Iloilo City News August 2015

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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
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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.


10,000 Iloilo folk light candles for peace

(Philippine Daily Inquirer)

ILOILO CITY—Braving an intermittent drizzle, about 10,000 mostly residents of San Enrique town in Iloilo province lit about 16,000 candles to form an image for inner and world peace on Saturday evening.

The 16,000 candles lit on the grounds of the San Enrique Central School formed an image of the map of Iloilo province and San Enrique, and the symbol of Middle Way Meditation Institute (MMI), the Thailand-based organization that spearheaded the event. The candles also formed the event’s theme “Progress through Inner Peace” and “San Enrique, Iloilo 2015.”

San Enrique, a third-class municipality (annual income of P5 million but less than P10 million) located about 67 kilometers north of Iloilo City, also garnered the distinction of being the first “Inner Peace Town” of the MMI which has also organized in 2013 and last year.

“The event was very successful and it brought our town together,” said Mayor Ramona-Palabrica-Go, a retired Philippine Army general, the first Filipina to have held the post.

The event is the third in the past three years seeking to promote meditation and inner peace. It was also organized by the provincial government and the Department of Tourism.

Last year, a similar event posted a Guinness World Record for the largest flaming image using candles after 56,680 candles were lit in an open-field Savannah subdivision in Oton town, Iloilo.

In 2013, a world record was also set for the most number of sky lanterns flown simultaneously after thousands of participants flew 15,185 sky lanterns at the football field of the University of the Philippines Visayas in Miag-ao town, Iloilo.

Go said there was no objective to post a new world record in this year’s Light of Peace event.

She added they only wanted to promote the values and virtues being espoused by the organization including cleanliness, orderliness, politeness, punctuality and meditation.

The participants gathered hours before the event started about 5:45 p.m. and ended two hours later.

Those who came were mostly students, teachers, employees and other residents of the 28 villages of the town as well as from Iloilo City and neighboring towns. There were also guests from other countries, according to Go.

The event included a meditation session and an ecumenical prayer.

About 760 policemen and 240 soldiers were mobilized to ensure the safety and security of the participants.

RDC-VI conducts Q3 regular meeting, Sept. 4

(NEDA/Development Research Division)

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 30 (via PIA6) -- The Regional Development Council of Region VI (RDC-VI) will hold its 3rd Quarter Regular Meeting for this year on September 4 at the Casa Real de Iloilo, Old Provincial Capitol of Iloilo Province here. Assistant Secretary Elvin Ivan Y. Uy of the Department of Education is invited to share some updates on the implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Program. The meeting will be hosted by Governor Arthur D. Defensor, Sr. and the Province of Iloilo.

The Council will elect the nominees for the position of RDC-VI chairperson following the separation of the province of Negros Occidental from Region VI as mandated by Executive Order 183 issued by President Benigno S. Aquino III and which took effect on June 5, 2015. As a result of this Executive Order, Governor Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. of the Province of Negros Occidental is no longer the chairperson of RDC-VI. As such, the Council will now undergo the process of electing at least two nominees for the position of RDC-VI chairperson/co-chairperson from the public sector. The RDC Chairperson will only serve as such for the remaining term of office of Governor Marañon.

The election will only be for the government sector nominees as Mr. Jessraf F. Palmares remains as the RDC-VI nominee from the private sector. Based on RDC-VI guidelines, only the following RDC-VI members, who should be present during the meeting, are qualified to be nominated: the governors of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo and Guimaras, and the mayor of Iloilo City.

This quarter’s meeting will also review and endorse the RDC sector and special committee reports/resolutions which include: the review and evaluation of the “Inclusive Partnership for Agricultural Competitiveness Project” of DAR for World Bank funding; review and evaluation of the Sibalom Port Development, San Jose Port Development and the Roxas City Circumferential Road. The RDC-VI is also set to create the Regional Project Steering Committee for the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Phase 2 and the Sub-committee on International Migration under the Social Development Committee.

Governors, mayors, heads of regional agencies and private sector leaders of Western Visayas Region are expected to attend the meeting. NEDA-VI Regional Director Ro-Ann A. Bacal and Vice-Chairperson of the RDC-VI is currently the acting Chairperson of the Council and will preside the meeting.

More landless farmers to get land this year


ILOILO – This year, the Department of Agrarian Refrom (DAR) in Iloilo hopes to distribute 3,500 hectares more of lands to farmers.

Provincial Agrarian Program Reform Officer Dr. Enrique Paderes said they have already documented the landholdings comprising 2,700 hectares to be submitted to the Land Bank of the Philippines for valuation.

DAR-Iloilo has also finished surveying 600 hectares and is preparing for another 200 hectares.

It will try to accomplish the necessary documents of these landholdings to be submitted to Land Bank before its cut-off period on Sept. 30, 2015.

To date, DAR-Iloilo has distributed a total of 67,565 hectares to 45,476 farmer beneficiaries in the province under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), which was strengthened by Republic Act 9700 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) in 2009.

The number is about 79.9 percent of 84,461 hectares, the targeted landholdings to be distributed in Iloilo through CARPER.

From July 2009 to date, land distribution balance is 16,896, mostly through compulsory acquisition.

Paderes said resistance of land owners and technical documents remain their major challenges in the implementation of CARPER in Iloilo.

He said Land Tenure Improvement, which is operationalized through land acquisition or leasehold operations, is just one of the key program components of CARP.

The agency also ensures that lands distributed are made by beneficiaries more productive or as their source of livelihood through the support services provided to them not only in agriculture but up to their households.

Some of these support services include farm-to-market roads (FMR), irrigation system, water system, financial assistance, insurance to crops, and day care center.

Per DAR-Iloilo data, some P209,886,485 were provided to fund FMR projects in five Agrarian Reform Communities in the province. This is on top of the 45 foreign assisted infrastructure projects implemented worth P353,579,164.

A total of P47,711,760 credit line was also approved under the Agrarian Production Credit Program and portion of the fund was already released to five farmer organizations in the province.

To date, some 557 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries have already availed of the loan assistance.

JCI Iloilo Ilang-ilang and LPNHS bring heaven to aeta community through education


ILOILO CITY, August 28 (PNA) -–The Junior Chamber International Philippines Iloilo Ilang-ilang, Inc. (JCI), together with the Lapaz National High School (LPNHS), educate aeta community in Barangay (village) Lanit, Jaro, Iloilo City.

The program Skwela ‘Ta of JCI Iloilo Ilang-ilang is a part of their project "Langit sa Lanit", a program for adopting of the aeta community headed by Rodelyn Ngipen.

"Langit" or HEAVEN is an acronym that means housing, economic development, assistance for medical and legal, values formation, education and nutrition.

Skwela 'Ta aims to teach aeta students to read, write and count, bridge the gap between the marginalized cultural minorities and proper education accessible to the mainstream society, strengthen and promote public awareness of the rights of indigenous peoples, make the aeta children be proud of who they are and provide hope to the parents of aeta children that they may have better future.

This program benefits 30 aeta children together with their parents in the community.

“We will not have the strength to create such an impact to a community of our indigenous people if we are not supported by our partners such as Lapaz National High School. We are really grateful for the hearts they had poured into this project", Atty. Essy Genebelle Antonano, JCI Iloilo Ilang-ilang president said.

More than 10 volunteer teachers of LPNHS participated in this five year partnership with the Skwela 'Ta program. "It is really a sacrifice on the part of our teachers, when Saturdays are supposed to be their rest day but they really volunteered because we believe that this is a worthwhile endeavor", said Dr. Teresita Militar, LPNHS Principal.

The two parties had their ceremonial signing of memorandum of agreement, witnessed by representatives from the aeta community Thursday at LPNHS.

Furthermore, the ceremonial signing of memorandum of agreement was also supported and attended by DepEd Iloilo City OIC and Asst. Schools Division Supt. Clarissa Zamora and Lapaz Schools Division Supt. Dionnie Arbis.

Moreover, Jezza Nepomoceno, Chairperson of Program Skwela 'Ta, said that they were now trying to lobby with the DepEd if the program could be qualified under the Alternative Learning System.

"We are really thankful for the people who help our community. Even if we cannot pay them back, God knows how to bless them in return", Pastor Rogelio Elosendo of Ati Tribes Mission Inc.

DSWD 6 recognizes PWD friendly firms in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Aug.27 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 6 in collaboration with the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) has recognized Persons with Disability (PWD) friendly establishments in Iloilo City, August 27.

The three PWD friendly establishments have been visited by the representatives from DSWD 6, NAPC and the local government unit of Iloilo City and personally recognized them this morning.

The Mercury Drug store in Valeria Delgado St. was recognized for its compliance with Republic Act (RA) 9442 providing 20 percent discounts to groceries and medicines to PWDs.

The Amigo Terrace Hotel was also recognized for its 90 percent compliance to Batas Pambansa (BP) 344 that provides accessibility of facilities to the PWDs.

Housekeeping supervisor of Amigo Terrace Hotel Geronimo Sotrina said that they have their bedrooms and comfort rooms intended for the PWDs. They also give special discounts of hotel rooms for the PWDs.

However, the Petron gasoline station in Molo, Iloilo was recognized for being a PWD friendly gasoline station. Petron has good compliance of the RA 10645 of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that employ PWDs.

Currently, Petron has four employed PWDs who work as janitor, gasoline boy and encoder. Petron station supervisor Maria Cecilia Pendon said that their employed PWDs are availing OF the same benefits and same salary as to those who are not PWDs.

One of the PWD workers has been doing service over 10 years to the gasoline station.

A certificate of recognition from DSWD 6 was given to the three PWD friendly establishments. DSWD has been recognizing the PWD friendly establishments for four years.

Iloilo Sportsmen to operate coliseum


ILOILO City – The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) passed an ordinance granting a franchise to the Iloilo Sportsmen, Inc. to operate the Iloilo Coliseum as a cockpit arena.

The arena is located in Barangay San Isidro, Jaro district.

According to Councilor Lydon Acap, chairman of the SP committee on games, amusement and professional sports, Iloilo Sportsmen, Inc. secured a business permit and locational clearance.

“Complete ang mga papeles,” he said.

The Iloilo Coliseum has been hosting local and international cock derbies for the past 50 years.

Boxing and wrestling competitions were also held there.

Luis Tinsay is the president and general manager of Iloilo Sportsmen, Inc.

Councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo, meanwhile, questioned the procedure that Iloilo Sportsmen, Inc. took in securing a franchise.

It secured a business permit first before applying for a franchise.

According to the councilor, Iloilo Sportsmen, Inc. should have applied for a franchise first before securing a business permit.

Peñaredondo abstained from the SP voting on Iloilo Sportsmen, Inc.’s franchise.

Iloilo City celebrates 78th Charter Day

By Lydia C. Pendon

A GRAND parade participated by local public and private contingents marked the celebration of the Iloilo City’s 78 years of being a chartered city on August 25.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said they did not invite celebrities and high government officials in the Charter Day celebration as the day is solely the day of the people of Iloilo City.

“We are celebrating our transformation and change from a humble beginning in 1937 to a highly urbanized city with high hope for the future of our children,” Mabilog said.

The city is currently racing against time and competitiveness with other bigger cities in the Philippines, he added.

“Waking up from a long dream, the city is currently the choice of big investments and Metro Manila-based businessmen with non-stop development inspired by the road infrastructures and business hubs sprouting at the Mandurriao district and everywhere,” Mabilog said.

Malacañang earlier declared August 25 as a special non-working holiday in Iloilo City, a century-old urban center since the Spanish regime carrying a historic coat of arms awarded by the Spanish Queen with inscription of “La Muy Leal Ciudad de Iloilo”.

Iloilo became a charter city with separate local autonomy and independent political jurisdiction from the province of Iloilo during the time of Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon.

The city has been recognized by the National Competitiveness Council as the number one in the list of top 10 cities in the Philippines for Government Efficiency ranking. [READ the related story here.]

The Mayor’s Ball was also held on Tuesday night as one of the activities in the city's month-long celebration.

Iloilo still beholds its “Queen City of the South” title


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 24 (PNA) –- Iloilo City Tourism Officer Benito Jimena said that the city still beholds the “Queen City of the South” title for no formal declaration had been ever given to other places in the country, particularly to Cebu City.

Jimena said that the prestigious title was given to Iloilo city because of the then increasing development in the industry and commerce by the Queen Regent of Spain, through a Royal Decree on Oct. 5, 1889 and technically it still remains to be such today.

Jimena further said that Cebu City later being known also as the Queen City of the South was just a perception given by media being the most progressive city in the Visayas island, but that there was no official declaration such as of Iloilo City.

Iloilo City, formerly a part of Iloilo province, was declared a Charter City exactly 78 years ago tomorrow, Aug. 25. It was on Aug. 25, 1937 when Iloilo was formally inaugurated as a city after the Commonwealth Act No. 158 was signed into law on July 16, 1937.

The city government had been undertaking several activities since Aug. 7-9 to celebrate the city’s independence as well as to showcase its development.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog will open the Shoot Fest Tuesday evening, with The Mayor’s Ball highlighting the event.

To give impetus to the celebration, The Iloilo city government and other offices, including the Iloilo provincial government, which is situated in the heart of Iloilo city, will observe a holiday Tuesday per Proclamation No. 1104, series of 2015 issued by Malacanang, declaring Aug. 25 as a special non-working holiday in the city.

Robinsons to open mall in Iloilo's historic Jaro


MANILA -- Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) is set to open a mall in Jaro, Iloilo City, considered as the city's heritage sector.

The soon-to-open mall in Jaro will be the company's 44th mall property.

The three-level full-service Robinsons Place Jaro will consist of shopping and dining outlets on every floor, with multiple-level surface parking, as well as Linkod Pinoy centers and service hubs.

The mall is also designed to be a modern presence in Jaro, yet melding with other older structures in the area. The contemporary architecture employs earth-toned concepts in granite and aluminum composite panels, according to a statement from the company.

Several dining and retail shops will be located on the ground floor where visitors can gather and celebrate with their families. On the other hand, the second floor will be designated as a hobbyists' hub, which will house shops catering to those who like crafts and other hobbies.

The cinemas and a garden-inspired food court will be built on the third floor.

Robinsons Place Jaro is set to be the second Robinsons mall in Iloilo province.

Western Visayas prioritizes tourism projects

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILOILO CITY: Local tourism officials aim to develop tourism industry in Western Visayas as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) plan to boost road construction and rehabilitation in partnership with local government units.

According to Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Director Helen Catalbas, the Investments Priorities Plan (IPP) is a list of priority investment activities, which the government will help promote.

Catalbas said this is good news for the tourism industry as investments will help develop potential tourist destinations in the country especially in Western Visayas.

On the other hand, the DPWH is seeking to partner with local government units in the region for the implementation of various road rehabilitation projects funded under the DPWH-DOT Convergence Program.

The project is aimed at developing prospective tourist destinations, particularly in rural areas.

Theses projects, usually road rehabilitation leading to tourist destinations, are expected to be start before the end of President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s term in 2016.

Catalbas said that investments create livelihoods, develop potential tourist spots and increase the competitiveness of the region while the influx of investors show that the government is trustworthy and investors are assured their investments will have a huge impact on the lives of the locals.

Council OKs standard pay for ‘kasambahay’

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILOILO CITY: The city council is amenable to the implementation of a standardized monthly remuneration of domestic helpers ‘kabulig’ or ‘kasambahay’ in accordance to Republic Act 1061. City councilor Armand Parcon said the council initially approved the P2,500 a month pay but has to wait for the final rate from the regional tripartite wage board and the Department of Labor and Employment. Employers are not being stopped to give more than the legislated monthly salary.

Baby, mom expo on Charter Day


SOME 20 mothers and their babies will vie for honors in the 2nd Baby and Mom Expo 2015 on August 23-24 as a prelude activity to the 78th Iloilo City Charter Day celebration slated August 25, 2015.

Spearheaded by the City Health Office in partnership with other offices and non-government organizations, the expo will showcase wellness of mothers and babies and the search for Star Baby 2015.

The two-day activity will start with the opening of exhibits on Sunday, August 23 while the baby and mom pageant will be held the next day.

The mother and child candidates will do a production number and will showcase their talents before the board of judges.

DENR 6 to distribute over 1000 titles to land owners in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 19 (PNA) -– The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 6 will distribute a total of 1,084 original certificates of title to the different land owners in the province of Iloilo this August 21.

Through the Free Patent Program of the DENR, the beneficiaries from the different municipalities in the province of Iloilo will receive their land titles free.

DENR Undersecretary for field operations Demetrio L. Ignacio will be present in the distribution at the old capitol of Iloilo.

According to Artemio Salvador C. Colacion, OIC of the regional public affairs office of DENR 6, the beneficiaries are mostly composed of agricultural land owners.

“Because of the program, it was faster for us to issue the land titles,” Colacion said.

An assessment was conducted by DENR in close coordination with the local government unit of every municipality that offers free processing and survey to those who want to get their land titles for free.

Colacion said that one of the main importance of having a land title was the provision of a security of tenure to the owner. He also said that residential land owners will become responsible to pay their property tax.

For the previous months of this year, DENR was able to distribute land titles to the provinces of Antique, Aklan and Capiz. Colacion said that they are the ones who are going to every municipality so it will not be hard for the land owners to go the regional office to get their land titles.

“We are bringing the government closer to the people,” Colacion added.

From January to June of this year, DENR was able to distribute a total of 5,456 land titles in the whole Western Visayas.

Further, Colacion said that they are continuing the campaign for the free patent program to provide more land titles to land owners who do not have their own.

The Free Patent Program started during the administration of President Benigno Aquino III in 2010. Since the implementation of the program, DENR was able to give a total of 34,350 land titles in Region VI.

DOT 6 prepared for another APEC meeting in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 18 (PNA) -– The Department of Tourism (DOT) 6 is now prepared for another Asia Pacific and Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting here in Iloilo.

DOT 6 regional director Helen Catalbas said that they are 80 percent ready to accommodate and provide services to the delegates and other tourists who will be attending the meeting.

Last July 23-24, Iloilo hosted the Strengthening Capital Market and Infrastructure Development meeting of APEC. There were a total of 100 delegates from different countries who came to attend the meeting.

This coming September, some 200 delegates are expected to attending the meeting.

Before the first APEC meeting here in Iloilo last July, DOT has conducted various trainings to the 214 hotel personnel from the accredited establishments who will accommodate the delegates.

The hotel personnel were trained for front office operations, housekeeping procedures, effective customer service and work values and watering and bartending.

Currently, Catalbas said that accredited establishments in Iloilo have upgraded their services especially on food preparation to properly provide good services to the delegates.

DOT will still be providing free tours for the delegates, said Catalbas.

Further, she said that there will still be over one month for them to be 100 percent ready for the upcoming meeting.

City eyes PPP for central market revitalization


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 17 (PNA) -– The city government here is eyeing a possible public private partnership (PPP) approach in the revitalization and rehabilitation of the city central market with the assistance from the PPP Center.

Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO) chief Ariel Castaneda said the Bids and Award Committee (BAC) will soon publish the terms of bid proposal for interested investors to participate in a competitive bidding for the revitalization of the central market as part of the total revitalization project of the central business district of downtown Iloilo City.

Castaneda said the rehabilitation of the city’s oldest market is definitely not a privatization plan and the city government is not keen on awarding the market to a private business. The early plan shows a five-story market building in more than 2,000 square meters lot owned by the city government.

The revitalization entails so much cost and the city is looking for a partner investor to finance the rehabilitation and reconstruction, the LEEO chief said.

The court also dismissed a case filed by some central market vendors opposing the alleged privatization of the central market.

Castaneda admitted the city is now free to move without any legal implication regarding its plan to revitalize the dilapidating central market with possible help from the PPP Center.

Bike lane on General Luna St. pushed


ILOILO City – The Sangguniang Panlungsod passed a resolution requesting the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 6 to provide safe bike lanes on the four-lane General Luna Street.

According to Councilor Jay Treñas, bikers need a lane for their safety.

The resolution proponent, Treñas suggested that the widened portion on both sides of General Luna Street be transformed into bike lanes because the areas were not wide enough to accommodate cars anyway.

Last year, DPWH tried to widen General Luna Street by narrowing its center islands.

For a lane to accommodate a car, it must have a 2.7 meter-clearance, said Treñas, but this was not the case of the widened portions of General Luna Street.

Treñas said bike lanes can ease traffic congestion on General Luna Street because people would be encouraged to use bikes instead of cars.

Grow medicinal plants, farmers urged


ILOILO City – There’s money in medicinal plants.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) encouraged Iloilo farmers to try this new venture during the 3rd Regional Organic Agriculture Stakeholders Summit here.

According to Dr. Mechelle Palma of Remnant Institute of Alternative Medicine, there is an added benefit – it will encourage people to stay healthy through the use of medicinal plants.

“We don’t advice to change totally (the livelihood of farmers). Integration lang,” Palma said.

Integrating the production of medicinal plants with the farmers’ regular agricultural pursuits is the wise thing to do, she stressed, noting the current favorable market trend on medicinal plants.

One plant “in demand” is sambong (also called alibhon), according to Palma.

As a diuretic, sambong is used to treat urolithiasis (urinary tract or kidney stones) and urinary tract infections.

Even backyards can be used to grow medicinal plants, not just in farms, stressed Palma.

Farmers may produce planting materials or raw materials.

“Raw materials mean you plant, dry and sell them, while planting materials refer to potted plants that would be planted,” Palma explained.

“San Dionisio (town) naka-produce thousands of planting materials,” she revealed.

One planting material can cost from P30 to P70, said Palma.

But mass production remains a challenge, she stressed.

Government intervention comes in handy in this regard, said Palma.

Construction of Iloilo's PHP11.2-B multipurpose dam to commence next year


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 14 (PNA) -- The actual construction of the PHP11.2 billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) in Calinog town is expected to start in January next year, according to Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor Sr.

On Wednesday, the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) has approved the consent to construct the project in their area.

Defensor said that the NCIP's approval of the consent is a welcome development since it is needed in order to proceed with the construction of the said project.

However, Defensor clarified that the project will still have to undergo another three months of bidding. He explained that the JRMP II is a foreign assisted project and the funds will come from the Korea Export Import Bank (Eximbank).

“The contractor who will implement this project should be a Korean contractor or a Korean company and the bidding should be in accordance with the Korean laws,” Defensor explained.

As to the people who are opposing the project, Defensor said that he cannot expect unanimity in all events, undertakings, activities and all the functions of the government since we are in a democratic country.

“We cannot expect everybody to agree with all that what we do in this government even how well meant is our program and our plans,” Defensor further said.

The JRMP II is the biggest project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

Once completed, it could irrigate 32,000 hectares rice land which will also open the opportunity to improve the economy of Iloilo and to contribute to the country’s rice production since agriculture is a critical activity to improve the lives of the people.

Defensor pointed out that the Korean loan for the project has less than one percent interest which is very favorable to the Philippine government.

Herbal garden to open on Charter Day


A HERBAL garden is rising in the downtown of Iloilo City and it will serve as a demo center for medicinal plants and other herbal species, including culinary vegetables and cut flowers.

The garden is set to be inaugurated on August 25 after the Charter Day parade and is a tribute to the 78th charter anniversary of Iloilo City.

The project is situated along JM Basa St., covering some 2,500 square meters lot owned by Cacho family and abandoned site of Panay Electric Company (Peco).

This will be developed by four groups of plant enthusiasts composed of 506 families in the city and province of Iloilo.

Dr. Mechelle Palma, of Remnants Institute of Alternative Medicines, said the garden will showcase herbal plants and culinary vegetables grown through organic farming, which is now fast growing into a very profitable business.

Medicinal and culinary plants have big markets while producers are few and the opportunity is wide open for those who wanted to go into herbal gardening, Palma said during the third regional organic agriculture stakeholders summit held at Punta Villa Resort on August 12-13.

Palma said there is money in growing medicinal and culinary plants, as people are more into health vegetables and herbal medicines.

A producer of planting materials in San Dionisio, Iloilo earned more than P300,000 last year by producing materials for farmers going into herbal and culinary plants, according to Palma.

The herbal garden in downtown Iloilo City is expected to become a tourist attraction and buying center for people going into organic farming and medicinal plants.

City council approves resolution requesting DPWH to put up bike lane


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 12 (PNA) -- The city council here during Tuesday’s regular session unanimously approved a resolution requesting the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional office to make good of its promise and commitment to provide safe bike lanes along the busy Gen. Luna St here.

Proponent city councilor Jay Trenas said that the road widening project of DPWH succeeded in decreasing the width of the center island by uprooting several trees and cementing almost one meter on each side.

However, Trenas said only two lanes on side of the street are being utilized and DPWH did not increase the number of lanes on both sides.

The city councilor also said that DPWH regional director Edilberto Tayao committed to turn the half-baked road widening project into a win-win situation by turning this into a bike lane instead by adhering to Sec. 9 of Executive Order 774 of 2008.

Trenas said his proposal is to convert these one meter side of the street into a bike lane starting from Sarabia Manor Hotel up to corner Quezon St. in order to make the city a walkable and bikeable area as more people are now into biking for fun, exercise and livelihood.

The one meter road area could be painted with a straight line depicting the bike lane. Trenas said he is following up the project with district engineer Rodney Gustilo of DPWH.

Foreign investment prospects pour in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 11 (PNA) -- Foreign investment prospects are pouring in Iloilo City with the influx of inquiries at the Local Economic Investments Promotions Office (LEIPO) of city government.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the establishment of LEIPO makes life easy for investors by providing them assistance during initial stage of business plan.

LEIPO head Atty. Mary Joan Montaño assisted two foreign potential investors last week alone for their proposed businesses in the metropolis.

ABC 360 online tutorial school top executive Yao Yong Zeng said they will need some 1,000 English teachers as they expect to open in three months time.

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines Economic Division Director Nick Ni also coordinated with LEIPO for exploratory talks on possible investments.

City markets post modest revenue hike


ILOILO City – Revenues from public markets here from January to June this year increased, according to the Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO).

The P32,686,828.50 collection was around a hundred thousand pesos higher than the P32,591,163.5597 collected in the same period last year.

“We were able to reduce the deficiency sa electrical billing sang aton merkado versus sa billing nga ginasukot sang (Panay Electric Co.) tungod nagapang-utod na kita sang flying connections,” LEEO head Ariel Castañeda told Panay News.

The highest contributor to the revenue collection was the Iloilo Terminal Market — the city’s biggest public market.

Castañeda expects the collection to further increase when more market stalls are awarded to vendors.

“Damo stalls nga wala pa na-award,” he said.

The market revenues will be used for the maintenance and operation of all the public markets here.

Aside from the Iloilo Terminal Market, the LEEO also oversees the operation of the Iloilo Central Market, the Jaro Big and Jaro Small markets, and the public markets in the districts of La Paz, Mandurriao and Molo.

LEEO data showed an increasing trend in market revenues since 2010:

• 2010 – P54,518,896.48 • 2011 – P55,928,459.01 • 2012 – P59,663,736.40 • 2013 – P62,978,197.5 • 2014 – P65,773,649.49.

Gawad Kalinga holds social biz road show


ILOILO City – Gawad Kalinga (GK) Iloilo held a Social Business Road show Aug. 8 at the West Visayas State University (WVSU) Cultural Center from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The event showcased social enterprises and entrepreneurs from different parts of the world who now call the Philippines home. They shared experiences in creating wealth that does not leave the poor behind.

GK’s targets in holding the event were entrepreneurs, students and others who wanted to start a business.

Antonio Meloto, GK founder, was the main speaker.

In 1995, Meloto started working with the poor through a youth development program for gang members and juvenile delinquents.

The program has evolved into what is known as Gawad Kalinga – a global movement that builds integrated, holistic and sustainable communities in slum areas.

With the help of volunteers, GK was able to provide a better future for the least privileged by building communities (2,500 so far) all over the country, housing them and restoring their dignity.

From building communities, the GK is now building the GK Enchanted Farm – the first “farm village university” in the world.

It is a mentorship hub and center for social business incubation to create jobs in the countryside. It will also provide quality education to children of farmers and other marginalized Filipinos.

ILOILO regulates seating capacity of movie houses, establishments

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILOILO CITY: The city council has approved a twin ordinance filed by City Councilor Joshua Alim to regulate the seating capacity of movie houses and that of function and recreation rooms of both public and private establishments in the city. Alim said the ordinances aim to protect constituents from stampedes and other accidents and to safeguard public safety. Establishment owners would be required to post a signage and to inform the public the maximum capacity of their rooms.

BFAR bares efforts to increase contribution in Western Visayas GRDP


ILOILO CITY, Aug 7 (PNA) -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Western Visayas is optimistic of increasing its 4.7 percent contribution to the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) of Western Visayas whose economy grew by 4.9 percent in 2014 from 3.4 percent in 2013, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

PSA attributed the growth of the region's economy to the improved performance of agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishery (AHFF), industry and services sectors.

However, while the growth of the AHFF improved, the performance of its fishing subsector “further declined from negative 4.0 percent in 2013 to negative 5.2 percent in 2014” according to the PSA report.

In response, BFAR regional director Remia Aparri said that before typhoon Yolanda hit the northern part of Visayas, there was already depletion on the fisheries and aquatic resources.

Also, the agency was able to monitor illegal fishing activities in some part of the region. The fisheries resources have been destabilized because of over fishing in some sea areas.

Consequently, BFAR has strengthened the implementation of various interventions to fast track the recovery in 2015. The agency is armed with a P6.5-billion budget for their rehabilitation programs this year.

Aparri said they are now collaborating and coordinating with other agencies and state colleges in the implementation of their project. Capiz State University has been tapped to plant and cultivate mangroves for rehabilitation.

With the help of local government units (LGUs), BFAR is now working on strengthening law enforcement in different parts of the regional water to control illegal fishing activity that destroys the critical habitat of fishes.

Currently, the agency is implementing the Community Fish Landing Center (CFLC) in Region 6.

It will establish 17 CFLC this year in different local municipalities. BFAR will determine the density of fisher folk in certain municipality, the catch landed on that area, and the fisher folks who are officially registered in Fishing Boat Registration and Fisher Folk Registration program.

They will also start conducting the second phase of fishing boats distribution to Yolanda victims that are still recovering from the typhoon.

In 2013, BFAR distributed 7,000 fishing boats to the victims and now targeting 700 units for the second phase.

“We will distribute the fishing boats three months from now,” Aparri said.

Aparri said: “Fisher folks are very dependent from fishing at their nature, it’s the source of their livelihood. So if they will not help in preserving and conserving it, later on, they will be at lost.”

Iloilo medics to undergo training in Korea


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 5 (PNA) -- Fourteen key doctors and nurses from eight municipalities here have been accepted to a training sponsored by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Seoul, South Korea.

KOICA Deputy Country Director Hong Hee Soo has approved the conduct of training for the doctors and nurses in relation to the implementation strategies of Iloilo Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area Health System Strengthening Project.

The training will be held August 9-22.

The KOICA-assisted health project aims to reduce, if not fully prevent, the prevalence of maternal and neonatal mortalities due to poor healthcare in three remote hospitals namely, Aleosan District Hospital in Alimodian, Jesus M. Colmenares Memorial District Hospital in Balasan, and Dr. Ricardo S. Provido Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Calinog.

Basic and comprehensive emergency obstetrics and newborn care equipment are also provided to boost the capacity of municipal health centers of Balasan, Alimodian, Calinog, Carles, Batad, San Miguel, Estancia and Leon.

Costing USD7-million, the project also has training components that can help improve the skills of the medical personnel and ensure its sustainability of the project.

USAID provides technical aid to Metro Iloilo Water District


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 4 (PNA) -- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided assistance to Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) for the evaluation of proposals to develop the latter’s water supply.

MIWD is seeking partnership with the private sector for the bulk water supply and water distribution.

Ramon Alikpala, water security team leader of USAID, said that they would bring experts and engineers for the bulk water supply sanitation and economists to help evaluate the comprehensive proposals.

“This is to address the water gap and water requirements of the entire Iloilo,” Alikpala said.

The water utility that covers Iloilo City and seven municipalities of Iloilo started accepting proposals for those who would like to engage in for bulk water supply last July 21.

Acceptance of proposals for the distribution side started Tuesday.

Engr. Arnold Laurente, chairman of the Joint Venture Selection Committee of MIWD, said that the Metro Pacific Water Investments Corp. (MetroPac) had submitted its proposal to the MIWD for joint venture in the bulk water supply.

“We are still inviting private proponents to submit comparative proposals,” Laurente said.

Laurente said that MIWD would choose MetroPac if there were no other private proponents. The deadline for the submission of proposals is Aug. 7.

MIWD expects that the installation of service connection, delivery of bills and collection payments will be done next year as part of the tasks of the winning proponent for the distribution side.

Moises Molen Jr., general manager of MIWD, cleared out that the MIWD will still remain as a regulatory body amid its joint venture with the private sector.

“There is no privatization in the MIWD,” Molen said.

Iloilo City to re-establish friendship relationship with Qingdao, China

By Perla G. Lena (PNA), CTB/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Aug 3 (PNA) -- A delegation from this city led by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will leave for China on Tuesday to re-establish a friendly relationship with Qingdao City as well as make a pitch on proposed establishment of direct flights from Xiamen to Iloilo.

Mabilog shared that wayback 2006, former lone district Rep. Raul Gonzales Jr and former city mayor now Rep. Jerry P. Treñas accompanied by representatives from the Chinese business groups went to Qingdao to establish a business relationship.

However, along the way the relationship was lost after this city failed to send a representative to Qingdao to witness the Olympic Games in China upon the latter’s invitation, the mayor said.

The invitation came in time when this city was badly hit by typhoon Frank in 2008, he explained.

In 2014, the Chinese consul based in Cebu who is from Qingdao worked out the re-establishment of the friendship ties.

After the Qingdao trip, the group joined by 19 representatives of Chinese business groups will proceed to Xiamen where a direct flight to and from Iloilo is being pushed.

“So we took the opportunity to make a pitch for these particular direct flights,” he said.

Mabilog noted that 90 percent of the Chinese communities here have roots from Xiamen.

They looked forward to the realization of the direct flights last quarter of 2016.

Iloilo Convention Center to be completed in August

By Elyrose S. Naorbe (CNN Philippines)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The construction of the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) will be extended to August this year, instead of the original target of July, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways - Region 6 (DPWH-6).

DPWH-6 Regional Director Edilberto Tayao said the ICC is already 98% done, but additional works forced them to extend the construction period.

“Alam naman natin na ang Phase 1 ay matagal ng natapos at yung Phase 2 is already around 98%, where the remaining 2% will go to the removal of the scaffolding and furnishing,” he said.

The Phase 2 of the ICC project includes installation of electrical and other amenities, which was supposed to end last Friday (July 31).

Tayao said they can’t finish the said project since they have to go through a lot of testing, including the delivery of the elevator and putting up of the two escalators.

“We’re just waiting for the connection to the PECO (Panay Electric Co.) so we can start for the testing,” Tayao added. The ICC’s electrical testing was conducted from Friday until Saturday (August 1).

Tayao claimed that the DPWH-6 is a hundred percent sure that the ICC will be finished before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings.

The ICC will be the main venue of three APEC meetings in September and October.

He said that members of the APEC local organizing committee visited the building last Friday to assess the progress and find out what materials are needed for the meetings.

“The facilities for the meeting will be under the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), however, we in the DPWH will help them,” Tayao said.

Tayao said they will also work on the parking area around ICC since it is one of the concerns of the delegates.

“We will work on it in the remaining one month. That will still be part of the construction,” he said.

Western Visayas list to reach 1.3M households

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILOILO CITY: The government’s second round of enumeration under the Listahanan project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already covered 1,000,774 households and is targeting 1.3 million individuals by end of July 2015. The house-to-house assessment or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, is an information system to identify poor households. The database is used by DSWD, Philhealth, Department of Health, local government units and other institutions in identifying target beneficiaries for government projects.