Iloilo City News April 2013

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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Map Locator of Iloilo City
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Aerial View of Iloilo City
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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
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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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DOLE, Tesda team up for training of job applicants

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

ILOILO CITY, April 30 (PIA) -- Apart from providing employment opportunities during the May 1 Jobs Fair, the Department of Labor and Employment in Western Visayas (DOLE-6), will also monitor the skills level of job seekers.

DOLE-6 Assistant Regional Director Salome Siaton said that Memorandum Order dated April 15, 2013 has instructed all Regional Directors and Offices to submit a report of job applicants who lack skills training during the Labor Day Jobs Fair.

“These job seekers will be referred to Tesda (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) for skills training or to any livelihood assistance provided by DOLE,” said Siaton.

Tesda will be offering scholarships to near-hires or those job seekers who lack skills training. This will done through the agency's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) or the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) sector.

According to Tesda, near-hires can avail of free trainings being offered including Finishing Course for Call Center Agent, Computer Hardware Servicing, and Programming which are facilitated by their BPO partners.

The month-long celebration of DOLE will kick off on Labor Day (May 1) with jobs fair to be held simultaneously at Marymart Mall and SM City Mall here in Iloilo City and SM City Mall in Bacolod City.

Clear-cut OJT standards to benefit studes

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

ILOILO CITY, April 29 (PIA) --- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-6) will hold an orientation and consultation on the drafting of the On-the-Job Training (OJT) manual on May 10, 2013 as one of the highlights of this year’s celebration of the Labor Month.

DOLE-6 Assistant Regional Director Salome Siaton said that this initiative will address the issue of the lack of work experience among fresh graduates which impedes their chances of getting employed shortly after graduation.

“Schools are requiring OJT to various agencies but we do not have concrete standards of what are the expected skills the students would be getting in the OJT,” said Siaton.

The DOLE official shared that during one their consultations, the insufficient number of hours of OJT and failure of host companies or institutions to develop the necessary skills among the trainees during such period were cited by the stakeholders as among the reasons that contribute to the difficulty these new graduates are facing when finding jobs.

Siaton also said that the drafting of the OJT manual will address the concern of what the agencies or host companies are expected to do for these particular interns who are rendering their service.

She said that it is important that these trainees are performing tasks and functions in the OJT which are in line with the course they are getting.

Siaton added that DOLE -6 will be conducting this initiative in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

Success, failure of greening program rests on seed quality


ILOILO City – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through its Ecosystems Research and Development Service (ERDS) is giving technical assistance to Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) to implement the Seed Production Areas (SPAs) to support the National Greening Program’s (NGP) reforestation efforts.

The goal of the NGP is to plant 1.5 billion trees to cover 1.5 million hectares of land all over the country within six years’ (2011-2016) time.

To achieve this, the Aquino administration seeks to maximize the use of available technologies that are science-based under which the assurance of seed and seedling quality is prioritized.

SPA is a necessary step in ensuring the production of quality seeds.

“We must be able to identify good mother trees to establish a prototype (model) and ensure quality seedlings. As such, this will guarantee the success of NGP implementation if the seedlings used are of good quality,” said Dr. Alicia Lustica, DENR Region 6 technical director.

“There are seedlings whose phenotype is defective and thereby incapable of producing good quality trees,” Lustica added.

The phenotype is what determines the appearance of an organism due to its inherited characters to the environment. If the tree species is genetically defective, then it would be impossible to establish a good prototype for reproduction at the nursery.

The successful establishment of the regional SPAs will help ensure reliable sources of high quality forest tree seeds to supply the needs of each PENR Office’ areas for the NGP and for other future rehabilitation and restoration programs of the government.

PENROs in the six provinces of Region 6 are the ones that will implement the SPA.

Each will be receiving P1 million and technical assistance for the implementation, Lustica disclosed.

“The SPA is the tool that DENR will use to identify the right tree species for a specific planting site. It will also guarantee enough supply of seedlings for our reforestation efforts in line with the NGP,” said DENR Regional Executive Director Adeluisa Siapno.

Reforestation efforts prior to NGP used exotic tree species and are not matched with the species that are native to a certain planting site, she explained.

“Some exotic species are prolific seeders, are invasive and are not favorite of our wildlife like the birds because their seeds taste bitter such as the mahogany,” added Lustica.

DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje has tasked the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) and all its counterparts in the regional offices to produce some 25 million indigenous tree seedlings for the NGP.

“This increase in the ERDB’s base target to raise indigenous species is in keeping with the department’s move to shift from the use of exotic species to indigenous or native species,” Paje said.

San Pedro Calungsod back in Iloilo


ILOILO City — Again, the image of San Pedro Calungsod will be making rounds in the metro today.

This will be the second time the image of the new Filipino saint is taken to Iloilo. The first time was in November last year, a few days after Calungsod’s canonization in Rome, Italy.

The image will visit Sta. Teresita del Niño Jesus Parish in City Proper at 9 a.m.

It will then proceed to St. Anne Parish in Molo district at 12 noon. It will stay there until Monday.

Rev. Fr. Espiridion “Boy” Celis of St. Anne Parish invited Ilonggos, especially the devotees, to come and ask for a miracle from San Pedro Calungsod.

Celis said he is thankful to Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, also an Ilonggo, for granting his request to bring San Pedro Calungsod’s image back to Iloilo, especially in Molo, where the saint have reportedly come from.

Many miracles in the district have been associated with the saint, Celis said.

He added that many residents of Molo welcomed San Pedro Calungsod’s image when it first visited Iloilo last year.

By 6:30 a.m. on Monday, the image will be taken to Roxas City but will drop by the parish church in Passi City.

Yesterday, SM City Iloilo has opened a photo exhibit of San Pedro Calungsod’s canonization in Italy and his image’s visit to different provinces in the country.

The exhibit at the mall’s Upper Ground Floor will last until May 11.

The activity aims to spread the devotion to San Pedro Calungsod among Ilonggos.

Fr. Celis and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo led the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the exhibit.

Over 34T job vacancies up for grab on May 1


ILOILO CITY, April 26 (PNA) -– At least 34,313 job vacancies are up for grabs in a job fair during the Labor Day celebration on May 1 here.

Amy Judicpa, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office 6 information officer, said that the job vacancies will be offered by the 134 participating agencies for local and overseas employment.

The DOLE, however, Judicpa said will continue to accommodate interested placement agencies to participate in the job fair on May 1.

The job fair will be held at the Shoemart (SM) city and Marymart Mall in Iloilo city and in SM Bacolod city.

Aside from the job fair on May 1, there will also be “Libreng Tawag” for families of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). There will also be help desks of the different government agencies.

Comelec director: NGCP assures of sufficient supply of power on May 13


ILOILO CITY, April 25 (PNA) -- Commission on Elections (Comelec) Regional Dir. Renato Magbutay said that they have been assured by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) that there will be no brownout during the election day on May 13.

He said that the assurance was given them during the Comelec regional joint command conference with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police held Wednesday at the Police Regional Office 6 in Iloilo City.

“We have been assured by the NGCP that they would have sufficient supply of power or that there will be no brown out on the election day,” Magbutay said.

Having sufficient electricity is very important because of the automated election with the precinct count optical scanners (PCOS) now arriving for delivery in Western Visayas.

IPs to undergo training for Jalaur River preparation


ILOILO CITY, April 24 (PNA)-- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-Western Visayas (TESDA-6) will conduct skills training to 150 indigenous peoples (IPs) mostly from Calinog, Iloilo, at the National Irrigation Administration-6 (NIA-6) compound in Brgy. Tacas, Jaro district here starting in May.

Iloilo provincial administrator Raul Banias said these IPs will be part of 2,000 beneficiaries who will be trained in preparation for the construction of P 11.2 billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMPP II) within this year.

“These IPs were among those who will be affected as the Jalaur River construction work will soon be started so they will be given priority”, he said.

Apart from the IPs, 79 irrigator associations in Iloilo which will benefit from this soon-to-be constructed mega-dam will also undergo training like carpentry, masonry, welding and other skills needed for using heavy equipment.

“Those who will be trained by TESDA will also be hired during the construction so that these affected people will be provided with continues livelihood”, he said.

Prior to the activity, a launching program will be held at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol to be attended by Ilonggo Sen. Franklin Drilon, TESDA Secretary Joel Villanueva and several invited guests.

Meanwhile, there are five existing national irrigation systems in Iloilo that has not pass any rehabilitation for the past 30 years, said Engr. Ricardo Pinaso, chief engineering and operation division of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) here.

Pinaso admitted that 80 percent of the total irrigation operation has problem on its system but this will be addressed soon with the realization of the proposed JRMPP that will be completed by 2016.

He said the Jalaur River project will supply these five existing irrigation systems and other irrigated areas in the province.

Once completed, the irrigated areas of Iloilo will expand from 22,340 to 31,840 hectares that will also benefit 783, 000 farm workers and improve rice yield from 3.25 to 5.20 metric tons per hectare for every cropping season on the part of farmers.

Pinaso said the project will also employ 17, 000 workers during actual construction equivalent to approximately P1.3 billion in basic wages per year as well as provide livelihood opportunities on fishery and tourism industries.

Aside from increasing rice production and fishery livelihood, Pinaso said the Jaluar River project could provide required water resources for multi-purpose utilization such as irrigation water, hydro –electric power, domestic/industrial water supply, and other related water resources development.

The JRMP Stage 2 aims to regulate and control floods caused by the Jalaur River, storing its waters to irrigate agriculture lands in the Jalaur Valley as well as generating and transmitting electric power and energy.

UP president launches DPA program in UP-Visayas


ILOILO CITY, April 23 (PNA) -- No less than the University of the Philippines (UP) System president Alfredo E. Pascual led the official launching of the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) program in the UP-Visayas on Monday.

In his message before the stakeholders, including the faculty and staff of the university, students, and local leaders, Pascual said the program is in line with the university’s thrust of taking an active role in the development of a globally competitive Philippines in the 21st century.

Pascual said the launching of DPA program that is expected to cater to students from the Visayas and Mindanao regions is another historic innovation and different from other programs for several reasons.

First, he said the program will produce new doctoral graduates that will augment the UPVs pool of doctorate faculty members, particularly DPAs in the next three years.

These new DPAs will be tapped to teach in its masteral program, a possible new doctoral program in public administration, and its continuing non-degree programs in this region.

Second, Pascual said the “DPA program is also designed to bring the expertise of UP NCPAG to the Visayas, particularly Western Visayas so that our stakeholders in the region can avail of the Tatak UP education given by the premier public administration college in the country.”

He noted that UPV can expect enrollees from local government units, civil society organizations, higher education institutions, and even business firms.

Pascual also noted that Western Visayas is emerging as one of the fastest growing regions in the country and the new DPA program is UP’s contribution to the development of the region.

“The program will help build capacity for effective administration and governance among important institutions in the region,” he said.

Finally, Pascual said the DPA program will be used by my administration as a basis for policy decisions on faculty development in the coming years.

Pascual also stressed the relevance of the program in UP’s target of taking active role in making the country globally competitive through academic and operational excellence.

“Through academic excellence, UP can address the problems that beset the country and help achieve the prosperity that has long eluded our people,” he said.

He stressed this can be successfully achieved when UP is able to develop its own faculty, staff, and students into a pool of responsible and competent leaders who can create world-class innovative and practical technologies that can address the problems of the country; produce creative works that can uplift the spirit of our people; and conduct exemplary public service activities that can transform our communities.

Pascual said while UP can get the best and the brightest students, there is a need to complement it with the best faculty.

Thus, UP under his administration, he said, has mobilized some P64 million for our PhD fellowships, P23 million for masteral fellowships, P4million for our visiting professors programs, and P25 million for our "Balik-PhD" recruitment. These are in addition to funds already earmarked to create incentives for research, publication, and exemplary teaching.

Present during the program were Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog, UP Visayas Chancellor Rommel Espinosa, UP System Vice President for Academic Affairs Gisela Concepcion, College of Management Dean Mary Ann Gumban, and the delegation from UP Diliman led by NCPAG Dean Edna Co.

Greek Ambassador brands Iloilo as a very positive city


ILOILO CITY, April 22 (PNA) -- Ambassador Constantina Koliou of Greece described this southern city as "a very positive city with people always smiling and happy."

Ambassador Koliou arrived here on Monday as guest of "One Meal Foundation" founder Teresa "Nene" Chan, an Ilongga.

In a meeting with Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, the Greek diplomat said a sisterhood pact between a city in Greece and Iloilo City is possible as the first to be forged in Europe in bringing in and exchange of Ilonggo technology and expertise.

The Greek Ambassador acknowledged the excellent Filipino seafarers and it will be great to work together with Iloilo for the betterment of maritime education.

Mabilog said the biggest employers in the shipping industry are the Greeks and many Ilonggos are working in Greek oil tankers. The city mayor said that at least three schools in Iloilo are offering maritime education and the only maritime university in Asia, John B. Lacson Maritime University, is located in this city and offers excellent maritime education.

Greece is considered as a tourists mecca with millions of visitors every year wanting to see the ruins, particularly the Parthenon and Acropolis and listen to the rich cultural heritage of the Greek people.

The Greek Ambassador said that tourists usually go to a place where there is improved transportation system, buildings and facilities and peace and order.

Iloilo riders lauded for successful anti-human trafficking bike ride


ILOILO CITY, April 21 (PNA)- Around 400 bikers from all over the city and other provinces were lauded for their active participation in the campaign against human trafficking and in the promotion of the action line that will help trafficked victims.

The throng of “Freedom Warriors” of the “Freedom Ride 2013” in Iloilo City wore black statement shirts printed with the “1343” Actionline against human trafficking.

They traversed the city’s six districts of Molo, Jaro, City Proper, Mandurriao, Lapuz, and La Paz major thoroughfares to send the message that Filipinos must work together to protect one another against human trafficking, which transcends ages and gender.

Dakila said :Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, the 24-hour hotline was created by the Commission on Filipino Overseas last 2011 to help victims of human trafficking and at the same time, to give access to individuals to report suspected human trafficking cases.

According to Dakila, the country is identified as a source, destination and transit country for persons who are subjected to forced prostitution and forced labor.

The US State Department’s Trafficking Report of 2010 showed every year, 300 to 400 thousands of Filipinos are victims of human trafficking domestic and abroad.

In Western Visayas, Iloilo recorded the highest cases of trafficking in persons, according to the data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

From 2008 to 2012, Iloilo has 64 cases, of which 28 are recorded last year.

It is followed by Negros Occidental with 24 cases; Antique, 19; Aklan, 15; and Capiz, six, and Guimaras, zero.

For provinces, the 1343 hotline can be accessed by dialing Manila's area code (02) and the hotline number while text-based 1343 Action Line is also available to all Globe and TM mobile subscribers.

The event was also supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, IACAT, I-Fold, Manila Fixed Gear, and the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC).

Meanwhile, the group iFold or the Iloilo Folding Bike Riders noted that senior citizens and children alike also made their presence in the fun ride event, with the oldest biker aged 75 and the youngest, a nine year-old girl.

The group is pushing for bikelanes in this city and for biking as a sustainable form of transport.

Another notable biker who joined the mass ride was Rudy Fernandez, the Ilonggo one-legged cyclist.

The group plans to stage another ride in Zamboanga soon.

Iloilo city has rice surplus for its 2012-2013 food-for-school program


ILOILO CITY, April 20 (PNA) – The Iloilo city government has still a total of 2,500 bags of rice it could use in its food-for-school program that benefits the day care children.

National Food Authority (NFA) Iloilo Asst. Manager Jose Pacificador said the rice supply was intended for children enrolled in school year 2012- 2013 and is enough for 120 days.

The food-for-school program is being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Office 6.

The rice is iron-fortified and cooked as cereals to feed the day care children as a way of mitigating hunger while they are in school.

Meanwhile, the NFA has completed the distribution of rice to the different day care centers of which in Iloilo province had 11,800 bags while in Guimaras got 862 bags.

Tourism roads in Iloilo City on the upswing


ILOILO CITY, April 19 (PNA) -- The national government is recognizing this highly urbanized southern city as an effective show window of tourism initiatives by including Iloilo City in the P1.2 billion Western Visayas tourism roads convergence program of the departments of tourism (DOT) and of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

DOT Regional Director Helen Catalbas confirmed that the ongoing 2012-2013 road project consisting of 300 roads in Western Visayas is part of the P18 billion allotted nationwide for the tourism roads convergence program in cooperation with the local government units and congressional offices.

Catalbas said the incoming elected public officials must consider tourism as major strategy for economic development. Tourism provides livelihood opportunities and development of the areas and is a major strategy for the economy.

The DOT official said the tourism roads had a strategic direction for accessibility and connectivity to tourism sites by improving and enhancing existing roads, opening up new roads and improvement of existing ports.

All these road projects are eyed for completion before the term of President Benigno Aquino III expires in 2016.

In Iloilo City alone, the DPWH has started working four major road projects funded with P213 million consisting of re-blocking, widening and improvement of existing roads.

DPWH is also opening up a new road and started the road widening of a major highway here.

Other areas with tourism road projects are in Caticlan, Bacolod City in Negros Occidental, and the provinces of Aklan, Capiz, Antique and Guimaras. Catalbas also said the DOT is eyeing 10 million foreign tourists and 66 million domestic arrivals by 2016 and Western Visayas has a major share on this tourism pie.

DSWD pilots door-to-door payout for senior citizens


ILOILO CITY, April 18 (PNA) -- Social pension from the government to 18,505 indigent senior citizens aged 77 years old and above in Western Visayas will just have to wait for a postman to deliver their monthly checks.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Director Evelyn Macapobre said her agency is piloting the door-to-door delivery of pension to senior citizens this June 2013 by using the services of the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost).

In Iloilo City alone, more than 3,000 indigent senior citizens are registered to receive their monthly social pension of P500 each to augment their daily subsistence and medical needs.

Senior citizens may no longer need to go out of their own homes and bear long queues to be able to get their social pension from the government.

Through the implementation of the door-to-door delivery of social pension, the DSWD hopes that implementation of the program will be improved and become more efficient.

The recipients in the region came from 133 local government units and DSWD has allocated P27,757,500 for the first three months or January to March this year to qualified beneficiaries who will receive a stipend of P1,500 each.

The Social Pension covered 12,981 beneficiaries in 2011 when its implementation was started in Region VI. Modes of payment then were cash advance and transfer of funds.

In early 2012, the program covered 15,743 beneficiaries that later increased to 18,505 with the additional 2,762 new enrollees in November.

The same year, all of the 133 LGUs fully implemented transfer of funds. Total funds released in 2012 amounted to P102,744,000.

DENR, ZONTA-ILOILO, slate Earth Day 2013 activities

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

ILOILO CITY, April 17 (PIA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-6 and the ZONTA International Club of Iloilo City will hold events for the celebration of 2013 Earth Day on April 22. The activities are aimed at creating “Earth Friendly” awareness among the Iloilo folks.

Artemio Colacion, DENR-Regional Public Affairs Officer, said the office will mount an exhibit at the Gaisano City from April 22-30.

The exhibits will feature the Linis-Estero activities of the DENR-Environment Management Bureau, highlighting partnerships in cleaning the environment, particularly management of solid waste.

Further, the exhibits will also feature the status of the National Greening Program, the implementation of the law on issuance of residential patents and the geohazard areas in Western Visayas.

The Earth Day events are governed by the theme: “The Face of Climate Change. Earth Day Every Day, Everywhere, for Everyone”.

Meanwhile, the ZONTA International Club of Iloilo City, will be showing the movie “HOME” on April 22, at 4:00 p.m. at the UPV Cinematheque.

Jessica Salas, Chair of the ZONTA Environmental Committee, said “HOME” is a film about the planet Earth that seeks to mobilize human beings to “change the way they live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth’s climate”.

Salas said ZONTA has invited business and community leaders to celebrate Earth Day by watching the movie.

ZONTA International Club-Iloilo President Yolanda Galvez said the movie will be shown for free, and the entity invited will just have to hang tarps or streamers in front of their buildings or offices announcing that it is Earth Day and encourage everyone to be “Earth Friendly”.

“The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort,” Galvez said.

On the other hand, DENR is also asking the public to view the exhibits and know how government deals with climate change.

Comelec grants DOLE request for SPES exemption


ILOILO CITY, April 16 (PNA) -– The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has granted exemption for the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 6.

Comelec Regional Director Renato Magbutay, in an interview, said he received the letter of request of DOLE Regional Dir. Ponciano Ligutom Tuesday morning and finds no problem in granting the request.

“The SPES is not an election related matter so I approved the request,” Magbutay said.

About a month ago, the DOLE requested for the exemption of the SPES from the election ban with the Comelec Manila, but this has not been acted upon so Ligutom decided to write Magbutay on Monday.

The approval was welcomed by the DOLE-6 which has allocated P20.5 million for the SPES program with a target of benefiting 8,443 students around the region mostly by providing summer jobs.

Under SPES, students would be hired by their employers which are the Local Government Units (LGUs) and private companies so they would have income to help them when they go back to school this coming June. They are being paid commensurate to Western Visayas' minimum wage, in which 60 percent come from DOLE and 40 percent from the employing LGUs and private companies.

The students who have already been oriented about the program are just waiting for their deployment which will start soon with the Comelec approval.

Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival sweeps Aliwan competition, again

By Lydia C. Pendon [(PNA), LAM/AJP/LCPENDON/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, April 15 (PNA) -- The country’s top tourism event and only festival to win the prestigious Galing Pook 2013 Award is at it again winning the top plum in the national Aliwan Festival in Manila held April 13,2013.

Iloilo City’s Dinagyang Festival represented by Tribu Panayanon of the Iloilo City National High School bested 16 other regional festivals in a grueling competition by chalking up five yearly wins of the Aliwan. The national festival competition is sponsored by the Manila Broadcasting Corporation and the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the latest Dinagyang win will help catapult Iloilo City as the premier festival capital of the Philippines.

Mabilog said the win clearly shows the city government’s enhanced public and private partnership (PPP) with church cooperation to steer Dinagyang Festival as a catalyst in people’s acceptance and commitment.

City Tourism Officer Benito Jimena said that Dinagyang won the champion prize of P1 million cash on top of P10,000 prize as Best in Music and another P10,000 as Best in Costume.

Second placer was Kalivungang Festival of Midsayap, North Cotabato winning half a million pesos cash prize.

Miss Iloilo Dinagyang Victoria Emily Oke was also declared as first runner in the search for Reina ng Aliwan 2013 which was won by Jaime Ferrell of the Sinulog Festival of Cebu.

Oke, an olive-skin student of Central Philippine University in Jaro, Iloilo City, has a Nigerian father and Ilongga mother. She won P50,000 cash and another P5,000 as Best in Swimwear Candidate.

1st cancer institute in WV to be completed by 2014


ILOILO CITY, April 14 (PNA) -- The construction of the first cancer institute in Western Visayas to be called Medicus Cancer Institute and to be located in Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City will be completed in 2014.

The project, which ground breaks recently, is seen to boost not only the health facilities and services but also the medical tourism offered by Iloilo City and the whole region.

Medicus Philippines president Dr. Vicente Villareal said the project is a milestone in the history of the company.

The cancer institute is designed to provide cancer patients of Western Visayas and Mindanao Region with Advanced Radiation Treatment with the use of Varian Clinac CX Linear Accelerator, treatments that are only available in Manila, Southern Luzon, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro only.

With the availability of technology, Villareal said the patients can save on time and resources from going to these places, but more than that, he added they can save on the emotional stresses, particularly, from being separated from their families for the duration of the one-month treatment.

Moreover, it is the company’s contribution to make Iloilo City a premier city in terms of businesses and healthcare, Villareal said.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog lauded the initiative and said the million-worth of investments would boost the medical services and medical tourism of Iloilo City while at the same time, providing more employment opportunities.

Mabilog said the structure that is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2014 is only one among the 16 business structures to be built in the San Rafael, Mandurriao Area, which is now being developed as the new Business District of Iloilo City.

“The San Rafael, from one of the poorest barangays before, is now being developed to be one of the most developed villages soon,” Mabilog said.

Iloilo coffee table book launched


ILOILO CITY, April 13 (PNA)-- Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr., together with his first lady Cosette Defensor, on Friday led the launching of a coffee table book that contains the different tourism destinations, infrastructure projects and what his administration have accomplished during the last three years.

Iloilo Provincial Treasurer Melba Sullivan, as a briefer before the book launching, said that the provincial government has been planning for a long time to come up with a coffee table book that would tell or illustrate what Iloilo province is all about.

The coffee table book is hard-bound and contains pictures of Iloilo province. It will be displayed and distributed among Ilonggos who would like to have it. The book will also be available in coffee shops and establishments for people and investors to browse over.

Stakeholders urged to protect Sibalom Natural Park


ILOILO CITY, April 12 (PNA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) called on stakeholders to work together in protecting the Sibalom Natural Park (SNP).

DENR Regional Executive Director Adeluisa Siapno made the appeal when she recently presided the Sibalom Natural Park (SNP) Protected Area and Management Board (PAMB) meeting.

Attended by village chiefs within the coverage of SNP, representatives from other agencies, non-government organizations, and the religious sector at the Municipal Hall of Sibalom, the meeting targets to further improve the protection and promotion of the SNP as another tourism destination in the province.

Siapno urged the members to unite for a sustainable protection of the SNP geared towards the attainment of the goals for a clean, green and healthy environment.

Present during the meering were Sibalom Municipal Mayor Joel Occeña, MENRO Rodel Esler, PENRO Ruel de los Reyes, CENRO June Melissa Garol and Forester Lulu Fos from the Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zones Management Service were present during the activity.

Delos Reyes underlined the importance of commitment and cooperation between and among the DENR, LGU and other stakeholders in promoting the SNP as the next tourist destination.

He said DENR Antique is committed to provide technical assistance and support for the protection and development of SNP.

Iloilo City 3rd best revenue generator


ILOILO CITY, April 11 (PNA) -- Iloilo City ranked third as top performing metropolis in terms of locally-sourced revenue generation from among 106 urban centers outside National Capital Region (NCR) as cited by the Department of Finance (DOF).

The city generated 59.30 percent of its income coming from local sources for fiscal year 2011, based on DOF’s report entitled “How good is your LGU in creating own revenues?”

The cities of Olongapo topped the ranking at 66.40 percent and Calamba came in second at 61 percent.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog credited the city finance team and expressed confidence on the capability to perform efficiently in every aspect of governance with dependable local income sources to deliver quality basic services to residents.

City Treasurer Katherine T. Tingson noted that the city jumped three notches from 6th place in 2010 with 57.80 percent local income generation performance.

The capacity of the city government to generate revenues from local sources showed the degree of fiscal independence from national government, Tingson said citing DOF report.

The 2010 and 2011 comparative ranking was based on the validated Statement of Receipts and Expenditures (SRE) reports submitted by city treasurers to DOF-Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF). SRE serves as the official LGU financial management reporting system of DOF.

Iloilo capitol holds job fair


ILOILO CITY, April 10 (PNA) – Jobseekers flock to the New Iloilo Capitol building for the 112th Iloilo Anniversary Job Fair on Wednesday.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr., during the opening of the job fair, said the one-day activity is being held to give chance to Ilonggos to get employment.

“It is better to have tried and lost than never to have tried at all,” Gov. Defensor told the Ilonggo jobseekers who came early. The governor further told Ilonggos who may not be hired on the spot in the job fair never to give up instead to try their luck again when another opportunity comes and to continue on honing their skills so they could meet the standard.

There are 63 companies participating among them are the Toy Kingdom, Sun Life, Chevrolet and Vitarich. There are also business process outsourcing (BPO) and shipping companies that have joined.

Iloilo Public Employment Service Officer (PESO) Francisco Heler said that there are 2,500 to 3,000 jobs being offered.

As early as 6:00 a.m., Ilonggo professionals were seen been scanning the vacancies posted at the billboards outside the capitol.

The companies seeking workers for domestic and overseas posts have set up tables at the capitol lobby to interview applicants.

The job fair, which opened at 8:00 a.m., is being held jointly by the Iloilo Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office in Western Visayas (DOLE-6).

The job fair is a one-day activity that is part of the 112th foundation celebration of Iloilo province that started Monday .

Iloilo Fun Run and Walk for a Cause to build Center for Women and Children


ILOILO CITY, April 9 (PNA) – The Fun Run and Walk for a Cause held at about 5 o'clock this morning will help build the Iloilo Development Center for Women and Children in Cabatuan, Iloilo province.

Iloilo Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) Dr. Neneth Q. Pador said the center that is now being constructed is intended to be a temporary shelter for battered women and abandoned children of the province.

Pador said the provincial government has allocated some P5million for the construction of the one-storey Center, including its fence. The PSWDO, however, said that the proceeds from the activity today would also be a big help to the Center.

The Center is constructed at the back of Ramon Tabiana Memorial Hospital in Cabatuan and beside the Home for Girls of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)Regional Office 6 that right now houses clients from Iloilo province.

“Once the Center will be finished then clients from Iloilo province would already be taken care by us,”Pador said.

The Center would hopefully be finished before the year ends to house about 35 clients. It will also serve as venue for practical skills training such as food processing and candle-making for Ilonggos.

The Fun Run and Walk for a Cause is one of the activities of the weeklong 112th Iloilo Foundation Celebration that kicked off Monday. It has been participated by provincial government officials and employees, media and other civic organizations.

Iloilo biz sector joins Integrity Initiative

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

VARIOUS business groups and companies signed up for a movement that aims to snuff out corruption in the public and private spheres.

The Integrity Initiative project brought together 16 business organizations and four companies in a signing of the integrity pledge last April 5 Hotel del Rio.

Integrity Initiative is a multisectoral campaign towards the re-establishment of acceptable integrity standards among various sectors of society.

Led by the private sector, the initiative aims to help in diminishing, if not fully eradicating, the vicious cycle of corruption in the Philippines which has not only exacerbated poverty but has also obstructed the development of a competitive business environment that operates on a level playing field.

According to its website, the project offers an online assessment on integrity practices in the absence of an accepted system of identifying ethical companies in the Philippines.

This tool, available to signatory-companies, would indicate the number and effectiveness of integrity control measures that companies have in place. It gives companies an idea on where they are (in terms of integrity practices) relative to other companies in their industry, location, or of their size. More importantly, the assessment tool provides areas for improvement to strengthen the company’s overall integrity practices.

The Iloilo-based signatories to the integrity pledge are the Iloilo Business Club, Ilonggo Dinagyang Foundation Inc., Bankers Association of Iloilo, Iloilo City Trade and Investment Foundation, Philippine Retailers Association, Federation of Filipino Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Panay, Iloilo Multi-sectoral Business Group, Ilonggo Producers Association, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Iloilo, Iloilo Convention and Visitors Bureau, Panay Organic Producers Association, Philippine Red Cross-Iloilo, Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals, Chamber of Real Estate and Builders' Associations Inc.-Iloilo, Iloilo Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Foundation and Filipino Chinese Chamber of Iloilo.

The business firms included Leivainz Masadas Corp., Global Property Development Iloilo Inc., Unitruck Motorsales Corp. and New Prime Gas Inc.

The Makati Business Club (MBC) and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) started the initiative in late 2009. They were later joined by the Asian Institute of Management-RVR Center for Corporate Governance (Hills Program on Governance), American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham), and the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP).

As of today, there are 1,700 signatories and advocate of the Integrity Initiative.

Undeclared items enter PH though Iloilo Airport

(With a report from the Philippine News Agency/PN)

ILOILO City – Undeclared wristwatches, iPods, cell phone chargers, electronic cigarettes and toys from abroad have been intercepted at the Iloilo Airport.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Iloilo has taken custody of these items, confirmed Deputy Collector Jose Naig.

The undeclared items were estimated to be worth a total of P9.3 million.

These were from Hongkong and flown in via a Cebu Pacific passenger aircraft.

BOC-Iloilo inspectors said the items did not have supporting documents.

The cargo manifest bore the inscriptions “nil cargo” which means “no cargo,” said Naig.

However, upon opening and scrutiny, the inspectors discovered the items.

Naig said the case is now with the court.

The Iloilo Airport started serving the Iloilo-Hongkong and Hongkong-Iloilo routes late last year.

City PNP supports ‘No Smoking Campaign’ as city vies for “Red Orchid Award”


ILOILO CITY, April 6 (PNA)– The Iloilo City Police Office supports the ‘No Smoking Campaign’ as Iloilo City is eyeing a "two-peat" of the Red Orchid Award to be given by the Dept. of Health to local government units which successfully implement the smoke-free programs.

Floro said the city government of Iloilo, in coordination with the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force chairperson Councilor Joshua C Alim, tapped the help and support of ICPO as the validation date April 12, 2013 approaches.

As this developed, a memorandum was issued by Floro directing every ICPO offices and police stations in this metropolis to be smoke-free and with “No Smoking” signage, "No Cigarette butts around" and "No Selling of cigarettes" within the 5-meter radius from the camp or police stations.

The ICAST also solicits the help of the PNP in strictly implementing the no smoking ordinance of the city especially in all public places such as police stations, markets, hospitals, esplanade, smallville, schools, air conditioned rooms and public utility vehicles or jeepneys.

It can be gleaned that the city also won last year the first Red Orchid award for its successful implementation of the revolutionary programs on anti-smoking especially among youths.

BFP Iloilo Team is fire olympics champ

By Lilibeth A. French (LAF/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, April 5 (PIA6) -- The team from the Bureau of Fire Protection - Iloilo was declared champion in the first Modified Fire Olympics conducted in the region in line with the March Fire Prevention Month.

Held last March 23-24, the contest combined all types of rescue and firefighting events in one simultaneous amazing race style competition that showcased the capabilities of the BFP firefighters in the region.

Team Iloilo also took home four out of the six special awards of the competition. These awards are Best in Firefighting, Best in Vehicular Extrication, Best in Water Rescue and Best in Mass Casualty.

The team is composed of Fire Officers Revy Dacullo, Mark Anthony Lauro, Joe Sogo-an, Imee Joy Barrera, Angelo Tolosa, Ray Jabao, Ken Villa, Ronnel Ledesma, Ronnielyn Recampo, Loribelle Gengoni, Chander Barrera and Rade Cervatos.

On the other hand, Team Guimaras emerged first runner-up; Team Capiz, second runner-up; Negros Occidental, third runner-up; and Team Antique, 4th runner-up.

Team Aklan and Team Capiz were also adjudged Best in Discipline and Best in High Angle Rescue.

The People’s Choice Award was won by Team Capiz after it garnered a total of 433 likes on Facebook.

“The People’s Choice Award is given to the picture of the participating team with the most number of likes on Facebook which was posted from March 25 to 31. This is the internet side of the Modified Fire Olympics 2013, a first for BFP 6,” said BFP 6 Public Information Section Chief Stephen Jardeleza.

Jardeleza said the Modified Fire Olympics 2013 is a history-making competition since it is the first in Western Visayas and even in the country. It aimed to showcase the capabilities of the firefighters in the region who always risk their lives not only in fighting fire but also in conducting rescue in every emergency and behind the camera of media.

“The Fire Olympics was organized to also encourage our BFP personnel to continuously update their skills to better serve the public,” said Jardeleza.

Winners received their awards from BFP 6 Director Sr. Supt. Eleuterio Iturriaga and Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas’ Atty Theodore Banderado in a ceremony that capped the month-long observance held at the BFP covered ground at Gen. Macario Peralta Drive,Iloilo City. Banderado was the guest speaker of the event.

Iloilo City gets P2 million prize from DILG


ILOILO CITY, April 4 (PNA) -- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday turned-over to the city government the check worth P2 million for winning the prestigious "Gawad Pamana ng Lahi" (GPL)award as the best performing highly urbanized city in Western Visayas in 2012.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog received the check from Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) regional director Evelyn Trompeta.

“We will continue to work hard for the people of Iloilo City and to serve them with transparency and accountability,” Mayor Mabilog said.

The amount will be used to fund significant programs and projects of the city government, he stated.

The GPL is based on DILG’s Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS), which reflects a city’s financial accountability, economic, social and environmental governance, and other key areas.

Earlier, DILG city director Ferdinand Panes said the prize was originally P150,000 but was increased to P2 million in the form of Performance Challenge Fund (PCF).

The PCF is an incentive to local government units (LGUs) in the form of counterpart funding to high impact projects of LGUs in their Annual Investment Program which is sourced from the 20 percent Development Fund, he added.

40 companies join Iloilo Week job fair


ILOILO CITY, April 3 (PNA) -- Some 40 local and overseas companies are set to conduct a job fair as part of the forthcoming 112th Iloilo Week Celebration this coming April 10 at the capitol lobby.

Public Employment Service Officer (PESO) Francisco T. Heler Jr. said the job fair is in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office 6 headed by Dir. Ponciano Ligutom.

He said other companies have yet to confirm their participation to the one-day activity intended to provide employment for Ilonggo jobseekers.

The job fair is one of the activities for the week-long celebration of the foundation of Iloilo province to be held Monday to Friday next week.

DOLE gears up for Labor Month celebration

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

ILOILO CITY, April 2 (PIA6) -- The regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Western Visayas is gearing up for the annual Labor Month celebration in May.

DOLE 6 OIC Assistant Regional Director Salome Siaton said various activities have already been lined up including two major job fairs which will be held in the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod on May 1 which is also Labor Day.

As part of the preparation, Siaton said a meeting with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. and their other partner organizations had already been set this month to know the companies that will be joining the job fairs.

In the May 1 Labor Day job fairs which were conducted also in Bacolod and Iloilo City last year, some 1,344 job applicants were hired-on-the spot (HOTS), according to a DOLE 6 report. Iloilo City posted the highest number of HOTS with 732 while Bacolod City has 612.

Meanwhile, there will be livelihood fair, skills demonstration, video presentations and help desks that will be held also on May 1. The help desks will be manned by personnel of the National Labor Relations Commission, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Technical Education Skills and Development Authority and National Conciliation and Mediation Board.

The Professional Regulations Commission 6 has scheduled a Forum on Gender and Development on May 2.

Other activities with their tentative dates include A Capacity/Capability Building for TIPC members on May 6-7; Career Option Coaching on May 8; Workshop on the crafting of OJT manual on May 10; Intermediaries Summit and Worker’s Congress Night on May 16; Employer’s Forum on May 17; Construction Safety Training on May 20-24; Basic Occupational Safety & Health Training on May 27-31; Advocacy on Batas Kasambahay and Special Program for the Employment of Student Nite and Food Festival on May 30.

The month-long activity will be capped by a “Serenade at the Park” at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol Grounds on May 31. Ilonggo singer Jed Madela is invited to the event.

PCA urges coco farmers to avail of agri-salt fertilizer


ILOILO CITY, April 1 (PNA) -- The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has urged coconut farmers in Western Visayas to avail of the agri-salt fertilizer it is presently distributing.

PCA regional manager Jose Cruz said that they are distributing 100,000 bags of agri-salt fertilizer for free to small farmers owning coconut farms less than five hectares.

He said that the agri-salt fertilizer based on study could increase their coconut production by 20-30 percent.

Farmers will just have to coordinate with the PCA technicians or Department of Agriculture (DA) technicians in the municipalities so they could avail of the agri-salt fertilizer, Cruz said.

He said that farmers could also contact their municipal development officers who will bridge them with the technicians.

Cruz said farmers need to apply 2 ½ to 3 bags of fertilizer for every hectare of their coconut farms.

The PCA also distributed agri-salt fertilizer last year. It urged farmers who availed last year to also get their agri-salt fertilizer this year.