Iloilo City News April 2014

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Iloilo City - Archived News

Seal of Iloilo City
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Iloilo City, Iloilo
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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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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
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Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.

3,000 register for Labor Day job fair


ILOILO City, April 30 (PNA) -– Some 3,000 people have registered for the Labor Day Job Fair 2014, an event launched by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to help unemployed people get jobs.

The number of registered applicants was as of April 29, 2014. The registration started Monday and will run until Wednesday.

The job and livelihood fair this coming Thursday, May 1, 2014 will be held at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol, SM City Mall-Iloilo and SM City Mall-Bacolod.

The activity will be opened after a eucharistic celebration.

There are almost 50,000 jobs for local and overseas employment to be offered to aspiring applicants on Labor Day.

Group underscores importance of modern tech to PH competitiveness


ILOILO CITY, April 29 (PNA)-- The Google Business Group (GBG) in this city underscored the need for local small and medium entrepreneurs to take advantage of modern technology in promoting and growing their businesses.

"In this era, everyone is online," said Rayjand Gellamucho, co-community manager of GBG-Iloilo during the group's activity entitled GDayX, held at the Amigo Terrace Hotel over the weekend.

Small and medium business-owners, freelancers and young professionals took part in the affair which concentrated on using social media like Facebook and Twitter as tools that can advertise their products and services as well as engage the consumer community.

Some of the participants included businesses that offer catering and taxi services.

Gellamucho added that harnessing the advantages of social media can empower businesses and individuals on top of boosting local competitiveness in the midst of single market community in the Southeast Asian region slated next year.

Meanwhile, GBG-Iloilo has also launched the Women on the Web initiative on the same day as the GDayX event.

The program, which has been adopted by other GBG chapters all over the world, seeks to empower women entrepreneurs by increasing their participation in activities that can further boost their businesses.

Iloilo River mulled as anchor in city tours

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

ILOILO City – The Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 6 plans to make the Iloilo River an anchor of all city tours here.

Amphibious bus and boats have been proposed in all city tours to be implemented in the third quarter of this year until the last quarter of 2015.

DOT seeks to tap the private business sector to realize this plan.

However, the project will have to wait until further dredging of the Iloilo River, especially under the bridges.

Seeing the economic potentials of the Iloilo River, Ilonggo senator Franklin Drilon has been spearheading efforts to rehabilitate it these past few years.

Over the years, the 15-kilometer Iloilo River had been deteriorating because of pollution, sedimentation, depletion of mangrove areas, illegal settlers and the proliferation of manmade constrictions, among others.

Not anymore, declared Drilon.

“Today, the river is no longer a community toilet but a place where people can fish. What was once dismissed as dead river is now the venue of an annual dragon boat race,” the Senate President declared as he wooed businessmen to invest in Iloilo City last month.

Drilon dreams of making Iloilo a premier city by 2019.

But he stressed that the pursuit of economic success must be balanced by concern for the environment.

“One of the major projects that we have undertaken, of which I take personal pride, is the rehabilitation of the Iloilo River,” Drilon said.

He initiated its cleanup and redevelopment.

The Iloilo River, actually an arm of the sea, was dredged.

It is now navigable. Derelicts, sunken and idle vessels, as well as illegal fishpens, fishponds and dikes which blocked the river flow for decades were removed.

“We relocated informal settlers who were living on the banks of the Iloilo River, and are now settling them in the 1,000 units of low-cost housing we constructed,” said Drilon.

The body of water was also restored to its original boundaries based on a 1930 cadastral survey.

Along the Iloilo River, Drilon built the Iloilo Esplanade, a 1.2-kilometer recreational park designed by world-renowned landscape architect, Paulo Alcazaren.

The Iloilo Esplanade has become a tourist attraction, an exercise area and an entertainment destination.


BY GLENDA SOLOGASTOA (With a report from Agence France-Presse/PN)

Ilonggos recall John Paul visit

ILOILO City – Today, the whole Christian world is all eyes on the much-anticipated canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXII at the Vatican City.

Among these are the Ilonggos who were once visited by Pope John Paul II way back in April 1982.

Like other places in the world visited by Pope John Paul II, his relics and memorabilia when he visited Iloilo are being preserved at the Archbishop’s Palace in Jaro district where he stayed overnight.

Among his relics and memorabilia were a stool, a spoon, a fork, a plate, a bed and a podium he used while here.

Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo described the Ilonggos as “blessed” for having seen a saint in person.

“His manifestation of his sanctity,” Lagdameo said, “is his fidelity to the Church as well as to the people, his capacity to visit so many countries in his lifetime as a Pope.”

With his canonization, Ilonggos are likewise commemorating his visit.

For Saint Anne Parish priest, Fr. Esperidion “Boy” Celiz, Pope John Paul II’s visit was a great opportunity for the Ilonggos because he was the first pontiff to visit here.

“We have seen a real thing…that event indi madula sa aton kabuhi. That’s a precious gift,” Fr. Celiz said.

Pope John Paul II visited Iloilo 22 years ago but images of it remain fresh in Fr. Celiz’s mind.

The then young priest remembered the thousands of Ilonggos gathered outside the Archbishop’s Palace holding candles, singing and praying.

It was already nearing dawn but the Pope did not sleep yet; he addressed the faithful gathered outside, he said.

Celiz said a Mass will be held today at Saint Anne Parish to celebrate the canonization of Pope John Paul II.

On other hand, simultaneous with the canonization of John Paul II is the opening of the John Paul Tower in Bacolod City.

The seven-storey tower museum displays the pictures, relics and memorabilia of John Paul II when he also visited that city in 1981.

In front of the tower is an eight-foot statue of the Pope.

Today’s canonization at the Vatican will be presided over by Pope Francis and may be attended by his elderly predecessor Benedict XVI, bringing two living pontiffs together to celebrate two deceased predecessors.

Delegations from 54 countries are expected, including 24 heads of state, as well as hundreds of thousands from across the world.

A piece of John XXIII’s skin, taken when his body was exhumed for his beatification in 2000, will be on show, alongside a vial of John Paul II’s blood.

The ceremony will be attended by Costa Rican Floribeth Mora, whose claim to have been healed from a brain aneurysm by praying for John Paul’s intercession was accepted as one of the two “confirmed” miracles normally required for sainthood.

The pontiff, who reigned from 1978 to 2005, was credited with performing another miracle just six months after his death, when a French nun said she had been cured, through prayer, of Parkinson’s — a debilitating disease from which he had also suffered.

DOLE steps up efforts to hire more jobseekers on Labor Day Jobs Fair


ILOILO CITY, Apr. 26 (PNA)-The regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-6) stepped up its efforts to increase the number of job seekers by inviting more local companies and overseas recruitment agencies to participate in this year’s Labor Day celebration cum Job and Livelihood Fairs on May 1 at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol and SM City Malls in Iloilo and Bacolod Cities.

The Iloilo Provincial Capitol will be the center of all activities in relation to this year’s Labor Day celebration with the theme, “Sa Sipag, Talino, at Tiyaga, Buong Mundo Saludo Sa Manggagawang Pilipino.”

DOLE-6 Regional director Ponciano M. Ligutom is urging companies with available job vacancies to sign up by logging on to and post their vacancies.

Ligutom disclosed that to date, a total of 130 local companies and overseas recruitment agencies have thus far signed up to join in the said activity on May 1 with 42,322 vacancies and he expects that the number to increase significantly by April 30.

“The number of participating local companies and overseas recruitment agencies as well as the number of vacancies will surely increase as more companies are signing up to join in this Labor Day job fair,” Ligutom said.

For Iloilo City alone, 76 local employers and overseas recruitment agencies have signed up with close to 18,000 vacancies while in Bacolod City, 54 have signified to join with more than 25,000 jobs available.

The ten most important career options offered for local employment include customer service representative, accounting clerk, production personnel, program assistant, service crew, driver, janitor, cashier, marketing officer/supervisor, marketing staff, electrical personnel, mason, painter, plumber, steelman and carpenter as well as mechanical and civil engineer.

For overseas employment, the top ten vacancies include household service worker, driver, babysitter, male cleaner, physical therapist, cook, nurse, waiter, occupational therapist and foreman.

He is thus encouraging job seekers to bring all the necessary documents when they join the job fair so as to increase their chances of getting hired. These are copies of detailed resumé,diploma, transcript of record, 2x2 pictures, certificates of employment (if any), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) license and certificates of competencies, if any. For overseas employment, jobseekers are urged to bring, in addition to the above documents, a copy of their passport.

He is further encouraging applicants to pre-register for easy matching of skills and the available vacancies. The pre-registration will start on April 26-27, 2014 at the DOLE Iloilo-Guimaras Field Office, Swan-Rose Bldg., Commission Civil Street, Jaro, Iloilo City as well as on April 28-30, 2014 at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol, Bonifacio Drive and Iloilo City Public Employment Service Office (PESO) at the 5th Floor of the Iloilo City Hall, Plaza Libertad, Iloilo City.

The DOLE celebrates this year’s Labor Day job and livelihood fair in partnership with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Iloilo, Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Inc., Iloilo Provincial and City Public Employment Service Offices, STI College, Interface Computer College, ABS-CBN, and TESDAn Supervised Schools in Iloilo, (TSSII), Inc.

Other partners include the Regional Coordinating Council member-agencies such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration , National Labor Relations Commission, Technical Education & Skills Development Authority, Professional Regulations Commission, National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) and Regional Tripartite Wages & Productivity Board.

Iloilo vice gov thanks cop chiefs, health officers for services during 'Yolanda'


ILOILO CITY, April 25 (PNA) -– Iloilo Vice Governor Raul C. Tupas thanked the chiefs of police (COPs) and their personnel and the health officers for their services during the height of super typhoon "Yolanda".

“Today is the celebration of commitment and responsibility,” Tupas said Friday.

The vice governor led the distribution of certificates of recognition to the police and health officers at the capitol lobby during the Education Forum on Natural Hazards and Recognition Program.

He said that the provincial government greatly appreciates their selfless services to rescue and provide assistance to the typhoon-affected families in the province.

“You have greatly helped the provincial government during the time when your services were needed most,” Tupas told the honorees.

He said that the impact of the typhoon to Ilonggo residents was cushioned because the COPs were on hand to give proper directions to the people.

Iloilo Provincial Police Office Director Cornelio Salinas who worked closely with the Vice Governor - who was the OIC-Governor when "Yolanda" struck - ordered the COPs to implement forced evacuation on families that are living along riverbanks and in flood prone areas, resulting in many lives saved.

PDRRMC executive officer Jerry Bionat, in an interview, said that because of the many volunteers who have responded and helped in the rescue operations during the height of "Yolanda" November 8 of last year, they are giving the recognition by batches to COPs and health officers.

First to be recognized last April 10 were the various response teams composed of around 300 volunteers. On the second week of May, the different media organizations in Iloilo will also be recognized along with the Philippines News Agency.

Kids should learn energy saving tips

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

ILOILO CITY, April 24 (PIA) --- Parents are encouraged to teach their children on the importance of saving energy while they are young.

In the Earth Day celebration spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-6 held recently, Engr. Rex Debuque, Environment Head of the Global Business Power Corporation (GBPC), said that training kids on the different ways to save power will not only contribute to energy conservation but will also help protect the environment.

“Reminding the children to turn off the lights after and when not in use can already make a difference in saving energy,” said Debuque.

He said that children should also be informed of the household electricity consumption every time the power bill comes so they will be aware of what to do to save money and conserve electricity.

“Parents can also ask suggestions from their children ways to make the home more energy-efficient in order to lower the power bills,” he also said.

He also advised parents to remind the children to put only enough food on their plates during meals as a means to conserve energy and preserve the environment.

“Putting more than what you can consume will not only result to wasted food but also wasted energy that was utilized during the food processing,” he said.

He stressed that energy conservation is not only the role of the Department of Energy and the DENR but also of ordinary citizens consuming power at home or at work.

He added that teaching the younger generation the value of energy conservation now will impact on their lifestyle in the future.

DSWD-6 readies social pension for senior citizens


ILOILO CITY, April 23 (PNA) -– The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 6 is all set to start validation of at least 11,873 indigent senior citizens aged over 77 years old and targeted to receive a monthly social pension of P500 each.

The new validation to start in May will also focus on 940 families in need of special protection in Western Visayas under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program-Families in Need of Special Protection (MCCT-FNSP).

Wenna Bendol of the DSWD regional office said the special validation by the Listahanan is expected to legitimize the resumption of the payment of monthly stipends to senior citizen beneficiaries.

The special validation of the MCCT-FNSP beneficiaries will result in their inclusion in the Listahanan database that will guarantee their advancement to the regular Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Bendol said that for the first quarter of 2014, only 4,478 indigent senior citizens have received their monthly stipend after it was found that they are the only ones who are included in the database of Listahanan.

The suspension of the payment of the monthly stipends of those who are not in the database is based on the General Appropriations Act which includes a provision that only those in the NHTS list, now known as Listahanan, can be paid.

Presently, there are more than 32,000 indigent senior citizens in the entire Western Visayas. With the special validation, it is expected that senior citizens who are not in the database but were earlier recommended by their respective local government units be included in the Social Pension and receive their monthly stipends.

City council okays P7.4-M supplemental budget


ILOILO CITY, April 22 (PNA) -– The Sangguniang Panlungsod has approved without cut the P7.415 million General Fund Supplemental Budget No. 1 for 2014 but rejected the Local Economic Enterprise (LEEO) Supplemental Budget No. 1 for 2014 amounting to P15.34 million as payment to the Panay Electric Company (PECO) for electricity consumption from December 2012 to June 2013.

Appropriations committee chairman, city councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo said the General Fund supplemental budget will include the fund for capital outlay for Peace and Order Program in the purchase of three new units of L-300 vans amounting a total of P2.7 million.

Peñaredondo said the three vans will be placed under the city mayor’s office for use of visitors of the city and other emergency uses since the city government is hosting an Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) Ministerial Meeting by 2015.

General Services Office chief Joren Sartorio said the purchase of the vans will be placed under an open public bidding while admitting that supplier Avescor Corp. has offered the city government the use of two new vans without cost to the city as a way of helping the city cope up with its hundreds of visitors everyday including foreign dignitaries, top corporate and national government officials.

Other particulars under the General Fund supplemental budget are payment of terminal leave benefits of employees, salary, PERA and premiums, capital outlay for projects of disability affairs office, Breaking Barriers for Young Adults with Disabilities, peace and order program, documentary stamps, repair and maintenance of office equipment, fund for the city assessor’s office, city treasurer’s office, BAC office and local disaster risk reduction management office.

On the other hand, the LEEO supplemental budget of P15.34 million payable account for electricity consumption at the Iloilo terminal market was put on hold pending a copy of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) order to obligate payable accounts within the year.

City councilor Plaridel Nava and Joshua Alim claimed the payable accounts to PECO can be paid from funds sourced from other programs but the payment cannot go beyond the DBM order.

Nava said he doesn’t want city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog facing a case at the Ombudsman because of infraction of the DBM order.

However, Peñaredondo said the offices of the city mayor and the city councilor nor the city treasurer and city budget have not received a communication from the DBM regarding payment of the PECO payable accounts in 2012-2013 using the budget of 2014.

Iloilo Commercial Port Complex gears for ISO certification

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

ILOILO CITY, April 21 (PIA) --- The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is gearing towards the implementation of the Quality Management System (QMS) on the facilitation of Vessel Entrance and Clearance (VEC) procedures at the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex.

In the project launching of the QMS-VEC held Monday at the Iloilo Grand Hotel here, Engr. Manuel Boholano, Port Management Office (PMO)-Iloilo Port Manager, said that Iloilo has been identified as one of the key ports in the country working towards the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 certification.

He said the ISO Quality Management System (QMS) is being pushed by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in compliance with the requirements of Executive Order 605 which directs all government instrumentalities to be ISO certified.

The ISO 9001:2008 specifies requirements for a QMS where an organization aims to align work or business processes to consistently meet citizen’s requirements and achieve customer satisfaction.

“The PPA top management has declared its commitment to develop and implement the QMS in the Port of Iloilo” he said

Boholano said that the ISO certification will pave way for the Port of Iloilo to become globally competitive in terms of prompt but quality rendering of services for client satisfaction.

“The QMS-VEC procedure will have an improvement in the port’s core processes including vessel entrance formalities, assessment of charges, collection of charges and departure clearance,” he also said.

He added said that if Iloilo obtains the ISO certification, it will be the sixth standardized port in the country after Batangas, Zamboanga, Cagayan De Oro, Davao, and General Santos City.

Volunteerism new currency for dev’t


ILOILO City – Gawad Kalinga (GK) executive director Jose Luis Oquiñena said volunteerism is the new currency for development.

At the closing ceremonies of Bayani Challenge 2014 here, Oquiñena said volunteerism can tap massive resources from people that even the poorest can contribute.

“When we work together and we join hands together, what is built is not the school or a house but the sense of nationhood,” he said.

“Walang Iwanan” (leaving no one behind) was this year’s tagline for the Bayani Challenge. This was so, he said, because there was a need for Filipinos to be intimately connected to each other.

“We cannot be disassociated from the pains or issues of the people from Luzon or Mindanao nor they can be disassociated from the sufferings of the people here in the Visayas,” he explained.

He said Filipinos should expect help from one another when disaster strikes or when issues are being faced by our fellow countrymen.

Oquiñena lauded the “100 percent participation” of the 180 barangays during the city-wide do day clean up activity last week as part of the Bayani Challenge here in Iloilo City.

Aside from the city-wide clean up activity, the Bayani Challenge 2014 event also accomplished the following:

  • path walk build
  • house build
  • crochet workshop
  • health mission, and
  • paraisong pambata workshop.

Bayani Challenge is an annual volunteerism activity.

P212M allotted for TESDA trainings in WV


ILOILO City -- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has a budget of P212 million for technical-vocational training programs in Western Visayas for the current year 2014.

It is a substantial part of the P1.02-billion budget for the entire country.

No less than TESDA’s Secretary-General Joel Villanueva broke the news yesterday in a breakfast forum with the local media at the Amigo Terrace Hotel on Tuesday.

The lion’s share of the Western Visayas budget, he enthused, would cover TESDA’s Special Training for Employment Program (STEP).

Its allocation of P99.4 million would cover 4,356 beneficiaries.

TESDA in Western Visayas is now under the leadership of a veteran marketing executive, Regional Director Toni June Tamayo.

Villanueva revealed that through STEP, even the out-of-school youths from far-flung areas, may enroll for free in a skill training of their choice.

“Our office will reach out to the communities to attract trainees,” Villanueva said. “The vocational courses we offer will assure them of job placements as soon as they pass assessment.”

Even women in men’s jobs such as welding, carpentry and masonry are in demand abroad.

Among the successful trainees who have trained and received their national certificates from TESDA, Villanueva revealed, are more than 100,000 sari-sari store owners. These store owners have studied basic accounting, bookkeeping and accountancy.

Other training programs offered by TESDA are Training for Work Scholarship Program, Private Educational Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) and TESDA Emergency Response Rehabilitation and Recovery.

DOH lauds Iloilo for anti-smoking policy


ILOILO City – The Department of Health (DOH) supports concerted effort to make this city smoke-free.

“Iloilo City is one of the few local government units in the Philippines that have successfully passed a very comprehensive ordinance on tobacco control,” said Dr. Paulyn Rossel-Ubial, DOH assistant secretary.

She was referring to the Iloilo City Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance.

Ubial told participants of the “Orientation of Iloilo City’s Punong Barangays on Tobacco Control Policies” held at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center on Wednesday that Iloilo City is next to Davao and Marikina cities that have “excellent” anti-tobacco policies and campaigns.

Almost all of Iloilo City’s barangay captains present in the seminar agreed to help enforce the city’s anti-smoking ordinance.

The biggest challenge in eliminating tobacco use is not passing an anti-smoking ordinance but enforcing it, Ubial pointed out.

She added that nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco, is more addictive than common illegal drugs such as cocaine, shabu and marijuana.

The DOH also considers tobacco smoking as the No. 1 cause of fatal but preventable diseases in the world, including lung cancer.

An estimated 600,000 Filipinos die every year from smoke-related diseases, Ubial revealed.

The top two causes of death in the Philippines are stroke and heart attack and the risk of dying from these diseases is 10 times higher for people who smoke, she stressed.

The Global Adult Survey conducted in 2010 showed that 44 percent of the male population and 19 percent of the female population in the Philippines are smokers.

Around 22 percent of the populace, or one out of five Filipinos, are engaged in smoking.

“The percentage is very high and we hope to have it lowered,” Ubial said.

Meanwhile, the city government is continuously working towards the strict implementation of the anti-smoking policy, said Inigo Garingalao, Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Taskforce (ICAST) director.

The city government, through ICAST, is concentrating on the elimination of campaign posters and print advertisements promoting the consumption of cigarettes in places where teenagers are exposed, including malls, sari-sari stores, restaurants and eateries.

These ads are also banned in schools, medical facilities.

Garingalao said almost all of these ads have been pulled down, and a good number of store owners and barangay officials who know about the policy have taken them down voluntarily to avoid the fines imposed on violators.

The total ban on these advertisements is stated in the comprehensive anti-smoking and was based on Republic Act (RA) 9211, the law regulating the packaging, sale distribution and advertisements of tobacco products.

The anti-smoking ordinance also includes the following prohibitions:

(1) Not putting up “NO SMOKING” signboards in the entrance and interior areas of the establishments;

(2) Providing ash trays in tables within the NO SMOKING AREA;

(3) Knowingly allowing, abetting or tolerating smoking of any tobacco products or using electronic device systems;

(4) Designating Smoking Areas within the buildings or establishments is a smoke-free establishment;

(5) Selling/allowing minors to smoke in their establishments;

(6) Non-declaration in the business Permit indicating that their establishment is a smoke-free one.

(7) Allowing smoking during events;

(8) Selling cigarettes in front of schools within 100 meters as stated on RA 9211 / No cigarette poster, billboards, tarpaulins and promotion materials and the like;

(9) Selling of cigarettes within the 20-meter perimeter or recreational activities, hospitals, medical clinics pharmacies and laboratories and

(10) Not putting up “NO SMOKING” signs on public utility vehicles.

DOT eyes Iloilo River as anchor in city tours


ILOILO CITY, April 16 (PNA)– The Department of Tourism (DOT) regional office is eyeing the Iloilo River as an anchor of all city tours here.

DOT Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the inclusion of the river in all city tours notched a sustained implementation since January 2013 until December 31, 2016 and beyond.

Similarly, the Seven Bridges of Blessings tour to be implemented this year is based on the inspiration of great people and events while awaiting completion of bridges repair and development along the Iloilo River.

The amphibious bus and boat tour shall be used in all city tours to be implemented in the third quarter until the last quarter of 2015. The project was proposed to Senate President Franklin M. Drilon and the project is in partnership with the private business sector to present a bid for prototype and design.

However, the project will have to wait until further dredging of the Iloilo River especially under the bridges as recommended.

The cruise and drive tour within this year will start from Iloilo City for a tour of Western Visayas connecting the islands of Panay, Guimaras and Negros Occidental using the roll on-roll off (roro) ships and tour buses and vans.

On the other hand, DOT is now finalizing the express elevator project at the cityhall. Committed by DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez, the Php 15 million elevator was designed with budgetary requirements by the Tourism Investment Enhancement Zone Authority (TIEZA).

Catalbas said the tourism office is also planning an investment and tourism mission in Malaysia and Singapore proposed last week of May this year. Also, a two-week presentation and travel fair showcase is planned to be held at the Luneta Park in September 2014.

CAAP, MARINA say all systems go

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

ILOILO CITY, April 16 (PIA) --- The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) in Western Visayas assured that all systems are in place to ensure a safe and convenient observance of the Holy Week.

This is in line with the Oplan Ligtas Biyahe of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) that has instructed all transport agencies to take necessary measures to ensure security at terminals and stations, quick response capability in cases of emergencies, and enhanced facilities and services to meet the needs of our travelers during this peak season.

CAAP-6 said that they have set up information desks in all airports in the region including the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan town here since April 11 and will run until April 22.

The help desks are positioned in the arrival and departure areas with personnel ready to handle passengers’ questions and concerns.

CAAP-6 said that they are also conducting random airport facility inspections.

Meanwhile, MARINA-6 has also been conducting random monitoring of all passenger vessels in all ports in the region since April 2 and will run until April 18.

MARINA-6 has put-up public assistance desks that are ready and prepared to respond to any maritime incident immediately.

CAAP-6 and MARINA-6 are mandated to be on heightened alert during the observance of Holy Week.

For CAAP-6 hotlines, call 329-9500 local 3312 for police assistance and local 3287 for civil service intelligence. For MARINA-6 in case of complaints and queries, call 329-6490.

Iloilo breaks new Guinness world record for largest flaming image


ILOILO CITY, April 15 (PNA) -- Rain could not even hamper placing the Philippines, particularly Iloilo’s name, again in the Guinness Book of World Records for lighting up a total of 56,680 candles on a 20-hectare vacant lot located within the Savannah City in Oton, Iloilo, Monday night.

The lighted candles were formed by thousands of volunteers into its “Light of Peace” logo and its motto, “World Peace Through Inner Peace” with the Philippines map on its side while the other candles were also lit reaching the 100,000 goal.

The Middle Way Meditation Institute (MMI) of Thailand organized the event.

The country broke the record of Pakistan of 35,478 lighted candles four years ago.

Guest and former Senator Manuel Villar Jr. said our country has suffered from conflicts, violence and calamities but peace can be attained.

“We will continue the spirit of community beyond this event to continue cultivating that peace is possible”, he said.

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro said peace has been the dream of all nations.

“We should not stop dreaming big and very big. Every dream begins within. Let’s just watch miracle as lights merge with 100,000 candles”, he said.

MMI chairperson Anant Asavabokhin said no such happiness could ever explain experiencing the joy brought by meditation within. "Seeking happiness could be found in the center of the body and the everlasting peace that we are longing for has already come true," he said.

One of the volunteers Lilibeth Huergo said they are very lucky to be part of making the new record of largest flaming in world. She said as one of the homeowners, they are blessed to witness the event just outside their residence.

“It is very amazing and something that we are very proud of”, she said.

Since last year, Iloilo has started making its name in the field of world records for releasing simultaneously 15, 185 sky lanterns in just a single event at the University of the Philippines–Visayas Miag-ao campus breaking the record of Romania's 12, 470 lanterns released in 2012.

Iloilo is food-ready for APEC 2015


ILOILO CITY, April 14 (PNA) -– Business establishments catering to the food industry in this southern city are ready to serve some 1,500 guests and delegates to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 conference with Iloilo City hosting the Ministerial Conference on Food Security slated on October 15-17, 2015.

The Iloilo Business Club and the Department of Tourism regional office here, in collaboration with the Iloilo Hotel, Restaurant and Resort Association (IHRRA) recently finished a training on international cuisine designed primarily for APEC delegates.

The mentoring and certification on food preparation and presentation for APEC 2015 was highlighted by a graduation of chefs and cooks. However, the DOT said the training on international cuisine is ongoing as more business establishments in the food industry is sprouting in the city.

On the other hand, a seminar on the preparation of halal food is being planned for the first quarter of 2015. The DOT regional office, the city government of Iloilo and IHRRA will be on the front line in food presentation for APEC delegates mostly composed of Muslim country representatives.

APEC is composed of 21 member nations and only the Philippines is considered a Christian country while the rest are Muslims and other Asian races. The Ministerial Conference on Food Security is spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Similarly, DA Regional Director Larry Nacionales said that Western Visayas is a top food producer of the country and there is no fear of acute shortage of food materials for the specific needs and taste of APEC delegates.

Nacionales said the region is ready to supply food materials including halal food not only to the APEC delegates but also for the burgeoning international community and business locators in the city and province of Iloilo.

Digital media, climate change up in IO training


ILOILO CITY, April 13 (PIA) – The Philippine Information Agency in Western Visayas is set to facilitate training on “Maximizing the Use of Digital Media, Social Networks for Climate Change Mitigation and Tourism Promotions.”

This three-day live-in training will be on May 7-9, 2014 at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center, Iloilo City.

PIA-6 Director Janet Mesa said the recent calamities in the region have shown the importance of the digital media and social networks in effecting fast response, recovery and rehabilitation of hard-hit areas.

“The front liners here are our disaster risk reduction and management officers, information officers and even tourism officers,” Mesa said.

The training, Mesa said, is intended to equip these front liners with ample knowledge and skills in the effective use of the digital media and relevant applications.

Among the resource persons are Dr. Cedric Daep of Albay Provincial Government, Max Limpag of Innopub, Cebu City and a host of other experts, on topics like Blogging, Cyber Ethics, Infographics, Effective Social Media Tips/Tools and Mindset, Online Journalism.

PIA will partner with Smart Communications which will provide the speakers during the seminar.

“Smart Communications has always been supporting our training initiatives and we hope to make this work well with our partners in government agencies and the grassroots,” Mesa said.

Mesa added that it is also the aim of the training to develop among the front liners the confidence to use the digital media as an indispensable tool in their work, especially in promoting development through climate change mitigation.

For other details, interested participants may inquire from the PIA Information Centers in the provinces, or at the Regional Office through telephone numbers (033-3378719/509-09-93)

Citywide cleanup today

By Lucy Montealto-Sinay (Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City — All 180 barangays here and city government officials and employees will take part in a citywide cleanup today from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the activity is in line with Bayani Challenge 2014, the “largest volunteer action in history.”

Participants are encouraged to tie a yellow ribbon on their wrist, document their activity and post pictures on the official Facebook page created specifically for the event.

All the barangays will upload their pictures on the Doc Jed Mabilog Facebook account.

“Together with a million volunteers in 12 provinces, let us put our faith into action by rendering service to our communities,” Mabilog said in a memorandum on the cleanup.

Mabilog led the launching of Bayani Challenge in Ateneo de Iloilo yesterday.

Eleven towns in Iloilo province will soon hold their respective activities related to Bayani Challenge: Batad, Sta. Barbara, Concepcion, Sara, New Lucena, Dumangas, Carles, Barotac Viejo, Ajuy, Estancia and Pototan.

Organized by Gawad Kalinga, the event seeks to gather one million volunteers to aid in nation-building efforts for disaster-stricken provinces in Visayas and Mindanao.

Activities from April 9 to June 12 will include building of homes, repair of classrooms, mangrove planting, coastal cleanups and health missions.

The summer event has earned support from Malacañang, with no less than a memorandum from Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. encouraging the participation of all heads of departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the national government, including government-owned and -controlled corporations, state universities and colleges, and local government units.

Take the Bayani Challenge: Build and transform lives

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

ILOILO CITY, April 11 (PIA6) -- Gawad Kalinga’s 2014 Bayani Challenge through its summer activities is embarking on a journey to build and transform families, homes and communities in Iloilo affected by typhoon “Yolanda” and thus contribute to nation-building.

This is the gist of the message shared by former Ateneo de Manila University president and Gawad Kalinga champion Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, S.J. at the launching on Friday, April 11 of the 2014 Bayani Challenge at the Ateneo de Iloilo gym attended by hundreds of GK leaders, organizers and volunteers.

Fr. Nebres, who has actively joined Gawad Kalinga in its community activities since 2003, said this would be the ultimate triumph of the program and where families are bound by better and stronger relations with God, their own members and community and others.

Speaking before Fr. Nebres’ turn, GK Iloilo head Mary Rose Cacho said that together with its volunteers Bayani Challenge will not only build houses of survivors destroyed by the November 2013 super typhoon but will build them better and more beautiful.

And in keeping with the GK mission, Cacho said we will build lives, give back to the least, and empower the weakest through the bayanihan, which is a uniquely Filipino trait.

The grand opening ceremonies ushered in hometown activities that will bring Bayani Challenge to Iloilo City and the municipalities of Batad, Sta. Barbara, Conception, Sara, Dumangas, New Lucena, Carles, Ajuy, Barotac Viejo, and Estancia.

New Lucena was the host of Bayani Challenge 2013. This year, it’s Iloilo City’s turn to host the event. During the launch, Mayor Liezel Mondejar Seville turned over the GK Bayani Challenge host flag to Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Mabilog said the city is giving some 16,000 volunteers to the BC 2014 activities here. The GK San Isidro Villages in Jaro district and GK Uswag-Smart-PLDT Amazing Village in Sooc, Arevalo are the sites of Bayani Challenge in the host city.

The mayors and representative officials of the municipalities involved this year were formally introduced as part of the opening ceremonies.

Bayani Challenge activities will include house-building, Paraisong Pambata, health training, school refurbishing, balangay boat making, relief operations, river and coastal cleanup, psychological first aid, rehabilitation of GK villages, tree and mangrove planting, and building of artificial reef and marine sanctuary.

The event has for its theme “Walang Iwanan”. The nationwide program of GK targets to have 1 million volunteers.

DENR, PIA join forces for intensified IEC on climate change

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

ILOILO CITY, April 10 (PIA) --- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-6 and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-6 have joined forces to intensify the information, education, and communication (IEC) campaign on climate change mitigation.

In the joint DENR-PIA workshop on held Tuesday, DENR-6 Regional Executive Director Jim Sampulna said that climate change is upon us so there is a need to strengthen the IEC utilizing the information expertise of the PIA.

“PIA will serve as the voice box in this campaign with DENR providing the necessary technical expertise,” he said.

The DENR and PIA has signed a memorandum of agreement that would pave way for the conduct of a nationwide advocacy and social mobilization campaign on climate change adaptation and mitigation among the various sectors of society.

Under the agreement, PIA will provide technical, administrative and management services in the implementation of Climate Change Advocacy Campaign in the regional level.

Likewise, PIA will develop and maintain social media community and platform and organize networks of program advocates in the region.

PIA will also organize and conduct advocacy events and activities including campus tours and community fora in the region.

The DENR official said that he also want the IEC to include the Oplan SWIM or the Sustainable Work plan for Iloilo River Management.

Oplan SWIM is DENR’s comprehensive work plan for the rehabilitation of the Iloilo River system and its creek tributaries such as the Dungon and Calajunan creeks.

Iloilo City FL lauds outstanding women awardees

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

ILOILO CITY, April 9 (PIA6) - - Iloilo City First Lady Maria Victoria Griengo-Mabilog lauded the awardees of The Outstanding Women of Iloilo City (TOWIL) 2014 for being in the forefront of inspiring and effecting beneficial and significant change in the community.

Mabilog who is also the Founding President of the Red Ladies Iloilo, Inc. was the guest speaker during the TOWIL 2014 awarding ceremony at Robinson’s Place-Iloilo, recently.

Among the recipient of this year’s TOWIL award is Elsa Subong, Philippine Information Agency – Iloilo Information Center Manager who was recognized for her contribution in media, public information and journalism.

Other awardees include Dr. Diana Aure (Academe), Mary Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing (Business, Corporation and Entrepreneurship), Fely Batiloy (Culture and Arts), Meldy Castor (Differently-Abled Persons), Ma. Rita Bascos-Sarabia (Judiciary), Febite Ibojos (NGO/Civic Organizations), Cheryl Duenas (Professional Service), J/Insp. Imee Lopera (Protective Services), Sr. Rosamond Marie Abadesco (Religious Sector) Dr. Mary Jane Amar (Science and Technology) and Punong Barangay Cherrie Lebrillo (Volunteerism, Social & Community Service)

In her message, Mabilog said the awardees who were unanimously chosen for their exemplary performance in their respective fields are proof that women regardless of socio-economic status can do anything, can achieve every goal if they set their minds to.

She cited them for their contribution in community building, promoting responsible citizenship, serving as role models of their peers and the future generations and helping the City Mayor turned Iloilo City into a world class, law abiding and disciplined population center that “we all can be proud of”.

“As a fellow Ilonggo, I believe it is in your blood and character not just to advocate but to actively work so that Iloilo City realizes its vision and aspirations. I am confident that you will continue to do so,” said Mabilog.

She also urged these women exemplars to continue to be partners of the City Mayor and everyone working in the government to push Iloilo City forward to the pinnacle of greatness.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, City Councilors Liezl Joy Zulueta Salazar, Nielex Tupas, Joshua Alim, Armand Parcon and past awardees including PIA 6 Director Atty. Janet Mesa attended the awarding ceremony which marked the culmination of the Women Month celebration in the city.

The event carrying the theme of this year’s Women Monthy celebration “Juana, Ang Tatag Mo ay Tatag Natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong” was spearheaded by the Iloilo City Council’s Committee on Women and Family Relations Moral Values and Recovery chaired by Zulueta and the Iloilo City Government Gender and Development Team.

Holiday, events to mark Araw ng Kagitingan

By Leonard T. Pineda I (JCM/LAF/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, April 8 (PIA6) - - The heroism of Filipino veterans during World War II will be commemorated in this city through various events on April 9, Araw ng Kagitingan which is declared a regular holiday nationwide.

Presidential Proclamation No. 466 series of 1989 also declares the period April 5 to 11 of every year as Philippine Veterans Week in the country.

Currently, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office 6 (PVAO 6) is in coordination with the provincial and city government of Iloilo, Department of Tourism, and the different veterans associations in the preparations for the Sunrise Ceremony to be held at the Balantang Memorial Cemetery National Shrine in Balantang, Jaro starting at 7 AM on Wednesday.

PVAO 6 Director Janet Faderan said the activity will be done simultaneously in the different identified sites across the country on April 9.

A Malacanang report said that President Benigno Aquino III will lead the commemoration in Mt. Samal National Shrine, Pilar, Bataan.

To further raise public awareness on the observance of these two events this year, the 3rd Civil Military Operations Batallion, 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army will host a Photo and Static Display at SM City Mandurriao starting from April 8 to 10.

The event carrying the theme “Dagyaw Para sa Kalinaw” (Convergence of Peace) will feature Photo Exhibit, Historical and Audio Visual Presentations, Static Display of Military Hardware and Disaster Response and Rescue Equipage.

Elementary and high-school students will be given the opportunity to show their creativity and artistic talent in the poster making contest that is set on April 9.

Also, government agencies will get the chance to showcase their uniforms through a Ramp Show on April 8 and 9.

3CMOB Operations Officer Cpt. Russel Anthony Bumanglag said some of the agencies that confirmed their participation in the Ramp Show are the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Air Force, Philippine National Red Cross, Department of Social Welfare and Development, among others.

A blood-letting activity will also be undertaken at the second floor of the mall from 10 AM to 3 PM on April 9.

Awarding of trophies for the winners in the poster making contest, photo gallery and ramp show and live performance from the Philippine Army Band will culminate the three-day event.

Bumanglag said the activities are done in partnership with the local government units and agencies, civil society and non-government organizations, business, and religious groups in Iloilo to also promote the Army’s Bayanihan concept of “Winning the Peace”.

Iloilo launches Beach Forest program

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

ILOILO CITY, April 7 (PIA) --- The Iloilo provincial government established a beach forest in Tigbauan town here to restore mangrove areas in order to fight the adverse effects of climate change.

Dr. Rex Sadaba, professor at the University of the Philippines Visayas, said the Iloilo province is pioneer in the country to launch a beach forest program.

The project covers 10 hectares of shoreline spanning Barangays 9, Poblacion, Atabayan, Barroc and Baguingin. It will cost P197-million for one year of implementation.

Sadaba said that the beach forest is a mixed association of creepers, shrubs, and trees above the high tide level. These species form an impenetrable thicket in pristine forests and referred to as “beach jungle” by early explorers.

He said that the beach forest has a bioshield function which serves as protection against storm surges, prevents coastal erosion, provides medicines and has a great potential for industrial applications.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. urged the Ilonggos to support this program to care for the environment and avert the revenge of nature as shown by the huge impact of super typhoon Yolanda particularly in northern Iloilo towns.

The establishment of the beach forest is part of the Action for Regreening and Transformation for Climate Change Adaptation (ART for CCA) program of the provincial government.

The official launching also kicked off the celebration for the 113th founding anniversary of Iloilo province.

Montinola Bridge better, stronger


ILOILO City – The Montinola Bridge in Jaro district is deemed better and stronger than it was before it was retrofitted.

The bridge is now open to traffic after a month of repairs.

The retrofitting had a total budget of P27 million, said District Engineer Rodney Gustilo of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The 57-year-old Montinola Bridge links the city to the town of Leganes, Iloilo and other central and northern Iloilo municipalities.

An estimated 44,800 vehicles use the bridge daily.

“We finished the retrofitting before our target date because we doubled our effort,” said Gustilo.

The repairs were initially thought to last for some four months.

During the repairs, passenger jeepneys from northern Iloilo and private vehicles took alternate roads to enter and leave the city.

Public utility jeepneys (PUJs) – Leganes-La Paz route, Balabago-Bitoon, Jaro Liko-NFA and Jaro Liko-Tagbak – took the adjacent Washington Bridge.

The rest of the PUJs bound for the city took either the circumferential road in Brgy. Buhang, Jaro district and exit in Brgy. Ungka II, Pavia town, or the coastal road that led to La Granja St. in La Paz district.

They took the same route on return trip.

In a related development, two more bridges will be repaired, this time in La Paz district – the Loboc and Rizal bridges.

Repairs will start sometime this month.

DPWH said the two bridges were already structurally unsafe for vehicles, especially big trucks.

The Loboc Bridge repair has a budget of P14 million while the Rizal Bridge, P18 million.

Megaworld allots P5 B for Iloilo office towers

By Neil Jerome C. Morales with Jennifer Rendon (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - Megaworld Corp., the flagship firm of property tycoon Andrew L. Tan, allotted P5 billion to put up numerous office towers in its P35-billion township project in Western Visayas.

In a disclosure, Megaworld said that within a decade, it will build 10 office towers in the 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park, the firm’s single largest project outside Metro Manila.

“Iloilo Business Park is positioned to be Western Visayas’ biggest cyberpark and a major hub for information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) outside of Metro Manila,” said Megaworld first vice-president Jericho P. Go.

“More and more BPO companies have already expressed strong interest to set up operations in Iloilo Business Park. Most of them are first-time locators,” Go said.

The office towers will provide a total of about 100,000 square meters (sqm.) of office space inventory for the biggest cyberpark in Western Visayas. It will generate around 30,000 jobs in the IT-BPO sector.

Under the first phase at the township’s IT-BPO cluster, three office towers will start operations this year: One Global Center, Two Global Center and the Richmonde Tower. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Colorado-based StarTek Inc., one of the leading BPOs with call centers located throughout the US, Latin America, Canada, Honduras, and Costa Rica, will be the first company to set up operations in Two Global Center tower in August.

The four-story tower has a total of 9,000 sqm. of office spaces that can accommodate around 2,600 workers.

“With StarTek coming in to jumpstart our cyberpark operations, we see Iloilo City rising fast to become a major BPO hub in the region,” Go said.

To date, Megaworld is the Philippines’ leading office space developer and landlord with around 27 corporate office towers across the country. It will complete 10 more office towers this year located in Uptown Bonifacio, The Mactan Newtown, Iloilo Business Park and McKinley Hill.

Megaworld earlier announced that it is expanding its office space inventory to 712,000 sqm. this year, cementing its leadership in the office space segment.

So far, around 110,000 employees are working in Megaworld’s township projects like Eastwood City in Quezon City and McKinley Hill in Bonifacio Global City.

Iloilo vies as bike-friendly city


ILOILO CITY, April 4 (PNA)– This southern city is vying to become a bike-friendly city by promoting the use of bicycles for daily commuting to work and school or simply for leisure.

A public hearing and consultation with stakeholders was held Friday, April 4 by the SP committee on transportation on the proposed ordinance filed by city councilor Jose Efrain Treñas requiring government and non-government buildings with existing parking spaces to provide a safe bicycle parking zone.

Treñas said the recent highly successful bike festival showed the enthusiastic appreciation of people on the use of bicycle spurred by the construction of a bicycle lane in the expanded diversion road here.

The city councilor said the bike festival launched into consciousness of the Ilonggos the share-a-road movement and the need to promote biking as an alternative healthy and environmentally sound mode of transportation.

Treñas said his proposed measure will urge the city government to require building and establishment owners with existing parking spaces to allot a portion thereof as parking area for bicycles and to install bike racks for their employees, customers, clients, visitors and guests.

Bicycle racks must be provided by the building owners and must be made out of sturdy metal or aluminum securely attached to the pavement. Bike owners must provide their own locks to secure their own bicycle when parked on the bicycle rack.

Building owners not complying with the provisions of the ordinance shall be penalized as follows: first offense with a notice of warning and within one month must comply by providing a bicycle rack.

Second offense will have a fine of Php 3,000 with another inspection within one month. Third offense will have a fine of Php 5,000 and revocation of business or lessor permit.

The proposed ordinance will be taken up next week for first reading by the city council.

All is set for Iloilo’s 113th anniversary this April


ILOILO, April 3 (PNA)-– Ilonggos will join hands in planting 5,000 mangrove propagules on Saturday to mark the start of the weeklong celebration of the province’s 113th founding anniversary.

Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., along with members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, will lead the ceremonial planting at 7:00 AM in Barangay Parara, Tigbauan town.

“We are inviting everybody to be part of this event. Let us all help restore the diversity of our marine resource,” he said.

This year’s Semana sang Iloilo revolves on the theme: “Padayon ang Reporma kag Pagbag-o” (Continue the Reform and Change).

After Saturday’s event, a thanksgiving mass will be held at the Provincial Capitol lobby at 8:30 AM on April 7.

This will be followed by the opening of Garden Show and “One Town One Product” Display at the Provincial Capitol’s parking area.

These exhibits will showcase the province’s native delicacies, agriculture and marine products.

At 2:00 PM on the same day, Executive Director Jerry Bionat of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) will hold a rescue exhibition and earthquake safety drill.

On April 8, an employee’s day and children’s party will be held at the Provincial Capitol lobby by the Provincial Human Resource Management Office from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM.

From 1:30 PM onwards, a stand-up comedy show and games for provincial government employees will be held by the Public Information and Community Affairs Office.

On April 9, a fun run for the benefit of typhoon survivors in Northern Iloilo will be held starting 5:30-7:00 AM at SM City, Diversion Road, Iloilo City.

On April 10, PDRRMC will hold a forum on disaster preparedness and recognition of outstanding volunteers at the Provincial Capitol lobby at 8:30 AM.

The Iloilo Provincial Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative, on the other hand, will hold a Coop Business Forum at 9:00 AM on the same day at the 5th Floor, Conference Room of the Provincial Capitol.

At 2:00 PM, two events will be held simultaneously – an exhibit by the Iloilo Tourism Officers Association at the Provincial Capitol lobby and 2nd Provincial Youth Congress at Pavia National High School.

On April 11, during the highlight of the anniversary, the HRMO, in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, will distribute starter kits for massage, electronics, among others.

A testimonial luncheon honoring the province’s scholars, outstanding teachers and national awardees will culminate the activities for Semana sang Iloilo.

Iloilo City ready for Bayani Challenge April 12-15


ILOILO CITY, Apr. 02 (PNA)– This highly urbanized city is ready to participate in the Bayani Challenge spearheaded by Gawad Kalinga with one million volunteers in 12 provinces from the Visayas and Mindanao to rally this summer season.

The GK campaign this 2014 will be held on April 11 to June 12 or two months drive of nation building and walang iwanan policy with highlights on April 17-20 for the Holy Week, May 1-4 for Labor Week, and June 7-12 for the Independence Week.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the GK Bayani Challenge here is slated on April 12-15 as the Do Day for 12,000 volunteers in a citywide clean-up drive and construction of 34 GK housing units at the San Isidro relocation site in Jaro district.

The GK campaign will be conducted in 10 towns of northern Iloilo devastated by supertyphoon Yolanda and 396 persons were trained for social preparation and value formation.

The 12 provinces covered by the Bayani Challenge are those affected by the typhoons and other natural calamities.

These are the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo and Negros Occidental in Western Visayas; Bohol and Cebu in Central Visayas; Eastern Samar, Leyte and Samar in Eastern Visayas; and the provinces of Palawan and Zamboanga.

Activities include building of GK houses, spending time with the kids, conducting health missions, clean-up drive, refurbishing of schools and tree planting.

The campaign also shows off and discovers the beauty of the Filipinos and the Philippines such as the Bantayan Island in Cebu, Talisay Ruins in Negros Occidental, Tubbataha Reef in Palawan, San Juanico Bridge in Samar, La Paz Batchoy in Iloilo City and the Chocolate Hills in Bohol.

City accepts 10-year action plan on river water quality


ILOILO CITY, April 1 (PNA) -– The Sangguniang Panlungsod here has approved a resolution filed by city councilor RLeone Gerochi in accepting the Iloilo-Batiano River Watershed Water Quality Management Area by Iloilo City and the implementation of its 10-year action plan.

Gerochi is the chairman of the SP committee on environment and an environmental advocate for clean air, anti-pollution, clean river and surroundings.

In a regular session on Tuesday, the city council had asked explanations from city environment and natural resources officer Noel Hechanova to define clearly the action plan on water quality of the connecting Iloilo-Batiano rivers.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), and the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) earlier submitted Oplan: SWIM or the sustainable work plan for the rehabilitation of the Iloilo-Batiano River system and its tributaries, the Dungon and Calajunan creeks.

The work plan aims to improve the water quality of the river and its tributaries in terms of dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand and coliform concentrations.

The three-year average water quality of the rivers showed the EMB Class "C" standards fit for human and river life with dissolved oxygen at 5 mg/L, biochemical oxygen demand of 10 mg/L, total coliform of 5,000 MPN/100 ml and with no standards on fecal coliform.

The DENR has already accomplished ongoing activities that cover mangrove rehabilitation, organized clean-up activities, adopt-an-estero program, quarterly clean-up activities, crackdown on discharging establishments, cadastral survey of Calajunan and Dungon creeks, and dredging of the creeks and the Iloilo River.