Iloilo City News August 2013

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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
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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.


Tell Ilonggo story, filmmakers challenged

By Tara Yap

Iloilo City, Iloilo — An internationally-awarded Filipino movie director has urged budding filmmakers in Iloilo to tell the Ilonggo story.

Brillante Mendoza said Ilonggos should take cue from the award-winning Singaporean film “Ilo Ilo” directed by Anthony Chen.

“He saw the story of the Ilonggo. He saw the story of the Filipino,” said Mendoza.

The film made by Chen, which won the Golden Camera award at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival in France, is the story of the bond between a Singaporean boy and his Filipina nanny, Teresita Sajonia, who hails from Iloilo province.

While Sajonia was only a nanny, Mendoza noted that she exemplified the positive characteristic of the Filipino as a caring individual.

“It took a foreigner to see that in us when we should have seen it ourselves,” Mendoza emphasized.

Mendoza, who was awarded best director at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival, said we should look into the strength of the Filipino character to tell a unique Filipino story that also has a universal message.

Mendoza gave a talk to budding local filmmakers and students at SM City Iloilo.

DOT to meet with roro vessel operators


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 30 (PNA)-–Three islands in Western Visayas will be interconnected through a new tourism product “Cruise and Drive Tour” by the Department of Tourism (DOT) regional office.

DOT Reg. Dir. Helen Catalbas said that foreign and domestic tourists will be inspired to try this new "escapade" to visit and see the islands of Panay, Guimaras and Negros using the roll on-roll off (roro) vessels to carry the tourists’ cars, rented vans and tour buses driven on and off the ship.

However, Catalbas said she is negotiating with the roro ship management of FF Cruz and Montenegro Lines to reduce their fare rates of P400 per vehicle one way trip to Guimaras on top of each passenger fare and also, reduction of the inclusive terminal fee imposed by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

Catalbas said she is aware of the high rental cost of tourist bus chargeable per hour and is also negotiating with an accredited tourist bus company based in Aklan to come to Iloilo and bring the tourists to Guimaras.

The Cruise and Drive Tour will initially cover Iloilo and Guimaras as FF Cruz Corp. based in Lapuz, Iloilo City is the only one serving the roro route through the Port of Jordan, Guimaras. Montenegro Shipping Lines has stopped its operations since three months ago.

Other ports in Western Visayas with roro operations are in Caticlan, Aklan with Montenegro Shipping Lines serving passengers from Iloilo to Puerto Princesa, Palawan via Cuyo Island up to Mindoro and Batangas; and Millenium Shipping, Montenegro Shipping and Tri-Star Megalink Corp. from sitio Naluoyan, Sapao, Dumangas, Iloilo to Bacolod City and back to Dumangas.

City-wide sanitation driveon along the Iloilo River


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 29 (PNA) -– A city-wide sanitation drive is ongoing along the Iloilo River as the city races to completely clean the river of polluted waste water and other garbage debris.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, chairman of the Iloilo-Batiano River Development Council, said the regular river clean-up excluding the dredging operations has an average waste collection of 703 kilograms per month composed of floating debris and plastic bags.

Likewise, the city-wide sanitation campaign is piloting and replicating the low cost waste water treatment technologies in seven hospitals in the city in a move to lessen water pollution in the river.

Engr. Noel Hechanova, chief of the city environment and natural resources office, said the hospitals were advised to construct their own waste water treatment facilities.

This ongoing practice was able to avoid some two million liters of untreated waste water drained at the Iloilo River, he said.

Hechanova said it is imperative that the city river sanitation drive be sustained as the river is the anchor of economic development in the city.

Thousands of residents in the city look up at the river as their source of livelihood and pride and these include several restaurants, hotels and commercial buildings dotting the banks of the Iloilo River.

On the other hand, CENRO reported that the rate of average sedimentation at the Iloilo River and Batiano River is a depth of 1.84 feet per year.

Dredging operations is ongoing at the Iloilo River by phases. Phase I collected 244,970 cubic meters of silt and sediment in 2011. Phase 2 dredged 2004,000 cubic meters by January 2012 and Phase 3 collected 248,000 cubic meters by October 2012.

The ongoing dredging operations of Water Master Classic IV collected 379,987 cubic meters early this year with an operation cost of P43.79 million in 28 months.

Fishpens were removed to avoid siltation and flooding including two restaurants sitting outside the legal easement allowance, derelicts and sunken water vessels.

Relocation of informal settlers living along the riverbanks was also done.

Illegal structures and obstructions in the waterways were likewise removed.

Iloilo City cites outstanding employees


ILOILO CITY, August 28 (PNA) -- The city government recognized its most outstanding employees for this year during the recent Mayor’s Ball in celebration of the 76th Charter Day.

“This is a special award for our city employees who have shown extraordinary performance in public service and the practice of ethical behavior,” Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said.

The Most Outstanding City Government Employee award, a showcase of the best the city government can offer, applies to all permanent workers both in the career and non-career service.

The nominees were composed of department heads, assistant department heads, supervisors, and rank and file employees coming from different categories.

City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Noel Hechanova was adjudged Most Outstanding City Government Department Head II; and Engr. Neil Ravena of General Services Office, Most Outstanding City Government Supervisor.

For the rank and file, Ben Palma of the Local Economic Enterprise Office won in the Crafts, Trade and Related Services category; Mary Carmeli Las of City Population Office, Social Services and Welfare Services; Engr. Jan Marx Escosia of City Assessor’s Office, General Administrative Services; and Luisa Hipolito of City Health Office, Medical and Health Services.

They were chosen according to quality and consistency of behavioral performance, impact of the behavioral performance, risk or temptation inherent in their work, obscurity of the position, and years of service.

The awardees received P3,000 each and a plaque.

PSC mulls more sports events to showcase Iloilo River

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

ILOILO CITY, August 27 (PIA) --- Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Richie Garcia plans to hold more sports activities here to showcase the Iloilo River.

Garcia, who was a guest in the 2nd Senator Franklin Drilon Dragon Boat Competition Saturday, said that they plan to conduct more sports competitions including triathlon with Iloilo River as venue for the water sports activities.

He said that this will not only show the athletic side of the Ilonggos but emphasize the collective efforts to rehabilitate the Iloilo River.

The Iloilo River was the venue of this year’s national dragon boat competition during the city’s Charter Day celebration.

The competition attracted 10 teams this year, six from Metro Manila, two from Boracay and two from Iloilo City.

Meanwhile, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that his administration is fully supporting the various sports events for the development of a healthy mind and body especially for the young people.

He said that these activities will encourage them to be physically fit and to avoid detrimental activities such as drugs and smoking.

PRO6 conducts public hearing on proposed firearms, ammunition law IRR

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

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 26 (PIA6) - - The Police Regional Office (PRO) here in Western Visayas has started to get views, comments and suggestions on the proposed Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 10591 otherwise known as “Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act”.

P/Supt. Ledon Monte, Chief of the Firearms and Explosives Unit of PRO 6 briefed gun store owners and enthusiasts, private security agencies, national government agencies, PRO 6 Operations Officers from the provinces and cities and other stakeholders in the region on the draft IRR during the Public Consultation and Hearing held Aug. 22 at Camp Delgado here..

PRO 6 Director PCSupt. Agrimero Cruz, Jr. thanked the participants who attended the activity and encouraged others who have not given yet their issues, concerns, views, suggestions, and recommendations on the proposed IRR to take them seriously.

Through time the PNP, said Cruz had observed the seemingly unabated illigal gun-related problems confronting the community.

“Although we have been trying our best na madeter, maprevent pero mayroon pa po tayong nakita na pagkukulang sa batas, that is why, meron po tayong bagong IRR doon po sa batas na ating nababanggit. Mabuti na lamang ang ating Pangulo nakita yong problema at sa pamamagitan ng ating pagpupulong ngayon ay papalapit na tayo sa implementasyon nito ng sa gayon yong ating kabuhayan, yong kapakakanan ng nakakarami and even yong public safety, peace and order concerns ay ating na pong finally, matutugunan, (Although we have been trying our best to deter, to prevent there are still some things lacking in the law, that is why we have the new IRR for the said law. It's better that our President saw the problem and through this meeting we are nearing the implementation of this so that our livelihood, the welfare of the majority and even public safety, peace and order concerns will be finally addressed)”, said Cruz.

Cruz said it is necessary to hear the sentiments and views of the stakeholders as the PNP and the President expect everybody to follow the contents of the IRR and the new law on firearms and ammunitions once they will be implemented.

President Benigno Aquino signed the Firearms and Ammunication Act on May 29 this year. Among the salient features of the new law are the standards and prerequisites for the issuance or obtaining a license to own and possess a firearm.

Iloilo City launches new brand

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

ILOILO CITY, Aug 24(PIA) – Iloilo City has now a new brand, a slogan that claims “I am Iloilo Proud to be Ilonggo” which was launched during the City Hall Ball, held August 23, at Iloilo Grand Hotel and disseminated to the general public during the 76th Charter Day parade, August 24.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, in his message during the opening of the grand civic-socio 76th Charter Day Parade said that Ilonggos should put in their hearts and minds the new brand with a sense of ownership and pride.

“This is the pride of every Ilonggo to claim ‘I am Iloilo proud to be Ilonggo,’ as we put our city forward to development,” Mabilog said.

On the other hand, Iloilo city lone district Congressman Jerry Treñas said that Ilonggos should set aside politics and work with pride for Iloilo’s continuing progress, in his message in the same occasion.

The charter Day parade was participated in by almost 10,000 contingents from various offices and divisions in the city hall, schools and organizations and some 32 national government agencies.

The parade which lasted for more than two hours ushered in various other events, like the 2nd Jerry Treñas Dragon Boat Competition and Jobs Fair at the Robinson’s Place-Iloilo.

This historical event traces back to the signing of then president Manuel Quezon of Commonwealth Act 158 declaring Iloilo as Charter City.

10,000 to join Charter Day parade Aug. 24


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 23 (PNA)--Some 10,000 people are expected to join the grand civic parade on Saturday starting at 7:00 a.m. to cap Iloilo City’s 76th Charter Day celebration to be participated by employees of City Hall, national government agencies, schools, barangays and stakeholders.

“We are enjoining everyone to celebrate our Charter Day as we highlight our identity and pride as Ilonggos,” stressed Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog.

The biggest parade in the city will kick off from Luna St., La Paz and will snake through Bonifacio Drive, Iznart St. and JM Basa St. all the way to the Freedom Grandstand for a program.

Iloilo, as a chartered city, was formally inaugurated on August 25, 1937 highlighted by a grand civic parade.

Mabilog initiated and institutionalized the Charter Day celebration when he first became mayor in 2010.

400 Canadian, American investors to visit Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 22 (PNA) -- Some 400 foreign investors will be coming to Iloilo City next year.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said scheduled to arrive in Iloilo City on January 19 to 21, 2014 in Iloilo City are businessmen that include 300 Canadians and 100 U.S. nationals.

Their arrival, Mabilog said, is timely for Iloilo City’s crowd drawing Dinagyang Festival where some of them will be staying here for quite sometime to witness the festivity and the Chinese New Year.

The city chief executive said the group is planning to bring the winning tribe in next year’s Dinagyang Festival 2014 to perform in Alberta, Canada.

Mabilog said the city government of Iloilo is presently preparing new investment portfolio to be presented to visiting foreign businessmen and show potential investments in this once queen city of the south.

SP approves ordinance on disposal of lamp wastes


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 21 (PNA) -– The Sangguniang Panlungsod here has approved unanimously the proposed ordinance submitted by city councilor Jason Gonzales regarding the proper disposal of lamp wastes containing mercury and other toxic elements.

As reported by Committee on Heath chairman Lyndon Acap, the lamp wastes usually thrown by families along the streets and other areas without proper guidance pose great danger to health.

Children usually playing with the broken lamps are most susceptible to toxic mercury contamination.

The proposal has no sanctions against persons caught playing with broken lamp wastes but only carries prohibitions against improper disposal. Gonzalez said he will incorporate suggestions of fellow councilors on the proper disposal including of containers and specific collection points of the toxic wastes.

The ordinance was passed on the second and final readings on Tuesday, August 20, on condition that the additional suggestions be incorporated in the final draft of the ordinance.

Lamp wastes containing mercury include compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), mercury lights and all other fluorescent bulbs and lamps which are hazardous to health of the human body.

City to install traffic lights with CCTV

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Iloilo City Government will install its first four traffic lights with closed circuit television camera (CCTV), said city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Mabilog said the installation of the city-funded traffic lights, which costs some P3.5 million, will possibly be along General Luna Street and areas at the capitol and Iznart Delgado.

The first four of the 16 planned traffic lights are expected to improve the traffic flow, while the CCTV will help deter criminal acts along the streets.

Some P15 million, taken from the budget of a fountain at Plaza Libertad, was allotted for the traffic lights.

The plaza is being rehabilitated as a historical site funded by the Department of Tourism Enhancement Infrastructure Zone Authority amounting some P4 million.

A private donor will also install a traffic light at the corner of Infante and General Luna Street as an experimental project with an electronic billboard.

The mayor said the installation is just one of the many in line projects for the resolution of traffic congestion in the city proper.

Iloilo City to host 2 APEC meetings


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 19 (PNA) -– This highly urbanized city in the Visayas will host two top level meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) in 2015.

A communication sent by Guillermo Luz of the APEC National Organizing Committee to city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog showed that Iloilo was conditionally chosen to host the meetings of the Transportation Committee on October 8-10, 2015 and the Food Security Committee on October 15-18, 2015.

The Transport Committee meetings will be participated by some 300 international delegates while the Food Security Committee will be participated by more than 500 delegates from 21 APEC countries.

Before the actual meetings in 2015, advance parties of both international committees will arrive in the city to prepare the meetings and participation of delegates.

Mabilog announced that a site selection and inspection panel will be in this city by August 28, 2013 to see the APEC preparations in the city. The inspection team will go first to Boracay Island in the province of Aklan on August 18, Iloilo City on August 28 and Bacolod City on August 29 to see the hosting sites, amenities and proposed construction of facilities.

Cebu City also presented its bid for the hosting of APEC meetings to clinch a total of four possible venues in the Visayas. Davao City in Mindanao, five areas in Luzon such as Clark, Subic, National Capital Region (NCR), Puerto Princesa in Palawan and Albay are also slated for inspections.

The Ministerial Meetings will be participated by some 1,000 people coming from 21 countries in Asia and the Pacific Rim. The event will feature 18 different ministerial meetings with an event every month from 2014 to December 2015.

Megaworld to build P1.5-B Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Iloilo Business Park


Jericho Go, first vice president, Megaworld and Harold Geronimo, director for Strategic Marketing and Communications Group, Megaworld show to the media the artist’s perspective of the P1.5 billion Courtyard by Marriott that will soon rise in the 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Megaworld, the country’s leading real estate developer that pioneered the ‘live-work-play-learn’ lifestyle township concept in the Philippines, is allocating P1.5 billion to build the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in the 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park.

Marking the entry of an international hotel brand in Western Visayas, the 15-storey contemporary hotel is the latest addition of hotels inside Megaworld’s biggest township in the region and will offer first-class accommodation to business and leisure travelers in the area.

“This is another milestone for Iloilo Business Park. Our development in Iloilo is a showcase of our company’s commitment to uplifting the Ilonggo lifestyle to a whole new level,” says Jericho Go, first vice president, Megaworld. “The quality of service of Courtyard by Marriott is legendary and will help to lift the level of accommodation and leisure in Iloilo City.”

“This is the first Courtyard by Marriott hotel in the Philippines. We are happy and very excited that our fastest-growing brand in the Marriott group will rise in Iloilo Business Park,” says Peter Gassner, Director, Hotel Development Asia-Pacific, Marriott International, Inc.

Courtyard by Marriott, from Marriott International’s portfolio of world-class brands, is all about ‘Refreshing Business.’ The brand aims to provide guests with an environment that offers smart, energizing choices so that they can make the most of their time on the road.

Catering to guests with the most discerning tastes, the hotel is equipped with 314 spacious rooms and suites. The hotel comprises 121 King Rooms, 140 Doubles, 32 Executive Rooms and 16 Suites. All rooms will have a curtain wall system that provides an amazing view of the urban landscape of Iloilo Business Park.

Aside from the simple yet elegant furnishings, guests can also enjoy the amenities that include a lounge bar, meeting rooms, swimming pool with pool bar, outdoor bar and grill, state-of-the-art gym and business center.

“The Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo will also feature a restaurant which will serve high quality food that the Courtyard brand is also famous for, featuring a variety of international and local cuisines,” Gassner adds.

Iloilo Business Park, Megaworld’s biggest township in Western Visayas, will have luxury residential condominiums, BPO office towers, a Megaworld Lifestyle Mall, a 1.1-kilometer Festive Walk commercial strip, open parks, transport hub, and the much-anticipated Iloilo Convention Center, among others.

Iloilo Business Park is modelled after the company’s ‘live-work-play-learn’ lifestyle township formula in the Philippines. Among its successful townships include Eastwood City, known to be the Philippines’ first cyberpark; McKinley Hill in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; and Newport City in Pasay City, home of the famous Resorts World Manila.

Iloilo, San Juan cities ink ‘sisterhood’ pact

(LMSinay, Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City — A sister city agreement was signed between Iloilo and San Juan in a ceremony held here yesterday.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog of this city and Mayor Guia Gomez of San Juan led the signing.

“We share the same inspiration with San Juan City as outstanding local government unit (LGU), and this collaboration will surely create great impact and productive results,” Mabilog said.

He said both metropolises foster the ideal kind of governance by being consistent top-performing LGUs in the country, as cited by the Department of Interior and Local Government.

“We are certainly hopeful that this relationship between Iloilo City and San Juan City will forever sustain good governance and culture of excellence in our common goal to effectively and efficiently deliver the best for our constituents,” he stressed.

For her part, Gomez expressed admiration for Iloilo City for the accomplishments it has earned, which she hopes her LGU can learn from.

“We have many things in common, as we both push for a new paradigm of political leadership and sense of compelling vision,” Gomez, who has Ilonggo roots, said.

The agreement will mean sharing of resources, knowledge and practice in local governance, she added.

“We hope to become models for good governance, so the people can see and feel our efforts have not been in vain,” she said.

Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, a main guest in the ceremony, revealed he suggested they visit Iloilo City after Cebu, Davao, Bacolod and Bohol.

“Iloilo City is currently enjoying and experiencing tremendous economic growth and we can learn from your experience,” he said.

Earlier, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of San Juan passed a resolution establishing the sisterhood between the two cities.

The resolution, read by San Juan Vice Mayor Franciso Javier Zamora, stated the sisterhood will bring about exchanges in science and technology, culture and the arts, tourism, public health, social services, and planning, among others.

The signing was witnessed by officials and key persons in both cities, as San Juan practically brought its entire City Hall departments and offices to visit Iloilo and have a planning session here from August 15 to 18.

They also met with their counterparts in Iloilo and exchanged tokens with them.

San Juan joins the roster of Iloilo’s sister cities in China and the United States, and locally, Bacolod City, Makati City and Quezon City.

Tourism Code establishes Iloilo City’s tourism pathway


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 16 (PNA) -- The City Council here has unanimously approved the Tourism Code of Iloilo City that integrated all existing tourism-related ordinances and measures.

The ordinance defines the broad tourism industry concerns, heritage sites incentives, and tourism destinations, including recognized programs and events.

Councilor Nielex Tupas, the main proponent, said the Tourism Code was completed recently after several months of study and consultations with the different stakeholders and those involved in the implementation of different laws regarding the tourism industry.

It defines at least 20 tourism destinations here, including their historical, cultural and economic significance to the growth of the city.

The Tourism Code likewise recognizes and institutionalizes the Iloilo City Tourism Council created through Executive Order No. 05 Series of 2003.

It also incorporates the Local Cultural Heritage Conservation Council created through Ordinance No. 54 by defining local heritage or legacy buildings, structures or sites and prescribing its use and conservation.

Incentives on heritage sites and buildings and priority areas of tourism–oriented industries are available for investments of P5 million but not less than P20 million for one-year incentives, P20 million but not less than P40 million for two years, P40 million to P60 million for three years, and P60 million and above for four years.

The Tourism Code also defines the reduction of taxes based on gross sales and receipts of the preceding calendar year for new and expanded tourism enterprise to cover first year of operation by 100 percent, second year by 75 percent, third year by 50 percent, and fourth year by 25 percent.

Tupas said the non-fiscal incentives include assistance in securing additional business permits, access to financial and technical assistance program of the government, and facilitating service connections with local utilities and other services.

Special permits will also be granted to legitimate tourism activities in tour areas and the recognition of registration, licensing and accreditation of tourism-oriented establishments.

2 Japanese volunteers to teach science at WVSU


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 15 (PNA) -- Two Japanese teachers arrived in Iloilo City recently to provide technical assistance for the Science Enhancement Program of West Visayas State University (WVSU) here.

Volunteer teachers Ayaka Mizuki and Yasue Matsui, together with Prof. Ma. Elena Hojilla, met with Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. at the Capitol Wednesday.

Hojilla said that as part of the implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum, the Japanese volunteers will visit several schools in Iloilo to observe, train, and provide Science literacy and share the Japanese education system.

The arrival of the Japanese teachers was in response to WVSU’s request from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for volunteers to technically assist their program until March 2015.

Japan has been sending volunteer teachers to Iloilo since 1995 and this made a big impact on the results of the National Achievement Test (NAT), particularly in two schools in Barotac Viejo, Hojilla said.

Mizuki said she is excited to meet Ilonggo students. She said it is her first time to visit in the Philippines and she was told that Ilonggos are peace- loving people.

Aug. 23 deadline for submission of SOV nominations

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

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA6) -- Nominations for the 2013 Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) should be in at the Regional Search Committee not later than August 23.

Based on the guidelines issued by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), nominations may also be mailed but must be postmarked not later than said date.

The regional committee in Western Visayas is chaired by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) with three other government agencies and a private sector organization as members.

However, corporate nominations shall be submitted directly to PNVSCA.

The regional committee shall validate and select the regional qualifiers from among the nominees and endorse the same to the National Search Committee, which is also chaired by NEDA, by September 26 of this year.

It will be recalled that the search was launched by the PNVSCA to recognize the exemplary performance and dedication of Filipino volunteers who are instrumental in building strong communities across the country.

It is open to all individuals of Filipino citizenship and Filipino volunteer organizations or local chapter organizations of foreign volunteer organizations that currently provide volunteer assistance in the Philippines.

The award has two types, namely the National Outstanding Volunteer Award (NOVA) for individual (youth and adult) and NOVA for not-for-profit and corporate organization, and the Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award (VLAA).

NOVA is a recognition conferred on outstanding volunteer individuals and organizations that are chosen from among the regional qualifiers.

On the other hand, VLAA is a recognition conferred to an individual volunteer of Filipino citizenship or to a Filipino volunteer organization or a local chapter organization of a foreign volunteer organization serving in the country.

National qualifiers shall receive certificates of recognition. National awardees shall receive trophies while recipients of VLAA shall receive medals and certificates of recognition.

City transportation summit mulled

By Lydia Pendon

THE city and provincial governments of Iloilo are planning to conduct a transportation summit to solve the traffic woes in the city's main thoroughfares.

The summit aims to gather stakeholders in the transport industry and private sectors, as well as government agencies, among others, said Iloilo provincial administrator Dr. Raul Banias.

Banias attended Monday the public hearing and consultation among transport groups on the proposed amendment to the Perimeter Boundary Ordinance (PBO) hosted by the City Council.

In the new PBO, "provincial public utility vehicles are prohibited and restricted from entering any jurisdictional area of Iloilo City and are mandated to load and unload their passengers in duly established and designated perimeter boundary terminals."

More consultations will be conducted among other transport organizations, cause-oriented groups, students and market vendors.

More than 60 firms to join Iloilo City jobs fair


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 12 (PNA) -- More than 60 companies, including 38 local and 23 Manila-based business corporations, have registered to join the city job fair on August 25 at Robinson's Place Iloilo.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said he is giving his all-out support to the jobs fair that is part of the activities for the 76th Charter Day celebration of this city.

Cookie Benitez, head of the City Public Employment Service Office (PESO), said they will register job applicants for posting in both local and overseas job placements.

More than 1,000 job applicants are expected to participate, Benitez said.

For those interested to work abroad, job placements are available for the Middle East and United Kingdom especially for nurses, engineers, and skilled construction workers. Domestic helpers and marketing staff are also needed in the Middle East.

Local corporations are looking for call center agents, fastfood crew, salesmen and construction workers, among others.

Benitez said the City PESO is holding at least seven job fairs from January to December.

Applicants are requested to pre-register until August 23 for smooth processing of applications, but walk-in applicants are also accepted.

Iloilo muslims call for peace

By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo – Notwithstanding the continued bombs exploding in various parts of Mindanao, the Muslim community in Iloilo city, during Eid’l’Fitr at the end of Ramadan last Friday, called for peace and the end of strife in the country.

“We hope that the conflict in Mindanao and the rest of the country will end,” stressed Sultan Sammy Hadjimanan during the Eid’l Fitr celebration held at the parking lot of the Iloilo Provincial Capitol last August 9.

Hadjimanan, spokesman of the Iloilo United Muslim Community Inc., was referring to the recent bombings in Cagayan and Cotabato that has resulted to the deaths of over a dozen people. “We are one country and we are all Filipinos,” emphasized Hadjimanan.

He added, “We have to attain peace so we can focus on progress in the country. Conflict must be established in both Muslim and non-Muslim communities.”

The Muslim community in Iloilo welcomed the end of Ramadan with a prayer, followed by a communal feast and games for the children.

Hadjimanan said that he and his fellow Muslims “thanked Allah” for giving them renewed strength during the month-long Ramadan, when they went through fasting during the day. There are about 3,000 Muslims residing in the city and province of Iloilo.

DOT-6 to hold 2nd Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge

By Leonard T. Pineda I (JSC/LTP-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 10 (PIA6) -- Five teams composed of college students will travel to six destinations in the country for a period of seven days in the 2nd Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge.

Lawyer Helen Catalbas, Department of Tourism-6 (DOT-6) Regional Director, said that DOT-6, in partnership with Cebu Pacific Air, is holding the second year of the backpacker challenge to create awareness of the distinct culture of each destination and promote budget-friendly travel to every Filipino.

Catalbas said that the students will be given the opportunity to discover other cultures and wander for free through this event slated on August 27 to September 2.

The DOT said that all universities and colleges in the region have been invited to have their students ages 17-23 years old, residing in the Philippines and enrolled in an undergraduate or post-graduate program in their respective institutions to take part in the event.

The backpacker challenge will give the students the opportunity to visit museums, theme parks, churches, and other tourist spots, try local delicacies, and other fun activities the local destination offers.

The winning team dubbed as Juan for Fun Ultimate Backpackers will get exciting prizes including 12-round trip tickets to any local (except Caticlan, Coron, and Busuanga) or international destination (limited to short-haul destinations) and a 3-day/2-night local tour package for three courtesy of DOT.

The DOT said that through the Juan for Fun Ultimate Backpacker Challenge, traveling in the Philippines is truly more fun.

Iloilo projected to have 4,000 hotel rooms by 2015


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 9 (PNA) -- The city and province of Iloilo is projected to have more than 4,000 hotel rooms by 2015, a development seen to fully reach its tourism potentials.

At present, Iloilo has only 2,000 hotel rooms.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 6 Director Helen Catalbas said the tourism potentials of Iloilo have been barely scratched on the surface as there is a wide room for improvement.

The projection of more than 4,000 hotel rooms by 2015, with the completion of two more big hotels and three boutique hotels, would be in time for the APEC Ministerial Meetings that year. Iloilo City is bidding to host one of the meetings.

Records show that of the 3.099 million tourist arrivals in Western Visayas in 2012, Iloilo City posted a total of 526,965 tourists while Iloilo Province had 80,184 tourists.

DOT-6 eyeing 7 city bridges tour in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 8 (PNA) -- The seven bridges passing over the Iloilo River here have been included in the list of new tourism products being developed and marketed by the Department of Tourism Region 6 (DOT-6).

The proposed tour itinerary of the “7 Bridges of Blessings” will start from the rooftop of the new Iloilo City Hall to get the scenic view of the city and the majestic Iloilo River.

DOT-6 said the bridges brought blessings to the city through the river that served as the anchor of the city’s economic growth.

Constructed over the river, the seven bridges crossing the river are part of the total 16 bridges in the city.

Among the “7 Bridges of Blessings,” the longest is Jalandoni Bridge at 170.9 meters long to be known as the “Bridge of Enchantment” linking the city proper to La Paz district.

Others are the 137.4-meter Iloilo Bridge I or the diversion bridge as “Bridge of Prosperity” linking the city proper to Mandurriao district; the 130.95-meter Muelle Loney Bridge or the railway bridge as “Bridge of Hope” linking the city proper to Lapuz district; the 127.23-meter Forbes Bridge linking the city proper to La Paz district to be known as the Bridge of Unity;

The 114.8-meter old and new Carpenter Bridges in Molo-Mandurriao boundary as the “Bridge of Love;” and the 109.64-meter long Quirino Lopez Bridge as the “Bridge of Trade” linking the city proper to Lapuz district.

The Iloilo Bridge II is still under construction along the circumferential road project in the Mandurriao-Sooc road while the Arroyo Bridge is in the proposal stage.

Foreign investors eye city for major environmental projects


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 7 (PNA) -– This city has recently attracted three prospective major foreign investors for various environment-focused projects.

These investors are willing to pursue projects on waste-to-energy, sanitary landfill and solar power energy here in Iloilo City.

Synova Power aims to pilot a waste-to-energy project. It will convert methane from the city’s existing controlled dump site into 18-megawatt energy. The P4-billion venture, if approved, will be the first in Western Visayas.

"If this project will push through, this will be a pilot and a benchmark for waste-to-energy project in the region," said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Representatives from Synova have also met the city council’s committee on environment headed by Councilor R Leone Gerochi.

They have also presented their proposal to the city’s Solid Waste Management Board, in hopes of pursuing the project.

Meanwhile, Hydronet Consultants wants to convert the city’s existing open dump site into a sanitary landfill. The project is expected to start this year and to be completed within 14 months.

In fact, the city has already approved the project and has signed a P297-million loan agreement with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

Also up for bidding is the need for a compactor and materials recovery facility, project supervision and civil works component.

This sanitary landfill project will promote a more healthy and livable community and generate jobs, said the mayor.

On the other hand, the third foreign investor, which Mabilog did not name, is keen on Solar Power Energy project. The investors are presently discussing with Panay Electric Company their Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) so they can produce power here in the city.

They have already met the chief executive to discuss the city’s potentials for solar energy.“This will definitely promote the use of renewable source of energy that is also good for the environment,” Mabilog said.

DOT joins Muslims in Iloilo in celebrating Eid’l Fitr fest


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 6 (PNA) -- The Department of Tourism 6 (DOT-6) is coordinating with the Muslim community in Iloilo City to support the Eid’l Fitr celebrations this coming Friday to Sunday.

DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said she would want to talk with their leaders on how the DOT could help them in their activities and come up with initiatives to invite more Muslin visitors to come here during the season.

“We support our Muslim brothers and sisters in celebrating Eid’l Fitr which simply shows our deep appreciation and respect for their culture, beliefs, traditions, thanksgiving and sharing,” she said.

Catalbas said they have already initiated talks with malls and restaurants if they could offer and serve halal food to Muslim visitors.

“They are still thinking because to be a certified halal restaurant, they should abide by the international standard which means that all food to be served are allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines,” the tourism official said.

Eid’l Fitr (also known as Eid-al-Filt, Id-Ul-Fitr, Eid) is the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal signaling the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting and prayer. Eid means festival and after a month-long sacrifice while Eid’l Fitr (festival of fast-breaking) is looked forward to as a period of merriment, sharing and forgiveness.

In 2002, the national government recognized Eid’l Fitr as a national holiday to promote peace and harmony among all major regions in the country.

Metro Iloilo residents displaced by flashflood return home


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 5 (PNA) –- Metro residents evacuated from flood-stricken barangays in metropolis Iloilo last weekend had returned to their respective homes Monday.

Informed sources said the city and province of Iloilo have experienced heavy downpour last weekend, causing the Dungon Creek to swell that caused flashflood in flood-prone barangays along its vicinity.

According to Darwin Papa, senior medical response officer of Iloilo City Emergency Responders, worst affected by the flashflood was Brgy. Calubihan where a total 54 families have been evacuated.

Evacuees took temporary refuge at the barangay hall and Dare Care center in the barangay where they availed themselves of emergency relief assistance from the City Social Welfare and Development Office

The evacuation of residents was ordered by the respective village chieftains of affected barangays located along the banks of the Dungon Creek where floodwaters swelled and submerged several houses situated in its vicinity.

Other affected barangays in the district of Jaro include Desamparados and Dungon A which are located along the Dungon Creek as well as Barangay Onate de Leon in Mandurriao district here.

ICER also reported that a total of 854 families in flood-prone Brgy. So-oc, Arevalo, Iloilo City has been displaced by yesterday’s flashflood in the area.

Twelve families still remained in the evacuation center in the barangay while the rest had already returned to their houses after floodwaters has already subsibed.

Meanwhile, Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and ICER remain on alert for possible flashflood that may be spawned by heavy rainfall due to the presence of the low pressure area spotted by the weather bureau somewhere in Palawan.

Conservation advocates in Iloilo honored

By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo — Five individuals and institutions in Iloilo were recently honored here for their efforts in environmental awareness and protection and their achievements in projects supportive of the environment.

Recognized as this year’s Green Guardian Awardees were Dr. Jurgenne H. Primavera, scientist emeritus with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC)’s Aquaculture Department, Dr. Rex Sadaba of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UP Visayas), Uswag Calajunan Livelihood Association (UCLA) Inc., Orchard Valley Inc., and the Iloilo-Batiano River Development Council.

Primavera and Sadaba were awarded for their advocacy in saving mangroves in Panay and Guimaras Islands.

UCLA Inc., meanwhile, is a community group that has made products out of recycled waste materials from the Calajunan dumpsite in Mandurriao, Iloilo City. It not only has national customers, but international buyers as well.

Orchard Valley is a sustainable organic farm in Pavia, Iloilo that supplies organic fruits, vegetables, and poultry products to local hotels and restaurants.

The Iloilo-Batiano River Development Council has successfully initiated the cleanup and development of the two rivers traversing Iloilo City and neighboring Oton town. Largely responsible for this endeavor are Ilonggo native, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

The awardees were handpicked by major property developer Megaworld Corp. and community newspaper The Daily Guardian both of which are behind the Green Guardian Awards project.

DSWD-6 calls on NGAs, organizations to join efforts for WV poor

By May Rago-Castillo [(PNA), HBC/MRC/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 3 (PNA) -- The Dept. of Social Welfare and Development regional office recently called on other National Government Agencies (NGAs), civil society oOrganizations (CSOs),academe and Micro-Finance Institutions (MFI) to converge interventions for the poor families in Western Visayas.

“Uplifting the lives of poor families and communities cannot be solely done by the department. We need a concerted effort from the different NGAs, MFIs, business sector and other organizations,” said DSWD Assistant Regional Director Joel Galicia.

He delivered his message during the Regional Partnership Forum for Sustainable Livelihood at Eon Centennial Hotel in Iloilo City.

The forum, participated in by nine NGAs, seven CSOs, four from academe, and five MFIs, aimed to generate commitments for Sustainable Livelihood of nearly 300,000 poor households covered by Pantawid Pamilya and recognize good practices in existing partnerships.

Participants included Technical Education Skills Authority, Dept. of Public Works and Highways, Dept, of Labor and Employment, Dept. of Trade and Industry, Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, Dept. of Science and Technology, Dept. of Agrarian Reform, and Dept. of Justice;

West Visayas State University, University of Antique, Western Visayas College of Science and Technology and Aklan State University, all from Academe; Taytay sa Kauswagan, Barbaza Multi-Purpose Cooperative, NEDF, Bugasong MPC, Globe Banko and SM KSK Harbest, all MFIs; Center for Community Transformation, Ahon sa Hirap Incorporated, Antique Federation of NGOs, Uygongco Foundation, Altertrade, Negros Women for Tomorrow’s Foundation.

Iloilo City barangays urged to set aside funds for tourism programs


ILOILO CITY, August 2 (PNA) -- Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has called on all barangay officials here to allocate funds for tourism programs as the villages seem to have no budget for tourism initiatives.

Mabilog said there is an urgent need to revisit the existing tourism plan of the city and the municipalities under the Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Economic Development Council.

Speaking during the August 1 presentation of results of earlier focus group discussions regarding tourism programs in this city and five other Iloilo towns, Mabilog said the tourism sector stakeholders, city government , and the barangays must work together to enhance and improve the tourism industry in the areas under the MIGEDC.

Several areas of improvement and strategies were discussed covering capacity development, security and disaster preparedness, facilities, food, frontline, information accessibility, infrastructure, maintenance, maps, planning and institutional, promotional activities, transportation and traffic.

Among the areas of improvement focused on the tour operators and taxi and jeepney drivers not being aware of local tourism sites, low awareness of law enforcers on the dynamics of the tourism industry, and little involvement of barangays in disaster-related response.

There is also low involvement of barangays in the enforcement of city cleanliness and the need for barangays to implement city ordinances.

More than 15,000 runners joining Milo marathon elimination in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, July 31 (PNA) -- More than 15,000 runners are joining the regional elimination here of the 37th National Milo Marathon, the country's most prestigious sporting event to date.

The regional elimination race is set on Sunday, August 4, which will start and end at the West Visayas State University in Luna Street, La Paz.

A total of 15,225 participants will join here making it the biggest regional elimination race.

The runners are divided into four categories: 21K with 375 runners will start 4:30 a.m., 10K with 350 runners will start 5:00 a.m., 5K with 11,800 runners will start 5:35 a.m., and 3K with 2,700 runners will start 5:30 a.m.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will join the runners at the beginning of the race.

“This is one of our thrusts -- to create sports competition that will unleash the youth's capability in their chosen sports discipline and steer them away from the dangers of illegal drugs,” he said.

Iloilo City has been awarded as the best Milo Marathon organizer in the past two years.

"We are aiming to win again this year and eventually will be the first grand slam winner of the said award," Jojo Castro, Iloilo City Youth and Sports Development Division Chief, said.

Aside from the main event, spectators will also witness the cheer dance competition from elementary, secondary and college levels.

Trophies, medals and cash prizes await the successful runners and will have a chance to represent the region in the national finals.