Iloilo City News July 2012

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
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Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.
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


Better packaging pushed to help export industry

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

ILOILO CITY, July 31 (PIA6) – There is need for the local packaging industry to find ways to improve product packaging for international markets.

Experts at the 2012 GlobalPack International Packaging Conference held here recently said the packaging industry must be able to meet international standards by continuously monitoring trends, seeking out new technologies and trying new designs.

The international conference was initiated by Central Philippine University (CPU) which has started the development of packaging in the Philippines and recently established the Philippine Center for Packaging Engineering and Technology.

Bernie Cangrejo, Center coordinator, said they are calling for a “new roadmap for export packaging that will identify opportunities, track market trends, and take advantage of the upswing in Asian economies.

The Asian Development Bank has projected Asian economies to grow 6.6 percent this year and 7.1 percent in 2013.

The National Statistics Office data showed that the export packaging industry has been growing steadily since 2009 reaching about P163.2 million at the end of 2011, while total merchandise exports in 2011 amounted to P48 billion.

Earlier, the Department of Trade and Industry has urged that the international marketability of local products be stepped up, by improving packaging and shipping methods.

On the other hand, Bureau of Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, in his message during the conference, said the packaging sector plays an important role in the improvement of the economy, particularly as to exports.

He said packaging development can be hastened by greater competitiveness among local industries.

Biazon said his bureau will streamline processes to lessen inconvenience and arrest corruption.

Meanwhile, the DTI said government has been placing more importance on packaging among products manufactured by small and medium-scale enterprises to give local entrepreneurs a good chance in the international market.

PCG-Iloilo cancels trips to Guimaras, Bacolod due to bad weather

(PNA), FPV/ajp/PGL/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 30 (PNA) -- Trips from Iloilo to Guimaras and Bacolod and vice-versa were cancelled starting 8:20 Monday morning due to strong wind gustiness and big waves as monitored by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-Iloilo district.

Those cancelled were pumpboat trips from Iloilo bound for Buenavista and Jordan in Guimaras, and of fastcrafts from this city to Bacolod City.

Jarold Ardales of the PCG-Iloilo district, however, said that operations of roll-on and roll-off (RORO) at the Dumangas and Iloilo ports are normal.

Ardales explained that this rule is imposed to vessels 15 gross tonnage and below once the wind velocity is around 14-16 knots.

Nonetheless, he stressed that they are constantly monitoring the weather condition and once it returns to normal, the suspension will be immediately lifted.

Meantime, fishing vessels are also advised to refrain from going out into the seas.

Dinagyang Festival opens Iloilo doors to the world

By Jennifer P. Rendon (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - See and experience Iloilo, said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog while announcing that Dinagyang Festival is opening Iloilo’s doors to the world by promoting the city’s tourism out to the world.

The mayor was optimistic that the recent performances of 2012 Dinagyang champion Tribu Pan-ay at the Guam Liberation Day festivities in the US territory over the weekend could encouraged more tourists to visit Iloilo.

In a statement, the Philippine Embassy in Guam said that Filipinos on the island and Guam residents who witnessed the three Dinagyang performances described the acts as “fantastic.”

“All Dinagyang performances were well-received by Filipinos and Guam community in general. Guam government officials expressed their delight especially for the Ilonggos’ participation during the parade. Many have also expressed interest to visit Iloilo to witness Dinagyang Festival,” the Embassy noted.

Tribu Pan-ay performed on July 20 at the University of Guam Fieldhouse organized by the Iloilo International of Guam.

The event was attended by close to a thousand, including prominent government officials Senators Dennis Rodriguez, Jr.; Tony Ada; Chris Duenas of the 31st Guam Legislature; and Pedro Martinez, deputy executive director of Guam International Airport Authority.

Dinagyang also participated in the Guam Liberation Day Parade on July 21. It was considered the biggest event in the island, attended by highest officials of the Government of Guam and the US military, through the invitation of the Mayors’ Council of Guam.

Some of the dignitaries in attendance were Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo and wife Christine, Congressman Madeleine Bordallo, Joint Forces Marianas Commander Admiral Paul Bushong and members of the Consular Corps on Guam.

Mayor Mabilog presented a beautiful tribal headdress to Gov. Calvo as a token from the Iloilo City Government.

The Mayors’ Council of Guam also presented a resolution thanking the City of Iloilo, Mayor Mabilog and Tribu Pan-ay members for accepting their invitation for Dinagyang to perform during the parade.

Consul Edgar Tomas Auxilian and Vice-consul Maria Paz Cortes representing the Philippine Consulate General were also present at the parade grandstand to witness Tribu Pan-ay’s splendid performance.

Tribu Pan-ay also performed on July 22 at the center court, which was filled to capacity as others also lined the second floor of atrium in order to catch a glimpse of the show at the Micronesia Mall, the biggest mall on the island owned by Filipino business tycoon Lucio Tan.

Consul General Bayani Mangibin graced the event which was also attended by Senators Rodriguez, Jr. and Shirley Mabini of 31st Guam Legislature. Filipino Community of Guam president Leah Beth Naholowaa as well as other Filipino community leaders who also supported the event.

The project Dinagyang Guam 2012 was spearheaded by the Iloilo International of Guam in cooperation with the Mayors’ Council of Guam represented by Executive Director Angel Sablan; Mayors Melissa Savares of Dededo, Carol Tayama of Agat, Dale Alvarez of Sta. Rita and Paul MacDonald of Agana Heights; in cooperation with Iloilo City Government; and Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. represented by Felipe Uygongco.

The project was also supported by the offices of Sen. Rodriguez, Jr., Congresswoman Bordallo and the Philippine Consulate General in Agana, Guam.

Tribu Pan-ay is composed of students from Fort San Pedro National High School accompanied by Schools Division Superintendent Nelly Valerio; Blesilda Floro, and school principal and tribe manager; Eduardo Peñaredondo, executive assistant to Mayor Mabilog, and Iloilo City Tourism Officer Benito Jimena, among others.

Iloilo City ranks No. 3 in good governance

(PNA), LAP/ajp/JVFernandez/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 28 (PNA) — Iloilo City clinched the No. 3 spot in the Highly Urbanized Cities Category in the State of Performance Evaluation for 2011 administered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). p>“This recognition is another clear manifestation of the City Government’s commitment to provide Ilonggos with transparent, accountable, and participatory good governance,” stressed Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog.

Iloilo City got a rating of 4.87, closely following Puerto Princesa City, Palawan at 4.88 and San Juan City, Metro Manila at 4.9 out of the perfect score of 5 in a ranking among major urban centers in the country.

The DILG ranking has been assessed using the Local Government Performance Management System (LGPMS) indicator that looks into a holistic perspective of governance from administration and fundamentals of good governance, to social, economic and environmental services.

Iloilo City has been recognized by the DILG through its Seal of Good Housekeeping award, Gawad Pamana ng Lahi and EXCELL (Excellence in Local Governance).

Comelec to put up PWD, senior citizen express lanes in 2013 election

(PNA), LAM/AJPetinglay/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 27 (PNA) -– The Commission on Election (Comelec) will be putting up express lanes for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens during the 2013 elections so they no longer have to suffer the usual long cue.

Atty. Elizabeth D. Doronila, Iloilo provincial election supervisor, said that it had been their experience in the past that many of the elderly and PWDs were discouraged to cast their votes because of the long lines before they could exercise their right to suffrage.

“In the past, there are Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) who would accommodate the PWD and Senior Citizens first, but this time there will really be an area given for them,” the Comelec official said.

She said the BEIs will also be briefed to prioritize the PWDs and senior citizens and provide other needed assistance.

Mario Abaygar, Vice Chair of the Regional Council on Disability Affairs, said that they are glad that the Comelec has taken cognizance of their plight and they will now be more encouraged to come out and vote.

Solar-assisted aircon saves city gov’t. money

(PNA), FFC/ajp/LMS/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 26 (PNA) -- The solar-assisted air conditioning units in the seventh floor of the new City Hall building has helped the city government cut down its energy consumption.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said an estimated 4,552 kilowatt hours translating to P59,184.84 was saved in a span of 22 days in June.

This was based on the Rapid Assessment of Energy Consumption report submitted by City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Noel Hechanova, showing estimates of savings derived by the city government from its solar-assisted air conditioning system and the amount of carbon dioxide emissions avoided in the process.

Because of the solar-assisted system, Mabilog said the overall carbon dioxide emissions avoided during the period amounted to 35.7 tons.

The chief executive hopes to save over P710,000 in power bills and avoid over 420 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year with the solar-assisted air conditioning system in the new City Hall, which is considered the first green government building in the country.

Earlier, Mabilog directed City Hall building administrator Victor Facultad to implement cost-cutting measures to reduce the city government's power bills.

One of the steps taken was the switching on of all air conditioning units starting 9 a.m. and turning them off at 4 p.m.

The flow of water in City Hall faucets was also minimized to cut down on water bills.

Tribu Pan-Ay Iloilo Dinagyang Festival champions wows Guam

(Malaya Business Insight)

THE 2012 Iloilo Dinagyang Festival Champions, the Tribu Pan-ay, visited Guam on July 19 to join the Guam Liberation Day festivities.

The event was well-attended by close to a thousand, including some prominent government officials of the island such as Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., Senator Tony Ada, Senator Chris Duenas of the 31st Guam Legislature, and Guam International Airport Authority Deputy Executive Director Pedro Martinez.

Organized by the Iloilo International of Guam, Filipinos on the island and all Guam residents witnessed three performances by the group that can only be described as “fantastic” by those who watched.

The first performance of Tribu Pan-ay was at the University of Guam Fieldhouse on July 20.

Through the invitation of the Mayors’ Council of Guam, the Tribu Pan-ay also participated in the Guam Liberation Day Parade held on July 21.

The Liberation Day Parade is the biggest event on the island and is attended by the highest officials of the Government of Guam and the United States (US) military.

Some of the dignitaries in attendance during the parade included Governor Eddie Baza Calvo and First Lady Christine Calvo, Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Joint Forces Marianas Commander Admiral Paul Bushong and Guam’s members of the Consular Corps.

Representing the Philippine Consulate General in Agana, Consul Edgar Tomas Auxilian and Vice Consul Maria Paz Cortes were also present at the parade grandstand to witness the Tribu Pan-ay’s splendid performance.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog of Iloilo City, who flew in from Manila on the same morning, joined the Tribu Pan-ay and the Iloilo International of Guam during the parade. He likewise presented a beautiful tribal headdress to Governor Calvo as a token from the City Government of Iloilo.

The Mayors’ Council of Guam also presented a Resolution thanking the City of Iloilo, Mayor Mabilog and the Tribu Pan-ay members for accepting their invitation for the Dinagyang Champions to perform during the parade.

The Tribu Pan-ay performed at the center court of the Micronesia Mall, the biggest mall on the island which is owned by Filipino business tycoon Lucio Tan.

The center court was filled to capacity and others also lined the second floor of the atrium in order to catch a glimpse of the show.

Consul General Bayani Mangibin, who arrived on the same day from Manila, graced the event, which was also attended by Senator Rodriguez and Senator Shirley Mabini of the 31st Guam Legislature.

Filipino Community of Guam President Leah Beth Naholowaa as well as other Filipino community leaders also supported the event.

All three performances were well-received by the Filipinos on Guam and the Guam community in general. Guam government officials expressed their delight particularly for the group’s participation during the Liberation Day Parade. Many have also expressed interest to visit Iloilo to witness the Dinagyang Festival.

Iloilo City chosen to pilot test DILG assessment tool

(ICPIO, The News Today)

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has chosen this city as one of the pilot test areas of its Citizens Satisfaction Index System (CSIS).

CSIS is a component of the Local Governance Watch or LG Watch launched recently by the DILG through the Bureau of Local Government Supervision.

In a letter to Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog, DILG-Bureau of Local Government Supervision in-charge, Asst. Sec. Rolando Acosta, said the CSIS is an assessment tool on the service delivery performance of local governments.

"The CSIS generates information from the point of view of citizens; it covers service delivery areas such as education, health, social services, peace and order, environmental management, good governance and civil society participation," Acosta wrote.

Mabilog welcomed the selection of Iloilo City.

"We are fortunate to be chosen from among the cities and provinces in the Visayan region because this is an opportunity to showcase what the city government is doing for the good of all Ilonggos," he said.

The Central Philippine University in Jaro district here will be the Local Research Institute (LRI) to conduct the pilot test.

The LRIs serve as partners of the DILG in the conduct of the pilot test to depoliticize the data gathering process.

The main consideration in selecting the pilot sites was their proximity to LRIs recommended by the Local Government Academy.

Two other pilot sites of CSIS were selected in Luzon and Mindanao.

The DILG's LG Watch is an initiative aimed to heighten participation of citizens in local government administration processes, and also toward improving local governance.

It solicits public view on the effectiveness of basic social service delivery as well as to generate information on the extent of engagement of the citizens and civil society organizations in local governance.

Mayor Mabilog selected for international governance benchmarking

(PNA) LAP/ajp/LMSinay/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 23 -– Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog will join 11 other Philippine local chief executives in the international benchmarking program of the Department of the Interior and Local Government-Local Government Academy to be held in Singapore August 20 to 31.

“This is truly an honor for Iloilo City as well as an opportune time for us to showcase the best practices we have been doing here for the past two years based on the principles of good governance, transparency and accountability,” Mabilog said.

Local Government Academy executive director Marivel Sacendoncillo said Iloilo City was selected based on the criteria of growth potential, the local chief executive is not a third termer in office, the local government has demonstrated good governance track record and it has passed the Seal of Good Housekeeping.

In support of President Benigno Aquino III’s governance agenda for “Tuwid na Daan,” the program, "Building Governance Capacities of Local Leaders Towards Good Governance: An International Benchmarking Program for Philippine Local Government Officials,” is designed to build governance capacities of Philippine cities.

It aims to provide local chief executives the opportunity to learn from their counterparts in Singapore in the implementation of various initiatives for local governments.

Similarly, it will provide local chief executives the opportunity to interface and do benchmarking with counterparts, enhance the problem solving skills of cities in addressing urban governance issues, and it will serve as an avenue for sharing of best practices on local governance both local and international context.

The program will likewise establish strong partnership between Philippine local governments and institutions in Singapore that would lead to better economic environment of Philippine cities.

The other local chief executives selected to participate in the initial phase of the program are from Marikina,Valenzuela, Navotas, Balanga, Angeles, Puerto Princesa, Sta. Rosa, Dumaguete, General Santos, Koronadal and Iligan.

Terminal fee hike in WV airports suspended

(With reports from the Philippine News Agency/PN)

ILOILO City – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has temporarily suspended the terminal fee increase on international flight passengers in Western Visayas.

CAAP Area Manager Efren Nagrama said they have decided to heed the appeal of sectors like those in the tourism and business.

A few months ago, CAAP started conducting public consultations for the purpose of increasing the terminal fees for international flights.

For several years, the aviation authority said it has not increased the fee imposed on international passengers taking off at the Kalibo International Airport and the Silay-Bacolod Airport that have chartered flights.

Recently, the Department of Tourism announced that Cebu Pacific is bringing in international flights to the Iloilo Airport at the Santa Barbara-Cabatuan area.

So as not to affect the international flight launching at the Iloilo Airport, Nagrama said they have decided to temporarily suspend the increase.

Right now, the Kalibo International Airport and Silay-Bacolod Airport charges P500 terminal fee from each international passenger and this rate will have to be momentarily maintained.

The proposed increase is supposedly P700.

For domestic passengers, the terminal fee still remains at P200, Nagrama said.

Starting this November 8, the Iloilo Airport will service twice weekly flights from Iloilo to Hong Kong.

On November 9, thrice weekly flights from Iloilo to Singapore will also be launched.

The Philippines’ largest national flag carrier, Cebu Pacific, will operate these pioneering international flights from the Iloilo Airport.

“These new routes will greatly contribute to the tourism and trade in Western Visayas,” said Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and distribution.

Department of Tourism Region 6 officer-in-charge Helen Catalbas previously said flight reductions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) this year could result to a surge in international flights in Western Visayas.

The move to reduce the number of flights at NAIA to ease the heavy air traffic there could be “a blessing in disguise” for the five operational airports in Western Visayas, said Catalbas.

The five airports are projected to accommodate about 30 percent of the flight reduction at NAIA. These are the Iloilo Airport, Bacolod-Silay Airport, Kalibo International Airport, Caticlan Airport and Roxas City Airport.

“Direct international flights also mean easy access for foreign tourists and overseas Filipino workers, since there will be no more need to pass through Manila or Cebu,” said Iyog.

More poor elders get social pension


ILOILO City — More poor senior citizens in Western Visayas will receive social pension from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The DSWD in Region 6 headed by Director Minda Brigoli identified this year 15,742 elderly people who will be given social pension.

They include 1,835 social pensioners from Aklan; 2,076 from Antique; 1,699 from Capiz; 583 from Guimaras; 6,021 from Iloilo; and 3,528 from Negros Occidental.

The number of Social Pension Program beneficiaries increased by 21.3 percent this year due to the addition of 2,762 senior citizens from different provinces in the region.

Last year, the agency has identified 12,981 beneficiaries and released P77,886,000 in social pension.

The release was made through the fund transfer to the local government units and cash advance of the DSWD.

This year, the DSWD is releasing P94,458,000. From January 1 to June 30, the agency has already disbursed P47,229,000.

DBM eyes full implementation of nat’l payroll system by 2013

(PNA), LAM/ajp/PGLena/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 20 (PNA) -– The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is looking forward to the full implementation of the national payroll system in 2013 which will be pilot-tested in three government offices this year.

DBM regional director for Western Visayas Alfonso Bedonia Jr. said that the pilot test will probably just cover three payroll periods to determine if the system is working. It will be pilot-tested at the central offices of the Commission on Audit (COA), Department of Finance (DOF) and DBM.

Next in line would be the Department of Education (DepEd) as soon as it already has trained personnel and its payroll system connected with the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) composed of the human resource information system of the CSC, budget system of the DBM and the GSIS.

Bedonia added that they are now starting to connect offices to the GIFMIS in preparation for its full implementation in 2013.

Under the new system the Bureau of Treasury will deposit salaries of employees directly into their account instead of releasing the funds to their agencies.

It will ensure savings on the part of the government because it will no longer release funds for vacant but funded positions.

City village sweeps awards in blood donation program

By Lydia C. Pendon

A SMALL barangay in this city is gaining local and national recognition for its dynamic blood donation program in collaboration with the Philippine National Red Cross and the Department of Health.

Punong barangay Cherrie Lebrillo of Brgy. Ma. Cristina in Jaro District was recently selected as an awardee of the National Sandugo Outstanding Local Government Executive Award in 2012.

Lebrillo will join first and second time barangay captain awardees for Luzon and Visayas in an awarding rite slated on Monday, July 23 in Manila for her continued support in the implementation of the national voluntary blood services program in her barangay.

Lebrillo said the recognition is the second award for her and her barangay given by the National Center for Health Facility Development of the health department in recognition of their efforts in the blood donors program.

A communication was sent by Director IV Dr. Juanito Taleon of the national center informing of the barangay’s award.

On the other hand, Brgy. Ma. Cristina is also a recipient of an award to be given by the PRC Western Visayas regional blood center in a ceremony on July 27, 2012 at the Iloilo Red Cross Youth Training Center in Iloilo City.

The 14th Blood Donors Month recognition ceremony is an acknowledgment of the barangay’s role in responding to society’s need of volunteer blood donors. A communication was sent by Blood Center manager Dr. Judith Jimeno informing of the award.

Iloilo City to hold Int’l Research Conference

(PNA), LAM/AJP/HSMakiling/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 18 (PNA) -- A three-day International Research Conference for Globalization and Sustainability (IRCGS) will be hosted by West Visayas State University on August 14-16 at the Sarabia Manor Hotel here.

Participants in the conference will discuss research findings to help address the challenges of globalization and sustainability.

The conference also intends to share best practices, knowledge, experiences and partnerships among the researchers/participants. Plenary speakers from different countries will present research papers on nature, economy, well-being and society.

Problems on the use of natural resources, environment, pollution, ecosystems, land use patterns and climate are the focus research presentation in nature. On the other hand, the economy will touch the topics on wages and benefits, the fiscal budgets, employment patterns, cost of living and property alleviation and the consumption patterns such as the energy, water and raw materials.

Ethnic and gender diversity, cultural diversity, governance and public services, social services and corporate social responsibility are among the topics on social issues that will be discussed.

Also, personal issues such as spiritual fulfillment, quality of life, sense of personal security, and education and training will be presented.

In addition, environmental education in the face of environmental crisis will be addressed by John A. Peterson of the University of Guam.

Speakers will discuss in the plenary paper presentation studies on sustainability and development, Eco Justice for the 21st Century Education, a trifocal research lens or standards in support of essential education, social entrepreneurship in emerging economies, the effectiveness of an integrated approach on the student environmental awareness.

Among the speakers are Dr. Patricia Licuanan, Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED); Gawad Kalinga chair Antonio Meloto; Robert Steele, founder and director of Sustainability Asia; Dr. Deboorah Tippins of University of Georgia in Athens; Dr. Lourdes Ferrer of the University of Guam; and Dr. Jean Tayag, Director IV of CHED’S office of policy, planning, research and information.

Iloilo City flood-free next year -- Mabilog

(LMS, Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City – Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog assured the public he will give top priority to areas here that experience flooding in his bid to make this city flood-free.

“I will make sure that all drainage systems will be fixed or repaired and low-lying areas be covered so that we can declare Iloilo City a flood-free city next year,” he stated.

For the past two years under his administration, various villages have availed themselves of the construction, rehabilitation and improvement of drainage system projects.

But with the big number of barangays here – 180 – the most outside of Metro Manila, Mabilog instructed all village chiefs to submit to his office a complete list and sketches of roads and areas in the metropolis that are flooded whenever rains fall in order to be given appropriate action.

In a report, the City Engineer’s Office completed 21 drainage system projects in 2011, while 10 are on-going until this year.

Taxi operators, drivers in Iloilo required to attend values formation seminar

(PNA) hbc/AJP/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 16 (PNA) – Some 4,000 taxi operators and drivers in this central city are being required to attend values formation, tourism orientation and aviation awareness seminar as part of the move to professionalize them.

Tourism OIC-Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the seminar is conducted to support the pronouncement of Pres. Benigno Aquino III targeting 10 million foreign tourists to visit the Philippines before he steps down in 2016.

Catalbas said under the New Tourism Act of the Philippines the region is not only mandated to get substantial share in the 10 million target, but to contribute 4.6 million tourist arrivals.

She said this is an initiative of the Dept. of Tourism, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Land Transportation Office, and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board regional offices.

These offices are requiring all taxi and van operators and drivers as well to undergo the seminar considering they are the front liners in the tourism industry.

“We know that the first and last impression of tourists is being provided by the transport sector and it depends on the operators and drivers on how to make Iloilo city and the rest of Western Visayas become more attractive to tourists,” Catalbas said.

LTO Regional Dir. Gerard Camina himself told the seminar participants it only takes one negative impression about Iloilo or Western Visayas published through media or facebook.

He said that published material could spread like wildfire and would have tremendous adverse effect on the tourism industry.

He added “This is the first time that we are undertaking such a very serious effort to improve the services of for-hire-vehicles.”

The seminar for the first batch of operators and drivers is held at the CAAP headquarters, being the entry point to Iloilo city and the province as well as the rest of Western Visayas.

CAAP Manager Efren Nagrama said participants in the seminar will each be given a certificate signed by the four heads of the government agencies.

This certificate is a requisite to their obtaining a sticker for security pass at the airport.

Meanwhile, LTFRB Dir. Romulo Bernardes reminded taxi operators and drivers to be competitive in terms of offering the best services to tourists and other passengers but not on their charges.

The seminar will be held daily from here on with about 50 taxi and van operators and drivers in attendance until all of them could undergo the seminar and be given the certificate, renewable every two years.

The DOT previously conducted tour-guiding seminars to taxi operators and drivers who taught them manners on road courtesy and familiarity with historic sites.

Public warned against unlicensed pre-schools


ILOILO City – The Department of Education (DepEd) in Region 6 is intensifying its monitoring of private schools in the region under its “Operation Dakop.”

The Education department wants to make sure that these schools are well-equipped and have the necessary permits to operate.

DepEd Education Program Specialist II Estrella Mago observed that pre-schools are sprouting just anywhere. She urged parents to enroll their children only in learning institutions that have permits.

The mushrooming of schools offering pre-school is attributed to the implementation of the K-12 program that makes it a requirement for grade school children to undergo kindergarten or attend an eight-week curriculum before they are enrolled in Grade 1.

Mago added that even church-based pre-schools are already growing, thus she emphasized the need for them to secure separate permits.

Currently, the DepEd has already inspected more than 1,500 pre-school learning institutions in Western Visayas.

Mago said they are now conducting weekly inspections under “Operation Dakop.”

Jed promotes city in Asia-Pacific forum


ILOILO City — Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog strongly pitched for this city’s tourism and economic potentials to the rest of Asia-Pacific during the CITYNET 25th Anniversary in Surabaya, Indonesia recently.

“When the conference first started, nobody except delegates from the Philippines can pronounce Iloilo correctly,” he said. “After being moderator, as well as panelist and presenter for Iloilo River Initiatives, everybody recognized me as the mayor of Iloilo. And majority of them want to visit Iloilo City.”

Mabilog said as speaker, he showed “how good the Ilonggos are in terms of our environment programs.”

“We have presented how clean and beautiful Iloilo City is, and we are open for business,” he said.

Iloilo City is one of the more than 100 members from 20 countries of CITYNET, a network of local governments in the Asia-Pacific aiming to improve the lives of its citizens.

Mabilog served as moderator in the Mayor’s Meeting: Toward the 5th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction on July 10.

He was also one of the panelists in the International Seminar on Paving the Way Toward Environmentally Sustainable Cities the following day.

The mayor will be also one of the speakers in the International Seminar on Sharing Experience in Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation and the CITYNET Disaster Cluster Meeting on July 13–14 in Sidoarjo, Indonesia.

He will talk about Iloilo City’s experience in disaster risk reduction and management.

CITYNET members and partners renewed their commitment and cooperation to work toward a sustainable urban development in the Asia-Pacific region.

The network’s mission of creating socially just, ecologically sustainable, politically participatory and economically productive cities, will continue with the same vigor and enthusiasm it has cultivated in 25 years.

Recovered artifacts to be displayed in Iloilo City gallery

(PNA) , LAM/ajp/LCPendon/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 13 (PNA) -– Some pieces of the total 113 broken pieces and shards of artifacts recovered from a drainage project here will be displayed at the Iloilo City Gallery to remind everyone of the rich cultural heritage of the city.

However, representatives of the Museo Iloilo headed by curator James Amsua are perplexed at the find. Some of which are ceramic plates, bowls, jars and other pieces believed to be of the Ming Dynasty mixed with rather modern pieces such as old British whiskey bottles.

City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog received the artifacts last Monday from the drainage project contractor VN Grande Construction after workers found the artifacts buried some two feet from street level.

The city mayor is happy with the find and said the artifacts show the rich and affluent life of the Ilonggos, their rich cultural heritage and tradition during the olden times. Mabilog designates Joren Sartorio, chief of the general services office as custodian of the mixed artifacts.

Sartorio said the representatives of Museo Iloilo and the National Museum believed the recovered mixed artifacts to be part of a private collection buried in the site by an unidentified collector in the area.

Iloilo City to plant 15,000 trees this year

(PNA), FFC/ajp/LMS/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 12 (PNA) – The city government will contribute 15,000 trees to President Benigno S. Aquino III’s National Greening Program (NGP) this year.

“We have always been supportive of the national government’s program to protect and preserve our environment,” Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said.

Mabilog initiated the activity last year to help the NGP reach its goal of planting 1.5 billion trees covering about 1.5 million hectares by 2016.

Based on the record of the City Agriculturist’s Office, some 14,000 seedlings were planted in 2011 in support of the NGP.

This year, the city government has organized a simultaneous tree-planting activity to be held on July 14 in almost 30 sites in the districts of Jaro, La Paz, Molo, Mandurriao and Arevalo

City agriculturist Geraldine Hautea said some 4,000 jackfruit and Brazilian tree seedlings will be planted by employees of the city government and barangay officials.

Hautea is encouraging also other groups and organizations to do their share and conduct their own tree-planting activities.

The city nursery is willing to provide seedlings for free, she added.

Iloilo Holds First Tourism Summit


ILOILO CITY, Iloilo — In order to gather private and public sector tourism representatives to discuss and formulate strategies to promote tourism, Iloilo province is holding its First Provincial Tourism Summit starting today, July 12 Thursday.

Provincial Tourism Officer Gilbert Marin said the event is seen as a milestone in the province’s tourism industry since “it will be the first time for us to sit with the private sector to discuss and formulate strategies on how to improve tourism promotion in the province.”

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia has been invited to speak during the two-day summit at the Iloilo Grand Hotel in Iloilo City, said Marin.

Garcia, who recently conducted Cebu’s provincial tourism congress, will share some of her expertise in the tourism industry, along with another speaker, Joy Bulauitan of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.

Marin said the summit will also be a venue for all tourism stakeholders to reassess the existing provincial tourism plan.

Around 1,000 people from various sectors are set to participate in the summit, which will also gather municipal mayors and tourism officers, tour operators, tour guides, councilors who are tourism committee chairpersons, media practitioners and other stakeholders.

An expected output in the Summit is the finalization of tour packages for the province, said Marin, adding that the event will be just the first step in attaining the goal of selling Iloilo province as a hot tourist destination to both tourists and investors in tourism.

RDRRMC slates symposium on disaster fund utilization

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

ILOILO CITY, July 10 (PIA) -- The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) will meet with stakeholders in disaster management from the local government sector in Western Visayas for a symposium on the utilization of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) fund.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional office here said the forum which will be held July 11-14 in Boracay, Malay, Aklan will be attended by disaster risk reduction and management officers, accountants, budget officers and auditors from the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Guimaras and officials of OCD, RDRRMC and provincial DRRMCs.

The symposium is part of the activities of the ongoing observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM) in the region.

OCD6 said issues and concerns related to the use of the DRRM fund will be discussed during the symposium which will have OCD Civil Defense Executive Officer Ronald I. Flores as resource person.

The calamity fund is now known as DRRM fund with the implementation of the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

It provides that not less than 5 percent of the estimated revenue from regular sources of a local government unit shall be set aside as the local DRRM fund to support disaster risk management activities before, during and after a disaster.

These activities include pre-disaster preparedness training programs including training, purchasing of life-saving equipment, supplies and medicines as well as payment of premiums on calamity insurance and construction of evacuation centers.

Of the LDRRM fund, 30 percent shall be allocated as Quick Response Fund or stand-by fund for relief and recovery programs in order that situation and living conditions of people in communities or areas stricken by disasters, calamities, epidemics or complex emergencies may be normalized as quickly as possible. Unexpended LDRRMF shall accrue to a special trust fund for in DRRM related activities within the next five years.

Similar symposia for Iloilo and Negros Occidental will be held on a later date, said OCD6.

DPWH completes 40% of P4.83-B projects in Western Visayas

(PNA), LAP/ajp/PGLena/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 9 (PNA) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has completed 40 percent of its identified projects in Western Visayas funded from its 2012 infrastructure program allocation.

An accomplishment report obtained from the office of regional director Edilberto D. Tayao disclosed that this region was allotted P4.83 billion for 180 projects in the 2012 calendar year.

The highest allocation was for 162 roads and bridges at P4.8 billion while P25 million was apportioned for two flood control and drainage projects and P3.2 million for 16 water system projects.

As of end of June, 73 projects were completed, 89 are ongoing and 18 are yet to be started.

The completed projects are 42.12 kilometers of roads, 44.20 lineal meters of bridge, one flood control and 12 water supply system projects. The flood control facility is situated in Tigum and Aganan in Pavia.

Meanwhile, the ongoing remaining water system projects are being handled by the 2nd Engineering District of Capiz, third Engineering District of Iloilo and the regional office.

The last project will be installed at the first Engineering District of Iloilo.

The agency is also embarking on several high impact projects to include the portion of the P1.457 billion Iloilo circumferential road, also part of the P850-million Roxas City Circumferential Road and the Bacolod Silay Airport Access Road amounting to P400.98 million.

Red Cross says need for blood to youth

By Lilibeth A. French(JCM/LAF-PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, July 8 (PIA6) - - The Philippine Red Cross-Western Visayas Regional Blood Center will hold Blood Program Youth Awareness activities on July 9 to 11 as part of the observance of the Blood Donors Month this July.

The three-day event will be held at the Central Philippine University in Jaro. It will start July 9 with a foot parade at the university parade grounds to be followed by a program and a youth forum.

One highlight of the event is the CPU Blood Olympics, a contest participated by different colleges to raise more units of blood. Held for the past two years, the activity intends to promote and encourage voluntary blood donation among young people.

PRC-WVRBC manager Dr. Judith Jimeno said the theme of this year’s Blood Donor Month observance, “Every Blood Donor is a Hero,”strongly encourages more people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly while recognizing the silent and unsung heroes who save lives everyday through their blood donation.

She added that during the observance, “we also acknowledge and thank the groups and individuals who in one way or another respond to society’s need for volunteer blood donors.”

Blood Donors Month is being observed in the country pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 1021 dated July 9, 1997.

Inauguration of P70-M Iloilo City Esplanade project set Aug. 18

(PNA), RMA/ajp/LCPendon/vlo/utb

ILOILO CITY, July 7 (PNA) – All is set for the completion and inauguration of the P70-million Esplanade project along the Iloilo River on Aug. 18.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional director Edilberto D. Tayao told Senator Franklin M. Drilon and Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog during the Iloilo Batiano River Development Council meeting on Monday that Roprim Construction, the project contractor, assured Esplanade would be completed by Aug. 15, including the greening and landscaping along the 1.2 kilometer Treñas Boulevard, the statue of a Dinagyang warrior and a playground as well.

Esplanade was patterned after the esplanade project of Singapore, with international architect Paolo Alcazaren as project consultant.

Mabilog said the inaugural rite would be part of the overall jubilee celebration and activities of the Iloilo City Charter slated on Aug. 24, 2012.

The Esplanade inauguration will include an early morning fun-run and fluvial parade with muses at the river, mini dragon boat competition, balsa, baroto race and swimming competitions and awarding of prizes in the afternoon.

The celebration will be capped by fireworks and entertainment concert in the middle of the river.

On the other hand, Drilon said another project along the river, the Esplanade II, a 700 meter road along the Medical City Hospital will take off early next year. The P37-million project cost would be included in the 2013 national budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Esplanade II, an extension of Esplanade I, will make the river an important ecotourism site in the city. Esplanade II will use the surplus block materials from the Iloilo flood control project.

DOST 6 prepares to release P38M for equipment upgrading of SMEs in Western Visayas

(PNA), LAP/PGLena/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 6 (PNA) – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) here as of the first semester of the year has approved 47 proposals for equipment upgrading by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Western Visayas.

DOST regional director Rowen Gelonga said that they are now in the process of releasing the assistance amounting to around P38 million under the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).

The region, he said, has the most number of approved proposals and the highest amount up for release among DOST regional offices.

“This is not a subsidy or grant but a support that they will give back to the government. We are happy that we have more SMEs applying for support under this program,” he said.

Most of the requests are technology for processing and packaging while there are companies that proposed for improvement of their laboratories.

Gelonga said this means that there are companies which have leveled up their operation and they are already in control of the quality of their products. The result would be products that are competitive in the market.

“It is critical to the looming ASEAN economic integration in2015. When the time comes competition will now be equal between local and ASEAN countries. Our market shelves will now be open to products from nine ASEAN countries,” he explained.

The integration, according to Gelonga, could be a threat if the quality of local products is not competitive because they may lose their market. However, it means also potentials for export should the products are of upgraded quality.

He disclosed that currently, the awareness of the need to upgrade technology and equipment among SMEs is high and major sectors among the thousands of registered enterprises in the region are already aware of the various support assistance the government is making available to them.

“We are happy that they have identified DOST as one agency that could help them boost their productivity,” he cited.

TESDA urges Ilonggos to register in free competency assessment


ILOILO CITY, July 5 (PIA6) -- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) here urged applicants to the free competency and assessment certification to register before July 9 in assessment centers as this is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For this year, the first round of the national technical and vocational education and training competency assessment and certification (NTCAC), a priority program of TESDA Director General Secretary Joel Villanueva, will be conducted on July 9 to 20.

TESDA-Iloilo Senior Specialist Jose Gerry Hallares said that 761 workers, trainers and returning overseas Filipino workers in the province are expected to benefit in the first round of the NTCAC, a synchronized conduct of competency assessment and certification involving key qualifications that are difficult to find but with high-industry demand.

For this round, beneficiaries may avail of the free assessment offered in the following assessment centers in the province: Driving NC II, Bread and Pastry Production II, RAC Servicing NC II, and Food Processing at the Leon Ganzon Polytechnic College in Balasan; Electrical Installation and Maintenance (EIM) NC III, Plumbing NC III, and SMAW NC III at TESDA Regional Training Center – Iloilo in Zamora St., Iloilo City; Automotive Servicing NC II, Driving NC II, Driving NC III, Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II and SMAW II at Passi Trade School in Passi City; and Housekeeping NC III, at ABBA Institute of Technology, Delgado St., Iloilo City.

Hallares encouraged bus, straight truck drivers to take advantage of this free assessment so that they can save on the corresponding assessment fee. Competency and assessment certification for bus/straight truck drivers will be compulsory in 2013.

A National Certificate II or the Certificate of Competency will be given to the candidates who will pass the required competencies. The NC is issued when a candidate has demonstrated competence in all units of competency that comprise a qualification, while the certificate of competency is issued to candidates who have satisfactorily demonstrated competence on a particular or cluster of units of competency.

The said certificates, valid for five years, will further boost the workers’ chance of finding a job, which is consistent with President Benigno Aquino’s thrust to provide more job opportunities for Filipinos.

Hallares said the next rounds of the NTCAC will be conducted on August 20 to 31 and on October 15 to 26 this year.

DA-6 continues to advocate organic farming

(PNA), LAP/ajp/PGLena/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 4 (PNA) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) here continues to encourage farmers to practice organic farming, which cuts across all kinds of commodities, according to its regional executive director for Western Visayas Larry P. Nacionales.

Nacionales said that the region is expecting an increase in funds that will be provided to farmers' groups that are interested to start projects on organic farming.

This year, this region was allotted P22 million, which is higher when compared to the P19-million allocation in 2011.

The funds can also be accessed by state universities and colleges (SUCs), as well as private and government organizations.

Nacionales disclosed that there has been an increase in the interest in organic farming as evidenced by various letters of intent that are received by their office.

Aside from funds, the DA also extends technical support to ensure the success of their projects, he added.

Drilon eyes add’l budget for procurement of PNP equipment in Western Visayas

(PNA), FFC/ajp/PGL/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 3 (PNA) – Senator Franklin Drilon has promised to work out additional fund for the procurement of firearms and ammunition for policemen in Western Visayas.

This he announced Monday during the kick off of the 17th Police Community Relations Month at the Camp Martin Delgado here where he is the guest of honor.

The procurement will address the need to equip some 1,000 PNP (Philippine National Police) personnel who have no issued firearms, he added.

“I will see to it that every year the PNP will have a budget for the recruitment program and I will make sure that Region 6 will get its fair share in the budget,” he added.

Simultaneous with the kick off was the oath-taking of 478 Police Officers 1 (PO1), who are slated to undergo the six-month Public Safety Basic Recruit Course at the Regional Training School in Bakyas Mansilingan, Bacolod City in completion of the 1st phase of their mandatory training in the one-year Field Training Program for new recruits.

In his message, Drilon exhorted the neophytes to wear their uniform with pride, dedication and passion.

“Learn to value your work. You are the people’s police. The PNP’s image depends on how well you respond to your sworn duties,” he said.

Drilon also congratulated Police Regional Office 6 (PRO 6) director C/Supt Cipriano E. Querol who is slated to assume a higher position in Metro Manila with the rank of a two-star general.

UP College of Medicine to survey source of leptos in Iloilo

(PNA), FFC/AJP/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 2 (PNA) – The University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine will conduct a survey on the animal vector of leptospirosis in Iloilo province to contain the increasing number of cases.

Iloilo provincial veterinarian Dr. Silvino Teodosio said the UP College of Medicine will conduct the survey in the coming days to determine what animal causes leptospirosis, that affected mostly Ilonggo farmers who everyday have to submerge their feet on the infected water on their farmlands.

“As of now, what we believe to be the primary source of leptospirosis is the rat,” Dr. Teodosio said.

He said UP will get blood samples from animals suspected to cause leptospirosis.

This as monitored leptospirosis cases in Iloilo province totaled 249 with 10 deaths from Jan. 1 to June 23. Of the cases, seven with one death are monitored by the Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) from June 17-23.

But aside from the UP survey, the provincial veterinary office will also develop information, education and communication materials to be distributed to the public to increase their awareness and take the necessary precaution from the deadly disease.

DA allots P400 million for farm mechanization program in Western Visayas

(PNA), LAM/ajp/PGLena/vlo

ILOILO CITY, July 01 (PNA) -– The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allotted P400 million for the purchase of farm implements in Western Visayas this year under its Farm Mechanization Program.

Agriculture regional executive director Larry Nacionales said there has been an increase in the awareness of farmers on the benefits of mechanized farming, specifically on higher profit because of reduced losses due to wastage.

Nacionales said that under the Farm Mechanization Program, the government will shoulder 85 percent of the cost while the recipients share a counterpart fund of 15 percent.

The opportunity is open only to organized groups such as irrigators’ associations or farmers cooperative. If they could not afford the counterpart fund, then it is encouraged that local government units (LGUs) help in providing for the funds.

Last year, some P80 million were downloaded each to the provinces of Iloilo and Negros Occidental, he added.

This year, he disclosed that the focus would be on the purchase of collapsible dryers and laminated sacks that are essential to hasten the drying of palay.

The regional director added that with more farmers taking interest, the region would expect a bigger budget next year.

On July 4-6, Nacionales will lead the Visayas cluster in the “Makina Saka 2012” an agri-machinery roadshow of the DA to be held at the World Trade Center.

The cluster is composed of delegates from the irrigators’ associations, farmers cooperatives, government sector, agri-fishery councils, LGUs and local producers from Western, Central and Eastern Visayas.

The roadshow will showcase latest technology from land preparation to post-harvest equipment that can be utilized by farmers.