Iloilo City News April 2016

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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
Aerial View of Iloilo City
Iloilo aerial01.jpg
Aerial View of Iloilo City
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
Iloilo molochurch.JPG
Molo Church, Iloilo City
Iloilo dinagyang festival.jpg
The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan.
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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.


MGB-6 steps up info campaign on geohazards

By Elsa Subong (JCM/MGB/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY (PIA)—The Mines and Geosciences Bureau-6 (MGB) is focusing its information, education and communication (IEC) campaign at this time on geohazards.

This IEC drive is on rain-induced landslides and floods targeting some 1,300 barangays in the towns of Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz and Guimaras. Mae Magarzo, chief of the MGB’s Geosciences Division, said the participants are the barangay officials, especially those composing the local disaster councils, persons with disability, women’s groups and the local planning councils.

“We will continue to spread the awareness on geohazards and the usefulness of the geohazard maps to the barangays, until we reach them all,” Magarzo said.

“Through the information campaign on geohazards, the barangays will know how to use the maps and see how vulnerable their areas to landslides and floods,” she added.

Meanwhile, MGB-6 Regional Director Leo Van Juguan said in a press release, it is their responsibility for mapping the country in terms of vulnerability to rain-induced landslides and flooding.

“These are the two most common geohazards experienced by the country during heavy rains and typhoons,” Juguan said.

He also said that with the detailed mapping in a scale of 1:10,000 completed in 2014, the MGB is now focusing on disseminating the results to local government units.

“We have been presenting the geohazard maps to various stakeholders in different forums,” Juguan said.

“Dealing with the effects of climate change is tough and teaching our barangays to locate their most vulnerable areas to landslides and flooding is our way of helping them to be more aware and be more prepared,” Juan further said.

The MGB hoped that with the correct information the LGUs, particularly the barangays will be able to ensure that no lives are lost when landslides or flooding occurs.

Enjoying summer at Injap Tower Hotel in Iloilo City

By Lily O. Ramos [(PNA), SCS/LOR/EDS]

MANILA, April 29 (PNA) -- Western Visayas is in full blast of promoting its cultural heritage to compete with the country's other regions for local and tourists' arrivals this summer.

Injap Tower Hotel, the tallest building in Western Visayas and one of the prides of Iloilo City, stands to welcome both international and local guests as a gateway to the region’s heritage and culture, as well as its many beaches and adventures.

“We welcome the influx of travelers as there are a number who choose Iloilo City, as gateway to their Western Visayas adventure, and Injap Tower Hotel as their jump-off point to the many culture and heritage sites, islands and beaches the region has to offer,” says General Manager Lei Policarpio.

For its summer deals, Injap Tower Hotel launched its summer season with an overnight accommodation starting at Php2,000, good for two adults and two kids below 12 years old, with breakfast for two, and access to its swimming pool and gym facilities.

Policarpio explained that “In Guimaras, where you’ll find one of the sweetest and most distinct mangoes in the world, is just a stone-throw away, 15 minutes by boat from Iloilo City.”

Meanwhile, “Carles in Iloilo, the jump-off point to the famous Islas de Gigantes, or the Gigantes Group of Islands, which boasts of its pristine and exotic islands and seascapes, takes roughly three hours by land from Iloilo City,” she added.

“We have been receiving guests who stay in Iloilo City first, before heading out and explore other destinations, such as Capiz, Roxas City, Kalibo, and Boracay Island,” Policarpio said.

Injap Tower Hotel, managed as a three-starlife style hotel, is part of the Hotel 101 group of hotels, which focuses on and addresses the daily conveniences of the travelers, such as comfort, connectivity and accessibility.

Hotel 101 manages several hotels in the Philippines, which also include Hotel 101–Manila with 518 rooms in the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, and the franchised Chinese brand Jinjiang Inn, located in both the business districts of Makati and Ortigas, with 59 and 95 business rooms and suites, respectively.

Guests can book the Injap Tower Hotel summer promotion for stays starting from April 29 to May 31, 2016. Inquiries may be addressed to +63(977)80881111.

17 sub-projects completed under DOT-BuB in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, April 28 (PNA) -- Sub-projects implemented by the Department of Tourism (DOT) under the Bottom-up-Budgeting (BuB) program are expected to boost the drive of Western Visayas as a destination.

The 17 completed sub-projects were funded under the 2014 BuB totaling to Php29.9 million.

Of the 32 target sub-projects identified for 2014, 11 are ongoing, two are in the pipeline and the remaining were dropped.

“Our focus is development of tourism sites,” said Atty. Helen J. Catalbas, DOT regional director for Western Visayas.

Of the completed sub-projects, the biggest fund was spent for the improvement of the Sira-an Hot Spring and Health Resort in Anini-y, Antique with Php5.57 million budget; Php1.955 million for the improvement of Tigayon Hill in Kalibo, Akan and the construction of the Php1.9 million tourist area in Makato, also in Aklan.

Other projects included skills training and production of promotional materials.

Six of the completed projects are in Aklan; one each in Antique and Capiz; two in Iloilo and seven in Negros Occidental.

Meantime, of the 16 sub-projects identified under the 2015 budget, Catalbas said that two are already ongoing. The total project cost in 2015 is Php14.8 million.

More than 12,000 jobs available during Labor Day job fair in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, April 27 (PNA) -- Job seekers are encouraged to pre-register for the Labor Day job fair, which is now ongoing at the regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here.

DOLE 6 announced that 12,028 vacancies for local and overseas employment are available as of today. The number may increase as more companies are expected to confirm their participation before the job fair slated on Sunday.

The job fairs will be held simultaneously at Amigo Plaza Mall and SM City Iloilo. The Amigo Plaza Mall will host the job fair for business process outsourcing companies. Already seven firms have signified their participation with 1,136 vacancies posted.

Meantime, SM City will be the venue for the job fair for 68 local and 15 overseas placement agencies and companies.

There are 2,127 local vacancies available to date while there are 8,765 available for overseas placement. The demand for workers in hotels and restaurants and hospital in Middle East countries and in the United Kingdom is high.

DOLE initiates three major job fairs annually held every May 1, June 12 and December 8, said DOLE OIC assistant regional director Salome O. Siaton. During these fairs they are targeting at least 15 percent of the qualified applicants to get hired-on-the-spot (HOTS).

She added that the activity is significant as it allows employers to hire people who possess the qualifications they set while it also provides venue for job seekers to be placed based on their acquired skills.

DA bares major project to boost food production in city’s 70 villages


ILOILO CITY, April 26 (PNA) -- Seventy barangays of this city have been selected as recipients of the Integrated Food Production Project of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Conceptualized to step up food production and provide alternate source of income, the project is dedicated to people living within metro Iloilo to encourage them to grow crops in the confines of the urban landscape.

From the 70 barangays, 2,000 households were chosen based on the economic standing and nutritional status as monitored by the City Nutrition Council.

Each barangay will have a designated leader that will report the progress of their respective location to the DA. The leaders will be given an incentive of PHP500 per month for their services and labor.

Over three million seeds are ready to be distributed to the barangays and eventually the households. The seeds come from a variety of vegetables that are easy to cultivate and grow.

While there are very few arable land fit for growing crops in the city, the DA has prepared recycled materials such as plastic water containers to be used as container for the seedling and supply them with soil medium.

The soil medium will be harvested in Calajunan, Manduriao where it will be mixed with organic fertilizer and compost coming from various sources such as pig farms, poultry houses and composting facilities.

One of the main concerns of this project is the availability of water since Iloilo City is suffering from recurring water shortage. They are advised the maximum use of water in their households, reused water from their laundry, washing the dishes and the sort.

Training for project already began last November but the initiation of the project is currently put on hold because of the severe effects of El Nino phenomenon said Romulo Pangantihon, agricultural technologist from the City Agricultural Office.

DOT proposes street food jamboree in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, April 25 (PNA) -- The successful participation of Western Visayas in the World Street Food Congress and Jamboree (WSFC) held last week in Manila inspires the Department of Tourism (DOT) to mount a smaller version here in Iloilo in September this year.

The event dubbed as One Visayas Street Food Jamboree will gather famous street foods from three regions of Visayas as well as those from other parts of the country, said Atty. Helen J. Catalbas, DOT regional director in Western Visayas

The event will be held in September when the World Tourism Day is being celebrated. In Western Visayas it is a month-long activity, she said.

“We will select a week to be designated for the world street food expo,” she added.

The street food exposition is not new because once a month the province of Capiz hosts its street food festival. This time it will be for a bigger audience.

Also, the regional office through its Street Food Kulinarya Workshop last year trained around 328 street food vendors on the proper handling of the delicacy.

The regional director said that the event will also put in other activities such as culinary congress and dialogue.

Last week, batchoy, the “signature cuisine of Iloilo City and even Negros Occidental” was presented to a big audience, representing One Visayas along with kinapusan (crispy pork) of Cebu for Central Visayas and tahong lumpia of Tacloban City for Eastern Visayas, in the WSFC.

These delicacies were cooked by one chef, Dennis Jay Uy of Maximama Cucina Latina and former corporate executive chef of Maribago Bluewater Resort and Spa.

“The chief immersed himself one week in Iloilo to study the preparations of Lapaz batchoy. I went there to taste prior the opening and you cannot tell that it was done not by a native but by a Cebuano,” Catalbas said.

WSFC is a symposium, conference and mega street feasting festival that features the world’s finest hawker and food artisan with the aim to influence and ignite the passion of people about food and culinary arts.

The impact of Iloilo’s joining the WSFC can best be gauged on its impact on tourist arrivals, especially that Iloilo City is being positioned as a culinary destination, she added.

The WSFC was facilitated by DOT’s Tourism Promotions Board was held at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig that ended on Sunday.

Search for outstanding workers/employers on

By Lilibeth french (JCM/laf/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) -- The Department of Labor and Employment in Western Visayas is currently on the lookout for outstanding workers/employers in the private sector in the region.

National Conciliation and Mediation Board 6 OIC Director Rosemarie Oxinio said the search intends to recognize the contributions and services of deserving workers in the private sector.

“This is also one way to motivate our workers to be more productive and become models of other workers to do better,” said Oxinio during the launching of the 1st Search for the Outstanding Workers/Employers in the Private Sector on April 21 here.

The search is open to all Filipino citizens who are rank and file workers/employees in the private companies and establishments duly registered under the Philippines Laws in the region and compliant to Labor Standards and other DOLE regulatory requirements.

Qualified to be nominated are those workers/employees presently employed in their companies for at least three years; with exemplary performance proven in their performance rating; promote good labor and management relations; with good moral character and leadership skills; and active community members.

Nominations from peer/s or group, or by Non-Government Organization assisting the labor group, or by any reputable organization or company compliant on Labor Laws are encouraged. The deadline for submission of nominations is on May 13, 2016.

There shall be one winner in the three award categories: Services category which include hospitals, banks, educational institutions, hotels and restaurants, electric companies, transportation and others; Agriculture category which includes sugar/rice/corn plantations, fishing and others; and Manufacturing category.

Winners will be announced during the “Fiesta Sa Mayo Para sa mga Obreros Year V”, the annual culmination activity of the Labor Month celebration here which will be held on May 27. Labor Secretary Rosalina Dimapilis-Baldoz is expected to award the Plaques of Excellence to the winners.

The search is conducted in coordination with the Regional Coordinating Council and the Regional Tripartite Industry Peace Council in Western Visayas.

NIA, partner agencies to empower farmers for climate change, project sustainability


ILOILO City – Empowerment of farmers through inter-agency linkages is the solution seen by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) here to keep farmers resilient to climate change.

Acknowledging the impacts of the very strong El Niño on agriculture and food security, NIA saw the need to enhance farmers’ capacity in adapting to erratic weather conditions. This will be achieved through various basic social services and livelihood interventions that will be tailored according to their needs.

On April 14, 2016, national government agencies (NGA), non-government organizations and officers of various Irrigators’ Associations (IAs) across Western Visayas and Negros Occidental gathered at the Centennial Resort and Convention Center for the second Regional IA Congress.

The event was a venue for NIA to discuss its proposal for an inter-agency convergence mechanism. This strategy will ensure the participation of other government agencies, NGOs and the farmer-beneficiaries themselves in the preparation of concrete plans for Climate Change adaptation.

“We need to converge so we can together address climate change…it is not just us in NIA but we also recognize the roles of other agencies, NGOs and you our IAs in the development of concrete solutions to the impacts of climate change to agriculture and food security,” NIA regional manager Gerardo P. Corsiga addressed the participants of the congress.

“We already have a working inter-agency convergence mechanism in JRMP II, which addressed the demands of our brother IPs (Indigenous Peoples) in Calinog for infrastructure, livelihood and social basic services, so I have high hopes that we can do the same for our IAs,” he added.

“Convergence mechanism” was NIA’s strategy to win IPs’ consent for its flagship project in Western Visayas – the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II.

Under this initiative, 27 national government agencies forged a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to address various infrastructure, livelihood and social basic services requests of the affected IP communities. Manager Corsiga hopes to replicate the same to the IAs of Western Visayas to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather conditions to their source of livelihood and to food security in the region.

Present during said congress to give their support and update participants of their programs are representatives from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Landbank of the Philippines (LBP), National Food Authority (NFA), and Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

In attendance, too, were representatives of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

In the meeting, NIA Supervising Institutional Development Officer Ruth Cely M. Jamelo explained that after the congress, consultative discussions in the level of provincial irrigation offices will be conducted to identify specific needs of the IAs.

The event was also a venue for NIA to strengthen its campaign for Irrigation Service Fee (ISF) collection. Considered ‘life-blood’ of the agency, the ISF is a mandatory fee for IAs intended for the maintenance of the agency’s projects and institutional development programs.

Condotel helps spur local tourism in Iloilo

Section Editor: Pinky Concha Colmenares; Asst. Editor: Johannes L. Chua

Sta. Lucia’s Sotogrande

Iloilo’s coast is blessed with beautiful beaches and off-shore islands teeming with scenic seascapes and marine life, making it one of the top destinations for local and foreign tourists.

Following an increase in tourist arrivals in 2014, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog expressed optimism that the tourism industry in this city will soon become more formidable in the coming years.

Mayor Mabilog cited a report from the Department of Tourism (DOT) Western Visayas, which stated that the city registered 676,287 visitor arrivals for 2014. Iloilo is on its way towards achieving the DOT’s goal of attracting 4.6 million tourists to the region in 2016, especially after the National Tourism Development Plan has identified it as a culture-based Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibition (MICE) destination.

Sta. Lucia Land, Inc., one of the country’s leading real estate developers with over 40 years of experience, is one of those who believe that such vision is attainable; that is why it has decided to go to Iloilo and put up quality developments in the area.

One of these developments is Sotogrande Iloilo, the first condotel development which will soon rise inside Green Meadows, a prime residential lake community in Iloilo.

Sotogrande Iloilo is expected to become a prime residential and leisure landmark in the province that offers unique amenities such as the Lake Victoria, a five-hectare man-made lake that is ideal for boating.

There is also the Paradise Island located in the middle of the lake, which offers a venue for recreation with its picnic groves and cabañas set amid lush green surroundings.

With continuous developments rising in the central part of Iloilo, the recent launch of Sta. Lucia’s Sotogrande Iloilo, a six-storey, condotel development with a total of 149 units, is seen to provide the needed impetus for the city’s continuing growth as a tourism hub.

Ideal investment

Those who wish to take advantage of the impending tourism boom in the province will surely find Sotogrande an ideal real estate venture as it offers an opportunity for Filipinos to become a part of the fast-growing condotel industry.

Sotogrande Iloilo does not only offer a celebration of the tourist hub’s charm – buying any of its units also means getting a piece of the good life as owners stand to earn passive income through quarterly dividends.

The Sta. Lucia Hotel Management Group, which is in charge of leasing, marketing and maintenance, will lease back and operate the unit for 15 years, making the investment hassle-free while generating income.

Unit owners can also enjoy complimentary 30 hotel room nights at Sotogrande hotel per year with the option to use three hotel room nights at other Sta. Lucia hotels nationwide.

Spacious units

Once completed, the condotel shall offer studio-type, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units that are spacious and comes with hotel perks such as a full-service concierge and housekeeping team ready to serve and attend to guests’ needs.

Guests and visitors will also be given the opportunity to enjoy the facilities of Green Meadows Country Club, including the covered basketball, tennis and badminton courts, bowling center, swimming pool, fitness gym, and sauna.

Higher occupancy rates can be expected at Sotogrande Iloilo because of its proximity to the new airport, which is just 13 kilometers away or 15 minute drive via the National Highway.

Combined with luxe accommodation, competitive pricing and good location, it is expected to draw more property investors to Iloilo as condotels usually offer better returns than a pure residential condominium.

Iloilo City honors 14 outstanding women


FOURTEEN women with outstanding contributions to the community were given honors as Outstanding Women of Iloilo City (Towil) for 2016 by the City Government of Iloilo.

The women were from various fields of expertise and were chosen for bringing honor to the city, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said.

The awardees are: Dr. Joyce Wenda, Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas for government service, Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao District Captain Azucena Tabuyoc for volunteerism and community service, lawyer Pauline Grace Bunol-Alfuente for professional service, Rosana Alfaras for non-government organization and civic organization, Runelyn Jamolo for media, journalism and public information, RTC judge Guilljie Delfin-Lim, Engineer Helen Sotomil for science and technology, Dr. Kristin Trenas for culture and arts, Angelina Manajan for the religious sector.

Jail Officer 1 Jeralvy Yanson for protective service, Analyn Porras for the differently-abled persons, lawyer Lorna Dalipe-Gellada for education and academe, Filamie Aguillon for business and entrepreneurship, and Odette Carmina Larot Rio for sports.

Towil started in 2008 when Mabilog was then the city vice mayor and partnered with City Council Committee on Women and Children.

The annual recognition gave due honor to the women of the city who performed their task diligently above personal gain which subsequently gave honor to the city.

Iloilo hospital to offer free cataract removal

By Jezza Nepomoceno

PATIENTS who are suffering from poor vision due to cataract will not worry of their bills anymore because free eye surgeries will soon be performed in Iloilo Provincial Hospital in Barangay Rumbang, Pototan.

The free cataract surgery is courtesy of PhilHealth and Iloilo Provincial Government’s Blindness Prevention Program – an added feature in Hospital Efficiency Assurance through Reform and Transformation (HEART).

A brainchild of Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., HEART envisions the 12 province-owned hospitals to be “real hospitals for the poor” through reforms that include hospital upgrading (both its facilities and services), human resource development, fiscal management and other innovations.

The free cataract surgery is an added innovation in hospital reforms wherein PhilHealth and a society of private ophthalmologists in Iloilo City are the key strategic partners.

It aims to prevent blindness by providing early treatment to patients with age-related cataracts or cataracts caused by certain diseases such as diabetes.

Indigents covered by PhilHealth can avail themselves of the service while those without health insurance can still avail of this through PhilHealth’s Point-of-Care Enrollment.

A total of P6- illion has been earmarked by the Provincial Government for this undertaking under the Hospital Management Office (HMO).

The budget encompasses the appropriations for drugs and medicines (P1.5-million), medical supplies (P1.5-million), and medical equipment (P3-million).

HMO is currently processing the procurement of the first 100 cataract kits which will be used during the operation. Once everything is in place, the free cataract surgery at IPH will begin.

Business, infotech survey conducted in Western Visayas


THE Philippine Statistics Authority is asking for the cooperation of industries and business establishment owners and administrators as it conducts the Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry (ASPBI) and Survey on Information and Communication Technology (SICT) for 2015.

Distribution of the 2015 ASPBI and 2015 SICT questionnaires started last April 13, 2016 while the collection of the complete responses will start on May 2, 2016 to July 15, 2016.

Establishments are also encouraged to accomplish the questionnaires through the online system at for 2015 ASPBI and for 2015 SICT.

PSA Regional Director Rey Sollesta said the ASPBI is a nationwide survey which is undertaken annually except during the conduct of Census of Philippine Business and Industry (CPBI).

The 2015 ASPBI is a forerunner of the 2014 ASPBI and the 44th in the series of annual survey of establishments conducted since the 1956 Survey of Manufactures.

Sollesta said it aims to provide information on the economic activities of the formal sector in the entire country in 2015 and aims to collect and generate detailed information on employment, income, expense, inventories, tangible fixed assets, intangible assets and total assets of the establishments; generate indicators such as value added, labor production, average compensation and others necessary to evaluate the performance of industries at the national and regional levels.

It also aims to generate micro, small and medium establishments and enterprises (MSME) data using total employment, and gather information for the improvement of the list establishments and enterprises.

On the other hand, the 2015 SICT which will be conducted for the sixth time is a rider to the 2015 ASPBI. It will cover all industries covered in the 2015 ASPBI. It generally aims to collect and generate information on the availability, distribution, access and utilization of ICT among establishments in the country.

SICT will be used in assessing the use of ICT resources by establishments, and the available infrastructure, determining how establishment use the internet, including the activities for which it is used; determining web presence in establishments, determining the revenue generated through E-commerce transactions, and through cellular mobile phones, and determining the methods of disposal of ICT equipment.

Scientist recommends natural indigenous sugars to prevent risk of obesity, diabetes mellitus


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The risk of obesity and diabetes mellitus can be prevented by using sugar from natural indigenous products that abound in the locality.

Dr. Trinidad P. Trinidad, who spoke before participants of the three-day Philippine Chemistry Congress that culminated Friday in this city said that a study by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) showed that sugars from natural indigenous products “can be of help in the maintenance of our health because it contains inulin, which acts like dietary fiber.”

Her study, ‘Natural Indigenous Sweeteners: Sugar Composition and Glycemic Index’ found out that coconut sap sugar, coconut sap syrup and kaong sugar gave a glycemic index of 42 ± 4, 39 ± 4 and 43 ± 3, respectively and classified as low glycemic index.

“It has a very low glycemic index. Actually our first study showed that it has a glycemic index of 35 and some of them have 42. So it ranges from 39 to 45,” she revealed.

Glycemic index is a physiological classification of dietary carbohydrates based on blood glucose response from a food relative to a standard glucose solution, her study stated.

Coconut sugar contained inulin (4.6g/100g) while coconut sap syrup contained both dietary fiber (0.6g/100g) and inulin (0.5g/100g). Kaong has fructose content (0.8g) two times higher than its glucose content (0.4g). Fructose may complex with glucose to form carbohydrate polymers such as inulin or fructooligosaccharides, her study further disclosed.

“Natural indigenous sugars with inulin and fructose > glucose resulted in low glycemic response/index. Natural indigenous sugars maybe recommended in the prevention for risk of obesity and diabetes mellitus,” the study stated.

The utilization of the product is not only good for health maintenance but will likewise support the country’s coconut industry.

“We wanted to tell the people that our coconut industry should be uplifted and one of the best products of coconut is the coconut sap sugar and syrup,” she said.

The scientist added that tons and tons of coconut sugar have been exported in the United States, Canada and countries in Asia and Europe.

It is also available in Philippine market with some already bearing branded labels.

The three-day event organized by the organized by Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas and supported by the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies anchored on the theme “Chemistry Beyond Borders: Blaring Traditional Boundaries.”

Prov’l capitol cites Ilonggo achievers, dev’t partners

By EC Garcia (Capitol News/PN)

ILOILO – Outstanding provincial government scholars, development partners and women achievers were honored during the Pasidungog 2016 which is part of the 115th Semana sang Iloilo celebration on April 13.

The occasion held at the historic Casa Real, the old Iloilo provincial capitol, served as a tribute to the contributions and milestones of distinguished Ilonggos who have given their best for Iloilo province.

Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr., who was just conferred the Most Outstanding Governor – Hall of Fame by the Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officers of the Philippines, Inc. (ALSWDOPI), stressed that giving recognition to Ilonggo achievers is important as it would inspire them to do more for the good of the province.

Twenty-four scholars of the Iloilo provincial government were given medals and certificates of recognition, as well as cash incentives.

“Iskolar sang Iloilo” is a scholarship program established by Defensor in 1993 to help poor but deserving students. Presently, the province supports the college education of 35 students every school year.

Also given plaques of appreciation were agencies that have been partners of the Iloilo provincial government in several endeavors. They were the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Local Government Support Program (LGSP)-LED, Department of Science and Technology and Department of Trade and Industry.

Five municipalities were also recognized for receiving national and local distinctions for their outstanding delivery of public service programs. They were Guimbal, Oton, Sta. Barbara, Mina and New Lucena.

Meanwhile, Mayor Reynor Gonzales of Lambunao, Iloilo received a separate recognition for having been awarded Most Outstanding Local Chief Executive in the field of social services by the ALSWDOPI recently.

Iloilo province and Junior Chamber International (JCI) – Ilang-lang also awarded the Outstanding Woman Community Leader in the Province of Iloilo dubbed as “Ang Ilongga Award.” Joy Palmada of Pavia grabbed the award because of her extraordinary accomplishments in creating positive change in her community.

Defensor also thanked all the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the municipal mayors and provincial government officials for their support to his administration. “All of the successes of the provincial government could not have been achieved without your support,” he stressed.

2015 Business, ICT survey on

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

ILOILO CITY(PIA)—The 2015 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry (ASPBI) and the Survey on Information Technology (SICT) had kicked off with the distribution of questionnaires starting April 13.

The nationwide survey is spearheaded by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), where the ASPBI aims to collect and generate detailed information on employment, income, expense, inventories, tangible fixed assets, intangible assets and the total assets of the establishments.

PSA-6 Director Fred S. Sollesta said the above survey also seeks to generate indicators such as value added, labor production, average compensation, and others necessary to evaluate the performance of industries, at the national and regional levels.

Likewise, it will also reveal data on MSMEs using total employment, and gather information for the improvement of the establishments and enterprises.

Sollesta said the data will be used in constructing national and regional accounts of the Philippine economy, formulating and monitoring plans, policies in the attainment of national and regional economic goals.

On the other hand, the 2015 SICT as a rider to the 2015 ASPBI will include all industries covered by the ASPBI, to generate information on the availability, distribution, access and utilization of ICT among establishments in the country. Some indicators to be generated are the proportion of establishments using computers, proportion of employees using computers, proportion of establishments with internet connections and proportion of employees using the internet at work.

Sollesta said collection of accomplished questionnaires will start on May 2 until July 15.

“Establishments are also encouraged to accomplish questionnaires online through and,” said Sollesta.

“We also encourage the establishments to cooperate by giving truthful information that will lead to reliable data,” he added.

More job seekers get placed through city PESO


ILOILO CITY, April 15 (PNA) -- More jobseekers are getting jobs with the assistance of the city government’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO) as evident by the increasing number of workers placed in the past three years.

Data from the PESO disclosed that last year 18,086 job seekers were provided with assistance; 10,562 in 2014 and 8,576 in 2013.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has been very persistent in finding ways to help the city residents find jobs. The mayor even wanted to hold job fairs every month, according to PESO manager Ma. Elena Benitez.

He also encouraged the conduct of job fairs at the barangay level so that those who are adamant to go to fairs that are held in malls will also be given opportunity.

Aside from job fairs, PESO also called for a special recruitment activity (SRA) upon request of placement agencies.

PESO also entertains walk-in applicants seeking job referrals.

A job fair is slated April 21-22 at the Ayala Atria with some 50 local and overseas recruitment companies joining the event, Benitez said. She added that Ayala offered to help the city government in providing job opportunities to its residents.

IPPO recognizes best performing units


ILOILO CITY, April 14 (PNA) -- Nine performing units bagged the 12 awards during the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) Pagdayaw Awards for the first quarter of this year held at Casa Real Iloilo on Wednesday.

Dumangas Municipal Police Station (MPS) had the most number of accounted loose firearms as well as the awards for being the best station in Operation and Investigation.

New Lucena MPS was chosen as the best station in Admin/HRDD, Pototan MPS as the best in Intelligence, Duenas MPS as the best in Police Community Relations and Batad as the best in Women and Children's Desk.

Zarraga MPS has the most number of arrested wanted person, Estancia MPS has the most number of positive anti-illegal drugs operation while Concepcion MPS has the most number of operations against illegal drugs.

Dumangas MPS under Police Senior Inspector Charlie Sustento was ultimately chosen as the Best Police Station.

Meanwhile, 3rd Manuever Platoon was chosen as the best Maneuver Platoon.

The awardees received certificates and office equipment for their accomplishments courtesy of the provincial government through Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.

The Pagdayaw Awards is an inititaive of IPPO, now on its 3rd year of implementation where best performing units are recognized quarterly.

This quarter’s Pagdayaw Awards coincided with Semana sang Iloilo celebration.

Iloilo strengthens health referral system


ILOILO CITY, April 13 (PNA) -- A policy guideline booklet on Hospital Public Health Unit (PHU) will be launched Thursday as part of the continuing reforms anchored on a vision to make the hospitals “real hospitals for the poor.”

The launching, which will be led by Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., Provincial Administrator Raul Banias and officials from Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), will be held at the Casa Real de Iloilo.

PHU is a service area in 12-province run hospitals responsible for its public health programs and shall link, align and network with the rural health units for a responsible health care service delivery.

The formulation of the policy guidelines on the engagement of the provincial and district hospitals and rural health units strengthens and enables an effective hospital referral system.

It is an undertaking for the Iloilo Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas Health System Strengthening Project of KOICA which aims to improve, among others, the maternal and neonatal healthcare in Aleosan District Hospital in Alimodian, Jesus M. Colmenares District Hospital in Balasan and Dr. Ricardo S. Provido Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Calinog.

The project site for PHU also includes the rural health units of Alimodian, San Miguel, Leon, Calinog, Bingawan, Batad, Balasan, Estancia and Carles.

The policy booklet is made possible following a series of consultation workshops and conferences among the chiefs-of-hospital, chief nurses, medical officers and specialists; PHU coordinators of the provincial and district hospitals; municipal health officers, public health nurses and rural health midwives; municipal mayors and their representatives and duly guided by the technical representatives of the Provincial Health Office; Hospital Management Office and the Department of Health Regional Office 6.

School-based teen centers to host Tech4ED


ILOILO CITY, April 12 (PNA) -- Five school-based multipurpose teen centers here have been selected to host a national program that will help provide more development opportunities to Ilonggos through the use and integration of information and communications technology.

Technology for Education to gain Employment, train Entrepreneurs towards Economic Development (Tech4ED) will be pilot tested in Iloilo following the signing of the memorandum of agreement between the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Provincial Government of Iloilo and Schools Division of Iloilo of the Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday.

These teen centers are Teen’s Nook of Pavia National High School, Young Saver Teen Center of Igbaras National High School, Cabatuan Teen Center of Cabatuan National Comprehensive High School, Comfort Hub Teen Center of Sara National High School and Domina Teen Center inside Duenas General Comprehensive High School.

Tech4ED is designed to harness the power of ICT to empower and transform societies. To achieve the desired progress, the project provides for a platform where marginalized communities can get education, gain employment, start their own businesses and be competitive.

“Through Tech4ED, our pilot teen centers will have access to internet. It will increase their connectivity to transform the lives, not only of the students, but the whole community,” explained Salvacion Sibonga of the Iloilo Information and Communications Technology Management Office.

Under the agreement, the teen centers will allocate a corner dedicated to the project where computers will be deployed and additional staff to manage its operation. They will also be provided with additional computers and WiFi access to jumpstart the services of Tech4ED.

The services of the project are open to the public. This means that it will also cater the needs of out of school youth, cooperatives, agribusiness, food processors, and even to overseas Filipino workers.

'Visi-tour' highlights Iloilo City destinations, promotes share-the-road campaign


ILOILO CITY, April 11 (PNA) -- This summer, include Iloilo City in your list of destinations; ride a bike and feel safe as you go around the city touring its heritage and other tourism areas.

This was the idea behind the ‘visi-tour,’ which started as a weekend ride with friends, said Wilfredo Sy Jr, president of the Iloilo Folding Bike Riders.

“It’s like going around the city, looking up heritage and tourism areas and usually we go to a spot and gets to share what their passion is,” Sy said.

This form of leisure not only promotes various destinations in this city but encourages as well the use of bicycle as a form of transportation.

Sy said that during the tour, they often ask their guests what is it that they would like to see in Iloilo.

They may choose from plazas, heritage houses, bridges, art galleries and museums and adventures and modern destinations such as the Smallville and the Megaworld, among others.

Visitors may choose from among the eight packages of Fitstop Bites and Bikes which offer bike rentals from a minimum of PHP75 to PHP200 per hour.

“These packages are rooted on experience,” he added.

Their latest guests were Ford Foundation fellows who arrived in this city to do a study on what happened after their fellowship program.

Iloilo City has been a pioneer of the share-a-road campaign and was even recognized by Malacañang through a Bayanihan sa Daan Award in 2014.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) integrates safe bike lanes and walkways along the Senator Benigno Aquino Avenue widening project.

Only last month, the city government here and the private sector gathered some 5,000 bike enthusiasts for the 3rd Iloilo Bike Festival that showcases this locality as a bike-friendly and walkable city in the country.

Iloilo hospitals to add personnel, bed capacity


ILOILO Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. has given the green light for the hiring of additional medical personnel and upgrading of the bed capacity of the hospitals in the province, Provincial Administrator Raul Banias said.

On Thursday, Banias along with some chiefs of hospitals turned over to Defensor a check amounting P261,034,750.90 representing the net income of the 12 hospitals for 2015.

Banias said of the total amount, around P30 million will be allotted for the proposed salary increase under the Salary Standardization Law IV while the P231 million will be reinvested back to the hospitals through a supplemental budget to be submitted to the Provincial Board for approval.

Banias noted that the 12 hospitals obtained a gross income of P430 million in 2015, 83 percent of which came from Phihealth reimbursements.

Under the proposal, the P231 million would be allotted for hospital infrastructure (P86 million), hospital equipment (P68 million), drugs and medicine (P42 million), medical and laboratory supplies (P15 million) and for additional personnel (P66 million).

Banias said, the province will be hiring 593 additional personnel such as doctors, nurses, medical technologists, radiology technicians, nursing attendants and utility workers.

The hiring of additional personnel is in compliance with the license requirement of the Department of Health with regard to the authorized bed capacity of the hospitals.

Ten of the 12 hospitals will upgrade their authorized bed capacity, namely, Aleosan District Hospital from 50 to 75; Representative Pedro Trono Memorial District Hospital (Guimbal) from 50 to 75; Ramon Duremdes District Hospital (Dumangas) from 50 to 75; Sara District Hospital from 50 to 75; Ramon Tabiana Memorial District Hospital (Cabatuan) from 50 to 75; Dr. Ricardo Provido Sr. Memorial District Hospital (Calinog) from 25 to 50; Don Valerio Palmares Memorial District Hospital (Passi City) from 25 to 50; Jesus Colmenares District Hospital (Balasan) from 25 to 50; Federico Roman Tirador Sr. Memorial District Hospital (Janiuay) from 25 to 50 and Barotac Viejo District Hospital from 10 t0 25.

Banias stressed that on top of the proposed supplemental budget, Defensor earmarks a regular budget for the hospitals annually.

He also noted that some P1.5 billion had been spent for the upgrading and rehabilitation of the 12 hospitals with budget coming from the provincial government, DOH, Philhealth and Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica).

“With this support to our hospitals, we also exact from our hospital personnel their commitment to improve our services especially to the poor patients. Service with a Heart is our mantra to attain Governor Defensor's Heart vision which stands for Hospital Efficiency Assurance Through Reform and Transformation,” said Banias.

Iloilo slates weeklong activities for 115th Semana

(Iloilo PIO)

THE Iloilo province will turn 115 years old on Monday, April 11, 2016.

The occasion marks the establishment of the civil government of Iloilo province in 1901 where General Martin Delgado was appointed as the first provincial governor.

Several activities have been lined up to highlight the celebration dubbed as 115th Semana sang Iloilo.

Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. cited the importance of celebrating the foundation anniversary of the province as it will highlight the gains and successes the Ilonggo people have achieved through the years.

The week-long celebration kicks off on Monday with a thanksgiving mass at the Provincial Capitol lobby at 8:30 a.m. It will be followed by the opening of the Agri Trade Fair at the Capitol grounds at 9:30 a.m.

There will also be a Cooperative Congress from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Casa Real.

On April 12, there will be signing of Memorandum of Agreement for Tech 4 Ed in Teen Centers, Memorandum of Understanding on Star Books Digital Library and the launching of enhanced website of the Iloilo Provincial Government.

The Local Economic Development (LED) will also hold its general assembly and induction program at Casa Real from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

On April 13, there will be a testimonial luncheon for the distinguished Ilonggos and outstanding Provincial Government scholars at Casa Real.

Around 2 p.m., there will be a wheelchair distribution at the Capitol lobby spearheaded by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.

On April 14, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) will hold a Response Olympics at the Capitol grounds. There will also be a launching of a Public Health Guide along with the Book and Turn Over of MNCA Service Profile on GIDA Municipalities at Casa Real.

The Employee’s Day will be held on Friday, April 15, where various fun-filled activities are store for the provincial employees.

The week-long celebration will be capped by a fun run dubbed as “Dalagan sa Kaadlawan 3” slated on Saturday, April 16 with SM City Iloilo as starting and finish line.

Proceeds of the fun run will go to the Iloilo Provincial Development Center for Women and Children in Cabatuan, Iloilo.

Iloilo City gov’t to offer 2 more voc-tech courses


ILOILO CITY, April 8 (PNA) -- The city government here is offering two more vocational courses in response to the increasing number of youths having interests on availing of skills training that are accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the courses include housekeeping and emergency medical service that will be supervised by the Technical Institute of Iloilo City (TIIC).

Classes will be be held at the third floor of the Diamond Jubilee Hall along Mabini and Gen Luna Sts.

The two new courses offered is an answer to the growing demand of overseas jobs especially for domestic workers and caregivers.

Students looking for jobs abroad will be prepared and skilled enough to meet the challenges of their work.

Meanwhile, TIIC has been offering TESDA-accredited courses with National Certificate (NC) to include Carpentry NC II, Masonry NCII, Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II, Plumbing NC II, Shielded Metal Arc NC I and NC II, Massage Therapy NC II and Processed Food NC II.

Ex-NBA coaches eye Iloilo City as training center venue


ILOILO CITY, April 7 (PNA) -- Former developmental coaches Daniel Panaggio of Los Angeles Lakers and Andrew Dunlop of Phoenix Suns were in this city recently for an exploratory visit to look for possible venue of their proposed training center.

The training center for basketball and volleyball will not only be for Filipino sports enthusiasts but also part of Asia, said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

“They are really choosing the Philippines but yet to choose a city,” he added.

“They have seen the economic potential and promise of Iloilo that’s why they were here," he said.

Mabilog said that the sports trainers took into account the cost of living, English-speaking population and availability of facilities in choosing a venue.

The mayor said it will surely boosts the city’s sports tourism if indeed they will choose Iloilo City as venue.

Iloilo City gov't opens water supply distribution for investors


ILOILO CITY, April 6 (PNA) -- Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog stressed that this southern city is opening up investment opportunities for water supply distribution in areas not served by the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD).

Mabilog said he fervently hope the city council will authorize him to sign a memorandum of agreement with a company whose business is on providing water service in areas not served by the existing water district.

Last month, the city council here deliberated on the offer of South Balibago Resources Inc. to provide potable water to areas in Jaro district having no pipeline facilities with MIWD.

Through its managing director Cristina Isabelle Alejandro, the offer will focus on providing water supply in 34 subdivisions and three barangays in Jaro district, this city.

The MOA will grant a city franchise to South Balibago for 25 years to commence upon the fulfillment of conditions and maybe renewed for another period of time.

On the fourth year after the commencement date, South Balibago will have to pay the city a franchise fee of P1 per cubic meter of water sold and paid in its franchise area.

Mabilog is positive the city council will authorize him to sign the MOA with South Balibago by considering that Jaro district is not served by MIWD.

Four districts in the city are without water during the summer months out of the seven districts covered by MIWD franchise.

Last month, the city was declared by the city council under a state of water calamity as several barangays complained of severe water shortage and drying up of deep wells.

An ongoing emergency water delivery to the barangays is very limited and the city is still waiting for water procurement to be funded by the P3 million approved assistance from the calamity fund.

Philippine Carabao Center intensifies promotion of buffalo milk


ILOILO CITY, April 5 (PNA) -- The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) based at the West Visayas State University, Calinog, Iloilo has gone massive in promoting buffalo milk not just in Iloilo but also in the neighboring provinces of Panay.

PCC at WVSU Director Arn Granada said that partnership and collaboration with the DA family agencies has been explored to maximize intervention and assistance to farmers, livestock raisers and other agricultural stakeholders.

The center is now producing 90-100 liters of milk daily with 15 heads milking caracow.

“We are producing an average of six6 liters per animal and as per record one caracow has already produce nine liters for a day here in our center,” added Granada.

During the conduct of the National Rice Technology Forum and Field Day at Pototan, Iloilo last month, PCC introduced to some 1,250 farmer-participants the buffalo milk.

A total of 500 liters of buffalo milk flavored with chocolate, pandan and strawberry were refilled in cups for the farmers to savor its freshness and nutrition.

Farmer Mamerto Cordova of Leganes, Iloilo said that he is fond of drinking buffalo milk to refresh himself and maintain his active lifestyle in the farm.

“We are lucky that PCC at WVSU produce and process buffalo milk in their center and making it available within our vicinity. I’m encouraging my fellow farmers to drink buffalo milk daily,” Cordova said.

Granada said that on the third day of the forum, the PCC was able to sell 100 bottles of buffalo milk to farmers coming from the five districts of Iloilo. We also sell pastillas, white cheese and other milk products in our center, he added.

Aside from producing and processing buffalo milk, the center also extends technical assistance to carabao raisers such as artificial insemination, deworming, pregnancy diagnosis, provision of forage and grasses for planting materials and trainings.

In addition the center is assisting 11 dairy farmers in the processing and marketing of their milk produce.

Interested qualified farmers can also avail of bull under the Bull Loan Program (BLP) in order to upgrade native carabaos in their municipality.

PCC is mandated under Republic Act No. 7307 or the Philippine Carabao Act of 1992 to conserve, propagate and promote the carabao/buffalo as a source of milk and meat as well as draft animal power and hide to benefit the rural farmers.

Organic food processing training in Iloilo City

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILONGGOS would like to process and grow their own organic food as more are into the healthy lifestyle check.

Recognizing this rising crave for healthy and organic food, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office 6 and private firm Remnant Institute of Alternative Medicine, Inc. (RIAM) conducted a three-day training workshop on organic food processing.

More than 50 farmers, academe members, and local government units from the province and city of Iloilo participated in the activity last March 21 to 23.

The workshop aimed to promote healthy lifestyle among Ilonggos and mainstream the advocacies of organic farming in support to the Republic Act 10068 (Organic Agriculture Act of 2010).

DA Marketing Division chief Ma. Teresa Solis said the training will equip the participants with skills on how to cook, process, or preserve organically-grown foods like fruits and vegetables and to attract children to eat these organic products.

Dr. Mechelle Palma of RIAM led the discussions on Natural Farming and Health Paradigm, Conventional versus Organic Produce, Food Synergy and Balanced Plate, Homemade Soybean Products as Protein Substitute, Nutritional Approach to Reversing Hypertension, Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Obesity and Arthritis, Raw Food Processing Integration and Juicing and Processing of Organic Cheese and Butter Substitute.

The DA and RIAM technologists also demonstrated how to process soy milk from soybean, tofu and tokwa from soymilk using negari and absamari as hardener mixtures specifically magnesium sulfate which is laxative. Okara or soy pulp is being made into patty burger for sandwiches, organic juices containing fresh fruits like pineapple, calamansi, mulberry, cucumber, malunggay, cabbage, celery, mint, bush okra and edible flowers like blue ternate and beet roots. They recommended organic juicing for its health benefits.

They also demonstrated the processing of Organic Cheese (mozzarella) using cashew nuts and olive oil.

Palma said the human body needs essential amino acid, protein, minerals and vitamins which can be obtained from organic foods which are radical-free.

Palma is pushing organic agriculture as it will make a name for the Philippines in the Asean Economic Community (AEC) integration.

A memorandum of agreement was signed recently between DA and Food and Drugs Administration to certify the processing of organic medicine.

She urged local farmers to practice organic agriculture and soybean as a top organic food to plant as protein substitute and gluten to replace meat.

Highlighting its support to organic farming and healthy lifestyle, DA and RIAM embarked on a joint project called “Weekend Organic Market” beginning March 20.

They will also launch another organic market at the First Philippine Agri-Herbal Tourism Center located in JM Basa St., Iloilo City.

Construction of K to 12 facilities to start after polls

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE construction of eight school buildings that are intended for the incoming senior high school students in Iloilo City will have to wait until the May 9 polls is over, according to the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

Joren Sartorio, head of BAC, said they were unable conduct the bidding due to the election ban implemented by the Commission on Elections.

In a Comelec Resolution on August 18, 2015, government agencies are prohibited from procuring activities, including school building construction, during the upcoming May 9 national and local elections.

Sartorio assure that everything is already in place for the school building construction after the elections.

The Iloilo City Government has contracted a loan of P360 million for the construction of the schools that will be used for the June 2016 school opening.

The loan was approved by the City Council and is already held in trust with the Land Bank of the Philippines.

The school beneficiaries are the Mandurriao National High School, Iloilo City National High School in Molo district, TCT-AR Foundation Integrated School and Jaro City National High School in Jaro district, Fort San Pedro National High School in the city proper, and the Jalandoni Memorial National High School in Lapuz district.

DENR strengthens ‘guardian of coasts’


ILOILO City – Mangrove and beach forests in the coastal towns of Iloilo are considered “guardians of the coasts.”

Director Jim Sampulna of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6 said the first lines of defense of coastal areas are the mangrove forests for they serve as the wind and storm breakers.

“We are strengthening mangrove and beach forests not only in Region 6 but the whole country,” he said, through the Mangrove and Beach Forests Development Program (MBFDP) – a component program of the National Greening Program (NGP).

MBFDP was implemented by DENR-6 in December 2013, a month after super typhoon “Yolanda” ravaged most of the coastal towns in Northern Iloilo with six identified coastal areas.

Aside from being water and wind breaker, mangroves serve as valuable nursery areas for shrimp, crustaceans, mollusks and fishes. It also helps prevent soil erosion by stabilizing sediments using their tangled root systems. They filter pollutants and trap sediments originally from land and, thus, maintain water quality and clarity.

The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO)- Iloilo reported 86 percent accomplishment in the implementation of MBFDP, as based from the result of a validation by a third party validating team, recently.

PENRO-Iloilo implemented the MBFDP in 18 sites covering 811 hectares among the coastal towns of Barotac Nuevo, Dumangas, Ajuy and Concepcion. The mangrove and beach forest plantations attained a survival rate of 86 percent.

PENR Officer Raul Lorilla said they have worked hard to strengthen the coastal areas especially those damaged by “Yolanda” since they do not want to have a repeat of what happened.

“Our field personnel wasted no time in implementing the project, seeing that it is a must. We needed to protect not just properties, but more so the lives of the people,” he added.

DA 6 eyes to improve farm service provider project in WV


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) seeks to enhance the implementation of the farm service provider (FSP) project as farm mechanization is seen to boost rice productivity and sufficiency in Western Visayas.

On Tuesday, members of the technical working group crafted an action plan for its 2016 targets based on the result of the evaluation of 15 farmers and irrigators associations involved in the FSP project.

Four associations in Iloilo, two each in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Guimaras and three in Negros Occidental became FSP beneficiaries from 2012 to 2014. The Macabitu Irrigators’ Association, Inc. of Oton, Iloilo is one of the four pilot FSP recipients nationwide along with the two groups in Nueva Ecija and another one in Cotobato in 2012.

Macabitu IA chairman Engr. Franz Jason P. Baltazar said that they have availed of tractor with trailer, rice reaper, rice thresher, seed cleaner, transplanter and rice combine harvester in full grant which expedite their farm operations from land preparation to crop establishment and harvesting. “From PHP12,000/hectare (ha), production cost was cut down to PHP8,000/ha with the FSP project,” he noted.

During the assessment, FSP members cited the need to modify the designs and specifications of some equipment to appropriately suit the service areas. It was also mentioned that farmers in their localities are hesitant to avail of the FSP services resulting to low utilization of farm machineries. They also complained about the high maintenance cost and source of spare parts of the equipment.

Ester Ruth Francisco, regional FSP coordinator, said that there will be no additional group beneficiaries of FSP project this year. Rather, the DA will focus more on the capacity enhancement of existing FSP groups in the management, operations and maintenance of equipment.

“We have to retool our FSP operators in troubleshooting farm machineries as well as in record keeping and other matters pertaining to farm mechanization,” said Francisco.

In support to that, informational materials will be produced and distributed among the beneficiaries during the conduct of trainings this year.

Moreover, the department encouraged the farmer leaders to register their FSP groups to Cooperatives Development Authority and include the accident and life insurances of their operators in their operational funds. For transparency and promotional sake, standard size billboards/signages will be given among FSP groups to be displayed in their localities.

The department is advancing farm mechanization in order to cut production and labor costs, reduce postharvest losses, and to make farming an easy and engaging enterprise. Philippine Rice Research Institute and the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization studies show that farm mechanization can help increase harvest and reduce average production cost of palay from PHP11/kilo to PHP9/kilo.

In his recent visit here in Iloilo, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala lauded the high palay production in the region and urged farmers to support farm mechanization as it will help maintain the 119 percent rice self-sufficiency in Western Visayas. Farm mechanization, he added, will solve labor scarcity that usually result to significant yield loss.