Iloilo City News December 2011

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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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


Gov names 3 priority programs for Ilonggos in 2012

(PNA), LAP/AJP/MGCaoyonan/vlo

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 31 (PNA) – Delivery of better services in health, infrastructure and environment are among the Top 3 priority programs of the Iloilo Provincial Government for 2012 despite the reduction of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the province with the creation of 16 new cities in the country.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. said they will be using and applying multi-strategy for development of health-related services for which they will be spending a minimum of P50 million for repair of hospitals and other facilities.

Defensor added that he wanted to fast track the rehabilitation and repair of all the provincial and municipal roads connecting the national roads for the easy access of farm products and other commodities directly to markets as well as short travel time going to other neighboring provinces in Western Visayas.

The governor also said they allocated substantial budget for the environmental programs particularly on reforestation, re-greening and mangrove plantation among coastal towns in the province.

The province has a P1.8-billion budget for 2012. It decreased by almost P2 billion compared to the 2011 budget.

Part of next year’s executive budget is the implementation of the Salary Standardization Law 3 – Third Tranche and the continuous implementation of the benefits under the Magna Carta for health personnel of the province.

Also, the amount of P300,000 has been appropriated for the Senior Citizens program and P275,000 for the Differently-Abled persons as contained in 2012 Annual Investment Plan for empowering, capacity building and training of the members of the two sectors.

The budget also allocates P202,196,048.00 for the various undertakings in the economic sector which covers agriculture, veterinary, environment, livelihood, employment, investment and tourism promotion.

An amount of P118,568,976 was allocated for the delivery of social services intended for the members of the marginalized sector of the community.

DSWD expands core programs in Western Visayas

(PNA, LAP/AJP/LCPendon/vlo)

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 30 (PNA) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office here is set to expand its three pro-poor core programs in 2012 in all towns and cities in Western Visayas.

This was announced recently by DSWD Regional Director Minda Brigoli, adding that the regional office is in need of some 200 additional workers to facilitate the implementation of poverty alleviation projects of Kalahi-CIDSS, Pantawid Pamilya or 4Ps and Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SEA-K) program.

New workers to be hired include community facilitators, engineers, financial analysts and other staff workers.

Brigoli said these programs are on top of the traditional public service delivery projects and other services the DSWD is mandated to serve.

On the other hand, Iloilo City is being proposed to be included in the Urban Kalahi-CIDSS program next year after undergoing validation. The inclusion of Iloilo and Bacolod cities are reconsidered after finding out that both cities are hosting thousands of indigent families.

New Kalahi-CIDSS municipalities in 2011 until June 2012, have an estimated total project cost of P234.26 million with 408 barangays under coverage and 215 prioritized sub-projects.

To be covered are the municipalities of Maayon, Tapas and Jamindan in the province of Capiz; Barotac Viejo, Bingawan, Carles, Calinog, Lambunao and Lemery in the province of Iloilo; Don Salvador Benedicto, Hinoba-an and La Castellana in Negros Occidental; Libacao and Madalag in the province of Aklan.

Project accomplishments as of November 30, 2011 covering 2010-2011 showed the municipalities of Jamindan in Capiz; Ajuy, Concepcion, Janiuay, Maasin, San Dionisio and San Rafael in the province of Iloilo; Moises Padilla, La Castellana and Toboso in Negros Occidental showed a total grant fund releases of P137.5 million.

Morning rites set for Rizal Day commemoration in Iloilo City

by TWVillavert(JCM/TWV/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Dec 29 (PIA) -- A flag raising and wreath laying ceremonies at Iloilo City’s Plaza Libertad will mark the 115th Anniversary of the martyrdom of national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal on December 30, 2011.

Acccording to Ben Jimena, Iloilo City tourism officer, the activity will be led by City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog along with city government officials, national government agency heads and other sectors of the society.

“An excerpt of Rizal’s “Mi Ultimo Adios” will be recited by Councilor Joshua Alim in Hiligaynon during the Rizal Day commemoration which will add color to celebrate the national hero’s great contribution to the country’s independence from foreign domination,” Jimena said in a PIA interview.

The invited speaker for the affair is Atty. Juana Juditha P. Nafarrete, Dean of the College of Law of the University of San Agustin.

Rizal was born on June 19, 1861 and he became one of the country’s leading reformist.

Historical accounts had it that Rizal’s famous novels, the Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo are social commentaries on the Philippines that formed the nucleus of literature that inspired dissent among peaceful reformists and spurred the militancy of armed revolutionaries against 333 years of Spanish rule.

Imprisoned in Fort Santiago and tried by military court, Rizal was convicted of rebellion and was shot at the Bagumbayan field, now known as Rizal Park, in the early morning of December 30, 1896.

In line with the Dec. 30 celebration, DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, through Memorandum Circular No. 2011-185 directed all the local government units to conduct fitting activities such as: display of the Philippine Flag; Floral Offerings; Pep Talk by a Resource Person on the Life and Heroism of Dr. Rizal; Exhibits and other related activities.

City launches catch-up projects until 2016

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Iloilo City Government is launching major catch-up infrastructure projects before the term of President Benigno Aquino III ends in 2016 by finding partners for its several public private partnership (PPP) ventures.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the major projects are on top of several road infrastructures currently on implementation in the city and other already completed vertical and horizontal projects.

Plan your Sinulog week ahead and find out what's in store for Sinulog 2012.

The catch-up projects include the multi-billion-peso Jalaur River Multi-purpose Project (JRMP) of which Iloilo City is a major beneficiary of its potable water supply component. The project is expected to be finished before 2016.

Another major project eyed under the PPP is the five-storey Iloilo central market building or the central business district (CBD) project estimated to cost more than P700 million and expected to streamline the skyline of downtown Iloilo City. The project hopes to bring back the glory of CBD and establish its downtown shopping center.

The Guimaras Iloilo Ferry Terminal (GIFT) project at the Rotary Park in the waterfront area is another PPP project, which the Mabilog admitted to be looking for partners in its construction.

Mabilog said Ilonggo Senator Franklin M. Drilon is instrumental in realizing at least 18 ongoing projects in the city that include roads, bridges, drainage system, relocation sites and houses for informal settlers and the JRMP.

Other ongoing projects are the Iloilo River Esplanade, city slaughterhouse, Iloilo-Negros terminal at the Philippine Ports Authority area, 2,500 houses for relocated informal families from the rivers, creeks and other danger zones, comprehensive drainage system and the more than P4-billion road projects for 2011-2012.

Completed projects are the city community college and the new City Hall building, computer-based reduction of days for business permits from one month to 15 days, beautification projects, conditional cash transfer program’s poverty alleviation project, new project on garbage collection, and 26 new motorcycles units and firearms for the Iloilo City police office, among others.

Western Visayas launches 'Bulig Sendong'

(Manila Bulletin Article)

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines (PNA) – The Western Visayas Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), headed by Director Rosario T. Cabrera of the Office of Civil Defense launched last Monday “Bulig Sendong,” a campaign aimed at gathering donations for storm and flood victims in Region 10 particularly in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities as well as in Negros Oriental.

The launch was held with the presence of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Office 6 Director Minda Brigoli, who will lead in the campaign for donations, and Philippine Information Agency Regional Director Janet Mesa who will spearhead the campaign information drive.

Cabrera said the onslaught of tropical storm Sendong placed the people of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan city in a very unfortunate situation with the death toll climbing to 1,236 as of Monday, Dec. 26.

The RDRRMC chair also said the “Bulig (Aid) Sendong” campaign was launched to particularly assist the flood victims as they rebuild their lives.

Brigoli, who is also RDRRMC vice-chair, encouraged donors to extend help via cash donations which will be transmitted to the DSWD in Region 10. Those wanting to support the campaign could coordinate with the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (MSWDOs) or the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officers (PSWDOs) for their donations.

Employers urged to observe correct pay rules, core labor standards

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

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 26 (PIA) -- Private sector employers have been told to observe the correct pay rules and core labor standards for the holidays this week.

Rizal Day on December 30, 2011 and the last day of the year, December 31, 2011 have been declared as regular holiday and non-working special day, respectively, nationwide pursuant to Proclamation No. 84 series of 2010 issued by President Benigno Aquino III on December 20, 2010.

On the other hand, President Aquino issued Proclamation No. 295, declaring January 1, 2012, New Year’s Day as a regular holiday. The said proclamation signed on November 24, 2011 contains the full list of the regular, special (non-working) and special holidays (for all schools) in the country for year 2012.

For Rizal Day and New Year’s Day the applicable pay rules are as follows:

(1) If the day is an employee’s regular workday and it is unworked, he/she shall be paid 100 percent of his/her regular salary for that day.

(2) If the day is worked, he/she shall be paid 200 percent of his/her regular salary for that day for the first eight hours. In excess of eight hours, he/she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of the hourly rate on the said day.

(3) If the day falls on an employee’s rest day and it is unworked, he/she shall be paid 100 percent; but if the day is worked, he/she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of 200 percent. In excess of eight hours, he/she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of the hourly rate on the said day.

For December 31, 2011, the last day of the year which is a special non-working day the pay rules are as follows:

(1) If the day is unworked, the “no work, no pay” principle shall apply unless there is a favorable company policy, practice or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment on a special day even if the day is unworked.

(2) If worked, the employee shall be paid an additional 30 percent of the daily rate of 100 percent on the first eight hours of work. In excess of eight hours, he/she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of the hourly rate on said day.

(3) If the day falls on the employee’s rest day and is worked, he/she shall be paid an additional 50 percent of the daily rate of 100 percent on the first eight hours of work. In excess of eight hours, he/she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of the hourly rate.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said in a press report that President Aquino has tasked the DOLE to promulgate and implement the guidelines for the proclamations in consonance with his 22-point agenda on labor and employment to ensure the welfare and protection of the workers.

Iloilo City partners with 4Ps' beneficiaries for SWM

by Elsa S. Subong (JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 25 (PIA) -- The beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya program are the latest partners of the Iloilo City Government in its campaign for solid waste management,

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog said the city’s 7,000 beneficiaries can spare the city about 7,000 tons of plastic garbage should each beneficiary gather a kilo.

The beneficiaries were asked to bring one bag full of plastic bags, garbage or sando plastics from their homes when they recently came to get their cash grants.

Besides helping the government in its campaign to reduce solid waste, especially plastics, Mabilog said the garbage they collect can earn them some P6,700 from scrap buyers.

The amount generated are returned to the beneficiaries to augment income.

The Mayor also said that this is a continuing partnership between the city and the 4Ps beneficiaries, with every release of their cash grants.

Meanwhile, DSWD-VI 4Ps Information Officer Alma Jornadal said the government’s flagship poverty alleviation program, is a conditional cash grant, not meant a dole out, hence, beneficiaries are also encouraged to become participative and responsible citizens.

Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said the government seeks to turn 4Ps beneficiaries into productive groups able to earn for themselves in the long run.

U.S., S. African envoys visit Iloilo (year-end story)(HOLD)


ILOILO CITY, Dec 23 — Iloilo City was one of the chosen destinations of the head of the diplomatic mission of the United States of America and South Africa in 2011.

US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas and South African envoy Agnes Nyamande Pitso upon the invitation of a non-government organization, “1Meal One Opportunity Program," whose thrust is to help feed malnourished children and extend help to depressed schools.

Thomas visited schools that are recipients of the program even as he assisted in the distribution of school supplies to 300 pupils of the Uswag Extension School of the Judith Lazarraga Tiongco Elementary School situated at this city’s relocation site in Brgy. San Isidro, Jaro.

Further, the Ambassador together with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Gloria Steele got a briefing on the impact of the Small Claims Court Program where the Ramon Q. Avanceña Hall of Justice is one of the recipients.

Funded by the USAID, the program played a big role in unclogging court dockets. Since the implementation of the small claims court, around 96 percent of the 889 cases filed were resolved.

The small claims court handles cases with imprisonment not exceeding six-year imprisonment and 7, 000 U.S. dollars in damages or claims.

Thomas also addressed the Iloilo Business Club during their business luncheon, met with U.S. Peace Corps volunteers and visited the American Corner at the library of Central Philippine University (CPU).

On the other hand Ambassador Pitso was generous with her praises to this city as she was impressed with its cleanliness the moment she entered the metropolis.

She also visited several recipient-schools of the 1Meal Program, which was patterned after a similar initiative in Cape Town, South Africa.

During the visit, the Ambassador hinted her interest to look for a possible area of collaboration for her country and this city to work together.

BFP, PNP heightens safety advocacy for Yuletide celebrations

by TWVillavert(JCM/TWV/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, December 23 (PIA) -– The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Region 6 heightened their respective safety advocacy in support for the Department of Health’s campaign on firecracker injury prevention.

BFP 6 Inspector Hercules Barneso said they will use their fire trucks, which will be equipped with a public address system and will conduct a “rekoreda” or will roam around their respective areas of responsibility to air fire safety messages.

Barneso said that they will “double the schedule of dispatching their fire trucks with public address system to remind the public of the threats posed of firecrackers to human life and property.”

“Our schedule of daily reminders in our area of responsibility will start December 21-25 up to the New Year,” Barneso said during the recent press conference.

For the PNP’s part, Police Superintendent Ranulfo Demiar said they will likewise monitor the peace and order situation as well as the compliance of the fireworks’ traders.

Demiar also warned gun holders against indiscriminate firing during the holiday season. He urged the public to report to the PNP any indiscriminate firing by private persons or even uniformed men.

He assured however that “the PNP leadership will still push through with the taping of the muzzle of the uniformed men’s guns as a prevention measure for the PNP personnel to refrain from firing their guns during the Christmas and New Year celebrations."

Meanwhile, the Department of Health, Region 6 said that Code White Alert will be raised on December 24 ,25, 31, 2011 to January 1, 2012 in preparation for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Dr. Sophia Pulmones, chief of the Local Health Support Division of DOH 6 said that “Code White alert is an agreed system to alert the Department to respond during emergencies and disasters in terms of organizational shift in management and mobilizes its resources, both manpower and logistics."

Code White Alert will help the DOH ensure prompt emergency services to injured persons during the Holiday season, Pulmones concluded.

City Hall clarifies camera use


ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — There is no ban for cameras and video cameras at the seven-storey new Iloilo City Hall.

“In the first place, there was no public pronouncement that the media cannot bring cameras or video cameras,” clarified Jeffrey Celiz, political liaison officer of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

“There is no intention to discriminate against the media,” Celiz emphasized.

However, Celiz stressed that safety and security protocols have to be followed as City Hall is technically not under the jurisdiction of the city government. Contractor FF Cruz & Co. Inc. — Freyssinet Filipinas Corp. has not turned over the building yet to the Iloilo city government.

“The city government has no full authority of the building. It’s with FF Cruz,” Celiz said, pointing out that the Iloilo city government is currently using the second and fifth floors with the transfer of nine offices recently.

Celiz explained that journalists and media outlets wanting to go to the building for reportorial purposes have to coordinate with City Administrator Norlito Bautista who will then coordinate with FF Cruz’s building safety manager.

“This is only being implemented to avert any untoward incident,” Celiz said.

He stressed, however that “this is only temporary; once the City Hall is under the jurisdiction of the city government, no coordination is needed.”

The remainder of city government offices currently renting the third floor of Robinsons Place Iloilo and at the Iloilo Terminal Market are scheduled to transfer to the new city hall building by the second week of January 2012.

The new city hall is scheduled to be inaugurated during the Dinagyang Festival during the fourth week of January next year.

City to send water treatment facility to CDO flood victims

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Iloilo City Government is set to send its water treatment facility to Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City to give safe and potable water supply to the victims of Tropical Storm Sendong.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the facility was donated by the Spanish government last 2008, after the city suffered severe devastation due to Typhoon Frank that left the city with no safe water for several weeks.

“We know and understand what is happening to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan after both cities were devastated by Typhoon Sendong over the weekend. We sympathize with the people there and hopefully, our assistance will help them,” Mabilog said.

The water treatment facility will be brought soon to Mindanao by city environment and natural resources officer Noel Hechanova who will stay there for few days to teach someone from CDO on how to operate the water treatment facility.

The facility will stay in CDO for sometime or until its City Government recovers from the flood devastation and operates its own water district.

Hechanovas was also authorized by Mabilog to bring the City Government assistance of P100,000 to Cagayan de Oro and another P100,000 to Iligan.

Similarly, various organizations here are collecting donations from the Ilonggos to be sent to both Mindanao cities. Several radio and television stations, including some non-government organizations and the Jaro Archdiocese launched “Operation Tabang” to gather donations mostly used clothing, canned goods, noodles, soaps, blankets and kitchen utensils.

Int’l expert lauds Iloilo City efforts to rehabilitate Iloilo River

(LDV/PGLena/vlo, PNA)

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 20 –- Subijoy Dutta, one of the founding directors of the Rivers of the World Foundation and an expert connected with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lauded the efforts of the city government here in its attempt to rehabilitate the Iloilo River.

Dutta, who attended the recent meeting of the Iloilo River Development Council (IRDC), pointed out the need for proper planning to address pollution in the river, which he said is visible in the IRDC.

IRDC is a multisectoral group composed of regional line agencies, non-government organizations and private sector working together to revive the Iloilo River.

“What I see here is a very good start. They are trying to revive the life and spirit of the Iloilo River,” he said. “They are progressing in the right direction and it will need some concerted effort. I see that it’s very good here.”

He added that very few organizations in the world are working similar to how the city government through the IRDC is working.

Meanwhile, he added their organization will provide their expertise on how to address waste water treatment in a low-cost manner, look at species, biological diversity, how to make it a showcase through a step-by-step process.

Iloilo City shines in DILG's EXCELL Awards

by Lucy Montealto-Sinay and Iloilo City PIO

This city has garnered three awards from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) during the Excellence in Local Governance (EXCELL) awarding ceremony held here on Thursday.

Iloilo City won the Best in Administrative Governance, first runner-up in Best in Social Services and second runner-up as Best Performing City in the whole Western Visayas for the city category.

This is the second year that the city has received the Best in Administrative Governance award under Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog.

“These awards conferred by the DILG shows that we have a well-managed, transparent and innovative governance towards the city’s continued progress,” Mabilog said.

The mayor received the plaque and P10,000 cash prize for the Best in Administrative Governance award, and certificates for the runner-up citations.

The EXCELL Awards, a project of the DILG, recognizes outstanding cities that have best practices and innovations in governance, administration, social services, economic development, environmental management, and local legislation.

Prior to this, Iloilo City was adjudged regional winner of the ‘Gawad Pamana ng Lahi’ and was also given a Seal of Good Housekeeping by the DILG for its commendable performance in all forms of public governance.

City gov’t eyes 5-storey central market, Guimaras ferry terminal in 2012


The city government is looking forward to start the construction of two major projects, the Guimaras-Iloilo Ferry Terminal (GIFT) and the five-storey central market anytime within first quarter of 2012.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said there are already investors who are interested to embark on the projects but their terms of reference (TOR) is yet to be completed by the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) headed by Butch Peñalosa.

“His office has to give me the terms of reference by the end of this month,” Mabilog said, adding that if the TOR is already available then the projects could already be in place by end of next year.

Mabilog considered both projects as two of his 18 biggest accomplishments within the first 18 months of his term as city mayor.

Acute shortage of hospital beds in Western Visayas exists

by Lydia C. Pendon

THE Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that an acute shortage of hospital beds in Western Visayas exists, with only four hospitals under direct supervision and owned by the health department.

These hospitals include the Western Visayas Medical Center, Dona Corazon Locsin Montelibano Hospital in Bacolod City, Iloilo provincial hospital in Pototan, Iloilo and the Jose Tumbokon General Hospital in Kalibo, Aklan.

Dr. Sophia Pulmones, chief of the regional DOH Local Health Support Division, said the ratio is also not ideal -- with one bed for every 1,000 population.

The province of Guimaras is critical with one bed for every 3,232 population, followed by the province of Antique with one bed for 2,115 population, Negros Occidental with a single bed for 1,559 population, Aklan with one bed for 1,405 population and Capiz with one bed for 1,393 population.

The city and province of Iloilo chalked and ideal bed capacity with one bed for every 947 population.

Pulmones said the current Aquino government is embarking on a universal health care program Kalusugan Pangkalahatan to provide improved public health care to all Filipinos.

The health program was launched in 2011 until 2016 that will focus on three strategic thrusts and one of these is improving access to quality health care facility.

The program calls for the construction and rehabilitation of health facilities and downloading of funds to the local government units (LGUs) to lead in improving health facilities in the provinces and municipalities.

Pulmones said the LGU officials will lead in enhancing and improving health programs in their respective areas with the health department supporting them.

DOH, on the other hand, is amenable to the plans of other LGUs to convert their hospitals into economic enterprises so as to make their health facilities sustainable.

Iloilo all set for Dinagyang 2012, invites diplomats, senators

KG, GMA News

Iloilo City is all set for next year’s Dinagyang Festival scheduled on the fourth Sunday of January 2012.

The annual festival, held in honor of the Sto. Niño, also commemorates the arrival of Malay settlers on Panay island and the sale of the island to the Malays by the Atis.

Locals paint their bodies with soot and dance on the streets as “Ati tribes” in a competition.

Iloilo City Tourism Office chief Benito Jimena said the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI) and City Hall have invited senators and foreign ambassadors to attend the event.

Organizers have designated the Iloilo Sports Complex, which can accommodate about 10,000 spectators, as one of the performance areas in the festival, Iloilo-based The Daily Guardian reported.

Other performance areas are the Capitol grounds, Luna Street Rotunda in La Paz and the Freedom Grandstand.

Thirteen tribes will be competing in the festival and will perform on parade mode on the streets all the way to the sports complex.

According to IDFI president Ramon Cua-Locsin, these tribes will receive subsidies ranging from P215,000 to P260,000 in consideration of their ranking in this year’s festival.

PARALYSIS (Sit down strike halts Iloilo Hall of Justice operations)

By Tara Yap

THE Ramon Q. Avanceña Hall of Justice was almost paralyzed Wednesday when several judges and court employees staged a sit-down strike in support of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Nearly the entire Wednesday’s work agenda was cancelled in favor of their protest against the impeachment of Corona engineered by allies of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III in the House of Representatives.

The Iloilo City Prosecutor’s Office was almost non-functional, but the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor’s Office accepted the filing of a few cases.

Scheduled hearings and trials for December 14 were canceled and had to be rescheduled as majority of the regional and municipal trial judges joined the court holiday.

Judges and court clerks, who were mostly wearing black, gathered at the Hall of Justice lobby by 2pm to watch the live telecast of Corona’s speech wherein the Chief Justice disclosed he will not step down from his post.

However, Executive Judge Danilo Galvez of Regional Trial Court-Branch 24 clarified it was not a protest per se. “It’s only to show our support to the Chief Justice.”

Galvez refused to comment on whether or not the impeachment is a battle between the judiciary and executive branch of government.

“I hope this is quickly resolved,” Galvez said, to avert a constitutional crisis.

A lawyer, who requested anonymity, considered Wednesday’s sit-down strike showed the court employees were negligent of their duty.

“They are not supposed to side with anyone and have to continue their work,” he said.

Court proceedings at the Iloilo Hall of Justice are expected to resume today.

The same scene was seen at the Hall of Justice in Bacolod City.

Iloilo judges, court employees in sit-down strike to back Corona

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr. (Inquirer Visayas)

ILOILO CITY, Philippines—Judges and court employees in Iloilo joined a sit-down strike on Wednesday to show support for embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Employees reported to the Chief Justice Ramon Q. Avanceña Hall of Justice wearing black as part of a nationwide protest after Corona was impeached by the House of Representatives on Monday.

Iloilo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Danilo Galvez said judges and around 300 employees of 18 RTCs reported for work but all court sessions and transactions have been suspended for the day. Similar protest actions were expected in city and municipal courts.

“There is a perception among judges and court employees that the chief justice is being persecuted by an equal branch of government,” Galvez told the Inquirer in a telephone interview.

Feature: ‘Quality award’ promotes organizational performance excellence


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 13 (PIA) -- The Philippine Quality Award, which was institutionalized through Republic Act No. 9013 or the PQA Act, seeks to encourage private and public companies and organizations in the country to improve their quality and productivity especially in serving their clients or customers.

A flagship program of the National Action Agenda for Productivity, PQA was also adopted by the government to promote standards on organizational performance comparable to those of leading businesses or organizations abroad, establish a national system for assessing quality and productivity performance, and recognize organizations which have achieved the highest level of quality and excellence, providing benchmarks for others.

At a recent PQA Assessors Preparatory Course held in Metro Manila, Executive Director of the Center for Industrial Competitiveness of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Virgilio Fulgencio, said PQA is an integrated approach to organizational performance management that results in delivery of ever-improving value to customers and stakeholders, contributing to organizational sustainability, improvement of overall organizational effectiveness and capabilities, and organizational and personal learning.

It uses a set of criteria in assessing companies and organizations designed to help improve organizational performance practices, capabilities and results, to facilitate communication and sharing of best practices information among Philippine organizations of all types, and to serve as a working tool for understanding and managing performance and for guiding organizational planning and opportunities for learning basis for organizational self-assessments.

Fulgencio said the program has the following award and recognition levels: Philippine Quality Award for Performance Excellence, which is the highest level; Recognition for Mastery in Quality Management; Recognition for Proficiency in Quality Management; and Recognition for Commitment to Quality Management.

So far, 37 private and public organizations have received recognitions and benefited from the award since it started in 1997 with United Laboratories, Inc. as the first recipient of the PQA for Performance Excellence in 2008.

Iloilo City’s John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University received the Recognition for Commitment to Quality Management twice in 2005 and 2009.

In the public sector, the City Government of Marikina received the Recognition for Proficiency in Quality Management in 1999, after receiving its first award, Recognition for Commitment to Quality Management in 1998.

The City Government of Makati received the Recognition for Commitment to Quality Management in 2000.

This was the same award level received by the National Economic and Development (NEDA) Region I in 2004, 2006 and 2009, National Transmission Corporation in 2006, and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development in 2009.

Among the benefits that can be derived by participating organizations in the program are: achieving greater success and outside perspective of organization’s strengths and opportunities for improvement; increasing employee involvement and team capability; and becoming benchmarks and models for other organizations in performance excellence.


By: Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE ILOILO CITY Government can save the metropolis from a crippling water crisis if it stamps its foot down in protecting the welfare of its constituents.

This was the suggestion of Lorenzo “Larry” Jamora, former administrator of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), after Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog expressed willingness to discuss possible solutions to the water shortage in the city.

Jamora said he is glad that Mabilog is keeping his doors open to all sectors who want to help his administration solve the water crisis.

“I am just waiting for the mayor’s schedule so we can sit down and explore possible solutions to the problem,” he said.

So, what needs to be done?

Jamora said the Iloilo City government can take over the technical operations of the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) by placing the city under a state of water crisis.

After the declaration, City Hall can take over MIWD’s transmission and distribution operations while other aspects such as administrative and finance will go on normally.

“Where do I come in? If the mayor allows me, I can invite technical people who are more than capable of fixing our water problems. We will focus not just on the pipes but also on the source of water,” Jamora said.

Jamora said such “takeover” move must be studied and threshed out before it can be carried out but he promised to solve the city’s water crisis within six months.

“I also want LWUA chairman Rene Villa to join us so we can get their support on this. We need to put back sanity at MIWD before we can solve our problems. People can survive without power but can they live without water?” he added.

Jamora MIWD general manager Le Jayme Jalbuena will have to go because of the incompetence which kept the water district in the doldrums.

“The only regret in my life is helping Jalbuena become manager of the water district. I apologize to Ilonggos for this mistake but I admit that this is also my fault. That’s why he should go already because the water district only got worse,” he said.

Jalbuena earlier blamed water shortage to the pipeline rehabilitation project funded by the Asian Development Bank through LWUA which was then headed by Jamora.

But Jamora twitted Jalbuena for complaining on a project which was implemented seven years ago.

Agencies upbeat on clean-up activity – DENR

by Elsa S. Subong (JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 11 (PIA6) -- For the first time, national line agencies, located along populous and ferry terminal areas in Iloilo City pooled resources in conducting a clean-up day last week.

The activity led by the Department of Environment and natural resources and the Ecology Center was able to mobilize about 170 participants, according to Armando Dayrit, DENR-Environment Management Bureau, over-all coordinator.

Dayrit said the clean-up acitivity was anchored on the theme: "Malinis na Paligid sa Maunlad na Kagawaran," which hammers the value that clean offices can render better services.

Dayrit also said, the activity is in line with the implementation of RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management which should now be practiced by government employees in and out of their offices, to lead as examples.

He said national government agencies should lead in assessing the 4P’s of the law, which are Policy, Promotion of Awareness, People and Practices.

Through the Regional Ecology Center based at DENR-6 office, the clean-up activity will be a regular practice of agencies, to ensure proper segregation, collection, storage treatment and disposal of solid waste.

“Through this, we hope to promote and adopt best eco-waste practices among our communities,” Dayrit said.

Participating agencies other than the DENR bodies included the Philippine National Police with 70 personnel, the POEA, BJMP, DA, Meat Inspection Services, Coast Guard, DPWH, DILG, Civil Service, and Barangay Concepcion and non-government organizations.

EMB-6 Regional Director Oscar Cabanayan and Punong Barangay Leah Barciles who led the clean-up said they envision cleaner streets and wider sidewalks along the area and a responsible and sound implementation of the national government’s thrust on ecological solid waste management that begins in communities.

Mayor vows city to meet climate change challenge

By: Lydia C. Pendon

WHILE urbanization remains rapid in this southern city, the Iloilo City government is not forgetting its mandate to protect the environment and the citizenry from drastic climate change, according to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

A recent study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation Inc. showed that Iloilo City’s urbanization and development must be balanced with ecological preservation in order to maintain its competitiveness and supply chain in Panay Island.

The observation, contained in the study “Business Risk Assessment and the Management of Climate Change Impacts”, pointed out that the city must balance its natural and engineering initiatives to maintain business competitiveness as compared to other urban centers and survive the shifts of global climate change.

Mabilog said his young administration has already achieved various development and environmental projects such as the rehabilitation and conservation of the Iloilo River, the relocation of thousands of informal settlers mostly from the riverbanks and other danger zones and the road widening projects, among others.

The WWF study showed the effects of climate change to Iloilo and the cities of Baguio, Cebu and Davao and the abilities of local government units to adapt to climate change.

The study pointed out that if the city is to achieve sustainability and maintain its competitiveness in a climate-defined future, it is clear that a sustained effort to better manage land use, infrastructure, land and sea access as well as flooding, is put in place through a mix of natural and engineered initiatives.

Mabilog said his administration is currently studying a new and updated comprehensive drainage system as the city is flood-prone being a low-lying area that catches surface water from upper Panay areas.

DOH kicks off campaign on “paputok” injury reduction

by TWVillavert(JCM/TWV/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, December 9 (PIA)-- The Department of Health, Region 6, started today its campaign on “kontra paputok” with a multi-sectoral meeting aimed to further increase the level of awareness of the public on the threats posed by the firecrackers to human lives and properties.

Program Manager Jerry Porras of the DOH 6 Non-Communicable Diseases Division said this year’s firework-injury reduction campaign will now be known as “Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction”or APIR (Give me five).

Porras explained that the word APIR as described by the UP Diksyunaryong Filipino is a sign of greeting, slapping of the hands, as what the “High-Five” and “Give Me Five” greetings in the U.S.

The APIR poster of the DOH shows two hands on a give me five gesture, symbolize people in agreement and Filipinos as one in reducing if not eliminating the paputok-related injury cases this holiday seasons.

Porras said that Western Visayas has 1,022 fireworks-related injuries recorded last year, lower compared to 1,036 cases in year 2009.

Three were victims of stray bullets, said Porras as he noted that most fireworks injuries’ victims were males.

Porras hopes that with the help of the media and all sectors of the society, the use of firecrackers will be minimized if not prevented while celebrating the holidays.

Concerned about the health of the people, Porras enumerated the five DOH reminders to prevent harm and injury are: 1) fireworks cause injuries and endanger health); 2) children should not use any fireworks); 3) keep safe and away from exploding fireworks); 4)never pick used fireworks); and, 5)seek immediate medical treatment for all firework injuries.

Porras also reminded parents to help keep their children away from playing firecrackers, and when buying toys for the children he said parents must see to it that these are safe and fit for their age.

606 farmers complete organic farming 'on air' course

by TWVillavert(JCM/TWV/PIA6-Iloilo)

Friday, December 09, 2011 DOH kicks off campaign on “paputok” injury reduction by TWVillavert

ILOILO CITY, December 9 (PIA)-- The Department of Health, Region 6, started today its campaign on “kontra paputok” with a multi-sectoral meeting aimed to further increase the level of awareness of the public on the threats posed by the firecrackers to human lives and properties.

Program Manager Jerry Porras of the DOH 6 Non-Communicable Diseases Division said this year’s firework-injury reduction campaign will now be known as “Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction”or APIR (Give me five).

Porras explained that the word APIR as described by the UP Diksyunaryong Filipino is a sign of greeting, slapping of the hands, as what the “High-Five” and “Give Me Five” greetings in the U.S.

The APIR poster of the DOH shows two hands on a give me five gesture, symbolize people in agreement and Filipinos as one in reducing if not eliminating the paputok-related injury cases this holiday seasons.

Porras said that Western Visayas has 1,022 fireworks-related injuries recorded last year, lower compared to 1,036 cases in year 2009.

Three were victims of stray bullets, said Porras as he noted that most fireworks injuries’ victims were males.

Porras hopes that with the help of the media and all sectors of the society, the use of firecrackers will be minimized if not prevented while celebrating the holidays.

Concerned about the health of the people, Porras enumerated the five DOH reminders to prevent harm and injury are: 1) fireworks cause injuries and endanger health); 2) children should not use any fireworks); 3) keep safe and away from exploding fireworks); 4)never pick used fireworks); and, 5)seek immediate medical treatment for all firework injuries.

Porras also reminded parents to help keep their children away from playing firecrackers, and when buying toys for the children he said parents must see to it that these are safe and fit for their age.

News Feature: Coloma urges info officers to help concretize sense of community, bayanihan

by TWVillavert(JCM/TWV-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Dec 7 (PIA)-- Secretary Herminio B. Coloma Jr. called on government information officers from Regions 6, 7, and 8 to work together closely and build a stronger community in order to effect change and bring development to the country.

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary was in Iloilo City as guest of honor during the Information Officers’ Year-End Conference and Info Board launching, recently.

It was a large gathering of 206 personnel of the Philippine Information Agency Visayas Cluster and national government information officers in Western Visayas where the PCOO Secretary discussed the "C4D" or Communications for Development.

“We have to work harder and smarter,” Secretary Coloma said as he cited two tasks to perform in order to effect change in the community.

These tasks are: a) citizen engagement; and b) creation of an enabling environment, an environment that will enable as many of our citizens as possible to participate.

“We must actively engage the audiences that we are trying to reach in the spirit of community and ask them what their aspirations are and let them express what they want for this country to create progress,” Coloma said.

Coloma said that the social networks are very important in carrying out this process of dialogue and allowing the community to speak out and express their aspirations and concerns.

Sharing the works of Peter Block’s “Community: The Structure of Belonging,” Secretary Coloma said that the essential challenge is to transform the isolation and self interest within our community into connectedness and caring.

“We can engage and mobilize our people if they feel connected and if they feel that we care,” he said.

The PCOO Secretary cited the Bayanihan spirit of communal unity and cooperation which likewise displays the country’s unique way for caring or “malasakit” a term that can not be translated into any language.

“Can you ever imagine translating 'malasakit' without losing the essential meaning of the word?” Coloma asked as he emphasized that during some challenges brought about by global economic hardships, “we collaborate and develop the compassion and concentrate our energies to find solutions.”

“We are a compassionate people, we have malasakit and that is the essence of community,” Coloma said.

Coloma lauded the combined efforts of PIA Region 6 and SMART Communications Info Board where the social network of PIA has been enhanced wherein development information and important announcements can now be sent to thousands of Ilonggos in Western Visayas and the receivers can likewise send feedback to the PIA.

Secretary Coloma led the live demonstration of Info Board during a ceremony witnessed by James Albert Bernas, Department head of the SMART Retail Sales and Wireless Community Solutions Department; PIA director general Jose A. Fabia; PIA 6 director Janet C. Mesa; PIA 7 director Minerva B.C. Newman; and PIA 8 director Erlinda Olivia P. Tiu.

WV schools bag Brigada Eskwela Hall of Fame Award

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

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 6 (PIA) -- Two schools in Western Visayas were recently recognized for sustaining their exemplary performance for three consecutive years in the implementation of the Brigada Eskwela, a yearly pre-school maintenance program of the Department of Education.

DepEd 6 Resource Mobilization Special Program and Project Division Chief Dr. Eden Deriada said the two schools were among the 39 schools nationwide that qualified for the Brigada Eskwela Hall of Fame and were recognized in this year’s awarding ceremonies held at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas office in Manila, November 25.

These are Minuyan Elementary School of Murcia, Negros Occidental and Maayon National High School of Maayon, Capiz.

Deriada said the Hall of Fame schools are the region’s Best School Implementers of the Brigada Eskwela program, for three consecutive years. They rank number one in the performance and monitoring evaluation in line with the implementation of the program such as resource generation, scope of construction, repair and maintenance and volunteer services, among others.

The regional winners automatically qualify for the national search.

The Best School Implementers of 2011 Brigada Eskwela throughout the country, in both elementary and secondary levels, were also recognized during the awarding ceremonies. The search has three categories that include small school, big school and exceptional categories.

The small school category is open to schools with enrollment 1,000 below while the big school category is for schools with enrollment 1,000 up and the exceptional category is for schools that have done innovations to further enhance the program.

Among the Best School Implementers of Brigada Eskwela in the region in the elementary level this year are: Minuyan Elementary School in the small school category; Bugasong Central School in Bugasong, Antique for big school category; and Kalibo Integrated SPED Center in Kalibo, Aklan for exceptional school category.

In the secondary level are: Bato National High School in Sagay City, Negros Occidental in small school category; Panit-an National High School in Panit-an, Capiz for big school; and Maayon National High School for exceptional school.

Since there were no national awards conducted last year, the 2010 Hall of Fame Awardees were also recognized during the awarding ceremonies. The Hall of Famers for Western Visayas are Sto. Rosario Elementary School of Silay City, Negros Occidental and Passi City National High School of Passi City, Iloilo.

Deriada said the program is the best example of a successful public-private partnership and community participation which is important in every undertaking, especially if it is intended for the upliftment of the condition of the school populace.

“With Brigada Eskwela, teacher and students can already start their formal classes during the first day of school as school classrooms and buildings are all ready for their use”, said Deriada.

Media accreditation for 2012 Dinagyang fest starts

by Lilibeth A. French (LAF-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 5 (PIA) -- The Publicity and Media Relations Group of the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI) is now accepting applications for accreditation from members of the press, including bloggers, who want to cover the 2012 Dinagyang Festival slated on January 21 to 22.

Publicity and Media Relations Group head Perla Lena said the accreditation seeks to ensure that the number of media members, who wishes to cover the event is properly managed.

Lena said almost 700 local, national and foreign media are accredited every year.

A Dinagyang media ID allows access to the media space designated in a specific performance area. The media ID has a color code that indicates the assigned performance area.

Based on the guideline set by Lena’s committee, media IDs will be issued only to active media practitioner affiliated with an established media outlet or legitimate media organization/agency, active photographers who are members of legitimate photographic associations and bloggers with active and updated blog sites.

Media groups or organizations based outside of Iloilo are required to secure endorsement of their request for Media Accreditation from the city or provincial tourism office in their respective areas.

For bloggers, they are required to indicate their blog sites upon application subject to verification by the committee.

The accomplished accreditation form duly signed by the head of the agency/organization with 2 1x1 pictures shall be submitted on or before January 10, 2012 to the Iloilo City Hall Public Information Office, Iloilo City Hall, 3rd floor, Robinson’s Place, Iloilo City. Those outside Iloilo may send their forms through email at:

Copies of the accreditation forms are available from the PIO or can be downloaded at the IDFI website

A registration fee of P500.00 is required for photographers and bloggers outside of Iloilo. Payment shall be made during the release of IDs on January 20, 2012 at the conference room of the Philippine Red Cross, Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City.

Feature: Planning for the country's response to climate change

by JCMesa (RDA/JCM/PIA6)

Iloilo City, PIA6 -- Asked whether the country is ready to face the effects of changing weather patterns, a government official claimed that the Philippines is one of the most well-prepared countries in the world: it has legislations and guidelines on climate change already in place.

While one may dismiss this as official government line, one could not help but be impressed by the gains made by the different local government units, private groups and even schools in the region to counter and mitigate climate change.

These groups were given recognition recently during the regional awarding ceremonies for the Gawad Kalasag (Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan).

The KALASAG award is given to individuals, non-government organizations, private sector and government organizations, in recognition of their initiative the government raise the standard of disaster management in the country.

The different presentations on best practices in climate change mitigation were premised on two basic ideals: 1) government and the community should work hand in hand; and 2) there should be a plan of action to guide the effort.

Mayor Christine Garin said that the municipality of Gimbal, which won in the 4th to 6th class category, has a comprehensive plan which covers all barangays, schools, private groups and others.

In fact, the municipality also bagged the award for best educational institution advocating disaster risk reduction and mitigation (DRRM). The two hospitals in the municipality – the Guimaras Provincial and district hospitals—won as the best medical institutions advocating DRRM.

On the other hand, the DRRM plan of the Municipality of San Jose de Buenavista in Antique, adopted a multi-sectoral approach, and involved using social networking sites to send advisories to the different barangays.

The Cabasi-Sta. Rosa Elementary School in Guimbal, Iloilo, which got the award for the best educational institution advocating disaster risk reduction and mitigation had a plan that involved the participation of the academic community (students, teachers, parents, etc.) and other members of the community.

The Bacolod Chamber Fire Brigade, which is the community service arm of the Bacolod Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and founded in the 1970s, is involved in medical, rescue and mass emergency response. It operates round the clock and has a response time of 7 minutes.

The Climate Field School in Dumangas, the first in the country and the second in Asia, is credited for building the capacity of farmers to monitor changing weather and climate patterns, and adjust their farming practices. This has resulted in higher agricultural yield despite the continuous presence of hazards and climate threats in the province, said Dumangas Mayor Ronald Golez.

Golez said that 80 percent of the school’s 230 farmers-graduates were able to apply to their farm work the knowledge they learned in the said school.

According to Rose Cabrera, chairperson of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC), the entries of Western Visayas fared well in the Kalasag national level awards, having been recognized for best practices including formulation of plan of action in the field of disaster management.

Recently, President Benigno S. Aquino III convened the Climate Change Commission to adopt the National Climate Action Plan, in compliance with the country’s international commitments especially to the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention.

The plan is about adaptation to climate change and mitigating its impact particularly on the economy.

The various efforts on climate change adaptation and mitigation at the municipal, provincial and the national level bodes well for the country as it braces itself for the challenges posed by changing weather patterns.

Four of 10 outstanding OFW kids are Ilonggos

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

FOUR of the 10 outstanding children of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) hailed recently by the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are Ilonggos.

Among the awardees is Jo Jan Paul J. Peñol, president of the Sangguniang Kabataan municipal federation and ex-officio member of the Pavia municipal council.

Peñol, a 3rd year Political Science and Public Administration student of Central Philippine University (CPU), received the Ibang Klaseng Community Leader Award of the 2011 Search for Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children Awards.

JP, as Peñol is fondly called by his family and friends, is also one of the 81 Ayala Young Leaders of Ayala Foundation this year. He was also one of the thirty leaders who was chosen to undergo the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Leadership Journey, has been awarded by the United Nations Association of the Philippines (UNAP) as an outstanding youth leader for politics and governance and at a young age, authored the Traffic Management Code of his municipality and a book called, “Leadership Next: A Guide for Emerging Leaders of the New Generation.”

JP’s father is a marine engineer in Greece. He is well inspired that heroes think of others before they think of themselves. His utmost attributes can be simplified into being S-T-R-O-N-G: steadfast, trustworthy, respectful, optimistic, noble, and gutsy.

Aside from Peñol, the other awardees who received the Ibang Klaseng Talino plum are Mark Eden G. Ellaga, Rizaldie A. Zambra Jr. and Threscia Grace S. Robles.

Mark Eden G. Ellaga is a 4th year student of John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU) - Arevalo taking up Marine Transportation Major in Navigation and Seamanship. He is running for Magna Cum Laude and vying for the award of Most Outstanding Graduate of the university.

With a dream to be a shipmaster, Mark is looking up to the achievements and sacrifices of his father, who is currently working as a Diesel Mechanic in Saudi Arabia. For Mark, being a child of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) gives him more inspiration to continue to excel, be competent, patient, passionate and determined in reaching his dreams.

Rizaldie A. Zambra Jr. is also a 4th year Marine Transportation student of JBLFMU - Arevalo Major in Navigation and Seamanship. He gives importance to the hard work of his father who has been a seafarer for 21 years now.

Rizaldie bears in mind that the profession of his father is a challenging endeavor that requires a great measure of discipline. Learning from his father’s example, Rizaldie gives great value to his career and does everything with discipline and hard work.

Threscia Grace S. Robles is a 1st year student at CPU taking up BS Packaging Engineering. Her father, a seafarer, has been working abroad for 15 years now.

For Thresh, the youth today should have the right attitude in developing their talents and skills. Determination, discipline, commitment and courage helped Thresh to become outstanding as she is now. She wants to become a good example to her fellow youth and be able to initiate change not only to other fellow OFW children but also to the country.

The awardees were honored at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Manila. Leading the event were BPI President Aurelio Montinola and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz.

In a statement, BPI Senior Vice President Raul D. Dimayuga said they recognize the sacrifices and hard work of Expat Pinoy parents and their children “as they bring pride to our country while living miles from each other”

“Through the annual Search for the Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children, we honor these outstanding youth who exhibit the value of excellence and cultivate nationalism that every Filipino family should emulate,” Dimayuga said.

Protecting children

(Manila Bulletin - Visayas Newsbits #1)

ILOILO CITY, Philippines (PNA) — Minors are not allowed to work in firecracker manufacturing under Republic Act. 7610, otherwise known as the "Special Protection Of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation And Discrimination," according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) here.

Nancy Yee, DoLE’s Labor Employment Officer II, said Section 2 of the law states that special protection shall be provided to children from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation and discrimination, and other conditions prejudicial to their development including child labor.

PPP in mangrove reforestation project along Iloilo River

(PNA, LAP/LAM/LCPendon/vlo)

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 1 – The city government here, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) recently embarked on a joint undertaking at the riverbanks of the 15-kilometer Iloilo River.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the participation of PLDT in the mangrove reforestation project concreted the public private partnership (PPP) in protecting the river. At the same time, the project enhances the biodiversity of the Iloilo River and improves the eco-tourism potentials of the area.

Evelyn del Rosario of PLDT led her group in mangrove planting at Barangay South, San Jose Molo district recently.

Mabilog said that mangrove plantation will only be done from the Carpenters Bridge to Oton area while the river area from Gaisano to Treñas Boulevard will be reserved for tourism purposes.

DENR will lead the implementation of the Iloilo river mangrove rehabilitation and biodiversity enhancement project under the National Greening Program (NGP) of President Benigno Aquino III to address river sedimentation and rehabilitation of Iloilo’s mangrove areas.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Raul Lorilla said the project sites include the foreshore areas along Treñas Blvd. in Barangays San Rafael and Tabucan in Mandurriao district and in Barangay Nabitasan in La Paz district with total length of more than two kilometers covering some 1.6 hectares.

Lorilla said the existing mangrove vegetation is mostly avicennia or bugalon species and they are also going to plant the rhizophora or bakawan species to rehabilitate the open or scarcely vegetated and eroded riverbanks.

The re-greening mangrove project also mobilized 181 partners such as barangay officials and residents, PCGA, Wimaphil, St. Therese, MTC, Jolibee, DENR-ERDS, City Enro, and DENR-Cenro, among others who planted 905 bakawan and 152 bungalon species.