Iloilo City News August 2016

From Philippines
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Create Name's page

Regions | Philippine Provinces | Philippine Cities | Municipalities | Barangays | High School Reunions

Iloilo City - Archived News

Seal of Iloilo City
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Iloilo City, Iloilo
Iloilo city map locator.png
Map Locator of Iloilo City
Aerial View of Iloilo City
Iloilo aerial01.jpg
Aerial View of Iloilo City
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
Iloilo molochurch.JPG
Molo Church, Iloilo City
Iloilo dinagyang festival.jpg
The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan.
Barangay anim 4500.gif
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.


Iloilo City seeks more int’l charter flights


ILOILO City – The city government invited tour operators and travel agencies from 10 Asian cities for a “familiarization tour” here.

The tour is part of the plan to seek more international charter flights at the Iloilo Airport, according to the City Tourism and Development Office.

City Tourism Officer Junel Ann Divinagracia said they were looking to cities that may be reached within a three-hourflying time.

Among the targets were Beijing and several other cities in China, and Seoul in South Korea.

The familiarization tour will be held this September, said Divinagracia.

“The Iloilo Tourism Council, Iloilo Convention and Visitors Bureau and several establishments have expressed support to this,” she said.

“We already have the list of tour operators who confirmed,” she added. “They are big agencies from Asia.”

Meanwhile, the city government is expecting the arrival of British parliamentary leaders in September.

Divinagracia said Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel Jr. asked her to help host at least 10 members of the British Parliament.

They want to learn about the city government’s best practices, including its grassroots programs and social welfare projects.

“Nagpili man sila [from among other] cities, like Davao and Bacolod, but gin-recommend gid ni Senator Pimentel nga diri kay nakita nila ang best practices naton kag ang progress sang Iloilo,” said Divinagracia.

British parliamentary leaders to visit Iloilo City in September


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 30 (PNA) -- About 10 British parliamentary leaders will visit Iloilo City on September 21-23.

Iloilo City tourism officer Junel Ann Divinagracia said the office of the Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III sought the help of the city government in hosting the members of the British parliament.

“They will look into our best practices especially the grassroots programs of the city like Gawad Kalinga,” Divinagracia said.

The leaders are also expected to look into the projects of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).

Also, Divinagracia said that other cities like Davao and Bacolod are considered to host the British leaders but Pimentel recommended the city of Iloilo.

“Senator Pimentel recommended the city because he has seen our best practices and the progress of Iloilo,” she said,

“We also expect that the leaders will provide us help. That is one of the reasons why they will go here,” she added.

Integrated community food production program pushed in Iloilo City’s 2,000 households


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Some 2,000 households in this city are recipients of the integrated community food production program funded under the Bottom-up-Budgeting (BuB), which is implemented in partnership with the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).

City agriculturist Romulo A. Pangantihon said that the implementation of the Php10.3-million program is already ongoing and they hoped to have it fully implemented this November 2016.

The target recipients from the city’s 70 barangays were chosen based on their economic and nutritional status as specified by NAPC.

Pangantihon explained that they chose 10 barangays from each of the city’s seven districts based on the criteria set by NAPC. Some 135 to 250 households were targeted in every barangay.

They were provided with bahay-kubo variety seeds coupled with an aqua-silviculture practice at the mangrove area of Barangay Hinactacan.

Each household-recipient will also have a packet of chickens composed of one rooster and four hens.

Iloilo City to host convention of Asian tour operators


ILOILO City's local tourism office is spearheading a convention of tour operators and big travel agencies in 10 cities in Asia by September this year.

The City has requested airlines for additional international chartered flights to the Iloilo international airport in Cabatuan earmarked for more tourists coming in from Asian cities.

Junel Divinagracia, Iloilo City tourism officer, said the Department of Tourism regional office is enthusiastic with the proposed meeting of Asian tour operators in the city and assured full assistance to the convention.

Divinagracia said the major project proponent is the City Tourism Office and an initial 15 tour operators and representatives of travel agencies from 10 major cities in China, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia already signified their intention to come to Iloilo and participate in the convention.

The Iloilo meeting will significantly discuss the creation and opening of a new tourism circuit in Iloilo City, island province of Guimaras and areas in southern and northern Iloilo, and open these areas to the rest of the world.

The participants will also see the best tourism practices in Iloilo City and the rest of the province.

Processing center eyed to address wastage of agriculture products


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The establishment of a processing center is eyed to lessen the wastage of agriculture produce in city markets here, especially at the Iloilo Terminal Market.

City agriculturist Romulo Pangantihon said that the terminal market serves as a market hub where products, especially vegetables are brought from Baguio, Benguet, Kanlaon in Negros Occidental and Leon in Iloilo.

Pangantihon said that some vegetables if not sold are just being thrown or left to rot. However, if they have a processing center, then proper care will be provided and the utilization of these products can be maximized.

The proposal to establish a processing center was incorporated in the program of assistance for Iloilo City by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under its Project SURGE (Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth and Equity), he said.

DENR chief to open city’s Php200-M sanitary landfill facility


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 26 (PNA) -- Secretary Gina Lopez of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will officially open and inaugurate Iloilo City’s engineered sanitary landfill facility in Barangay Calajunan in Mandurriao district this weekend.

Joren Sartorio, chief of the city general services office (GSO), said the DENR chief will inspect the Php200 million facility covering 3.3 hectares inside the 23-hectare Calajunan dumpsite owned by the city government.

Sartorio said the sanitary landfill project of the city is mandated under Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act.

The sanitary landfill facility was realized with a loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines in 2014. The project, which is a joint venture undertaking by two contractors namely Persons and Sta Clara, includes several cell sites, ponds, wash bay and water treatment of the leacheate from garbage water.

The GSO is also requesting the Environment and Management Bureau (EMB) of DENR to conduct water testing and determine the water quality to be drained towards the creek.

Iloilo City produces 260 metric tons of garbage daily. Only residual or excess wastes are to be dumped at the landfill facility.

An organization of women salvagers was organized two years ago and is now producing fancy jewelry items and household decors made from recyclable scraps gathered from the dumpsite.

Some of their products are sold in the local markets and exported to Saudi Arabia for overseas Filipinos.

Japan’s Yokohama City to donate ambulance to Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Aug 25 (PNA) --Japan’s Yokohama City, through the Society for Promotion of Japanese Diplomacy (SPJD), will donate a second-hand Toyota ambulance to this highly-urbanized city here.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) on Tuesday authorized Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to sign an agreement accepting the said donation.

The vehicle, a manifestation of goodwill on the part of the SPJD, will be used specifically for the “sole purpose of improving the health and medical service” of Iloilo City.

SPJD is a non-profit organization established under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

USAID assists Iloilo City in automation project


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 24 (PNA) -- Iloilo City is now working towards becoming e-ready with initial steps already being undertaken with the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Project SURGE (Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth and Equity).

City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) head Jose Ronie Peñalosa said that a team from USAID arrived in this city on Tuesday for a series of workshops on automation, which is part of the city government’s computerization project.

“We’re working towards e-readiness that would streamline transactions at the city hall such as on permit application and research data,” he explained. They would also be able to work on the Electronic New Government Accounting System (eNGAS) for the treasurer and accounting offices.

Through the automation project, offices would be able to encode data such that when needed will be available in just a mere click of the computer, he added.

“The direction is to make data, key information, accessible to the public. Part of that is really for transparency and accountability,” he stressed.

Peñalosa said that they are now in the stage of assessing the needs and capabilities of the offices. “Their intervention is helping us capacitate ourselves,” he cited.

With the assistance of the USAID, heads of the 20 department offices at the city hall will decide on what office will be linked with each other for shared generation, storing and management of data system, he explained further.

The five-year Project SURGE is also present in cities of Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Prinsesa and Zamboanga. Peñalosa added that they already have set their eyes in Iloilo City because it has been known for its progress, energy and focus, especially in the aspect of economic development with resilience and livability as a strategy.

“They are looking at these cities to show other cities in the Philippines how to do things better and efficiently by way of opening opportunities and showcasing what can be done given certain resources and some limitations,” he said.

Iloilo City hosts first full solar-powered shopping mall


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 23 (PNA) --- Gaisano City in La Paz district in this city will be the first shopping complex in Western Visayas to fully go solar with the installation of solar panels at its rooftop starting September 2016.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) on Tuesday endorsed the EDC-Gaisano Iloilo Solar Rooftop Project as requested by Raymundo N. Jarque Jr., vice president of Energy Development Corporation (EDC) Bago Solar Power Corporation through Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

A power purchase agreement (PPA) was signed last July 20 between the management of Gaisano City La Paz and EDC, a subsidiary of First Philippine Holdings to start the rooftop solar project for a 20-year contract on the more than one hectare shopping mall.

Jarque is pushing for renewable and sustainable solar power that is of low carbon technology and requires low maintenance with no emission during operation. A typical solar project will generate power from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday with no worry of power failure.

EDC seeks to push for solar solutions for the city not to be solely dependent on fossil fuel and coal.

Iloilo City is hosting two coal fired power plants and one diesel power plant by producing more than 300 megawatts to serve the power needs of the city and electric cooperatives.

13 WV LGUs get P13.3M BUB funds


ILOILO CITY, August 22 (PIA) --- A total funding of P13.3 million has been allocated for 13 local government units in Region 6 for implementing the Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) under the Bottom-up Budgeting Program (BUB) for calendar year 2016.

According to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-6, the CBMS is a planning tool that generates poverty diagnosis, disaster risk reduction management and climate change adaptation, and for monitoring the Millennium (now Sustainable) Development Goals among other thematic concerns.

The program involves a survey of all households in the locality, thereby enabling local planners to have statistical and mapped data of various indicators.

In Western Visayas, the following LGUs are beneficiaries: Buruanga, Lezo and Kalibo from Aklan; Sibunag in Guimaras; and Belison, Bugasong, Culasi, Libertad, Pandan, San Jose, Sibalom, Tobias Fornier and Valderrama from Antique.

The said LGUs are expected to complete trainings, enumeration, data processing, poverty mapping, and community validation and update their barangay and municipal Development Plans within six months.

A coaching/orientation was held in Iloilo City on the guidelines of implementation of CBMS under BuB.

The orientation was attended by the target LGUs Local Chief Executives (LCEs), Municipal Planning and Development Officers, Municipal Budget Officers, CBMS Focal Persons and Municipal Local Government Operations Officers.

Meanwhile, the municipalities of Sebaste and Patnongon in Antique which are non-CBMS target LGUs also joined the orientation.

As CBMS implementers at the municipal level, the target LGUs are required to appoint members of the CBMS Technical Working Group.

Upon implementation, the data gathered using the CBMS can be used by LGUs for poverty diagnosis, disaster-risk reduction management and climate change adaptation among others.

In-Store Diskwento Sale on till August 25

By Lilibeth A. French (JCM/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) -- Twelve business establishments in this city participated in the In-Store Grand Diskwento Sale which started on Friday, August 19 and will end on Thursday, August 25.

The establishments include SM Store in Delgado and Mandurriao, Iloilo Supermart in Atrium and Molo, Gaisano Capital Iloilo in Lapaz and Guanco, Iloilo Society Commercial in Rizal and Aldeguer, Ledi Supermart in De Leon, Washington Supermart in JM Basa, City Square Traders in JM Basa and Iloilo, Tagbak Pioneer, Inc. in Tagbak, Jaro.

The in-store promotion was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry – Iloilo in coordination with the Philippine Retailers Association-Iloilo Chapter in support to the 79th Charter Day celebration of this city.

It will be recalled that in line with the celebration, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No. 21 that declared August 25 as a special non-working day in Iloilo City. The proclamation was signed last July 19 by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea by authority of President Duterte.

“It is but fitting and proper that the people of the City of Iloilo be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” reads the proclamation.

Highlighting the celebration on August 25 is a grand parade to be participated in by the Iloilo City government employees and officials, barangay officials, some local government units, national government agencies, schools, non-government organizations and private sector. The parade will start from Hall of Justice to the Freedom Grandstand.

NCCA urges Ilonggos to submit proposal for grants on culture and arts projects


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Ilonggos are encouraged to submit their proposals for arts and culture projects to be funded through a grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

Lawrence Charles Salazar, NCCA section head for subcommittee on cultural heritage said that civil society organizations, indigenous peoples’ organizations/groups, local government units, government agencies, state colleges and universities and public schools from the region are encouraged to apply.

The initiative was launched to encourage artistic creation and empower artists and cultural workers. Through this grant, those at the regions are provided venues to articulate their local culture and development concerns that will be addressed by their proposed programs or projects.

Proposals may fall under Category A, or those conceptualized during planning workshops by national committees in response to identified needs of a locality or Category B, where projects identified are aligned with the priorities of the NCCA.

Projects in Category A will have three or more component activities. Proponents interested to implement projects under this category may submit a letter of intent.

Those interested to seek grant under Category B may submit a project proposal.

Salazar said that PHP35 million of about PHP195 million national budget will be allotted for entries from Visayas.

Last year, one of the approved project proposals from this region was a film project tentatively entitled “Kahilwayan; The Cry of Sta. Barbara” that was submitted by the local government unit of Sta. Barbara.

The deadline for submission of letters of intent and proposals is on September 30, 2016.

Interested applicants must submit their proposals to the planning, policy formulation and programming division (PPFPD) led by its division chief, Bernan Joseph Corpuz, at Room 5-A, fifth floor, NCCA building, 633 General Luna street, Intramurous , Manila.

Electronic mail submissions are also accepted through the email address for Visayas.

For further details, interested proponents may visit the NCCA website

DOLE 6 opens 24/7 call hotlines


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 19 (PNA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) launched Friday its call service hotlines that will operate 24 hours to include weekends and holidays for it to make appropriate responses to labor-related emergency cases happening in Western Visayas, Friday.

DOLE 6 OIC Regional Director Salome O. Siaton said that concerns that need immediate response like cases in the workplaces, victims of child trafficking, child labor and anti-illegal recruitment will have to be responded to even if it’s a holiday or at nighttime.

Other concerns such as queries on benefits and those that are related to working arrangement will be responded to within 72 hours.

“We have all these responses; we have to do it within the prescribed period. We would like to make it known to the public that we have these numbers and that we have this kind of facility,” she said.

The numbers will serve as the DOLE’s initial response to the call of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in the meantime that the physical infrastructure for the establishment of a number similar to 8888 is ongoing at their central office, she added.

The numbers to call are (033) 320-2377; 0998-9795369 (Smart) and 0917-3276515 (Globe).

Megaworld to launch new residential tower in Iloilo Business Park


MANILA, Aug. 18 (PNA) -- Megaworld is set to launch its sixth residential tower in the 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park township in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

The 10-storey condominium, which will be named Saint Honore, is envisioned to be an exclusive residential community inspired by classic architectural designs of the shop houses, boutiques, museums and retail rows of the Rue Saint-Horse, a historical street in downtown Paris.

Saint Honore will be comprised of 168 units ranging from studio to executive 2 bedrooms with some having its own lanai or balcony providing a view of the skyline of Iloilo City.

It will have its own lifestyle amenity deck on the third floor composed of a swimming pool, a pool lounge, a kiddie pool, a Jacuzzi, function halls and a fitness center.

The atrium, located at the ground level, will have a garden landscape with a strip of boutiques and retail shops bordering the ground floor area of the property. The podium parking will also have its own driver’s lounge with washroom.

The residential lobby with reception and lounge area will be equipped with CCTV cameras, video phone security system in all units, and a centralized security system for 24-hour monitoring of all building facilities and amenities.

“Ilonggos will get to experience the world-renowned beauty of Paris with Saint Honore. Amidst of all its grandeur and Parisian lifestyle, future residents are assured of utmost exclusivity, privacy, and serene atmosphere in this first of its kind residential enclave in Iloilo,” Jennifer Palmares-Fong, VP for Sales and Marketing – Iloilo Business Park, Megaworld, said.

DOT pilots sites for Market Day tourism

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

ILOILO CITY, August 17 (PIA) --- The provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras will be the pilot areas for the newest tourism product that will showcase public markets, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT)-6.

Lawyer Helen Catalbas, DOT-6 Regional Director, said that ‘Market Day Tourism’ aims to highlight and include public markets in tours packaged and sold by tour operators.

“Market Day is part of the Ilonggo’s daily routine and timeless culture and is a valuable addition to the tourism attraction in the area for a more meaningful tourist experience,” Catalbas said.

DOT-6, in coordination with Iloilo City Tourism Office, recently conducted the site inspection of public markets for inclusion in this newest tourism product.

The Jaro Big Market and La Paz Public Market were the first to be evaluated according to uniqueness, tourist appeal, accessibility and activities, products, facilities and services.

Catalbas said the site inspection in the area will help DOT-6, Iloilo City Tourism Office, Office of Market Administrator, and Office of Iloilo City Council, Committee on Markets and Iloilo City Local Economic Development Offices to assess the preparedness of the market for the launching of the newest tourism product in November 2016.

The Composite Team formulated criteria to identify if the area is feasible and spot the areas for improvement.

Civil registration confab in Iloilo City

BY Lilibeth A. French (JCM/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) -- The 8th National Workshop on Civil Registration will take place in this city on August 23 to 25.

Philippine Statistics Authority 6 Director Fred Sollesta said more or less 2,000 participants composed of city/municipal civil registrars and staff and local chief executives across the country are expected to gather to be updated on the agency’s current thrust and issuances on civil registration.

The forum will also serve as an avenue for participants to share best practices, experiences and ideas on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics and as campaign for the 2015-2024 Decade for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics.

Other topics to be discussed are CRVS Learning Sessions and Quality Public Service; Talakayan sa Dekadang CRVS; Projects/Initiatives for Strengthening CRVS by Development Partners, among others.

It will be recalled that years 2015 to 2024 were declared as CRVS Decade by former President Benigno Aquino through Proclamation No. 1106.

Sollesta said invited to keynote the event is Representative Magtanggol Gunigundo of Valenzuela City, principal author of the Republic Act 9048, which allows the City or Municipal Registrar or Consul General to Correct a typographical or clerical error or change of first name in the civil register without need of judicial order and RA 10172, which further allows them to rectify errors in the day and month in the date of birth or sex of a person.

With the theme, “Makiisa....Makisali sa Dekadang CRVS”, the three day-event will be held at the Iloilo Convention Center.

Iloilo to organize sports development leagues


LOILO CITY, Aug. 15 (PNA) -- To produce the best athletes for the province, the organization of developmental leagues for priority sports like football is now a work in progress.

Dr. Raymundo Lapating, executive director of Center for Sports and Physical Fitness (CSPF), said they already identified the municipalities where these developmental leagues will be based.

“In the case of football, it will be Barotac Nuevo,” revealed the retired schools division superintendent.

It is not surprising that the town is selected since Barotac Nuevo has produced national football team players like Chiefy Calindog, Elmer Bedia, Ian Araneta and Ruben Doctora.

“This developmental league will help us attain our mission to promote quality of life through sports and physical fitness,” he explained.

Trainings and other development programs of young athletes aging 17 and below in elementary and secondary education will be held through the leagues, he added.

Lapating explained that the selection of host is based on the town’s existing facilities, availability of technical officials, presence of mass-based sports talents, and mass-support system.

The other priority sports, where Iloilo won gold medals in national and international competitions in the past, are track and field, basketball, volleyball, lawn tennis, table tennis, swimming, boxing and martial arts (e.g. taekwondo and karate).

Defensor established the CSPF to harmonize and operationalize the various programs, projects and activities of sports and physical fitness of Iloilo following the issuance of Executive Order 162 on August 26, 2015.

Bangko Sentral slates recognition of partners


THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is celebrating its 23rd anniversary with an appreciation lunch for BSP stakeholders on Tuesday, August 16, in Iloilo City.

BSP Deputy Director Joanne Marie Castelo said the celebration will coincide with the 13th Awards Ceremony for BSP stakeholders in recognition of institutions that have extended exemplary support to the BSP’s statistical undertakings, information needs and advocacy programs.

Last year, several corporations based in Iloilo and Negros were awarded with recognition for faithfully supporting the BSP information and advocacy programs.

The awarded stakeholders have contributed a lot to the stable economic condition of Western Visayas and for people to understand the true function of the Bangko Sentral.

Iloilo City to launch drop-in rehab centers Aug. 24


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 12 (PNA) -- Drop-in centers that will serve as rehabilitation centers for drug dependents will open in the seven districts of this city on August 24.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is enthusiastic that the rehab center project will be able to help those who were earlier identified as drug users during the implementation of Oplan Tokhang (knock and plead) of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO). The police rounded up some 2,000 drug users in the city.

The city is allocating Php4.5 million for rehab expenses of the initial group of 420 drug users and is eyeing a budget of Php7.6 million to cover rehab expenses of some 1,000 users. The city engineer’s office will soon inspect the gym facilities for possible construction of a room for drug users who want to avail of free rehabilitation.

Health Officer Dr. Bernard Caspe said the drug rehab centers will temporarily be established at the district gyms in the city proper, Jaro, La Paz, Lapuz, Molo, Arevalo and Mandurriao districts.

A training is currently being conducted for personnel running the rehabilitation centers. The city government hired doctors, seven psychiatrists, 21 peer counselors and seven record keepers for the centers.

An initial 420 drug users classified to have light to moderate level of addiction as recommended by the West Visayas State University (WVSU) and the Western Visayas Medical Center, will be divided in the seven district gyms to undergo psychiatric and medical rehabilitation.

As proposed, the rehab sessions will be conducted Monday to Friday with two sessions that will last for two hours in every session for three to six months.

The launching of the drop-in centers is part of the activities for the month-long celebration of the 79th charter day of Iloilo City.

DPWH proposes 2 evacuation centers in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 11 (PNA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) here is waiting for the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) to recommend sites that are suitable to be used as evacuation centers.

DPWH is proposing to build two evacuation centers in Western Visayas to be funded by the Php24.814 million contained in its 2016 budget.

Vivian Tan, information officer of DPWH 6, said the location shall be identified by the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) based on the list of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) that are often used as evacuation centers.

Already, a letter-request was sent to the RDRRMC to “identify the location and provide available government-owned lots with an area of at least 2,000 square meters.”

To date, only the Roxas Elementary School in Barangay Roxas, Tapaz, Capiz was identified. The school was used as evacuation center at least seven times in the past five years, Tan said.

The proposed evacuation center, based on the conceptual design of the DPWH, will have features such as prayer rooms, dining and kitchen area, breastfeeding room, accommodation room and storage, toilet and bath for male and female and persons with disabilities. A space for the OCD and RDRRMC will also be included.

Tan said that the project is in line with the effort of their department to “harmonize the design of evacuation centers” in coordination with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“This is the share of the DPWH to the increasing need for improving the resiliency and preparedness of the country in terms of disaster response. The protection and comfort that it will provide has an impact to those who will be utilizing these centers in times of enormous disasters,” she said.

Iloilo airport now offers free Wifi connection


TRAVELERS at the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo need not stop their business and work transactions online while at the airport.

The whole airport complex is now fully wired by open and reliable Wifi connection after PLDT-Smart, the airport management and the Civil Aeronautics Administration of the Philippines (CAAP) launched the Wifi services Friday, August 5.

Fimina Gorres, Vice President and head of Enterprises for Customer Operation Management of PLDT-Smart, said the wifi connection is just a start of a comprehensive program of the company to connect and communicate with the people all over the country down to the barangay level.

Gorres said the airport is an important people hub and will showcase the Philippines as a vital transportation and tourism destination entry point. The Wifi project is expected to help catapult Iloilo as a regional center for business, tourism, education and other international and national events ready with upgraded Wifi facilities.

It is the first to invade the Iloilo airport and will soon be felt fully in all major airports, seaports, railway system, metro rail transport, public buildings and schools in the country.

Weekend market eyed to boost SMEs in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Various government agencies and private sector in Western Visayas have collaborated to establish a weekend market in Iloilo that is set to be operational late September or early November this year.

“Hopefully, once we are successful, this will be replicated in all major LGU (local government units) and urban centers in Western Visayas,” said regional director Ro-Ann Bacal of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Bacal said that the weekend market will not be selling commercial products. It will be similar to the weekend markets in Makati that “sell products of small and home industries that need exposure.”

“You only have to visit ‘produkto lokal’ exhibits to appreciate so many talents in Western Visayas. That is what we would like to surface,” she added.

The weekend market she said is one strategy to “motivate farmers to produce.” “Their minds should be focused on production and better products. The market should be done by somebody else,” Bacal cited.

The initiative is likewise a strategy to develop enterprises, such as manufacturing. Prior, she encouraged the growth of the manufacturing sector such as the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) because these are sustainable.

She also expressed desire to diversify the production with the help of the private sector.

Currently, the biggest manufacturing producer is into coal but Bacal emphasized the need to develop more using local resources.

“We would like to encourage our local investors to go into processing and value-adding,” she added.

The weekend market is being initiated in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Tourism department eyes public markets in tourism package


THE Department of Tourism regional office Western Visayas is eyeing public markets in Iloilo city and the province of Iloilo and Guimaras as pilot sites for its newest tourism product.

DOT Western Visayas Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the promotion package started recently its site inspection of the public markets for inclusion in the Western Visayas’ newest tourism product, the Market Day Tourism which aims to highlight and include public markets in tour packages and sold by tour operators.

Last week’s initial site inspection of public markets was in coordination with the city tourism office, the DOT regional office, the city Market Administrator, Iloilo City Council, Committee on Markets and Iloilo City Local Economic Development Offices to assess the preparedness of the markets for the launching of this newest Western Visayas Tourism Product in November 2016.

Catalbas said the Jaro Big Market known as the Thursday market day in Jaro district and the La Paz Public Market in Iloilo City were the first to be evaluated according to its unique tourist appeal, accessibility and activities, products, facilities and services. Central Public Market and the Terminal Market or the bagsakan market were next evaluated.

Catalbas said the composite team of evaluators formulated a criteria to identify if the area is feasible and spot the areas for improvement.

Similarly, Market Day every week is part of the Ilonggo’s daily routine and timeless culture and is a valuable addition to the tourism attraction in the area for a more meaningful tourist experience.

Catalbas said the new tourism product will also spread to other Western Visayas provinces in the near future like Capiz, Aklan and Antique. The new tourism product is part of the ongoing DOT Western Visayas flagship marketing campaign ‘Experience Western Visayas First’ and will not be limited to certain provinces.

Each province in Western Visayas has its own unique product to promote and the tourism office will coordinate with the local government units to make sure that their destinations and products are well presented to visitors and tourists as their tourism jewels.

Megaworld eyes 8 more office towers in "Visayas BPO triangle"

By Leslie Venzon [(PNA), JSV/LDV]

MANILA (PNA) -- Property developer Megaworld Corp. targets to open eight more office towers in Cebu, Iloilo and Bacolod to meet the growing demand of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector in the so-called "Visayas BPO triangle" over the next three years.

The company is mapping out the BPO triangle with its three huge township developments in these three key cities.

“By 2020, our target is to bring it up to 225,000 square meters depending on market demand. So far, the demand goes up, so we see this as a big possibility,” said Jericho Go, senior vice president at Megaworld, who is at the helm of the company’s office property business.

Once the BPO triangle is completed, the company expects to generate around 50,000 full-time direct jobs in the BPO sector in these Visayan cities.

“If we talk about direct and indirect jobs, we see around 300,000 for Cebu, Iloilo and Bacolod by end-2019. These include jobs that can be generated within our townships such as those from transport and retail,” explained Go.

In its ongoing 30-hectare development in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu called The Mactan Newtown, inventory of office spaces will be around 80,000 square meters by next year as the company is set to open two more office towers.

In the company’s 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park township, inventory of office spaces will reach around 33,000 square meters by the end of this year with the expected completion of one more office tower, Three Techno Place.

Two more office towers are up for completion next year up to 2018 – the Two Techno Place and Festive Walk Office Tower.

In Bacolod, the company plans to build office towers in its 34-hectare The Upper East township with an initial inventory of 30,000 square meters.

To date, the company has started the land development of the area, which was formerly the site of the Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company.

8 Western Visayas-based universities to join PCARI scholarship project


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Eight universities, mostly based in Iloilo and recognized as Center of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), are raring to join the Philippine-California Advanced Research Institutes (PCARI) Project.

The PCARI Project is a new approach that will enhance the skills and expertise of students through scholarships, training and research partnerships with topnotch research universities in California, USA.

Initially, it is available at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the University of California Berkeley (UCB) to focus on health innovation and translational medicine (HITM) and in information infrastructure and development (IID).

The project will support Master’s and Ph.D. degrees, and postdoctoral studies with the PCARI as funding agency and DOST-Science Education Institute (SEI) as implementing agency.

Launched in this city today, Friday, the project will start searching for some 200 qualified scholars all throughout the country.

Enjoined to participate are Central Philippine University, West Visayas State University, University of Iloilo Arts and Trade, University of San Agustin, University of the Philippines Visayas, Iloilo State College of Fisheries, West Visayas State University Lambunao campus and Aklan State University.

PCARI project technical staff Jovianne Fernandez said that aside from Iloilo City, the search for PCARI scholars was also conducted in the NCR, CAR, Batangas, Dumaguete, Cebu and Bacolod. The search for scholars will also be conducted in Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos and Tawi-tawi.

In 2013, Php1.763 billion was appropriated for CHED to implement the PCARI Project as specified by Special Provision No. 6. The same amount was also allotted for the project in 2014.

Due to project approval delays, there was no request for allocation in 2015 but Php763 million was allocated for 2016.

All PCARI project funds are subject to post audit by the Commission on Audit.

Computerized exam for prof, sub-prof takers soon to be available in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, Aug 5 (PNA) -- The Civil Service Commission (CSC) in Western Visayas will soon be offering computerized examination for takers of professional and sub-professional eligibility.

On Thursday, CSC chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala announced that the regional office in Western Visayas is now in the process of fixing its internet connection. Once it is in place, then the computerized examination will be made available in Western Visayas before this year ends.

The system is already available in Central and Eastern Visayas and at the central office.

“We have to expand the number so we can accommodate more,” she said on Thursday during a press conference at the sidelights of the 6th Visayas Congress of Human Resource Management Practitioners.

Atty. Rodolfo Encajonado, director of CSC Western Visayas said that they looked forward to launch the project in October after the regular paper and pencil examination.

To recall the computerized examination in the region was temporarily suspended as the office introduce a system to have it improved. Prior, the questionnaire and the result were contained in a diskette, which is easier to intercept.

With the new system, examinees will have to visit the CSC regional office and connect to the central office through an internet. It is the central office that will give the examination.

Encajonado said that they are entertaining to host two examinations per week. They can accommodate 20 examinees per session.

The result of the exam will be made available in a matter of hours.

Scholarship program searches for scientists, technologists


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 4 (PNA) -- The Commission on Higher Education is launching the Philippine-California Advanced Research Institutes (PCARI) Project in search to develop a critical mass of scientists, technologists and innovators in Philippine higher education institutes (HEIs) capable of generating and translating technologies into innovations that will address societal problems.

A PCARI scholarship forum will be conducted August 5 in this city to launch the search for students in ICT, Engineering, Health and Medicine.

The PCARI project is a capacity building/technology-generating collaborative initiative designed to upgrade to global standards the research, development and innovation capabilities and competencies of the faculty, students and staff of Philippine HEIs.

It is a new approach that will enhance their skills and expertise through scholarships, training and research partnerships with top-notch research universities in California, USA, initially, with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the University of California Berkeley (UCB) in the areas of health innovation and translational medicine (HITM) and in information infrastructure and development (IID).

The project will support Master’s and Ph.D. degrees, and postdoctoral studies with the PCARI as funding agency and DOST-Science Education Institute (SEI) as implementing agency.

Scholars under this project will have an opportunity to interact with the elite researchers of the University of California and will be part of the top talents in the country who are active in fundamental and applied research relevant to the country’s socio-economic development and the long term competitiveness of the Philippines.

Priority fields cover Health Innovation and Translational Medicine Information Infrastructure Development. Scholarship offerings are for Degree Programs for local or foreign Master’s Degree Program with Thesis or Project Full Ph.D. Program Sandwich Programs for Master’s and Doctoral Degree Non-Degree Programs for local or foreign Postdoctoral Study Award.

General qualifications include Filipino citizen not more than 45 years old with a degree in relevant disciplines and research proposal aligned with PCARI priority areas.

Privileges are tuition and other school fees, transportation allowance, living allowance with stipend dissemination and conference attendance, grant book allowance, travel and medical insurance application and other fees thesis, dissertation, special project grant startup, research grant for IIID degree programs.

Summit on traffic and road safety slated August 16


ILOILO CITY, Aug 3 (PNA) -- The provincial government here is set to gather stakeholders for a one day summit on traffic and road safety on August 16 this year.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. called for the holding of the activity to address concerns and issues related to road safety and management.

Provincial administrator Raul Banias said that the summit will be attended by various concerned agencies namely the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) through its Highway Patrol Group as well as operators of public utility vehicles, among others.

Also, all local chief executives in the province are urged to attend the summit.

Banias said that through the summit, they would be able to identify the causes of high incidence of traffic accidents.

He pointed out that from January to June this year, there were already 71 individuals who died due to vehicular accidents.

“This will be addressed by the summit because each agency will discuss with our lgus (local government units) and the drivers the proper things that they should do to avoid vehicular accidents,” he said.

Specifically, Banias mentioned issues such as poor maintenance of vehicles, travelling at night amid not functioning lights, lack of signal lights and malfunctioning breaks that need to be addressed.

“We need to discipline our drivers,” he added.

Further, Banias said that the summit will also look into the active monitoring of overloaded cargo trucks that cause damage to provincial roads.

He added that they are planning to pass an ordinance providing penalty for overloading vehicles, especially cargo trucks.

“Smart” metering soon to be available in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Aug 2 (PNA) -- Soon, doubts on how their electric bill was read will be a thing of the past.

Panay Electric Company (PECO), which holds the franchise to distribute power in this city, will soon be embarking on “smart” metering.

“Accurate reading of meter readers has always been a contention between the consumer and the utility,” said Randy Pastolero, assistant vice president of PECO.

With the proposed automated metering scheme project, the reading of the meter will be done electronically right at the PECO office. It also has the capability to auto-reconnect and auto-disconnect without going to the site, he explained.

The project is spread in seven years and in 10 years PECO is planning to acquire 50,000 new meters.

Part of the project also is the prepaid metering that will work similar to prepaid cards used by telecommunication networks.

Pastolero disclosed the plan as he cited the electric utility’s efforts on improving the “reliability” of its service.

It now has a usable capacity of 137 megawatts as against the peak demand of Iloilo City that happens only during the hottest period of the year, which is 107 megawatts.

Pastolero said that power outages in the city have been reduced by around 600 minutes this year.

“We have reduced number of outages through time and we aim to definitely reduce it further in cooperation with our power generators and suppliers,” he said.

PECO recorded some 14,000 minutes of power outages in 2010 down to more than 2,000 minutes in 2015.

Meanwhile, the distribution utility has already completed the installation of 44 elevated metering centers (EMCs) to prevent pilferers. It intends to add 36 more to be finished by 2020.

DOH-6 launches school-based immunization in Iloilo City


Iloilo City, Aug. 1 (PNA) -- The Department of Health here in Western Visayas in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) 6 and the local government of Iloilo City here launched the school-based immunization in Iloilo Central Elementary School in Iloilo City, Monday.

The ceremonial vaccination of the 20 Grade 1 pupils of the Iloilo Central Elementary School and grade 7 students of the Iloilo City National High School highlighted the event.

Maria Sophia Pulmones, DOH-6 chief of the local health support division said that pupils and students were given free vaccine against measles, rubella, tetanus and diphtheria which could protect them against the said diseases.

This year, DOH-6 is targeting to vaccinate 158,648 grade 1 pupils and 138,841 grade 7 students in the region.

Specifically, here in Iloilo City, 7,055 grade 1 pupils and 5,475 grade 7 students are the target to be vaccinated.

The Iloilo City Health Office here will be deploying 94 vaccinators, 72 reporters, 18 supervisors, and 7 city monitoring health teams to conduct the school-based immunization.

The school-based immunization is only limited to all public schools in the country.

Pulmones said that parents are advised to let their children avail of the free vaccination to assure that their children are protected against measles, rubella, tetanus and diphtheria.

She added that the anti-tetanus vaccine could protect children especially those who are females from maternal and neonatal tetanus.

This month of August is the School-based Immunization Month. This year’s theme is “Bakuna Para sa Kabataan, Proteksyon sa Kinabukasan.”