Iloilo City News April 2015

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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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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.


38 elderly, 75 street kids receive financial assistance from Iloilo City gov't


ILOILO CITY, April 30 (PNA) -- Indigent children and elderlies received their financial assistance covering the first quarter of the year in a simple ceremony held at the City Hall Penthouse Thursday afternoon.

A total of 75 street children who have been helped by the Iloilo City government to be in school received their regular cash assistance from Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, said Rey Delfin, consultant and spokesperson at the city mayor’s office.

“This cash assistance puts the children in school and keeps them off the street. This cash assistance gives them hope and a chance for upward mobility,” Delfin said.

Children who are enrolled in elementary and secondary schools are given P30 a day allowance while those in college receive P5,000 annually.

Meanwhile, 38 indigent senior citizens from the city each received P1,500 for their first quarter pension from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The pension is expected to be help augment the daily needs of the indigent elderlies, especially for the purchase of their medicines.

“The mayor reminded them to put the money to good use that will benefit them,” Delfin added.

The mayor also urged their full cooperation and support to encourage more investors that will enliven the city’s and enable the city government to come up with more programs for the less-privileged residents of Iloilo City.

Iloilo student volunteers to act as youth ambassadors during APEC meet


ILOILO CITY, April 29 (PNA) -- The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation-Iloilo Organizing Committee (APEC-IOC) is looking for student volunteers for the APEC meetings here in September and October.

“We want to ensure that we can give the best accommodation, the warmest welcome and the genuine hospitality that only Ilonggos can offer,” Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said.

Student volunteers will act as youth ambassadors in representing Iloilo City’s young generation.

It has been an APEC tradition to have the youth participate in various activities, said APEC-IOC executive director Junel Ann Divinagracia.

Eligible to apply are college students with exemplary academic standing and good communication skills.

Interested students may ask for recommendation from their college or university Student Affairs Office.

Applicants will then undergo a panel interview by the APEC-IOC.

Qualified volunteers will undergo skills enhancement training on protocol as well as enhance their knowledge on local history, culture and business developments.

Interested students may contact the APEC-IOC Office at 3363144.

Negosyo Center opens entrepreneurial training program


ILOILO CITY, April 28 (PNA) - - The Negosyo Center has opened an entrepreneurial training program for students, government employees, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and other willing entrepreneurs.

The seminar that tackled financial literacy, marketing management, hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) and the basics of taxation kicked off this second quarter, according to Mutya Eusores, Negosyo Center coordinator.

The program, she said, eyed some 22 to 25 participants for every session slated every Tuesday from 9 to 11 a.m.

She also said that the Negosyo Center hoped to provide the needed information of participants as well as see them run their own business in the future.

The center is being managed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council and the host local government unit.

RA 10653 provides more disposable income to travel

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

ILOILO CITY, April 27 (PIA) --- The tourism industry will benefit from new law increasing the tax exemption for the 13th month pay and other bonuses.

In a media release, Atty. Helen Catalbas, Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 Regional Director, said that House Bill No. 3670 that was approved by President Benigno S. Aquino III as Republic Act No. 10653, will provide Filipino families more disposable income that may be used for travel.

The new law, authored by Iloilo City Congressman Jerry P. Treñas, now increases the income tax exemption threshold of 13th month pay and other benefits from P30,000.00 to P82,000.00.

“Traveling may now be on the list of expenses for the Filipino families realizing that they can take home bigger portion of their bonuses with the increase of tax exemption threshold,” Catalbas said.

She said that without this new law, families would rather spend their income on basic commodities alone.

She also said that this will help promote local products as visitors may have extra cash to buy souvenir items and delicacies available in the area.

The new law also authorizes the President to adjust the tax free bonus threshold every three years in order to account for inflation, through the present value determined by the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI).

198,360 daycare kids to get free meals


ILOILO City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 6 is ensuring that children beneficiaries of the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) this year will receive free nutritious meals when schools open in June.

Salvacion Gayoma, SFP focal person, said the processing of documents for the release of funds to local government units covered by the program has already started.

DSWD allotted P309,441,600 for SFP this year targeting 198,360 children.

These children are scattered in 5,620 daycare centers of 133 local government units.

SFP aims to improve knowledge, attitude and practices of the children, parents and caregivers through intensified nutrition and health education, among others.

Gayoma said the hot meals consisting of rice and viand will be served during snack or meal time for 120 days.

These will be prepared by the parents using indigenous food or locally produced food but following the menu recommended by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

Now on its fifth year of implementation, SFP has helped improve and sustain the nutritional status of target children beneficiaries in the region, said Gayoma.

“But it is not only the children who learn good eating habits and good values in the process but also the parents who take turn preparing and cooking meals,” said Gayoma.

Under the program, parents are encouraged to attend Family Development Sessions for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries and Parent Effectiveness Seminar for those who are not members of 4Ps where nutrition is among the topics.

New loading, unloading areas up


ILOILO City – New loading and unloading zones are up in the city, confirmed Councilor Plaridel Nava.

The city government has been painting street markings and erecting signages that indicate new proper loading and unloading areas over the past weeks.

Some drivers said there should be no apprehensions until all the streets are marked, but Nava insisted that they should be ready.

“Gasugod na kita panakop sa wala ga-load sa insakto nga areas,” said the chairperson of the city council’s committee on transportation.

“Biskan iban wala pinta, pero may signage,” he said. “Nahambalan naman na sila nga daan because naka-committee hearing na. Mga liderato sang ila mga associations nakabalo na.”

Nava said leaders of various city loop transport groups, among others, were consulted during committee hearings before the ordinance was passed.

In January this year the city council revised the “loading and unloading ordinance,” changing up to 60 percent of the traffic scheme to cope with the demands of the traffic system.

Motorists and commuters complained about “worsening” traffic congestion since new traffic lights around the city became operational.

Nava himself noted that flyovers and traffic lights seemed to have worsened traffic congestion due to their proximity to jeepney stops.

As approved in January, these major changes will take effect:

• At the frequently jammed Bonifacio Drive, the loading and unloading zone will be transferred from Casa Plaza to Cabalum Western College. • The loading and unloading zone in front of 168 Allegro on Iznart Street will be moved in front of Banco de Oro Iznart Branch. • There will be no more loading and unloading zones along Infante Street beside the University of the Philippines Visayas and in front of Cristina Colonade Building in La Paz district. • The jeepney stop in front of Hua Siong College of Iloilo will be removed. It will be transferred in front of Land Bank of the Philippines up to Dainty Restaurant, and from Socorro Drug Store to Hormillosa Building.

Pre-registration for Labor Day job fair starts April 25

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

ILOILO CITY, April 24 (PIA6) - - The Department of Labor and Employment 6 (DOLE 6) will conduct a pre-registration for the upcoming Labor Day Job and Livelihood Fair starting this Saturday, April 25.

The pre-registration desk at SM City Iloilo will be opened from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. until April 30.

DOLE 6 Information Officer Amalia Judicpa said the pre-registration shortens the application process since applicants need not queue up anymore in the registration area and shop for prospective jobs.

Judicpa said applicants who have pre-registered can proceed directly to the hiring officers for interview as they were already given the lists of participating companies and job vacancies that fit their qualifications.

She reminded applicants to bring their pre-registration slip and shopping/job list when they go to the job fair venues here which are SM City Iloilo and Amigo Terrace Mall on May 1.

As of April 23, some 30 companies have already signified their participation in the one day job fair so far, 17 are local and 13 are overseas.

The said companies are expected to bring around 24,866 job vacancies, of which 2,011 are local and 22,855 are overseas.

In-demand jobs for local employment are accountants, customer service representatives, customer service associates, technical support representatives, tutors, marketing officer, sales consultants, and store managers.

For overseas employment, some of the job vacancies are household service workers, cleaners, waiter, engineer, operator light equipment, and computer technicians, among others.

The Job and Livelihood Fair will kick off the activities lined up by the DOLE 6 and partners for the celebration of the 2015 Labor Month celebration in Western Visayas.

World Bank, Bangladeshi execs cite Iloilo City's good governance


ILOILO CITY, April 23 (PNA) -- World Bank (WB) and Bangladeshi executives were impressed of Iloilo City’s good governance which creates continued economic development in the metropolis.

This was WB’s assessment of Bangladeshi Officials' Visit to Philippines for the South-South Knowledge Exchange on Urban Management and Resource Mobilization March 23-28.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog welcomed the citation as another manifestation of the city’s good governance which other governments in the country and even abroad can follow to effectively serve their constituents.

“The delegates are impressed with the growth of Iloilo City and your ability to attract and sustain local and international investments,” WB’s Senior Urban SpecialistChristopher T. Pablo wrote Mabilog.

“During our de-briefing session, the delegates were keen to share some of the lessons that they have gained in their dialogue with you -- they note that it is not necessarily difficult if this is coupled with transparency and accountability,” noted Pablo.

The visiting officials credited the City Government’s ideal kind of leadership supported by the community.

“Good local governance requires making decision that are politically unpopular but morally right; and collective local governance, such as your 'Do Day Program' for community cleaning, is an effective platform for promoting city ownership by the people,” the WB top official cited.

The city’s successful experience may soon be copied and implemented in foreign lands.

“The participating mayors are hopeful that they can replicate, even at a smaller scale, some of your good practices and principles in their respective constituencies,” Pablo shared.

The WB expects more partnerships with Iloilo City in terms of learning best practices.

“We think that we have initiated a good platform for knowledge sharing and we are hopeful that there are further opportunities to sustain this exchange between Iloilo City and Bangladeshi Urban Local Bodies under the World Bank funded Municipal Governance and Services Project,” stressed Pablo.

Pablo also congratulated Mabilog for being recognized as one of the Top Five Mayors of the World which he said, “is a testament to the very good work that you and your staff have done for Iloilo City.”

“I would like to thank you and your staff on behalf of my team at World Bank and members of Bangladesh delegation for your hospitality in hosting us at your office, for personally attending to the delegation and sharing your governance strategy and experience in leading Iloilo City to its current status as one of the premier cities of the Philippines,” said Pablo.

“We also extend our appreciation for the efforts of your staff, particularly the City Tourism Office, for their hospitality and for enthusiastically showcasing the best of Iloilo City within a limited amount of time,” he added.

Iloilo City has now 7 administrative districts

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

ILOILO CITY, April 22 (PNA)-– The city council here has enacted on Tuesday, April 21, an ordinance establishing seven administrative districts in the city of Iloilo covering all 180 city barangays by legally recognizing the district of Lapuz as distinct and separate from La Paz district.

The administrative districts are Arevalo with 13 barangays, Molo with 25 barangays, Mandurriao with 18 barangays, City Proper with 45 barangays, La Paz with 25 barangays, Jaro with 42 barangays, and Lapuz with 12 barangays.

Main proponent, city councilor Lyndon Acap who is the chairman of the Committee on Zoning, Housing and Land Development, said the territorial jurisdiction of each administrative district shall follow the city assessor’s mapping survey of territorial boundaries and will be followed as the basis of territorial boundaries and jurisdiction of the barangays.

The city mayor, at his discretion, may assign duly elected city councilors to supervise the said administrative districts and the ordinance shall take effect immediately upon approval by the city council.

Historical Commission to unveil marker of Ilongga heroine


ILOILO CITY, April 21 (PNA) -- The National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the city government here will unveil a marker for an Ilongga heroine, one of Iloilo’s revolutionary leaders during the Spanish colonial period.

A heritage marker that will remind Ilonggos of the heroism of Patrocinio Gamboa will be installed at her house at the Commission Civil Street in Jaro district on April 30, in time for the commemoration of her 150th birthday.

Gamboa was one of the founders of the Comite Conspirador that later became the Comite Central Revolucionario de Visayas or the Central Revolutionary Committee of the Visayas.

She and several women of Molo district sewed the flag that was raised during the inaugural ceremony of the revolutionary government on November 17, 1898 at the municipality of Sta. Barbara.

Gamboa, also known as “Tia Patron,” personally brought the flag to Sta. Barbara by outwitting Spanish guards as she and Lt. Honorio Solinap made the enemies believed that they were a quarreling husband and wife.

The flag was wrapped around her waist and covered with her garments.

Annually, the town of Sta. Barbara commemorates the event through its festival dubbed as “Cry of Sta. Barbara.”

Gamboa died on November 24, 1953 and her remains are now buried at the Balantang National Shrine which used to be Balantang Veteran’s Cemetery in Quintin Salas, Jaro.

Weeklong bike festival to gather some 5,000 bikers to Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, April 20 (PNA) – Some 5,000 bikers are expected to join the second Iloilo Bike Festival slated April 27-May 2, 2015 as the city continues to aspire to become a bike-able walkable metropolis.

The activity that supported by the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU) and Megaworld Iloilo aims to promote Iloilo as a safe and bike friendly city, promote the share-a-road movement encourage Ilonggos to commute via biking and raise Ilonggos awareness on the benefits of biking on health, safety and environment concerns.

Also it seeks to create awareness of the attraction of the local tourism circuits as a biking route, promote and implement road safety ordinances for bicycles and promote to Ilonggos the workability of the new bike lanes.

The weeklong event will feature various kinds of bike-related events.

Among the highlights are the 120-kilometer race slated May 1 that will be participated by some 200 bikers and the fun ride with around 5,000 biker-participants the next day.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has been pushing for a road sharing with pedestrians and bicycle or motorcycle riders.

The Office of the President has recognized this city’s Esplanade and bike lanes during the launch of Bayanihan sa Daan Awards and recognition ceremony Malacanang in November last year.

Iloilo City also hosted the 1st National Bicycle Day Visayas Fun Ride in 2014 which saw some 2,000 bikers from all over Panay Island having a fun-filled tour around the metropolis.

Robinsons Place Jaro to highlight Iloilo’s bests

By Raymart Escopel / LBG (PN)

ILOILO City – Scheduled to open on February 2016, Robinsons Place Jaro will feature modern architectural designs and operations highlighting the city’s urban landscape and culture.

The soon-to-open Robinsons Place Jaro will be composed of large window glasses providing mall shoppers and goers a panoramic view of the surrounding areas, said Robinsons Mall general manager Arlene Magtibay.

Among the sites to be viewed at Robinsons Mall Jaro include the heritage houses in the district of Jaro, the Jaro Cathedral, the Graciano Lopez-Jaena Park, the Jaro Public Market and the Queens Pension House.

Aside from its modern architectural design, Robinsons Place Jaro also boasts its five world-class cinemas with seats allotted for persons with disability (PWDs).

The mall will also be featuring Iloilo’s best local restaurants and delicacies, giving importance to the culture and local cuisine that Iloilo is known for.

“We try to tap them (local entrepreneurs) and bring them to the mall because they are the ones who add flavor to the entire development; and then as regards to the market, we try to fit every locality we get into,” said Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) Vice President for Commercial Center Division LulayAlano.

“While some other malls concentrate on bringing foreign brands, for us, it’s always a combination of both local and the usual national brands,” she added.

Aside from Robinsons Place Jaro, RLC is also set to open three more new malls in the different parts of the country in the next two years including Robinsons Place General Trias on March 2016; Robinsons Place Tagum on December 2015, and its biggest development outside Manila, Robinsons Galleria Cebu on September 2015.

Alano noted that the new Robinsons Malls Robinsons Malls will be bringing the modern urban malling lifestyle to the said progressive localities, ensuring a satisfying, delightful, and enjoyable malling experience.

Iloilo City eyes railway project

By Joel Locsin / LBG (GMA News)

Iloilo City is eyeing a railway project that could connect it to neighboring provinces in Panay Island in Western Visayas.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is hoping the project can take off within this year or next year, according to an entry on the city's Facebook page.

“If it happens now or next year, good. And if it’s impossible, it will stay as a dream,” he said.

The city government cited the commitment of Public-Private Partnership Center executive director Cosette Vargas Canilao for the project.

Such a commitment plus the city government's support can make the project possible, it added.

Iloilo City envisions the railway system as a transportation for local and international tourists discovering Panay Island.

Potential tourists can use it to tour Iloilo City with its River Esplanade, Guimaras with its beaches, Aklan with its Boracay Island, and Antique with its hot and cold springs, it said.

The railway project has the potential to make Panay Island "an instant tourist destination in just one ride," it added.

Tree planting to mark national rural improvement club day on April 22


ILOILO CITY, April 17 (PNA) -- Homemakers and housewives are expected to come out of their abode as they join the national simultaneous tree planting activity in celebration of the rural improvement club (RIC) day this April 22.

The club which is composed of homemakers and housewives decided to hold the activity in Leon, known for its Bucari village that has been dubbed as the “Little Baguio” of Iloilo.

Representatives from each province of Western Visayas are slated to gather in Iloilo where they are expected to do a camp out in preparation for the big day.

Aside from the said activity, members of the club are being taught of value-adding into their projects. Some of them engage in handicraft making and baking, among others.

Iloilo City to hold "Yugyugan" on Int'l Dance Day

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

ILOILO CITY, April 16 (PIA) --- The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has selected Iloilo City as one of the places to hold a dance rally to drum up awareness on cultural heritage.

The event dubbed “Yugyugan para sa Kultura ng Bayan” slated on April 29, 2015 is in line with the celebration of the International Dance Day and National Dance Week.

Annie Divinagracia-Sartorio, assistant secretary for National Committee on Dance of the NCCA, said that dance rally will also happen simultaneously in other selected sites including Angeles City in Pampanga, Baguio City, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City, Batangas City, and Manila.

“The Yugyugan will be participated in by hundreds of dancers who will dance simultaneously at 6 p.m. with other dancers in other parts of the country,” she said.

She said that about 19 dance companies and school troupes have confirmed their participation in the dance rally that will be held in two venues in Iloilo City – SM City and Calle Real.

“The Yugyugan is also a venue for dancers and dance artists to express their passion on the promotion of culture and the arts as the event advocates for cultural heritage preservation,” she said.

The NCD choreographed two to three movements to about 100 performers who will perform uniform movements during the countdown to the Yugyugan.

Sartorio said that they have also invited about 500 artists here who will take part in the dance rally.

The Yugyugan event in Iloilo City is in partnership with the city government of Iloilo and SM City Iloilo.

The International Dance Day celebration was created under the auspices of UNESCO in Paris and held all over the world by the International Theater Institute (ITI) on April 29.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Dance Week is celebrated every fourth week of April every year as declared by Proclamation No. 154, to bring together dancers to demonstrate and realize the function of dance in the society and in the rest of the world.

Iloilo City PESO gears to update skills registry system


ILOILO CITY, April 15 (PNA) -- The city government here through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO) is gearing to update its database of skilled workers as part of the national skills registry system (NSRS) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

PESO manager Ma. Elena Benitez said that they are waiting for colleges and universities (SUCs) in the city to submit the names of their graduates together with their contact information. The information will be provided to agencies and companies that will be asking for their profile.

Last year, she disclosed that 10 SUCs have provided them with information.

Benitez said that the NSRS is effective, especially in terms of job placement for hospitality management level.

Graduates who fit into the qualification are directly being contacted by employers and agencies, she added.

Benitez added that agencies that are interested to secure their registry system are encouraged to just write her office.

City awards 50-year lot usufruct to fire volunteer group


ILOILO CITY, April 14 (PNA) –- The city government here has awarded a city-owned 1,000-square meter lot in Barangay East Timawa, Molo district through a usufruct agreement for 50 years to the Iloilo City Action Group (ICAG) volunteer fire brigade.

Charles Ho, president of ICAG, said the lot, located just behind their depot and garage, will be used to house additional firefighting equipment and 11 running vehicles and to host a continuing training program for volunteers.

The first fire fighting volunteers in this city are composed mostly of Filipino-Chinese businessmen and their children. ICAG was initially given an initial 1,000-square meter lot to transfer from their original site near the SM Delgado area. A new road aptly called the ICAG Street was built and opened up new area in the barangay.

Ho said that with the additional space, they can now move faster with their vehicles and do firefighting volunteer work as their contribution to the city government’s growth. Similarly, Ho said they are willing to help deliver water ration as well as cleaning and flushing the city public markets.

On the other hand, city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the city government is planning to move and transfer the depot and site of the city Bureau of Fire Prevention (BFP) office in the vacant area near the ICAG.

Negotiations are ongoing with the Philippine National Railways (PNR) to award its vacated lot fronting the Iloilo River along Muelle Loney. As soon as PNR allows the land transfer to the city, the city fire station will immediately transfer to the ICAG St. site in Molo district.

203 indigent students to benefit from SPES program

By Perla G. Lena [(PNA), CTB/AJP/PGL/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, April 11 (PNA) -- The city government here will employ 203 indigent students under the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) program in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Ma. Elena Benitez, head of the city government’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO), said that the successful applicants will render a 20-day duty to do clerical works at the various offices of the City Hall starting April 20.

They also have SPES babies who are qualified to render 30-day duty and are recipients of the program for two to three years already.

They will be paid P287 a day with the city government shouldering 60 percent of their remuneration and DOLE for the remaining 40 percent that will go directly to the school.

However, if they have already paid their school obligation then they just need to submit a certificate of full payment to DOLE or to the PESO so that their money will be deposited to their cash card.

Benitez said that the program gives priority to indigent students and out-of-school youths who are interested to pursue their studies.

National PRISAA Games 2015 sports competition heats up on Day 1 (Sports)

By Virgilio L. Orquiola [(PNA), CTB/AJP/VLORQUIOLA]

ILOILO CITY, Apr.12 (PNA)- Amid the early morning summer heat, the competition during the Day 1 of this year’s National PRISAA Games 2015 heat up in the track oval of Iloilo Sports Complex (ISC) in Brgy. Magsaysay, Lapaz, Iloilo City over the weekend.

Baltazar Buot, National PRISAA’s athletics assistant tournament director, said competition in track and field events among athletic delegations coming from various regions in the country took off this morning in the track oval of the ISC here.

The morning events include the 3,000 meter Girls and 3,000-meter Women’s final. Other track and field events were the 800- meter Girls trial, 800-meter Women’s trial, 800-meter Boys trial, 800-meter Men’s trial; trial runs for the 100-meter Girls, 100-meter Women, 100-meter Boys, and 100-meter for Men.

Afternoon games saw competitions in the Long Jump for Girls and Women’s final and Long Jump for Boys and Men’s final; trial runs in Girls, Women, Boys and Men in 400 meter dash; and, 3,000-meter STP for Boys and 3,000-meter STP for Men’s finals.

Meanwhile,ball games and other sports disciplines in this year’s National Private Schools Athletic Association Games 2015 hosted by Iloilo were held in various sports venue elsewhere in the city and province of Iloilo.

The Iloilo Sports Complex presently undergoing rehabilitation work particularly the football field and other sports facilities in an effort to meet international standard for future hosting of international sports competition.

The National PRISAA Games 2015 held here was formally opened yesterday afternoon with invited key speaker Senate President Franklin Drilon as well as host province Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. and city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog who delivered their respective inspirational speech before the thousands of officials and athletic delegations from various colleges and universities throughout the country including Iloilo audience.



Tight security for 5,000 delegates

ILOILO City – With over 5,000 participants from across the country, the 2015 National Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) Meet opens today amid tight security.

Iloilo is the overall defending champion this year.

Sixteen regions with more or less 200 private schools are vying for top honors in 18 sports disciplines up until April 16.

The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) has been inspecting the 13 billeting private and public schools since early this week. Police Assistance Centers (PAC) were also set up in each of them.

This is the third time Iloilo is hosting the national event. The first was in 1992 and the most recent was in 2007.

Secondary and tertiary level participants are billeted in schools but others are staying in pension houses and hotels. Policemen have been posted in these areas.

Iloilo City will defend its championship titles particularly in athletics, volleyball, swimming, table tennis, and softball (secondary and tertiary levels).

Last year’s National PRISAA was held in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

Majority of the sports events will be held at the University of San Agustin but the Iloilo Sports Complex and the sports facilities of Central Philippine University, Iloilo Doctors’ College, John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University, Citisports Badminton Court and La Paz Plaza will also be utilized.

“The athletes and coaches are secured,” said Senior Superintendent Kashmir Disomangcop, city police director.

Security is round-the-clock. Policemen have the support of barangay tanods.

Sports events include baseball, basketball, softball, football, sepak takraw, volleyball, beach volleyball, boxing, chess, athletics, dance sports, karatedo, lawn tennis, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, and weightlifting.

Cultural competitions will also be held – vocal solo on April 13 and duet on April 14, and Mutya ng PRISAA on April 15 at the University of San Agustin.

Mobile patrols and motorcycle cops will be securing the sport venues.

Policemen in plain clothes are being mobilized, too.

Venues outside Iloilo City are Barotac Nuevo and Santa Barbara football fields for football games.

Ilonggo Senate President Franklin Drilon will be the speaker on the event’s opening ceremony today at the Iloilo Sports Complex at 3:30 p.m.

According to Western Visayas PRISAA Technical Committee member Ive D. Sta. Ana, Iloilo was chosen by the national board over other cities that applied for the hosting, including Cebu City. The city’s improved peace and order situation was a key consideration.

Sta. Ana also said Iloilo schools’ facilities were also considered.

The National PRISAA president is Dr. Ralph Pador, administrator of the Iloilo City-based John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University.

Iloilo to host 3 APEC’s ministerial meetings


ILOILO CITY, April 10 (PNA) -- Iloilo City will host three ministerial meetings of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), according to Junel Ann Divinagracia, executive director of the Iloilo Organizing Committee.

Divinagracia said that she has received information from the National Organizing Committee of the possible hosting of the Senior Disaster Management Officials Forum slated September 22-23.

She added that the executive order for the hosting is already being prepared and will come out anytime soon.

This city is a sole recipient of the community-based adaptation and resilience against disasters (CBARAD) project of the CITYNET Yokohama Project Office, City of Yokohama and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The first phase of the project covering five villages culminated in March this year but has been extended for another two years to focus on the city level and partnership building.

Iloilo was earlier confirmed to host the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) ministerial meeting on September 21 to 25 and the High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy and Related Meetings from September 28 to October 6.

Job opportunities for fresh graduates


ILOILO CITY, April 9(PIA)—There are job opportunities for good, qualified graduates, even high paying, according to the Commission on Higher Education in Western Visayas.

Dr. Rex Casiple, CHED-6 supervising education specialist, said that according to the 2015 Annual Salary Report of graduates of Information Technology with extensive technical know-how are categorized as highest paid graduates.

These graduates can command a salary as high as P37,784, Casiple noted.

Another highest paying job for freshsala graduates goes for Law Legal Services which is about P27,000, followed by Engineering and Electronics Communications, Public Relations, sales, telemarketing, Training and Development and Customer Service.

Other high paying jobs for fresh graduates include the field of Travel and Tourism, Telecommunications, Hotel Hospitality/Management, Healthcare and Medical Services, Banking, Financial Services and Education.

Casiple said that the problem of unemployment is not just lack of job vacancies, but of lack of qualified applicants with skills needed for the job.

“We are urging the higher education institutions offering information technology to always update their curricula to match with the IT skills in demand in the local and global market,” Casiple said.

On the other hand, Casiple said that contrary to popular beliefs that only college graduates can find a good-paying job.

“There are now good-paying jobs for undergraduates and high school graduates, especially with advanced technology available,” Casiple noted.

Studies have shown that the top 10 jobs available for undergrads or high school graduates are political campaigners, call enter agents, customer service representatives, online freelancers, bloggers/online writing, product promoters, MMDA CCTV watchers, manufacturing operators, construction road workers, and maids or Kasambahay.

Many undergrads and high school graduates are employed in the above-mentioned jobs in order to survive.

Even the Kasambahay can be a good alternative, considering that they are now entitled to benefits, like the SSS, PhilHealth, Pagibig and overtime pay.

Meanwhile, CHED records showed that there are about 41,000 college graduates in the region this school year who are joining the roster of job-seekers.

DSWD to recognize 4Ps HS student beneficiaries’ achievements

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

ILOILO CITY, April 8 (PIA6) - - The Department of Social Welfare and Development 6 (DSWD 6) will gather some 50 high school student-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program in the region who just graduated with honors to recognize and celebrate their academic achievements.

The recognition of 4Ps high school graduate achievers in Western Visayas is tentatively set on April 16 in this city.

Jonathan Anteza, 4Ps Project Coordinator of DSWD 6 said the 50 student achievers will represent this year’s graduating high school student beneficiaries from the various provinces in the region.

Anteza said the post graduation event will be an opportunity to highlight and showcase the successes of the student-beneficiaries who tried their best to create an impact in their respective communities through education.

“We will let them feel that we recognized their efforts despite poverty and small assistance from the government they have finished their secondary education with flying colors,” said Anteza.

Out of the 50, Anteza said they will choose 4 student-beneficiaries who will represent the region in the national recognition that will be held in Manila also this April.

To recall, DSWD has extended the age coverage of children-beneficiaries of 4Ps from 14 years old and below to 15 to 18 years old in 2013 to ensure that they graduate from high school and to increase their employability.

Based on the actual monitoring data of DSWD 6 there are 26,552 student beneficiaries enrolled in fourth year for the school year 2014-2015. Of the total number, 2,971 are in Aklan; 2,316 in Antique; 3,993 in Capiz; 899 in Guimaras; 7,657 in Iloilo; and 8,716 in Negros Occidental.

Under 4Ps, household beneficiaries compliant with the program’s conditions that include among others maintaining at least 85% school attendance of their children, get cash grants.

Anteza advised graduates to continue to look for ways to pursue their studies through the scholarships offered by other government agencies and even some private organizations.

Currently, some 3,615 4Ps household members in the region have availed of the Students Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation of the Commission on Higher Education.

As of March 17, a total of 325,715 poor households are covered by the Pantawid program in Western Visayas.

2nd national Dragon Boat race at Iloilo River


THE second national Double Dragon Boat 2015 race at the Iloilo River starts on April 18 and will be participated by 15 teams from around the country.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the 2015 race is expected to drum up public awareness and appreciation of the Iloilo River as an important venue for water sports and mover of the local economy.

Primarily endorsed by Senate President Franklin Drilon and sponsored by Double Dragon Corporation of local taipan Edgar Sia and the Iloilo City Government, the race has created a ripple in the national sports and tourism industry as it seeks to preserve the river.

The initial participating teams are Boracay All Stars, Boracay Sea Dragons, Bohol Paddler Association, John B. Lacson, Philippine Coast Guard Dragon Boat Team, Philippine Navy Dragon Boat Team, Philippine Blue Phoenix Paddlers Club, Pilipinas Wave Warriors, Triton Dragon Boat Racing Team A, Onslaught Racing Dragons, Adamson University Paddlers, Maharlika Drakon, and Rogue Pilipinas Warriors.

Koreans hopeful of SMU’s success in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, April 6 (PNA) --Although development may take some time, Korean officials are hopeful that Saemaul Undong (SMU), the engine that led to the modernization of then poor South Korea, can help ignite economic growth for Iloilo.

Korea Saemaul Undong Center International Cooperation Bureau Director Kyoung-Won Yi said numerous SMU projects have been implemented to help poor Ilonggos in secluded areas since 2009.

For the past years, in order to fully grasp the nuances, concepts and the guiding spirit behind the movement, a number of professors, village leaders and government officials have undergone SMU training in the Philippines and South Korea.

“It is my utmost desire for SMU to take deep roots in Iloilo or in the Philippines for that matter. But despite our effort, we still cannot find self-sufficiency in the project areas or for the people to say that their lives changed because of SMU,” Yi said.

However, Yi remained optimistic that SMU will be a success granting the interest and support of Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. to the movement and other personalities like Mayor Matt Palabrica of Bingawan.

Defensor, who attended the 1st Global Saemaul Leadership Forum in South Korea on October 2014, is currently sitting as the honorary chairman of Philippine SMU Center located in Sta. Barbara.

Yi revealed that they stopped inviting and training foreign leaders from the Philippines in 2012 due to the failure of the previous trainees to incorporate SMU in their villages.

When Super Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in SMU project sites in Bingawan and San Dionisio in December 2013, they raised funds to help build 61 housing units for the typhoon victims.

A year thereafter, they finally decided to resume the training of Filipinos following the will and commitment shown by the governor during the conduct of the leadership forum.

“To those who received our training, I want to emphasize that they should look back to it, make an in-depth research and community-driven project that can provide solutions to the problems of their villages,” Yi stressed.

Meanwhile, Won-Ki Kim, the Head of International Project Department of SMU, said changing the mindset of the people is important for the Philippines, especially Iloilo, to develop.

Kim said the poor must learn how to become self-reliant and self-sufficient; otherwise, their lives will not change. They should learn from the Korean’s SMU spirit of “diligence, self-help and cooperation”, he added.

“Our actions change when our mindset changes. Habits change when action changes. Personality changes when habit changed. But life won’t change if you only change your mindset. It should always be complemented by action and practice,” he said.

Founded by late President Park Chung Hee in 1970, SMU is South Korea’s national movement to create a country where all of its people have a wealthier life together.

At that time, South Korea is suffering from absolute poverty and chaos due or brought by the Japanese occupation from 1910-1945 and the cold war from 1950-1953.

Its Gross National Product per capita income was merely USD67 in 1953 and it slightly increased to USD79 in 1960.

Forty-four years have passed and their GNP per capita rose to USD28,200. Such amazing economic growth is now known to many as “the Miracle of the Han River”.

The movement laid the foundation for South Korea to grow into a major economy today.

For everyone to learn from this achievement, the archives related to SMU from 1970 t0 1979 have been listed in UNESCO’s Memory of the World in 2013.

72 slots for OWWA college scholarships open


ILOILO CITY, April 4 (PIA)—There are 72 slots for college scholarships in Western Visayas, given by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), with 12 slots per province.

“The office will rank the top 12 applicants based on their high school general weighted average,” OWWA-6 Dir. Ron Lionel Bartolome said in a press release.

The scholarship grant is offered to qualified beneficiaries/dependents of active OWWA members who receive a salary of not more than US$400, and who have enrolled in any four or five-year baccalaureate degree or associate degree in any state college or university in the region or province.

In the case of married OFWs, the qualified applicants are the children, while for the those unmarried, their siblings can apply.

Qualified scholars shall enjoy a maximum of P20,000 assistance annually or P10,000 per semester.

Documentary requirement for application, include the following: a) accomplished application form; b) two copies of 2x2 pictures, white background, studio shot of the applicant; c) proof of relationship to the OWWA member, like the NSO birth certificate of applicant, NSO Birth Certificate of applicant and OFW, is applicant is the sibling of the unmarried OFW, and certificate of No-marriage for the single OFW; d) proof of active OWWA membership – receipt or record; e)Form 137/High School Report card, f) copy of the OFW’s contract; g) Proof of enrolment in an SUC.

OWWA said that interested applicants can get the applications from its regional office, 3rd floor, Robinson’s place, Iloilo City, while additional details can be obtained through telephone number (O33) 3374484 or email at

DOST to support technology upgrade of WV enterprises

By Lilibeth A. French (JCM/LAF/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, April 3 (PIA6) - - The Department of Science and Technology 6 is ready to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Western Visayas that need to upgrade their equipment or willing to adopt technological innovations.

DOST 6 Information Officer Sol Aplaon Salazar said the department has set aside P58 million for the implementation of Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) in the region this year.

Any company or enterprise owned by Filipino citizens that belong to the identified priority sectors are qualified to apply for the various assistance provided under the program intended to improve their operations, products and services and boost their productivity and competitiveness.

The priority sectors are food processing; furniture, gifts, housewares and decors; marine and aquatic resources; horticulture and agriculture; metals and engineering; health products and services/pharmaceuticals; and ICT/Electronics.

SETUP has adopted five strategies to assist MSMEs that include provision of technology, product standards and testing, packaging and labelling, database management and information system and linkaging and networking.

Salazar said they are also more than willing to assist MSMEs who are interested to avail of the program in the preparations of the required documents. All they have to do is visit the nearest Provincial Science and Technology Center in their areas.

As of 2014, some 234 enterprises in the region have already sought the help of DOST for their various technological upgrading needs.

RDRRMC-6 firms up WV’s readiness for typhoon contingencies

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

ILOILO CITY, April 2 (PIA6) – The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council-6 is seeing to it that its member-agencies are readying the needed measures and logistics for any contingencies in view of Typhoon “Chedeng” (international name MAYSAK).

RDRRMC chairperson and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) - 6 Regional Director Rosario T. Cabrera gathered the members for a Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment meeting today, April 2 to ascertain and firm up the region’s preparedness for any eventuality.

The member-agencies took turns in apprising the council about the readiness measures they have put in place.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said they have activated their monitoring teams and instituted preparedness measures in their capacity as vice-chair of the RDRRMC for Disaster Preparedness.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said they have prepositioned relief goods, readied family food packs from their stockpile, and activated their own Quick Response Teams.

Their respective readiness measures were also presented by the Department of Science and Technology, Armed Forces of the Philippines including the Philippine Army and Philippine Air Force, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Education, National Telecommunications Commission, and Philippine Information Agency.

Mines and Geosciences Bureau geologist Dr. Leilanie Suerte said that there is a standing government policy and rule that local government units should not use as evacuation centers those areas that are susceptible to geologic hazards such as flooding, landslide and storm surge.

The measure is embodied in a joint memorandum issued by the MGB, DILG, DPWH and other agencies designed for the safety of concerned communities.

WV workers to have P11.50 wage hike


ILOILO CITY, April 1 (PIA6) - - An increase of P11.50 in the salary of minimum wage earners in Western Visayas has been approved by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) on March 27,2015 after a long process of consultation and deliberation by all concerned including members of the board.

RTWPB 6 Chairman and Department of Labor and Employment 6 (DOLE 6) Director Ponciano Ligutom said in a press report that the duly signed Wage Order will be sent to the National Wages and Productivity Commission in Manila for review.

After the approval of the NWPC, the RTWPB will publish the decision in the newspaper of general circulation in the region.

The additional 11.50 will bring to P256.50 from P245 the daily minimum wage rate of non-plantation workers and P P266.50 from P255 for plantation workers.

After the increase, workers in non-agriculture, commercial and industrial sectors will also receive P256.50 (for companies employing 10 workers and below) and P298.50 (for those employing more than 10 workers).

Ligutom said the board considered a lot of factors before coming up with a consensus to issue the new wage increase. The factors include the restoration of purchasing power of the peso and compliance of employers with the previous wage increase as well as the vibrant economy of Western Visayas.

“We tried to balance the interest of all sectors, not only of labor and management but also of the investors who wish to invest in the Region. We tried to maintain the region’s competitiveness in attracting investors and retaining our workers,” Ligutom said in the press report.