Iloilo City News December 2014

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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

CHED’s Poverty-Alleviation grantees increase


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 31(PIA)—The Commission on Higher Education-6 (CHED) has reported that recipients of the Student-Grants-in-Aid for Poverty-Alleviation Program (SGP-PA) in Western Visayas.

From only 246 for School Year 2013-2014 the grantees have increased to 3,538 this school year 2014-2015.

CHED’s Supervising Education specialist Dr. Rex Casiple said these grantees are proportionally distributed to 11 state universities and colleges in Western Visayas.

Casiple said the expanded SGP-PA is an innovative and generous scheme of the government to increase the number of college graduates among the poorest of the poor households.

The program provides financially constrained poor but deserving students to finish a college degree and “break the cycle of poverty.”

Meanwhile, a recent study of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)came up with a recommendation for the CHED and the Department of Social Welfare and Development to review their selection process incorporating indicators such as admission exams, social adaptation and strategies to help grantees gain a developmental approach to their education.

PIDS also recommended a more intensive and detailed information campaign on the availability of the SGA-PA, as well as SUCs should consider the cultural challenges of the grantees when designing intervention programs to help grantees become academically well-adjusted.

Iloilo WV’s ‘best performing province’


ILOILO City — Iloilo was hailed as the “Best Performing Province in Western Visayas” during the 7th Excellence in Local Governance (EXCELL) Awards of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

It was cited for excellence in Administrative Governance, Economic Governance, Social Governance, and Environmental Governance.

DILG Region 6 said the provincial government pioneered programs that are the first of their kind in the country, such as “Hulag Barangay! Lihok sang Agraryo Ginasuporta,” or HUBLAG-UNO; “Project Buligay: Probinsiya kag Iba pa”; and the Governor’s Prize on Blue Waters Competition.

Iloilo also established the Agri-Aqua Research and Technology Center, a 12-hectare facility intended for demonstration, research and training to promote sustainable agri-aqua systems.

According to the DILG, the province’s strong performance this year was very evident, along with several international awards, as well as numerous national and regional recognitions.

Negros Occidental, last year’s best performing province, came in second. It got the special award on Valuing Fundamentals of Good Governance.

EXCELL Awards recognizes the best performing local government units in the region that showcase their best practices and innovations.

Starting in 2008, it is the first recognition program of its kind in the country and the only in Western Visayas.

This year’s theme is “Edging out Challenges, Enriching Collaboration, Exemplifying Commitment.”

‘Join New Year Countdown by the river’


ILOILO City — Ilonggos were urged to join this city’s 5th New Year Countdown beginning 10 p.m. on Dec. 31.

The event, according to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, aims to provide a “safe venue where Ilonggos can celebrate the opening of the year together as a family.”

“We are encouraging everyone to watch rather than spend money or, worse, get hurt by firecrackers,” said Mabilog.

The Countdown will feature a 30-minute musical fireworks show over the Iloilo River along Muelle Loney when the clock ticks 12 midnight.

“We will have musical fireworks,” said Mabilog. “What you should do is tune in to the sponsor FM radio station for the music and then watch the fireworks.”

“I believe it will be the biggest and grandest display that time, so we encourage everyone to forego of their firecrackers and watch,” he added.

Complementing the event is a food festival, also along Muelley Loney, from Dec. 30 to 31. Cooperatives and the Iloilo Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association are participating.

Personnel of the Iloilo City Police Office and the Transportation Management and Traffic Regulation Office will secure the event, said Mabilog.

University of San Agustin to use renewable energy


ILOILO City — The University of San Agustin (USA) recently signed a memorandum of agreement with Energy Renewable Asia, Inc. (ERA) on the installation of a 660-kilowatt-peak (kWp) solar power system in its two campuses.

Father Frederick C. Comendador, OSA, university president, said many factors were involved in their decision to finally use renewable energy in their main campus on General Luna Street and the basic education department in Barangay Sambag, Jaro district.

In the partnership, ERA will provide the technology, including the installation of solar panels on the university’s rooftops. The USA will pay ERA for whatever amount of power it consumes, the contract stated.

“Our company provides such technology in the education sector,” said Alexander Brasier, ERA chair. “We offered [USA] a range of options. The contract states that [the university] will pay ERA for a period of 15 years, and then the ownership of the facility will be transferred to the university.”

During the 15-year period, ERA will maintain the facility.

“We anticipate that the project will be completed and operational by June next year,” said Brasier.

Another university here has also signed a deal with ERA for a similar project, he said. USA’s contract, however, is larger in terms of capacity, as the facility will run on a 660-kWp solar power system.

The project will operate on a build-lease-transfer scheme, said ERA’s business development partner Efren B. Pedregosa, a USA alumnus.

“ERA is investing in the university, which means all the risk falls on ERA. But that investment will be worth it,” he said.

Aside from USA, he said the company is also coordinating with several municipalities in Iloilo province to install the same project.

“We are making renewable energy accessible to those who are interested,” Pedregosa said.

Comendador disclosed that USA received similar proposals from other companies but inked the deal with ERA because the latter’s proposal went well with the university’s ideals.

It is about time for USA to take the lead in the use of renewable energy among schools in the region, he stressed.

“[We advocate] sustainable environment, so we are looking for renewable energy sources,” said Comendador. “The other factor is economics. Iloilo has one of the highest prices in terms of electricity. And we are looking for ways on how to cut back on our expenditures. What we save will be allotted to other projects.”

Also, he said, the country has been feeling the impact of climate change in recent years — a wake-up call for institutions like USA to look for ways to sustain operations while making sure that the environment is well taken care of.

“There are available technologies beneficial to the environment. We only need to invest properly for the sake of our planet,” said the university president.

He added: “We need to keep a symbiotic relationship with Mother Earth. What we are doing is for the sake of this generation. We ensure that they will have a future to enjoy, a home and a legacy that they can also share with others.”

MGB identifies 83 relocation sites for WV


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 27(PIA)—There are 83 relocation sites which were assessed and identified by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in the region.

This is part of the parameters included in the preparation of the 1:10,000 scale geohazard maps, according to Engr. Mae Magarzo of the MGB.

Magarzo said these sites are in three provinces in Western Visayas, namely, Aklan, 46 sites; Capiz, 19 and Iloilo, 18.

The results of the Geohazard Flood Rain-Induced Landslides Assessment are presented to the local government units concerned during the MGB’s exit conference.

Magarzo said that they give lectures, present how the mapping was done, teach the local officials how to interpret the maps and leave them copies of the results.

Engr. Leo Van Juguan, MGB-6 director said that the more detailed 1:10,000 scale geohazard maps can now guide the people at the barangay level and even the sitios, of the areas most susceptible to rain-induced flooding and landslides.

“We provide them a copy of the Flooding/Landslide Threat Advisory so they can be aware of the occurrence of such in their areas,” Juguan said.

He added that this will also help them in their respective disaster management plan, showing not only when to evacuate, but the shortest way to their evacuation sites.

Juguan also said the threat advisory is meant to make the people aware of the options they can take in the event of heavy flooding in their areas.

“We have worked hard to complete the 1:10,000 scale geohazard map so we can distribute them next year,” Juguan said.

“We want everyone to be able to make an informed decision that can save lives in the event of calamities,” Juguan said.

Dinagyang tickets sell like ‘bingka’


ILOILO City – Like hot bingka, a popular rice cake this holiday season, Dinagyang Festival 2015 tickets are in demand.

Only a few more seats at the Freedom Grandstand and other areas remain available for next month’s Dinagyang.

Tickets at the grandstand’s left wing and left extension have all been sold, said Benito Jimena, city tourism officer.

He urged the public to avail themselves of the remaining tickets.

“You cannot appreciate Dinagyang if you do not watch the performances from the stage,” he said.

Nine tribes are performing in the ati-ati competition on Jan. 25. There are five performing areas with stages for the audience.

The five stages and their respective ticket prices are:

Freedom Grandstand

• Left Wing (P1,400) – sold out
• Extension (left, P1,200) – sold out
• Extension (right, P1,200)

Provincial Capitol

• Complimentary for Capitol guests


  • Mabini Main – P1,200
  • Delgado Site – P1,000


• Quezon Main – P1,200
• Ledesma Side – P1,000

Maria Clara Main – P1,000.

The Delgado stage is a new addition for the 2015 edition of the festival.

There are approximately 200 tickets left for each stage, said Caye Padilla from the Dinagyang Lounge, Freedom Grandstand where they can be bought.

Ticket selling started on Dec. 17.

Tickets can only be purchased outright. No reservations are entertained.

The Dinagyang Lounge will be open on Dec. 29 and will resume office on Jan. 5, 2015 after the holidays.

Approximately 5,000 tickets were printed. Once these are all sold, Jimena said, no more additional tickets will be produced.

“I think (the seating capacity of the grandstand) is enough for those willing to pay…Anyway, they can watch the street dancing performances,” he said.

Fake tickets are not likely to circulate as in the previous years because the current tickets have official stamps, authorized signatures and control numbers, said Jimena.

In addition, kiosks will be made available starting Jan. 6 at P1,600 per 2.5 meters by 3 meters.

“All the tribes are prepared. You’ve seen them during the Pamukaw which was just like an opening salvo,” said Jimena.

“The choreographers never run out of ideas. Everybody wants to win. They are all competitive,” he added.

On the issue of tribes complaining about “lack of budget,” Jimena said the complaints are there “forever and always.”

The nine tribes are:

• Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz National High School
• Tribu Panayanon of Iloilo City National High School
• Tribu Obreros of Bo. Obrero National High School
• Tribu Ilawudnon of Sto. Rosario Street, Iloilo City
• Tribu Baybayanon of Barangay Calaparan, Arevalo
• Tribu Salognon of Jaro National High School
• Tribu Atub-Atub of Barangay Veterans Village, Iloilo City
• Tribu Ilonganon of Abanilla Street, Lapuz, Iloilo City, and
• Tribu Milagrosa of Passi City.

According to Jimena, Dinagyang 2015 promises the same, if not higher, level of entertainment as last year’s.

Dinagyang 2015’s theme is, “Sum it Up to the Top.”

The schedule:

• Opening Salvo – Jan. 9
• Miss Iloilo Dinagyang 2015 Coronation Night – Jan. 21
• Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika, Salvo of a Thousand Drums and Fluvial Procession – Jan. 23
• Dinagyang Food Festival – Jan. 23 to 24
• Kasadyahan Cultural Presentation and Religious Sadsad – Jan. 24; and
• Ati contest – Jan. 25.

Overpass for PWDs, elderly underway in IC


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 25 (PIA6) – The pedestrian overpass being constructed along Sen. Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Avenue at the cost of P20 million will be the first of kind in Iloilo, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 6 here.

The distinct features of the overpass will be its two elevators intended for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and the elderly.

DPWH-6 Regional Director Edilberto Tayao said in their “WV Builders News” that the design of the overpass is in keeping with laws that protect and promote the welfare of PWDs and senior citizens.

The laws referred to here are the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons and Batas Pambansa Blg. 344, otherwise known as “An Act to Enhance the Mobility of Disabled Persons by Requiring Certain Buildings, Institutions, Establishments and Public Utilities to Install Facilities and Other Devices”.

The overpass is the single largest project that DPWH has ever done for the sector of PWDs and the elderly, said Tayao.

The project, which is funded under the DPWH-DOTC Convergence Program, is expected to be functional soon. It is 50.2 meters long and 3 meters wide.

Tayao said the overpass would reduce vehicular traffic in the area as pedestrians as well as PWDs would be able to go to various establishments along the Avenue or Iloilo Diversion Road without crossing the main road.

Negosyo Center opens in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 24 (PIA6) - - Ease in doing business and facilitating access to services to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the city and province of Iloilo got a further boost with the opening of Negosyo Center at the Department of Trade and Industry-Iloilo Provincial Office on Tuesda

The establishment of Negosyo Centers in provinces, cities and municipalities in the country is provided under Republic Act 10644 or An Act Promoting Job Generation and Inclusive Growth through the Development of MSMEs or the “Go Negosyo Act” authored by Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino.

Engr. Wilhelm Malones, DTI 6 OIC, said the center aims to provide frontline services for MSMEs covering areas in business counseling such as marketing, access to finance and productivity and efficiency of workers and machineries inside workplaces.

Aside from the free one-on-one business advisory service, the center also offers three other major services such as the business information and advocacy, business registration thru the Philippine Business Registry and Monitoring and Evaluation.

Through the business information and advocacy service of the center, SMEs will be given access to information on market, suppliers, buyers, government assistance programs, among others. Also available are relevant business data and information for market research, directory, profiles and other studies/materials.

The Center will also provide assistance to MSMEs in the availment of technology transfer, production and management training programs and marketing assistance of DTI and other concerned government agencies and institutions.

Iloilo City Investment and Promotions Board President Felix Tiu said that the Negosyo Center is a very innovative and meaningful project of Senator Aquino and of DTI that will serve as a great avenue for inspiring and encouraging Ilonggos to get into business.

He said during the soft launching that the facility seeks also to guide and train even existing MSMEs to level up their businesses especially on conceptualization. It will further help in creating business that will mean additional revenue or taxes for the government.

The Negosyo Center in Iloilo is one of the four pilot centers in the country. Others are located in Batangas, Quezon Province, and Cagayan de Oro.

Dinagyang 2015 to host 1st Philippine Festival Costume Expo

(SunStar Iloilo)

THE drumbeats never stop and all roads will lead to Iloilo City on January 23-25, 2015 as the famous Dinagyang Festival reels on its 47th yearly edition of the premier tourist and cultural heritage attraction in the country.

For the first time, several festivals in the country will feature their own costumes and accessories that represent the colors and character of their festival in the 1st Philippine Festival Costume Expo slated on January 22 – 25, 2015.

To be held during the Dinagyang parade, the festival costume highlights the cultural significance of fashion and fabric that define people’s attire and the history of the place through the clothes worn by locals.

Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. and the City Tourism and Development Office in partnership with the Department of Tourism Western Visayas and Iloilo Tourism Officers Association and Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines.

Major festivals of the country are invited to join and showcase their important cultural facets – the costumes and accessories that represent the colors and character of their festival.

The activity highlights the cultural significance of fashion and fabric that define people’s attire and the history of the place through the clothes worn by locals.

DOT VI Regional Director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas said the new feature of Dinagyang 2015 is expected to draw more visitors to go to other places of interest in Iloilo City and province as well as other places in Western Visayas located outside Iloilo. DOT VI will sponsor the in-land transportation of the delegates.

City tourism officer Ben Jimena said the new feature will make Dinagyang a truly inclusive multi-interest festival with wide ranging participation coming from other parts of the country as well as emphasize the important role of artisans dedicated to costume designing in the making of the festival, among others.

Iloilo LGUs more disaster-ready, adaptive


ILOILO CITY, December 22 (PIA) --- The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)- Iloilo Provincial Office said that local government units (LGUs) here have become more adaptive and disaster-ready as demonstrated by their actions and responses when typhoon Ruby hit the province early this month.

In a PIA interview, DILG Provincial Director Teodora Sumagaysay said LGUs in the province have become more organized when dealing with disaster risk reduction and management and the people have become more aware and responsive to directives and advisories.

“The DILG being the vice chair for disaster preparedness, we have noted that municipalities here have become more prepared as revealed by our comparative assessment during typhoon Ruby,” she said.

She said that LGUs here have been provided with the LGU Disaster Preparedness Journal - A Checklist of Minimum Actions for Mayors prepared by the DILG to serve as guide to local chief executives to help them prepare against the impact of climate change-triggered natural calamities.

The Checklist of Minimum Actions for Mayors called for the creation of the local disaster risk reduction management structures and systems to be mobilized before, during and after natural calamities; institutionalize policies and plans; enhance competency of the structures through various trainings; and compliment the competency by purchasing and preparing the needed hardware and supplies.

LGUs are mandated by Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 as “first responder” to ensure the safety and resiliency of communities in facing the challenges of disasters.

Meanwhile, the DILG official said that there were more people who responded to the directive of pre-emptive evacuation during typhoon Ruby as compared when the province was hit by super typhoon Yolanda late last year.

“Three days before the province was to be hit by typhoon Ruby, people were already evacuating unlike last year when we were struck by Yolanda, proving that people learned their lesson from their experiences from the previous typhoon,” she said.

She added that three days before the typhoon, the DILG monitored LGUs to see to it that they were able to organize committees to really look into the different situations which they were not able to do before.

No Iloilo prisoner gets VIP treatment

(Manila Bulletin)

Iloilo City - Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Region 6 (BJMP-6) Director Rex Delarmente has made assurances that no inmate in the facility receives special treatment.

Delarmente also said measures are being harnessed to make sure inmates would have no chance to sneak prohibited drugs and arms into the district jail.

The BJMP-6 official issued the twin statements amid the discovery of hotel-like prison cells equipped with high-end contraptionsoccupied by convicted drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Manila.

He however was quick to admit that previously, the Ungka Jaro District Jail fell into lapses when prisoners managed to hide gadgets like cell phones and deadly weapons in their cells.

But he said to prevent the repetition of such incident, visitors are now required to submit to bag inspection and body frisk.

Because it's holiday season, Delarmente said there is a standing order for prison guards to apply rigidly the inspection process twice a day so that nothing “irregular” is able to be smuggled inside the jail facility.

Irrespective of who they are, the official said no inmate here receives special treatment, and that “no inmate has the power to cast influence upon me.”

Traffic aides’ drug test results next week


ILOILO City — The results of the random drug testing on all traffic aides here may be released next week, according to the Transportation Management and Traffic Regulation Office (TMTRO).

A total of 263 traffic officers had undergone the drug test from Dec. 4 to 5.

Those who will test positive for drugs will be immediately relieved from their post or will not be allowed to renew their contract.

Drug use is considered a grave and major offense under the city government’s employee guidelines.

On Nov. 30, a 48-year-old traffic aide from Lapuz district had been sacked after admitting to using prohibited drugs.

He confessed when he was told that there was going to be a drug test among traffic aides.

A source from the city hall said the traffic aide has been spotted many times going to Barangay Bakhaw, Mandurriao district allegedly to buy drugs.

There are other traffic aides who are suspected illegal drug users, said the source who requested anonymity.


Meanwhile, TMTRO administration head Rhodora Katipunan said traffic aides will continue manning the city streets during Christmas and New Year’s days.

“They will also be present during the New Year countdown,” said Katipunan.

Traffic aides will be on their posts during their regular hours on the days toward the year’s end except on Dec. 28, TMTRO’s Christmas party, said Katipunan.

She said they already requested Iloilo City Police Office personnel to substitute the traffic aides on that day.

DOH shifts Iwas Paputok campaign to high gear


ILOILO CITY, December 19 (PIA) --- The Department of Health (DOH) will utilize both scare tactics and positive approaches to convey its messages in the agency’s “Iwas Paputok” campaign this year.

In a press briefing, Dr. May Ann Sta. Lucia, DOH-6 Medical Officer III, said that in the past, the health department alternately used the two approaches on their campaign against firecracker-related injuries during the holiday season.

“This year, we will utilize both strategies in various information and advocacy materials targeted on young children,” she said.

In 2013, the DOH recorded 1,018 cases from 50 sentinel hospitals across the country from December 21, 2013 to January 5, 2014. This figure was 9 percent higher compared to 2012 which recorded 931 cases.

In Western Visayas, 78 cases or 93 percent of firecracker-related injuries were recorded in sentinel hospitals while six cases or seven percent were reported in non-sentinel hospitals in the region.

According to the DOH-6 surveillance report, of the 78 recorded injuries in sentinel hospitals, 43 cases or 55 percent were reported from the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC), Iloilo City, while 35 cases or 45 percent were from Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH), Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

Sta. Lucia said that this year’s communication campaign is anchored on the theme, “Mahalaga ang Buhay, Iwasan ang Paputok,” with the key message “Salubungin ang Bagong Taon ng Ligtas, Masaya at Puno ng Pag-asa”.

“This campaign aims to inform the public, particularly the young male population, on how to prevent injuries from firecracker use,” she said.

The DOH will also give advisory on the alternative ways to spend the New Year’s Eve and information about proper wound care to avoid tetanus.

The Iwas Paputok campaign has been featured in the DOH Facebook since the first week of December and this encouraged the sharing of experiences and photos among members; while the DOH Twitter account is also sending out tweets at least three times a day.

Ilonggos mark Lopez Jaena’s 158th birth anniv today


ILOILO City – This city and Iloilo province are celebrating the 158th birth anniversary of Dr. Graciano Lopez Jaena today.

The center of activities this morning is the Graciano Lopez Jaena Park, also known as Jaro Plaza.

Lopez Jaena, born on Dec. 18, 1856 in Jaro district, is the only Ilonggo hero on the national level. He was considered the “first Filipino propagandist” in the struggle for freedom from the oppressive Spanish colonizers.

A foot parade kicks off the activities at 7 a.m. today from Jardin Elena on Fajardo Street, the hero’s birthplace. The parade will end at the hero’s monument where a program will be held.

The Graciano Lopez Jaena Foundation is spearheading today’s activities.

Dr. Luis Sorolla, president of West Visayas State University, is the guest speaker.

Lopez Jaena wrote the satirical story “Fray Botod” in Jaro, which depicted a fat and lecherous priest. Botod’s false piety “always had the Virgin and God on his lips no matter how unjust and underhanded his acts are.” He reaped the friars’ fury.

In Spain, Lopez Jaena founded and edited “La Solidaridad”, a newspaper that aimed to galvanize Filipinos to into demanding independence.

In Lopez Jaena’s honor, Dec. 18 is a special holiday in the whole island of Panay.

Lopez Jaena died of tuberculosis at age 39 on Jan. 20, 1896 in Barcelona, Spain. He was buried by the Sisters of Charity in an unmarked grave at the Cementerio Sud-Oeste.

After the program today, there will be a general assembly meeting and election of the new set of officers of the foundation.

Power firm positive to reach 1,000 MW by 2018

By Lydia C. Pendon

AN OFFICIAL from the Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) said the company is positive to breach beyond 1,000 megawatts (MW) power in the Visayas Grid by 2018 following the construction of another power plant in Iloilo City.

GBCP Executive Vice President Jaime Azurin said Wednesday in the city’s media fellowship that GBCP, the main firm of two energy generation plants in Iloilo City, is building another coal-fired power plant in Iloilo City with 150 MW slated for commissioning by 2016.

The P15 to P16-billion worth second coal fired power plant will supply enough power supply particularly in Western Visayas and the whole grid, Azurin said.

GBCP is the owner of the Philippine Energy Development Corp. (PEDC), the first coal-fired plant in the city with 164 MW and the Panay Power Corp. (PPC) diesel power plant with 72 MW.

The GBCP is also rehabilitating and upgrading the 35-year-old first coal-fired power plant in the Visayas in Toledo, Cebu with 150 MW. The area is set to shutdown until March 2015.

GBPC is also slated to put up the first big biomass power plant in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental using bagasse by-product of the sugar industry in Negros Island.

The renewable energy project is a commitment of GBPC in launching the renewable energy development in partnership with La Carlota sugar milling corporation.

Azurin also assured development of new programs and projects to compliment with the environment and building clean and livable communities.

Metro Iloilo has fair to good air quality


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 16 (PNA) –- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Office 6 has rated the ambient air quality in Metro Iloilo as still fair to good based on the department's monitoring stations in different areas in Iloilo province and city.

DENR 6 Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) regional director Jonathan D. Bulos said that EMB has monitoring stations at the University of San Agustin, Central Philippine University, Lapaz Police Station, Oton, Leganes and in other parts of Iloilo where they get monthly report of the quality of ambient air.

Bulos said that with the results, which EMB consolidates monthly and then yearly, the air pollution problem here is not yet as worse as that in Metro Manila.

He said that the air pollution quality could also be attributed to less emission of polluted air by properly maintained vehicles.

He also said the EMB continues to advocate the use of liquefied petroleum gas among public utilities to reduce emission of pollutants in the air. He cited a large fleet of taxis operating in the city now using LPG.

Best of WV provinces in films


ILOILO CITY, December 15 (PIA) --- All six provinces of Western Visayas will be showcased in films through the Cinekasimanwa 3 in 2015, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT)-6.

In a media briefing, DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the culture, stories, myths, and tourist attractions of each of the provinces of Western Visayas will be the center of the films for Cinekasimanwa 3: The Western Visayas Film Festival.

“This is an attempt at making Western Visayas films as vehicle for tourism promotion and marketing,” said Catalbas.

The CineKasimanwa, which started in 2013, features films and filmmakers from Western Visayas. It is being held every first or second week of December.

For the third year of the film festival, DOT-6 and CineKasimanwa will meet with all tourism officers and provincial representatives in Region 6 and discuss about the plans.

“The top-must experiences and destinations in each of the six provinces here will be incorporated in the films,” she said.

“We look forward to CineKasimanwa 3 next year with eager anticipation that more positive things will come out of this, with DOT more actively involved, as well as the local government units,” said Catalbas.

Elvert de la Cruz Bañares, film festival director and programmer, said CineKasimanwa was created in partnership with National Commission on Culture and the Arts, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), and DOT-6 to promote filmmakers in Western Visayas.

“There are at least 50 film directors from Western Visayas so there must be a venue for these filmmakers,” he said.

He said our filmmakers are going around schools every December in order to promote Western Visayas films instead of Western films.

More groups to take part in Kasadyahan


ILOILO City — At least 12 festivals from different provinces will be vying for the championship title of Dinagyang Festival 2015’s Kasadyahan Cultural Competition on Jan. 24.

“And we are expecting more participants,” said Eden Deriada, chair of the Kasadyahan committee. “We have invited private schools in this city and are still waiting for their confirmation.”

For the first time, groups from the provinces of Tacurong and Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao will be performing as guests during the Kasadyahan, revealed Deriada.

Unlike Kasadyahan in January this year and earlier years, the 2015 edition will be a contest and not merely a presentation of cultures, said Deriada.

“Last year, we only gave prizes to the best performer,” she said. “This year, we will pick a champion, then first, second and third runners-up.”

Non-winners this year may be given consolation prizes, unlike in the previous years. “We have already proposed it to the Dinagyang Foundation,” she said.

The Department of Tourism, headed by Regional Director Helen Catalbas, will provide the participants P50,000 for transportation and other expenses.

“That is apart from the assistance to be given by the Dinagyang Foundation and the city government,” said Deriada.

Each group will receive at least P150,000 as subsidy. “We have also proposed that the subsidy for each group be increased,” she said.

The groups will have a minimum of 7 minutes and a maximum of 12 minutes to set up and perform.

“We extended the performance time,” said Deriada. “In the previous years, we noticed that it took time to put up their props.”

Last year’s candidates were only given 5 to 7 minutes.

A guest group from the University of San Agustin on General Luna Street here will open Kasadyahan 2015, said Deriada.

Among next year’s Kasadyahan contestants are:

• Banaag Festival of Anilao, Iloilo
• Kaing Festival of Leon, Iloilo
• Salakayan Festival of Miag-ao, Iloilo
• Manggahan Festival of Guimaras
• Kasag Festival of Banate, Iloilo
• An entry from Roxas City, Capiz
• Pinta Flores of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental
• Ati-Atihan Festival of Kalibo, Aklan
• An entry from Tapaz, Capiz
• Binirayan Festival of Caluya, Antique
• An entry from Bago City, Negros Occidental
• MassKara Festival of Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

Banaag and Binirayan festivals and the contender from Tapaz, Capiz are first-time participants. Pinta Flores was this year’s winner.

The West Visayas State University in La Paz district has also been invited to perform but is yet to confirm, said Deriada.

“We are looking forward to more festive and unique performances, as well as more colorful costumes,” she said.

DSWD-6 recognizes volunteers for relief operation


Department of Social Welfare and Development 6 (DSWD-6), lead by regional director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre, thanked more than 700 volunteers coming from different organizations who voluntarily helped the department in the repacking of relief goods in four established repacking sites in Iloilo for immediate food assistance to evacuees of typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit).

“We are thankful to all volunteers who made the relief operation faster,” said Macapobre.

The DSWD-6 established four repacking sites are located in the Sports Complex in Iloilo City and in towns of Guimbal, Cabatuan, and Barotac Viejo, all in Iloilo to fast track the delivery of family food packs in all evacuation centers in the region.

These repacking sites produced around 12, 000 family food packs everyday with the help of these volunteers.

These volunteers are composed of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries and parents leaders; Philippine Bikers; Army Reserved; Philippine Navy; The Guardians Brotherhood Inc.; Barotac Viejo Barangay Volunteers; Philippine Army; 604th Company; John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University; Department of Public Works and Highways; Day Care workers; Church of the Latter Day Saints; local government units, and private sectors.

Batangas, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro to enter into Sisterhood Partnership


MANILA, Dec. 12 (PNA) -- The cities of Batangas in Southern Luzon, Iloilo in Western Visayas and Cagayan de Oro in Northern Mindanao will enter into a Sisterhood Partnership on Dec. 15 to jointly advance their shared goal of inclusive and resilient economic growth.

The three cities are the pilot areas of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Cities Development Initiative (CDI).

USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Africa and Partnership for Growth (PFG) coordinator Eric G. Postel will witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the three cities.

As part of PFG, CDI seeks to advance the development of second-tier cities as engines of growth that is inclusive and environmentally sustainable and resilient through mutual responsibility and collaboration in the areas of economic growth and investment promotion, health, education, and the environment.

The Sisterhood Partnership aims to strengthen the links between the three CDI cities to share ideas and best practices on further enhancing the gains that they have individually achieved, the reforms that they have instituted, and the level of competitiveness that they have successfully put in place.

Mayor Oscar Moreno of Cagayan de Oro City, Mayor Jed Mabilog of Iloilo City, Mayor Eduardo Dimacuha of Batangas City, Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero, Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya and USAID/Philippines Mission Director Gloria D. Steele are expected to participate in the event.

Research findings intend to promote people's health - DOST


ILOILO CITY, December 11 (PIA) --- Research studies promoting people’s health in Region 6 were presented in the 1st Western Visayas Health Research Conference held at Amigo Hotel here.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-6 Regional Director Rowen Gelonga said that the health research conference, with the theme “Science and Practice of People-Centered Health Systems”, aimed at promoting the dissemination and utilization of health research results in the region.

“We are not just conducting research for the sake of research but we would like to emphasize that we conduct these activities to address the welfare and the concerns of the people,” he said.

He said that the conference was conducted to establish mechanisms to strengthen health research capabilities and encourage resource sharing among partner institutions.

Among the topics presented include Kalusugan Pangkalahatan, Research and Development Presentations, e-Tablet, RxBox, and Ethics and System Approach to Improving Philippine Health Care System.

On one hand, Imelda Olaguer, University Research Director of St. Paul University Iloilo, said that the health research conference provided exposure for students on how to present, how to answer questions, and how to go about different researches in the field of health.

“The faculty and students will gain most of the research methods and practices of other academic institutions and this provided an avenue for the public to have raised awareness on the agenda of DOH on health research,” she said.

Charlize Mel Marquez, a medical student from Central Philippine University, said that the conference enabled student researchers like her to disseminate community health issues.

“The conference is beneficial to make agencies and concerned sectors be aware of people’s situations and practices in the communities especially our study was based on our community exposure,” she said.

The 1st Western Visayas Health Research Conference held December 11 to 12, was spearheaded by DOST-6 and the Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (WVHRDC).

This was in partnership with the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and the Department of Health- Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6.

Dinagyang to feature national festival costume expo

By Lydia C. Pendon (JCM/LTP/PIA-Iloilo)

ALL roads will lead to Iloilo City on January 23-25 next year as the famous Dinagyang Festival reels on its 47th yearly edition of the premier tourist and cultural heritage attraction in the country.

Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation chairman Ramon Cua Locsin said the edition will introduce the First Philippine National Festival Costume Exposition.

The festival costume will showcase tradition and the local way of life of the different festival places in the country. The attire defines not only the history of the place but also the preferences of people, such as what they like to do, what they believe in, what they want to eat, what they enjoy, and what make them happy and proud.

City Tourism Officer Ben Jimena said the exposition includes exhibition and parade of costumes and accessories, and some 30 festivals in different parts of the country are expected to participate in the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival in 2015.

Jimena said the festival costume expo will bring in another new activity into one significant celebration and make Dinagyang a truly inclusive multi-interest festival with wide ranging participation.

For Locsin, Dinagyang, as a highly successful public and private partnership, is bringing together the community, church, local government unit and the private sector in a celebration in honor of the religious belief, tradition and culture of the Ilonggos.

A “pamukaw” parade will be held on Friday, December 12, to start off the more than a month long festival of sounds, color and dance movements.

Participating ati-atihan tribes are Tribu Paghidaet, Panayanon, Obreros, Lawudnon, Baybayanon, Salognon, Atub-atub, Ilonganon and Milagrosa.

Training ship's visit to open more business opportunities


ILOILO CITY, December 9 (PIA) --- The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Western Visayas said that the recent visit of Japan’s training ship, Tenyu Maru, paved way for more business dealings with the Japanese market.

In a media release, DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said that the visit of the training ship which carried 48 Japanese students from the National Fisheries University, Yamaguchi, Japan, was a huge feat.

“I believe this is a huge accomplishment for the province and city of Iloilo as this will facilitate for more business dealings with Japan,” she said.

She said that the Japanese visitors were provided with the best of our services for trips to Iloilo such as this can pave way for the province to be a training destination for the Japanese in the future.

DOT-6 said the visitors were greeted upon arrival on Dec. 5 at Iloilo Port by the Dinagyang Festival drummers and were treated to a visit to Camiña Balay nga Bato in Arevalo District here.

The Japanese visitors also visited Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) in the municipality of Tigbauan and were given a tour of southern Iloilo including the city.

Catalbas said the visitors were presented with Western Visayas promotional giveaways like loot bags, notebooks, t-shirts, bag tags and brochures in Japanese language.

Japan is among the top five foreign tourist markets from East Asia next to Korea, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

TOR to spell out details on Iloilo City central market revitalization project


ILOILO CITY, Dec. 8 (PNA)-- The new terms of reference (TOR) will set the pace for the selection of a private developer and investor for the development of the Iloilo City central business district revitalization project under a joint venture agreement, according to city planning and development officer Jose Roni Penalosa.

In an open consultation and public hearing conducted for the market vendors by the Sangguniang Panlungsod on Monday at the central market, Penalosa said there is no bidding yet for the selected investor although SM Primeholdings showed early intent in the construction of the new central public market.

Similarly, there is no truth to the rumor that SM Hypermart will set foot at the new central market as this was not incorporated in the new TOR, the city planning officer said.

Penalosa emphasized that the TOR is specific in its provisions and the city government owns the ground floor area and shall retain the operation, management and maintenance of the central public market including all other business establishments at the ground floor during the operation stage of the project.

There are 1,025 market stalls at the central market and it is the intent of the city to retain the operation, management and maintenance of the new wet and dry sections. Lease rates of the wet and dry sections and all other establishments at the ground floor shall be regulated by the city government in accordance with the city’s Market Code subject to settlement of all arrears before the issuance of the certificate of award in the new public market.

The winning private sector bidder-investor will finance the construction of the market but will only occupy the second up to the fifth floor while the ground floor will belong to the city government.

The public hearing is spearheaded by the SP committee on markets and slaughterhouse headed by city councilor Rodel Fullon Agado and city councilors Joshua Alim, RLeone Gerochi, Lyndon Acap and city administrator Norlito Bautista and city legal officer Dan Dinopol.

DOLE’s job fair offers over 5T vacancies

(JSC/LAF-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 7 (PIA6) - - Over five thousand job opportunities will be made available by the Department of Labor and Employment 6 (DOLE 6) tomorrow, December 8, as the department celebrates its 81st Founding anniversary.

The DOLE Job and Livelihood Fair will be held at the Amigo Plaza Mall here from 8 AM to 5 PM.

DOLE 6 Director Ponciano Ligutom said 30 local companies and 15 overseas recruitment agencies will join the job fair bringing 800 and 4,500 local and overseas job vacancies.

Ligutom said local government units and people’s organizations assisted by the department will showcase their products during the livelihood fair. These include the local government units of the province of Guimaras and Brgy. Alipata, Sicogon Island in Carles as well as the Bagtason Loom Weaving Association and Association of Differently-abled Persons from Antique province.

Some of the products that will be put on display are woodcraft, handicraft, dried fish, shawls, and various products out of seaweed.

A Help Desk will also be put up for those who have queries and would like to avail of the services of the different DOLE attached agencies such as the National Labor Relations Commission, National Conciliation Mediation Board, Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board, Overseas Workers Welfare and Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, National Reintegration Center for OFWs, National Employees’ Compensation Commission and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth and Social Security System will likewise have their own desks.

Other features of the event are the Libreng Tawag for families of OFWs which will start at 10 AM to 5 PM and a free massage service.

The anniversary job fair is one of the three DOLE initiated job fairs every year that include Labor Day job fair every May 1 and Independence Day job fair every June 12.

PopEd Lesson Exemplars launched

(JSC/ESS-PIA Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 5 (PIA6)—Most high school teachers find it difficult to integrate population education (PopEd) in their subject areas, but not anymore with the launching of PopEd Lessons Exemplars.

The Commission on Population here had launched, December 3, the Lesson Exemplars integrating PopEd in eight subject areas in the secondary level, namely Math, Science, English, Filipino, TLE, MAPEH, Araling Panlipunan, and Values Education, in every year level and four grading periods.

Rosalinda Marcelino, Commission on Population deputy director, said that the launching is a milestone and the publication of the PopEd Lesson Exemplars, is the first in the country.

“This is milestone indeed, for the effort is way ahead of the Reproductive Health Law which provides for a comprehensive sexuality education of young people,” Marcelino said.

The modules were conceptualized way back in 2009, after which a series of write shops, revisions and editing with the Department of Education experts and resource persons followed.

Maria Xenia Serio, POPCOM-6 information officer and project leader, said the modules were pilot tested in July until February 2012 with the Mandurriao National High School.

“The tedious process of preparing the exemplars is to ensure the relevance and usefulness of the materials,” Serio said.

Serio added that the modules were in response to three major issues identified during an assessment meeting in 2008, initiated by POPCOM, to evaluate the status of the PopEd program in Western Visayas.

These issues were 1) lack of modules or instructional materials which prevented the integration of population issues and concerns in the subject areas; 2) lack of teachers trained on PopEd integration, and, 3) lukewarm attitude of many superintendents and school administrators on the PopEd program.

Director Marcelino said that the publication of the modules also responds to the current challenging issues faced by young people today.

“Teenage pregnancy is a challenging issue today because the risky behaviour young people do leading to this is born out of erroneous information misinterpreted by the young,” Marcelino said.

She added that the Lesson Exemplars jointly prepared by DEpEd and Popcom, help young teachers relate with the culture of the young.

Meanwhile, Dr. Rovel Salcedo of the DepEd, told the teachers, supervisors and other education stakeholders present during the launching, to maximize the use of the modules to strengthen their teaching, adding that the Lesson Exemplars are milestones in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

The last PopEd Modules prepared by the DepEd Central Office was in 1987.

The launching also included a demo teaching integrating the Lessons Exemplars with Araling Panlipunan and Math, with 25 students from the Mandurriao National High School, conducted by two teachers.

December job fair draws thousands

By Marianne Jynce Alcarioto and Jhee Pheel Tubale (Capitol News/PN)

ILOILO – Twenty-seven-year-old Julain Ponteras had to be at the provincial capitol at 9 a.m. in time for the opening of this year’s December Job Fair. With great enthusiasm, the newbie hoped to get the right job to earn a living.

Ponteras’ interest was similar to Lop Stephen who wanted to work at any local hotel or restaurant in the metro.

“I went here early hoping that after this, I am unemployed no more,” he said.

The two came from different backgrounds but had one goal in mind – land a suitable, decent and self-sustaining job.

The Capitol December Job Fair is held annually as part of Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr.’s initiative to address the growing number of unemployed Ilonggos in the province.

Based on March 2011 Household Survey, 32.03 percent of population aged 15 and above who were in the labor force was unemployed. Of these, 28.07 percent were males and 38.56 percent were females.

The job fair, spearheaded by Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO), is held every April and December. This year, 82 companies, both local and overseas, offered over 3,000 job vacancies to support the province.

According to PESO manager Francisco Heler Jr., PESO-Iloilo is a consistent top performer in the provincial category in terms of employment.

“In fact, we are one of the consistent nominees for the National Best Peso Awards,” he said.

Marketing and Communication Specialist Christy Ituriaga of Teletech, one of the business process outsourcing (BPO) companies that has been joining this event for six consecutive years already, said the job fair was a big help for them to employ new qualified applicants.

As one of the biggest BPO companies in Iloilo City, Teletech needs to hire 150 applicants every month. Ituriaga noted that this year’s job fair was much smoother and manageable than last year’s.

A total of 393 jobseekers were hired on the spot in last year’s job fair.

City approves P1.69-B budget for 2015

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Iloilo City Council has unanimously approved the P1,696,399,917 annual executive budget of the city’s general fund for 2015.

The fund covers personal services like the full appropriation for Magna Carta for health workers covering 25 percent of the basic salary and the full appropriation for mandatory optional retirees, among others.

City Councilor Eduardo Penaredondo, chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, said the 2015 budget will also cover the maintenance and other operating expenses such as 11 months appropriations for job hires and honorarium based employees instead of the previous 8 months appropriation.

Penaredondo said the other operating expenses include office supplies for the new office of Information Technology and additional expenses charged to festivities such as the Philippine Open International Taekwondo Championship and additional fund for the Dinagyang 2015, making a budget of P8 million in 2015.

Penaredondo said the City Council also approved the annual budget of the Local Economic Enterprise Office (Leeo) in the amount of P71.2 million as a separate fund from the annual executive budget.

Cops gird for holiday season


ILOILO City –The Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) is bent on keeping the holiday season peacefully and orderly.

Today, the IPPO will hold a command conference to discuss security plans and operational directions for this holiday season.

“Our No. 1 consideration is how to end the year peacefully and orderly while celebrating Christmas,” said Salinas.

Among the strategies to reach this goal are the implementation of the police integrated patrol system, maximum police visibility and focused crime prevention drive.

Salinas said high-profile cases would also be addressed.

He cited the recent gruesome killing of the manager of a non-government organization.

“The Estancia police should solve the case the soonest possible time,” said Salinas.

He had also met with the country director of the United Nation Commission on Humanitarian Affairs to brief him on efforts being exerted by the policemen on the case.

College editors/writers told to inspire, unite people


ILOILO City, Dec. 1 (PIA) - - Director General Jose Mari Oquiñena of the Philippine Information Agency urged college editors and writers to use their skills to inspire the Filipino brand of leadership that is community- based and will inspire to unite the people as a nation.

DG Oquiñenaa was the keynote speaker of the College Press Conference (COPRE) 2014 held recently at the Diversion 21 Hotel, Iloilo City and participated in by over 400 college editors/writers from various public and private institutions in Western Visayas.

“I hope that you refine the Filipino way of writing, and discover the Filipino brand of leadership, the kind of leadership that is not about competition, individualism, but being the best servant for others,” DG Oquiñena said.

The COPRE and Awards is an annual gathering of student journalists from all over Western Visayas, in fellowship and friendly writing and publication contests, organized by the Philippine Information Agency in the region.

According to PIA Iloilo Infocen Manager Elsa Subong, the publication entries have increased from about 75 to 80 in the past few years to almost a hundred.

These entries include magazines, tabloids, newsletters, literary folio and special editions of the wall news, which is considered the development communication community outreach of the publications.

The event also featured other activities like the conduct of on the spot news/editorial/feature/photojourn/sports writing contest; recognition of online journalists and bloggers with Smart Communications, citations for special articles on climate change, tourism and community journalism; and search for Mr. and Miss COPRE 2014.

For his part National Youth Commission Assistant Secretary Jo Jan Paul L. Peñol who was also the guest speaker in the program discussed climate change adaptation and mitigation. He also called on his fellow youth to get involved in the greening activities of the government to help cushion impacts of climate change.