Iloilo City News January 2017

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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Seal of Iloilo City
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Map Locator of Iloilo City
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Aerial View of Iloilo City
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Aerial View of Iloilo City
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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
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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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Contents

Ground work for Taiwan-Iloilo chartered flight starts

(PNA), LAP/PGL/PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) through its offices in Western Visayas or Region 6 and Taiwan has started the ground works to make the Taiwan-Iloilo chartered flight possible.

In a media statement, DOT 6 Director, Atty. Helen J. Catalbas said that her office will be hosting a Business-to-Business (B2B) Networking session that will gather Taiwanese and Western Visayas tourism industry stakeholders and representatives from national carriers Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines in March.

Catalbas disclosed that they are arranging the visit of 20 Taipei-based tour operators and travel agents, eight Taiwan media and two DOT–Taiwan personnel on March 27-31 this year to allow them to familiarize with the standard itinerary offered by accredited tour operators in Iloilo, Guimaras and Negros Occidental and inspect properties relative to accommodation, transportation and food.

Last January 20-22, two Taiwan-based media personnel arrived in Iloilo to cover the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival and visit other points of interests in Iloilo and Guimaras. The visit hoped to raise awareness of Taiwanese travelers on the attractions and facilities of the said places as featured in Apple News Daily and Formosa TV.

SET TV, another Taiwan-based media, will arrive on February 17-23 to take shots of the out-of-the-box daily points of interest and lifestyle in Iloilo, Guimaras and Bacolod City/Negros Occidental.

They are expected to come in time for the Paraw Regatta Festival, another attraction in Iloilo City.

The visits of the Taiwan-based media practitioners were arranged by the DOT in partnership with the Tourism Promotions Board and other tourism stakeholders in Western Visayas.

It is hoped that the first chartered flight from Taiwan to Iloilo International Airport will be in 2018 in time for the 50th anniversary of the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival, Catalbas expressed.

DOLE 6 eyes 5,220 OSYs, indigent students for special employment program

(PNA), FPV/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- More than 5,000 indigent students and out-of-school youths (OSYs) who are interested to go back to school stand to benefit from this year’s special program for employment of students (SPES) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Western Visayas.

DOLE 6 Officer-in-Charge Salome O. Siaton said the 5, 220 targets were identified based on the pledges of partner local government units (LGUs) and private sector.

Salome disclosed that they are expected to work 30 days on the average. The recipients of the program will be paid a daily wage of PHP298.50. Forty percent will be shouldered by DOLE and the remaining 60 percent by the partner establishment or LGU.

However, since the region is now working on a new minimum wage, then the number of working hours maybe lessened once the new wage order in Western Visayas takes effect.

Recipient-students usually render duties during summer and Christmas breaks. Siaton said there are SPES recipients who were able to finish their education through this program.

Those interested to avail of the program have to meet the core requirements, which include income, age and grade.

The combined family income should be below the poverty threshold in the region, they must not be more than 25 years old. They are also required to obtain passing grades.

Siaton said they prefer those who are included in the National Household Targeting System (NHTS) data of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Also, preference is given to children of displaced workers and victims of calamities.

Those who are interested to avail of the program are advised to visit their nearest Public Employment Service Office (PESO).

Lighted sailboats to add color to Iloilo’s Paraw Regatta Festival

(PNA), FPV/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 27 (PNA)-- Some 20 lighted sailboats are expected to add more color to the 2017 Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival slated from February 12 to 19.

Dr. Ronald Raymond L. Sebastian, president of the Iloilo Paraw Regatta Foundation, said they started with six lighted sailboats or locally known as ‘paraw’ last year, and they hoped to increase the number as shipping companies had committed to be part of the event.

“Everybody is excited,” he claimed. The lighted sailboats will be floating in seawaters right in front of the Tatoy’s Manokan in Villa, Arevalo district, in the evening of February 19.

Meanwhile, in the morning of February 19, some 90 sailboats are expected to compete in the sailboat race conquering the more than 20-kilometer race course that will start in front of the Tatoy’s Manokan, passing by Jordan, Guimaras and back to the starting line.

The race calls for good maneuvering skills of the crew as they have to find perfect wind that will bring them to the various points identified by a technical team in-charge of the race.

This year’s celebration anchors on the theme “Showcasing the Philippines as a Maritime Nation.” Sebastian said Iloilo has a great contribution to the seafaring industry in terms of manpower.

He revealed that the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU) alone produces 1,500 to 1,800 seafarers annually, and 60 percent of them are already placed with shipping companies.

To assist future seafarers, the organizer will be holding a one-day job fair that will be participated in by shipping companies, Sebastian said.

The Paraw Regatta, which is now on its 45th year, best represents the Ilonggo culture and history as early settlers of Panay Island used the double-outrigger boat as their mode of transportation.

DOT to step up promotion of tourist hubs in Western Visayas

(PNA), LAP/PGL/CBFERRER/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 26 (PNA) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Western Visayas will step up its promotion of tourism destinations in the four provinces of Western Visayas and Negros Occidental.

DOT Regional Director Helen Catalbas said that this year, marketing and promotion activities such as ground preparation like accessibility, frontline trainings, community tourism awareness and ensuring their attractions are not overexposed will be centered on Iloilo, Capiz, Guimaras and Antique.

She added that Negros Occidental, being part of the Negros Island Region (NIR), will also be included because it does not have a budget yet for tourism promotions.

Catalbas explained that the island of Boracay, being the flagship destination of Western Visayas and the country’s tourism capital, has already a “stable market” and most big properties in the island are conducting their own marketing activities abroad.

She assured, however, they would continuously conduct trainings for the frontline service in the island and to further intensify efforts to entice more cruise ships to visit it.

Catalbas mentioned that Iloilo is the “most ready” destination considering that it has many domestic flights, including regular international flights.

Guimaras, meanwhile is considered as the twin province of Iloilo that tourists usually include in their itinerary when they go to Iloilo.

Currently, the Iloilo International Airport has regular direct flights to Hongkong and Singapore, vice versa.

“One of the very important factors in gaining tourists is if we are connected to the international market with less travel time,” she said.

Also, Catalbas named Capiz as a province with very strong domestic tourism market and Negros Occidental as very strong selling point for chartered flights.

Meanwhile, Catalbas here lauded the successful conduct of this year’s Dinagyang Festival. She said that this year’s celebration is a fitting prelude to the golden anniversary of Dinagyang in 2018.

She mentioned that they have observed that the attendance of tourists and local visitors increased in this city during the three-day highlights of the festival and gathered good feedback from tourists like the festival was “excellent, spectacular and full of energy.”

Around 200 tourists have availed the services offered by the DOT-6 at their Tourist Information and Assistance Center that was put up in front of the Amigo Terrace Hotel at Iznart Street, City Proper, Iloilo City.

Catalbas further said that next year, they might put up additional four or five information and assistance centers in this city during the festival to accommodate more tourists.

DOST 6 earmarks over P38-M for MSMEs techno upgrading

By Lilibeth A. French (laf/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 25 (PIA6) -- The Department of Science and Technology 6 (DOST) has earmarked some P38,200,000 to assist 25 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from Western Visayas and Negros Occidental for their technology upgrading this year.

DOST 6 Information Officer Sol Aplaon Salazar said seven of these 25 MSMEs are from the province of Iloilo, another seven from Negros Occidental, four in Aklan, three in Guimaras and two in Capiz.

Salazar said under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) of DOST, MSMEs are provided various technological interventions that aim to address their technological problems and limitations to enhance their daily operations and eventually improve their productivity, efficiency and competitiveness.

The SETUP assistance or interventions involves technical assistance, consultancy services, human resource training, packaging and labeling, establishment of product standards and other operation related activities.

Currently, Salazar said SET UP assists MSMEs that belong to the following priority sectors: food processing; furniture; gifts, decors, handicrafts; aquatic and marine, horticulture/agriculture; metals and engineering; Information and Communications Technology/Electronics (ICT); and Health Products and Services.

In 2016, the program was able to provide various technology interventions to a total of 49 MSMES from the five provinces of the region and Negros Occidental including the six beneficiaries from the province of Antique who received their SETUP financial assistance earlier this month.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña turned-over the financial assistance to MSMEs beneficiaries in a Technology Forum held on January 20 in Antique. The forum which was attended also by DOST 6 Regional Director Rowen Gelonga and DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute Director Celia Elumba was in line with the 2017 Technology Caravan conducted in the province from January 19 to 22.

Iloilo City starts Chinese New Year celebration

(PNA), CVL/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 24 (PNA) -- The Chinese New Year celebration officially kicked off in Iloilo City Tuesday afternoon with the opening of an exhibit at the SM City here.

The exhibit, “Strokes of Unity”, showcased the various endeavors of the Chinese-Filipino community through the years, as it has been a partner of the city government in various undertakings.

In an interview, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog noted the Chinese-Filipino community's huge influence in the city, as it owns about 80 percent of micro, small and medium enterprises.

The community's presence can also be felt in various volunteer and charity works even outside Iloilo City.

On Wednesday, students of schools offering Chinese curriculum will visit selected public schools here to share with other pupils the culture of the Chinese.

Students of Hua Siong College of Iloilo will visit their counterparts in Jaro I Elementary School and Iloilo Central Elementary School; students of Ateneo de Iloilo will go to Tabucan Elementary School and Donato Pison Elementary School; and students of the Sun Yat Sen High School will be in Montes Elementary School and Montes 3 Elementary School.

The mall show, “Usher in the First Dawn”, will be performed by the Iloilo Scholastic Academy at SM City on Thursday.

A grand parade will be witnessed on Friday afternoon, to be followed by a grand cultural show at the Plazoleta Gay area.

A food festival along Iznart Ext. St. will serve up authentic Chinese cuisine on the same day.

The celebration, with the theme, “One Community, One Direction, One Goal”, is being organized by the Iloilo Chinese-Filipino Cultural Association and the Chinese-Filipino Community of Iloilo, in partnership with the city government.

Iloilo Dinagyang to perform in Sydney, Auckland

By Lilibeth A. French (JCM/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 23 (PIA6) -- Aside from joining the Aliwan Festival in Manila, there are now two invitations to perform abroad for this year’s champion of the Dinagyang Ati Tribes competition.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the Iloilo Dinagyang 2017 Champion has been invited by the Philippine government to perform at the Philippine Independence Day celebration in Sydney Australia this June. Another invitation is for the Santa Parade in Auckland, New Zealand this November.

Mabilog made the announcement before he revealed the winners of the coveted championship award for the ATI Tribes Competition during the awarding ceremonies held at the Freedom Grandstand, January 22, which capped the 2017 Dinagyang Festival celebration.

Defending champion Tribu Salognon of the Jaro National High School retained their crown besting nine other tribes this year and brought home a trophy and P200,000 cash prize for the championship award.

The group also bagged the following special and minor awards: Best Costume Designer, Best Musical Director, Best in Music, Best in Costume, Best in Street-dancing and Best in Performance. They also garnered the Opening Salvo awards such as Best in Costume, Best in Discipline and Best in Overall Performance.

Completing the top winners for this year’s Ati tribes competition are Tribu Panayanon of Iloilo City National High School, first runner-up, Tribu Ilonganon of Jalandoni Memorial National High School, second runner-up, Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz National High School, third runner-up and Tribu Pan-ay of Fort San Pedro National High School, fourth runner-up.

On the other hand, Hubon Binagtong sa Manggahan of Cabalagnan National High School of Nueva Valencia, Guimaras was declared champion of the Kasadyahan Regional Cultural Competition, another highlight of the Dinagyang Festival. It is a competition of festivals of the various provinces, cities and municipalities as well as schools in the islands of Panay and Negros. Some nine performing groups competed on January 21.

Hubon Binagtong of Manggahan bested two-year champion Tribu Tatusan of Caluyan, Antique which was declared first-runner up. The group also took home six special and minor awards that include Best in Music, Best Musical Director, Best in Costume, Best in Choreography, Best Choreographer, and Best Performance.

Tribu Pintados de Passi of Passi City was second runner-up, Tinabuay Festival of Murcia, Negros Occidental, third runner-up and Tribu Salakayan of Miag-ao, fourth runner-up.

The awarding was attended by Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III and City Councilors Joshua Alim, Armand Parcon, Lady Ann Baronda and Reynan Hervias. Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. President Ramon Cua Locsin, Reverend Father Raymundo Edsel Alcagaya of San Jose Parish Placer, and judges also graced the event.

2017 Dinagyang festival culminates with Ati tribe competition

(PNA), JBP/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 22 (PNA) -- Ten tribes joining the Ati tribe competition of the 2017 Dinagyang festival showcased their best interpretation of the many facets of Ilonggos’ devotion to Señor Santo Niño, Sunday.

The competition marked the last day of the three-day highlights of the festival that anchors on the theme “Communion of Communities in Señor Santo Niño” and carries the tagline See, Feel, Love.

The competing tribes include Paghidaet, Obreros, Ilonganon, Abiador, Dagatnon, Panayanon, Buntatalanit, Salognon, Pan-ay and Amihan.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, in his opening message, attributed the success of the festival, which is now on its 49th year, to the support and cooperation coming from the community.

He cited the strong public-private partnership ensured the success of the city government’s endeavor. Mabilog further emphasized the strong support of his leadership to the various thrusts of the current administration.

Senator Franklin M. Drilon, meantime, pointed out how huge difference in the landscape of the city and province of Iloilo as a result of the strong political leadership in the local level.

Ramon Cua Locsin, president of the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc, said the annual festival has “attracted tourists and investments, generated recognition for Iloilo and created partnerships, and most importantly has showcased Iloilo as a cultural space that supports diversity, craftsmanship, freedom of expression and artistic development.”

Meantime, results of the competition will be announced Sunday evening with the grand champion taking home PHP200,000; first runner-up, PHP175,000; second runner-up, PHP150,000; third runner-up, PHP125,000 and fourth runner-up with PHP100,000.

Other minor awards include best in performance, choreography, music, costume and street dancing.

BRP Andres Bonifacio conducts recruiting drive in Iloilo City

(PNA), LGI/PFN

MANILA (PNA) -- In line with its efforts to recruit quality personnel for the Philippine Navy (PN) which is now steadily expanding its capabilities, the BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17), the country's third Hamilton-class cutter in service, arrived in Iloilo City Thursday for the Visayas leg of its show the flag, port visit and recruitment information drive.

PN spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna said the ship will be in Iloilo City until this Jan. 21.

The Navy is in need of an additional 1,000 personnel to man its growing number of ships and other assets.

Aboard the said vessel are the midshipmen/women cadets of Philippine Military Academy Class of 2017 who are undergoing training and orientation in preparation for their integration in the PN Officers Corps.

Together with key personnel of BRP Andres Bonifacio, they will conduct courtesy calls to different government officials of the city.

Also aboard the ship are personnel from the Naval Personnel Management Center Mobile Recruitment Team to conduct information drive regarding recruitment schedules and requirements.

After her Iloilo City stop, BRP Andres Bonifacio, which is commanded by Capt. Brendo J. Casaclang, will proceed to Zamboanga City and other areas of Mindanao.

DOT to put up tourist information and assistance center during Dinagyang Festival

(PNA), LAP/PGL/CBFERRER/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Tourism in Western Visayas will put up a Tourist Information and Assistance Center during the Dinagyang Festival to assist tourists who are coming to this city.

The center will be put up in front of the Amigo Terrace Hotel at Iznart Street, City Proper and will open from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. on January 21-22.

In an interview Thursday, DOT-6 regional director Helen Catalbas said that tourists who are staying in DOT-accredited hotels are invited to drop by at the center to avail of their services.

They could ask information from DOT personnel regarding the festival, locations of establishments in the city, tourist spots in Western Visayas and any other questions and inquiries.

Catalbas said that snacks will be provided even as they are invited to take time to rest at the center.

A media lounge will also be provided where practitioners could stay, interact with tourists and gather information such as tourists arrivals.

The regional office of DOT will also be open 24 hours over the weekend to serve the requirements of tourists as well as local visitors.

Catalbas expressed optimism that more tourists will be coming to witness this year’s Dinagyang Festival.

She said that DOT-6 has recorded a significant increase yearly in tourist arrivals during the three-day period of the festival.

Likewise, she said that the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other business establishments in this city could generate more income.

Musical fireworks display add color to 2017 Dinagyang Festival

(PNA), FPV/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 19 (PNA) -- A musical fireworks display slated January 20-21 will add color to this year’s Dinagyang Festival.

Nomar Chavez, in-charge of the ‘Luces in the Sky’ said there will be no competition this year; instead, it will only be a showcase of fireworks.

He admitted that shooters are having a hard time working on their permits following the Work Stoppage Order of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). As option, event partners SM City and Megaworld decided to tap local shooters who already had experienced seeking permits during this city’s New Year’s countdown.

However, he assured that the public will not be disappointed by what they will be witnessing as the pyro-musical display will be a minimum of 12 minutes non-stop.

He disclosed that in previous years, they were able to gather 14 shooters, but the total maximum display was only around 25 minutes.

The display, to be held at the SM City carpark, will start 9p.m. on Friday while those at the Megaworld will commence 8p.m. on Saturday.

City mulls mini ‘jeepneys’ as ASEAN souvenirs

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

ILOILO CITY, January 18 (PIA6) --- The local organizing committee (LOC) of the 2017 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit is considering to give miniature ‘Iloilo City jeepneys’ as souvenir gifts to international delegates who will attend the event.

City Tourism and Development Office (CTDO) head and executive director of the LOC Junel Ann Divinagracia said that jeepney models here such as the ‘Pasajero Sosyal’ are a good trademark of Iloilo City.

“I have observed during the visit of international visitors here was that when they would see these miniature jeepneys in souvenir shops, they were amazed,” she said.

However, Divinagracia said that a major concern for this plan is that there are no local manufacturers who produce and sell these mini jeepneys here.

She said that other souvenir item options are the Dinagyang masks, ‘hablon’, or frames made from capiz shells.

Iloilo City will be the venue of five meetings for the ASEAN summit this March.

The city will host the 22nd SOCA Meeting and 17th ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council (ASCC) Meeting on March 6 to 9, ASEAN Military Operations Informal Meeting (AMOIM), ASEAN Military Intelligence Informal Meeting (AMIIM) and ASEAN Chiefs of Defense Forces Informal Meeting (ACDFIM) on March 6 to 10 and the 3rd ASEAN-OECD Good Regulatory Practice Network Meeting on March 14 to 15.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte led the official launching of the Philippine chairmanship of the ASEAN 2017 at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City last January 15.

The Philippines' chairmanship will be guided by six thematic priorities spearheaded by the Philippines including people-centered initiatives, ensuring regional peace and stability, pursuing maritime security and cooperation, advancing inclusive, innovation-led growth, strengthening ASEAN resiliency, and promoting ASEAN as a model of regionalism and as a global player.

The Philippines' hosting coincides with ASEAN's 50th anniversary celebration with the theme, "Partnering for Change, Engaging the World."

Medical-surgical mission benefit many Ilonggos

(Capitol News)

HUNDREDS of Ilonggo patients benefited from the four-day medical and surgical mission of Marian Rose World Mission (MRWM) and Life is Great (LIG) Global Foundation last week.

The mission brought 98 volunteers, composed of doctors, nurses, and other medical workers from the United States of America (USA) to undertake the medical procedures for free.

It was made possible through the effort of MRWM president Cristy Garcia Pamaar, an anaesthesiologist based in New Jersey, USA, but hails from North Fundidor, Molo, Iloilo City.

Provincial Administrator Raul Banias, who facilitated the conduct of the medical and surgical mission, said the beneficiaries were pre-selected by the hospitals and the concerned municipal health offices.

The cataract operations were held at the Iloilo Provincial Hospital (IPH) in Pototan, Iloilo while corneal transplants were conducted at Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

The eye surgeries were made with the help of the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology - Western Visayas Chapter led by Doctor Karen Francia and the Makati Medical Center.

Cataract surgeries for 22 patients were successfully done at IPH while 10 surgeries were done at WVMC. Ten patients were recipients of corneal transplant.

In Rep. Pedro G. Trono Memorial District Hospital in Guimbal, 37 patients with gynecological diseases were successfully operated. The patients mostly suffered from myoma, uterine prolapse, and ovarian cyst. Eight patients with breast mass have also undergone surgery.

LIG Global Foundation president Ernani Sadural said the activity was their fifth mission in the Philippines and they are happy with their partnership with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.

This year, Sadural said, they have expanded their medical and surgical mission to include educational programs for midwives and other stakeholders.

Defensor thanked MRWM and LIG Global for making the province a recipient of their worthy endeavor.

He noted Marian Rose also extended help to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 by donating medicines and other medical supplies especially to northern Iloilo.

As part of their educational program, MRWM and LIG Global Foundation organized a career symposium, team building and arnis training for orphaned boys aging from 14-17 in San Joaquin, Iloilo.

They also conducted a psychology, dental, ENT and pediatric clinic in Sped School in Oton, Iloilo and caring for caregivers workshop for Alzheimers patients in Asilo de Molo, gift-giving activities, and many other activities.

Anti-pneumonia shots now available at Iloilo City Health Office

(PNA), LAP/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 16 (PNA) -- The City Government here through its Health Office is ready to administer anti-pneumonia vaccines to senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).

City Health Office (CHO) head Dr. Bernard Caspe on Monday said that 2,000 shots of anti-pneumonia vaccines were downloaded by the Department of Health (DOH) to his office.

They were just starting doses because it’s only the start of the year, he said, adding that probably, DOH will download more once the supply is depleted.

Caspe has already advised doctors assigned in the city’s district health centers to get their allocation of 150 shots per district at the CHO.

“Anytime they can start with the immunization once they have their supply already,” Caspe said.

He explained that they will prioritize the senior citizens and if there are stocks left then they will accommodate persons with disabilities.

He was confident that they can cover all the elderlies and PWDs as the free vaccination has been going on for five years. The anti-pneumonia shot is good for five years.

Meanwhile, while the vaccine is not an assurance that people who get it will not get sick of pneumonia, it has around 85 to 90 percent protection rate, Caspe said.

Mushroom industry on the rise

By Elsa S. Subong (JCM/ESS/PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY (2016)—Entrepreneur Charlene Genciana of Alta Tierra Village in Jaro, Iloilo City now supplies pickled and fresh mushroom packs in two big malls in the city.

According to Regional Information Officer of the Department of Agriculture-6 James Ogatis, said that Genciana is a successful beneficiary of the Community-Based Mushroom Production Project. “This project is an intervention under the Palayamanan Model for lowland rice farmers,” Ogatis said.

Genciana had 4,000 fruiting bags in her 400-square meter lot.

“I started the project in May 2016 and began harvesting the following month, with increasing and sustaining supply,” Genciana said.

Genciana is the Manager of Witch Forest Food Products.

“The core concept of Palayamanan system is integration of all farm resources, where rice hay or straws are used as primary medium in making mushroom substrates,” said Elmer Cabusas, Regional Rice Action Program Officer and Mushroom Project Focal Person.

Meanwhile, the DA has facilitated on-site trainings in Iloilo, Guimaras, Aklan, Antique and Capiz, which to date have produced 1,250 bottle spawns used in the production of mushroom fruiting bags for trainings and growers.

Eden Panisales, in-charge, On-Station Modules, said the team has so far produced 24,150 fruiting bags used during trainings and distributed to walk-in clients as part of mass information dissemination on mushroom.

There are nine new innovations introduced, like, mushroom empanada, patty, siomai, crispy mushroom, embutido, tempura, puto-pao, atsara/pickles and ice cream.

New Maritime Center to be built in Iloilo

By BEN KRITZ (TMT)

Officials from Iloilo and national agencies on Wednesday broke ground for a new P60-million Maritime Center to be built in the city, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said in a statement.

The Maritime Center is envisioned as “a one-stop shop for the maritime community” in Iloilo and the Western Visayas and will include facilities for training and other services for seafarers and their families, the PPA said.

Construction of the four-story center is expected to be completed by the second quarter of the year, the agency added.

PPA explained that the multi-agency initiative was spearheaded by Angkla Partylist Rep. Jesulito Manalo, in view of the importance of Iloilo and the Western Visayas region to the Philippines’ maritime workforce. Although detailed statistics are not available, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) estimated that as many as half of the approximately 420,000 Filipino seafarers (as of end-September 2016) come from the area.

Iloilo is also home to six maritime schools or training centers, including respected maritime school John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU), which specializes in training for ship officers.

The new Maritime Center will be a cooperative project of three government agencies, the PPA said. The PPA contributed the land for the Center, while the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region VI office is handling funding of the building’s construction. Marina will provide the personnel to operate the Center once it is completed.

The development, which will cost about P60 million, is a multi-agency initiative led by the Angkla Partylist through Rep. Jesulito Manalo, wherein the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) contributed the land while the building will be financed through the. The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), on the other hand, will provide the personnel to carry out the objective of the Center.

City gov't creates technical working group for establishment of Intelligent Transport System

(PNA), LAP/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 13 (PNA) -- A technical working group (TWG) that will work on the procurement and establishment of Intelligent Transport System (ITS) in Iloilo City is now in place.

The ITS was conceptualized to address various traffic concerns, especially along the Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue, such as occurrence of accidents due to improper parking of vehicles and reckless driving.

The city government has allotted Php25 million for the procurement and installation of the ITS along the Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue.

Executive Order number 3 signed by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog identified representatives from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Transportation Management and Traffic Regulation Office (TMTRO), City Engineer’s Office (CEO), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), University of the Philippines representing the academe, Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) and the General Services Office (GSO).

The TWG will determine and recommend to the City Mayor and the Bids and Awards Committee the specification of the ITS to be procured as well as the qualifications of the supplier and the conditions of the procurement and installation and make suggestion for the effective and successful implementation of the system.

Aeta community to benefit from ‘Balay Kawayan’

(PNA), LAP/PGL/CHRIS N.D. ROBITE CPU – OJT/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 12 (PNA) -- Aeta families with no houses of their own found a place at the ‘Balay Kawayan’ established for them free by the private sector with the help of the city government here.

Sonia Cadornigara, regional coordinator of the Homeless People's Federation of the Philippines, Inc. (HPFPI), said that they will be turning over to their intended recipients 24 housing units made of bamboo.

The houses were built in Barangay Lanit, Jaro in this city in a 3,000-square meter lot that was acquired by the city government.

She said that they are hoping for more improvements in the Aeta’s hygiene and home-keeping, as well as the community's drainage and road system.

Wilfredo Jurilla, executive director of the Iloilo City Urban Poor Affairs Office (ICUPAO) said that another 3,000 square meters will be acquired to be used as venue for their livelihood program such as handicraft making and massage training.

Their output will be marketed with the help of the city government and the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Incorporated during every Dinagyang Festival.

The housing project for the Aeta community started when one Aeta Pastor saw some Aetas roaming around the city and found out some of them were his relatives. With the help of the Ati Tribes Mission fund were raised to build their homes and a church.

Also supporting the project are the JCI Ilang-Ilang, Western Institute of Technology and the Healthy Foundation.

Dinagyang Festival religious activities kick off today

(LAP/PGL/Jeter Hibionada and Era Mariz C. Murillo CPU-OJT/CBF)

Iloilo City, Jan. 11 (PNA) -– religious activities to usher the 2017 Dinagyang festival kicked off Wednesday with an early morning mass at the San Jose Church here in this city.

Rev. Fr. Raymundo Alcayaga, parish priest, said that devotees are invited to join the various religious events in celebration of the feast of Señor Santo Niño.

The daily novena mass will end on January 19. The afternoon mass will be followed by a “mini-sadsad” or merrymaking, one of the innovations introduced by the parish this year.

“We are introducing mini sadsad that will last for five to 10 minutes," he said.

A grand merrymaking, however, will be held on January 21 after the 5:30 p.m. mass, which is expected to entice a huge numbers of devotees because of the miracles they experienced. This celebration is composed of prayers, dancing and chanting wherein praising Señor Santo Niño.

Another religious activity is the fluvial and foot procession in the afternoon of January 20. It will start at Fort San Pedro and culminate in front of the Bureau of Customs in Muelle Loney area.

Other activities include games, feeding and gift-giving for around 400 children from barangays surrounding the parish this January 14 and a medical and dental mission the next day.

Online business registration now available in Iloilo City

(PNA), LAP/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 10 (PNA) -- Business permit applicants need not queue at the city hall anymore as they can now apply online.

Francis Cruz of the Information and Communications Office of the city government here said that online business registration is now available. He said applicants just have to access forms at the city website -- Iloilocity.gov.ph and Iloilocity.ga.

Upon submission of pertinent documents and the assessment has been done, they can just print the required forms, bring the necessary attachments and proceed to pay at the cashier’s office.

Waiting time is between 24 to 48 hours but most of the time, it is even less than 24 hours, he said.

The online submission can be done 24/7 but the processing is during office hours. A dedicated personnel is assigned by the city government to look into the applications.

The city government is also working on making available an online payment, which hopefully will be realized first quarter of this year. The online payment will not only accept business tax but they hope to also include real property tax.

The city government has been calling on businesses here to renew their permits early and avoid the rush. The deadline for renewal of permits is January 20.

Penalties and surcharges apply to those who would not be able to meet the deadline.

Ilonggos to get free eye, gynecologic surgeries

(PNA), LAP/PGL/PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 9 (PNA) -- An estimated 97 poor patients suffering from eye and gynecological diseases will benefit from the week-long medical and surgical mission of Life is Good (LIG) Global Foundation and Marian Rose World Mission (MRWM).

LIG Global Foundation president Dr. Ernani Sadural said this is their fifth mission in the Philippines and they wanted to leave a lasting impact, not only to the lives of the patients but to the communities they reached in the province.

“We are here to conduct multiple programs mostly around women’s health and now we are expanding it to other areas like ophthalmologic programs and caring for special children in Oton,” Sadural said in an interview during his courtesy visit to Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. on Monday.

Dr. Sadural was accompanied by Marilou Villareal, the sister of MRWM President Cristina Pamaar, Sanjay Pamaar, Eric Gouri Shankar and Dr. John Villaci.

LIG Global Foundation and MRWM’s medical and surgical mission will be held simultaneously with the help of 98 American and Filipino volunteer doctors, nurses and staff from January 9-13, 2017.

Of the estimated number of beneficiaries, 30 are cataract patients of Iloilo Provincial Hospital under Defensor’s Blind Prevention Program, according to Dr. Mike Pador of the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology-Western Visayas Chapter.

Twenty other cataract patients and two patients needing corneal transplant will receive free eye surgery in Western Visayas medical Center in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

The 37 gynecological patients, on the other hand, will have their surgeries in Rep. Pedro Trono Memorial District Hospital in Guimbal, Iloilo.

Most of these women are suffering from myoma, uterine prolapse and ovarian cyst. There are also eight patients with breast mass that will benefit from the mission.

Aside from the medical and surgical activities, Sadural said there are also educational programs for midwives to help strengthen the local medical communities.

“Example of this is our CECAP (cervical cancer awareness program) which continues to grow. We hope that it will eventually part of the regional training program for local midwives to help combat cervical cancer,” he said.

LIG Global Foundation and MRWM will also set up an adult-pedia clinic, and organize a career symposium, team building and arnis training in for orphaned boys age 14-17 in San Joaquin.

They will also have a psychology, dental, ENT and pediatric clinic in SPED School in Oton, Iloilo, caring for caregiver’s workshop for alzheimer’s patients in Asilo de Molo, women’s health kiosk in Marymart Mall, gift-giving activities, workshop on chronic pain blocks in West Visayas State University Medical Center, among others.

MGB-6 geologist gets training on sediment-related disasters

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

ILOILO CITY Jan (PIA)—Mines and Geosciences Bureau-6 Geologist Dr. Leilani Suerte said the training she has just attended has strengthened the participants’ capability in planning countermeasures for sediment-related disasters.

An MGB-6 release said the training was the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Knowledge Co-Creation Program on Disaster Management for Landslide and Sediment-Related Disasters.

Dr. Suerte joined 13 other countries in Japan for the more than two months training starting October till December 10 last year.

Suerte, who was with a representative from the Department of Public Works and Highways, said she interacted with technology-based government officials such as civil engineers and geologists of other countries, like Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, St. Vincent, Grenadines and Turkey.

The participants were engaged in the development of countermeasures to prevent or mitigate natural hazards, triggered by rainfall, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The program consisted of components, namely, general knowledge on administration and activity of disaster prevention and mitigation; basic and applied technology on countermeasures of sediment-related disasters; field study of disasters and their countermeasures induced by heavy rain, earthquake and volcanic activity and exercise on issues related to sediment-related disaster prevention and mitigation.

Dr. Suerte has been active in information dissemination on natural hazards and on application of hazard maps among landslide and flood-prone barangays in Iloilo.

Dinagyang opening salvo: A visual treat

By RESEL JOY TIANERO (PN)

ILOILO City – Yesterday’s opening salvo of the 2017 Dinagyang Festival was a visual treat.

A sneak peak of what to expect at the ati-ati competition on Jan. 22, it was filled with tribe numbers that gave an impression that the race to the title as the best festival performer is going to be tight.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog was pleased with what he saw.

It was an indication that the contest proper two weeks from now will be much better than the previous editions, he said. “[Full-on] costume na lang ang kulang.”

Even with a light rain, the performances continued.

The contending tribus are Paghidaet of La Paz National High School (NHS), Obreros of Bo. Obrero NHS, Pan-ay of Fort San Pedro NHS, Amihan of Mandurriao NHS, Buntatalanit of Tiu Cho Teg Ana Ros Foundation Integrated School, Salognon of Jaro NHS, Dagatnon of Ramon Avanceña NHS, Panayanon of Iloilo City National High School, Ilonganon of Jalandoni Memorial NHS, and Abiador of Asian College of Aeronautics.

Marissa Segovia, vice chair of the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc., expressed confidence that the festival is going to be “very safe.”

“Para sa amon nga mga Ilonggo … rain or shine, we’re ready to go,” said Segovia.

She prayed that Señor Santo Niño will bless the festival and hoped the celebration will be “fruitful and successful.”

Mabilog claimed “thousands” of people gathered to witness the opening salvo performances at the Freedom Grandstand.

“Alas dose pa lang sa udto, ang Freedom Grandstand punô na sang tawo nga luyag maglantaw,” he said. “Linibo na ka tawo ang ari diri subong.”

The opening salvo started around 3 p.m. Several major streets were closed to vehicular traffic as early as 2 o’clock, while classes in all levels were suspended.

“Ay, bongga! Sadya gid kay nag-ulan daan!” a student from La Paz described the performances.

“I always watch the Dinagyang opening salvo, but this one’s more fun compared to last year’s,” said Lyn, who refused to reveal his surname.

“Kasadya gid kag katawhay lang,” said Police Officer 1 Edgar Denila. “Kanami sa ila magsina-ot, mawili ka gid.”

A Scottish national described opening salvo as “exciting.” Scue, who was here with his wife and children, told Panay News the event was “well-organized.”

A student from Jaro National High School noticed a swell in the spectators’ number.

“I observed this year nga opening salvo kadamo sang tawo, gagirinu-al,” said Paul.

Around 800 police officers were deployed for the opening salvo, according Inspector Shella Mae Sangrines, city police spokesperson.

This year’s Dinagyang Festival has the tagline “See, Feel, Love” and is anchored on the theme, “Communion of Communities with Señor Santo Niño.”

9 vie for Tambor Trumpa Martsa tilt

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

ILOILO CITY, January 6 (PIA) --- Nine elementary and secondary schools have confirmed their participation in the 2017 Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika competition in this year’s Iloilo Dinagyang Festival.

City Schools Division Superintendent Clarissa Zamora said that seven elementary schools and two secondary schools are set to participate in the drum and bugle/lyre competitions slated on January 20, 2017 at the Freedom Grandstand here.

“Ini ginahiwat naton para sa holistic development sang mga kabataan kag para ma showcase ang ila skills sa Tambor, Trumpa, Martsa, Musika (This event will be held for the holistic development of the students and to showcase their skills in the Tambor, Trumpa, Martsa, Musika),” she said.

Zamora said that of the seven competing elementary schools, six are from Iloilo City while only one is from the province of Iloilo.

The schools competing for the elementary level are Baluarte Elementary School, La Paz I Elementary School, Arevalo Elementary School, Banate Central Elementary School, Cubay Elementary School, Jaro I Elementary School, and Mandurriao Elementary School.

For the secondary level, the schools competing are Ramon Avanceña National High School and Iloilo City National High School.

Zamora said they are still awaiting for the confirmation of Dingle Secondary School if they will take part in the contest.

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

She said that the contestants will be judged on performance and drill formation (40 percent) and music (60 percent).

For the prizes in the elementary level, the champion will be receiving P25,000; first runner up, P20,000; second runner up, P15,000; third runner up, P10,000; and fourth runner up, P8,000.

In the secondary level, the champion will receive P30,000; and first runner up, P25,000. Should there be three competing schools in this level, a prize of P20,000 is also prepared for the 2nd runner up.

All the winners in both categories will also receive trophies along with the cash prizes.

Special awards will also be given including Best in Performance, Best in Music, Best in Costume and Best in Discipline.

NIA to push Php11.2-B mega dam project in Iloilo

(PNA), LAP/PGL/CBFERRER/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will continue to pursue for the construction the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project (JRMP) II in Calinog, Iloilo.

NIA Administrator Peter Lavińa on Wednesday said that they are currently finding a way to resolve the case that was filed by the Korean firm Daewoo against their Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

To recall, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) has stopped NIA from conducting a new bidding for the mega dam project, and instead moved that the bids submitted by Korean firms Daewoo and Daelin to build the JRMP II be re- evaluated.

Lavińa said that they already asked help from the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank) for Daewoo to withdraw the case.

“We are just waiting for them to withdraw the case and immediately we will proceed with the rebidding,” he said, as he expressed hope for the project to commence this year.

He added that Eximbank is also “eager to proceed with the project having been delayed.” The bank is also funding other projects in the country

“If we will not be able to resolve the problem on the Jalaur, they might lose hope,” he said.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. committed to continue supporting the project as “it will ensure faster growth and development in the city and the province of Iloilo.”

He said that the project will be able to irrigate 33,000 hectares of rice lands in the province.

Lavińa is here in this city for a meeting with NIA stakeholders in Western Visayas.

‘Parade of Lights’ mulled for Dinagyang Festival’s 50th year

(PNA), FPV/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 4 (PNA) -- Well-lighted floats similar to that in Disneyland will be among the new attractions mulled by the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI) when the Dinagyang Festival marks its golden year in 2018.

Atty. Raul Anlocotan, chair of the Sponsors Mardi Gras Parade of the 2017 Dinagyang Festival, on Wednesday disclosed that the foundation is yet to finalize the plan as well as the new route but it could be a new twist in the series of activities lined up for the annual celebration.

He added that it will not be integrated with the Sponsors Mardi Gras Parade, which is done in the afternoon of the Kasadyahan Festival, but it will be held later in the evening for spectators to appreciate the lighting.

However, he said that some of the floats joining the Sponsors Mardi Gras Parade are already well-lighted.

The Sponsors Mardi Gras is a lively and exciting street parade with rhythmic dances performed by costumed dancers, accompanied by musical bands and colorful floats. Some 70 participants are expected to join this year’s parade, higher than last year’s 64.

This year, he disclosed that the 10 best floats will have a chance to join the contingents of the Ati-ati competition slated January 22. The Sponsors Mardi Gras is slated afternoon of January 21.

Meanwhile, aside from the Sponsors Mardi Gras Parade, another exciting event is the ‘Tambor, Trumpa, Martsa, Musika’ that features the drum and bugle and drum and lyre of public and private schools in the city.

Iloilo City Schools Division Superintendent Zamora said that they have participants for the elementary level and two for the secondary level to compete this January 20.

She expressed that this kind of activity helps in the holistic development of children, giving them life-long learning.

The competition will start at 8 a.m. after the simultaneous production number where participants dance to the tune of ‘Tara na Byahe Tayo.’

On the other hand, the Dinagyang organizer is also readying a place for food lovers. Joeffrey Agilles, in-charge of the kiosk sales and management, said that a total of 850 kiosks will be leased to those who wanted to sell foods and other goods during the festival.

Kiosks that measure 2.5 x 3 will be rented out at PHP2,000 for three days while those that measure 3x3 will be leased at PHP3,000. Reservation of kiosks reservation will start on January 9, 2017 at the Dinagyang Lounge.

BFAR-6 eyes Php10M for fingerling dispersal project this 2017

By Perla G. Lena [(PNA), LAP/PGL/CBF]

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 3 (PNA) -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will spend around Php10 million for its free fingerling dispersal project in Western Visayas this year.

In an interview Tuesday, BFAR-6 director Remia A. Apari said that the fingerling dispersal is their contribution to achieve the mandate of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to provide affordable and available food on the table of every Filipino.

Tilapia fingerlings will be released to coastal and upland areas and are expected to benefit some 100 fisher folks. Initially, "hito" or catfish juveniles will be provided to some 60 to 60 fisherfolk. The fingerlings will come with the corresponding feeds requirement, which will also be provided free, she said.

Meanwhile, some 150 to 200 fishpond owners will be targeted for the free milkfish fingerlings with a portion of their feed requirement.

Apari said that the submission of proposals by interested fisherfolk and the procurement will be done this quarter. Two approaches will be considered in the procurement of bangus (milkfish) fries. One is to procure the fingerlings and disperse them to target recipients and another is to go on fry banking, let them grow and distribute them when they become post-fingerling.

Tilapia juveniles will be sourced from hatcheries in Negros Occidental, Iloilo and Antique while hito will also be procured.

The dispersal is eyed to commence second quarter until third quarter of the year.

The dispersal project is one of the three major thrusts to be pursued by BFAR this year.

Apari said that they will also implement the eco-system approach to fishery management where all sector will be involved and not just on coastal resources management.

These will cover governance aspect, climate change mitigation and adaptation and management of marine protected areas, among others.

She added that there is also a need to strengthen their law enforcement effort, especially in the Visayan Sea. The marching order she said is to apprehend "hulbot-hulbot" fishers and those who engage in dynamite fishing.

The regional director said that the government is still willing to swap illegal fishing equipment with the law-compliant ones under the “gear swap” initiative if illegal fishers are still interested.

In November 2016, BFAR swapped gears with 29 operators of mini-hulbot in Banate, Iloilo.

More Negosyo Centers up in Western Visayas in 2017

(PNA), LAP/PGL/CBFERRER/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will establish more Negosyo Centers (NCs) in Western Visayas in 2017.

DTI-6 Regional Director Rebecca Rascon, in a press conference on Thursday, disclosed that the central office planned to establish 19 more Negosyo Centers in the region in 2017.

However, DTI-6 is mulling to increase the target to 43, she said.

The 19 initial centers will be established in Iloilo and Negros Occidental with five NCs each; three each in Aklan and Capiz; two in Antique and one in Guimaras.

According to Rascon, DTI is spending about Php150,000 to establish one Negosyo center.

This 2016, DTI has established 21 Negosyo Centers all over the region, higher than the nine centers established in 2015.

Five centers were established in Negros Occidental; four each in Iloilo, Aklan and Antique; three in Capiz and one in Guimaras.

The Negosyo Centers here have assisted 26,554 clients this year. They have also conducted 467 trainings to 11,780 participants.

Meanwhile, DTI provincial director Diosdado P. Cadena, Jr., underscored that importance of establishing Negosyo centers in the communities.

“Negosyo centers will encourage entrepreneurship in the communities and level up the existing business to be more vibrant,” he said.

Cadena added that that Negosyo Centers will continue to provide more trainings to clients, create more income and employment opportunities in to alleviate the economic condition of the specific areas.

Under Republic Act 10644, also known as the Go Negosyo Act, there should be Negosyo Centers in all provinces, cities and municipalities in the county to promote “ease of doing business and facilitate access to services for micro, small and medium enterprises within its jurisdiction.”

Free dialysis up for Iloilo City’s indigent residents

(PNA), LAP/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The city government here is making available free dialysis to indigent residents once the coverage of their membership with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is already exhausted.

The all-inclusive dialysis was signed between the city government and the Freemont Renal Care Medical Services Wednesday for the provision of an inclusive dialysis sessions starting today. It will cover 277 sessions amounting to Php3,600 per session.

“This is the program of the city government to provide free dialysis to indigents,” Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said, adding that it was Dr. Bernard Caspe, the city health officer, who pushed for its realization.

The dialysis will be done at Freemont although patients are advised to ask for referral from the City Health Office (CHO) and the City Social Welfare Office (CSWDO) to avail of the service.

Mabilog also assured that the city government will provide funds once the package is already exhausted.

The dialysis procedure done in private hospitals usually costs around Php5,000 to Php6,000 while the city’s project is totally free given the special package provided by the Freemont.

“This is another breakthrough as far as the health program of the city government is concerned aligned with the thrust of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Mabilog added.

Aside from the free dialysis, the city government also hired an internal medicine specialist, a neurologist and a physical therapist in preparation for the stroke clinic that will start to operate next month.