Iloilo City News February 2016

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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.

6 Iloilo LGUs receive Php77.888-M under RAY project


ILOILO CITY, Feb 29 (PNA) -- Six local government units from northern Iloilo are recipients of some Php77.89 million fund under the Batch 2 of the Recovery Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) project of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The assistance was released to the municipalities of Carles, San Dionisio, Lemery, Ajuy, Concepcion and Barotac Viejo, the DILG statement said.

RAY is extended to LGUs that incurred either partial or total damage in their infrastructure facilities during the November 8, 2013 typhoon Yolanda. The second batch was aimed at repair and rehabilitation of barangay halls, day care and civic centers.

This month, DILG Iloilo director Teodora P. Sumagaysay led the orientation of the new guidelines for the project implementation.

Recipient LGUs were also briefed on critical issues to fast track the implementation of projects.

National Dairy Authority offers enterprise development for farmers


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Farmers organizations and local government units (LGUs) are encouraged to take advantage of the cattle dispersal program of the National Dairy Authority (NDA), which it offers under its dairy enterprise development initiative.

Vicente B. Bitolinamisa III, National Dairy Authority (NDA) project manager for Panay and Guimaras, said that an organization, cooperative or LGU can request for as much as 10 heads of cows as a start-up herd for its dairy enterprise.

This can be availed of by sending letter request signed by the organization’s chairman, noted by the municipal agriculturist and endorsed by the municipal mayor to the head of NDA in the Visayas.

After validation, evaluation of site and organization’s capacity and integrity and training of the farmers who will be involved in the dairy enterprise project, a memorandum of agreement will be signed between NDA and the proponent group.

Payment scheme should be one calf draft for every cattle received payable for five years in the case for an organization and LGUs. A 20 percent cash payment based on the prevailing cost of dairy cattle will be charged for private individual proponent upon delivery and the remaining 30 percent cash payment and 50 percent payment in kind/calf draft is also payable for five years.

Bitolinamisa further explained that if an organization or farmer received a pregnant heifer it must be paid also with a pregnant heifer for the next beneficiary, likewise, if they received 250-kilogram female calf it must be paid also with the same 250kg female calf.

Bitolinamisa said that the cattle breed of Holstein Friesian can give a total of 14 liters a day for 300 days considering proper management of the dairy cows.

It must be noted that the country is importing annually an average of 215 million kilograms of milk and milk by-products amounting to Php 17.3 billion. And 17 percent of imports is comprised of milk powder for other countries, Bitolinamisa disclosed.

He added that with these data, raising dairy cow is a potential and sustainable business for interested and aggressive farmers’ organizations with proven competence in animal management and marketing.

“They must master the four components of dairy enterprise such as milk production, collection, processing and marketing for them to convert efficiently the cattle's milk into sustainable livelihood, increased income and eventually money,” Bitolinamisa explained.

He added that the NDA will guide interested farmers throughout these four components through technology assistance, monitoring and training interventions.

USAID slates water audit training in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 26 (PNA) -- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Water Security for Resilient Economic Growth and Stability (Be Secure) Project, will gather Iloilo stakeholders for a four-day water audit training here slated Feb. 29 to March 3, 2016.

The training seeks to help participants “learn how to conduct rapid water audits and evaluate how water is used in their facilities,” a media statement stated.

“This activity is aimed to promote effective water demand management at the local level as a way to prepare for impending water stress and adapt a climate-resilient and sustainable water use,” it added.

The activity is in partnership with the El Niño Task Force of the Iloilo Provincial government and the Iloilo City government through the City Environment Natural Resource Office (City ENRO).

The gathering will have Valerie Pape, an international Water Demand Management (WDM) expert from USA, as speaker and facilitator.

DOST steps up promotion of PKI in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 26 (PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) has stepped up the promotion of the Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI) in Western Visayas.

The DOST-ICTO showcased the services in the recently concluded “Science Nation Tour” in Region 6, particularly during the Special Science Forum on Science and Technology graced by Secretary Mario Montejo himself.

According to DOST-ICTO, the PKI is a set of hardware, software, policies, personnel and procedures needed to create, manage, distribute, use, store and revoke digital certificates.

It provides users of public networks like internet protection to private exchange data securely.

The agency said digital security is an important component of the E-Government Master Plan, and the Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Project as it is expected to create an environment of trust between those doing transactions with the government.

One component of PKI is digital certificates – a very small file that can be stored in the computer, an ordinary flash drive or USB token.

The Certificate Authority signs and issues the individual, agency and SSL digital certificates to applicants, including government agencies and personnel and private individuals. These certificates ensure the identity of the sender of data, and that the electronic documents are not tampered, it said.

According to ICTO, the digital certificates provides 2048-bit security, more secured than the 80-bit security provided by even 10-character passwords, which when users are not disciplined enough are easily breached.

The PNPKI is the government’s response to the increasing threats posed by criminals who take advantage of public networks like Internet, it added.

Its applications include authentication in web applications, electronic documents and forms signing, virtual private networks (VPNs), wireless networks and email and instant messaging.

The PNKI is also an integral part of iGovPhil applications such as the Online Payment Gateway System, National Archive Records and Management System, and Government-Wide Email System.

Iloilo to host more giant conventions in March


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Iloilo City will be hosting more giant gatherings in March, boosting the metropolis’ growing reputation as ideal convention destination and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) center.

Some 10,000 city and municipal councilors will converge for the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) End-term National Assembly at Iloilo Convention Center on March 7-9.

Some 2,500 city and municipal civil registrars, barangay captains, barangay treasurers, barangay secretaries, members of barangay council, hospital and health officials, partners and stakeholders in civil registration in government and private sectors will attend the 2nd Visayas-Mindanao Consultative Workshop on Barangay Civil Registration System (BCRS) at Punta Villa Resort on March 14-18.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog hoped the hosting of big events will provide Ilonggos with job opportunities every time tourists visit the city.

Thousands of delegates who will be attending the fora will translate to multiplier effects and benefits as the city is poised at capturing a bigger slice of MICE market.

This beautiful city is positioning itself as convention hub equipped with infrastructures and facilities that support tourism.

DOST to distribute 1,000 RxBox kits in 2016


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 24 (PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will be distributing 1,000 RxBox kits this year. Currently, it is available in 143 sites nationwide.

Dr. Aretha Ann G. Liwag, project consultant of the National Institute of Health in the RxBox Program in Western Visayas, explained that the initiative enables technology to deliver services that impact on health care, especially in isolated and disadvantaged communities.

The RxBox contains blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter, electrocardiogram (ECG), fetal heart monitor, maternal tocometer and temperature sensor to gather physiological data of the patient.

It is capable of storing data in an electronic medical record or the Community Health Information Tracking System (CHITS).

The physiological data of the patient may be sent to a referring or clinical specialists at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) for appropriate action.

These boxes are deployed to rural health units (RHUs) in the countryside. RHU staff were trained on how to operate the kits.

Liwag said that the RxBox is available in 12 local government units in Western Visayas.

These are in Buruanga in Aklan; Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital and Culasi in Antique and Concepcion, Guimbal, Igbaras, Miagao, Oton, San Joaquin, Tigbauan and Tubungan in Iloilo.

The project is funded by DOST’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and undertaken by the UP Manila Telehealth Center.

DOST-ICTO launches free public Wifi project


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 23 (PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) will launch its Free Public Wifi project to highlight the special forum on science and technology of the Regional Development Council RDC) here Tuesday.

The forum will gather governors, city mayors, mayors of capital towns, heads of national government agencies, presidents of state universities and colleges, leaders of private sector and non-government organizations.

The event is part of a series of regional visits that DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo will be making throughout the Philippines under the department’s Science Nation Tour program.

Secretary Montejo brings with him the core message that science and technology in the country is active, thriving and paves the way to socio-economic development and that Filipino capability and excellence in science and technology should be celebrated.

This Tuesday, along with the launching of the Free Wifi Project, DOST will also commence and turn-over other important science and technology projects such as the Digital Signature, e-HATID Health Information System and Fiber Optics.

There will also be a ceremonial turn-over of the RxBox to LGU beneficiaries and the Automated Weather Station to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The special forum will provide a comprehensive orientation for RDC members and guests on science and technology’s contributions to Disaster Risk Reduction and Management thru the Phil-LIDAR 1, Phil-LIDAR 2, PAGASA Doppler Radar Facility and PHIVOLCS Senslope and Dynaslope Projects,and its contribution to Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs).

DOST Assistant Secretary Urduja A. Tejada, other DOST officials, and professors from the University of the Philippines-Manila and Ateneo de Manila University will also serve as resource persons during this forum.

Ilonggo artists mount exhibits in Iloilo, Manila


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 22 (PNA) -- Two Ilonggo artists are showcasing their masterpieces in separate art exhibits here and in Metro Manila.

Visual artist PG “Boyet” Zoluaga shows the other side of love in his “Black Valentine” exhibit at Space Between art gallery in Baluarte, Molo district here.

In time with the Love Month, the exhibit runs until March 5, 2016.

In an interview, Zoluaga, who is also active in Iloilo’s music scene, said his artworks reflect the reality that love has many facets.

“These many facets – whether it brought us sadness or joy, regrets or hope, longing or satisfaction – are and will always be beautiful because love in itself is beautiful,” he said.

His works are in black and white – a contrast to color red that is often associated with love.

“Although black may carry a negative feel, it is inseparable from all the beautiful facets of life,” he said.

Despite the not-so-good experiences with love, "these will always be beautiful because at some point in our lives, we learned how to love," he said.

The paintings are melancholic to look at, yet it will stir one’s emotions like the series “Mono 1, 2, &3,” the "Sang Ginkaon Sang Bakunawa ang Dugos-Bulan," the “She Moves in Memories 1, 2, 3,” the “Should Have Seen the Writings on the Wall 1, 2, 3,” and the “When Diamonds Rule the Heart 1, 2, 3” and the one piece “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” and “Walking Away from Rainbows.”

On the other hand, the pride of Brgy. Calaparan, also from this city Marrz Capanang believes that an invisible yet powerful thread binds all beings to other beings, and to nature.

This belief in connectedness, synchronicity, serendipity and amalgamation is depicted in his first solo exhibit dubbed “Pangut-Angut” at Kulay-Diwa Gallery of Philippine Contemporary Art in Lopez Village, Sucat, Parañaque City.

The exhibit, which runs until March 7, features 21 frames and one art installation he made with his partner, the poet Kristine Buenavista.

In an interview, Capanang explained his paintings are “action paintings,” which are sometimes called “gestural abstraction.”

“It is based on spontaneity; it is based on what I feel in the moment,” he said.

Capanang said the process is “throwing a can of paint, see what figure will emerge or imagine what figure can be created from the spill, and work from there.”

Most of his artworks are depictions of nature and animals, which evokes message of animal cruelty and abuses of nature and environment in general.

Capanang said previously, his works are in black and white as he used to use pencils or graphites.

“But it was laborious and tedious, so I shifted to paint,” he said.

“Paangut-angut” is a Hiligaynon term for “longing or connection,” he said.

“We are all connected – in love, pain and even in laughter,” he added.

38 more Senior High classrooms for city


ILOILO City – Thirty-eight more classrooms will be built for Senior High School students here.

Ramon Avanceña National High School in Arevalo district will have 16 classrooms, according to City Engineer Rodney Gustilo.

La Paz National High School in La Paz district, on the other hand, will get 22 classrooms.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has allotted P61.6 million for the construction of these classrooms, said Gustilo.

But the Department of Public Works and Highways might finish them in 2017 since there is no Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) for the project yet, he said.

“Gina-obrahan pa lang ni namon programs (of work) ang 38,” Gustilo said, adding that the higher office instructed them to prepare the project for bidding and award it only upon the receipt of the SARO.

Meanwhile, the construction of 77 Senior High School classrooms funded by DepEd and 42 funded by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. is ongoing, said Gustilo.

“We are trying nga mahingagaw ni sia [tapos] before the opening of classes in June,” he said.

RDC 6 to tackle S&T in forum

By Lilibeth french (JCM/LAF/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 19 (PIA6) -- The Regional Development Council (RDC) in Western Visayas will convene for a special forum to tackle science and technology on Tuesday, February 23, here.

Acting Chairperson and NEDA 6 Director Ro-Ann Bacal said the forum aims to orient RDC 6 members and other development partners on various science and technology programs along health, connectivity, disaster risk reduction and management and on micro, small and medium enterprises.

“Your insights and opinions will be invaluable inputs in the formulation of appropriate policies and strategies for the science and technology sector,” said Bacal in her letter invites to members.

Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo will keynote the forum. He will also lead the launching of the Free-Wifi Project initiated by the DOST-Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) during the event.

Through the project selected areas in Western Visayas will soon have access to free internet.

Free-Wifi project intends to provide internet connectivity services in identified municipalities and key cities in the country. The WiFi connection will be made available in public places of selected areas such as plazas, government offices, health units, parks and transport terminals of these local government units.

Aside from Montojo, speakers include the following: Dr. Dennis Batangan of Ateneo de Manila University who will discuss EHATID Health Information System; Dr. Portia Marcelo of UP Manila National Telehealth Center will talk on RxBox Telehealth Project; and DOST ICTO Director Frederick Amores will present their projects.

For the afternoon session, speakers and their topics are: Dr. Jennifer Sinogaya and Prof. Judith Salapan on Phil-LIDAR 1 and 2; DOST PAGASA Visayas Director Engr. Oscar Tabada on PAGASA Doppler Radar Facility; PHIVOLCS Director Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. on PHIVOLCS Senslope and Dynaslope; and DOST 6 Director Engr. Rowen Gelonga on S&T for MSMEs.

Local government unit partners in the eHATID (eHealth TABLET for Informed Decision Making of LGUs) project of DOST will also be recognized during the forum that forms part of the activities organized for the Western Visayas leg of the nationwide Science Nation Tour slated from February 22 to 24 in Iloilo City.

UnionBank to hold Visayas-based entrepreneurs forum


THE UninonBank of the Philippines will hold the second leg of the country's biggest e-commerce program in Iloilo City on February 20 to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) take their local businesses to the global marketplace.

Participants will listen to Silicon Valley billionaire Dado Banatao, social entrepreneur Iliac Diaz, Salt's founder Aisa Mijeno, and Department of Trade and Industry regional director Rebecca Rascon discuss how e-commerce is turning local businesses into global enterprises.

The speakers will share how e-commerce, as an eco-system and a key element in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s inclusive growth initiatives, is opening up opportunities for Visayas-based SMEs by fostering the impact of technology and strategic entrepreneurial mentality to take local businesses across borders.

The forum also aims to help micro and small enterprises (MSEs) integrate and penetrate the global value chain and ensure that the participation of MSEs in the economy will address poverty and inequalities in Western Visayas.

The SMEs are owned and operated by indigenous people, artisan enterprises, fishermen, farmers, homemakers, novice entrepreneurs, and other small businessmen, who have limited access to finance, public goods and services, and had challenges requiring structural reforms, education, infrastructure and trade facilitation assistance for them to be fully mainstreamed in the global markets.

The forum also aims to engage international business community and make the country a global investment destination.

Tourism board cites Iloilo airport as a major entry point

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Department of Tourism promotions board has cited the Iloilo International Airport as one of the major entry points in the Philippines for tourists and returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families who wanted to see the tourist destinations of the country.

The major entry airports in the Philippines are NAIA, Cebu, Davao, Kalibo, Iloilo, and Clark international airports where the Philippines registered a total of 2.6 million international visitors from January to June 2015 with total earnings amounting to P111.05 billion generated from various tourism activities.

Domingo Ramon C. Enerio III, TPB Chief Operating Officer said that 2016 will be another competitive year for Philippine tourism, as the board intends to remain aggressive in securing its rightful share of the tourist market.

The promotions baord is implementing Visit the Philippines Again (VPA) 2016 as a retail-based TPB campaign to drive urgency and excitement among foreign travelers to visit the Philippines and return for more fun, friendship, feel-good adventures, and fabulous memories to cherish in 2016.

Foreign travelers will be treated to new and exciting attractions and spectacular travel destinations that showcase the beauty of the Philippine islands and the warmth of its people.

Offering more fun that keeps foreign travelers coming back for more, returning visitors will also be given exclusive travel deals and special incentives. They can avail of special discounts on flights, hotel accommodations and tour packages after simply presenting proof of previous visits.

Seeing the great potentials especially during the tourist season, Globe Telecom, through its International Business Group, has renewed its partnership with TPB to promote the Philippines as one of Asia’s top tourist destinations via its Visit the Philippines Again (VPA) 2016 campaign.

With the partnership, Globe will once again offer its Globe Traveler SIM to millions of tourists and returning OFWs for free for affordable and worry-free connectivity during their stay in the country. Globe is TPB’s first Philippine telco partner to offer affordable communication services to millions of foreign tourists and OFWs with the Globe Traveler SIM, a local prepaid SIM that offers affordable local rates for mobile data, calls, and SMS services.

Data on Globe Traveler SIM usage from August to November 2015 revealed that 90 percent of the Traveler SIM users came to the Philippines for vacation, and the top 3 countries with the most number of visitors were from Korea, China, and Singapore. The same data also showcased that 97 percent of Traveler SIM customer base used data and 85 percent for local calls.

ASEAN senior transport meet set in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 16 (PNA) -- This city will host the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Senior Transport Officials meeting slated on April 25-27, 2016.

Executives from Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) met recently with Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to inform that the metropolis has been chosen as venue for the ASEAN conference.

Mabilog expressed hope that the hosting of big events will provide Ilonggos with job opportunities every time tourists visit the city.

Hundreds of delegation from ASEAN member countries will be attending the forum as the city is poised at capturing a bigger slice of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) market.

This beautiful city is positioning itself as convention destination equipped with infrastructures and facilities that support tourism.

Iloilo City benefits from ICTO’s free public Wi-Fi


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 15 (PNA) -– The Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) has identified this city as first recipient of the Free Wi-Fi Internet Service Initiative in Western Visayas.

On Tuesday, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) will be signed between Undersecretary Louis Napoleon C. Casambre and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to finalize the project implementation.

Elry Hortillosa, focal person for the project, said that they chose this city as pilot recipient because the bulk of their presence is in this area.

The free Wi-Fi access will be installed in the city’s public plazas, public library, hospitals, seaport and rural health centers.

Several access points will be installed in one area in anticipation of the bulk of users that are expected to avail of the free connection, he said.

Users may avail of 50MB, 100MB or 300MB data per day depending on the level of registration. They can register by browsing for the JuanKonek ID in their gadgets.

The installation of the connection is now going on and the services are expected to be readily available next month, he added.

The free Wi-Fi project is in line with the government’s “Internet for All campaign’” under the Philippine Digital Strategy of 2011 to 2016.

ICTO is an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

PHLPOST eyes improved version of vinyl postal IDs


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST) will further improve the features of its of postal identification card (ID) that has already migrated from being paper-bound to plastic vinyl.

PHLPOST area director for Western Visayas Fabiolita P. Ferraris said that the current ID contains basic information of the bearer with a QR code as added feature to make it verifiable.

However, Ferraris said that the QR code can only be verified using an android application. Thus, they will have it improved to make verification easier.

“We are now trying to migrate to biometric ID with more information about the bearer to be included. It is now verifiable even in computers,” she said.

Ferraris said that the postal ID is “very popular” because it is even recognized when one goes abroad. It is even more acceptable compared with office-issued ID or those by the Social Security System (SSS) or the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

Originally, though, the target of postal ID are those who have no IDs such students and from the unemployed sector.

She advised them to apply early as the processing time for the vinyl ID would take around 15 days.

The postal ID costs PHP400 and valid for three years.

Annually, PHLPOST Area 6 produces some 60,000 to 100,000 postal IDs.

Iloilo City builds park for Stockton, USA


ILOILO City is putting up a park to mark its friendship and remind Ilonggos of its “invaluable friendship” with Stockton City, United States.

Iloilo City and Stockton City have been sister cities since August 2, 1965.

Stockton City Mayor Anthony Silva visited Iloilo City on February 6 together with some of his city officials.

He said the development strides that Iloilo City has embarked five years ago received praises from Filipino-Americans who are residing in Stockton City.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, during the welcome lunch with Stockton delegates, said the city will also put up the Iloilo City-Stockton Friendship Park, a reciprocal of the Stockton-Iloilo City Friendship Park that was established some five years ago in Stockton.

The park will be located at Barangay Progreso, Lapuz District, right across the City Hall, beside the new ferry terminal going to Negros Occidental, Mabilog said.

He said the City Government received from the National Government a 3,000-square-meter property in Lapuz District.

Silva vowed to grace the ribbon-cutting rites of the friendship park.

Tourist arrivals in Iloilo increase by 29.29 percent


ILOILO CITY, Feb 12 (PNA) -- Tourist arrival in 2015 is 29.29 percent higher when compared with the 2014 arrivals even as the provincial tourism office is hoping to have an additional 200,000 visitors this year.

Iloilo Provincial Tourism officer Gilbert Marin said that Iloilo recorded 204,655 visitors last year.

“We are very happy that our tourist arrivals have increased and at the same time the number of resorts, rooms and business establishments also increased,” he said.

Marin said that the DOT’s initiative in strengthening its campaign dubbed as ‘Experience Western Visayas First’ has helped Iloilo in gaining more tourists because it has enabled the provinces in the region to unite in promoting their destinations.

“We are not only promoting our provinces, our own respective destinations and attractions but as well as the neighboring attractions of our neighboring provinces and even the other regions,” he said.

Marin also said that traveling is easier in the province because road networks are 90 percent paved and more terminals are constructed.

This coming summer season the Iloilo tourism office is preparing the northern part of Iloilo, which is known for its emerging destinations.

Marin added that they are mulling to promote Roxas City in Capiz as entry point to the town of Carles, Iloilo because of proximity.

Carles is now gaining significant tourist arrivals mainly because of its Gigantes Island.

DOLE’s SPES hires 2,934 young Ilonggos

By Lilibeth French (JCM/LAF/Pia6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 10 (PIA6) - - Around 2,934 youths were given the opportunity to work by the government through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the province of Iloilo.

These poor/indigent students and out-of-school youths were hired under the agency’s Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) from 2010 to 2015.

SPES is a school-to-job bridging program that helps student-beneficiaries pursue their education by using their salaries earned to cover their school fees and allowances and at the same time prepares them for real employment.

For the salaries of the beneficiaries, DOLE pays the forty percent and the remaining 60 percent by the employers composed of government agencies, local government units, and private companies.

Participating government agencies and private companies employ beneficiaries for a minimum of 22 days to a maximum of 52 days under the program.

On the other hand, DOLE 6 also hired the services of some 745 poor/indigent high-school, tech-voc and college graduates from the province as interns from 2014 to 2015.

Through its Government Internship Program, the beneficiaries have the chance to serve the public in the local and national government offices. Aside from augmenting their families’ financial needs, beneficiaries are expected to develop their knowledge and skills and learn the various programs, projects and services being implemented by the government agencies or local government units for their constituents while working.

WV tourist arrivals up 7.95%


ILOILO CITY (PIA6) - - Tourists who visited Western Visayas last year reached 4,267,959, up by 7.95 percent from 3,953,766 in 2014, according to the Department of Tourism 6.

As of February 1 this year, the partial Visitor Arrivals Report of DOT 6 indicated that among the provinces in the region, Aklan has so far recorded the highest tourist arrivals with 1,736,391 followed by Negros Occidental with 1,161,313, Iloilo with 1,062,561, Capiz with 163,212, Guimaras with 94,315 and Antique with 50,166.

With the 4,267,959 tourist arrival, the region has also exceeded its target of 4,221,854 for 2015 by 1.09 percent. Among the provinces and highly urbanized cities in the region, only Bacolod City was not able to surpass its target for 2015.

The province of Antique recorded the highest percentage increase in tourist arrivals with 78.55%, followed by the province of Iloilo with 29.31%, Guimaras with 27.74%, Iloilo City with 26.64%, Capiz with 11.36%, Aklan with 6.24% and Negros Occidental with 5.69%.

DOT 6 Director Lawyer Helen Catalbas said in a press report that the results are partial and may increase as the deadline for submission of tourist arrivals is approaching which is on February 19.

Catalbas is confident that the number will continue to increase and Bacolod City will still reach its target for 2015.

She is also positive that the upward trajectory of tourist arrivals will encourage local government units to further strengthen and double their efforts in upgrading and improving their facilities, products and services offered to their tourists.

She likewise notes that all the 6 provinces and the 2 highly urbanized cities are exerting their best efforts to contribute for Western Visayas to reach its goal. This positive factor are expected to inspire investors to put more money in Western Visayas tourism enterprises thereby making the tourism sector a primary economic growth engine for this region.

The February 1 data of DOT 6 also revealed that the region was able to generate P94,957,032,428.40 tourism revenues in 2015 and the provinces of Aklan, Iloilo City and Negros Occidental are the top 3 contributors.

Mgt educators hold reg’l conference in Iloilo


ILOILO City – Over 600 students and faculties from colleges and universities in Western Visayas (WV) convened for the 19th regional conference of the Council of Management Educators and Practitioners, Phils. Inc. (Comepp) here.

The recent two-day event was themed “Management Education: Challenges of Asean 2015.”

Commission on Education (CHED) regional director Cesar Medina who served as keynote speaker anchored his discussion on the said theme.

Among the topics in the two-day conference were:

• “Comepp’s response to the impact of K-12 implementation and Asean 2015 Integration” – by Dr. Nestor V. Dela Cruz, president and chief executive officer of St. Dominic Savio College in Caloocan City

• “Collaborative and Multi-Disciplinary Research” – by Prof. Dorothee Villaruz, research chair of the Capiz State University in Roxas City

• “CHED Updates-Business Program” – by Timmy Tolosa, education supervisor II of CHED Region 6; and

• “CHED Updates – Hospitality and Tourism Program – by Efren Sucaldito, education supervisor II of CHED-6.


Comeep president Dr. Edita S. Bunuan said Comepp is composed of around 700 member schools nationwide and the organization was able to put up a party-list called “Una ang Edukasyon” (1-Ang Edukasyon).

“In Congress, we don’t really have one who represents higher education,” Bunuan told Panay News.

Bunuan was among the nominees of the party-list. She is one of the living institutions at the Far Eastern University (FEU) who dedicated her life to the love of teaching for the past 40 years.

“If the party is successful in the elections, we will present legislation that will truly answer the needs of higher education…we know what legislation to bring to Congress,” she said.

The party-list seeks improvement or changes in the education curriculum or the educational system for the graduates to be competitive.

“In Thailand, a high school student can do stock reading while in the Philippines, a graduate of college does not how stock reading. That is why we are not very good in finance,” she said.

The K-12 program also started in Thailand, said Bunuan.

The party-list aims to have at least one college graduate per family.

“We believe that if one member of the family is educated, they will be progressive… If you are educated, there are so many opportunities for employment,” said Bunuan.

Iloilo Capitol releases P15-M aid for poor schools

By Jezza A. Nepomoceno (Capitol News)

FINANCIAL assistance worth P15.1 million will help improve the learning environment in 60 public schools located in 26 poor municipalities in Iloilo province.

The aid coming from the budget of the Provincial School Board will be used to construct additional school buildings and facilities for the convenience of the teachers and pupils.

“I do not want the children of today to suffer the same predicament I had when I was a pupil in public school,” said Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., who cited an incident where he tripped during his performance due to unstable stage made out of plywood and bamboo in Mina.

Of the total assistance, P7.4 million will be used to repair school buildings stricken by recent typhoons, P4.9 million for construction of school facilities (e.g. stage, fence, covered court, social hall, comfort room), and P2 million for construction of new school buildings.

The remaining P740,000 will be used for the procurement of books, instructional materials, and other school equipment like computers.

The distribution of cheques on Wednesday, February 3, was assisted by Vice Governor Raul Tupas, Maasin Mayor Mariano Malones, Pototan Mayor Tomas Peñflorida, and Mina Mayor Rey Grabato.

3 DENR 6 officials train on environmental governance


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -– Two Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs) and one Community ENR Officer (CENROs) from Western Visayas were among the 30 learners of the ongoing program for environmental governance implemented by the University of the Philippines (UP).

The pilot implementation of the UP Program for Environmental Governance (UPPEG) admitted PENRO Ruel delos Reyes of Antique, PENRO Vicente A. Sardina of Guimaras and CENRO Louie Laud of CENRO Belison, Antique.

The training seeks to develop better field implementers by enhancing their capacities through an intensive training on environmental governance.

The program aims to enhance the capacity of the environmental and natural resources officers in the country by strengthening their competency on the management of the environmental functions of the position.

Sessions are now going on at the UP Visayas that will end until Saturday. Next sessions will be held at the ENR Academy, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija on February 8-12 and DENR, Quezon City on February 14-20.

The UPPEG was launched last January 18, 2016 as part of the President’s Toast – a celebratory event for high impact programs and projects undertaken by the UP.

“We commend the efforts of the higher office in providing our field officials this kind of training. We honestly need to strengthen the capacity of our PENROs/CENROs to become better environmental managers,” said DENR 6 regional director Jim O Sampulna.

A Memorandum of Understanding between UP through President Alfredo Pascual and DENR through Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje was signed on February 6, 2014 which laid down the agreements of both parties in implementing UPPEG.

Organizers slate activities for this year’s Paraw Regatta Festival


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 5 (PNA) -- Another tourist attraction is set to take off here as this city government and the Paraw Regatta Foundation lines up various activities to usher the highlight of what has been dubbed as the largest sailing event in the country and the oldest traditional craft event in Asia.

Opening the month-long festival is the week-long activities in line with the search for 2016 Miss Paraw Regatta from February 8-14. The winning candidate will be crowned on February 19.

Other side events of the festival are photo exhibit, miniature paraw making, musical show, inter-school cooking competition, on-the-spot painting contest, deep sea fishing competition, national women’s volleyball, Frisbee competition, paraw painting and body painting.

The highlights on February 21 will be a race among the more than 50 double-outrigger boats also known as paraw covering an approximate distance of 30 kilometers of the Iloilo Strait.

The search for a perfect wind, as the paraws are dependent on their sails, will take off at the seafront of the Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafood in Sto. Niño, Arevalo.

The racers have to pass by Fort San Pedro to Sto. Rosario, Buenavista in Guimaras to Nagaba Point of Jordan, Bundolan point and back to the finish line at Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafood.

The festival will culminate with the Sinadya sa Baybay (lighted paraw sailing) in the evening of February 21.

Iloilo Chinese New Year celebration reels on

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE fifth year celebration of the Chinese New Year in Iloilo City is reeling on with a cultural parade on February 12.

With a theme “Chinese-Filipinos: Catalysts of peace and progress” this year, the city is the first outside Metro Manila to celebrate the Chinese cultural program.

The Ilonggo-Chinese population in the city has evolved and some of them are now connected with the national and local government units.

They are also the dominant businessmen in the city which accounted more than 85 percent of the total businesses.

The Ilonggo-Chinese nationals are known to preserve the tradition and culture of their ancestors which are being displayed during their Chinese New Year festival.

The activities this year include an opening ceremony last January 30, 2016 and astrology forecast by Jeffrey Ventura, photo exhibit on February 1, Sun Yat Sen High School Musical Band on February 6, Chinese New Year mass, Sun Yat Sen High School Lion and Dragon Dance and Jubilation cultural show on February 7, Hua Siong College of Iloilo Lion and Dragon Dance and Splendor cultural show on February 8, cultural presentation and dinner on February 9, cultural presentation on February 10, food festival on February 11, luncheon by the City Government, cultural parade, show, food festival and fireworks display on February 12, and medical mission on February 13.

DOLE cites construction, BPO as lead employment generators in W. Visayas


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The booming construction industry and the business process outsourcing (BPOs) are two leading employment generators in Western Visayas, according to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 6 officer-in-charge Salome Siaton.

Siaton pointed out that unemployment rate in the region went down by two percent in 2015 as compared to 2014 and is continuously reducing because of the improvements in infrastructures being put up in the region.

In the regional scenario, Siaton said that the indicators of improvements in terms of infrastructures are the vertical and horizontal constructions.

“The more constructions we have, the more employment we have in this industry,” she said,

“If there are more expansions, more buildings, more hotels, more business establishments, which are being put up in the region, particularly here in Iloilo, will generate more employments,” she added.

Another employment generator is BPO.

Specifically in Iloilo, Siaton said that the Megaworld area in Mandurriao, Iloilo is housing the BPOs in the city.

“They are also among the employment generators,” she said.

While the available jobs in the region are improving, Siaton said that DOLE is pushing for companies to provide decent employment to workers.

She further said that decent employment is provided if workers have social protection and there is a social dialogue between them and their respective employers.

Western Visayas prepares to be a favorite cruise destination


ILOILO CITY, Feb. 1 (PNA) -- This region is now becoming popular as a cruise destination, according to the Department of Tourism in Western Visayas.

This weekend, executives of the Sharp Travel Service, one of the top existing corporate, marine, and meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions (MICE) and events travel management company in the Philippines capped their three-day visit to various tourist attractions of Iloilo and Guimaras.

An ocular inspection and assessment of Iloilo City, southern Iloilo, Guimaras and Northern Iloilo, especially Gigantes for possible inclusion in the shore excursion of their guests on-board their different international cruise/expedition for 2017 and 2018 was conducted starting January 28.

DOT 6 director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas said that Western Visayas has several potential cruise/expedition destinations apart from Boracay Island.

“DOT is looking at the Philippines as an ideal destination for cruise tourism given that the country is an archipelago. DOT Region 6 is pushing to strengthen shore excursions to other provinces so as to promote various tourist destinations that may be possible side trips during the cruise ship arrivals in the region,” director Catalbas said.

She added that northern Iloilo and Guimaras are idyllic and rustic destinations suited for tourists going on cruise and are sites for future tourism investments.

“With northern Iloilo’s secluded and private getaway atmosphere and Guimaras’ pristine white beaches, tourists will surely enjoy going to this places. Plans are being laid down to provide a package that will attract these visitors to come and come back to invest in the future,” she added.

A cruise ship with 2,000 passengers is estimated to generate USD 250,000 in revenue but a turnaround ship of the same volume would generate as much as USD 1.2-million, according to DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr.