Iloilo City News January 2014

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Iloilo City - Archived News

Seal of Iloilo City
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Iloilo City, Iloilo
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Map Locator of Iloilo City
Aerial View of Iloilo City
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Aerial View of Iloilo City
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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Molo Church, Iloilo City
Iloilo dinagyang festival.jpg
The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan.
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Iloilo City rules arnis-anyo in Batang Pinoy


BACOLOD CITY, Jan. 31 (PNA) -- Iloilo City collected nine gold medals to dominate the arnis-anyo competition in the 2013 Philippine Youth Games-Batang Pinoy National Finals at the second level of the Panaad Stadium here.

The feat duplicated the Ilonggos’ performance in the Visayas leg held in Maasin City, Southern Leyte last September.

Crystal AJ Bartonico was the most dominant performer, winning six gold medals – three for her individual performance and three in team events in the girls division.

She won the gold in the girls single weapon solo performance over Iligan City’s Juhaila Harim and Jennifer Manas of Iloilo-Cabatuan.

Bartonico also dominated the double weapon solo performance over Mandaue City’s Krizel Angana and Cagayan de Oro City’s Britney Josh Abines.

She ruled as well the girls sword and dagger solo performance against Angana and Baguio City’s Norielyn Joy Sagun.

Bartonico is part of the girls single weapon team that won the gold medal along with Marjolene Pudadera and Maria Chabilita Gonzalodo. Their team also dominated the girls double weapon, and sword and dagger competition.

Iloilo City also won the gold in boys single weapon, double weapon and sword and dagger team competitions with brothers John Carlo, John Clark and John Christian Segutier.

Iloilo Province’s Evan Jannery Pinas won the gold in boys double weapon solo performance over Aklan’s Jasper Jake Daliva and John Carl Segutier of Iloilo City.

Aklan’s John Lloyd Salazar dominated the boys sword and dagger solo performance against Pinas and Segutier.

Rizal Province’s Marc Andrew Orcena ruled the boys single weapon solo performance against Pinas and Cagayan de Oro’s Marluoie Dalaguan.

TESDA receives P1-M cash assistance for improvement of Iloilo office


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 30 (PNA) – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) received Thursday morning P1 million cash assistance from Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. for the improvement of TESDA-Iloilo office along Zamora St. here.

TESDA Iloilo Director Toni Tamayo, in receiving the funding assistance with TESDA Regional Director Yolanda Porschwitz, said that there is an urgent need for them to improve the TESDA Iloilo office for they are now in the process of getting the International Standard Organization (ISO) certification for quality management system.

He also said that the improvement of their office could enable them to serve better residents of Iloilo province who want to avail of TESDA skills training.

Tamayo said that with the fund now they intend to start the improvement work as soon as possible. The money will particularly be spent for the improvement of the customer lounge, records room and other facilities as part of the safety requirements for ISO certification.

The ISO certification is important for it will show that the skills training programs offered by TESDA are of international standard. Thus, their graduates will also meet the requirements of other countries when they apply for employment.

UN-OCHA official praises resilience of people of Region 6


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 29 (PIA6) – The top official of the United Nations-Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) in Region 6 praised the people of the region for their resilience, which can bring forth quick recovery from destruction wrought by typhoon “Yolanda”.

Fernando Arroyo said that we can complete the recovery phase very quickly in the region because of one “very, very important factor”, which is the resilience of the people.

In fact, Arroyo said this characteristic has been praised by everyone and by every external actor (foreign humanitarian institution) around.

“At the end of the day, that is the most important thing to have,’ said Arroyo, who hails from Spain. Referring to ongoing international humanitarian initiatives and local actions, he added: “We can plan, discuss and design interventions and strategies, but if the people are not resilient themselves, nothing much will be achieved.”

In fact, areas hit by the super typhoon have started to get back on track due to this resilience coupled with the needed responses given by the government and various initiatives introduced by foreign humanitarian organizations in a coordinated manner with other sectors.

Arroyo led the workshop on the cluster approach and coordination organized by UN-OCHA on Jan. 28 here to establish a clear understanding among partners of various coordination structures that exist and to make sure that the coordination structure of international organizations is working in harmony and synergy with the Philippine coordination structure.

This, he said, is important as UN-OCHA is gradually leaving the country along with other organizations that came here first and let other international organizations come in to work for the long or medium term recovery and rehabilitation of areas affected by the super typhoon.

International organizations are changing and are leaving little by little and those coming in are working for the long or medium term and it is particularly important that they line up with the coordination structures of the government, Arroyo said.

Nevertheless, he said these organizations will stay as long as needed although they will need to coordinate closely with authorities here.

In Region 6 and in the Philippines in general, he said the resilience of the people is very, very considerable, so every action which is undertaken ends up in a successful way.

“So I think that is a guarantee that things will keep on evolving in the right way,” said Arroyo.

Mobile travel guide now in Iloilo

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

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 28 (PIA6) --- Traveling and exploring Iloilo is made easy with the release of the Iloilo Guide mobile phone application.

Iloilo Guide, a mobile application for phones and tablets, can serve as portable reference of tourists visiting Iloilo.

The guide is part of the nationwide Digital Tourism program of Cebu-based new media startup InnoPub Media and the country's telecommunications leader Smart Communications, Inc.

It is supported by the Department of Tourism-Western Visayas, the Iloilo City Government and the Philippines' leading low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific Air.

Max Limpag, Co-Founder of InnoPub Media, said the program uses technology to enhance tourism which are two things the Philippines is known for.

“It seeks to harness digital tools to enhance tourism experience by providing tourists with timely, accurate and relevant information on devices that they carry around with them: phones and tablets,” he said.

Iloilo Guide provides tourists with information about Iloilo and tips on places to visit during their trip. It also contains a guide on food visitors should try.

The app also contains a directory of DOT-accredited tour guides and tour operators. It also contains a listing of important government offices, hospitals and emergency units like the police and fire departments.

Limpag said that many places mentioned and listed in the guide have a “check location” link that, when pressed, uses the gadget's GPS to check where the tourist is and show her where the tourism spot is located and provide a suggested route to get there.

On one hand, Atty. Maria Jane C. Paredes, Smart senior manager for Public Affairs Group - Visayas and Mindanao, said tourism and technology can help people connect closer to local communities and can help spur economies.

The Iloilo Guide will be actively updated in the coming months to include more information to help tourists make the most of their visit in Iloilo.

Iloilo City is top implementor of 4Ps in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 27 (PNA) -– This highly urbanized southern city was selected by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office as the top implementer of the government’s pro-poor Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Western Visayas.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog keynoted the program of DSWD in celebration of its 63rd anniversary in this city and received the award as the only local government unit (LGU) cited as outstanding in the implementation of the program for indigent families.

Likewise, Alfredo Villanueva, Iloilo City Social Welfare and Development Officer, was awarded a plaque of recognition as the only LGU social welfare officer rated top implementor of the program.

Mabilog said the city government is helping more than 5,000 4Ps recipients and more are expected to be added this year.

Other awardees are non-government organizations in the region including Abante Aklan Inc., SOS Children’s Village, Kalipay Negrense, Good Shepherds, and Signpost International.

DSWD also awarded top implementors of other pro-poor banner programs. Kalahi-CIDSS winners are Sibunag, Guimaras; New Washington, Aklan; Tangalan, Aklan; Barangay Omlot, Laua-an, Antique; BSPMC of Maabay, Sibunag, Guimaras; BSPMC of Baybay, Tangalan, Aklan; Province of Iloilo and Barangay Balanac, Janiuay, Iloilo.

Awardees in the social livelihood program are KRYZ Culinary Arts and Restaurant Services Institute (KCARSI) and the Western Visayas College of Science and Technology.

DSWD also cited 34 typhoon Yolanda response volunteers, 28 regional media outlets, 10 centers and institutions, 13 social welfare development linkages-Net (SWDL-Net) and 10 social welfare and development associations (SWDAs).

Foreign tourists in great awe of Dinagyang Festival 2014

By Annabel J. Petinglay [(PNA), CTB/AJPETINGLAY/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 26 (PNA) – Foreign tourists who took time to witness the two-day highlight of the Dinagyang Festival 2014 found themselves in great awe with the performances.

Agnieszka Kasprzak, who is a freelance journalist from Poland, said that she has been into different countries to witness the festivals that she could write about and take pictures, was enticed through the internet to see the Dinagyang Festival for the first time this year.

She said that she came with her four other friends to witness the event and indeed she’s amazed with the competing tribes performances that she would like to come back next year for a longer time.

She said that this year they are only spending two days in order to witness the Kasadyahan Regional Cultural Showcase held Saturday and today, Sunday for the Ati-ati Tribe Competition. She said that she could not help but to take a lot of pictures from the tribes.

”I like the festival. I took colorful pictures. It’s like magic,” Agnieszka stressed.

Another Canadian, Luke Myers who is a counselor at the Embassy of Canada in Manila said that he has kept coming back here in Iloilo city for Dinagyang Festival for there’s lots of fun.

Myers said that every year he finds innovations in the tribes performances as well as the costumes so elaborate.

He said that the festival is absolutely an international event, with the champion Ati-ati Tribe having been invited already to America.

He said that the Ati-ati Tribe having been invited already to perform in Canada could surely be a good showcase of Iloilo city.

Myers cited the tribe Sinadya sa Halaran of Roxas City, Capiz that re-enlivened the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda in Saturday's Kasadyahan.

“I give the group credit. They had a very good drama at the beginning,” Myers said. He recalled how he and the 250 Canadian military personnel became so involved in the emergency response and relief operations.

Meanwhile, Filipino American Janette Becker from Wisconsin, USA said that it’s her first time to witness the event and she is so impressed. “I am in awe with the performances. I took a lot of pictures of the performances,” Becker added.

She said that the presentations were unique and only in the Philippines. There’s a story behind every presentation,”Becker, who is from Davao prior to migrating to the US, said.

City Mayor Mabilog opens Kasadyahan Cultural Showcase


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 25 (PNA) – Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog formally opened this morning the Kasadyahan Regional Cultural Showcase which is one of the highlights of the world class Dinagyang Festival 2014.

Mabilog said the Kasadyahan not only reminds the people of the richness and uniqueness of the people of Iloilo but that it brings foremost the energy and unity of the people of Iloilo city and province as well as of the entire Western Visayas region.

He said that Iloilo is taking the lead to bring before the eyes of the nation the importance of the Western Visayas as a region with Iloilo being the seat of government and of trade and commerce.

The Kasadyahan is being participated this year by 11 competing tribes that will perform through dance and song and the loud beatings of their local instruments the unique culture, lifestyle and the strong devotion of the people to their patron Sto. Nino.

This year it is well participated by other provinces in the region that have sent their performing tribes. Winning tribes of the respective festivals in Western Visayas have been sent today to perform.

The competing tribes are Bacolod Masskara Festival of Bacolod City; Saad Festival of Leganes, Iloilo province; Manggahan Festival of Iloilo Guimaras province; Tribu Hugyaw Kansilay of Silay City, Negros Occidental; Tribu Pan-ay of Fort San Pedro, Iloilo City; Sinadya sa Halaran of Roxas City ; Hugyaw Tribe of St. Therese MTC College, Iloilo City; Kalibo Sto. Nino of Aklan province; Tribu Banigan of Libertad, Antique; Panublion of Professional Electronics Institute, Iloilo City; and, Pinta Flores of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

Each tribe is being allowed 50 to 70 dancers and 30 instrumentalists to accompany them.

The tribes will perform in three judging areas J.M. Basa and Arsenal Sts. Corner Iznart & Solis Streets and then Gen. Luna and Quezon Sts. corner Quezon and Delgado Sts. and finally at Ledesma and Iznart Sts. corner Iznart De Leon Sts. here in Iloilo city.

The best performing group will receive P150,000.00 cash prize tomorrow during the awarding ceremonies.

Meanwhile, Mayor Mabilog said just like the Ati-atihan Competition of the Dinagyang that will be tomorrow he is confident that sooner the Kasadyahan will also become famous that the entire nation and world would anticipate every year because of the well crafted choreography and performances.

Mayor orders clean-up of all Dinagyang judging areas


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 24 (PNA) -– Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog ordered the city's fire volunteer brigade to conduct the thorough cleaning and flushing of all the four Dinagyang Festival judging areas in the city proper on Friday night in time before the festival's highlights.

Dinagyang Festival's highlight is on January 24-16, 2014.

Mayor Mabilog made the move after receiving complaints of the foul urine odor emanating from the performance areas along Dinagyang parade routes.

The mayor said cleaning and flushing of the areas will be done in the evening since there were Dinagyang activities and special events at daytime. He also said the city’s beautification program is ongoing, including cleaning of stages and surrounding areas.

Dinagyang is Iloilo City’s version of the Ati-Atihan festival widely celebrated not only in Panay Island but also in other parts of the country.

Korean Red Cross to assist Iloilo province in recovery projects


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 23 (PNA)--The Korean Red Cross intends to assist Iloilo province in undertaking recovery projects such as the construction of shelter and repair of school buildings.

Director Kim Seong Keun of the Korean Red Cross together with their organization’s field coordinator Han Goo Lee came to the office of Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr. on Thursday at the capitol in order to inform him of their assistance.

The Korean Red Cross wants to provide assistance in the tune of US $ 5 million based on the result of their field assessment conducted starting Thursday until Jan. 28.

Dir. Kim Seong Keun and the field coordinator of the Korean Red Cross visited Gov. Defensor accompanied by Ramon Cua Locsin, chairman of the Red Cross Iloilo Chapter, whom the governor also took the opportunity to thank for the many help extended to Iloilo province immediately after typhoon "Yolanda".

The Red Cross Iloilo Chapter has helped feed the typhoon survivors and distributed relief goods as well as extended the much needed medical assistance then.

Dinagyang out to conquer the world


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 22 (PNA) -– The homegrown Dinagyang Festival, the pride of this southern city, is out to conquer the world as trips to foreign countries within this year are being proposed by the city government and the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI).

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that officials of the city and the Foundation are set to meet the multi-sectoral stakeholders soon after the Dinagyang Festival to discuss the proposal of sending the winning Dinagyang Ati-atihan tribe to perform in other countries, possibly in Hongkong, Singapore and Canada within this year.

Mabilog said it is about time that Dinagyang be leveled up and sent to the world for other countries where there are many Filipinos to see the performance of the pride of Iloilo.

“It is about time that Dinagyang levels up and goes for the global market. As a 6th time champion of the national Aliwan Festival, we have already proven that Dinagyang is the best tourism event of the country,” Mabilog said.

The city executive said that overseas Filipino workers will have the chance to see the Dinagyang in the three countries and they might be enticed to go back home and see the performance every fourth week of January.

Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation president Ramon Cua Locsin said he is amenable to the proposal and the joint city and foundation expenses for sending a Dinagyang contingent to the annual national Aliwan Festival in Metro Manila amounted to about P4 million.

Locsin said the Dinagyang Festival has already earned international and national recognitions and being the undisputed national Aliwan champion for the past six years.

The expenses for the Aliwan participation this year could be diverted to the Hongkong and Singapore trips to stir more recognition from Filipinos abroad, who could be encouraged to come home to Iloilo and see the real thing.

The Canada trip of Dinagyang will be sponsored by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Tourism Promotions Board to Calgary, Canada within this year.

30 participants in Dinagyang Pyromusical Olympics 2014


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 21 (PNA)-– A total of 30 participants will vie for honors and cash prizes in the 4th Luces in the Sky 2014 competition slated on January 23-24 as important colorful side events of the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival.

Luces committee chairman Edwin Trompeta said the first 15 entries will be scheduled to shoot and display on January 23 and the other 15 entries on January 24.

The participants for fireworks display are Zea Sandy Fireworks from Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Sentak Marketing in Iloilo City; CRH Enterprises from Cabuyao City, Laguna; Pick-up Shop in Iloilo City; One Hexis Enterprises in Iloilo City; Iloilo Society Commercial in Iloilo City; V Lebrilla Fireworks from Cabuyao, Laguna; Golden Js Fireworks from Bocaue, Bulacan; Extacy Fireworks from Bocaue, Bulacan and Scorpion Iloilo fireworks in Iloilo City.

Participants for the Luces in the Sky are Digispec Fireworks, St. Michaels, Wahing, Frenz’m, Sanicom, DSS Fireworks, LF, Rambolet, Pyroheaven, Bathna’s, Al Aquino, Pyro Creation, E & B, Legend, Tsing Tang, Sky Intensity, MYmona, Jamels, Avila and Diamond fireworks.

Trompeta said the prizes are P120,000 for the first placer, P100,000 for the second, P80,000 for the third and P40,000 each subsidy for all entries. All entries will have a minimum of five minutes of fireworks display.

Dinagyang, a successful public-private partnership

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

ILOILO CITY, January 20 (PIA) --- The annual Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is a strong manifestation of a successful private-public partnership that showcases the rich Ilonggo culture and heritage.

In his welcome remarks during the Opening Salvo of Dinagyang Festival held Friday, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that the yearly festival showcases a very strong stakeholders’ support and cooperation for the great success of every developmental endeavor in the city.

He said that even former Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn of Palawan was amazed at the strong commitment and enthusiasm of the people behind the spectacular event.

The Dinagyang Festival was recognized as the 1st Hall of Fame Best Tourism Event Awardee in 2009 by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP).

It is also the first religious-cultural celebration in the country to be conferred the prestigious Galing Pook Award.

Mabilog said he is confident that Dinagyang will continue to sustain the showcase of Ilonggo’s rich culture and heritage, the excellent craftsmanship, the outstanding talents and skills and being hailed as a world class festival.

With this year’s theme “Bringing More Fun to the World,” Dinagyang remains to be the leading tourism, cultural, religious and socio-economic promotional vehicle and symbol of Iloilo City’s continuing progress and sustainable development.

The two-day grand highlights of the festival will be the Kasadyahan regional cultural contest and the Ati-Ati tribes competition slated on January 25-26, 2014.

US Peace Corps volunteer helps `build the builders’


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 19 (PNA)-- Helping abused children working on their recovery, coaching them to find their strengths, and move on has always been the way of life for workers at the Home for Girls. But a US Peace Corps volunteer has taught them to love their job and at the same time love themselves.

Home, a center for young girl victims of abuse managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region VI, was the place of assignment of Tamorah Hawthorne of Arlington, Texas since September 2012 to September of this year. With the more than one year period, she has carved her place in the hearts of the staff and residents.

“I thought it was about time to also give attention to the workers who help the children. So I, along with social worker Roqueta Aquio, thought of implementing the “Building the Builders Project.” We wanted a project that would positively affect the lives of the residents (referring to girl residents of the center) and that is investing in the staff through staff development,” said Hawthorne.

She illustrated the importance of the project into a flowering plant in a pot. “It’s like the pot is the center, the soil is the staff and the flowers are the children. For the flowers to blossom beautifully, the soil must be rich,” she said.

The project implementation began with the retreat conducted in September at Alobijod Cove Resort in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras. The goal of the activity was to renew, energize and have a venue for bonding among the staff.

Topics included personal assets, team building, vision, mission and goal design, self-care, positive and objective feedback and personal baggage.

It was followed by the three-month staff development series with the goal of increasing professional and technical skills of the staff. Training sessions were conducted during monthly staff meetings. Discussed were Effective Communication strategies for authority figures, development of the Why-Igniting Passions and Conflict Resolution.

At this point, project implementation was on its third stage which is the creation of a Home for Girls training team, a group that will coordinate and facilitate future staff development activities.

Rosalina Lorque, center head, was quoted as saying, “We are thankful to Ms. Hawthorne for helping us and giving a part of herself to us. We value so much her contribution to the center and the optimism and improved ties will be maintained. This will be her legacy to us…that even after her assignment as she is ending her stint in the later part of the year, the efforts for the development of the staff are sustained.”

She further said that the project is well-appreciated by the staff as it gave focus to them to become “change agents and mentors” to the children whom they serve.

For Hawthorne, being assigned at Home is a blessing. “I feel proud and lucky to be a DSWD and Home for Girls volunteer. I truly feel blessed to be assigned at Home for Girls. All of the staff and residents are amazing and a pleasure to work with. Working at DSWD Home for Girls Field Office VI is a dream come true. I know even after my service they will live in my heart forever,” she said.

“The Regional Director, Ms. Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre, has been supportive every step of the way. I am really appreciative. The Home for Girls OIC Center Head, Rosalina Lorque, has been a dream supervisor. She has supported me in everything. She has allowed me to take chances and pursue projects that I am truly passionate about. Roqueta Aquio, Social Welfare Officer II, has been a superb counterpart. She has amazing ideas, and the quality of her work is extremely high. I always feel that we are a team,” she added.

Researcher finds unique industries in Iloilo


ILOILO — A Manila-based researcher has discovered very unique industries in the city and province of Iloilo during their one-year research focused on the economic direction of the area.

While the research cannot find high-level competencies in the city, the economic sector is growing fast in a five-year period, said Ella Antonio of Brain Trust Inc., which was tasked to research on the future economic development direction of the city.

In the agriculture industry, Antonio said, they have discovered that Iloilo is producing more eggs but is also importing eggs of fighting cocks to serve the needs of cock aficionados and gamblers.

Another unique feature is found in the strong medical tourism and wellness facilities in the city.

Growth rate in other sectors such as banking and construction are also very high while enrolment in agriculture courses is very low.

Antonio said the job mismatches and skill gaps must be addressed in the higher education sector to encourage human resource planning and data collection, scholarship program and assistance to students, and promotion of school activities.

Higher education institutions need coordination among schools and supply agreement on what is demanded, she said.

The researcher also said on-the-job training must be a joint management supervised by the teachers but not by the industry.

Cancer Center to rise in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 17 (PNA)-–A three-storey building to be known as the first Cancer Center for Western Visayas costing P63 million will soon rise at the compound of the government-owned Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao district.

Hospital chief, Dr. Jose Mari Fermin said the center is owned by the government but a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the expensive equipment is currently being evaluated by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The equipment will include linear accelerator, CT scan, mammography, ultrasound, x-ray and chemotherapy facilities to be facilitated by private donors and corporations.

Fermin said the Department of Health (DOH) is set to establish seven cancer centers in different areas of the country and bidding for the construction of the Iloilo Center is set on February 2014 for a four-month construction period.

DOH Secretary Enrique Ona had promised the cancer centers to be established in different areas with the collaboration of the private sector. However, this half-corporate set-up will not affect the government ownership and patients will have to use their PhilHealth membership to avail of the center services.

The PPP hospitals in the country include two in Manila to be funded by the private sector for its upgrading. These are the Philippine Orthopedic Center and the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital.

A total of 26 hospitals outside Metro Manila are set to be half-corporate with 70 percent owned by the government and 30 percent by the private sector. This includes the WVMC Cancer Center in Iloilo City.

Higher education reforms up in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 16 (PNA) -–A three-to five-year education reform agenda will soon be implemented in this highly urbanized city in Western Visayas with a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed on January 16, 2014 as part of the Higher Education Productivity (HEP) project seeking concrete initiatives in addressing job mismatch and skills gaps in Iloilo City.

The Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) held its continuing Industry, Academe and Government (IAG) dialogues among local stakeholders not only in Iloilo City but also in the cities of Batangas and Cagayan de Oro.

The local MOA between PBEd and the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation (ILEDF) seeks to establish IAG Council for the city and province of Iloilo. PBEd was represented by its President Dr. Chito Salazar of UI-Phinma and ILEDF was represented by its President Narzalina Lim.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, ILEDF Trustee Marisa Segovia and USAID Philippines Chief of the Office Education Robert Burch witnessed the MOA signing.Segovia will head the first year engagement.

The council will serve as one of the key drivers for education reforms in the city and its surrounding areas by acting as the main venue for continuous dialogue between the industry, academe and government.

With high level membership coming from different higher education institutions in Iloilo, the Council will form an agenda centered on increasing industry involvement in the academe especially in the formation of curriculum design, setting of faculty standards, and quality assurance.

The council will also improve market information on labor statistics and trends and school performance; improve access and level the playing field of local higher education sector; and improve its governance.

Ella Antonio of Brain Trust Inc. presented a research on the state of higher education in the city and province of Iloilo that needs immediate reforms.

The research showed skills gap in Iloilo by comparing the current resource needs of important industries with the current output of local higher education stakeholders.

Iloilo City enhances drive against air pollutants


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 15 (PNA)-–Food cooking using firewood or charcoal as fuel may add to air pollution on top of particulate matters spewed by power plants and smoke-belching vehicles, according to Iloilo city Environment and Natural Resources Officer (ENRO) Engr. Noel Hechanova.

The city ENRO said a recent study conducted by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Susammenarbeit GmbH showed there are more air pollutants from cooking inside the households.

The city government here is on a massive information, education and communication (IEC) campaign against smoke- belching and air pollution after the completion of an emission inventory study on vehicles, cooking and power plants.

The P1 million study is funded by GIZ in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that showed 47 percent of pollutants came from vehicles due to obnoxious gas as vehicle fuel and 32 percent from cooking using firewood and charcoal and power plants using coal.

Hechanova said the particulate matters inhaled are very dangerous to health and may lead to lung cancer. However, the city ordinance against smoke belching was already superseded by the Clean Air Act of 2012 mandated to render a cohesive and massive campaign against air pollution.

The city ENRO said the city government is now in the middle of a campaign to be followed by enactment of a city ordinance and apprehension of violators.

1000 drums to beat simultaneously in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 14 (PNA)--One thousand drums will beat simultaneously in Iloilo City to herald the beginning of the world famous Dinagyang Festival three-day highlight comes January 24.

Department of Education Iloilo Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Nelly H. Valerio, who chairs the Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika Competition or Drum and Lyre Competition, said there would be a barrage of 1,000 drums that would beat at the Arroyo Fountain, considered as the zero-point or gauge to measure the distance from one place to Iloilo, to start the activity.

Dr. Valerio said that this was one distinct feature of this year’s Dinagyang Festival since all the 17 participating tribes to the Tambor and the Dinagyang ati-ati tribes would converge at the Arroyo Fountain early morning to beat their drums.

After the drum beating, the Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika Competition will start. This is an activity spearheaded by the Department of Education with elementary and secondary students in beautiful costumes participating.

For this year, there are 12 participating elementary schools that have registered. These are the city-based Iloilo Central Elementary School (ES); A. Montes I ES; La Paz I ES; Jaro I and Jaro II ES; Sambag ES; Cubay ES; and, Arevalo ES. The schools from Iloilo province are Alimodian ES, Sinamay ES and Dingle Central Elementary School. San Miguel Central School from Jordan, Guimaras province will also compete.

The five secondary participating city-based schools are Avancena National High School, Iloilo City National High School, Jalandoni Memorial National High School, and from Iloilo province are Ajuy National High School and Dingle National High School.

Cash prizes and trophies are at stake for this contest ranging from P25,000 for first prize, P20,000 second, and P15,000 third prize for both elementary and secondary. A private organization is also adding the prizes with musical instruments.

Dr. Valerio said that the winners last year for both categories, Dingle Central Elementary School for elementary and the Iloilo City National High School for secondary, are doing their best now in practicing their entry hoping to retain their places.

Azkals’ team captain spearheads opening of Iloilo Integrated Meet


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 13 (PNA)- The Iloilo Integrated Meet was formally opened here despite the erratic weather condition prevailing throughout the city.

The team captain of the national football team Azkals Chieffy Caligdong who is a native of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, was the invited guest speaker during the opening of the provincial sports gathering here early Monday afternoon.

Early this morning, a sports forum and solidarity meeting was held prior to the 3:00 p.m. opening program held at the Iloilo Sports Complex located in Brgy. Magsaysay, Lapaz, Iloilo City.

The sporting events is participated in by various athletic teams coming from the different secondary schools in the province of Iloilo.

Meanwhile, Department of Education DepEd regional director Gilbert Solidum assured athletes for a ready venue for various sporting events elsewhere in the city in case of heavy rain.

Kasadyahan 2014 still a contest

By Reymar Latoza (IMT)

Defying this year’s competing tribes, the Kasadyahan cultural event of the 2014 Dinagyang Festival will remain a competition.

The decision was made to live up to the excitement that the said event offers every year by arousing the competitive spirit of every competing tribes during their performance.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog claimed that holding a competition for participating tribes and regional fiestas will spice up the much anticipated cultural event.

This final decision is in contrary to the earlier announcement made by the Dinagyang organizers that Kasadyahan will simply be a presentation of festivals and fiestas from different provinces and municipalities in Western Visayas this year.

Kasadyahan Committee chairperson Dr. Eden Deriada said in the previous report of Iloilo Metropolitan Times that lack of resources, due to the devastation caused by super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ was the primary reason of not holding a competition.

Meanwhile, Deriada confirmed that seven major festivals in Western Visayas and three Iloilo City-based schools will join the 2014 Kasadyahan competition.

Kalibo Ati-atihan, Masskara of Bacolod, Manggahan of Guimaras, Hugyaw Kansilay of Silay City, Sinadya sa Halaran of Capiz, Pintaflores of San Carlos City and Banigan of Libertad, Antique committed to join.

Other participating tribes are from John B. Lacson Foundation University (JBLFU), St. Therese College, and the Fort San Pedro National High School.

Iloilo City Tourism Officer Ben Jimena explained that Participanting festivals from outside Iloilo City will be given a subsidy of P150,000, P180,000 or P200,000 depending on the result of their assessment basing on the distance and difficulty of coming to the event’s place.

Kasadyahan 2014, one of the Dinagyang Festival’s highlights, is set on January 25.

Roxas City thanks Iloilo City

(RPSombero, Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City — The Roxas City Council passed Resolution No. 097-53-2013 expressing gratitude to the Iloilo City government for the latter’s generosity and swift response in aid of the victims of super typhoon “Yolanda” in the Capiz capital.

Iloilo City, through Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, gave P100,000 to Roxas City aside from the same amount given to Passi City and the P50,000 to 11 towns in northern Iloilo.

“The Iloilo City government has responded generously and swiftly to aid the victims of typhoon ‘Yolanda’ in the City of Roxas; because of their generous assistance and donation, they have eased and improved the plight of our citizenry, fortified and inspired us to rise above this situation,” the resolution read.

The resolution was presented by Vice Mayor Ronnie Dadivas and Councilor Trina Marie Ignacio and unanimously approved by the City Council.

“Yolanda” caused more than P861 million worth of damage to infrastructure, dwellings and properties, agriculture, and fisheries in Roxas City.

All of its 47 barangays did not escape from the destruction of the typhoon.

A total of 62 died from Capiz province — 13 were from Roxas City — while 23 were injured and two people still missing.

World-class Ilonggo products to add color to 'Dinagyang' Festival


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 10 PNA)-– World-class Ilonggo products made by local craftsmen in the city and province of Iloilo will take center stage on January 20-26, 2014 at the activity center of Shoemart (SM) City Iloilo to add more color to the celebration of world-famous "Dinagyang" Festival.

The selected earning products, all exported to different countries in the world, will be presented for the first time in a single venue to the people of Iloilo City as local treasures of the Ilonggos which only local craftsmen can make.

Troy Camarista of SM City said the winning export products are "sinamay" from Arevalo, Iloilo City; "hablon" clothing materials from the municipality of Miagao, Iloilo; "Capiz" shell products from the municipality of Oton, Iloilo; bobbin lace from the municipality of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo; "tinubok" clothing materials made by the indigenous people of the municipality of Calinog, Iloilo; "nito" baskets made by the Nagpana indigenous people of Barotac Viejo, Iloilo; "Tuburan abaca" handicrafts of the municipality of Janiuay, Iloilo; CM bamboo crafts and decors from La Paz, Iloilo City and "Pinili" home décor and bamboo furniture from the municipality of Pavia, Iloilo.

Camarista said that Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and SM Vice President for Publicity Millie Dizon will cut the ribbon and lead the guests during the ceremonial launching of the products on January 22.

Iloilo City readies bidding for sanitary landfill


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 9 (PNA) -– The city government here is preparing the bidding of the 3.3-hectare land intended to be used as sanitary landfill inside the more than 23 hectares city dumpsite in Barangay Calajunan, Mandurriao district.

Engr. Raul Gallo of the city general services department said the landfill bidding will be conducted by February 2014 and construction will be up for 14 months or until early 2015.

The sanitary landfill cells and other components will be funded by a 25-year loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) amounting to P297 million at 6.8 percent interest. This will also cover the construction of the landfill cells costing about P212 million complete with plastic sheets.

Gallo said that when completed, the city will have a modern sanitary landfill site to absorb the influx of some 300 metric tons of garbage collected everyday including from the nearby municipalities of Oton and Pavia in the province of Iloilo.

Both towns including the city and the municipalities of San Miguel, Leganes and Sta. Barbara are members of the Metro Iloilo Economic Development Council (MIGEDC) that pledged to support each other on economic activities.

Gallo admitted that the city has increased its collection of garbage from 170 metric tons everyday in 2008 until 2010. However, garbage continues to grow to 300 metric tons daily collection with the influx of population and bullish business growth in the city.

Better product packaging eyed for Iloilo delicacies


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 8 (PNA) --Barquillos, Pinasugbo, and Biscocho are just a few of the proudly Iloilo-made products and often brought back by foreign and domestic tourists to their family and friends.

To further boost the image of locally-produced food and other tourist items here, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is attempting to create a better product packaging for the souvenir industry.

According to DTI Director Wilhelm Malones, they are planning to improve the packaging standards of the souvenir industry by helping to make the packaging more presentable to consumers, especially to tourists.

While the products themselves are of high quality, sometimes the product is only protected from the elements by clear plastic, which, aside from being unattractive, is also flimsy which often does not prevent the delicacies from being crushed.

Food-grade materials will be used for the new packaging, which will lengthen the shelf-life of these products. For a delicacy like Pinasugbo, or dried and caramelized banana, for example, edible material will replace the traditional inedible paper it uses for its cones.

Director Malones hopes that the new packaging would be rolled out in time for Dinagyang Festival this January.

Dinagyang Foundation, PRC feed Iloilo city school children


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 7 (PNA)--The Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI) together with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) fed 682 schoolchildren enrolled at the A. Mirasol Elementary School here in Iloilo City on Tuesday.

PRC Administrator Gilbert Paul L. Valderrama, during a press conference, said that feeding of schoolchildren is already on its fourth year and done as part of the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival that will have its highlights this January 25-26.

He said that on Tuesday they fed the schoolchildren of the A. Mirasol Elementary School with "arroz caldo" that is made of rice and chicken soup prepared at their mobile kitchen.

The feeding activity has also been done with the support of the West Visayas State University, a government-owned institution here in Iloilo City.

Aside from the feeding activity, the IDFI and PRC will also conduct another activity on Jan. 9 at the Hibao-an Elementary School benefiting 963 children, Jan. 14 at Sto. Nino Elementary School with 1,039 children and on Jan. 16 at Rizal Elementary School with 2,319 children beneficiaries.

There would also be medical mission to be conducted on Jan. 11 targeting 500 indigents at Brgy. Sooc and Jan. 18 at Bgy. Lanit with another 500 poor city residents availing of various medical interventions.

Iloilo City braces up to become a major sports destination

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

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 6 (PNA)-– This southern city is bracing up to become a major sports destination in this part of the country, according to city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

The city's chief executive said Iloilo City is preparing to host several sports activities to complement the upcoming Iloilo Dinagyang Festival.

Mabilog said that the city is fast becoming a venue for major sports activities in the country and there is a need for a permanent sports arena for these activities.

A sports arena is being considered to be built at a city lot in San Pedro, Molo district or to be adopted by the Department of Education (DepEd) in one of its city land properties.

Mabilog said he is targeting that the sports arena or sports complex will be realized through a public private partnership (PPP) or from the city sports fund within the year.

This month of January, sports events will start with a triathlon during the Dinagyang Festival from the municipality of Oton to the city proper. The Dinagyang will also see sports events such as golf, beach volleyball, tennis, chess, boxing, basketball and others.

A group from Barcelona, Spain has visited the city recently and committed to put up bleachers at the football field in La Paz district. Similarly, the city is set to host the Asian taekwondo competition in the month of August.

Iloilo City has already several national and international athletes in different sports disciplines. The city mayor said he is looking at a sports venue as his next major project in 2014-2015.

No security guards fired guns – ICPO


ILOILO City – The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) has confirmed that none among the security guards of malls and other establishments here fired their guns during Christmas day and New Year’s eve.

Mall security guards followed the instructions of the police to avoid firing their service firearms in celebrating the holidays, said the ICPO public information officer, Chief Insp. Gilbert Gorero.

The police taped the muzzle of the security guards’ guns before Christmas to prevent them from being indiscriminately fired during the revelries.

Gorero said the tapes were removed on Thursday.

“We’re happy that the tapes were still intact, proving that the guards had not fired indiscriminately,” he said.

However, the latest report showed there were 12 victims of stray bullets in Iloilo City from December 24 to January 1 – five in Mandurriao district, three in Molo district and two each in La Paz and the City Proper.

One of the 12 stray bullet victims was identified as 31-year-old Donna Padol of Brgy. Navais, Mandurriao.

Padol was in her house preparing food when a stray bullet grazed her nose.

The incident happened around 10:45 p.m. on December 24.

Nevertheless, Gorero enthused that they had hit their “zero casualty” goal in 2013.

Paperless session agenda at Iloilo City Council


ILOILO City — The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) here has started innovations on paperless session agenda by using e-copy, which requires the SP members to work on their respective laptop computer during the session.

SP Secretary Ruth Arroyo said the high-tech session initially focused on the session agenda but is expected to expand to other matters and agenda content within this year.

The SP committee on information technology, chaired by Councilor Lady Julie Ann Baronda, initiated the paperless agenda last December.

The councilors found the innovations practical and saved on bond paper, ink and work hours.

Cost-wise, the computerized system was very effective, they said, and the SP secretariat found more hours for its other work.

All 13 city councilors prefer the agenda on their personal computer, except senior Councilor Ed Peñaredondo, who has assured he will try to learn the demands of the computer age.

Peñaredondo insisted that the councilors be furnished a hard copy of the agenda content.

Arroyo said they are starting with the agenda and will soon go into the provisions and contents of the agenda and other matters in a paperless session.

Aside from the laptops, two wide screens have been provided by the office of Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III for the use of councilors and session observers.

Advisory Council formed for PRO transformation program

By Elsa S. Subong (PRO-6/JSC/ESS-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Jan.1 (PIA6) – A Regional Advisory Council for Police Transformation and Development-6 (RAC-PTD6) will be helping the Police Regional Office in the region in the implementation of its transformation program.

The council will be assisting the PRO-6 in undertaking the Performance Governance System (PGS) to pursue the PNP Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and upholding the Rule of Law (P.A.T.R.O.L.) Plan 2030.

In a media release, PRO-6 Director Police Chief Supt. Josephus Angan said the PNP’s adoption of the PGS will set a clear direction in the policing programs, with measurable and quantifiable objectives and well-defined strategies.

The RAC-PTD will provide the external perspectives and guidance on administrative and operational key issues and concerns affecting PRO-6.

The council is composed of various personalities because we need diverse perspectives in our journey of transformation,” Angan said.

Elected chairperson of the council was Zarraga Mayor Joh H. Tarrosa, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy and former army officer, while NEDA-6 Director Ro-Ann Bacal was elected vice-chair.

Members are: DILG-6 Director Atty. Anthony Nuyda; Napolcom Director Atty. Marte Paloma; DOT Director Atty. Helen Catalbas; PIA Director Atty. Janet Mesa; City Tourism Officer Benito Jimena; La Filipina Uygongco Corporation Vice Chairman Felipe Uygonco; Guimaras Governor Samule Gumarin; Sto. Domingo Village Chief Larry Lorenzo; UPV College of Management Dean Prof. Mary Ann Gumban; Borres Youth Leadership founder Atty. Mark Borres; Iloilo Business Club Director Lea Lara; PNP-6 Interfaith Organization chair Dr. Demie Tidon; Philippine News Agency Senior Reporter Perla Lena; and PNP retirees representative Ret. Sr. Supt. Rolando Rabara.

Director Angan said the officers and members, who are serving for two years, were chosen for their known integrity, exemplified leadership, adherence to transparency and good governance, advocacy for transformation, community leadership and synergy.