Iloilo City News February 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.

No air pollution in Iloilo City

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

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 28(PIA) – The ambient air of Iloilo City is not polluted yet, according to the Environment Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Engr. Ronald Limwa, Chief of Air Quality System, DENR-EMB, said that based on the 2013 total suspended particulates revealed by the roadside monitoring system posted in La Paz this city, the ambient air did not exceed the quality standard for pollution from motor vehicles.

Other than the roadside monitoring system, the DENR-EMB has also set up a continuous ambient air monitoring system at Central Philippine University in Jaro.

The site in CPU, according to Limwa, represents the general ambient of Iloilo City as it covers the urban and rural areas, where pollution has undergone dispersion, with the surrounding areas experiencing widespread development.

The monitoring system in CPU considers several other perimeters of chemical pollutants, which include benzene, sulphur, ozone, among others, not only motor vehicles.

Limwa said that while generally not polluted, ambient air in Iloilo City, at times, exceeds standards because of several road constructions in different areas and the improvements undertaken in structures along the diversion road.

“These constructions should be regulated and not prolonged,” Limwa said.

Establishments with constructions cover their areas with nets to contain dust particles and other pollutants.

He also said that levels of pollution can vary within a given period because of contributory factors which may come not only from motor vehicles, but from certain human activities including burning of wastes and on-going constructions.

In an orientation held with the Metro Iloilo Airshed Governing Board and the Technical Working Groups, DENR-EMB Regional Director Jonathan Bulos said that with the mandate of the Clean Air Act (RA 8749), the agency is gathering together representatives from multi-sectoral groups to contribute to the effective implementation of the law.

He added that though air pollution is not yet alarming in Iloilo City, there should already be projects and activities undertaken to make the public and the stakeholders aware of possible concerns and rally them to participate.

The governing board and the TWGs said during the same orientation that major proponents of sources of air pollution should be called as resource persons every now and then for preventive and collaborative actions against pollution.

PESO Iloilo City facilitates employment of 88 persons abroad


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 27 (PNA) -– The Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of the Iloilo City Government here has facilitated the direct hiring at one time only of 88 persons for deployment at the new McDonald’s fast food center in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog was enthusiastic of the employment opportunities given to some residents of this city and said he is looking forward to more deployment for work abroad of the local working force.

PESO Manager Ma. Elena Benitez said the deployment of city workers is made possible by YHMD Int’l Manpower Services Inc., a registered recruitment agency by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) and the Department of Labor and Employment.

The recruitment agency demands no placement fee and processing fee and the recruited first batch out of 179 applicants will leave by early March for Riyadh KSA.

The recruitment is ongoing for 50 general maintenance personnel, 30 assistant managers, 500 service crews, 50 star party hosts and 200 delivery men with valid driver’s license.

The contract is two years renewable with a starting salary of P14,000 with free food, accommodation, transportation, medical tests in Saudi and free residence certificate.

Benitez said the PESO is currently updating its registry of pool applicants in different positions ready for the recruitment agencies to conduct personal interviews with applicants.

CSC to conduct PAL seminar


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 26 (PIA6) - - The Civil Service Commission 6 conduct the Policies on Appointments and Leave Seminar (PALS) to provide participants with the basic competency on appointments and leave administration.

The PALS will take place on March 5-7 at the Iloilo Grand Hotel here.

The three-day seminar will focus on the basic how to’s in the preparation and processing of appointment documents, simple computation of leave credits and creation and maintenance of leave cards.

CSC-6 Director IV lawyer Rodolfo Encajonado said the commission conducts programs to enhance the capabilities of public servants in their areas of work in line with its strategic objective of developing competent and credible servants in his letter to heads of offices and agencies.

Target participants of the program include newly-appointed/designated HR practitioners or administrative personnel with zero or very limited knowledge on appointments processing and leave administration.

Encajonado is encouraging heads of offices to send the name of their participants through the confirmation slip sent and fax it through CSCRO6 fax number (033) 321-2667 or email at on or before February 28, 2014. Registration fee is P3,500 per participant.

Construction of Iloilo Convention Center starts Friday


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 25 (PNA) – Construction of the Iloilo Convention Center, a multi-million peso government project for world-class conventions and conferences, is set to start on Friday.

Senate President Franklin Drilon, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor and city lone district Congressman Jerry P. Treñas, together with Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson and officials of the Department of Tourism and Tourism Infrastructure Enhancement Zone Authority (DOT-TIEZA) are set to lead the ground breaking rites.

Drilon assured that the Center will be ready in time for the hosting of Iloilo of the Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) Ministerial Meetings in October 2015.

Drilon has said the construction cost of about Php700 million of the convention center has been downloaded by TIEZA and DPWH.

Another Php200 million will be downloaded by the winning bidder in the provision of amenities such as CCTV cameras, kitchen, furniture, airconditioning units and others.

The project is a public-private partnership and a private corporation will operate and maintain the convention center upon winning the bid set by TIEZA.

Designed by noted Ilonggo architect William Coscoluella defining the innate Ilonggo features such as the paraw sailboats and Dinagyang Festival, the building is being constructed by Hilmarcs Construction Corp. for a period of one year and six months.

Power and water supplies are already in place and Megaworld Corp. is about to complete two five star hotels in the area as well as other hotels in the city, in preparation for the accommodation of some 3,000 delegates from 21 countries in Asia-Pacific region.

TESDA6 to implement P48M community-based programs

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

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 24 (PIA6) - - Some P48 million worth of community-based training programs funded through the Grassroot Participatory Budgeting Process or formerly Bottom Up Budgeting approach will be implemented in the different local government units in Western Visayas this year.

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) 6 Director Yolanda Porschwitz said the budget was already approved and is now available to fund the various community-based trainings identified and determined by the members of the Local Poverty Reduction Action Team (LPRAT) of the different LGUs last year.

Poor and marginal groups who do not have access to formal trainings in the different barangays of the region are among the target of these community-based training programs such as health care services, massage, carpentry, automotive servicing, food processing, among others.

The training program is also expected to spawn livelihood for the trainees to improve their income and productivity.

Porschwitz said TESDA 6 has started consultations with the LPRATs in the municipal levels in line with the identification of projects and preparation of the budgets for 2015 using the GPBP.

During the consultation, the agency presents their programs and helps LGUs in determining projects which are needed by their constituents and are aligned with TESDA’s mandate for training and assessment and the corresponding budget requirements.

The proposed projects will then be subjected for review and validation of the Regional PRAT before submission to the National Anti Poverty Commission.

The Department of Budget and Management will release the fund directly to TESDA for the approved GPBP projects which are also endorsed by the civil society and other stakeholders.

TESDA is among the 11 agencies covered by the GPBP which is part of the efforts of the present administration to ensure transparency and accountability and to attain the Philippine Development Plans of inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

For this year, Porschwitz said TESDA has also set aside some P73.9 million for the implementation of Training for Work Scholarship Program and another P56.6 million for its new program dubbed Special Training for Employment Program or STEP here in Western Visayas.

Leganes, Tigbauan teams defend Paraw Regatta titles

By Monessa G. Caoyonan [(PNA), CTB/AJP/MGC/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 23 (PNA)- Paraw teams from Leganes and Tigbauan, Iloilo had defended their titles in Paraw Regatta’s category A and B in Sunday's edition of the 42nd Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival held in Brgy. Sto. Nino, Villa Resort, Arevalo here.

Paraw entry LD owned by Wennie Demetillo of Brgy. Camangay, Leganes, Iloilo bagged the category A winner while entry Cheryl owned by Federico Tantiado of Brgy. Parara Sur, Tigbauan also captured the category C title.

Both winners received cash amounting to P 50,000 and P 100, 000, respectively.

Other winners in the category A with a waterline length ranging from 16 feet and below are Mitch Angel owned by Michael Anthony of Tigbauan, 2nd place (P 30, 000); Piranha 3 owned by Benito Gordoncillo of Brgy. Camangay, Leganes, 3rd place (P 18, 000); Arlyn 1 and Arlyn 2 owned by Orlando Demetillo of Brgy. Camangay, Leganes, took 4th and 5thplace with P 15, 000 and P 13, 000 cash, respectively.

Top five winners who received consolation prizes and with P 5, 000 cash were entries Joseph owned by Rogelio Gareza of Guimbal, 6th place; Nene RB owned by Rogelio Gareza of Guimbal, 7th place; Jolina owned by Rolando Tajanlangit of Tigbauan, 8th place; John-John owned by Oscar Espinosa of Arevalo, 9th place and Jance owned by Felizardo Sarmiento of Leganes, 10th place.

Entry Joftman V3 2 owned by Nicanor Gad of Sambiray, Malay, Aklan topped in the category B or those with waterline length ranging from 16.1 feet up to 22 feet. Gad received P 75, 000 cash prize.

Other winner entries were Naknak also owned by Gad, 2nd place (P 50, 000 cash); Cherilyn owned by Federico Tantiado of Tigbauan, 3rd place (P 20, 000), Princess Mae owned by Pablito David Jr. of Leganes, 4th place (P 15, 000); Nina, Isiah and Maxx owned by Hector Espinosa of Arevalo, 5th place (P 12, 000); Transporter owned by Ariel Lim of Malay, Aklan, 6th place (P 10, 000); Jen-Jen owned by Cezar Espinosa of Arevalo, 7th place (P 9, 000); Althea faith owned by Rolando Tajanlangit of Tigbauan, 8th place (P 8, 000); Discovery owned by Jeocelen Prado of Malay, Aklan, 9th place (P 7, 000) and Eurasia owned by Jonathan Antinopo of Calaparan, Arevalo, 10th place (P 7, 000).

In Category C or those with waterline length ranging from 16 feet and up, entries Marjhonec and Maxx owned by Hector Espinosa of Sto. Nino Sur, Arevalo and Kristine owned by Oscar Espinosa, also of Arevalo got 2nd and 3rd place with P 75, 000 and P 50, 000 cash prizes, respectively.

There were around 63 sailboat entries in the three categories.

Paraw Regatta Foundation Chairman Manuel Villa Jr. said the classic sailboat race here attracts business tourism and considered as the biggest event in the country.

DFA inaugurates new consular office in Iloilo

By Lilibeth A. French (LAF/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 22 (PIA6) - - Ilonggos can now experience a world-class consular service with the inauguration of the new regional consular office of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) based in this city inside Robinson’s Place - Iloilo on Friday, February 21.

“We expect that the relocation of the DFA in this new site will not only make our office more accessible, convenient and closer to the public but will also provide world-class consular service to the residents of Iloilo and neighboring provinces and islands,” said DFA Undersecretary Rafael Seguis who led the inauguration ceremony.

The DFA Regional Consular Office-Iloilo was formerly located in a modest building at Yulo St. in this city.

Seguis cited a recent survey conducted by the Social Weather Station that showed 52% of the respondents find DFA satellite offices in the malls as very helpful.

In October 2011, the DFA has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Robinsons Land Corporation for the latter’s hosting of DFA regional consular offices in various provinces of the country.

Seguis said the cooperation is in pursuit of President Benigno Aquino’s administration policy of a public-private partnership.

The DFA regional consular office in the 3rd level of Robinson’s Place-Iloilo is the 6th consular office hosted by Robinson. The five other DFA consular offices inside Robinson Malls are in San Fernando, Pampanga; General Santos in North Cotabato; Lipa City in Batangas; Robinson’s Galleria in Quezon City; and Bacolod City in Negros Occidental.

Mr. Irving Wu, Regional Operations Director of Robinsons Land Corporation in Luzon said more DFA regional offices will be opened in Robinsons malls in the next few months such as in Palawan, Pangasinan, Dumaguete, Butuan, and Isabela.

Wu said the hosting of the regional consular offices is a centerpiece of Robinsons mall’s Lingkod Pinoy Center that aims to bring in one roof the satellite offices of key government agencies that deal heavily with the public.

DFA Office of Consular Affairs Assistant Secretary Wilfredo Santos said that as RCO-Iloilo begins its operation in Robinson’s Place, it is their hope that the Ilonggos will be able to avail of their efficient passport services in a more convenient and comfortable location.

RCO Iloilo averages 5,696 passports per month in 2013 ranking it the fifth most productive consular offices among the Department’s 19 regional consular offices.

The inauguration was attended by Assistant Secretary for Personnel and Administrative Services Melita Sta. Maria-Thomeczek, Assistant Secretary Teresita Barsana, Senior Specialist Noel Servigon, Asst. Passport Director Siegfred Masangkay, RCOCC Head Flordeliza Delos Santos and RCO-Iloilo OIC Sheila Marie Tiu.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Governor Arthur Defensor, heads of various government agencies and officers of Robinsons Land Corporation also graced the event.

DOT: Getting tourists' confidence important

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

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 21 (PIA) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 has urged national government agencies and local government units here to join efforts and work harder to retain the tourist market confidence in Western Visayas.

Lawyer Helen Catalbas, DOT-6 Regional Director, said that Western Visayas has been experiencing dramatic increase in tourist arrivals so it is necessary to sustain the momentum of the tourism industry.

Catalbas said that in 2011, the number of recorded tourist arrivals reached 2.4 million and this figure was surpassed by the 2012 record which hit 3.09 million tourist arrivals.

“The dramatic increase was brought by massive promotion and cooperation of the tourism sector, government agencies, private sector, and the local communities in the region,” she said.

The DOT official said that it is necessary to fill the 20,000 hotel rooms, tour buses, restaurants, and other tourism establishments in the region so investments put up by the private sector would not go to waste.

She said that cities and provinces in Region 6 should be competitive and improve on their tourism areas so that they will be above other tourism destinations in the country.

She also said that there is a need to come up with a marketing strategy to develop and market the region’s tourist spots and create new tourist destination circuits.

She added that the main target of tourism is to create improvement in the lives of people by providing more jobs and business opportunities.

Construction of Iloilo Convention Center completed 6 months before APEC 2015


ILOILO CITY, Feb . 20 (PNA)- The P700 million Iloilo Convention Center complete with facilities and amenities is slated for completion six months before the Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) conference here in October 2015.

This was announced by Senate President Franklin M. Drilon over a radio interview after being briefed of the findings of an APEC inspection team in this city on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.

Drilon said that construction of the convention center is way ahead of schedule and the city will have enough time to prepare and host the international meetings on Transportation and Food Security concerns.

The Senate President said the convention center will be operated and managed by a private corporation through a public bidding facilitated by the Tourism Infrastructure Enhancement Zone Authority (TIEZA) of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Designed by noted architecture William Coscoluella defining the innate Ilonggo features such as the paraw sailboats and Dinagyang Festival, the building is being constructed by Hilmarcs Construction Corp. for a one year and six months period.

Drilon said the convention center construction actually started last January 2014 and TIEZA hopes to finish it ahead of schedule or by April 2015.

Power and water supplies are already in place and Megaworld Corp. is finishing up two five star hotels in the area as well other hotels in the city to accommodate some 3,000 delegates from 21 countries in Asia and the Pacific.

On the other hand, the Senate President said that the 16th Congress is pushing for priority economics bills to attract investments and ensure economic integrity of the country.

Drilon said that more investments can translate to the provision of more jobs and economic opportunities for the Filipinos.

Up for discussion in Congress are measures calling for a Consolidated Investments and Incentives Code of the Philippines, and a bill proposing the Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act.

BFP-6 braces for fire prevention


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 19 (PNA) -- The Bureau of Fire Protection 6 (BFP-6) is busy preparing several activities for the Fire Prevention Month which is being celebrated anew this coming March to help raise community awareness on fire prevention.

This year’s Fire Prevention Month is themed, “Isulong ang Kaunlaran, Sunog ay Iwasan, Kaalaman at Pag-iingat ang Kailangan”.

BFP-6 Public Information Section head Inspector Stephen Jardeleza said negligence by some people is the main root of the increasing number of fire-related incidents in Western Visayas.

“Some irresponsible people don’t care at all despite our efforts to educate and make them aware on how to prevent fire incidents. The sad thing is that they even blamed us if we could not save their properties”, he said.

Jardeleza revealed that only few villages in the region have activated their own barangay fire brigades to serve as 'first responders' during fire incidents.

He, however, noted that some establishments and schools have already organized their fire brigades because this is one of the requirements in renewing their business permits under the new Fire Code of 2007.

“We encouraged every village to organize its own fire brigade. We are even offering free seminars and workshops on fire prevention”, he said.

As of this month, a total of 119 fire incidents were recorded in the region, of which, 72 cases were recorded in Iloilo; Negros, 25; Aklan, 11; Guimaras, five; Antique and Capiz, two each, respectively.

Jardeleza said the biggest fire incident happened in Iloilo City wherein 11 commercial establishments along Iznart Street here were totally gutted by the fire during the highlight of the Dinagyang Festival on January 24.

A total of P25-million was the estimated damage.

In 2013, the BFP has recorded a total of 1, 478 fire incidents in the region or more than P 100 million worth of damaged properties.

Jardeleza said the biggest fire incident happened in Brgy. Sinikway, Mandurriao district here wherein more or less 100 families were left homeless.

The fire cases last year are much higher compared in 2012 with 990 fire incidents compared to the 820 fire incidents in 2011.

Jardeleza said that in 2012, the biggest fire incident happened in Iloilo City during the Dinagyang Festival celebration last Jan. 22 that brought 407 families homeless and damaged more than P 3 million worth of properties.

In 2011, the biggest fire incident was the burning of Calinog public market in Iloilo province.

Jardeleza said faulty electrical connections are still the common causes of fire incidents in the region followed by lighted cigarette butt, unattended stove, lighted candles and matches.

Aside from these, Jardeleza stressed that other common causes of fires were electrical appliances, machinery, flammable liquids, open flames, chemicals, and combustion or bonfire.

The BFP-6 established the Oplan Fire Safety Inspection teams to check if business establishments, dormitories, firecracker factories and boarding houses around the region have fire exits, directional signs and safe electrical lines.

The BFP-6 is conducting inspection on buildings and business firms and others to make sure that they are not fire hazards. The bureau is also requiring buildings and even residential houses to have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.

Iloilo City eyes heritage mansions tour as part of tourism package


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 18 (PNA) -– The city government here is eyeing the heritage mansions as part of the total city tourism package tour and will ask owners to open their doors so tourists could take a glimpse of the stately mansions and the way of life of early affluent Ilonggos.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the idea was broached to him by some people who sent him text messages on the beauty and "mystery" of mansions in several districts of the city particularly in Jaro.

Mabilog said he has ordered the listing of these stately mansions and the original owners and their history that gave meaning to the lives of early Ilonggos.

Some mansions were built during the Spanish times and others at the turn of the 21st century and these stately buildings left a legacy of heroism and patriotism of the pre-war Ilonggos during the Spanish and early American times.

Jaro district is home of the rich and famous Ilonggos aside from being the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in the whole Western Visayas. The rich Ilonggos built mansions as their homes and until today, are historic symbols of the family name, lifestyle, place in society and wealth.

Mabilog said that most of the mansions have absentee owners and he is planning to talk to the heirs to allow visitors of the city government to see the resplendent and well-maintained mansions.

On the other hand, the Iloilo cultural heritage foundation and the city government here are working together to save and preserve the heritage buildings along the central business district as part of the city tourism package.

The heritage tour starts at the historic Plaza Libertad up to the new city hall building and the central business district where many old buildings were restored along the JM Basa street.

A pedestrianization project is being implemented every weekend and visitors walk and see the restored commercial heritage buildings.

The heritage mansions will complement the city tourism tour package and visitors will have the option to see both the stately mansions and heritage commercial buildings.

Initial listing include the heritage mansions in the City Proper such as the Safiro Ledesma mansion and Marquez Lim mansion, among others. In La Paz district, there are the colonial mansion and boat house mansion of the Lopez families, Stevan Javellana mansion and many more.

In Jaro district, there are the Antillan House, Lopez Vito House, Locsin Mansion, Lizares Mansion, Magdalena Jalandoni Mansion and Bobbie Lopez House, among others.

Iloilo City upbeat on biz forum

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

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 17(PIA) – The Iloilo City government is eagerly looking forward to the forthcoming Iloilo investment forum in Metro Manila set next Month.

Iloilo is set to showcase new investment potentials during the forum dubbed “Iloilo Means Business” in Makati City on March 12.

In media interviews, Rex Drilon II, vice-chair of the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation (IEDF), said they are promoting Iloilo City and Iloilo Province as investment sites.

Among those which will be unveiled are the key investments by businessman Alfonso Uy and the cannery project in Northern Iloilo which is already in the works.

Drilon said Iloilo has relatively stable power with basic infrastructures in place.

Drilon added that it is not only about business that they are inviting investors, but also to the arts and culture sector, which they also want to develop.

On the other hand, Lea Victoria Lara, executive director of the Iloilo Business Club, said that top executives of corporations who have invested in Iloilo City have confirmed their participation in the forum.

Among those expected to speak include Kevin Andrew Tan, first vice-president and chief of commercial division of Megaworld Corp.

Megaworld is developing the 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park at the old Iloilo Airport.

Antonio T. Aquino, president and CEO of Ayala land, Inc, with a multi-billion investment here is also included as speaker.

Francisco Sebastian, chairman of Global Business Power Corporation of the Metrobank Group, Ramon del Rosario, president and CEO of the Philippine Investment Management, Inc. (PHINMA), which currently owns the University of Iloilo, and Edgar “Injap” Sia, CEO of Injap Investments, Inc, have all confirmed their attendance.

The forum will feature a roundtable discussion with these industry players giving testimonies to Iloilo’s investment potentials.

Included also according to the Iloilo Business Club, is the industry-matching session to bridge investors from Metro Manila with their counterparts in Iloilo.

The business forum is part of the INVEST Project, a three-year initiative under the Cities Development Initiative (CDI) of the United State Agency for International Aid (USAID).

Iloilo, Bacolod eyeing to host ministerial APEC meetings


Iloilo City – The cities of Iloilo in Iloilo province and Bacolod City in Negros Occidental will be finally inspected for the possible hosting of ministerial meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit next year.

The Ocular Team from the Office of the Director General of the 2015 APEC-National Organizing Committee (APEC-NOC) is scheduled to visit on February 19 and 20.

“The team aims to tackle the brass tacks and delve into particular issues of the hosting,” said Marciano Paynor Jr., APEC-NOC director general.

“It is aiming to synchronize the national objectives with that of local units for the Philippines’ hosting of APEC 2015,” Paynor added.

Headed by Revimarc de Mesa, the team will inspect various venues and facilities.

It includes the airport, hotels, conference facilities, tourist destinations, access roads, hospitals, and other emergency facilities.

The cities of Iloilo and Bacolod were originally scheduled to be inspected by APEC-NOC last August, 2013, but it never pushed through.

Meanwhile, the Western Visayas region has the most number of localities that have been pre-selected by the APEC-NOC for possible hosting of ministerial meetings.

Aside from the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod, world-famous Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan, has recently been inspected by the APEC-NOC.

MIWD assures enough water even on summer months


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 15 (PNA) – The Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) assured city and provincial residents that there would be enough water even during summer months with more water now infused on their pipeline.

Engr. Edgar Calasara, MIWD OIC-manager, said that they were able to finally repair their damaged pipeline in Buntatala, Jaro, Iloilo city, thus, the MIWD water being supplied to its consumers per day now reaches 21,879 metric tons.

Calasara also said that the MIWD’s improved water supply is due to its bulk water suppliers, Flo Water and Prime Water, that have already started to infuse water.

”Last year, there were just around 17,000 metric tons of water supply,” Calasara said.

With the improved water supply, Calasara said they are confident that there would be enough water to supply their 33,256 concessionaires in Iloilo city and province even with the forthcoming summer months and the holding of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) by next year in Iloilo city.

The MIWD pipeline was damaged when a crane of the Prime Water accidentally fell on it, but the repair was also immediately started on Feb. 3.

250 attendees to Iloilo City business summit in Makati


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 14 (PNA)-–Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has confirmed a total of 250 participants to the first ever Iloilo Business Summit slated on March 12, 2014 at the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati City. The participants are composed of chief operating officers and owners of blue chips corporations based in Metro Manila and Iloilo City.

The summit will focus on Iloilo City business and investment potentials and testimonies and true experiences of early business locators on why they chose Iloilo as an important area to invest.

Mabilog said the participants also include investment trade groups and trade missions from Europe, the United States and other Asian countries.

Topnotch Ilonggo business leaders invited to the forum include Rogelio Florete, a media mogul, grains trader, water supplier and shopping mall owner; Oscar Lopez of the Lopez Group of Companies and Benpress Holdings; Gabby Lopez of the ABS-CBN; brothers Alfonso and Felipe Uygongco of the hotel, grain trading and shipping businesses, among others.

Mabilog said the business summit is part of the INVEST project implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Iloilo Local Economic Development (ILED) in three cities in the country. The cities are Cagayan de Oro, Batangas and Iloilo City.

The forum will be keynoted by Ilonggo Senate President Franklin M. Drilon and is expected to attract big businesses to go to Iloilo to become part of the development of a booming city in the south.

Iloilo City gets P835.6M worth of infra projects

(Office of Rep. Jerry Trenas/JSC-PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 13 (PIA6) – This premier urban center in Western Visayas has gotten key infrastructure projects worth P835.6 million from the national government.

The list of what Iloilo City Lone District Representative Jerry P. Trenas called “key infrastructure projects” covers roads, drainage systems, bridges, and flood mitigation.

The projects, which will be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), include roads classified under assets preservation and preventive maintenance, P68,427,000; reconstruction/rehabilitation of paved national roads including drainage, P53,740,000; road widening, P17,500,000; construction, widening and rehabilitation of bridges, P206,700,000; flood mitigation project, P150,000,000; access to tourism destinations roads and bridges, P71,820,000; projects for 2015 APEC Summit, P60,000,000; construction/rehabilitation of drainage systems, P33,000,000; and, road widening, P174,450,000.

In particular, flood mitigation, a lone major project, will involve the rehabilitation of the Iloilo Flood Control Project.

The projects in connection with the city’s bid to host the 2015 APEC Summit cover works on Buhang Bridge in Jaro district along the new route connecting Iloilo and Capiz.

Road widening projects will cover existing roads leading to the municipalities of San Miguel, Leganes and Dumangas and the Iloilo Airport.

Trenas said the funding for what he also termed as “important infrastructure projects” is provided for in the 2014 General Appropriations Act or R.A. 10633. The law was signed by President Benigno Aquino III in December 2013. The solon said he had “strongly lobbied” for the inclusion of these projects in the budget of the national government.

These projects are part of “our common vision of bringing progress to Iloilo City”, said Trenas, who is a member of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and vice chair of the Committees on Good Government and Public Accountability and Banks and Financial Intermediaries.

DOT-6 to hold grand launching for 'Experience WV first' campaign


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 12 (PNA) -– The Department of Tourism (DOT) 6 said that it has slated the grand launching of the “Experience WV first” campaign on March 2 with the goal of further generating more tourist arrivals to the region.

Catalbas said that although their Experience WV first campaign already started about a year ago, they are making a hype to further lure both domestic and foreign tourists to travel and see places in Western Visayas.

The tourism official previously said that local residents of the region who could afford to travel opt to travel to other places and even to foreign countries, not realizing that they have not yet seen the beautiful spots within their region.

Because of this, Catalbas said they will hold a grand launching of the Experience WV first campaign to create awareness among the people on traveling within Region 6.

Catalbas said that locals visiting places in Region 6 could generate income with their spending that could redound to livelihood for the tourism stakeholders.

The campaign also is intended for foreign tourists to entice them to come to Western Visayas.

The grand launching will be held at the pedestrianization area along JM Basa Street to Iloilo Freedom Grandstand in Iloilo city. During the launching, there will be presentations by the six provinces in the region purposely to give a glimpse to tourists of their festivals, culture and tourist attractions.

There will be destination fairs, food festival, games, raffles, and audio visual presentations.

The Living Asia Channel will also produce a video of Western Visayas to be shown to all Asian countries.

TESDA beefs up community-based training with P56.6M budget

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

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 11 (PIA6) - - The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has earmarked P56.6 million for the implementation of its new training program in commmunities in Western Visayas this year.

Dubbed as Special Training for Employment Program or STEP, it is a community-based specialty training program that seeks to address the specific needs of the communities and promote employment, particularly, through entrepreneurial, self-employment and service oriented activities.

TESDA 6 OIC Director Yolanda Porschwitz said STEP differs from other TESDA skills training programs because aside from the free training and competency assessment, scholars will receive starter tool kits and training allowance of P60 per day during the duration of the program.

“The P60 allowance will be released directly to the scholars at the end of the training which they may use as a seed capital to start their livehood undertakings,” said Porschwitz.

She said to ensure that more can avail of the skills training, some P3.145 million was allotted to every district of the different provinces in the region from the fund.

Qualified to avail of the training are those at least 15 years old who are willing and available to complete the program.

Various qualifications or technical-vocation courses are offered related to the following sectors: Agriculture and Fishery; Automotive and Land Transportation; Heating, Ventilation, Airconditioning and Refrigeration; Construction; Visual Arts; Electronics; Furnitures and Fixtures; Garments; Health, Social and Other Community Development Services; and Metals and Engineering.

Porschwitz advised those interested to visit their concerned local government units or go straight to the TESDA Provincial Office nearest them for more information about the program.

Ilonggos benefit from DOLE’s livelihood program

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

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 10 (PIA6) - - Around 1,600 workers in the informal sector including those affected by typhoon ‘Yolanda’ and the unemployed in the province of Iloilo benefited from the Department of Labor and Employment Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP).

DOLE 6 reported that some P8,810,591.00 were released to 42 DILP projects in the province in 2013.

The 42 projects are part of the 103 project proposals which were approved and funded by DOLE 6 in the region last year and intended to enhance the existing livelihood of the beneficiaries or generate job opportunities for target workers through self employment and emergency employment.

Some of the livelihood projects undertaken by beneficiaries composed of marginalized workers, returning overseas Filipino workers, unemployed rural workers, sugar farm workers and students are sari-sari store, rice retailing, piggery, hog and livestock fattening, and water refilling, among others.

Members of the Association of Carles Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Carles, Iloilo have also availed of the project to further enhance their existing fishing and dried fish production.

In Iloilo City, unemployed residents of its nine barangays were provided employment opportunities through the Community Employment Program of the department.

DOLE 6 also reported that students of Western Visayas College of Sceince & Technology (WVCST)-PD Monfort campus were provided with start-up capital to operationalize their projects under the Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) that provides livelihood opportunities to young and would be workers.

On the other hand, the situation of workers displaced by typhoon ‘Yolanda’ in devastated areas in the province was also looked into by DOLE. They were given emergency employment to sustain their income under DILP which is part of the efforts of the DOLE to contribute to the overall thrust of the present administration on inclusive growth, massive job creation and substantial poverty reduction.

200 couples to tie knot on Feb. 14

(JVF, Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City – A total of 200 couples will tie the knot in civil mass wedding rites to be organized by the city government through the Red Ladies of Iloilo City and Pag-IBIG Fund at the Iloilo Grand Hotel on February 14.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will solemnize the couples.

A hundred couples benefited from the project last year.

Indigent couples will be given wedding rings, bouquets, tokens and a reception.

They will also get a tour of the city starting at Plaza Libertad to the Jaro Belfry, then to the Iloilo Esplanade and Molo Church.

The activity is part of a simultaneous nationwide Valentine’s Day mass wedding which gives participating couples chances to win a grand prize of house and lot and three livelihood packages in the raffle draw.

1,312 workers receive P10.6-M monetary benefits thru SEnA, DOLE says


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 8 (PNA) -- A total of 1,312 affected workers recovered their unpaid or underpaid monetary benefits amounting to P10.6-million after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 6 successfully resolved in 2013 close to 90 percent of the labor disputes filed by aggrieved workers under the Single Entry Approach or SEnA.

It also facilitated the reinstatement of 14 retrenched or laid off workers to their original jobs.

The SEnA, an alternative mode of settling labor disputes within the 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation period, is part of Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz’s commitment to Pres. Benigno C. Aquino III as spelled out in the 22-point labor and employment agenda.

DOLE 6 director Ponciano M. Ligutom said the Regional Office received a total of 572 requests for assistance (RFAs) in 2013, 496 of which or 86.7 per cent was resolved.

Ligutom noted a significant increase in the number of RFAs filed last year which totaled 572, from 270 in 2012 or up by 120 percent.

“This simply shows that the SEnA has become a popular means in settling labor issues and more and more workers are adopting it,” Ligutom said.

With an increase in the number of RFAs filed, the settlement rate also expanded by 6 percent, from 80.7 per cent in 2012 to 86.7 per cent in 2013. What is most notable was the considerable improvement in the average duration of settling cases which shortened from 12.7 days in 2012 to 7.7 days in 2013.

“The vigorous efforts of our SEADOs just paid off thus enabling the region to resolve labor issues filed in a short span of time,” Ligutom said.

“This makes SEnA unique and effective; it settles labor issues in a speedy and in a more economical manner. The affected worker need not engage the services of a lawyer, he/she just have to file a request in any DOLE field office and our SEADO will facilitate to resolve the differences with his/her employer until they both reach a settlement,” he added.

The recovered monetary benefits included the workers’ unpaid and underpaid wages, overtime pay, commission, separation pay, 13th month pay, holiday premium, cash bonus fund, refund of cash bond, and payment social of security benefits like the Social Security System (SSS), Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth.

Among the field offices, the DOLE-Negros Occidental Field Office received the biggest number of requests for assistance (381), 344 of which were settled or 90 per cent of the total requests handled. Cash benefits paid to 996 affected workers reached some P7.53-million, with an average duration of 7.8 days for all settled requests.

The DOLE-Aklan Field Office settled 52 from 76 RFAs handled, reflecting a 68.4 per cent settlement rate with the amount of benefits paid to 84 affected workers totaling P779,408.97.

In Antique, the DOLE field office handled 53 RFAs in 2013, 42 of which or 80.8 per cent were settled and resulted to the recovery of monetary benefits of 76 workers totaling P656,616.05.

The DOLE Field Office in Capiz handled 37 RFAs, 32 of which were settled at an average duration of 6.6 days for all settled requests. Total amount of monetary benefits paid to 99 workers reached P1,030,975.73.

On the other hand, the Iloilo-Guimaras Field Office has the lowest average duration in settling such requests (2.2 days). It also achieved a 100 per cent settlement rate as it successfully settled all the requests filed (26) with monetary benefits awarded to 57 affected workers totaling P600,403.75.

The DOLE field offices in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo-Guimaras, and Negros Occidental as well as the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) have designated SEnA desk officers or SEADOs to conciliate-mediate any labor-related complaint filed in their respective offices.

42nd Iloilo Paraw Regatta classic reels on


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 7 (PNA)-– The classic sporting sea race along the Iloilo Strait will reel on the third weekend of February, but different activities will take off starting February 15 until the race highlights on February 23, 2014.

Iloilo Paraw Regatta Foundation chairman Manuel Villa said the paraw regatta is celebrating its 42 years of existence in giving thrills to spectators as more than 100 outrigger boats with colorful masts dot the strait outracing each other.

The participants will come from different coastal parts of Iloilo, Guimaras, Capiz, Aklan and Negros Occidental to exhibit their wares on the 33.3 kilometer race course starting from Tatoys Manokan at Villa Beach to Sto. Rosario, Buenavista, Guimaras and back to the finish line.

The biggest boat race in the Philippines in terms of participants, the Iloilo regatta boasts of colorful boats which race each other using the wind along the strait.

Aside from the boat race, other activities include sporting events such as deep sea fishing competition, rapid chess tournament, national beach Frisbee, national women’s beach volleyball, men’s beach football, slalom competition, “pinta layag” painting contest of the boat masts, seafood festival, photo exhibit, miniature paraw making contest, search for Miss Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival 2014, photo contest, “pintawo” body painting contest and sinamba entertainment presentations.

Dinagyang to perform on world stage


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 6 (PNA) -– Western Visayas premier tourism event, the Dinagyang Festival of this highly urbanized city in the Visayas is out to conquer the world with sound and dance performances to mesmerize the audiences in Singapore, Canada, Chicago, New York and San Francisco in the United States and in Hongkong within 2014.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said during the Dinagyang Thanksgiving Dinner on Wednesday,February 5, that the whole cast of Dinagyang grand champion Tribu Panayanon of the Iloilo City High School, including choreographers, trainors and the school principal, will join the Singapore trip by July this year.

Similarly, another group of 30 Dinagyang performers will go to Canada by August and another group of 30 Dinagyang performers will go Chicago, New York and San Francisco. Both trips will be funded by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Tourism Promotions Board.

They are optimistic that another Dinagyang Tribe will go to Hongkong to perform, also this year.

Iloilo City signs power plant venture with Korean investors


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 5 (PNA) --The Iloilo City government has signed a joint venture agreement with the South Korean investor Dream Eng Company Limited for solid-waste-to-energy power plant producing 6 megawatts (MW) per day and will be constructed within in 23-hectare Calajunan dumpsite in Brgy. Calajunan, Mandurriao district here.

This after the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) during its regular session Tuesday has authorized City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to sign and enter into 20 years agreement with the Korean company headed by Chairman of the Board Youn Pyo Hong the following day.

During the signing of agreement, Mabilog said the city government will get a five percent share of gross income or $ 20,000 per month that could be a big augmentation for the city’s projects.

He added the power plant will be erected from the one-hectare land of the existing dump site and the construction will take two years from now.

Once finished, this could help reduce the electricity rate in the city from P 12.00 per kilowatt-hour currently being charged by the power distributor -Panay Electric Company (PECO) for residential consumers.

Mabilog said the power plant will be the one to sell their electricity to power grid which is an interconnected network for delivering electricity from suppliers to consumers.

“The city is now 80 percent totally dependent to power supplier. The rate of electricity will depend on the price offered by the Dream Eng Company to PECO and this PECO will be the one to decide of their rates based on the approved rate of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)”, he said.

Meanwhile, around 250 metric tons of solid garbage mostly plastic will be processed by the power plant per day.

Presently, the city is producing 300 tons of garbage per day from the commercial and residential wastes.

Mabilog said since only 250 metric tons of waste will be accommodated per day, the existing 50 metric tons will still be placed in the dump site which soon will be converted into a sanitary landfill.

The mayor said the use of landfill will be extended up to 30 years instead of 11 years since the dumping of garbage will be lessened already with this project.

On his part, Hong said they want to help the city by developing its solid-waste facility that will produce energy by 2015.

He added their help is one way to thank the Philippines for helping their country during the 1950 Korean War.

“We always appreciate Filipinos especially the city mayor and we will do our best to help this city”, he said.

Hong said they will hire technical experts from Korea to work with the power plant here while local workers will be hired to maintain the facility.

He assured also that waste pickers at the dump site will not be displaced since they will only need plastic wastes to run their plant while bottles and other wastes will still be given to them for their livelihood.

Outstanding Police Stations get Pagdayaw Award

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

ILOILO CITY, February 4 (PIA) --- The Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) recognized outstanding municipal police stations (MPS) in the province in the Quarterly Pagdayaw Awards.

This was the highlight of the 23rd Philippine National Police (PNP) foundation anniversary program held Tuesday at Camp Francisco Sumagaysay Sr., Santa Barbara, Iloilo.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., who was the program’s keynote speaker, lauded the notable performance of the officials and police personnel in the provincial police office and the different municipal police stations in the province.

“If the police are recognized and appreciated, the more that they will aspire to perform better and to excel in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities,” he said.

The following are the Pagdayaw Awardees for the third quarter of 2013: Best in Administration, Pavia MPS; Best in Operation, Pototan MPS; Best in Investigation, Pototan MPS; Best in Intelligence, Lambunao MPS; Best in Police Community Relations, Guimbal MPS; and Best in Women and Children Protection Desk, Pavia MPS.

The Pavia MPS was recognized as the Best Municipal Police Station for the third quarter of 2013.

For the 4th quarter of 2013, the following are the awardees: Best in Administration, Igbaras MPS; Best in Operation, Cabatuan MPS; Best in Investigation, Cabatuan MPS; Best in Intelligence, Lambunao MPS; Best in Police Community Relations, Pavia MPS; and Best in Women and Children Protection Desk, Pavia MPS.

The Cabatuan MPS was cited as the Best Municipal Police Station for the fourth quarter of 2013.

The 4th Maneuver Platoon and the 3rd Maneuver Platoon of the Iloilo Provincial Public Safety Command were also recognized as Best Maneuver Platoon for the third and fourth quarter of 2013, respectively.

Iloilo City vies for 2014 Red Orchid hall of fame award


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 3 (PNA) -- This southern city in the Visayas is vying to become a Red Orchid Hall of Fame awardee this year after bagging the recognition in 2012 and 2013.

Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force (ICAST) executive director Iñigo Garingalao said they are now preparing the documents to concretize the bid of Iloilo City in the prestigious award being given by the Department of Health (DOH) to local government units vying as 100 percent tobacco-free LGU.

For the 2014 search, a total of 17 LGUs are vying for the distinction. Aside from Iloilo City, the other LGU contenders from Western Visayas are the municipality of Anilao, Iloilo and Dumalag, Capiz.

The other LGU contenders are Marikina, Bauang, La Union; Diadi, Nueva Viscaya; Quezon, Nueva Viscaya; Villaverde, Nueva Viscaya; Santiago City, Bindoy, Negros Oriental; Mabinay, Negros Oriental; San Juan, Southern Leyte; Dipolog City, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Norte; Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat and Tupi, South Cotabato.

Aside from the LGU category composed of provinces, chartered cities and municipalities, the other award categories are for government hospitals, government offices and DOH centers for health development and DOH hospitals.

Garingalao said the DOH Red Orchid Award follows the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that recommends adoption of measures to provide protection from exposure to smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor places and other public places.

In Iloilo City, the Sangguniang Panlungsod recently enacted Regulation Ordinance 2013-348 by amended Regulation Ordinance 2006-150 in a move to expand the coverage of a comprehensive anti-smoking ordinance aimed to secure a 100 percent smoke-free highly urbanized city in the Visayas.

The awarding ceremonies will be held on the first week of June 2014 in Baguio City for Luzon winners from Regions 1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, 5, CAR and NCR; second week of June in Iloilo City for Visayas winners from Regions 6, 7 and 8; and third week of June in General Santos City for Mindanao winners from Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, ARMM and Caraga.

The grand awarding ceremony will be held in the last week of June in Clark, Pampanga for winners from Metro Manila and Hall of Fame awardees.

1st Q Big 3 up

By Montesa Griño Caoyonan (IMT)

The Iloilo City Government will be wrapped-up with three series of main events on the first quarter of this new year.

This includes the recently concluded Chinese New Year, Jaro Annual Fiesta and Paraw Regatta on the second Sunday of February.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that they have prepared programs for these three events including security plans as they were expecting more dignitaries to come over during the duration and highlights of these occasions to make sure that everyone is safe.

The Chinese New Year covered the China town along Iznart Street, Jaro Fiesta covers the whole district of Jaro while the Paraw Regatta will be at the Villa beach in Arevalo district here.

Senior Supt. Ruperto Floro, officer-in-charge city director of Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) said more than 1, 000 uniformed personnel will be deployed around the metropolis during these occasions.

Floro said these policemen will help secure the occasion, conduct foot patrol, visibility and roving patrol especially during night time to discourage lawless elements from doing their modus operandi.

The city director added some uniformed policemen will be posted as VIP’s back-ups (Very Important Person) while others will be acted as covert personnel for intelligence purposes.

The higher command of Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) here has also ‘standby’ force at the headquarters in case of emergency.

HK donates more than Php 10-M to typhoon victims through Amity Foundation


ILOILO CITY, Feb.1 (PNA)—The Hongkong government has donated more than P10 million to the typhoon victims in northern Iloilo through the Amity Foundation in celebration of the Chinese New Year of the Iloilo Chinese Filipino Cultural Association at the Amigo Hotel Friday.

The Amity Foundation's Ms. Tong Su, project coordinator of the Amity Foundation in Hongkong, attended the event.

Initially, the Amity Foundation has visited the municipalities of Concepcion, Ajuy ,Estancia and San Dionisio. This Chinese New Year, they came back to Iloilo to continue the “Kaisa para sa Kaunlaran” relief operation, which is considered the biggest operation they conducted.

The 5,000 relief pack, worth Php 2,000 each includes one half sack of rice, slippers, milk and other non-food items.

The Hongkong Yacht Club also gave 120 thousand Hong Kong dollars for boats of the “Bangkabuhayan” project of the Amity foundation. Each boat,turned over Wednesday in Batad, was worth Php25,000 each.

“Ten Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s) have already received the relief goods and we are hoping that it is already in the hands of the victims”, said Su.

The Amity foundation hopes that the Ilonggos will rise again through their help.