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Iloilo City News January 2016

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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

Wars of ancient history were about territory, power, family or lover's quarrel, politics and sometimes religion.

But we are in the Modern era and supposedly more educated and enlightened .

Think about this. Don't just brush off these questions.

  • Why is RELIGION still involved in WARS? Isn't religion supposed to be about PEACE?
  • Ask yourself; What religion is always involved in wars and consistently causing WARS, yet insists that it's a religion of peace?


EMB 6 eyes more adopters for its “Adopt-an-Estero” program


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Western Visayas is encouraging more organizations and partners to be part of its “Adopt-an-Estero” program.

As of date, 24 water bodies in Western Visayas were already adopted by private establishments, schools, national government agencies, local government units and civil society organizations, according to Arjunn Calvo, information officer of EMB 6.

Calvo explained that under the program, adopters conduct a quarterly cleanup drive, which is being done simultaneous with other adopters nationwide.

Cleanup drives are being done during environmental events such as the World Water Day, Environment Month, International Coastal Clean-up, and Environmental Awareness and Clean Air Month.

In 2015, he disclosed that the cleanup activities collected 88,948 kilograms of solid wastes along Iloilo-Batiano River system in Iloilo, Bagumbayan Creek in San Jose, Antique, Magsungay River in Bacolod City, Cadimahan River in Roxas City, Capiz, and Nabaoy River in Aklan.

3 ‘Timbangan ng Bayan’ at Central Market


ILOILO City – Three weighing scales aimed at preventing unscrupulous vendors from taking advantage of customers were placed at the Iloilo Central Market.

A total of 16 “Timbangan ng Bayan” were donated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to the city government.

The other 13 mechanical hanging-type weighing scales will be placed at five other public markets here and the Iloilo Fishing Port, according to the Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO).

“These weighing scales will protect consumers from dishonest vendors,” LEEO head Ariel Castañeda told Panay News in Hiligaynon.

These will also correct the notion that public markets in this city lack weighing scales, the government official said.

The Iloilo Terminal Market, Jaro Big and Jaro Small markets, and public markets in La Paz, Mandurriao and Arevalo will get similar weighing scales.

Castañeda said the market-in-charge shall supervise the weighing scales, which shall be made available for use by 4 a.m. until the market closes.

The distribution of the weighing scales was part of the DTI’s Timbangan ng Bayan Project.

Over 22,000 business names approved and renewed in Western Visayas in 2015


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 29 (PNA) -- The rapid infrastructure developments in Region 6 have spurred a conducive economic environment and opportunity to entrepreneurs as manifested by last year’s data on business name renewal and registration.

Data from Trade Development Division (TDD) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-6 disclosed 19,267 new applications for business name registration in 2015.

Aside from this, renewal of business name registration increased from 2,786 in 2014 to 2,968 in 2015, or an increase of roughly seven percent.

DTI-6 TDD Chief Felisa Judith Degala said that the result could be perceived that the public is confident of the economic condition in the region and the continuous effort to provide an enabling environment for entrepreneurs “that is why many engaged and ventured into business.”

Other contributing factors considered for the vibrant economic environment in the region are the establishment of Negosyo Centers, and the conduct of business consultations and entrepreneurship seminars conducted by the DTI, she added.

DTI-6 OIC-Regional Director Rebecca M. Rascon said that a DTI-registered business entity could easily avail of the services and programs of the government and is protected by law because it has a legal identity and ensures that consumers are protected, among others.

DTI provides more than Php17-M worth of shared service facilities in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 28 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has already provided 52 shared service facilities (SSF) in Western Visayas amounting to more than Php17 million since the start of the project in 2003.

SSF is a major component of the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) development program of the DTI to boost their competitiveness by means of providing machinery, equipment tools and other auxiliary items and skills and knowledge under a shared system.

The highest number of SSF was established in Aklan with 24 facilities; 23 were for abaca loom weaving and one for the establishment of a business resource center (BRC). The facilities amounted to P2.9 million.

Meantime, Iloilo received 13 SSF costing some Php6.948 million. The facilities were for food processing, furniture and furnishing, packaging and labeling, garments, coco fiber production, abaca stripping and BRC.

DTI poured in some Php2.92 million in Capiz for coco oil mill, packaging facilities, wearables, abaca stripping and BRC.

Guimaras availed of Php1.32 million for the hot water treatment for mangoes and a BRC.

Moreover, the province of Antique got facilities for coffee processing costing and a BRC some Php1.177 million while Negros Occidental received four SSF to include a high speed sewing machine, garments, vermin composting and a BRC amounting to Php1.73 million.

DTI regional director Rebecca M. Rascon said that more SSF will be released this year as they continue to strengthen the capability of MSMEs in the region.

LDSC turns over wheelchairs, walking aids to selected PWDs from Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, Jan 27 (PNA) -- The from Latter-Day Saints Charities (LDSC), a charitable institution operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, on Wednesday turned over wheelchairs and walking aids to selected persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Iloilo.

LDS Philippines program director George Kenneth Lee and Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. led the distribution of the wheelchairs for PWDs suffering from neuromusculoskeletal impairments.

PWD Affairs Officer Mario Abaygar said other beneficiaries will receive clutches, walkers, and cane depending on their needs.

“There are supposed to be 60 beneficiaries here today but only few can make it to the ceremony due to the bad weather. Instead of going here, we will bring the donation to their homes,” Abaygar said.

The Province of Iloilo has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with LDSC last year for 600 wheelchair donations and additional 300 assistive devices for PWDs in 43 local government units.

Mormons were fasting every week and the savings out of their food budget were used to buy the wheelchairs and walking aids to help poor PWDs in the country.

He added that the PWDs from Iloilo were very lucky since they could avail most of their donations or twice the number of wheelchairs they gave out to other provinces.

“This donation will go a long way on helping poor PWDs in their line of work, in their schools or at home,” Lee said.

Teary-eyed, 63-year-old amputee Jerry Daniocop was filled with joy when he received his brand-new wheelchair for the first time.

The gasoline vendor from Poblacion, Dueñas lost both of his legs due to diabetes. Since then, he would crawl or kneel to move from one corner to another.

“Tuman gid akon nga kalipay nga may wheelchair na ako. Indi na ako mabudlayan sa pagubra (I am very happy now that I have a wheelchair. Working won’t be hard anymore),” said Daniocop.

After receiving the donation, the beneficiaries are required to undergo community service for couple of hours in their respective barangays.

Calinog Mayor Alex Centena, Provincial Administrator Raul Banias and PSWDO Chief Neneth Pador were also present to assist in the distribution.

Russian envoy eyes possible trade exchange between Iloilo and Russia


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 26 (PNA) -- Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor A. Khovaev on Monday cited the potential of Iloilo to trade agricultural products with Russia.

“I think the province of Iloilo has a great potential especially in the agricultural field,” he said,

“The town produces a lot of tropical fruits and vegetables and in my country, there is a great demand for tropical fruits and vegetables,” he added.

Khovaev made a courtesy call with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. on Monday.

“In particular, we discussed opportunities for business activities between the province of Iloilo and the different Russian regions,” he said.

“And I think we have good prospects for establishing mutual and beneficial corporation ties in trade and investment fields,” he added.

Defensor, together with Provincial administrator Raul Banias, briefed Khovaev the areas in Iloilo with good agricultural production and with potential for international trade.

“As the ambassador of Russia in the Philippines, we will do our best and we will try to explore every and each opportunity,” Khovaev said.

Khovaev was here in Iloilo City over the weekend to witness the annual Dinagyang Festival.

Iloilo's Dinagyang Festival awes visitors


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 25 (PNA) -- For first timers, no other festivals are comparable with Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival as they expressed how amazed they were with the performances of tribes depicting the culture of Ilonggos.

“Nothing compares with this festival in Iloilo City,” said Swede Kari Isommaa, head of delegation of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) based in Metro Manila.

Isommaa, together with IFRC field program coordinator Mijanur Rahman and Philippine Red Cross Governor Richard Gordon, were in this city to witness the world famous Dinagyang Festival, rated as the best tourism event of the Philippines by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) Sunday.

The Red Cross official said he has been to several countries in the world and seeing tourism events and festivals but Dinagyang in Iloilo City is beyond compare.

He said he has many pictures taken during the performances of the tribes Sunday and he is going to show these off to his friends in other countries.

On the other hand, Ray Sauter of Houston, Texas, USA cannot describe his feelings upon seeing for the first time the performances of tribes.

He admitted seeing many festivals in several countries but Dinagyang is the first awesome and glorious street dance performance he had ever seen.

“The best I have seen and I highly recommend Dinagyang to the world,” Sauter said.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said this year’s staging of Dinagyang is still apolitical with no politician guests taking the microphone.

Among the guests are ambassadors and diplomats of 11 countries, including the US, China, Russia and South Korea.

Other guests were Senate President Franklin Drilon,former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Congresswoman Leni Robredo, Congressman Sherwin Gatchalian, Congressman Carlos Zarate, former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and former senator Miguel Zubiri, among others.

The honor of being a Dinagyang Warrior was awarded to Mayor Hwang Eun-seong of Anseong City, South Korea, who brought with him to Iloilo the acrobatic and cultural dancers of Anseong to be the guest performers Sunday.

NYC to hold first consultative meeting on IRR of SK Reform Act in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The National Youth Commission will hold its first consultative meeting for the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10742, or the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015 in this city on Jan. 30, 2016.

Rey Jason Gregorio, executive director of the Iloilo City Youth Development Office, said that the consultation was necessary for the commission to know the pulse of the concerned sector in coming up with the guidelines on how the new law would be implemented.

Republic Act 10742 that was signed into law by President Benigno S. Aquino III on Jan. 15 this year tasked the NYC to lead in the crafting of the IRR, Gregorio said.

Expected to attend the whole day consultation are 15 representatives each from the out-of-school youth, in-school, persons with disability (PWD) and working youth.

Newly appointed executive director and chief operating officer Nielex Tupas will spearhead the consultation.

After Iloilo, the NYC will travel to Mindanao for another consultation meeting.

Philhealth introduces kidney transplant package in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) launched its Php600,000 kidney transplant (Z-benefit) package in Iloilo, Friday.

Philhealth , through type Z, its highest benefit package, now shoulder the total cost of treatment including the drugs and medicines, operating room and professional fees for the entire course of treatment, as well as mandatory and other health services of the patients who undergo kidney transplant.

To avail the package, a PhilHealth member and his dependent should pass the selections criteria and should be pre-authorized by the contracted facility before the services can be provided.

Dr. Helen Caro Pastolero, head of St. Paul’s Hospital Iloilo’s Kidney Center, said that there were 10-12 patients on the list of PhilHealth members who wanted to avail of the package. First on the list is Marites Olivares Eusoya, who was diagnosed with a stage 4 , going stage 5 chronic kidney disease in October 2010

Pastolero said that kidney transplant would take two to three hours.

St. Paul’s Hospital Iloilo is the first private hospital in the country that becomes a Z benefit provider for kidney transplant.

In 2015, PhilHealth 6 paid more than Php300 million for around 52,500 patients who are undergoing dialysis due to kidney disease.

This year, as Philhealth launched its kidney transplant package, Pastolero said that they hope to provide hope for patients who had illnesses that were perceived to be medically and financially catastrophic that further pushed patients into prolonged hospitalization and very expensive medical treatment.

Ilonggos to have a glimpse of Korean culture through Anseong Baudeogi Festival


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 22 (PNA) -- For the first time in the history of the Dinagyang Festival, spectators will be treated to a performance of a dance troupe from Anseong City's Baudeogi Festival in South Korea.

Some 20 members of the Anseong Municipal Namsadang Baudeugi Pungmuldan Troupe are now in Iloilo as guest performers during the Ati-ati tribes competition of the Dinagyang Festival on Sunday.

The dance troupe was formed in an effort to preserve the tradition in Anseong, the home to Namsadang. Its performance provides an opportunity for everyone to better understand Korean culture through Namsadangnori, according to the Dinagyang Festival organizer.

The performance by a group from the Baudeogi Festival is a result of the signing of a Friendly City relation between the Anseong City and Iloilo City last year.

In October last year, the Iloilo City sent its Dinagyang Festival to perform at the Anseong Baudeogi Festival.

The delegation from South Korea is led by Mayor Hwang, EunSeong.

DPWH to inaugurate PHP180-M bridge project on Friday


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 21 (PNA) -- The newly-completed PHP180- million Muelle Loney Bridge will be officially opened to public in an inaugural ceremony that will be graced by Public Works and Highways secretary Rogelio Singson and Senator Franklin M. Drilon on Friday.

The bridge is expected to decongest traffic leading to the new Iloilo Ferry Terminal.

The new bridge crosses the Iloilo River and connects the city proper to the new ferry terminal in Lapuz district.

The two-lane 125 linear meters prestressed concrete girder bridge is complemented by a 157-meter promenade at the Lapuz side and another 536.6 meter Esplanade at the Muelle Loney side.

SP names SM City Iloilo as senior-citizen friendly mall


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -– This local government unit through the Sangguniang Panlunsod (SP) on Tuesday has cited one of the big malls in this city as a senior-citizen friendly mall taking into account the various projects and activities that it has engaged for the welfare of the elderly sector.

Councilor Armand Parcon, chair of the elderly committee at the Sangguniang Panlungsod, authored the resolution that was adopted by the council sans councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo.

Parcon, in his report, said that the distinction is one of the two requests that were sought by the management of the SM City Iloilo though its CARES committee.

SM, as part of its corporate social responsibility (CRS), has been conducting activities such as complimentary health and fitness classes and computer literacy sessions to senior citizens, according to Parcon.

Also more than 20 elderly were tapped as mall greeters and ushers through the Senior Citizens Service Program of the Casual Employment in partnership with the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) of the city government.

“SM Mall management gave assurance that it will continue and expand its partnership program with the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs Office (OSCA) on casual employment,” Parcon added.

The request of the mall for an allowable reduction in taxes is yet with the SP’s committee on ways and means.

Tourism boosts Western Visayas economy


ILOILO CITY, Jan 19 (PNA) -- The Department of Tourism in the region was elated knowing that the industry is among the three big economic drivers of Western Visayas.

A recent report of the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) attributed the 171.81 percent increase on the value of investments poured in the region to the energy, housing and tourism sectors.

A total of Php495 million worth of tourism projects were approved in 2015 next to energy with Php57.76 billion and economic housing with Php2.49 billion.

Western Visayas ranked second among other regions with the highest approved investments in the Philippines.

Lawyer Helen J. Catalbas, DOT regional director, said she is very interested to know what businesses are included under the tourism sector.

“Tourism has always been a good business because it works both ways. Both parties gain from it, the investor and the benefactor. Investments create livelihood and generate jobs for the locals living around the tourist destination, thus, as the investors benefit so are the residents,” Catalbas said.

Catalbas said that she will ask the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and BOI for the list of included businesses under the tourism sector.

She said it is important that these establishments be identified to know if they harmonize with those in the DOT Region VI listing and also they will be encouraged to secure accreditation from DOT.

“Western Visayas is a fast blooming region tourism-wise.

Various components of tourism in Region VI, including accommodation, transportation, food and beverage, tours, tourism products, accessibility, manpower, job creation, tourist markets are all in upward trajectory,” she added.

PHP2.167M up for grabs in various activities highlighting Dinagyang Festival 2016


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 18 (PNA) -- The Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI) has earmarked some PHP2.167 million as prizes for various activities that will highlight this year’s Dinagyang Festival.

IDFI president Ramon Cua Locsin said that there has been an increase in this year’s prizes compared with the PHP2 million prize that was released in 2015.

Data provided by the foundation showed that PHP995,000 was allotted for prizes in the Ati-Ati competition while PHP730,000 will be for the winners of the Kasadyahan regional cultural contest.

Moreover, PHP163,000 will be awarded to winners of the Tambor, Trumpa, Martsa, Musika; PHP114,000 for the photo contest, PHP125,000 for the Ilonggo Arts Festival and PHP40,000 for on-the-spot painting contest.

Aside from cash prizes, winners from selected contest categories will also take home a Dinagyang Festival trophy.

The highlights of this year’s Dinagyang Festival will kick off on Friday with the Tambor, Trumpa, Martsa, Musika in the morning and the religious fluvial procession in the afternoon.

A total of 13 public elementary schools will join the drum and lyre competition while the drum and bugle contest has two participants from public secondary schools.

On the other hand, 10 festivals from various provinces in the region and 10 tribes composed of school-based participants will vie for the championship crown during the Kasadyahan and Ati Ati competition, respectively.

This year’s celebration anchors on the theme “Senor Santo Nino: Hope of the People” with the tagline Beyond Fun, Beyond Fame, Beyond Borders.

DSWD to implement new payout schedule for 4Ps beneficiaries this year


ILOILO CITY (PNA) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be strictly implementing its new schedule for payout to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Montessa Caoyonan, program information officer said that changes were made in consideration of the adjustment in the amount the beneficiaries will receive for the months of April and May.

During these months, the DSWD will not provide educational assistance to school age children because its vacation time. Instead, each household will receive Php500 per month as health assistance.

In the new schedule, the payout for December 2015 until January this year will be in March. The February to March subsidy will be released in May.

Moreover, the April and May subsidies will be credited in June; June and July in September; August and September in November and October to November in January next year.

The amount of subsidy to be released to beneficiaries will also depend on the compliance of beneficiaries to the conditions set forth by the program.

Php91.5-M road concreting project in Iloilo kicks off Friday


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Palm Concepcion Power Corporation (PCPC) kicked off its Php91.5 million road concreting project in Concepcion, Iloilo Friday.

The road is another project of PCPC in the said municipality aside from its coal-fired power plant ,which is currently 95 percent completed.

The project covers the 4.2- kilometer road of barangayas Poblacion, Nipa and Lo-ong where the said power plant is located.

PCPC president Roel Z. Castro, in today’s ground breaking ceremony, said that the road will “bridge to real progress and sustainable development.”

“I hope that all of us will feel the economic and social improvements that are happening as a natural consequence while we are building the plant and ensure to operate this plant within the year,” he said.

“And equally important the environmental development when all the projects that we have started will grow to its fullest,” he added.

He also pointed out that the circulation of money in the municipality has increased tremendously and more opportunities have been provided to the residents because of the constructions coming up in the municipality.

Specifically, 600 local workers were hired in the construction of the coal-fired power plant.

Further, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. said that the projects of PCPC in Concepcion will bring more progress in the municipality.

“This power plant will be the light, and the road will be the engine of growth and development and the road to real, substantive progress in the municipality of Concepcion,” Defensor said.

The road concreting project is expected to be finished by July 15, 2016.

Philippine ambassadors to Europe visit Iloilo destinations


ILOILO CITY, Jan 15 (PNA) -– Nine Philippine Ambassadors to Europe visited various destinations in Iloilo and got a taste of this place’s native delicacies during Thursday’s appreciation tour here.

“The appreciation tour was not just for leisure purposes. It should be noted that these visitors are Philippine Ambassadors to Europe and this visit can be turned into a huge opportunity for the province and the city of Iloilo to promote their best products and services to the European market,” said Atty. Helen J. Catalbas, regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Western Visayas.

The ambassadors visited heritage houses and churches in Miagao, Tigbauan and Guimbal and the city’s booming business area, the Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao district here.

They also tasted the authentic Ilonggo dishes at Camiña Bala nga Bato in Arevalo district.

In the evening, they were presented with the investment portfolio of the province and city of Iloilo.

Catalbas explained that the appreciation tour only goes to show that Western Visayas has increased its presence in the market as more investors, foreign and Filipino dignitaries and business stakeholders come and visit the region.

The group was here for the two-day regional consultative meeting of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that will commence today.

Iloilo eyes to anchor rural dev’t on Saemaul Undong


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 14 (PNA) --If Koreans could liberate themselves from the shackles of poverty, the chief executive of this province believed that Ilonggos could do it too.

Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. said Ilonggos could make Saemaul Undong (SMU), the driving force behind the economic success of South Korea, “our guiding model in developing rural areas.”

“Not all Filipinos appreciate Saemaul Undong. It took me a long time to appreciate it as well. But later I realized and understood that it was the movement responsible for the rapid development of South Korea,” Defensor said during the recently-concluded 2nd Foundation Anniversary of Philippine Saemaul Undong here.

Defensor was in South Korea for the first time in October 2014 to attend the 1st Global Saemaul Leadership Forum with his wife and Bingawan Mayor Matt Palabrica.

“I saw it with my own eyes how they rose from the debris and ashes of Korean War through Saemaul Undong. Now, South Korea is one of the most developed countries in the world,” he added.

But the effort to replicate Saemaul Undong was barely visible in 1990s — the period when the movement was introduced in Bingawan town by Presbyterian missionary Dr. Chung C. Young.

The reason for this was mainly due to lack of understanding that Saemaul Undong was about income generation, living environment and basic rural infrastructure improvement and capacity building and attitude change.

The mental reform aspect of Saemaul Undong was designed to inculcate three values or virtues of the movement: diligence, self-help and cooperation.

“Saemaul Undong is all about people’s participation in transforming their community into a better place to live in. Koreans held hands together believing that through their common effort they can survive from absolute poverty brought about by the war and colonization,” he said.

With the strong support coming from Defensor, Provincial Planning and Development Officer Mario Nillos proposed to anchor Iloilo’s rural development on Saemaul Undong.

Specifically, Nillos, also the president of Philippines SMU, looks forward to integrate SMU on Iloilo’s program on agricultural development, rural water system and sanitation, local economic development and community-based ecotourism.

“The Philippine Saemaul Undong’s 2nd founding anniversary comes in appropriate times when we are starting new and fresh engagement with new partners for laudable community projects that would uplift the lives of our intended communities,” he said.

Nillos said the organization has to revisit its strategies to fast track its efforts on localizing Saemaul Undonh in Iloilo so that more communities could benefit from it.

“Saemaul Undong’s mission is attuned to that of the Iloilo Provincial Government's. As such, we are one in enabling our communities towards growth that is inclusive and self-sustaining,” he said.

Devoid of all hope, South Korea was in the midst of oppression and suppression for 35 years under Japan during the World War II.

When it gained its independence on 1945, eight in every 10 Koreans were poor farmers suffering from perpetual hunger.

The division among Koreans led to war which lasted for three years from 1950-1953 and its Gross Domestic Product per Capita was only USD67 in 1953.

It was only during the term of President Park Chung Hee from 1961-1979 when the period of modernization and industrialization began in South Korea.

The people of South Korea refused to become poor and so they gave birth to Saemaul Undong in 1970 and it became a national movement through the help of President Park.

Because of Saemaul Undong plus the 5-year Economic Development Plan of President Park in 1960s, South Korea transformed itself from an aid-recipient to a donor nation.

City government to extend incentive award to additional centenarian residents


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The city government is preparing the necessary documents to extend its incentive award to three more centenarians this year.

The Centenarian Incentive Award has already been presented to a total of 17 senior citizens 100 years old or more since 2014.

The first who benefited from the project is Quirico Baldomar of Democracia, Jaro who turned 101 years old in 2014.

“Taking care of our older generation is a way of paying back their hard work and sacrifices when they were still able and productive members of our society,” Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said.

Cakes, a check worth P10,000 and a Mayor’s Citation are awarded to the beneficiaries.

“We are hoping that the little amount we give to the centenarians can help provide for their medicines and other needs,” he added.

Only residents of Iloilo City are qualified to receive the incentives.

The project is under the Senior Citizens Welfare Program and part of the City Government’s “womb-to-tomb” initiative to recognize the elderly persons’ contributions to the Ilonggo community.

Birth certificate or any legal document should be shown as proof of the centenarian’s age in order to be considered for the award.

Western Visayas rakes in PHP60.75-B worth of investments in 2015


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 12 (PNA) -- Western Visayas ranked second among all the regions in the country to have lured billions worth of investments in 2015.

The Board of Investments (BOI) recently reported that Region VI captured PHP60.75 billion worth of investments or equivalent to 17 percent of the country’s registered investments last year.

It came second to Region IV-A’s P165.68 billion covering 45 percent of the BOI-approved investments in 2015 that reached PHP366.74 billion; posting a 3-percent growth from the PHP354.76 billion in 2014.

Central Visayas (Region VII) came in third with PHP32.23 billion or nine percent; and the National Capital Region in fourth place with PHP29.50 Billion worth of investments.

These investments are expected to generate over 58,000 jobs when they become fully operational in the succeeding years.

The BOI is the industry development and investments promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

DOT 6 hopes to sell Western Visayas as preferred tourism destination at ASEAN tourism forum


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 11 (PNA) –- Tourism regional director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas is positive that the upcoming ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) will create more opportunities and investments for Western Visayas and uplift the tourism industry of the region to the ASEAN community.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is on top of preparations for the ATF to be held at the SMX Convention Center on January 18-25, 2015.

ATF 2016 brings thousands of guests from across the globe, including buyers of tourism goods and services, exhibitors from the 10 ASEAN countries, top tourism officials and dignitaries.

“Western Visayas has strengthened its product portfolio featuring the best tourism attractions and services of its provinces and highly urbanized cities. We believe that ATF is a huge platform to sell these products and create an impression to the investors as an investor-friendly region, “director Catalbas said.

This is also a call to our LGUs and tourism stakeholders to improve and upgrade their services and products to meet, if not exceed, the standards of the ASEAN community,” Catalbas added.

Catalbas explained that the region should not be complacent with its present status but should exert more effort to become a top destination in the ASEAN level. She added that after the success of APEC in Western Visayas, the region can expect to host more local, national and international MICE activities in the future.

“The DOT will create the atmosphere and bring in investments but it will be up to the local government units to implement and maintain these endeavors. We will continue to elevate and develop our tourism industry by going down to the grassroots-level through Bottom-Up Budgeting Process. We will train, educate and enhance the skills and amenities of the community so everyone will benefit,” she concluded.

City eyes 20% socialized housing share from developers


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 5 (PNA) –- The city council here wants to compel private subdivision and housing developers to implement the 20 percent earmarked for socialized housing projects in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 7279, or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992.

A proposed ordinance creating the balanced housing project of Iloilo City was presented for first reading during Tuesday’s regular session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP). It will be subjected to an extensive deliberation and possible public meeting and consultation with the stakeholders such subdivision owners and land developers.

Proponent city councilor Jose Efrain G. Treñas said there was an urgent need for the land developers and subdivision owners to comply with the law that called for the development of an area for socialized housing equivalent to at least 20 percent of the subdivision area or total subdivision cost.

This will be upon the option of the developer, within the same city whenever possible, and in accordance with the standard set by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and other existing laws.

The city government is aware that some of the subdivision developers in Iloilo City were able to get housing credits from the HLURB for their 20 percent balanced housing compliance in other cities and municipalities in the Visayas, which enable them to get licenses to sell.

Treñas said that in order to sustain the housing development of the city in favor of the middle class and the underprivileged families, there is a need to provide a mechanism that would compel the developers to implement the 20 percent socialized housing project through enactment of a regulation ordinance.

It is the policy of the city government to adopt a continuing housing and resettlement program which will make available at reasonable an affordable cost decent housing to its constituents, Treñas said.

The city’s homeless urban poor is estimated to be over 10,000 families as of end of December 2015.

NFA Iloilo exceeds 2015 procurement target by 200%

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

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 8 (PIA6) - - The National Food Authority (NFA) in Iloilo has exceeded its palay procurement target by 200 percent for 2015.

The agency was able to buy some 224,913 bags of palay or about 124,913 more of its 100,000 bags target for the year.

NFA-Iloilo Manager Erna Abello said this accomplishment is very far from their accomplishment in 2014 where their palay procurement was very low.

“We are proud of our accomplishment last year, our warehouses are now full of palay, so anytime we could mill and these bags of palay are locally procured from our farmers,” said Abello.

She attributed the significant increase to the deligence and dedication shown by personnel especially those involved in the mobile procurement where some has to stay for about four days in far-flung areas of the province just to serve the farmers.

Also, to the intensified campaign on palay procurement undertaken by the agency, higher buying price and incentives given to farmers.

Based on current survey, the price of palay in the market is at P15/kilogram while the government’s buying price is at P17.00/kilogram with additional incentives of 20 centavo per kilogram for drying, 20 to 50 centavos per kilogram for delivery and 30 centavos per kilogram for Cooperative Incentive Fee.

Abello said for the first semester of 2016 it is expected that the demand for NFA rice is lower due to abundant supply in the market, however, the demand is expected to rise by May or June, during the lean months.

Currently, the rice stock inventory in the province is at safe level that will last for 135 days, according to Abello.

Dinagyang food fest to feature the best of Ilonggo foods


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 7 (PNA) -- The Iloilo Hotel, Restaurant and Resort Association (IHRRA) will feature the best of Ilonggo foods during the Dinagyang food festival on January 21-24 along its traditional site in Delgado Street beside the Amigo Terrace Hotel.

Happy Abenir, spokesperson of IHRRA, said that their 35 members are ready to present the best Ilonggo cuisine and other Filipino dishes to the Dinagyang revelers. The association is a perennial partner of the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation in presenting the best of Iloilo City during the famous Dinagyang Festival.

Abenir said the open site has been their food festival venue every year since the Dinagyang started some 48 years ago. IHRRA was able to convert a portion of Delgado St. into a family area with festival atmosphere during the nightly food trip.

Families and their visitors including foreign tourists patronized the place as they enjoy the open ambience, music and camaraderie.

Abenir said that San Miguel Corp. will provide the nightly live band music in a stage at the end of strip. All food fair participants compose of restaurants, eateries and hotels will have to decorate their stalls and vie for prizes as they present their best Filipino food at reasonable prices.

DOT 6 eyes development of port for cruise ship


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 8 (PNA) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) is hoping to develop a port for cruise ship this 2016.

Atty. Helen Catalbas, regional director of DOT in Western Visayas, said that they are targeting the Iloilo City International Port in Loboc, Lapaz and another one in northern Iloilo for the project.

Catalbas disclosed that they are just waiting for the recommendation of foreign cruise consultants who came here to make an assessment of the commercial port in Loboc and other potential facility.

“We are excited to know if which part of Western Visayas is feasible and have greater opportunity to be developed,” she said.

However, prior the plan will be pushed, they still have to engage the local government unit (LGU) and other stakeholders to a consultation to get their opinion on the utilization of their port for visiting cruise ships.

Cruise ships during their call usually stay from six to 12 hours.

The regional director disclosed that the Royal Caribbean is looking for a destination that could cater 4,500 to 6,000 guests. Even Boracay Island can only accommodate 3,000, she said.

The Royal Caribbean she added is even interested to partner with a private investor or local government unit in the establishment of a port.

Search on for outstanding community woman leader in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 6 (PNA) -- The Gender and Development Unit of the Province of Iloilo and the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Iloilo Ilang-Ilang are now accepting nominations for “Ang Ilongga: A Search for Outstanding Community Woman Leader.”

Nomination forms are now available at the Provincial Planning and Development Office, where GAD Unit is located, or at the Office of the Governor, 3rd floor of Iloilo Provincial Capitol Building, Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City.

First of its kind, the search aims to recognize one extraordinary indigenous woman community leader who made significant contributions to the empowerment of her fellowmen.

The search is specifically looking for a woman who created a positive change in the society through her dedication and selfless act of service.

That woman may be in the field of community justice, peace and order, health and wellness, education, culture and arts, entrepreneurship, agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and disaster risk reduction and management.

“We are doing this to recognize women leaders with extraordinary accomplishments who have created positive change and sustainable solutions to issues and concerns affecting their communities,” explained Carol Salvatierra, 2016 president of JCI Iloilo Ilang-Ilang.

Nominees should be Filipinos who are at least 18 and bonafide residents of 42 municipalities and one component city of Iloilo.

She must also be an emerging community leader who may or may not be working with people’s group or civil society organization.

Nominees will be screened by a panel of judges to be determined by the organizers based on the following criteria: leadership (30 percent), women empowerment (20 percent), community and civic involvement (20 percent), and social impact (30 percent).

Upon review of entries, 10 candidates will be shortlisted. All shortlisted candidates will be scored and ranked using a validation form.

The search committee will then choose the top five finalists who will be subjected to final interview, onsite validation and background investigation.

The entries for this search should be submitted to GAD-Iloilo on or before January 29, 2016.

The awarding ceremony for this search will be among the highlights of the upcoming 115th founding anniversary of Iloilo on April 11, 2016.

Ang Ilongga: A Search for Outstanding Community Woman Leader is launched one year after the provincial government partnered with the non-government organization on “All About Her,” a program that aims to provide sustainable solutions to the needs of women, especially on health, legal rights and economic development.

JCI Iloilo Ilang-Ilang, Inc. is an all-female chapter of the Junior Chamber International composed of young active citizens in Iloilo who are in the fields of law, medicine, business, psychology, human resource and the like with a common goal to provide development opportunities that empower women and the youth to create positive change.

Iloilo City to sustain growth momentum in 2016


ILOILO CITY, Jan. 5 (PNA) --Iloilo City is sustaining the momentum in terms of major accomplishments this 2016.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog encouraged City Hall employees to continue supporting the programs and projects which garnered prestigious awards and make them sustainable.

Iloilo City got the Plaque of Sustainability for having exemplified commitment in raising the standards of accountability, transparency and improved service delivery, thereby pursuing the ideas of Excellence in Local Governance (EXCELL) Awards 2015 by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG-6).

This after Iloilo became a Hall of Famer as Best Performing City in Region 6. The City Government was also a consistent champion in administrative, social, economic and environmental governance.

Mabilog asked Ilonggos to cooperate and support the initiatives to make the metropolis livable, safe and peaceful for residents, visitors, and investors.

BPLO eyes changes in business permit requirements


ILOILO CITY, Jan 4 (PNA) -- The Iloilo City Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) is considering some changes in the requirements for business permits given the redundancy of some qualifications.

BPLO chief Norman Tabud, however, said this move is being considered only after this year's national and local elections.

The current requirements for business permit application include barangay clearance, fire safety clearance and CCTV clearance for high risk businesses.

Tabud, however, noted that small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially those located in malls, public markets and the variety stores, need not submit fire safety and CCTV clearances.

He said these are not necessary for mall locators because the mall and market managements are the ones required to submit these.

He also pointed out that SMEs are not high risk businesses.

Thus, he stressed the need for the City Council to take a serious look on this to facilitate more business-friendly processing.

Meanwhile, Tabud said his office would be open even on weekends until January 20 to cater to business permit renewal applications.

He said business owners who will not be able to meet the January 20, 2016 deadline will have to pay a surcharge and a 25 percent penalty.

Tabud is optimistic on the increase of business permits and licenses this year after noting the big jump of applications, at about 2,000, over the 13,000 permits issued in 2015.

Processing of permits for new businesses will start in February 2016.

DSWD lauds Iloilo for being ‘elderly-friendly’


ILOILO City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 6 lauded the city government here for being friendly to the elderly.

“What Iloilo City has done is commendable. It used its own resources to help the elderly,” said Judith Tanate, focal person for the elderly, during the recent Senior Citizens Congress here.

According to Tanate, the city government adopted the national government’s scheme of providing pension for the elderly by serving more senior citizens.

“We hope that more local government units will follow,” said Tanate.

Under its own social pension program, Iloilo City provides a stipend of P500 per semester to each of the identified 5,000 eligible senior citizens here.

A total of P5 million is allotted every year.

Eligible are elderly who are not catered by DSWD, 65 years old and above, not receiving pension or regular support from immediate relatives.

Preparations start for Paraw Regatta

(Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City – Preparations have started for the 44th Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival on the third week of February 2016.

The Iloilo Paraw Regatta Foundation, Inc. (IPRFI) and the city government has signed a memorandum of agreement for the festival’s staging.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said public-private partnership will ensure the success of the oldest traditional sailing event in Southeast Asia and the country’s best sports tourism event.

IPRFI president Ronald Raymond Sebastian said they expect a more exciting and more colorful showcase and tribute to Ilonggo seafaring traditions and talents as they gather many participants and wider support.

Sebastian said they target a P2-million fund for the hosting even as the city government allotted P1.6 million for this year’s edition.

IPRFI has tapped universities such as John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University, St. Therese MTC Colleges, West Visayas State University and Iloilo Science and Technology University, among others and groups like Jaycees and Iloilo Watercraft Association to organize, support and participate in series of special events showcasing Ilonggo sports, arts, culture and heritage.

The week-long festivity will feature slalom competition, main paraw race, cultural shows, poster-making, miniature paraw-making, food-and-cook fest, photo contest and exhibit, beauty pageant, trade fair, painting contest, bike tour, fishing tournament, beach sports, and watersports.

Iloilo City lot in Pavia sold to highest bidder

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE 6.9 hectare lot owned by the Iloilo City Government located in Barangay Ungka, Pavia, Iloilo was finally sold to the highest bidder at P3,167 per square meter way above the Commission on Audit suggested price of P2,500 per square meter.

The total bid price of P220.8 million of International Builders Corporation (IBC) chaired by businessman Alfonso Tan was also over the bid price of P215.2 million of SM Prime Holdings Inc. at P3,088 per square meter in a negotiated bid opening held December 7, 2015.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog signed the deed of sale with IBC as bid winner through a resolution passed by the City Council last December 24, 2015.

The Pavia lot was a site of a former City Government low cost housing project earmarked for City Hall employees.

The project was scuttled during the time of former city mayor Jerry Trenas after the contractor abandoned the P135 million project. It was found out that the materials used in the housing construction were substandard.

The City Council rescinded the contract during the tenure of Mabilog and efforts failed locate the contractor.

Mabilog, with the help of the City Council, started negotiations for the sale of the lot in Pavia with the help of COA. Two biddings failed and the City Government resorted to negotiated sale.

Mabilog said the lot sale proceeds will mostly go to construction of development projects and payment of past city loans.