serving indigenous peoples in Panay and Guimaras islands claimed that the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in favor of the final survey and engineering design of the Jalaur River multipurpose dam is not reflective of the genuine sentiment and informed consent of the Tumandok (indigenous people) in the mountain barangays of Calinog and Lambunao towns.

“The FPIC meetings conducted by the government in the barangays did not provide all the necessary information the Tumandok need to know so as to give informed consent on the dam,” claimed Cynthia Deduro, executive director of the Panay-Guimaras Indigenous People’s Network.

Advocates of the dam simply magnified the supposed benefits that the people will derive from the project and did not inform the Tumandok of the danger posed by the active West Panay Fault line in the area, claimed Deduro.

“Neither did they inform the Tumandok that the project area is prone to earthquake-induced landslides,” she added.

As early as February this year, Deduro’s group issued a warning that an active fault line in Panay Island could endanger the multibillion-peso Jalaur River Multipurpose Project 2.

West Panay Fault is located in the West Panay Mountain Ranges within the vicinity of Calinog and Lambunao.

The mega dam project will be funded by the Korean Eximbank. It involves the construction of a hydropower plant and an irrigation system traversing six municipalities.

It starts at the headwaters of the Jaluar River in Lambunao town in north-central Iloilo and ends in the town of Tigbauan in the south.

According to Deduro, the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) gives the Tumandok the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for their lands or territories, and other resources.

The Declaration also emphasizes that “ States shall consult and cooperate in good faith…in order to obtain their (indigenous peoples) free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources.”

“According to the leaders of Tumadok communities in Calinog, they were not informed of the complete story behind the construction of the Jalaur River dam. Indeed, the FPIC conducted by the government to justify and hasten the release of fund from creditor bank(s) does not qualify under the UN guidelines,” said Deduro.


The West Panay Fault could cause a strong earthquake, warned Deduro.

In April last year during the quarterly meeting of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Iloilo City, Director Renato Solidum Jr. of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology confirmed the active status of the West Panay Fault.

The Madia-as Mountain Range was in fact a result of the collision between the Palawan micro-continental block that separated from mainland Asia and met Panay Island, he said.

He added that the collision is still ongoing and from time to time tremors can be felt.

The West Panay Fault starts from San Remigio in Antique province going to San Joaquin, Iloilo in the south, then stretches through Lambunao and Calinog towns in Iloilo up to Ibajay town in Aklan province at its northernmost point.

“This is very dangerous because the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project 2 is located on an active fault line,” warned Deduro.

Billions of public funds may be wasted if a strong tremor hits the project area, she added.

Expected to be completed in 2017, the mega dam project is envisioned to improve rice productivity by expanding Iloilo’s irrigated areas from 22,340 hectares to 31,840 hectares, as well as increasing cropping intensity from 1.62 to 2.0 and average yield from 3.25 metric tons per hectare to 5.20 metric tons per hectare.

The strongest ever earthquake recorded in Panay Island was the 8.3 magnitude earthquake in 1948.

It damaged 55 churches in the island, with 17 totally collapsing.

DENR-6 holds cadastral survey bidding

By Elsa S. Subong (JSC/ESS-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-6 (DENR) recently held a bidding for its cadastral survey of nine municipalities in the region.

DENR-6 Executive Director Julian Amador said seven contractors participated in the bidding for the municipalities in the provinces of Guimaras, Antique, Iloilo and Negros Occidental.

Amador said a cadastral survey is a type of land survey intended to determine the administrative property of a city or municipality and its component barangays, including the determination of administrative boundaries of public lands in alienable and disposable lots for titling purposes.

He said the competitive bidding was intended to hasten the conduct of the cadastral survey in the region so that local government units can be informed of the boundaries of their localities to help them in their planning, taxation and internal revenue allotment purposes.

Contractors who have complied with the bid requirements were Geograph Solutions and Geolane Land Consultants (Joint Venture) for the cadastral survey of Kabankalan, Negros Occidental; Manangan Surveying Office for Sipalay, Negros Occidental; and RUC Survey and Realty for Sibunag, Guimaras.

Amador said DENR Undersecretary for Staff Bureaus and Project Management Manuel D. Gerochi attended the bidding as an observer, as Environment Secretary Ramon Paje has tasked the agency’s senior officers to monitor the conduct of the cadastral survey biddings across the country.

On the other hand, DENR Bids and Awards Committee Chair Dr. Alicia Lustica said the funding for the cadastral survey for the above-mentioned municipalities will be sourced out from the regular allotment of the DENR.

Lustica said cadastral surveys for the other municipalities will be funded by the World Bank.

For 2012, the DENR said, the Aquino administration has allotted P3.56 billion for the cadastral survey program.

Iloilo City and Huaibei, China to forge ties


ILOILO CITY, April 20 (PNA) - An agreement for the establishment of friendly relations between this city and the Municipal People’s Government of Huaibei in Anhui Province, China will be signed here on April 24.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog and Iloilo City Lone District Rep. Jerry P. Treñas will lead city officials in welcoming Mayor Niu Nutao and party.

The Chinese delegation is composed of their top city officials and key personalities in business and industry.

“We wish to enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese and Philippines, and develop close ties between our cities,” Mabilog said.

The signing will be held during a dinner program at Hotel del Rio.

The two cities will carry out exchanges and cooperation in the fields of economy, trade and technology to promote enterprises of both cities.

Iloilo City and Huaibei are also committed to the development of culture, education exchanges and cooperation and advance close relationship through visits, communications and the like.

They will also share information and best practices in the fields of urban construction, environmental protection, tourism management; among others.

Mabilog visited Huaibei in October last year as part of his official trip to China.

Iloilo City already has sisterhood agreements with the other Chinese cities of Yulin and Qingdao.

Business education still a popular course –CHED

(CHED-6/JSC/ESS-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, April 19 (PIA) -- Business Education has been and will be a preferred course among college enrollees in Western Visayas, the Commission on Higher Education-6 (CHED6) said.

The CHED-6 enrollment profile of higher educational institutions (HEIs) for school year 2011-2012 showed that Business Education topped the ranking of disciplines with 72 percent followed by Teacher Education, 14.2 percent; Information Technology, 13.9 percent; Maritime Education, 11.8 percent; Medical Related , 9.4 percent; Law and Criminology, 6.0 percent; Engineering, 5.8 percent; Arts and Sciences, 4.1; Industrial Technology, 3 percent; and Agriculture, 2.5 percent.

CHED-6 Chief Education Program Specialist Dr. Rex C. Casiple said popular programs under Business Education include BS in Business Administration or BS in Commerce, BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management, BS in Tourism, BS in Hospitality Management, BS in Accountancy, BS in Accounting Technology, BS Office Administration and BS Custom Administration.

Programs in Teacher Education are Bachelor of Elementary Education and Bachelor of Secondary Education; while for Information Technology, there are the BS in Information Technology, BS in Information System and BS in Computer Science.

Casiple said those in Maritime Education include BS in Marine Engineering and BS in Marine Transportation, while Medical-related discipline has BS in Nursing, BS in Medical Technology, BS in Radiologic Technology, Midwifery, Doctor of Medicine and BS in Pharmacy.

He said that popular programs under the Engineering discipline are BS in Mechanical Engineering, BS in Civil Engineering, BS in Electrical Engineering, BS in Electronics and Communications Engineering, BS in Chemical Engineering and BS in Computer Engineering.

On the other hand, Casiple said, it is also projected that Business Education may still top as to the number of graduates this school year 2011-2012.

Last school year, business education ranked number one, getting 27.5 percent of the share of graduates. It is followed by medical-related courses, with 19.5 percent, teacher education with 12.96 percent, and information technology, 12.6 percent.

Casiple said the eight percent lead of business education over the medical-related discipline and the 14 percent lead over the teacher education are more than enough to support the projection.

“This is also considering that the number of BS Nursing graduates, representing about 75 percent of the graduates in Medical Related discipline continues to decrease annually at an average of at least 10 percent,” Casiple said.

Meanwhile, Casiple said it is sad to note that in a developing country, like the Philippines, engineering education is ranking low as to the number of graduates, yielding only about 3.7 percent.

“Engineers are considered ‘builders of the nation’ and play important role in the development of this country,” Casiple, a Mechanical Engineering graduate, said.

As adviser of the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers-Panay Chapter, Casiple said they have been advocating strongly, for the past three years, to increase enrollment in Engineering Education.

“We are asking government for the full implementation of Republic Act 8495, or the Philippine Mechanical Engineering Law of 1998,” he said.

International River Summit set

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILOILO City is hosting the First Philippine International River Summit on May 29 to June 1, 2012 with more than 1,000 participants coming from different parts of the world and areas in the country.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said he requested the Department of Public Works and Highways to complete the road widening project along Tabuc Suba in Jaro district to avoid traffic congestion.

Mabilog said 15 international speakers will join delegates from Rivers of the World Foundation based in Maryland United States of America.

Industrialist Manuel V. Pangilinan will keynote the opening program. President Benigno Aquino III was also invited.

Mabilog said several hotels were mobilized to accommodate the delegates. The Department of Tourism has also conducted a courtesy seminar for taxi and van drivers who will be servicing the delegates.

Baklay Bukid-Amlig Suba' marks Earth Day in Iloilo

(JSC/ESS-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, April 17 (PIA6) -- Mountain trekkers, nature lovers, and environmentalists, particularly those advocating for watershed protection will again be communing in the mountains of the Tigum-Aganan watershed area.

The province of Iloilo, in cooperation with the local governments of Alimodian and Maasin, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Eagle Cross, Incorporated will embark on Baklay Bukid-Amlig Suba from April 19-21, in celebration of Earth Day.

Baklay Bukid-Amlig Suba (Up through the Mountains, Protect the River) is an adventure mountain trek which includes nature walk from upland Alimodian to the headwaters of Maasin Watershed.

Baklay Bukid started in 2009 initiated by a private organization, the Eagle Cross, Inc., in partnership with the DENR, and from then on, held every year to mark the celebration of Earth Day, April 22.

Dr. Rogelio Borro, director of the Eagle Cross said among others, the event is a celebration of the right of every Filipino to a healthy and balanced ecology by promoting community-based projects of protected areas.

Its objectives include promotion of local eco-tourism activities, such as camping, cultural exchange among host communities, and mountain trekking, and conduct research on water quality of Maasin watershed.

Further, Borro said, the activity aims to rally active participation of government agencies, private sectors, schools, non-government organizations, to better know the state of the watershed and its ecosystems.

The participants should be able-bodied males and females, 15 years old and above, coming from various sectors, including journalists, photojournalists or sheer adventurists, and learn much about the ecosystem in the process.

Registration fee is P150 per participant, to cover insurance, environmental fee, facilitation, guides, and certificate of participation, while each should bring personal provisions for food, utensils, sleeping mats, tents and drinking water.

This year’s theme for Earth Day is “Earth Day Every Day, Everywhere".

CSC-6 urges govt. employers: nominate also rank and file for awards

By Elsa S. Subong (JSC/ESS-PIA 6, Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, April 16 (PIA) -- The lowest employees, among the rank and file, may also be exhibiting outstanding performance in public service, hence, they should not be disregarded in the nominations for government’s Honor and Awards Program (HAP).

“There are so many instances, when drivers, clerks, even utility personnel exhibit extraordinary performance with wider impact on public service in a government agency,” Civil Service Commission-6 Director Atty. Rodolfo Encajonado said.

Encajonado was guest during the weekly cable TV program “Hangpanay” anchored by the Philippine Information Agency-6.

The CSC chief cited the case of the lone postwoman in the coastal town of Banate, Iloilo, Jelyn Duting, who would go beyond the call of duty, spend her own money in hiring transport, just to see to it that letters are delivered to recipients in far-flung barangays not reached by communications technology.

Encajonado reiterated the call for more nominations for government officials and employees for the HAP, which is due by end of April.

He said although interest in joining has increased, there has to be more efforts in making substantial documentations which are basic to the evaluation process.

“We would like to suggest that employers, because they are able to determine outstanding performers among their employees, should start processing earlier,” Encajonado said.

He said the awards at stake for Outstanding Work Performance are the Presidential or Lingkod Bayan, for individual or group who has contributed idea or performance with nationwide impact on public interest; the CSC Pagasa Award, for individual or group, whose idea or performance, has benefited more than one department of government, and the Dangal ng Bayan for exemplary conduct and ethical behavior.

Encajonado said the giving of the awards is aimed to motivate and inspire government employees to improve quality of performance, and instil higher involvement in public service.

“We believe that there is a hero in each public servant, and the HAP is one of the ways we seek to awaken that sense of heroism so that the public will benefit much from quality government service,” Encajonado further said.

The CSC, he added, is bent on making every public servant from the lowest rank to the highest, a Lingkod Bayani, to restore confidence in government, through relevant, responsive and transparent public service.

Skimboarding: more fun in Iloilo

by Jeehan V. Fernandez(

AREVALO, ILOILO CITY - When you talk about summer fun, for us, there is nothing more fun than skimboarding. And in the Philippines, skimboarding is definitely more fun in Iloilo City.

The Flatsand Iloilo Skimboarders will kick off the Flatsand III Competition and Clinic on April 29, Sunday, on Villa Beach, Arevalo, Iloilo City. It is set to make a splash and create waves among the skimboarding community in the Philippines and, hopefully, around the world.

Villa Beach has become a skimboarder's haven, thanks to the sand, the non-rocky shores, and lots of puddles. "It is a most ideal spot for skimboarding," says Kelbin Mark David of the Flatsand Iloilo Skimboarders.

What is skimboarding?

Skimboarding is done in two ways: riding the waves nearest the shore and playing on flats or on thin puddles on the beach.

According to the Flatsand Iloilo Skimboarders, skimboarding took off in Iloilo in 2004. Aside from Villa Beach, they also skimboard in the shores of Calumpang and Oton. Other skimboarder groups have also been formed in Roxas, Capiz; Kalibo, Aklan; and Antique.

How did the group start?

They were first a bunch of water sport enthusiasts who would see each other regularly at Villa Beach. Some of them had already started learning how to skimboard, and this attracted the others' attention.

The Flatsand Iloilo Skimboarders are mostly students aged 15 and above. Eventually, professionals up to age 35 also started joining, and the group's popularity gradually grew.

The group started to introduce skimboarding as a water sport, teaching locals through clinics and promoting it through competitions. During the Paraw Regatta Festival in February and the Flatsand II Competition in October 2011, competitors from Roxas City, Capiz; Escalante, Negros Occidental; and even as far as Cavite participated.

A national competition to be held in Iloilo is also in the works, under the united efforts of skimboarders from around the Philippines, spearheaded by the Iloilo enthusiasts.

Outstanding Ilonggos, institutions recognized

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

ILOILO CITY, April 14 (PIA6) -- Six Ilonggos were recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the province of Iloilo in a testimonial luncheon held today at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol Lobby.

Aside from the individual achievers, three local government units, an institution and a workers’ cooperative who also brought national recognition to the province were also conferred the “Bugal sang Iloilo” award this year.

The “Bugal sang Iloilo” individual awardees are Haydee Pasuelo, Jelyn Duting, MSgt. Billy Benebile, PO2 Rina Salaya, 2nd Lt. Tom Puertollano, and Denver Cuello.

Pasuelo who is from the municipality of Calinog is a former Audit Team Leader of the provincial government named as Most Outstanding Employee of the Commission on Audit while Jelyn Duting, a postman assigned at the Banate Iloilo Post Office is a Dangal ng Bayan awardee of the Civil Service Commission.

Benebile and Salaya are both recipients of the national awards given by the Metrobank Foundation. Benebile of Balasan is one of the Ten Oustanding Philippine Soldiers in 2011 and Salaya of Maasin is one of the Outstanding Policemen also last year.

On the other hand, Puertollano whose parents are from the towns of Lambunao and Tigbauan is the valedictorian of the 2012 Bagwis Class of the Philippine Military Academy.

Cabatuan’s pride Cuello was cited for its achievement in the field of sports. He is the current World Boxing Council Minimum weight champion.

The LGU awardees are: Alimodian as Galing Pook Awardee for 2011; Guimbal as Best Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in the Gawad Kalasag of the NDRRMC; and New Lucena as recipient of a Special Award in the 2011 Apolinario Mabini Awards for its Full Cooperation on the Adoption of PWD Friendly Facilities.

Also cited were the Cabasi-Sta. Rosa Elementary School as recipient of the Best Education Institution Advocating DRRM in the Gawad Kalasag and the Dingle Government Workers Development Cooperative for winning the Most Outstanding Cooperative in the Non-Agri-Based Category of the 2011 Pinakatanging Kooperatiba or the Gawad Pitak of the Land Bank of the Philippines.

In his speech, Governor Arthur Defensor stressed the importance of giving due recognition to outstanding and remarkable achievements as “it is the words of encouragement, words of praise and words of due recognition that propel people to excel in life”.

He further said that “there are so many things in this world that can make people excel but they will not continue to excel and they will will not excel, unless and until, we give them due recognition”.

All the awardees received a three-dimensional Arroyo Fountain inspired trophies during the event which was part of the culmination of the 111th founding anniversary of the province dubbed “Semana sang Iloilo.

The twenty scholars of the provincial government who graduated this year were also in attendance and they received P1,000 each . The four who graduated Magna Cum Laude received P5,000 and the two cum laudes received P3,000 each.

Also recognized during the event were the 35 provincial government employees who retired from service. They each received a certificate and a Timex watch with the Iloilo Provincial Capitol logo.

Mega job fair to usher in Labor Month in West Visayas


ILOILO CITY, April 13 (PIA) -- Western Visayas is set to start its month-long commemoration of Labor Day on May 1 with a Mega Job Fair.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) hopes that the job fair would benefit more people especially those who have just graduated.

“We are expecting that more companies and overseas recruitment agencies will participate and more vacancies will be posted to accommodate a good number of job seekers including our graduates this year,” DOLE-6 director Ponciano Ligutom said in an agency’s press report.

According to the report, DOLE regional offices were enjoined to make sure that at least 15 percent of the total applicants registered are hired on the spot during the job fair.

DOLE-6 Information Officer Amalia Judicpa said Labor Day in the region has been expanded from a one-day event into a month-long commemoration due to the various activities that have been conceived and prepared by DOLE-6 with the support of its partner agencies and organizations.

“The month-long activities will give more significance to the event and more services to clientele,” said Judicpa.

Other activities lined up include Renewal of Professional ID Card & Filing of Application for Board Examinations for Teachers and Nurses, One-Stop Shop Passport Processing, Skills Demonstration and Filing of Application for National Certification (NC) & Scholarship under the TESDA, Medical/Dental & Massage Theraphy, and Free Overseas Call for Overseas Filipino Workers families and dependents.

A Help Desk will also be put up to provide free legal assistance to workers including overseas Filipino workers.

There will also be a career counseling and entrepreneurship forum that will be conducted every Friday afternoon for the whole month for high school students and jobseekers. The Iloilo Business Club and Iloilo Multi-Sectoral Business Organization have volunteered to lead these activities dubbed “Trabaho o Negosyo…Pili ka!”

Wrapping up the commemoration will be a food festival and a concert called “Gab-I sang Pasidungog kag Talento” on May 29 which will showcase the talents of the beneficiaries of the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) of DOLE and selected employees from the private sector.

Mangroves planted in foreshore areas of Iloilo

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

ILOILO CITY, April 12 (PIA) -- Different sectors joined yesterday’s mangrove tree planting held at Brgy. Nabitasan, Leganes, Iloilo City.

Employees of the provincial government and some local government units and representatives from government agencies, non-government organizations and students joined the activity and planted two species of mangrove trees in an abandoned pond owned by the local government unit of Leganes and foreshore area in Brgy. Nabitasan.

Governor Arthur Defensor lauded the participation of the more than one thousand participants in today’s mangrove tree planting held at Brgy. Nabitasan, Leganes.

Defensor told them that their participation showed their beliefs on the importance of trees and mangroves in the lives of the people and the seas and their commitment to environmental protection.

“Matanum kita kahoy, matanum kita mangroves kay ang kahoy nga sa duta kag kahoy sa dagat makabulig salbar sini nga kalibutan (Let us plant trees, let us plant mangrove trees because the trees on land and on seas could help save this earth),” said Defensor.

The planting activity which is part of the 111th founding anniversary celebration of Iloilo dubbed “Semana sang Iloilo” is also in line with the Action for Regreening and Transformation project of the provincial government which aims to plant 1 million trees this year and the National Greening Program of the national government.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Soledad Sucaldito said they are hoping to surpass the 1 million target again just like last year where more than 1.3 million trees were planted in identified areas in the province.

As part of their effort to achieve the target, Sucaldito said tree planting activities will be conducted during the Arbor Day on June 25 and the Piyesta sa Kakahuyan on the second Saturday of September.

Sucaldito said the different municipalities also conduct their own tree planting activities.

Bougainvillea Parade opens “Semana Sang Iloilo”


ILOILO CITY, April 11 (PIA6) -- Thirteen floats of the different horticultural associations in this province adorned with different colors and varieties of bougainvillea paraded from Jaro Plaza to Iloilo Provincial Capitol Grounds to open the 111th founding anniversary of the province on April 10.

Of the thirteen, ten are competing for the best float in the first ever Bougainvillea Parade organized by the Iloilo Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) and the Federation of Iloilo Horticultural Association, Inc.

PAO Head Dr. Ildefonso Toledo said the new attraction will add more color to this year’s “Semana sang Iloilo” celebration aside from the garden show which the horticulture groups staged for the past years and has been looked forward to by Ilonggo flower enthusiasts.

“We would like to add something new to the activities this year and since Semana sang Iloilo is held every summer, we thought of holding a flower parade highlighting bougainvillea which is in bloom,” said Toledo.

Bougainvillea which can resist summer heat, according to Toledo, represents the traits of Ilonggos who can surpass challenges, especially in terms of agriculture, which is challenged by climate change.

Toledo dubbed bougainvillea as “Bulak ng Masa” as this can be grown by anyone in the family and in any terrain.

Federation of Iloilo Horticultural Association, Inc. (FIHA) President Atty. Myrna del Socorro said the event will further enhance and upgrade the horticulture industry in the province.

To date, according to the PAO there are 21 organized garden clubs and cutflower cooperatives in the province and 17 of them are currently active.

On her part, Vilma Encanto, former President of the Oton Cutflower Association Inc., said the activity will help promote the industry that provide livelihood to their members who are mostly women.

Provincial Tourism Officer Bombette Marin said the Bougainvillea Parade is also timely as they are now promoting bougainvillea as the flower for Iloilo.

He said the Tourism Office will support the event next year since this is also a tourism attraction during the celebration.

Aside from the Bougainvillea Parade Float contest, the PAO has also launched other contests for the garden show exhibitors this year such as Best in Landscape Design and Best Flowering Plant.

The Garden Show and the Agri-Trade Fair which were opened on April 10 will be held until Sunday, April 15. Other activities include Mangrove Tree Planting, Jobs Fair, Art Exhibit, Inter-Municipal Brass Band Competition, Inter-Municipal Folk Dance Competition, and Agri-Achievers Awarding Ceremony.

On display and on sale at the Agri-Trade Fair are fruits, vegetables, handicrafts, different varieties of rice and processed agriculture and fishery products from the different municipalities of the province.

Western Visayas towns to implement NHE project


ILOILO CITY, April 10 (PIA) -- Six municipalities in Western Visayas have expressed their interest to implement the National Handicapping Environment (NHE) Project, according to the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA).

NCDA Regional Program Coordinator Ruth Tacujan said the municipalities of Maasin, Concepcion, Batad, Mina and Guimbal in Iloilo province and San Jose in Antique have submitted their applications to the Regional Council on Disability Affairs in the region chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 6.

According to Tacujan, the NCDA and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will visit the local government units on April 24 to 27 for validation and readiness assessment.

“They will meet with the local officials and the groups of Person with Disabilities in the area to know if they are ready to implement the project based on the project criteria,” said Tacujan.

NHE project aims to create a barrier-free environment for PWDs in rural communities to further enhance their participation in society. It has five frameworks that include implementing mechanism, profiling, capacity development, advocacy and networking.

The NCDA in collaboration with JICA started to implement the project in the country in October 2008 with New Lucena, Iloilo and Opol, Misamis Oriental as the two pioneering sites.

TIEZA allots P5 M aid for Jaro belfry restoration


ILOILO CITY, April 9 (PIA6) -- The Jaro Belfry will soon rise from the ruins of time and seasons, as the Tourism Infra and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) has allotted P5 million for its restoration and rehabilitation.

The Iloilo City Information Office said in a press release that the TIEZA team has visited and conducted ocular inspection of the Jaro Belfry and surrounding site recently.

The belfry is one of the few in the country that stands apart from the church, as it was identified as the former tower of Jaro Church.

Jaro is famous for the Jaro Cathedral of Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria, now declared a National Shrine by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Records showed the belfry was destroyed by a 1948 magnitude 8.6 earthquake and restored by the Iloilo city government in the 1990s.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog said the assistance given by the TIEZA jibed with the plan to make Jaro one of the major tourist attractions in the city.

Mabilog said this will boost tourism and push the economy up.

He added this move also supported the pending House Bill No. 4957 proposed by Congressman Jerry Trenas, which seeks to declare Jaro as one of Iloilo City’s “legislated tourist sites” together with Molo, City Business District, and Fort San Pedro.

Iloilo City Tourism Officer Ben Jimena said the plan to create a Task force Restore Jaro Belfry is in the offing to look into then needs for the repair and restoration work to be undertaken.

Jimena said they are requesting the building authorities to test the structural strength of the belfry, as an engineering works committee will also be asked to determine the scope of work, estimate the cost, undertake the repair and provide labor and material.

“Clearing and cleaning will also be done, as well as assigning of personnel to maintain and beautify the area,” Jimena said.

The tourism office will partner with the barangay and church organizations concerned, to come up with guidelines of operation of tourism information center that shall be put up, to harmonize projects and activities.

“The endeavor will also include the facelift of the Jaro Plaza,” Jimena said.

Develop taxi drivers as frontline tourism agents - DOT

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

ILOILO CITY, April 8 (PIA6) -- Recognizing the important role of the taxi drivers in providing comfort to tourists, the DOT-6 has embarked on seminars on tour guiding for Iloilo taxi drivers.

“They create the first and last impressions on our visitors that can either build or destroy our city’s image,” Department of Tourism-6 (DOT OIC Director Helen C. Catalbas said.

Catalbas added that misbehaviour of a few taxi drivers are long lasting as passengers tend to remember only the bad, but many of them are doing good and they know so many places all over the region.

To date, DOT has already trained more than 1,500 or over 60 percent of the taxi drivers here.

“We accommodate about 35 at a time as requested by the companies or operators, but there are always personnel who conduct seminars for individual, walk in drivers who are on off duty and express desire to learn.

Catalbas said topics discussed include security and safety, personality and grooming, courtesy, historical landmarks and point of interest, as well as short history of places commonly visited by tourists.

“The content on historical places covers also some points of destinations in the region, as taxi drivers are hired every now and then to places outside the city,” she added.

She also said that DOT is zeroing in on taxi drivers at present because taxis have access to almost all places anywhere.

Meanwhile, DOT, in pursuing full blast implementation of its programs also plans to and make all front line service providers tourism friendly, to include also drivers and operators of vans, sales clerks in “pasalubong” centers and personnel in travel lounges.

DAR, WVSU sign MOA for support of agrarian beneficiaries


ILOILO CITY, April 7 (PIA6) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform – Iloilo Provincial Office has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the West Visayas State University for the provision of economic support services to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries.

DAR-Iloilo Information Officer Yvonne Senobin reported that under the agreement the WVSU will provide agricultural and agribusiness instruction, research and extension activities to the ARBs who will qualify in the eligibility check and the accreditation process of DAR.

WVSU is a consultant of DAR under its Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) project.

According to Senobin the MOA will cover the Needs and Design Assessment of the proposed Sugarcane Production Block Farming to be implemented by the Mapili Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi Purpose Cooperative in the municipality of San Enrique and Passi City, Iloilo.

The Sugarcane Block Farming in Palaciawan, Barotac Nuevo and the Rice Production and Marketing projects of the ARBs in the municipalities of Barotac Nuevo, Passi City, San Enrique, Dingle and Badiangan, Iloilo will also benefit from the MOA.

The MOA was signed by DAR –Iloilo Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II Gideon Umadhay, Jr and West Visayas State University President Dr. Pablo Subong recently.

Iloilo to host National Festival of Talents 2012

By Elsa S. Subong (JCM/ESS/PIA-6)

ILOILO CITY, April 6 (PIA6) -- This city will play host to the 2012 National Festival of Talents from April 10-13, facilitated by the Department of Education (DepEd)- Division of Iloilo.

DepEd-6 said in a press release that the Festival of Talents, a special program of the DepEd through the Bureau of Secondary Education, is an avenue where the students can best show their knowledge and skills in the field of arts, population and development and technology and livelihood education.

Further, DepEd-Division Program Supervisor Liza Balogo said, the festival will also showcase various products and performances as evidence of the participants’ learning, while strengthening their level of competence and confidence in facing life’s challenges.

Deriada said the event will also engage teacher-advisers and education leaders in parallel professional sessions.

The festival is expected to gather students and advisers from the 17 regions, who will be housed in venues, like the Cabatuan National Comprehensive High School for the technolympics, Iloilo National High School for the Sining Pambansa, and at Grand Hotel for the PopDev activities.

Key DepEd officials, celebrities, and national and local artists are also expected to attend.

The opening program will be on April 10, at the Iloilo sports complex at 5 pm to be preceded by a parade of floats and delegates from the Jaro Plaza, with a winning tribe of the 2012 Dinagyang Festival, as added attraction.

Regional disaster council invites members from civil society, private sector

By Elsa S. Subong (JCM/ESS-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, April 5 (PIA) -- The disaster council in Region 6 has begun accepting applications for members from civil society organizations (CSO) and the private sector (PS).

Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) chairperson and Office Civil Defense-6 director Rosario Cabrera said the council shall select four representatives from civil society coming from the academe or independent research-based groups; from faith-based CSO; non-government organizations; and another one from professional or community-based organizations and foundations.

Cabrera said the lone PS representative would be selected from private sector organizations.

The CSOs who can apply are those duly registered under Philippine Law and with institutional structures to manage their organizations, of recognized standing within their particular fields of competence as shown by track records, and those which have not participated in any election as party-list group.

Interested applicants should submit a letter of intent addressed to the RDRRMC chairperson, profile of the CSO, certificate of registration with Securities and Exhange Commission, Cooperative Development Authority, or Department of Labor and Employment, authenticated copy of articles of incorporation, showing original incorporators, by-laws duly signed by the secretary, and financial report for the period.

Applications that meet the minimum requirements will be further evaluated through interviews, based on commitment and engagement in disaster risk reduction and management programs, projects and activities, record of competence in disaster risk reduction and management and climate change initiatives, and knowledge in policy development.

Cabrera said the CSO and PS representatives are required to participate in meetings and council’s activities, provide updates of their activities, disseminate disaster risk reduction and management activities, programs to the organization, provide council with annual reports and financial conditions, provide council with updated information sheet of current list of executive officers, and coordinate and assist in the conduct of disaster risk reduction and management activities and projects in geographic areas.

The DRRMC said applications are due April 30, 2012.

8,000 students in WV get summer jobs


ILOILO CITY, April 4 (PIA6) - - More than 8,000 poor but deserving students in Western Visayas will have a productive summer this year as they earn and at the same time gain work experience through the Special Program for Employment of Students of the Department of Labor and Employment.

Data obtained from DOLE 6 indicated that some 8,443 students are expected to be hired by private and government employers who signified their intention to participate in the program this year.

The data further showed that of the 8,433 beneficiaries in the region, 3,739 are from Negros Occidental, 1, 838 from Iloilo, 1,014 from Antique, 910 from Capiz, 735 from Aklan and 207 from Guimaras.

SPES aims to help poor but deserving students to pursue their education by encouraging their employment such as during summer vacation which is in accordance with the pursuit of the 22-point labor and employment agenda of President Benigno Aquino to invest in the country’s top resource, the human resource to make it more competitive and employable while promoting industrial peace based on social justice.

For this summer 2012, DOLE 6 has allotted a total budget of P17, 916,998.24 for its 40 percent share in the salaries of the beneficiaries.

Under the program, SPES beneficiaries are paid daily for a minimum of 20 to a maximum of 52 working days. The 40% of the beneficiaries’ salaries is shouldered by DOLE and the remaining 60% by employers.

DOLE 6 Assistant Regional Director Dax Villaruel said that some 9,259 students have also found employment through SPES last year.

Local officials assure public of safe Holy Week


ILOILO CITY, April 3 (PIA6) -– Local officials here said that security measures are in place for the safety of tourists during the Holy Week.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said in media interviews that he has directed the Iloilo City Police Office to intensify police visibility and checkpoints in public places, especially churches.

Mabilog said security plans are in place as he urged people to be careful as they observe their religious events.

He also said that people should also secure their homes when leaving for church activities, or going on vacation during the five-day vacation.

On the other hand, Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr told media that the Provincial Police Office has been deployed to ensure security of tourists and devotees who will observe Holy Week in various places in the province.

He said this in anticipation of the influx of tourists who will witness the Lenten presentations and activities in the towns of Dumangas, Calinog, Barotac Viejo, and in other tourism destinations here.

He added that the police will also be highly visible in churches and places of public worship, including cemeteries, as balikbayans also visit their departed, besides participating in Lenten activities.

Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office has deployed more that 600 personnel to augment the police force, and have been mobilizing its police officers in the administrative offices to render mobile patrolling in identified “hot” areas.

Ilonggos urged to take steps to protect environment, conserve energy


ILOILO CITY, April 2 (PIA) -- Ilonggos were urged to take extra steps to push common efforts towards conservation of energy and preservation of the environment.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog told Ilonggos Saturday that by switching off their lights for one hour they will not only save electricity but also support efforts to protect the environment against climate change during the ceremonial countdown and switch off of lights held at SM City Iloilo in line with the Earth Hour 2012 observance here.

Mabilog said the city government is also doing its share along this line as the new city hall building is the first government “green” building in the country that uses solar assisted air conditioning units that provide cooling system in the city hall.

“We must get to work to put in place developmental plans to transform our environment into promising and great economic opportunities,” said Mabilog.

On the other hand, congressman Jerry P. Trenas, who also joined in the ceremonial switch off, said the sudden change in climate being experienced in the country is a call to everyone to do his or her own contribution to mitigate climate change.

“We can do our little share in ensuring that the earth that we are going to leave to our children and grandchildren will be a better place for all of them,” said Trenas as he acknowledged the support and participation of Ilonggos in the Earth Hour since it started here in this city and now participated in by many cities in the country.

Engr. Randy Pastolero of the Panay Electric Cooperative (PECO) said in a radio interview that they have recorded a 29.9-megawatt drop in energy consumption during the one-hour switch off this year. PECO is the sole distributor of power in this city.

Aside from Mabilog and Trenas, the Earth Hour event at SM City was also attended by Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa, Councilors Ely Estante and Dave Jamora, Department of Environment and Natural Resources 6–Environmental Manager Bureau Director Jonathan Bulos, PIA 6 Director Janet Mesa, Responsible Ilonggo for Sustainable Energy’s Engr. Aurora Alerta Lim and SM City Iloilo Mall Manager Girlie Liboon, among others.

Ilonggo women getting more empowered vs. climate change - OCD

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

ILOILO CITY, Apr. 1 (PIA) – Ilonggo women are getting more empowered and able to cope with climate change by becoming more informed and educated on it, according to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

Ma. Aletha A. Nogra OCD-6 Training head said because of the new law on disaster risk reduction and mitigation, the women sectors have been part of planning and implementing disaster preparedness programs in their localities.

Nogra, who was guest during the weekly cable TV program “Hangpanay” anchored by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), said RA 10121 has included total care for vulnerable sectors, including women, who have specific needs in times of disasters.

Women now have asserted their special needs, especially when they find themselves in evacuation centers, when they are pregnant, lactating or having monthly periods.

“Women are now active in participating during planning for disasters,” Nogra said.

She said they are able to determine their needs, identify their roles before, during and after disasters, because they are familiar with their communities, its hazards and coping abilities.

Mariana, 45 years old, and a village chief in a remote area in Iloilo, said they realized they are not to be considered victims only of disasters, because usually they end up “helpless” especially in evacuation centers during disasters.

OCD-6 said that with the disaster risk reduction and management law, evacuation centers are not just shelters to house victims of disaster but a place that can help those affected to recover better.

“We need to design a place where normal activities can go on, especially for women whose role of housekeeping extends to the evacuation centers, as they assume roles of cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the children,” Nogra said.

On the other hand, Nogra said, that part of the training government is doing is in disaster preparedness is also encouraging women to organize themselves and be part of the on-going education on climate change.

“Not only women, but girls and children, who should be educated right in their classrooms,” Nogra said.

She added that the local government units should not overlook women’s role and participation in climate change mitigation in the communities.

Nogra further said that in the region, at least there is no incidence of grave violence against women, like rape or murder, in evacuation centers, although she does not discount that dispositions of people in the midst of great loss can be hostile.

“This is because our disaster risk reduction and management agencies and the LGUs have become more aware of gender-based principles applied to climate change,” she said.

She noted that where women are active and educated on climate change, communities fare better during disasters.