Iloilo City News December 2013

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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


Rizal remains relevant today

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

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 31 (PIA6) --- Jose Rizal remains relevant in today’s society as a model for the Filipino youth and his legacy continues to live amidst our presence.

This was the message of Prof. Regie Palmos, Coordinator of the Center for Peace Education-West Visayas State University, during his keynote address in the celebration of the 117th death anniversary of the country’s national hero held Monday at the Justice Ramon Britanico Cultural Hall of Miagao town here.

Palmos said that Rizal Day doesn’t end in the raising of the flag nor the offering of wreath in his monument.

He said that the letters of the national hero’s name stand for values and virtues that Filipinos of today should uphold and promote.

“J stands for justice, O for order, S for service, E for environmentalist, R for respect, I for industry, Z for zeal, A for attentiveness, and L for love,” he said.

Palmos cited that Rizal, who was a great educator, doctor, poet and artist among others, once said “Walang kabuluhan ang buhay kung hindi ito inaalay sa hangaring dakila. (Life has no significance if it is not offered to a great purpose)”.

He also said that if we want peace, progress and unity, we have to first serve love to each one.

He also posed challenges to the local government unit officials and the school teachers in view of Rizal’s contribution to society.

“We need to intensify our environmental campaigns and eradicate smoking in public places to achieve the goal of having healthy citizens,” he said.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Rizal: Inspirasyon Noon, Ngayon at Bukas.”

City to hold New Year’s Eve Countdown today


ILOILO City — Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is inviting all Ilonggos to join him and the city government for the 4th New Year’s Eve Countdown today.

The event will be marked with multicolored aerial fireworks along the Iloilo River.

Mabilog said the event is in line with the Department of Health’s (DOH) memorandum calling for the holding of communal fireworks display during the New Year.

DOH has been warning everyone against the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices during the New Year celebration.

It also cautioned the public about stray bullets.

As of December 26, two people in the city were hurt by stray bullets.

Mabilog said the New Year’s Eve Countdown started in 2009 during his first term as mayor.

It has been serving as a communal event for revelers during the New Year’s Eve.

Held along the Iloilo River, it has grown over the years, with hundreds of city residents witnessing the annual aerial display of fireworks and lights.

Major accomplishments in 2013, sustainability in 2014

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILOILO City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is enthusiastic of the city’s accomplishments and looks forward for sustainability and continuity of development activities, even before the dust of the 2013 midterm and barangay elections settle down during the year.

“There are no frustrations in 2013 even if detractors continue to throw bitter tomatoes against me and my administration. With an overwhelming success of 15-0 in the May 2013 elections in favor of our political candidates and the support of 179 barangay captains out of 180 barangays in the October elections, we are in for better times,” Mabilog said.

He said that among his major accomplishments in 2013, public infrastructures take the bulk of accomplishments. These include the public service infrastructures such as the start of the Iloilo Convention Center, La Paz Maternity Clinic upgraded into the Iloilo City Reproductive Health Hospital, the upgraded city slaughterhouse, street widening from Jaro to Leganes and the coastal road, and the road widening along the diversion road.

The year also saw the massive bullish attraction of private business in investing in the city such as the Ayala Corp., Megaworld, Gaisano, Double Dragon and Injap Corp. and Gaisano Capital.

Mabilog said year 2014 is essential for sustainability and continuity of activities, adding that the City Government will remain focus on its activities to sustain economic growth.

Massive infrastructure growth by the government and the private sectors will mark the year. Mabilog said he will try to find a final solution to the water problem besetting the city. He also vowed to work on the city traffic problem.

For calamity prone areas, the mayor said the city will not allow construction of houses along the river banks and shorelines. The city will look for higher safety places as relocation sites and the public schools and gymnasiums are no longer available as evacuation centers.

On sports, the City Government is eyeing a sports venue for all the sport activities in the city. On health, the city is planning to increase the financial assistance for hospitalization of indigent families and divert from the paying of increased PhilHealth premiums.

On education, the city is set to fully implement the K+12 program in 2015-2016 for children.

Firecracker vendors feel the pinch

BY REYSHIMAR ARGUELLES (With a report from the Philippine News Agency/PN)

ILOILO City – The New Year celebrations are just a few days away but firecracker vendors are not happy.

Sales this year are not as brisk as last year’s,” said a woman vendor as she unpacked a 1,000-round “Sawa” at her kiosk in Jaro Plaza.

She blamed super typhoon “Yolanda” for her sluggish business.

“People are more inclined to buy food than burn money on firecrackers,” said another vendor. “Anhon naton kay apektado man sila (What can we do? They’re feeling the pinch, too).”

Some fireworks vendors decided to slash prices off their items ahead of New Year’s eve.

A 3,000-round “Judas’ Belt” that previously cost P1,500 can now be bought for P1,200.

A “giant fountain,” originally at P600, can now be bought for a much lesser price if the customer is an insistent haggler.

Despite the markdown, however, firecracker vendors said buyers are still hard to come by.

Even then, they are not losing hope. Sales could still pick up, they said.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog issued an executive order designating certain areas as firecracker zones where selling and buying are allowed. These are:

City Proper – Plaza Libertad, across the Government Service Insurance System building and in front of the old National Statistics Office building.
Molo district – Molo Plaza, across Andoks restaurant only
Mandurriao district – Mandurriao Plaza, fronting the Mandurriao police station only
Jaro district – Jaro Plaza, half of E. Lopez Street in front of Ted’s La Paz Batchoy restaurant and in front of Andoks restaurant.
La Paz district – La Paz Plaza, across the Bureau of Fire Protection only
Arevalo district – Quezon Street, JV Jocson Street (from UMV building) to Osmeña Street, Brgy. Mohon, Arevalo; Bonifacio and Yolo Street.

Vendors shall sell only fireworks that carry and display on their labels the PS (Philippine Standard) mark and all necessary products certification marks required under PNS 1220-1994.

Also, the stall at all times must have plastic cover for firecrackers, supply of water and sand, “No Smoking” and “No Testing” signage.

The general public and buyers are prohibited from smoking and testing firecrackers in the selling areas.

Violation means revocation of the permit issued by the mayor to the firecracker vendors.

Tayag said out of the 170 firecracker-related injuries, 164 were from actual firecracker injuries while six of those injured or eight percent were due to the illegal piccolo.

He said more firecracker-related injuries were recorded this year, 170 compared to 167 in the same period last year.

However, there were also the same number of injuries recorded due to firecrackers — 16 in the same period last year, he said.

10 Iloilo LGUs get P1.1M for emergency employment

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

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 28 (PIA) – Some P1,192,485 has already been released in checks on various dates to 10 local government units in the province to pay for workers under the emergency employment program.

The amount was used to pay for the salaries of 277 workers in Iloilo at the rate of P287 for a maximum of 15 days.

Department of Labor and Employment-6 said the amount released was part of the more than P7 million allocated from its Integrated Livelihood Program and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The workers, according to DOLE-6 Director Ponciano Ligutom, compose the first batch of workers under the program.

DOLE-6 report showed that 41 worst-hit LGUs in Western Visayas are covered by the emergency employment program.

It can be recalled that right after Typhoon Yolanda, Director Liguton had set aside more than P5 million to provide bridging employment to 1,257 affected workers in worst-hit areas in Western Visayas.

Seeing the enormous destruction, DOLE-6 requested the national government to grant supplementary budget of P18 million to provide emergency employment to additional 4,351 workers in 2014.

“This completes the target of giving bridging employment to 5,563 affected workers in Western Visayas,” Director Ligutom said.

The emergency employment was part of DOLE’s rehabilitation efforts to help workers and LGUs get back on their feet.

City holds 4th New Year’s Eve countdown Dec. 31


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 27 (PNA)-– Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog here is inviting all Ilonggos to join him and the city government for the fourth year celebration of New Year's Eve Countdown on December 31 by marking the event with multi-colored aerial fireworks along the Iloilo River.

Mabilog said the event is in line with the Department of Health’s memorandum, calling for the holding of communal fireworks during the New Year as safe and far from accidents.

DOH is warning everyone against the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic materials during the New Year celebration and at the same time, warns about stray bullets. As of December 26, two persons in this city were hurt with stray bullets fired by unscrupulous unknown persons.

Mabilog said the celebration was first started in 2009 at the start of his first term as city mayor as a communal event for revelers to go during the New Year. The celebration along the Iloilo River grew over the years attended by thousands of city residents to see the dancing fireworks and aerial display of lights.

28,000 families to benefit from Iloilo city annual gift-giving


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 26 (PNA) -– Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will lead the two-day gift-giving activity for some 28,000 families as an annual tradition of the city government in giving cheers to senior citizens, disabled and barangay residents.

The gift-giving activity will be held at the Freedom Grandstand starting at 7:30 a.m. until noontime on December 27-28, 2013. A total of 5,500 senior citizens and disabled will receive their gift packs on Friday, December 27.

The barangay families will receive their gift packs on Saturday, December 28.

Mabilog said he is keeping the tradition of annual gift- giving to families selected by their respective barangay officials. Gift packs include rice, canned goods and noodles.

Meanwhile, the city government released last week P5,000 each to 63 families whose houses were totally damaged during the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda and P2,500 each to 139 families with partially damaged houses.

City cites 3 Ilonggo gold medalists in SEAG wushu


ILOILO City — The city government here honored three Ilonggo gold medalists in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar.

They were wushu players Francisco Solis of Brgy. North Baluarte, Molo district; and Dembert Arcita and James Aligaga, both of San Miguel town.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog personally gave them certificates of appreciation at the Iloilo City Hall yesterday.

The three won gold medals in wushu during the Games on December 11–22 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

Mabilog also gave them cash incentives.

“We are honored that we have Ilonggo gold medalists. We hope for more Ilonggos to excel in sports,” Mabilog said.

The three players were products of the Tinagan Sports Club in Iloilo under Arnold Tinagan.

They also won gold medals during the World Wushu Championship held in Turkey in 2011.

Aside from the three, two other wushu players from this city will play at the World Junior Wushu Championship in Turkey this coming March.

They were James Daquil and Arnel Mandal, both of La Paz district.

Mabilog vowed to support more Ilonggo sports competitors.

Newsfeature: Marginalized learners seek second chance in K-12

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

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 24 (PIA6) – Do dropouts, out-of-school children, youth and adults still have a chance to finish their education under the K-12 program?

The concern was the focus of the series of policy consultations organized by the Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC) in key areas of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao this year to involve non-government organizations (NGOs) in addressing the concern.

LCC was created by virtue of R.A. No. 7165 and strengthened by R.A. No. 10122 to act as the overall advisory and coordinating body, providing policy and program directions for all literacy endeavors in the country. It is composed of DepEd as chairperson, DILG, Philippine Normal University, PIA, NEDA, Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Culture, and NGOs representative.

The LCC pointed out that under the previous or K-10 basic education program, drop-outs, out-of-school children, youth and adults found second chance at learning through the Alternative Learning System (ALS) or non-formal education.

For the benefit of these individuals, the K-10 program comprising kindergarten, a six-year elementary education and 4 years of high school, provided equivalent elementary or secondary recognition.

This however is not explicitly addressed in the ongoing curriculum development of the K-12 program which encompasses at least 1 year of kindergarten school, six years of elementary and six years of secondary schooling in that sequence, according to LCC.

Secondary education includes four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school education.

Although Section 3 of Republic Act No. 10533 or the law enhancing the country’s basic education into the K-12 program states that the new program encompasses alternative learning systems for out-of-school learners and those with special needs, LCC officials want to make sure that their concern would be duly addressed and the welfare of intended beneficiaries secured towards “inclusive literacy for inclusive growth”.

This is where the role of NGOs is important not only in firming up policies but also in ensuring recognition of ALS under the K-12 program.

LCC also confided that local government units (LGUs) would also play an important role in the effort by supporting it through the Special Education Fund (SEF) of the local school boards or LSB.

In fact, there are LGUs around the country that have become success stories insofar as implementation of literacy initiatives is concerned.

One of them is the municipality of Tubungan, Iloilo which has been conferred the hall of fame award and special award for excellence for sustained and successful implementation of its literacy program

By joining hands with NGOs especially foundations and non-profit organizations, LCC said literacy programs for marginalized learners would be sustained under the public-private sector partnership.

During the consultation held in Iloilo City for the Visayas area last November, target NGO participants actively contributed their suggestions and recommendations on policies pertaining to K-12, the local school boards’ SEF, and public-private partnership.

The Visayas forum was the second in the three-part consultation series that first brought LCC and partners to Luzon. They wound up the series in Davao City for the Mindanao area.

As of now, the LCC knows its partners particularly NGOs with active literacy programs and projects. There are 24 of them in its record.

These institutions or organizations would be of help, said the LCC.

The LCC has hoped to gather as many policy resolutions as possible from the consultations that they would make use of to address the concern of inclusive literacy under the K-12 program to give marginalized learners a place in the K12 program and that second chance at education.

More than 180T Day Care children benefit from 2013 DSWD supplementary feeding program


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 23 (PNA) -– More than 180,000 children enrolled at the Day Care Centers (DCC) here have benefited this year from the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The 180,335 children beneficiaries were enrolled at the 5,557 Day Care Centers in the six provinces of Western Visayas.

Sally Gayoma, DSWD Regional Office 6 SFP in-charge, said Monday that the program, which allocated a total budget of P281,322,600 for 2013, has been implemented for 120 days starting last June.

The beneficiaries were provided with hot meals composed of rice and viand to mitigate hunger while they are in school.

The SFP this year is the third cycle already. It started in 2011.

Employment of 15 years old & below unlawful

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

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 22 (PIA6) - - As part of the government’s commitment to ensure decent jobs and social protection to domestic workers or kasambahay, it is now unlawful to employ children below 15 years of age in the country.

DOLE 6 Senior Labor Employment Officer Danny Espinosa said employment of children below 15 years of age is one of the six acts explicitly declared “unlawful” under Republic Act No. 10361 or the “Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers,” also called Batas Kasambahay.

“Under the new law the employable age for a kasambahay is 15 years old and above,” said Espinosa during an interview over PIA Kapehan Regionwide program aired on Radyo ng Bayan-Iloilo.

However, there are conditions for employment of children 15 but below 18 years of age. These conditions include the following: they shall not be allowed to work for more than 8 hours a day, and in no case beyond 40 hours a week; they shall not be allowed to work between ten o’ clock in the evening and six o’ clock in the morning of the following day; they shall not be allowed to do hazardous work; and they shall not be denied access to education and training.

Aside from the employment of children below 15 years old, Espinosa said the withholding and interference in the disposal of the kasambahay’s wages are also considered unlawful under the law.

Espinosa said it is a violation for employers to withhold the salaries of their kasambahay which should come in a form of cash at least once a month.

The other three unlawful acts specified by the law are requiring kasambahay to make deposits for loss or damage; placing the kasambahay under debt bondage; and changing another household for temporarily performed tasks.

Commission of these unlawful acts are punishable with an administrative fine ranging from P10,000 to P40,000 to be imposed by the regional offices of the Department of Labor and Employment.

President Benigno Aquino signed RA No. 10361 on January 18, 2013 which strengthens respect, protection, and promotion of the rights and welfare of domestic workers or kasambahay in the country estimated at 1.9 million.

Iloilo still hopeful to host APEC meetings

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

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 21 (PIA) – Iloilo Business Club Executive Director Lea Lara said Iloilo City is still bent on hosting some ministerial meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic cooperation (APEC).

This, despite the destructions caused by super typhoon Yolanda, and the priority concern now of the city and province for recovery of hard-hit areas.

Lara said that the city is doubling its efforts to sustain the competitiveness and friendliness for the investors.

In a radio interview, Lara said that among the factors raising the hopes for a better 2014 for the city are the opening of more hotels and the initiatives to improve the Calle Real as a heritage site. As responsible for the marketing aspect of the Dinagyang Festival which is an income generator for the city, Lara said the IBC is stepping up its efforts to scout for more sponsors.

She said that some Canadians are expected to visit and survey the preparations for the APEC, which can make or break the opportunity for hosting some events.

“We just have to showcase the best by doing our best,” Lara said.

An aspect they are focusing now is how to enhance the culinary skills of Ilonggo chefs.

“The city must be able to meet the standards of international cuisine, international customer service and diplomatic protocol to impress the guests,” Lara added.

The IBC has scheduled a training for these chefs and culinary experts early January next year.

Mabilog calls for unity, understanding

By Lydia C. Pendon [(PNA), CTB/AJP/LCP/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 20 (PNA) – In his message to the people of this city for the Christmas Season, City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog called for unity and understanding of family values and the Ilonggo sense of pride of his city.

The city chief executive said the season brings a message of hope and understanding while hope is in the heart of every Ilonggo that “we survive the challenges of super typhoon Yolanda and climate change, and together as a united people, we overcome whatever problems and challenges we face.”

Although Yolanda spared the city with only minimal damages, 63 houses were totally destroyed and 139 other houses partially damaged.

Mabilog said the city is now Number 2 in total ranking of competitiveness in all cities in the country and is winning every national competition on governance, health, education and social programs.

The city mayor said the Christmas season will once again, remind Ilonggos of their faith and resiliency on natural and man-made adversities.

1.2-M spectators to see Dinagyang 2014


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 19 (PNA) -– This southern city’s premier tourist attraction will once again bring in more than 1.2 million spectators to enjoy and feel the beat of the Dinagyang Festival slated in the fourth week of January every year.

Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation chairman Ramon Cua Locsin said the 2014 festival will bring in more foreign visitors and spectators as inquiries started to come in from other countries for hotel reservations this early.

Foremost are Filipino balikbayans who have heard the world-famous festival in Iloilo City. Also coming in are groups from Canada, United States, China and Korea who have made the necessary reservations for performance tickets and hotels.

Locsin said the Dinagyang Festival in 2013 netted in P21.09 million in total receipts including the 2013 Dinagyang festival receipts of P18.73 million and promotional activities worth P2.35 million.

Expenses totaled P20.9 million which include P15.2 million as Dinagyang festival expenses and promotional activities expenses of P5.6 million.

The receipts cover city government support of P7 million, corporate sponsorship of P7.4 million and miscellaneous of P4.2 million. The 2013 Dinagyang promotional activities include the 2012 Guam receipts of P1.3 million, 2013 Aliwan Festival receipts of P1 million and interest income on bank deposits amounting P13,028.

On the other hand, the 2013 expenses include ati-atihan contest of P4.71 million; Kasadyahan contest of P1.78 million; Miss Dinagyang P600,000; drum and bugle P328,000; fireworks P1 million; launching P46,097; support group P5,34 million; special events P697,519 and operating expenses P735,535.

The 2013 expenses for promotional activities totaled P5.69 million which include participation in the 2013 Aliwan Festival of P3.06 million; corporate social responsibility P360,000; 2012 Guam trip P2.15 million; Galing Pook visit P72,613; and miscellaneous of P40,500.

With all the income and expenses accounted for, there is a net surplus of P158,524, Locsin added.

Iloilo policemen undergo surprise drug test


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 18 (PNA)- In a tactical move to prevent policemen on drugs to buy moretime and thus escape drug testing procedures, 141 police officers from the Iloilo City Police office (ICPO) were recalled from their respective stations late in the day on Tuesday, for an offhand, on the spot drug test ordered by Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) Chief Supt.Josephus Angan, the new PNP commander in Western Visayas at the ICPO compound here.

Prior to the drug test, the policemen with the exception of investigators and radio operators who were told to remain at their posts stood in formation to listen to a lecture by Angan who urged his men to close ranks in the fight against rising criminality, zeroing in on the spreading influence of drugs.

The new regional chief manifested his firm resolve to upend the perceived steady growth of drugs especially shabu by his open declaration of an “all-out war” against drugs.

But first and foremost, he said, police ranks should be cleansed of drugs to be psychologically andmentally prepared to meet the challenges posed by the drug menace. And to show that he is not just another “flash in the pan”, Angan has sent 50 policemen from the Regional Safety Battalion based in Negros Occidental to augment the ICPO force and thus, maximize its crime-fighting capability.

Angan said policemen who come out positive from the drug test ordered by PNP Headquarters will face administrative charges.

UEA slates intl environmental summit in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 17 (PNA)-– The Urban Environmental Accord (UEA) based in Guangju, South Korea is planning to hold the next International Environmental Summit in Iloilo City by 2015.

After seeing Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog on Tuesday, In-Sik Jung and Seung Ho Seo of UEA Secretariat are positive that the city is capable of hosting the summit after its successful hosting of the First International River Summit in June 2012.

The three-day river summit here was participated by more than 1,000 individuals coming from different parts of the world, from Metro Manila and local river development advocates.

The UEA Secretariat has appointed Iloilo City environment and natural resources officer Engr. Noel Hechanova to head the local secretariat of the international environment summit that will deal particularly with climate change.

More than 300 participants from Europe, Africa, United States and Asia will come to Iloilo City to attend the environmental summit to be held before the APEC conferences in October 2013.

DOH cites two Iloilo barangays with best sanitation practices

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

ILOILO CITY, December 16 (PIA) --- The Department of Health Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6 recognized two outstanding barangays in Iloilo for exemplifying best sanitation practices.

The two winners were Barangay Malagyan of the municipality of Miagao and Barangay Caraudan of Janiuay town here.

The National Search for Barangays with Best Sanitation Practices (NSBBSP) gives recognition to local government units at the barangay level that have showcased exemplary contributions in obtaining and sustaining targets under the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on water and sanitation.

The barangay awardees have also demonstrated best practices on sanitation, water supply and local initiatives and innovativeness related to environmental health.

Rose Mary Galvan, Punong Barangay of Malagyan, said that they are performing good practices related to the environment including the annual search for Mutya ng Kalikasan and Zona ko Guwapa, a contest showcasing cleanliness and other sanitation practices of the people in every zone in the barangay.

“Hundred percent of our water sources are safe and potable and 99.6 percent of the households have sanitary toilets,” Galvan said.

She also said that the barangay created a committee devoted on the quality monitoring of water system which conducts water analysis in the community.

Cecile Pareja, Sanitation Inspector I of Brgy. Caraudan, said that 100 percent of the households have sanitary toilets and their water source is potable operating on Level II water supply system.

“Barangay Caraudan required every household to have color-coded waste cans to segregate biodegradable wastes from the non-biodegradable ones,” said Pareja.

She also said that the barangay has a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) which collects recycled materials to be sold so that the income could support malnourished children in the barangay.

Duty Free now in Iloilo

By Reymar Latoza (IMT), CTB/AJP/PR/VLO

The Duty Free Philippines recently opened its new store at the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo.

Duty Free store is considered as among the developments in Iloilo City that showed the city’s business attraction and thrust of big time investors, according to Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Iloilo International Airport is the gateway of thousands of tourists visiting the city of Iloilo.

Mabilog also said in the previous report of Iloilo Metropolitan Times, the expansion of Duty Free will create opportunities, giving the travelers on long-haul routes the convenience with one-transit-stop-shop to purchase imported products.

Earlier this year, the representatives from Duty Free Philippines visited Iloilo and they confirmed business expansion in the metro.

Calle Real and the Mandurriao district were among the three major business areas prospected as possible site.

The Hong Kong and Singapore direct flights catered by the Iloilo International Airport impelled the Duty Free Philippines to venture in the metro.

Duty free has outlets in Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Arrival Outlet Terminal 1, NAIA Departure Outlet Terminal 1, NAIA Arrival Outlet Terminal 2, NAIA Departure Outlet Terminal 2, Mactan, Cebu International Airport, Cebu Waterfront, SM City Cebu, Davao, and Laoag International Airport.

DOLE testing, coaching center launched


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 14 (PNA)- Here's good news for jobseekers who cannot afford to pay the fees in private psychological testing centers.

These underprivileged job seekers can now avail of free testing services of the Testing and Coaching Center of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 6 starting early next year.

On Dec. 6, 2013, the DOLE, on its 80th Founding Anniversary celebration cum Job Fair at Robinson’s Place Iloilo, launched its Testing and Coaching Center which aims to help underprivileged jobseekers undergo psychological tests for free.

According to DOLE Region 6 director Ponciano M. Ligutom, some employers require job applicants to undergo psychological tests to assess their cognitive, perceptual and psychomotor abilities to ascertain their job performance in a wide variety of occupations.

Region 6 has a limited number of registered psychologists, trained psychometricians and testing centers; hence, testing fees increase almost every year, making it difficult for the underprivileged to avail of their services.

The Center will also help government agencies in the region as well as small and medium-sized enterprises that cannot afford to pay testing fees avail of its free services.

“Requesting institution will be provided with valid and reliable testing and coaching services for hiring, promotion and career development of their personnel. All takers, walk-in or referred to by concerned agencies or companies, will receive feedbacks and coaching on the results of their psychological tests,” Ligutom said.

The Center will help private companies and government agencies find applicants whose talents, skills, educational attainment, personal and work values as well as personality match with company/agency’s culture.

It will be managed by a registered psychometrician and has a core of standby counselors from the members of the various Guidance Counselors Networks (GCNet) and Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) all over the region.

To engage its services, a concerned company or government agency has to write the Regional Director of its intention to avail of the Center’s free testing services. Those in the provinces may send their requests to the nearest DOLE field office for appropriate action.

The Center aims to provide free testing services to a maximum of 600 underprivileged job applicants a year, and its goals include placing them 100 percent in jobs that match their educational attainment, personality, abilities and skills.

“We are very ambitious but we will come up with some strategies that will facilitate the placement of our test-takers taking into account the results of their psychological tests,” Ligutom stressed.

DOH recognizes role of media in public health awareness

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

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 13 (PIA6) --- The Department of Health Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6 recognized the vital role of the members of the media in promoting different programs of the agency for effective public health awareness in Western Visayas.

In a consultative meeting with media partners and stakeholders held Thursday at Sarabia Manor hotel here, DOH-6 Assistant Regional Director Ma. Paz Corrales said that the media help the agency disseminate the proper health information and assist them in the advocacy of the different health programs of the DOH.

“The members of the media are our partners but sometimes they become an enemy especially if they give out wrong information,” she said.

She also said that there should be constant coordination and proper communication between the health agency and the media outlets.

“This will facilitate the dissemination of the right information to the stakeholders and to the community,” she added.

On one hand, Runji Jamolo of DYLL Radyo ng Bayan, said that writing health stories at times is very challenging for media practitioners who are supposed to reduce them to simpler ones so common people would understand.

“The openness of the doctors, nurses, and medical experts in the DOH to explain health terms paved way not only in educating people but the members of the media as well,” she also said.

Charlene Belvis of GMA Iloilo said that the health education and promotion officers of DOH-6 have been very helpful in providing them updates making their jobs as reporters easier.

Free HIV test in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 12 (PNA)-- The Department of Health Regional Office 6 in Western Visayas (DOH R-6) has called on persons who harbor suspicion that they are infected with the dreaded HIV to come to the Western Visayas Medical Center at Mandurriao district here for series of laboratory tests at no cost to the individual as the facility for AIDS testingis now available, said Charity Perea, coordinator for DOH Region 6 monitoring team for sexually transmitted infections.

According to Perea, particularly vulnerable to AIDS are sexually promiscuous men and women, those having multiple sex partners, and drug addicts sharing infected needles.

The Social Hygiene Clinic at Tanza City Proper is other HIV testing facility offering free services.

The purpose of early HIV detection, said Perea, is to cause a slowdown of AIDS virus production to allow the patient to live longer through the prescription of drugs.

Free AIDS counseling also awaits the infected person, Perea said.

Windfall on for city government employees


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 11 (PNA)--More than 1,700 regular city government employees will receive their share of productivity enhancement incentives (PEI) before Christmas Day after the city council here passed Supplemental Budget No. 7 amounting to P66,090,422.94 from the 2013 General Fund.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the PEI amounting to P23,715,000 will be shared by the regular employees in accordance with their income this year. Some will get P14,000 while others will be able to receive more as bonus.

Mabilog said the sources of supplemental amount came from the partial tax payment of the Philippine Ports Authority amounting to some P20.1 million and the deferred income deposits of P694,745.39

Other sources of funds came from the reversion of current year appropriations such as salary savings from vacant positions amounting to P15.8 million, salary savings of the city council amounting to P349,562, and other personal services savings amounting to P2.2 million, and the savings from gasoline and beautification amounting to P154,182.

The other personal services savings include the hazard pay, subsistence allowance and laundry from the city health office and La Paz maternity and reproductive health center; cash gift and year end bonus from the city mayor’s office and Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Mabilog said the SB NO. 7 is the last supplemental for 2013 with the city government working on the more than P1.4 billion annual budget for 2014.

Ilonggo film festival proceeds to go to Yolanda survivors


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 10 (PNA) -– The first Ilonggo film festival featuring all film genres made by Ilonggo filmmakers started Tuesday (December 10) until December 14, 2013 at SM Cinema 1 in Iloilo City.

CineKas1manwa is the first film festival in the country to donate all proceeds to a cause by helping survivors of super typhoon Yolanda in Panay Island, particularly in northern Iloilo, Capiz and Antique through the Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center’s relief operations and rehabilitation projects.

Ilonggo festival director Elvert de la Cruz Bañares said the entire proceeds of the festival will be donated to the survivors as Panay Island is still reeling from the onslaughts of the typhoon last November 8.

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported some P9.6 billion damages in infrastructures, agriculture and fisheries on top of 215 dead, 461 injured and 20 missing.

Bañares said the film festival features 12 full length films and more than 40 short films by the filmmakers from Panay, Negros and Metro Manila who have Ilonggo roots and can speak the Hiligaynon dialect.

Opening the festival will be a documentary film by Ilonggo master director Nick Deocampo with a film on climate change in five Asian countries dubbed as “Cross Currents: Journey to Asian Environments and Gunita” as director in attendance.

Closing film on December 14 will be “Sonata” by Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes as directors in attendance while the local filmmakers from the municipality of Guimbal, Iloilo will be the filmmakers in focus.

Bañares said the curated programming will feature documentary and experimental films, short films by professional filmmakers, short films by student filmmakers, a horror program Moo-moo-an scheduled on Friday the 13th and the film from Guimbal.

The film festival is sponsored by the National Commission on Culture and Arts, and supported by the Film Development Council of the Philippines, UPV Cinematheque and SM Cinema in gathering all filmmakers originating from Region 6 to form a network and to print a definitive directory of all filmmakers from the region.

Bañares said the festival hopes to unify filmmakers and directors and merge their collective talents in promoting the region’s flourishing film industry.

Aside from Deocampo, Gallaga and Reyes, other noted Ilonggo filmmakers are Tara Illenberger, Erik Matti, Joenar Pueblo, Ned Trespeses, Ronny Poblacion, Peter Solis Nery, TM Malones and Jay Abello and their films are scheduled for screening at SM Cinema 1, UPV Cinematheque and Iloilo Cinematheque.

Non-competing Dinagyang Kasadyahan show eyed


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 9 (PNA) -- The Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI) is proposing a non-competing Kasadyahan show to allow the regional participants to promote their own festival around the world.

Iloilo City Tourism Officer Benedicto Jimena said the Kasadyahan, a prelude of the Ati-Ati contest, is a proper venue to promote any festival to shine and get the world’s attention.

“They should participate in the Dinagyang if they want their festivals to be known. We want them to dance not just to compete but to showcase their culture,” he said.

This time, Jimena said they preferred to increase the subsidy allowance of those participating tribes rather than to give prizes for the winners.

A total of 13 participants had confirmed their interest to join the regional cultural show.

Kasadyahan Committee chairperson Dr. Eden Deriada named them as Masskara of Bacolod City, Sinadya sa Halaran of Roxas City, Ati-Atihan of Aklan, and other festivals in Negros Occidental, Antique, and Guimaras.

In Iloilo, the Kaing of Leon, Bayluhay of San Joaquin, Salakayan of Miagao, two tribes from the town of Cabatuan and Passi City, Pan-ay of Fort San Pedro National High School and two other dance groups from private schools, all in Iloilo City, will join.

To compensate their efforts, the IDFI has increased its subsidy allowance for all the participating tribes.

Deriada said all participants coming from this city will have a P150,000-subsidy allowance plus P50,000 while other participants from other provinces will have a subsidy allowance ranging from P165,000 to P200,000 plus P50,000 each additional allowance from the Department of Tourism 6 (DOT-6).

Tribu Salakayan was the grand champion in the 2013 edition of Kasadyahan. The tribe was also included in Top 10 best performers in Aliwan Festival in Manila last April this year.

Other Kasadyahan winners are Tribu Kaing of Leon, Iloilo (1st runner-up), Tribu Bayluhay of San Joaquin, Iloilo (2nd runner-up), Tribu Padagyaw of Dumarao, Capiz (3rd runner-up) and Tribu Mandaragat of San Jose, Antique (4th runner-up).

Dinagyang Festival’s two-day highlight will have Kasadyahan on January 25, and Ati Tribes competition on January 26, 2014.

‘Pedestrianization’ finally snags city council

By Reymar Latoza (IMT)

The efforts of pushing the ‘pedestrianization’ of Calle Real have finally yielded a positive result as it was passed for implementation by the Iloilo City Council last week, December 4, 2013.

“I’m joyful. This is a humble victory for all Ilonggos and there is much work to be done. I want to thank everyone, the heritage advocates, the transport groups, the councilors who helped make it happen, and to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog for supporting it all the way,” Councilor Jason Gonzales said.

Gonzales authored the said ordinance, closing the Calle Real from the corner of JM Basa, and Arroyo streets to plaza Libertad every weekend.

All private and public vehicles are not allowed from passing the said streets starting 5 p.m. of Saturday to 11:59 p.m. of Sunday to give walkers, bikers, and tourists the chance to enjoy and appreciate the 18 heritage structures dotted in one of the most significant places in Iloilo City – Calle Real.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog was glad that the down town Iloilo City will be pedestrianized.

He said it will bring more life and glory to the old business district of the city. “A heritage treasure that people must protect and promote,”he said.

In the previous report of Iloilo Metropolitan Times, Gonzales said that the road pedestrianization would explore the viability of a vision set forth in the 2011-2020 Iloilo Comprehensive Land Use Plan (Clup) in consonance with plans of the city for the revitalization of the central business district and restoration of heritage structures along the street.

“Calle Real can compete with other international cities with its walkable street with dotted heritage buildings,” Gonzales said.

He added that the plan would also open a good opportunity for business groups. “People who walk are most likely to buy products than those who are riding. “

Aside from tourism and economic impact, the said experiment also promotes healthy lifestyle by disallowing public utility vehicles and private cars for walking.

DOLE awards certificates to compliant WV establishments

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

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 7 (PIA6) - - For voluntarily complying with Labor Standards, three establishments in Western Visayas were awarded the Tripartite Certificate of Compliance on Labor Standards (TCCLS) by the Department of Labor and Employment 6.

Recipients of the awards were Panay Power Corporation (PPC), Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC) and Escalante Public and Private School Teachers & Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative (EPSTEMPCO).

The TCCLS is the first level seal of good housekeeping issued by DOLE to enrolled establishments for voluntarily complying with Labor Standards after an on-site validation and assessment by a tripartite committee composed of representatives from the employer, worker and government groups.

It is also a basic pre-qualification for the Secretary’s Award and to the highest award, The Tripartite Seal of Excellence or the Presidential Award.

PPC is one of the largest private utilities in the country that services the electricity need of Iloilo City as well as Aklan and Boracay Island.

On the other hand, PEDC is a 164 MW Clear Coal Fired Power Plant located in Iloilo City. It is a based-load power plant in Panay Island that uses state-of-the-art clean coal technology generating electricity for Iloilo City.

The EPSTEMPCO started as a small teacher’s cooperative in Escalante, Negros Occidental that provides cash assistance to a few members and now has expanded its assistance to the community through livelihood programs, income generation, food production and education, and employment and environment protection.

DOLE 6 Director Ponciano Ligutom led the giving of certificates to the awardees during the program held before the opening of the job fair at Robinson’s Place-Iloilo, December 6. The job fair is part of the 80th Founding anniversary celebration of DOLE.

City dad eyes solar power in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 6 (PNA)-–A solar power plant investor of a US-based company is eyeing to invest in this city by bringing in new technology, facility and infrastructure on solar power.

City councilor Nielex Tupas disclosed that an American investor came to his office recently to signify interest in investing here. If this will push thru, it will be great for the city, Tupas said.

The city dad said he had advised them to visit the office of city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog including the offices of the city environment and natural resources, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Energy to get more information on the proposal.

Tupas said that with the reality and existence of Climate Change and that “we saw and felt its ill effects already, a renewable source of energy such as solar power is a very welcome development.”

The city councilor was a participant to this year's Climate Change seminar at the International Leadership Academy in Germany and the local Climate Change seminars in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan and in Caliraya, Laguna.

He is also the main author of a regulation ordinance on non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags in Iloilo City.

All set for Calle Real walk tour


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 5 (PNA)-– The Transportation Management and Traffic Regulation Office (TMTRO) has drafted a traffic plan for vehicles passing the main central business district or Calle Real along JM Basa St. here after the city council adopted a resolution for the pedestrianization of a street span from corner Arroyo St. or the Plazoleta Gay until corner Mapa St at the Freedom Grandstand.

Called as a heritage walk tour by main proponent, city councilor Jason Gonzales, the TMTRO will impose No Entry on all vehicles at the JM Basa Street and No Entry for public utility vehicles from corner Muelle Loney to JM Basa by passing Arroyo, Arsenal, Aldeguer and Guanco streets starting Dec. 14- to March 16, 2014.

The walk tour will start every Saturday starting at 5 p.m. until Sunday 12 midnight thereon for three months and walking tourists will enjoy the site of Calle Real and the heritage buildings from Saturday afternoon and evening, the whole day of Sunday until midnight.

TMTRO chief, Engr. Jose Tengco said the three months experimental walk tour will open the street span for night vendors and other sellers as domestic and foreign tourists walk to see the numerous heritage buildings of the old city refurbished to its original façade without fear of running vehicles.

The TMTRO formulated a route scheme for motorists of PUJs from Jaro CPU, Jaro Liko, City Proper, Baluarte, Lapuz and Bo. Obrero in going in and out of the city proper.

Capitol job fair draws huge turn out


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 04 (PNA)--Thousands of jobseekers trooped to the Iloilo Provincial Capitol lobby as early as 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday to take part in the job fair organized by the provincial government’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO).

Some applicants had pre-registered a few days earlier, a move initiated by PESO-Iloilo to facilitate the smooth conduct of the activity.

PESO-Iloilo manager Francisco Heler, Jr. said 69 firms participated in the job fair offering over 4,000 job opportunities.

Participating firms include local establishments such as automotive companies, construction companies, airline, distributors, hotels, insurance, malls, real estate, call centers (BPOs) and overseas recruitment agencies.

Heler observed that this month’s job fair may have the largest turn-out so far with applicants crowding the Capitol lobby and even at the entrance canopy.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-6 assistant regional director Salome Siaton lauded the provincial government for conducting the job fair.

She said the activity is very timely since Western Visayas region registered a 7.5% unemployment rate this year which is higher compared to last year’s 6.2 percent.

“I hope that many applicants would be hired on the spot today,” Siaton quipped.

Board Member Demy Sonza represented Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr., who was in Estancia, Iloilo for an important undertaking with national government officials, in the ceremonial opening of the job fair.

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) regional director Yolanda Porschwitz also graced the opening ceremony.

Meanwhile, F. Gurrea Construction and YWA Human Resource Agency were given certificates of recognition as top performing local and recruitment agency, respectively, for the year 2012-2013.

Dinagyang 2014 will be simple but meaningful, says Mayor Mabilog


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 3 (PNA) -– City officials hope the annual week-long religious and cultural Dinagyang Festival in this southern city will gather more visitors from other Philippine cities and abroad although the celebration will be simpler than the previous years because of the devastation caused by super typhoon Yolanda last November 8.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that Yolanda caused much suffering to the Ilonggos with more than P9 billion in losses to infrastructure, agriculture and fisheries in northern Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan and Antique.

On the other hand, city tourism officer Ben Jimena said that Kasadyahan, a major part of the Dinagyang celebration, will no longer include a competition but will remain as a showcase of culture and heritage of the Ilonggo people.

Kasadyahan is considered as a regional cultural competition and participants come from different provinces in the region including those hard-hit by the super typhoon.

Highlights of the Dinagyang Festival are scheduled on January 25-26, 2014 with the Kasadyahan slated on Saturday, January 25 and the main event of the competition, the Dinagyang Ati-Atihan Tribe Competition on January 26.

Mabilog said he is leaving all preparations of the festival to the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, as a public private partnership together with the San Jose Parish Church although the festival is owned by the city government which largely spends for the activities.

City opens sidewalks for hawkers from Dec. 7-31


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 2 (PNA)-– Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog here has a yearly pledge to help the city’s more than 2,000 sidewalk vendors during the Christmas season by opening up the Calle Real or the whole stretch of JM Basa Street to sell their wares from December 7-31.

Mabilog said an executive order will be released soon to allow the vendors to occupy the main sidewalks of Calle Real without any charge from the city government as his own Christmas gift to them.

Calle Real is known as a bargain sale paradise during the Christmas season and the vendors sell their wares such as toys, house decors, Christmas gifts, fruits, small household appliances, kitchen wares, clothes and shoes at low prices as compared to the department stores.

All the vendors will have to do is clean the sidewalks without any garbage left during the night. Mabilog said he had seen piles of garbage left by the vendors during the night and he has to call the attention of Sheila Gil, in-charge of special service unit (SSU), to remind the vendors of their responsibility in cleaning up their designated places to sell their wares.

Iloilo LGU to buy lot for landless CH workers

By Montesa Grino Caoyonan (The Freeman)

ILOILO CITY, Philippines - — The Iloilo City government is eyeing to purchase a lot within the city for landless City Hall employees once the controversial Pavia housing site at Brgy. Ungka in Pavia, Iloilo is sold.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the Pavia housing project site was earlier intended to provide homes and land for landless City Hall employees and once this is sold; its proceeds will also go to the same purpose.

The Iloilo City Council, through a resolution, has authorized the mayor to enter into negotiation in the bidding process of the 6.9-hectare abandoned housing project.

Mabilog said the public auction was already published twice to the national newspaper but no interested bidder came out. He admitted there were several interested buyers but they do not want to participate in the bidding.

Last year, the Commission on Audit has already given the city LGU a go signal to sell the property at P3,710 per square meter to help fund various development and infrastructure projects of the city. The last public auction was August 31, 2011 but failed after no interested bidders submitted their intention to join the bidding.

After the failed bidding twice, Mabilog confirmed that the COA has already approved the city government's request of reducing the selling price of the lot from P3,710 to P 2,500 per square meter.

The proceeds of this sale will be used to buy another lot along the national road, going to the Iloilo International Airport at the Sta. Barbara-Cabatuan junction in Iloilo for the construction of 300 low-cost houses for the city government employees.