Iloilo City News January 2013

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Iloilo City - Archived News

Seal of Iloilo City
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Iloilo City, Iloilo
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Map Locator of Iloilo City
Aerial View of Iloilo City
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Aerial View of Iloilo City
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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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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DOT wants overpass removed; Iloilo City heritage bill Ok’d

By Karen V. Bermejo

The Commission on Audit acting as custodian of local government properties must first study the request of the Department of Tourism to remove a decade-old overpass obstructing the façade of their office in Bonifacio Drive, according to a city councilor.

As chairman of the Committee on Tourism, Culture and Historical Affair, Councilor Nielex Tupas said as part of due process, it is the COA that will verify if the request of the DOT is valid.

“There is a need to look for appropriate funds for the implementation of the requested action. These are among other pertinent things or steps needed to properly act on the matter,” he said.

In a letter sent to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Iloilo City Engineering Office, DOT Regional Director Helen Catalbas asked to remove the overpass that obstructs the view of the DOT building, adding that it is only used as a virtual toilet.

She added that the structure is not convenient for pedestrians and it is conducive to criminal activities.

Once removed, Catalbas said beautification of their office will help them improve the tourism sector not just of the city, but of the region. HERITAGE BILL APPROVED

Meanwhile, Tupas lauded the passage of House Bill No. 5495, declaring the Jaro Cathedral, Molo Church, the Iloilo City Central Business District, Fort San Pedro, Jaro Plaza Complex, Molo Plaza Complex and Plaza Libertad Complex in the Iloilo City as cultural heritage tourism zones.

“This will ensure that our heritage through our buildings and structures will be preserved and its value to the people ascertained,” Tupas said.

Tupas said that the City Council helped endorse the passage of the bill filed by Iloilo City Lone District Representative Jerry Treñas.

Under the measure, the tourist spots will be accorded priority development of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in coordination with the Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and other concerned government agencies, who will assist in preparing a development plan involving the construction, installation, and maintenance of appropriate facilities and infrastructure.

He also said that as tourism improves in the city, jobs become more available for Ilonggos.

“Investments and opportunities come in for Ilonggo families. Thus, there will be a boost in our economy,” he added.*

Korean Ambassador to help to open direct flight from Korea to Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, Jan 30 (PNA) -- The Korean Ambassador during his visit here has committed to make representation before Korean Airlines back in his country for a possible opening of direct flight from Korea to Iloilo.

Ambassador to the Philippines Lee Hyuk was informed of the request of the Korean community here for a direct flight in a conversation with city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

“He committed to make representation with the Korean Airlines,” Mabilog said.

A significant number of Koreans are already staying here in Iloilo. Most of the more or less 3,000 Koreans here are into business while others are students.

Last year, the community led by Moon Dae Jin (Tiger Moon), president of Metro Korea and the vice-president of the Iloilo-Korea United Community Association Inc for the first time hosted the 1st Korean-Ilonggo Friendship Festival highlighting the culture of the Koreans and the friendship with the Ilonggos.

The Ambassador arrived in Iloilo over the weekend just in time for the Dinagyang Festival.

Iloilo currently has direct flights to Hong Kong and Singapore.

Iloilo farmers express support to 'National Year of Rice'


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 29 (PNA) -- The Department of Agriculture - Regional Field Unit Western Visayas (DA-RFU 6) is looking forward to generate more support for the "National Year of Rice" this 2013 after hundreds of farmers from the town of Lemery already made their pledges on Monday.

Regional Agri-Fishery Information Division (RAFID) chief Juvy Gaton along with Regoinal Agri-Fishery Council (RAFC) chair Ricardo Provido and DA regional coordinator for the celebration witnessed farmers as they affixed their signatures to their pledge of commitment simultaneous with their farmers’ day celebration.

Over the weekend the DA-RFU 6 marked the regional launching of the celebration by joining the Sponsors Mardi Gras of the Dinagyang Festival.

The agency to raise public awareness about the celebration will have a municipal launching which it intends to coincide with the local activity of every town in Western Visayas such as agri-fair and festivals.

President Benigno S. Aquino III signed Proclamation No. 44 declaring 2013 as the National Year of Rice.

This celebration pushes for responsible rice consumption; increase productivity among rice producers; consumption of other staple food such as cassava, banana, adlai and kamote and in-place policies on consumption of brown rice for better health.

Iloilo City makes positive impression on Brunei Amb


ASIA’S RICH country of Brunei is eyeing the city and province of Iloilo as possible investment destination in the Visayas after seeing the numerous business possibilities the city offers to possible investors.

Brunei Ambassador to the Philippines Malai Hajah Halima Malai Yussof said she is impressed with the ongoing development in the city and hinted at investments in the field of education and food security.

The lady Ambassador also said that certain areas of cooperation maybe forged between Iloilo City and Brunei Darussalam as many overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) are working there. She said that Brunei students may also opt to go to Iloilo City for their education.

Iloilo City has 10 universities and colleges that offer numerous degrees. Iloilo City is considered as the educational center of the Visayas and Mindanao. It also hosts the John B. Lacson Maritime University as the only maritime education university in Southeast Asia.

The lady Ambassador, together with Australian Ambassador Bill Twedell, were the guests of the city government and One Meal Foundation chairperson Teresita “Nene” Chan. Both diplomats also witnessed the Dinagyang Festival.

Canadian photographer says Dinagyang 2013 exceptional


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 27 (PNA) – Canadian photographer Luke Myers who is here for the second time to witness the Dinagyang Festival 2013 said that the festival is really exceptional with the very energetic performances of the tribes and their colourful costumes.

Myers said that he has been to other parts of the country to witness their festivals but he considers Dinagyang of Iloilo as the best for photography.

Efficient and orderly security carried out during the festival give photographers like him chance to get amazing pictures of the tribe, Myers said.

“We are being allowed here to get closer to the action,” Myers explained. He has been assigned for two days at the Stage 2, Kasadyahan Festival Regional Cultural Competition on Saturday and then the Ati-atihan Competition on Sunday.

Stage 2 is sponsored by the Iloilo provincial government headed by Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr. In this stage, the photographers and media covering the two-day highlights of the festivity were given designated areas and seats.

Myers said that he would invite his fellow Canadians to come over for next year and witness the festival for themselves. “I have been promoting the event to them,” Myers said.

He said those interested to come next year have to get their early bookings in the hotels here in Iloilo city because of the huge crowd.

DOT6 open 24 hours for Dinagyang

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

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 25 (PIA) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT-6) Regional Office will be open 24 hours for the two-day highlights of the Dinagyang Festival on January 26 and 27.

In a PIA interview, DOT-6 Regional Director Atty. Helen Catalbas said the office staff and personnel are prepared to entertain questions and queries, provide brochures, and give other tourist information assistance.

“The local and foreign visitors and guests can come to the office and there will be people here that will assist to their needs,” said Catalbas.

Meanwhile, Catalbas said the Dinagyang Festival is the best time for taxi drivers here to practice what they have learned from the DOT-facilitated training programs they have attended.

“This is the time for our taxi drivers to put their best foot forward by being accommodating to our visitors and by giving accurate information to our guests,” said Catalbas.

Catalbas also reminded these taxi drivers of what they have agreed during these training and orientation sessions, that there should be no overcharging, carry out good grooming, and be courteous to the visitors at all times.

She added the Dinagyang Festival is the opportunity to show to the world and to fellow Filipinos that Iloilo is a pleasant place to visit and these taxi drivers can do a lot as frontline service providers.

4 buildings in Iloilo City ready for BPO occupancy – DTI


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 24 (PNA) -– Four buildings in this city are now ready to be used as Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) centers, said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Iloilo Director Wilhelm Malones.

Malones said on Thursday that these four buildings have been constructed in preparation for BPOs interested to locate in Iloilo City, considered as one of the next wave cities for the industry.

These buildings are the Plazuela, Ayala Techno Hub at Smallville, the newly renovated building of the Traders Royal Bank, and the one owned by Tony Hon of the Eon Centennial Hotel.

“Last year, there were three companies that inquired about the prospects of putting up BPO centers in Iloilo City. We are still waiting for the development,” the DTI official said.

At present, he said there are 12 BPO centers operating in Iloilo City and another one in Tigbauan town which are providing employment to some 6,000 people.

DSWD Regional Office 6 disburses P1.9B for 4Ps in 2012


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 23 (PNA) -– The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Office 6 as of last year disbursed a total of P1.9 billion to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries in Western Visayas.

The DSWD Regional Office 6 in its report released Wednesday, cited that the amount disbursed was much higher than what they released in 2011 which was P934.9 million and in 2010 which was P326.3 million.

The increase in the releases of the DSWD was due to the expansion of the program to cover other poor households in other municipalities in the region.

As of 2012, there were already around 290,000 household beneficiaries of the 4Ps in Region 6. In 2011, there were only about 250,000 of them.

The beneficiaries were identified through the conduct of the National Household Targeting System (NHTS) that was used to identify the poorest of the poor families who could qualify in the program.

The poor families in order to receive their allowances were required to meet some conditions set.

Among the conditions are for mothers or pregnant women to avail of pre- and post- natal care and be attended by a trained professional during child birth; parents must attend family development sessions; children in the family aged 3-5 years old must attend day care or preschool classes and those 6-14 years old must attend elementary or high school classes.

The household beneficiaries receive P6,000 a year or P500 a month allowance from the government for their health and nutrition expenses and P3,000 for one school year per child for educational expenses as long as they comply with the conditions.

15 schools vie in Tambor Trumpa Martsa tilt

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

ILOILO CITY, Jan 22 (PIA) -- Fifteen elementary and secondary schools will compete in the 2013 Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika competition in this year’s Dinagyang Festival, which has been conferred the prestigious Galing Pook Award.

City Schools Division Education Program Supervisor Gloria S. Auñgon, Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika Committee Co-Chair, said that the drum lyre and bugle competition is slated on January 25 at the Freedom Grandstand here. Ten elementary schools and five secondary schools are set to participate in the competition.

Of the 10 competing elementary schools, seven are from Iloilo City and three are from the Iloilo province. The seven schools from the city are Iloilo Central Elementary School, Jalandoni Memorial Elementary School, La Paz I Elementary School, Cubay Elementary School, Sambag Elementary Schoo, I. Arroyo Elementary School, and Arevalo Elementary School. The three schools from the province are Pili Elementary School, Alimodian Central Elementary School, and Dingle Elementary School.

For the secondary level, there are four schools from the city namely La Paz National High School, Iloilo City National High School, R. Avanceña National High School and Fort San Pedro National High School. The lone participant from the province is Rufino Palabrica Sr. National High School from Dingle, Iloilo.

The competing schools are required to perform two pieces repertoire – an Ilonggo folksong which will be played from start to finish and a medley composition of their own choice.

According to Auñgon, there will be a foot parade of all the participating schools with Iloilo Provincial Capitol as the starting point, going to the Freedom Grandstand where the actual competition will take place at 8 a.m.

She said that the contestants will be judged on drill formation (40 percent) and music (60 percent). For the prizes, the champion will be receiving P25,000, the first runner up will get P20,000 and the second runner up will have P 15,000. The prizes are sponsored by the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Incorporated.

Water at Arroyo fountain starts welcoming guests for Dinagyang Festival


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 21 (PNA) -– Starting Monday, the water at the Arroyo fountain which is in front of the old Iloilo capitol building and situated at the heart of the city, will flow to welcome guests who have started to come for the Dinagyang Festival that will have its two-day highlight on Jan. 26-27.

After the flag-raising ceremony Monday, Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr. instructed the General Services Office (GSO) to have the water flow at the Arroyo fountain, which is a prominent landmark representing the power and grandeur of the province.

The governor also said that to show full support to the major tourism activity of Iloilo city and province, the GSO should keep the surroundings of the capitol and its nearby old Iloilo Provincial Jail spic and span.

Defensor also has extended a P300,000 financial assistance to the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. that is managing the Dinagyang Festival.

On Jan. 26, which is the Kasadyahan Regional Cultural Competition, the provincial government also extended financial aid to the four municipal tribes that would be representing Iloilo province and compete with the other six tribes from Iloilo city and Guimaras province.

Iloilo Provincial Tourism Officer Gilbert Marin, in an interview, said the tribes that would be showcasing the unique way of living, beliefs and culture of the people in their towns would come from San Joaquin, Tigbauan, Leon and Miag-ao.

It was Tribu Salakayan of the town of Miag-ao that won as champion in last year's Kasadyahan Competition.

Marin said that Tribu Bayluhay of San Joaquin, however, this year has to be watched for because of its very good performance. But then Tribu Salakayan is also out to retain its award in the competition.

Jobs up for grabs in Dinagyang jobs fair


ILOILO City – Jobseekers can grab opportunities at the jobs fair to be organized by the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) here on January 24.

PESO-Iloilo City Manager Maria Elena Benitez said her office has invited 80 overseas and local companies to participate in the jobs fair dubbed “Trabaho sa Dinagyang 2013.”

The event in line with this city’s annual celebration of Dinagyang Festival will be conducted at Gaisano City Mall in La Paz district from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Benitez said on-the-spot hiring is expected. She advised applicants to prepare as much as five resumés so they can apply for as many jobs they are qualified for during the job fair.

She also told them to bring 2x2 ID pictures and other pertinent certificates and documents that the companies may require of them during the application process.

Aside from skilled workers, the companies are looking for workers in the medical field such as medical technologists, nurses and dentists.

Benitez said this is not the first job fair that her office will conduct; they target to hold six to seven more this year.

From July to December last year, PESO-Iloilo City has conducted three job fairs that have helped thousands jobseekers in this city and other nearby areas to find work both here and abroad.

Earlier this week, Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has advised jobseekers that it would be better for them this year to stay put and look for jobs in their respective regions because job opportunities are coming to them through the job fairs of the department.

"Jobs are available to job seekers raring to work this year. They could start their job search at their own communities as the DOLE is making it easier for them to do so by bringing the jobs through its job fairs in the regions," said Baldoz.

The “Trabaho sa Dinagyang 2013” has been included in the schedule of job fairs that will be conducted in the regions for the first quarter announced by Baldoz.

Last year, DOLE reported that a total of 1,553 job fairs was conducted nationwide and Baldoz has doubled the job fairs target in 2013 to further bring employment opportunities closer to more jobseekers.

4,000 security personnel to maintain peace, order in Dinagyang in Iloilo

(VVP, GMA News)

At least 4,000 police, military and local authorities have been tapped to secure the Dinagyang Festival, which held its opening salvo Friday in Iloilo province.

Police in the province also said they will keep security tight during the run-up to the highlight of the festival on Jan. 27, radio dzBB's Iloilo affiliate reported Saturday.

Of the 4,000 security personnel, 500 will come from the Iloilo City police and 1,000 from the Regional Public Safety Battalion and Iloilo provincial police, the report said.

Another 3,000 personnel from the Army, Air Force, Navy and barangay peacekeeping teams will help the police in ensuring peace and order.

While the opening salvo of the Dinagyang was held Friday, the highlight will be on Jan. 25 to 27, with a fluvial procession on Jan. 25, the official Dinagyang 2013 site said.

Dinagyang is Iloilo City’s version of the Ati-Atihan festival, in honor of the Santo Niño.

"From 1978 to the present, the Dinagyang Festival has evolved into a big religious and cultural activity supported by both the government and the private sectors. It now features cultural presentations, sports competitions and various side events," the Dinagyang site said.

It said Iloilo's Ati-Atihan dates back to 1967, when a replica of the image of Señor Santo Niño was first brought from Cebu by the San Jose Parish in Iloilo City.

The Ati-Atihan contest became a part of the cultural aspect of the celebration in 1969, with only four tribes participating at the time.

In 1974, the Dinagyang Festival was an important part of the then Tourism Ministry's “Operation Balikbayan,” attracting tourists with cultural entertainment.

West Visayas boom town taking shape: Iloilo in focus

(Manila Standard Today)

Western Visayas will soon see the rise of a boom town, as Megaworld constructs a boutique hotel and commercial district, a lifestyle mall, BPO office buildings, deluxe hotels, and a convention center in the anticipated Iloilo Business Park located in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

“As we extend our ‘live-work-play’ formula to Iloilo, we’re expecting a breakthrough in Western Visayas’ in terms of business and tourism, which will be brought forth by the world-class developments that Megaworld has always been known for,” said Jericho Go, Megaworld’s Vice President for Business Leasing and Development Group. Hotels, mall, convention center and BPO office buildings to be ready by 2015

Hotels, mall, convention center and BPO office buildings to be ready by 2015

Aligning the expansive Megaworld Boulevard, this 54-hectare mixed-use development will house the Megaworld Center Mall, Festive Walk, the international brand Marriott Courtyard Hotel, Richmonde Hotel, and the Iloilo Convention Center.

The Megaworld Center Mall will be Iloilo’s first upscale future shopping mall. The Festive Walk is a wide strolling area lined with shops of various signature brands.

A 9.7-hectare subdivision lot, on the other hand, is allotted for the boutique hotel and commercial district, which will be one of the highlights in the Iloilo Business Park.

“We’ve been talking to lots of interested business owners who want to operate within this exciting new district of the township. This is going to be exclusive only to the privileged few,” said Maricor Manlangit, Megaworld’s First Vice President for Strategic Planning.

Another edifice to watch out for is the Iloilo Convention Center, a joint venture between Megaworld and the provincial government. Built on a 1.7-hectare lot, it will be funded collectively by Senator Franklin M. Drilon’s annual priority development assistance fund, the Department of Tourism and Tourism Infrastructure and the Enterprise Zone Authority. The convention center, touted as Iloilo’s largest, is designed for big conferences, exhibitions, and trade fairs.

Like Megaworld’s other townships, the business park will be based on the company’s pioneering ‘live-work-play’ concept. This winning formula has propelled its Manila projects—Eastwood City, Forbestown Center, McKinley Hill, and Newport City—to success.

UP-Visayas hosts Malaysian studes' study tour

By Leonard T. Pineda I (UPV/JCM/LTP-PIA 6, Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Jan 17 (PIA) -- The University of the Philippines - Visayas (UPV) will hosts the 10-day study tour dubbed “In Search of Iloilo” of 15 students from Monash University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In a PIA interview, UPV Division of Social Sciences Chair Dr. Rosalie Arcala-Hall said that this study tour slated on January 19-29 is an alternative venue for these foreign students to learn about issues, concerns, and heritage of Iloilo City.

“This study travel is atypical for it is a combination of lectures, walkabouts, panel discussions with experts on topics such as local culture, philanthropy, indigenous people (Ati) and minority (Indian Sikhs) identity,” said Hall.

Hall said that the highlight of the visit will be the Monash University-UPV Film festival that will feature five films shorts, on January 20, at the UPV Cinematheque. These are Malaysian films in English language.

The UPV official also said that this endeavor is timed with the Dinagyang festival so these students, led by senior lecturer Dr. Seng Guan Yeoh, will be given the opportunity to document various Dinagyang festivities.

“We were also given permission by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) regional office to have the participants observe and interact with the Kati-Kati community of Jordan, Guimaras where they will meet with 25 tribe members,” said Hall.

According to Hall, “In Search of Iloilo” is the first institutionalized foreign study visit hosted by UP Visayas and the second study tour for Monash University to be conducted in the Philippines with Baguio as the first venue.

“Through this study tour, the university can generate a useful template for UPV’s internationalization and create parallel agreements with foreign universities,” added Hall.

Media, info officers have obligation to report the truth

By Leonard T. Pineda I (JCM/LTP-PIA 6, Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Jan 16 (PIA) -- The media and information officers have crucial roles in informing and educating the people.

This was acknowledged by Sen. Gregorio Honasan, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, during the briefing on the freedom of information (FOI) bill here.

He advised local media and the information officers to report only the truth especially in this period when people are on the verge of making critical choices of leaders in the country.

Using the slogan from a foreign news channel, “we report, you decide,” Honasan said it is important for reporters to perform their duties accurately since their audience is the entire Filipino nation.

“Can you imagine if we report inaccurately and irresponsibly to them? Then, their appreciation of the issues will be limited,” said Honasan.

He also said that the task of the media and the information officers is difficult and they are under a lot of pressure for information reflects immense power.

“The media can express private preferences but they should remain objective and try to be non-partisan as they can, because there are enough people and politicians taking sides already at the expense of national interest,” said Honasan.

Honasan also said there is a need for intensive public information and education which is right up the alley of the information agencies and media outlets.

“Let us help educate the people and teach the young ones what they should dream about, what they should work hard and pray hard for,” added Honasan.

Legislator bats for land use plan in disaster risk reduction, management

By Elsa S. Subong (JCM/ESS-PIA 6, Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA6) -- Better land use can ensure protection of life and property against onslaught of disasters, said Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, during his dialogue with media, government information officers, and the academe in this city.

Honasan, who was in Iloilo Jan 14, said that his first priority as legislator is putting in place the provisions of the law on land use as this focuses on human life, environment, and health.

“These issues are not only for now, but for the generations yet to come, for the children today who will become citizens tomorrow,” Honasan said.

He said that more than the issues on freedom of information, land use issues must first get people and structures where they should be, to avoid disasters.

“With effective land use plan, there will be no forced evacuations, no unnecessary damage to lives and properties,” Honasan also said.

“Then, we should get people to be educated on proper land use, to participate in planning,” the senator added.

He said that disaster risk reduction has no political color and it pays much for an official to invest in land use planning for long-term growth.

Honasan has for his personal advocacy the passage of the Land Use Act, as he has also championed laws like the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act, CARPER Law, Clean Air Act, and Solid Waste Management.

Further, he is presently faithfully shepherding the Freedom of Information Bill which has been renamed People’s Ownership of Government Information (POGI) bill.

Although POGI bill is only his second priority next to land use, he believes that the bill embodies the ideals he has fought for at EDSA I, and much more is consistent with “Daan na Matuwid’ thrust of the Aquino administration.

Honasan chairs the Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, Public Order and Dangerous Drugs and Agrarian Reform.

17,451 workers deployed abroad through Iloilo City PESO


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 14 (PNA) -– The city government here through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO) was able to deploy 17,541 workers abroad in 2012 and hoped to have the figure surpassed this year.

PESO manager Ma. Elena H. Benitez said that workers were hired through special recruitment activity (SRA) and not on regular job fairs hosted by the city government. She explained that recruitment offices would ask for a one-day SRA from his office for them to hold the activity.

Most of those hired were female with 9,157 while male numbered at 8,299. Jobs were mostly skilled and domestic works, Benitez said.

Meanwhile, the city government through Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is again urging job seekers to take advantage of the one-day Dinagyang job fair that will be facilitated in by some 80 recruitment agencies for both local and overseas employment.

Benitez said that the activity will be held at the activity center of the Gaisano City Mall on January 24. She also encouraged interested individuals to avail of the pre-registration at the PESO office.

Job vacancies mostly bound for Middle East (ME), Canada and New Zealand are available for engineers, nurses and other medical courses.

Local jobs include among others sales clerk, baggers, customer assistants and call center agents.

Benitez further clarified that the activity is also open to residents outside of this city as long as they are qualified for the job.

Those who are interested may bring their resume with 2x2 picture and other pertinent data on the day of the job fair.

DPWH reports over 80% completion of P639-M infra projects in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 13 (PNA) — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) here disclosed completion of more than 80 percent at the average of five major projects that were implemented here starting 2012.

The projects worth some P639 million were facilitated by Senator Franklin Drilon. They are expected to ease traffic in the city and boost development in the city.

Data from the DPWH showed that four sections of the widening of the new Iloilo to Capiz road have achieved an average of 70.87 percent accomplishment as of end of December. These include the 7.01-kilometer Jaro-Leganes section at 96.38 percent; one-km Leganes section within Leganes town proper, 13.5 percent; 2.2-km Leganes section, 95. 60 percent and one-km Leganes-Zarraga Boundary section, 78 percent.

The entire widening project is worth P159.63 million.

On the other hand, the 11-859 km Metro Iloilo Radial Road (R-4) worth P172 million is already 88.35 completed. The ongoing works include the construction of drainage, slope protection works, metal guardrails, installation of streetlights with underground electrical lines and flat slab bridge.

The construction of the floodway bridge on the other hand is 80.91 completed. All copings are already completed and the pre-stressed girders are scheduled to be installed in early January next year. This 90-lineal meter bridge with the contract amount of P41.7 million will connect the Metro Iloilo Radial Road and section D of the Iloilo Circumferential Road.

The Iloilo Circumferential Road-1 (C-1) is implemented in five sections. Currently, three are ongoing to include sections C, D and E while sections A and B will be implemented this year.

As of end of 2012 the 1.925-km Section C, which is located at junction of Iloilo-Sta. Barabara and Iloilo-Tacas roads amounting to P123.51 million is 93.06 percent completed. Section D situated along junction of Tacas and Iloilo Roxas roads with a length of 1.8375 km with fund allocation of P117. 273 million is 83. 24 percent done. The last section, the 930-lineal meter section E along junction of Jaro-Leganes and Iloilo Costal roads with a budget of P22.5 million is already 95.46 completed.

Meanwhile, the 90 lineal-meter Jaro Bridge, which is being constructed to connect sections B and C of the circumferential road is already 52 percent done. The ongoing works for the P52.38 million project include bored piling for the bridge substructure and casting of girders for the superstructure.

Drilon has poured in more than P2 billion worth of projects in Iloilo City that are expected to benefit not only residents of the metropolis but adjacent towns as well.

Rabies prevention and control program in WV gaining ground


ILOILO CITY, Jan 12 (PIA6) - - The rabies prevention and control program in Western Visayas is gaining ground as the number of cases of animal bites and human rabies showed a decreasing trend based on the data presented by the Department of Health-Center for Health Development 6 recently.

In her report during the first meeting of the Western Visayas Regional Technical Working Group of Rabies Prevention and Control Program for this year 2013 held in this city, DOH 6 Regional Rabies Nurse Coordinator Cristina de Guzman said that as of 3rd quarter of 2012 around 21,112 cases of animal bites were recorded in the region. For the whole year of 2011, animal bite cases in the region reached 34, 619.

De Guzman said there were four people who died due to suspected rabies infection as of September last year. The infection killed 8 persons in the region in 2011.

Among the cities and provinces in the region that showed decreasing trends as far as their cases of animal bites as of the 3rd quarter of 2012 are Iloilo with 6,571 cases; Iloilo City with 948 cases; and Aklan with 1,175.

De Guzman cited two reasons for the decreasing number of cases of animal bites in the region. The first reason is the increased awareness of the public on responsible pet ownership and the second is the improvement on the help seeking behavior of the residents.

“They are now aware that once bitten they have to seek medical care from our bite treatment centers,” said de Guzman. The region has 34 functional animal bite centers including the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

The good practices being implemented by the various local government units in the region as part of their rabies control and prevention measures in their respective localities were also noted to be a contributing factor in the decreasing trend.

Currently, two islands in the region are completing their documentation as part of their pre-declaration activities as rabies free islands. These are Boracay and Guimaras islands.

In his report, RTWG on Rabies Control and Prevention Program Chairman Dr. Peter Sobrevega of the Department of Agriculture said out of the 754, 148 dog population in the region, 66 percent or some 541,668 of them have been vaccinated against rabies last year.

DOT helps Korean understand Ilonggo’s culture


ILOILO City, Jan. 11 (PNA) –– The Department of Tourism (DOT)in Western Visayas is starting to translate Iloilo’s tourism promotion materials in Korean for their easy understanding of Ilonggo’s culture and heritage.

The materials that will have Korean versions are the five brochures containing the map, tourism destinations, and historical facts about the city and province of Iloilo previously printed in English.

“We are doing this for the convenience of our Korean tourists,” said DOT-6 OIC Regional Director Helen Catalbas.

Catalbas said the materials are translated by Korean language instructors based in the Metro and will be assessed and validated by Korean experts from their central office.

These materials are expected to be readily available in seaports, airports, restaurants, and hotels accredited by DOT-6 later this month or before the second quarter of the year.

Koreans are among the largest group of foreign tourists visiting the region, particularly in the city and province of Iloilo.

Last year alone, Catalbas said that the region welcomed P2.1 million tourists, of which, 184,992 were Koreans, 93,407 were Taiwanese, 84,186 were Chinese, 20,603 were Americans, 15,237 were Australian and 14,810 were Russians.

Other foreign markets contributing significantly to last year’s arrivals were Japan (8,841), United Kingdom (8,729), Germany (8,098), and Hong Kong (7,591).

Relief assistance for 'Quinta' victims in WV reaches P7.8-M

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

ILOILO CITY, Jan 10 (PIA6) -- Relief assistance worth P7.8 million have already been extended by the Department of Social Welfare and Development – 6 (DSWD-6) as well as by local government units to families and individuals adversely affected by typhoon “Quinta” in Western Visayas especially in the provinces of Aklan, Capiz, and Iloilo.

The assistance included family food packs part of which National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Office of Civil Defense Administrator Usec. Benito Ramos brought with him when he visited areas in the region affected by Quinta.

Included in the DSWD assistance was the P10, 000 financial aid released by the agency to every family of typhoon casualties numbering 17 with two missing according to the RDRRMC report.

Based on its situationer report as of January 7, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) chaired by OCD-6 Regional Director Rosario T. Cabrera said only 300 families with 1,800 individual members now remain in evacuation centers out of thousands of families who were displaced by flooding and other geologic hazards triggered by the tropical depression.

The regional council also noted that the typhoon also wrought damages to agriculture at P67.5 million, irrigation facilities with P12 million, and infrastructures with P349.5 million or a total value of P429 million. The affected irrigation facilities were located in the municipalities of Malinao and Ibajay in Aklan.

These damages were caused by landslides and flooding, the RDRRMC said.

Earlier, Department of Agriculture - Region 6 (DA-6) Regional Executive Director Larry Nacionales said that farmers whose crops were affected by typhoon Quinta will be given assistance in the form of certified seeds for rice farmers, hybrid seeds for those who planted corn, and vegetable seeds for high value crops growers.

The NDRRMC/OCD also has a P10, 000 financial assistance for each family of typhoon casualties.

DOST eyes strengthening of Project NOAH for disaster preparation

  • Source:Relief assistance for 'Quinta' victims in WV reaches P7.8-M
  • Wednesday, January 9, 2013
By Jaime S. Cabag, Jr. (JCM/JSC-PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, Jan 10 (PIA6) -- Relief assistance worth P7.8 million have already been extended by the Department of Social Welfare and Development – 6 (DSWD-6) as well as by local government units to families and individuals adversely affected by typhoon “Quinta” in Western Visayas especially in the provinces of Aklan, Capiz, and Iloilo.

The assistance included family food packs part of which National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Office of Civil Defense Administrator Usec. Benito Ramos brought with him when he visited areas in the region affected by Quinta.

Included in the DSWD assistance was the P10, 000 financial aid released by the agency to every family of typhoon casualties numbering 17 with two missing according to the RDRRMC report.

Based on its situationer report as of January 7, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) chaired by OCD-6 Regional Director Rosario T. Cabrera said only 300 families with 1,800 individual members now remain in evacuation centers out of thousands of families who were displaced by flooding and other geologic hazards triggered by the tropical depression.

The regional council also noted that the typhoon also wrought damages to agriculture at P67.5 million, irrigation facilities with P12 million, and infrastructures with P349.5 million or a total value of P429 million. The affected irrigation facilities were located in the municipalities of Malinao and Ibajay in Aklan.

These damages were caused by landslides and flooding, the RDRRMC said.

Earlier, Department of Agriculture - Region 6 (DA-6) Regional Executive Director Larry Nacionales said that farmers whose crops were affected by typhoon Quinta will be given assistance in the form of certified seeds for rice farmers, hybrid seeds for those who planted corn, and vegetable seeds for high value crops growers.

The NDRRMC/OCD also has a P10, 000 financial assistance for each family of typhoon casualties.

Iloilo City pushes regulation of firecracker use, not total ban


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 8 (PNA) -- The city government here is pushing for the regulated use of firecrackers instead of several proposals of a total ban.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog took into account families that will be affected once the total ban is imposed, especially since the city has been supporting a cooperative of firecracker manufacturers in Arevalo district.

“We have to continue helping them with their livelihood,” he said.

He added the city government is willing to assist the cooperative if it decides to shift to a safer livelihood.

Last week, the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) in Region 6 wanted local government units (LGUs) to pass an ordinance banning the use of firecrackers.

Firecracker-related injuries in Western Visayas increased this year amid the agency’s intensified campaign against its use.

DOT sees brighter prospects for WVisayas tourism in 2013

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

ILOILO CITY, Jan 7 (PIA) – Prospects for the tourism industry in Western Visayas look bright in 2013.

In a radio interview, Department of Tourism 6 (DOT-6) Regional Director Atty. Helen Catalbas said recent developments will further boost tourism in the region.

“It is favorable that the Chinese government has allowed the resumption of tourists’ arrival from China with Region VI as one of their major destinations,” said Catalbas.

With the Iloilo airport having opened its first international flights to and from Hong Kong and Singapore, the DOT official shared that statistics and data were very encouraging for these revealed that visitors who have come here were not only from these countries but also from other places in Asia and Europe.

“We are also pushing for the standard chartered flights in Bacolod-Silay Airport to resume by January or February so we are ironing out the customs, immigration, quarantine and other requirements,” said Catalbas.

She further said that DOT is also exploring the possibility of opening flights to other international destinations such as Incheon and Busan in South Korea.

Meanwhile, the report from DOT-6 indicated that as of November 2012, Boracay already breached the 1 million target tourist arrivals.

“Last year, if the target for tourist arrivals for Boracay was 1 million; for 2013, the target is set at 1.2 million,” said Catalbas.

Catalbas also said that in Iloilo, cultural tour packages comprising of visits to historic churches and ancestral houses are already being offered, where tourists learn their history and appreciate the interior of these edifices up-close.

“Soon, DOT-6 will organize cultural product development in the central business district of Iloilo City and a walking tour of the downtown,” added Catalbas.

Iloilo business sector to sustain gains of 2012


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 6 (PNA) –Members of the Iloilo business sector were banking on gains attained in 2012 to speed up more developments in 2013.

Lea Lara, executive director of the Iloilo Business Club (IBC) expressed hope that the gains in 2012, especially for the real estate sector, would have multiplier effects in terms of generating jobs, opening more businesses and other related services.

“We are more or less looking at the second wave of business that will rise and serve as venue for small and medium enterprise,” she said.

She also expressed hope for the academe to meet the manpower requirement of businesses that are about to open in the city.

“This year two new hotels are expected to open that will generate more than 200 jobs,” she enthused.

She added that last year the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) was planning a scheme to offer more courses that would meet the needs of the tourism industry.

Lara said the tourism and the services sector are the two most crucial and complementing factors that could spur development.

She also hoped that the agriculture sector would be able to come up with a good program to meet the demand for food of the growing tourism sector.

She also expressed hope that other issues such as the energy and need for sustainable solution to transportation concerns would be properly addressed.

“In all these developments, we hope that the green practices would be considered because we would like to see Iloilo maintain its quality of life more than anything else,” she added.

Foreign envoys to witness Dinagyang Festival


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 5 (PNA) -- Iloilo’s 45th Dinagyang Festival will have five foreign envoys among its confirmed guests.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that the Ambassadors from Australia, Germany, France, Brunei and Korea will witness for the time the world-renowned festival, which was recently conferred the 2012 Galing Pook awardee.

Last year United States Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas and South Africa Ambassador Agnes Nyamande Pitso were among the dignitaries who expressed admiration over Dinagyang.

The mayor also said that he was also expecting politicians to flock the city adding that he was looking forward to some 1.5 million people witnessing the 45th year of the festival.

The week-long celebration that will kick off on Jan. 25 will be offering plenty of events for the public to enjoy; food festival, religious activities such as fluvial procession and "sadsad," drum and lyre competition, fireworks in the sky, Kasadyahan Regional Cultural competition and the Ati-ati street dance competition, among others.

Mayor Mabilog also confirmed that two noontime variety shows of the ABS-CBN and the GMA TV stations will perform on the 27th of January, simultaneous with the Ati-ati street dance competition.

DENR 6 turns over funds for mangrove rehab, waterways clean-up


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 4 (PNA) -- Two local government units (LGUs) in Iloilo are recipients of fund from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that will be utilized for the removal, transfer, transplanting and pruning of mangroves in their respective areas.

The city government here received P2.929 million fund while Oton town got P2.077 million.

The release was in line with the directive of DENR 6 regional executive director Adeluisa G. Siapno to hasten the delivery and accomplishment of the various programs and projects of the office, particularly in the rehabilitation, protection and preservation of the Iloilo River.

With the amount, the city government shall take charge for the balling and transfer of 1,666 mangrove species and 630 nipa clumps in eight barangays – Taft North, Bolilao and Bakhaw in Mandurriao; Calubihan, Desamparados, Our lady of Lourdes and San Vicente in Jaro and, Magsaysay in Lapaz – which impede the smooth flow of water along Dungon Creek.

The municipality of Oton shall be responsible to clear the waterway of 1,099 mangroves and 4,203 of nipa clumps and other trees species traversing in the six barangays of Alegre, San Antonio, San Nicolas, Poblacion West, Poblacion North and Tagbac Sur along Batiano River.

The fund was turned over recently to by forester Raul L. Lorilla, the chief of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of the DENR in Iloilo to city mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog and Oton mayor Vincent Flores.

Quinta" highlights importance of disaster preparedness


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 3 (PNA) -- The effects of tropical depression “Quinta” should serve as another lesson on the importance of disaster preparedness.

This was according to Undersecretary Benito Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) administrator who also said that typhoon should teach us to be always prepared.

"And we should also remember that whenever there is a weather disturbance anywhere in the Philippines, there is no place that will not be affected," he explained.

For a long time, he said, areas in Mindanao had not been visited by a typhoon but with the climate change, the place is now experiencing it.

The NDRRMC and OCD official also said that with the increasing frequency of typhoons visiting the country every year, disaster management should now be a way of life for Filipinos.

"We should always be prepared for any contingency brought about by a natural calamity. This is a responsibility not only of the national and local governments but also of all people," Ramos stressed.

Ramos was in Iloilo City to turn over food packs to the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the victims of typhoon Quinta, the last to hit the country in 2012.

He also conducted an aerial inspection on Dec. 30 of the typhoon-hit areas in the island of Panay together with RDRRMC chairperson and OCD Regional Director Rosario Cabrera and other OCD and RDRRMC members.

The RDRRMC and OCD reported that a total of 52,157 families equivalent to 251,152 persons were affected by typhoon Quinta from 544 barangays in 40 towns and 4 component cities in Western Visayas.

Some 1,610 houses were totally damaged with 3,543 partially destroyed. Also, 15 persons die of drowning and electrocution, with three remained missing.

The typhoon, which triggered flooding and landslides, also damaged millions of pesos worth of agricultural crops and infrastructures.

DTI eyes more investments for Iloilo in 2013


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 2 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) expected an increase on investments in 2013 especially on business process outsourcing (BPO) industry and tourism-related developments.

DTI Iloilo director Wilhelm Malones said they looked forward to preparing the city and province of Iloilo to become more business-friendly with the help of the Project Investment Enabling Environment Project (INVEST) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

"We are looking at Iloilo as one of the country’s Next Wave Cities, an ideal destination both for voiced and non-voiced BPOs," he said.

The new policy of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) provided more incentives to those that will relocate to Cebu, he said.

Malones said that around three BPO firms have signified interests to explore the possibility of relocating in Iloilo.

Meanwhile, Malones added that a P10 billion investment in Sicogon Island, Carles by the Sicogon Development Corp. in partnership with a Singaporean Group will boost Iloilo as tourism destination.

The expanded airport runway was also a big factor to increase tourist arrivals in the city as it could now accommodate bigger planes.

In Sicogon,the construction of a five-star hotel, seaport and airport at th 918-hectare area of Buaya, San Fernando and Alipata villages in Sicogon will surely boost the tourism industry in the entire province.

Sicogon is known for its white beach comparable to that of Boracay Island.

LTO goes full swing in the implementation Motorcycle Helmet Act


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 2 (PNA) -- The Land Transportation Office (LTO) went on full swing with the implementation of Republic Act 10054 otherwise known as the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 starting Wednesday.

LTO regional director Dennis Singson said "there is no more stopping the implementation of the law."

“It has been deferred for a long time due to requests on helmet specifications,” he said.

He added that a lot of time has already been given to allow motorcycle owners to secure a standard helmet.

"They no longer have to organize a special operations group for the implementation, instead the apprehension of violators will now be part of the routine task of the LTO and deputized agents," he said

The LTO 6 for the period January to November 2012 has registered 182, 998 in Western Visayas.

In Negros Occidental registered motorcycle owners include 25,846 from Bacolod district office (DO); Himamaylan DO, 5, 625; Cadiz DO, 4989; Pontevedra (DO), 10, 764 and San Carlos (DO), 10, 144.

Antique has DO 8,849; Kalibo DO has 17, 515 and Guimaras has 2, 681 registered motorcycle owners.

In Iloilo, registered motorcycle owners include Iloilo City DO,17,965; Guimbal DO, 5, 735; Barotac Viejo, 12, 031 and Calinog DO, 10, 464.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has already culminated providing stickers bearing the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) to motorcycle helmets last Dec 31, 2012.

Initial data gathered from DTI information officer Ruby Melliza showed 41, 613 motorcycle helmets were provided with ICC marks composed of 7, 895 in Aklan; 2, 632 from Antique; 4, 814 from Capiz; 833 from Guimaras; 17, 281 in Iloilo and 8, 158 from Negros Occidental.

The stickering provided by the DTI only served as transition and it is believed that other motorcycle owners already have purchased helmets with ICC marks.

For national declaration: RDRRMC-6 wants PNoy to place 3 provinces in state of calamity

By Jennifer P. Rendon (The Freeman)

ILOILO CITY, Philippines --- Members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC)-Region 6 on Friday’s emergency meeting unanimously approved the passing of a resolution requesting President Benigno S. Aquino III to declare three provinces in Western Visayas under state of calamity.

RDRRMC-6 Resolution No. VI-Series 2012 cited that tropical depression Quinta, which pummeled the region last December 25-26, brought tremendous damage to life and property.

On the same day, Capiz and Iloilo provinces were placed under state of calamity because of the wide destruction left by Quinta.

According to Ma. Aletha Nogra of the RDRRMC-6 secretariat, the national declaration of state of calamity on three provinces would further boost the earlier declaration made by their respective provincial government.

“Once there would be a national declaration, these provinces have the opportunity to receive international assistance for rehabilitation and recovery programs,” she explained.

As it is, Nogra said more help is needed for long-term programs that should be implemented the soonest time possible to affected communities.

As of Sunday morning, RDRRMC-6 said Quinta affected 39,020 families composed of 171,742 individuals. There were 298 houses totally damaged and 1,159 partially destroyed.

Iloilo province was the most “battered” area with 25,298 affected families and 10 casualties; Capiz recorded 10,368 affected families and two deaths, while Aklan has 3,254 affected families and two deaths.

RDRRMC-6 also reported that 19,098.45 hectares of farmland were damaged, and the damage to agriculture was pegged at more than P63 million. On the other hand, the damage to infrastructure was estimated at P72 million.

Last Saturday, Undersecretary Benito Ramos, OCD administrator and NDRRMC executive director, visited the affected areas in Iloilo province. He brought 2,500 packs, each consisting of rice, noodles and ready-to-eat foods like biscuits and canned goods to affected families.

The relief goods were just the initial release from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Ramos also did an aerial survey on the damage left by Quinta in Panay Island.