Iloilo City News July 2013

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Iloilo City - Archived News

Seal of Iloilo City
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Iloilo City, Iloilo
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Map Locator of Iloilo City
Aerial View of Iloilo City
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Aerial View of Iloilo City
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
Iloilo molochurch.JPG
Molo Church, Iloilo City
Iloilo dinagyang festival.jpg
The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan.
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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.


Iloilo City gov’t most efficient LGU in PH


ILOILO CITY, July 31 (PNA) -- The city government of Iloilo was adjudged the most efficient Local Government Unit (LGU) in the country in 2012 by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC).

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said the latest recognition is another manifestation of the city’s good governance that is well-managed, transparent and innovative leading to continued progress and sustainable development.

He added the city government continue to improve performance through effective delivery of social services and active collaboration with stakeholders through participatory governance.

Iloilo City topped the government efficiency category followed by Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro, NCC reported.

To be recognized as most efficient, NCC judged the city in terms of transparency and accountability, public finance, performance recognition, business responsiveness and basic government services.

Iloilo City also ranked second most competitive next to Cagayan de Oro and ahead of San Fernando, Pampanga.

A city’s competitiveness was measured in terms of three indicators including economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure.

A city’s economic dynamism was measured through business registration figures; employment, and financial institutions.

While city’s infrastructure assessment was based on a city’s road network, basic utilities and registered vehicles.

The rankings can be used by investors when picking their business location, said NCC private sector chairman Guillermo Luz.

If an LGU wants to show how competitive it is, it has to show the data to back it up, noted Luz.

NCC seeks to promote a more competitive Philippines and instill a culture of excellence through public-private sector collaboration as a means to reduce poverty through inclusive growth.

MVP’s firms express interest to rehabilitate Iloilo river under PPP


MANILA, July 30 (PNA) -- A possible public-private partnership for restoring the Iloilo River is in the offing between the Iloilo City Government and the Manuel V. Pangilinan-led firms, a development being pushed by Senate President Franklin Drilon.

Drilon and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog met with Pangilinan and his team Tuesday to brief the group of the business tycoon regarding Iloilo River and efforts, both short and long terms, being undertaken to revive the river and make it the anchor of economic development in the city.

“The group of Mr. Pangilinan is examining the entire plan to determine if there can be viable significant public-private partnership. Nothing is certain yet at this point because we are still in the exploratory talks as to which aspect of the rehabilitation plan hey can best intervene in,” said Drilon.

“I hope, as of all of us would like to see, to get Mr. Pangilinan and his group signed up for Iloilo River rehabilitation,” he added.

Drilon told Pangilinan the Iloilo River is now a finalist in an international environmental feat known as the Thiess International Riverprize award because of the various collaborative undertakings that have been done to clean and save the 20-kilometer river from further damage.

Iloilo River is representing the whole of Asia in the said award along with Bolshaya River in Russia, Mara River in Kenya, Africa and the Murray Darling Basin in Australia, noted Drilon.

Drilon also told Pangilinan the river used to contain various kinds of natural and man-made obstructions that altered the original flow of the water and brought about pollution to the river.

But with the strong political will and collaborative efforts among its stakeholders, Drilon said the redevelopment of Iloilo River is already showing positive effects.

Drilon relayed to MVP, as he is commonly referred to, the various activities the Iloilo River Development Council has so far achieved which include, among others, the removal of 10 derelicts and 38 idle vessels, fish pens; and relocation of about 1,000 families living along the danger zones of the river and its tributaries.

Drilon also constructed an esplanade - funded through his priority development assistance fund - along the river to boost tourism in the city and to increase environmental awareness among its residents.

OCD slates forum on meteorological hazards


ILOILO CITY, July 29 (PNA) -- What is a thunderstorm? Why does this weather phenomenon occur more frequently at this time of the year?

Online, a thunderstorm is defined as “a storm caused by strong rising air currents and characterized by thunder and lightning and usually heavy rain or hail”. It is considered as one of the hydro-meteorological hazards affecting the Philippines.

A more detailed answers to the above questions as well as additional distinct characteristics attributed to thunderstorm and other hazards of the hydro-meteorological realm would be given by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in a presentation on “Understanding Hydro-Meteorological Hazards during a forum slated today, July 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Iloilo Grand Hotel here.

The forum dubbed Building Resilience: A Forum with Government Information Officers and the Media was initiated by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and Office of Civil Defense with the Philippine Information Agency as one of the highlights of the observance of the 2013 National Disaster Consciousness Month in Western Visayas this July.

Also to be featured in the forum is the program on Building Resilience: Public-Private Partnership of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines-PHAPCares Foundation, Inc., which has been supporting government efforts on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) in the country including Western Visayas.

PHAP Public Affairs and Communications Director Marian Trinidad-Pausanos said their presentation will include the impact of disasters on health and why their organization is in the region.

Police confiscate big cash, gun and gambling paraphernalia in gambling outfit raid in Jaro


ILOILO CITY, July 28 (PNA)- Police authorities here confiscated a total of P578,244 cash that include P45,000 of coins, both in various denominations following a recent raid at the house of punong barangay in Sitio Little Janiuay, Brgy. Cubay, Jaro district, Iloilo City for illegal gambling operation.

Apart from the big cash, the combined forces of the Regional Intelligence Division of Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) and Jaro Police Station respectively led by Supt. Noel Lamsis and C/Insp. Gilbert Gorero likewise recovered a .45 caliber pistol bearing tampered serial number loaded with seven live ammunitions and a magazine, three live ammos of .380 revolver, six empty shells of super .38 caliber revolver, bundles of brown envelopes and cotejos or bet list and other gambling-related paraphernalia following a thorough search made inside the subject house owned by punong barangay Victorio Rejaba Sr. of Brgy. Tabuc-Suba, also in Jaro district.

Police said though a bonafide resident and a punong barangay of Brgy. Tabuc Suba, Jaro, Iloilo City, Rejaba also maintains a house in Brgy. Cubay that served as the remittance center for illegal bookies.

The police operation also led to the arrest Mark Rejaba, reportedly a casual employee of the city government of Iloilo and son of punong barangay Rejaba as well as members of the red ladies group identified as Hayde Endioday, 45, of Sitio Little Janiuay, Brgy. Cubao, Jaro; Joan Labang, 52, of Brgy. Camalig, Jaro; and, Edlen Agayating, 30, of Brgy. Mansaya, Lapaz, all in Iloilo City.

When asked for their presence during the raid, the red ladies reasoned out they were coordinating with their leader who is the wife of barangay captain Rejaba,in preparation for the scheduled mass wedding activity of the city government of Iloilo.

The raiding teams, however, failed to arrest the punong barangay during the police operation.

The raid, armed with a search warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Judge Loidas Diestro-Maputol, was conducted in line with the intensified campaign of the Philippine National Police against illegal gambling operation.

Police said that based on intelligence information they have gathered that the subject house served as the remittance center of illegal gambling or bookies like First Two, allegedly operated and financed by the punong barangay himself and his in-law.

First Two or bookies is an illegal numbers game which derived its winning numbers from the first two digits drawn on legal lotteries like Small Town Lottery (STL) which has legal sanctioned from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

The illegal gambling outfit has its scope of operation that covers the entire First District of Iloilo and the island-province of Guimaras as well as several towns in the Second and Fourth Districts in the province of Iloilo.

Meanwhile, punong barangay Rejaba of Brgy. Tabuc-Suba, Jaro is presedntly at large since the conduct of the raid on Friday afternoon at his house in Little Janiuay, Brgy. Cubay, Jaro.

Free computer training for 400 Ilonggos


ILOILO CITY, July 27 (PNA) -- A total 400 Ilonggos will benefit from free computer literacy training program which will kick off July 29 inside a van stationed beside the Technical Institute of Iloilo City campus in San Pedro, Molo district here.

This, after the Iloilo City Government and Filipino-Chinese Love & Care Foundation, Inc. inked on July 26 at City Hall a Memorandum of Agreement to implement the project.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said the endeavor is a great chance for unemployed adults and out-of-school youth to get skills training for prospective employment opportunities.

He stressed the initiative in collaboration with Fil-Chi Love & Care Foundation, Chinese Filipino Business Club and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority is another manifestation of strong public-private partnership in the development of Ilonggo manpower.

Free computer trainings on Basic PC, Windows Operation System, and MS Office as well as Values Formation and Personality Enhancement sessions will be provided to recipients covering three weeks.

There will be four batches composed of five classes with 20 participants per class.

The Mobile Digital Opportunity Center is a green-colored air-conditioned 40-footer 12-wheeler container van equipped with 21 computer sets.

The project is expected to end on Oct. 19.

The MOA signing was witnessed by 22 CFBC officials from Manila and their Ilonggo counterparts.

The newly-established Fil-Chi Love & Care Foundation seeks to help bridge the digital and values divide through Information and Communications Technology education.

Intensive study on Iloilo City’s traffic problems pushed


ILOILO CITY, July 26 (PNA) -- Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. wants an intensive study to determine the causes of heavy traffic in Iloilo City before proposing the total ban of provincial jeepneys in the city proper.

“Traffic problem in the city could not be solved immediately. It needs intensive study to know what causes the problem. Maybe, there’s traffic mismanagement or it could be the provincial jeepneys are the real cause,” he said.

Defensor said he would welcome any invitation from the city officials to sit down with them and come up with a mutually acceptable decision.

“This needs deliberate involvement of different agencies so that we can assess what would be the major effects of the (proposed ban),” the governor said.

Earlier, Iloilo City Councilor Plaridel Nava, chairman of the committee on transportation, said he wants to totally prohibit all provincial passenger jeepneys from entering the city proper to help decongest traffic in the city’s main streets.

Nava said the traffic congestion could only be addressed by amending the Perimeter Boundary Ordinance (PBO).

He is proposing that all provincial vehicles should only be allowed until their designated passenger terminals located at the city’s perimeter boundaries.

Nava, who is finalizing the draft on the proposed amendments for presentation to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, said he hopes that his proposal can be tackled during the next regular session of the City Council.

Meanwhile, Zarraga Mayor John Tarrosa said the proposed ban of provincial passenger jeepneys needs public consultation because of its possible adverse effects to the drivers and the commuters.

Leganes Mayor Adolf Jaen expressed opposition to the proposed ban, saying it will bring additional costs to Leganesnon commuters.

Among the public utility jeepneys that enter the city proper are those from Leganes and Zarraga, which are situated adjacent to Iloilo City.

Iloilo City’s historical Molo district to hold annual fiesta on July 26


ILOILO CITY, July 25 (PNA) -- The district of Molo in this city will celebrate its annual fiesta in honor of patron saint St. Anne on July 26.

Molo is a historical place where all its saints in the cathedral are women.

The Molo Cathedral has been dubbed the first women liberation church in the country.

The district was also a stopover area of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. He visited Molo from his exile in Dapitan, Zamboanga before he went back to Manila.

Molo, known as “Athens of the Philippines,” where several legislators came from, is the homeground of Senate President Franklin Drilon and Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

This year, the Fiesta Queen is Clarissa Marie Siscar, who will be crowned Thursday evening during the coronation rites at the Katilingban Covered Court.

Mayor Mabilog and Lone District Rep. Jerry Treñas will grace the event while Councilor Nielex Tupas will deliver the encomium and proclamation of the fiesta queen.

Iloilo City diversion bridge expansion works start July 25


ILOILO CITY, July 24 (PNA) -- The Dept. of Public Works and Highways Region 6 will conduct a dry run of the closure of diversion bridge here starting July 25 to prepare for its scheduled rehabilitation and expansion.

The bridge connects to the Sen. Benigno Aquino Avenue along the diversion road.

Engr. Al Fruto of the DPWH-6 said the dry-run will include at least half of the bridge for the construction of four lanes and the construction of a pedestrian underpass under the bridge along the banks of the Iloilo River.

The P88-million bridge project will augment the current construction of a road widening and expansion of the diversion road into an eight-lane street. Passage of vehicles will go on as usual at the other half of the bridge.

Fruto assured the public that the diversion bridge construction will not in any way hamper the construction of the Jaro Washington Bridge.

Bike patrol up in Iloilo City streets

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

ILOILO CITY, July 23 (PIA) -- Using bicycles to patrol the busy streets in the city is an environment-friendly strategy to prevent crimes.

Police Chief Superintendent Manuel Felix, Deputy Regional Director for Administration of Police Regional Office-6 (PRO-6), said that they are strengthening their “Cops on Bike” program for it deters criminality through police visibility and it is eco-friendly.

Felix said that the bike patrol system is also a cost-efficient strategy since bicycles are cheaper to maintain than patrol cars.

He also said that it is a fast way to respond to crime incidents and apprehend criminals in the streets in the city.

Twenty policemen are stationed as bike patrollers in Iloilo City while another 20 are assigned in Boracay Island. The PRO-6 is also looking into the deployment of cops-on-bikes in Bacolod City.

Before these cops were deployed, they underwent a two-week Bicycle Patrol Course training conducted by the Mobile Training Team of the Philippine National Police (PNP) held at Camp Delgado, headquarters of the PRO-6 here.

Felix said that while these policemen riding on bicycles are no match to criminals riding on four wheels or motorcycles, their presence are seen to be effective in crime deterrence.

He added that they have also deployed the Motorized Anti-Street Crime Operatives (MASCO) in strategic areas in the city that respond to crimes reported and serve as back-up to these cops-on-bikes if the need arises.

5 environmental heroes in Iloilo to be honored on July 24


ILOILO CITY, July 22 (PNA) -- Five local environmental heroes, including two individuals and three organizations, will be presented to the public as guardians of the environment in an awarding program slated on Wednesday at Hotel del Rio here.

The event, spearheaded by Megaworld Corp. and local newspaper "The Daily Guardian", will recognize the environmentalists based in Iloilo City as models in environmental protection and preservation.

The awardees are mangrove experts Dr. Jurgenne Primavera, a scientist formerly connected with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), and biological scientist Dr. Rex Sadaba, a professor of the University of the Philippines-Visayas.

The three others are the United Calajunan Livelihood Association (UCLA) based in Barangay Calajunan, Mandurriao, whose members make fancy jewelry, bags and other household decors from waste materials; Iloilo-Batiano River Development Council, chaired by Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Senate President Franklin Drilon, which spurred the rehabilitation and development of the Iloilo and Batiano rivers leading to the construction of several infrastructure projects in the city; and Orchard Valley Inc. of architect Johnny Que, whose farm grows vegetables and fruits without commercial chemicals.

The awards aims to recognize groups, institutions and individuals who made significant contributions to environmental protection and preservation of Metro Iloilo.

Iloilo’s multi-billion-peso JRMP II as PPP project mulled

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

ILOILO CITY, July 21 -- The construction of a multi-purpose reservoir dam of the P11-billion peso Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project (JRMP) Stage II is being considered for implementation under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program.

The PPP program is the cornerstone strategy of the Aquino administration to accelerate the country’s infrastructure development and sustained economic development.

A press report from the Department of Agriculture (DA) said that the agency through its Public-Private Partnership Unit or DA-PPP is working on the multi-billion-peso Iloilo project together with two other major projects for the agriculture and fisheries sectors.

JRMP II will provide year-round irrigation to increase agricultural production in 22,340 hectares of five existing irrigation systems and to an additional of 9,500 hectares of currently rain-fed areas in the province, as well as increase the areas of irrigable farmlands in the province.

The primary areas that would be covered are the municipalities of Calinog, Lambunao, Badiangan, Janiuay, Cabatuan, Sta. Barbara, Pavia, Alimodian, Leon, San Miguel, Oton, Tigbauan, Duenas, San Enrique, Anilao, Dingle, Barotac Nuevo, Dumangas, Mina, New Lucena, Pototan, Zarraga, Leganes, component city of Passi, and Iloilo City.

The project would also spin other benefits such the promotion of diversified cropping and third cropping in selected areas as well as increased delivery of water to fishery farms, establishment of a 6.6-megawatt hydro-electric power plant, additional supply of good quality potable water for domestic and industrial consumption, flooding mitigation, eco-tourism, 17,000 new jobs, and livelihood opportunities.

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is the implementing agency of the project. It said that construction of access roads to the project site is ongoing.

The project will involve the construction of three dams – Jalaur Reservoir, Jalaur Afterbay and Alibunan Catch Dam in Calinog town located some 54 kilometers from this city.

The project will be funded with a P8.95-billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of Korea with the remaining P2.2 billion to be provided by the Philippine government as its counterpart through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the DA.

NIA targets to finish the JRMP II before the term of President Benigno S. Aquino III ends in 2016. The President led the groundbreaking of the project in February of this year.

The project seeks to sustain rice self-sufficiency in the province and the entire Western Visayas region and contribute to the annual increase in the country’s rice production target by 7.6% under the Food Staples Self-Sufficiency Roadmap 2011-2016 anchored on the Philippine Development Plan (PDP).

JRMP II would be the first large scale reservoir dam outside Luzon.

The other projects being considered by the DA for implementation through PPP are the improvement of existing postharvest processing and trading centers and the establishment of a cold chain system.

UFS Chefmanship Academy helps the restaurant industry

By Tet Andolong (

ILOILO, the place where the famous noodle soup batchoy was invented, is the very same place where Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) Chefmanship Academy launched its first program in the country. UFS is the food-service division of Unilever—maker of Knorr, Lady’s Choice, Best Foods and Lipton, which brought its globally successful venture to help Ilonggo restaurateurs keep abreast with the vibrant Iloilo dining landscape.

As the first food-service company in Southeast Asia to offer a roving training service for chefs and operators, UFS offered a program to help Ilonggos better their tradecraft and business skills. More than 70 participants from hotel and restaurant establishments in Iloilo attended the event that was held at The Venue. UFS hopes that the resulting knowledge and insights would help the chefs continuously shape the Iloilo restaurant operators to better fit the needs and cravings of not only locals but also the thousands of new tourists who travel there each month.

Chefmanship Academy is the first-of-its-kind initiative in Southeast Asia that is created by UFS to meet the diverse needs of food professionals in hotels, restaurants, catering, local eateries and school canteens. Through especially prepared workshops and seminars, UFS is aiming to promote greater service efficiency, customer satisfaction and business profitability.

Truly, Iloilo is in a better position than ever before to be the next big Philippine food destination. The evolution that Iloilo City is undergoing has sparked so much interest from local and foreign visitors that Iloilo airport is now ranked as the fourth-busiest airport in the Philippines. With the sudden influx of tourists in Iloilo, local business owners have to keep up with their demands. Among those facing bigger challenges are the Ilonggo restaurant and food service owners.

And this is the very reason UFS Chefmanship Academy came to Iloilo. “I’m very happy and excited that the first UFS training seminar was held here in my hometown,” UFS Marketing Manager Louren Chua said. The training modules and sessions were facilitated by UFS Executive Chef Joanne Limoanco-Gendrano, which included Menu Planning and Counting Costs.

“The global trend for food service is to build consumer trust and confidence, from farm to table,” Chef Joanne said. She also said method of sourcing should be explained to the customers, as well as freshness and quality should be communicated; establishments should make ethical choices; social responsibility; actions should be environmentally sustainable; and engage the customers with sincere initiatives and reward loyalty.

UFS works with a network of 500 chefs worldwide and so has the necessary knowledge and expertise needed to develop a comprehensive program of courses which combine real-life insights with factual knowledge, as well as hands-on learning.

As the modules address the issues that most restaurant owners, chefs and operating managers regularly face, they will be able to apply what they have learned to help make their own businesses or kitchen more successful.

Chef Joanne was assisted by Chef Carlos “Pipo” Aluning, who prepared special dishes during the seminar, including salmon belly with teriyaki vinaigrette, cabbage slaw and sesame mayo; grilled tamarind chicken; steamed fried rice with mustard leaves; pommery entrecote steak; fisherman’s pie and avocado smoothie for dessert.

Iloilo City to host regional disaster management summit


ILOILO CITY, July 19 (PNA) -- The first-ever regional summit on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) will be held in this city on July 24 to 26.

The forthcoming activity will gather all chief executives of local government units throughout Western Visayas in response to the holding of the national summit organized by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in March this year.

To be spearheaded by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Region 6, the activity aims to help and prepare local officials, particularly the neophyte mayors, in their role as local chief executives and DRRM managers in their respective localities.

Senator Franklin Drilon, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin have been invited to speak at the regional disaster summit.

MSMEs invited to be part of Roving Academy

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

ILOILO CITY, July 18 (PIA) -- Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) here were encouraged to register their business enterprises to be able to take part in the new program launched by the Department of Trade and Industry dubbed ‘SME Roving Academy’.

SME Roving Academy is a continuous learning program for the development of MSMEs to become competitive in the domestic and international markets.

Bureau of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Officer-in-charge Director Jerry Clavecillas said through the program they will keep track of the various interventions provided by government agencies and other private providers in the region and match them with the requirements of MSMEs.

“That’s why we want to encourage all our MSMEs who want to take part in the program to register so that we can determine what are your requirements and then we can match you with the providers and at the same time align you with the national perspective, what is the thrust of the national government as far as your sector is concern,” said Clavecillas who was here in Iloilo City for the program launch on July 15.

Business Registration is among the suggested interventions identified under the start-up and capability building, the first of the seven stages of SME development through the Export Pathways Program framework which will be used in the implementation of the program.

EPP is an innovative strategy which aims to assist existing and new exporters by offering client-focused interventions to fit their requirements at any stage of their business.

The other stages under the EPP are Stage 2: market awareness, Stage 3: market readiness, Stage 4: export readiness, Stage5: export market entry, Stage 6: export sustainability, and Stage 7: export expansion.

DTI-Iloilo Director Wilhelm Malones said there are currently 59 MSMEs in Iloilo enrolled with the Export Pathways Program and 11 of them are already in the Stages 4, 5 and 6 or in the export stage with markets in Canada, United States of America, Mauritius, Japan, Italy, Norway and Taiwan.

Malones said these MSMEs that were enrolled have contributed a lot in the attempt to reduce the number of unemployed and underemployed in Iloilo last year and in pursuit of the national government thrust of inclusive growth. He noted that DTI-Iloilo was able to generate jobs for about 5,000 persons in 2012.

Malones is hopeful that with the launch of SME Roving Academy, MSMEs in the province could contribute more in the succeeding years.

Clavecillas also enjoined all their providers especially on the government side to be part of the program which intends to integrate all services that focus on the development of MSMEs.

He stressed that if there is an integration of services among providers the gaps that were not availed by an enterprise will be identified and given focused.

Valerie Maravilla, president of the Iloilo Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Council said this new undertaking of DTI will advocate what the government has been trying to do with the private sector to educate people to become entrepreneurs.

“We keep educating our youth to work abroad when actually we can be more useful by improving their entrepreneurial skills,” said Maravilla.

Unschooled inmate learns through ALS

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

ILOILO CITY, July 17 (PIA) -- Outside, he never had the chance to go to school in his 42 years. It was in prison where he learned his ABC.

“Wala gid ako makatapak sa Grade I, pero diri sa prisohan nakatapus ako sang elementary kag high school na ako subong,” (I haven’t been in Grade I, but here in jail, I finished my elementary and I’m in high school now), Eleuterio Bayot said.

“Wala na ako mahuya nga mag-atubang sa tao kay makahibalo na ako magbasa kag magsulat,” (I’m not ashamed to face people anymore because I already know how to read and write), he added.

Bayot’s is among the 91 inmate-learners enrolled in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) implemented by the Department of Education with the Bacolod City District Jail-Male Dormitory. Bgy. Taculing, Bacolod City.

Jail Warden Chief Inspector Gilbert Peremne said of the 91 learners, 24 are in the elementary, 47 are in the secondary and 14 are undergoing the Basic Literacy Program for those who cannot really read and write.

“In my capacity as warden, I see to it that ALS will be very interesting for the learners by augmenting this with technology and an improvised classroom,” Peremne said.

He said he was able to get a computer set from ABS-CBN Bacolod where computer-based instruction can be accessed. They also received donation of desks from the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod.

“Like in ordinary school, we also had a registration and enrolment and an orientation before the start of regular classroom instructions which lasted for 10 months,” Peremne added.

After the 10 months regular course, the learners are to take the Accreditation and Equivalency Test (A&E) and if they pass, they will be given a diploma signed by DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro, during their graduation.

BJMP-6 Director Sr. Supt. Ignacio S. Panti said that as of this year, all the 35 jails in Western Visayas are gradually and successfully implementing the ALS with the DepEd and the Bureau of Alternative Learning System.

“Two years ago there was none of this in our jails, but now we have 1,213 enrolees in the region, 606 have taken the A&E, with 157 passers,” Panti said.

Panti said that BJMP focuses on ALS to enable the inmates prepare for employment and a productive life after they have served their terms in jails.

“We join President Aquino in his thrust to invest in people by reducing poverty and building national competitiveness. Our mandate is Education for All (EFA) in jails,” he added.

Peremne, on the other hand, said that even call centers are supporting their efforts to rehabilitate the inmates through technology and training.

“We have one, who trained for 21 days with Transcom, and after he was released just recently, landed a job at the call center,” Peremne shared.

Peremne also said that the ALS is among the government programs which answers the BJMP’s need everywhere in the country, because majority of the inmates lack necessary education.

In his post graduate dissertation titled “Motivation for Crimes of Incarcerated Adults in Bacolod City,” Peremne said that the results showed “high level” of motivation in the commission of crime for those with no formal education, crime being caused by low educational attainment and by having difficulty in achieving wealth and status through well-paid employment.

Meanwhile, Eleuterio Bayot said ALS forced them to study wherein in the process, they learned of values and developed maturity and understanding of right and wrong.

“My fellow inmates and I were able to counter our boredom and idleness as we devote our time to studying,” Bator said in the dialect.

His story inspired more inmates as he served as speaker during the graduation of 600 ALS learners in Bacolod City, where he expressed his gratitude to the government for the chance to get an education.

“When I will have the chance to be released from here and return to normal society, I will pursue a vocational course and live honourably,” Bayot said in the dialect.

Expo features Ilonggo products

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

ILOILO CITY, July 16 (PIA) -- Quality made products by local entrepreneurs in this city and province are featured at the ongoing Iloilo MSMEs Expo 2013 at the Atrium Mall which will last until Sunday, July 21.

Bureau of Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Development Officer-in-Charge Director Jerry Clavecillas led government officials and private sector in opening the week-long event after the launching of the SME Roving Academy here in Iloilo on July 15.

The Iloilo MSMEs Trade Expo was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Provincial Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Council.

“The expo is one way of showcasing our quality products and to advocate to buy local rather than imported products,” said PMSMEDC president Valerie Maravilla.

PMSMEDC is composed of 13 private organizations and 14 government agencies that aims to increase and improve MSMEs comprising 95 percent or even more of business enterprises in the country and which Maravilla referred to as the backbone of the economy.

Timothy Arandela, one of the 24 exhibitors in the trade expo and Proprietor of Green to Go Herbal Products, said he decided to join the fair to get more exposure for his herbal products business and as part of the capability building provided to them by DTI.

According to Arandela since the start of their business in late 2010 they have displayed their products at only two outlets and with the exposure they hope to expand their market.

He said the business was initiated by his wife in her desire to help students learn how to make herbal soap but later they expanded it into other products such as malunggay soap, tea and capsule.

Aside from the health and wellness products of Arandela, other featured items at the trade fair are processed foods, handwoven fabrics, crafts and decors, and bags.

The holding of the Iloilo MSMEs Expo 2013 and launching of the SME Roving Academy are in support of this year’s SMED Week celebration with the theme “MSMEs: Key to Progress”.

Iloilo City starts 76th charter anniversary activities


ILOILO CITY, July 15 (PNA) -- The city government here is bracing for its 76th year anniversary with month-long activities until its highlight on August 25, with the City Tourism Office leading the activities.

On Tuesday, a thanksgiving mass will start the celebration to be followed by a short program at the City Hall lobby led by Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III.

This year’s celebration will put emphasis on the city’s Vision 20-20 and Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog’s one cohesive effort on “Juan Vision, Juan Direction and Juan Action” by putting all city government services under one focus.

Iloilo City was elevated into a full-fledged charter city in August 25, 1937 and since then, progressed into one of the most awarded highly- urbanized city in the Visayas.

City Tourism Officer Ben Jimena said the 76th charter day of Iloilo City is a testament and celebration of the local government’s outstanding achievements for the Ilonggos to be proud of.

The activities will include department events such as a jobs fair, food festival, oratorical and extemporaneous contests, quiz bee, dance sports, recognition and awards, civic parade, Mayor’s Ball, medical mission, river clean-up, search for Mr. and Ms. Iloilo City, bloodletting, arts and culture program, city-wide sale, exhibits, fun run, essay writing contest and band concerts.

Agencies form consumer network

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

ILOILO CITY, July 14 (PIA) – Some 21 national government agencies and nine local government units have organized themselves into a network to respond to consumer concerns in the province and city of Iloilo.

Convening the agencies is the Department of Trade and Industries-Iloilo Provincial Office under Dir. Wilhelm Malones, who said the network seeks to respond to the need for prompt and speedy resolution of consumer complaints.

Malones said gathering the consumer-related agencies together is seeing to it that consumers are referred to the right agency and consequently speeds up the process and resolves issues at the shortest possible time.

In an organizational meeting held July 12, the body identified the areas of concerns and the contact persons of respective member agencies initially identified by the DTI as the Secretariat.

The agencies include the DTI, DOH-Bureau of Food and Drugs, Iloilo City Agriculturist Office, Cooperative Development Authority, Iloilo City Environment and Natural Resources, Iloilo City health Office, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, SEC, National Meat Inspection, BFAR, HLURB, NFA, DOT, Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority, DOE, Civil Aeronautics Board, BIR, NTC, Iloilo City Social Welfare Development Office, Provincial social Welfare Office, PIA, Iloilo City Legal Office.

The LGUs include that of Cabatuan, San Miguel, Pototan, Leganes, Tigbauan, Miag-ao, Estancia, Igbaras, and Iloilo City.

Malones said that when membership is fully completed, a directory will be published so that the public will have a ready and informative reference of services.

“The creation of the ConsumerNet-Iloilo is an answer to the policy of the state to protect the interests of the consumers, promote their general welfare and establish standards for business and industry,” Malones said.

The body has agreed in the same meeting that it should launch regular and intensified information dissemination activities among various audiences.

Demand for water to shoot up in 2015

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) expects demand for potable water to shoot up in the next two years what with the construction boom in Iloilo City.

MIWD interim general Pablo Bercilla said they will need an additional 27,300 cubic meters daily (CMD) by 2015.

This is on top of the existing demand pegged at 61,367 CMD.

MIWD can only supply 33,000 CMD to 40,000 CMD due to lack of ample supply and leakages and pilferages in its distribution lines.

Bercilla said ongoing developments are the main factors in the projected increase in demand for water. He cited the case of Megaworld which is developing the old Iloilo airport lot in Mandurriao into the Iloilo Business Park.

Other big ticket project in the city is Ayala Land’s developments and Gaisano City’s Iloilo City Center both in in Brgy. San Rafael, Mandurriao.

Bercilla said Megaworld’s projected demand by 2104 is 2,200 CMD.

The MIWD official said they are eyeing to develop a total of 10 water wells in Cabatuan aside from rehabilitating their old pumping stations.

The water firm is also banking on long term solutions such as the Jalaur Dam to be undertaken by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

German trader plans to hold solar exhibition in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, July 12 (PNA) -- A German trader is planning to hold the first international solar products exhibition here next February 2014 in recognition of the city's progressive development.

Heinz Dieter Bender of ek168 Corporation based in Germany has vast experience in holding exhibitions in East Germany and the proposed exhibition in Iloilo City will mostly feature products such as solar cells, modules, photovoltaic panels, inverters, controllers and other tools and equipment made in Germany, Europe and the United States.

An initial of 20 companies, producers and suppliers in Europe had already signified their intention to join the exhibition in Iloilo City. Other exhibitors will include producers in the United States and Asian countries, Bender said.

Married to an Ilongga from Leon, Iloilo, Bender said he has no problem understanding the Ilonggo language and people, adding he found out that the city is ripe and suitable for such a big international exhibition.

Solar energy is an inexhaustible renewable power which the Philippine government is pushing and harnessing as another important source of power.

Bender assured the public that the cost of German products is competitive with other products in the market but of much better quality.

Proposed for the exhibition are market encounters between the local users and buyers and suppliers from Europe, lectures and the chance to exchange ideas on the products, display and presentations.

Potential exhibitors and buyers may contact Bender (0926)674428 or (033)321-1211 or at his residence in Block 1, Lot 28 Austery Subd., Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Iloilo City power firms join drive against malnutrition


ILOILO CITY, July 11 (PNA) -- Power firms based here have joined the nationwide campaign against malnutrition by spearheading the planting of vegetables in nearby barangays and schools.

The kick-off ceremony, held at the Ticud Elementary School Thursday, graced by officials of the power firms, city government, Department of Health, Department of Education, and school principals.

The program, part of the celebration of Nutrition Month this July, is spearheaded by Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) and its Iloilo City-based subsidiaries Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC) and Panay Power Corp. (PPC).

The firms have also partnered with East-West Seek Foundation in launching the "Oh My Gulay" (OMG) program.

The Foundation will provide vegetable seeds to be planted in the school grounds and open spaces in the barangays. The vegetables will be used by the schools in its supplemental feeding program for schoolchildren.

Parents will also be taught on the proper food preparation using the vegetables to be served to schoolchildren. The barangay will also use the vegetable produce in the supplemental feeding program in day care centers.

The National Nutrition Council has identified Iloilo City and province as having a significant number of malnourished children who need interventions in their food intake.

Survival fund for climate change adaptation available to LGUs

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

ILOILO CITY, July 10 (PIA) -- Climate Change Commission Secretary and Vice-Chair Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering urged local government units to come up with programs that would help their communities adapt to the effects of climate change.

With Sering’s call came the assurance that the national government has set aside funds under the People’s Survival Fund to help local governments defray the cost of such programs other than disaster risk reduction and management.

The fund is provided for under Republic Act No. 10174 which mandates the government to implement local climate change action plans and make communities more resilient to climate-induced disasters. Specifically, the fund, which would be appropriated annually, would be used for the management of water resources, land, agriculture and fisheries, health, infrastructure development, and natural ecosystems.

Speaking at the signing July 8 here of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that launched Project Re BUILD for Jalaur River Basin in Iloilo, Sering urged local governments to avail of the Fund after noting not a single local government has had a local climate change plan in place that is based on an assessment of its vulnerability to climate change, which would have been the basis for availing of the Fund.

“Meron na tayong pondo (an unprogrammed fund of P500 million), kulang ang absorptive capacity,” said Sering at the event. (We now have the fund, but there’s a lack of absorptive capacity, referring to non-availment of the fund by LGUs).

The CCC, she said, is hopeful that the fund would be used as a potential guide to LGUs in long-term planning on climate change adaptation because a well-defined plan can also encourage investment since it would lessen the cost of doing business.

"We have to move faster in this regard," she said, referring to local governments.

“What we’re bringing in is not something new but is more of improving what you have right now based on science and expertise," she added.

She cited the experience of her own disaster-prone community in Surigao del Norte, which she said is now resilient after experiencing and learning lessons on how to cope with the adverse effects of natural disasters especially typhoon “Sendong” in 2011 which included timely early warning and ample preparation.

Project ReBUILD is a joint project of the CCC and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the New Zealand Aid Progammeas funding agency. The 3-year project is designed to increase the capacities of communities surrounding the Jalaur River System in Iloilo to manage disaster risks from and adapt to the overall impacts of climate change towards resilience and sustainable development.

The MOU was signed by Sering, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, New Zealand Ambassador Reuben Levermore, and UNDP Country Director in the Philippines Toshihiro Tanaka.

Iloilo officials urged to unite against climate change


ILOILO CITY, July 9 (PNA) -- Leaders in Iloilo Province were urged to set aside politics and make a united stand to make communities resilient to the effects of climate change.

In his message during the launching of Project ReBUILD in Iloilo City on Monday, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Country Director Toshihiro Tanaka urged local chief executives here “to go beyond the boundaries of politics” to address the effects of climate change, which affect all regardless of political orientation.

He said climate change is a global phenomenon which affects millions of people all over the world, citing that flood is not exclusive to Philippines.

“We have to be prepared before it affects us,” he added.

Secretary Mary Ann Lucille Sering, vice chairperson of Climate Change Commission (CCC), said the role of the CCC is to coordinate local government units (LGUS) with the national government agencies (NGAs) and other funding agencies to support the municipalities, cities or provinces’ climate change adaptation projects.

“We will reduce the time the LGUs spend to seek funds from NGAs and funding bodies,” she said.

She noted that from 2008 to 2012, there is an increase in national budget on climate change but almost 80 to 90 percent of this budget has been spent on flood control and management.

“This is reactionary and some of the budget which should have been used for education and basic social services are diverted to infrastructure,” she said.

Sering also noted that climate change adaptation is a long-term process compared to disaster preparedness which is short-termed.

Under Project ReBUILD or “Resilience Capacity Building for Cities and Municipalities to Reduce Disaster Risks from Climate Change and Natural Hazards, Phase 1,” Iloilo is one of the recipients of a U.S.$ 1.22 million aid grant aimed to enable concerned sectors and communities covered by the Jalaur River basin.

The project was launched with the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the CCC represented by Sering and the Province of Iloilo represented by Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.

The Project ReBUILD will tap the local academe to study the vulnerabilities of these Jalaur River basin communities, which include those from the towns of Calinog, Lambunao, Passi City, Zarraga, Dumangas, Pototan, among others.

Activities lined up to observe National Disaster Consciousness Month


ILOILO CITY, July 8 (PNA) -- The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) here has lined up various activities to promote month-long observance of National Disaster Consciousness Month.

Rosario T. Cabrera, chairperson of RDRRMC and Regional Director of the Office of Civil Defense-VI (OCD-VI), said one of the activities will be film showing of disaster-related films to be spearheaded by Regional Director Ro-Ann Bacal, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-VI) who is also the vice chair for Rehabilitation and Recovery of RDRRMC.

Heads of national line government agencies and their respective staff who are members of RDRRMC will be given an opportunity to watch the first screening of the featured film “Cross Currents: Journey to Asian Environments” on July 23, 1 p.m. at the Cinematheque Iloilo along Solis Street, Iloilo City.

Cross Currents: Journey to Asian Environments is an environmental documentary of prize-winning filmmaker and director of the Center for New Cinema Nick Deocampo.

The OCD Regional Director said Deocampo will be around to interact with the audience during an open forum.

The film showing which is free of charge was made possible in coordination with Cinematheque-Iloilo.

‘SK law deserves review but abolition needs legislation’


ILOILO CITY, July 7 (PNA) -- Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. on Sunday said the decision to abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) would need serious talks among the legislators.

Defensor’s statement came after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) supported the call of election lawyer Romulo Macalintal to abolish the SK due to its failure to develop new breed of political leaders.

“It is deserves to be revisited but it needs legislation,” the governor said.

Defensor, who served as congressman for three terms, added that if ever SK would be abolished, the youth could be represented by one representative in the Barangay Council to handle the youth welfare.

He said, however, that if it would not be abolished, it would better that the age requirement of SK members from 15-17 years old to 17-20 years old.

“We should also consider their level of maturity,” he said.

Senator-elect JV Ejercito has proposed to amend some provisions on the SK law for its continuity.

Estrada said he would want to change the present age bracket to 18-24 years old so that the youth would be politically mature to hold office.

“I want SK reforms and progress but I’m not for its abolition,” he said during his recent visit at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.

The SK is composed of a chairman, seven members, a secretary and a treasurer.

Qualified are those who are actual residents in the barangay for at least six months and registered in the SK, or in the official list in the custody of the barangay secretary. SK election is also included on barangay election.

RDC-VI searches for Best Public Sector projects


ILOILO CITY, July 06 (PNA) -- The Regional Development Council (RDC) of Region VI again launched this year the ‘Best Public Sector Projects Award’ (BPSPA) to showcase and recognize the various government projects that significantly contributed to the attainment of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s strategic thrusts of inclusive growth and poverty alleviation.

First started in 2006, the award was also conferred in 2007 and 2009. The last awarding ceremony was graced by President Gloria M. Arroyo in Bacolod City.

The award has three categories: national government agencies (NGAs) category which includes entries from all regional offices or affiliate offices of national government agencies and government owned and controlled corporations operating in Region VI; state universities and colleges (SUCs) category that covers all twelve SUCs in Region VI; and local government units (LGUs) category which is for all six provinces, two highly urbanized cities, all component cities, and three provincial capitals in the region.

From 22 entries, the number was reduced to only 16 semi-finalists. The short listed projects were then presented by their proponents to the members of the board of judges.

Former RDC-VI co-chairperson Ma. Luisa Segovia of the Iloilo Business Club and Regional Director Ro-Ann Bacal of NEDA-VI led this year’s team of judges who went around the region from May 15 to June 7, 2013 to validate the projects.

Three regional winners for each category have been chosen after a thorough deliberation last June 27, 2013 during the final meeting of the Board of Judges.

The awarding ceremony will be held in September 2013 as part of this year’s RDC Week Celebration.

MOU signing to launch Project ReBUILD in Iloilo

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

ILOILO CITY, July 5 (PIA) -- A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed Monday, July 8 by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Provincial Government of Iloilo to launch “Project ReBUILD” for Jalaur River Basin here.

Project ReBUILD, acronym for Resilience Capacity Building for Cities and Municipalities to Reduce Disaster Risks from Climate Change and Natural Hazards, Phase 1, is designed to increase the capacities of communities surrounding the Jalaur River Basin to manage disaster risks from climate change and adapt to its overall impacts towards resilience and sustainable development.

Climate Change Commission Secretary and Vice Chairperson Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering will arrive here for the event together with New Zealand Ambassador Reuben Levermore, Country Director Toshihiro Tanaka of the United Nations Development Programme-Philippines, and CCC Deputy Executive Director Joyceline Goco.

They will be welcomed and joined by top local officials headed by Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Senator Franklin M. Drilon.

The Climate Change Commission is the implementing partner of the project, which will be administered by the United Nations Development Programme with the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP) as the funding institution.

The project also seeks to improve the governance framework by putting in place the necessary enabling policy environment, mechanisms, systems and tools, as well as improving the competencies of concerned personnel to address disaster risks from natural hazards and climate change which set back development gains and increase poverty incidence.

The three-year project is expected to come up with an assessment of the climate change vulnerabilities of target areas in the Jalaur River Basin, priority climate change adaptation and disaster risk mitigation measures, mainstreaming of climate change/disaster risk management budget in planning and regulatory processes, development of resilience of poor and most vulnerable areas, and establishment of a local knowledge management system in said areas.

Project ReBUILD is being implemented in two river basins in the country, the other one is the Cagayan River Basin in Luzon, which was launched July 4 of this year. The two areas were chosen for the project because of their vulnerability to the threats of climate change and natural hazards.

Project partners include several government agencies and organizations, universities and local government units of project areas.

DOT-6 finalizing list of 7 ‘Bridges of Blessings’ in Iloilo City

By Montessa Caoyonan [(PNA), HBC/NLG/MGC]

ILOILO CITY, July 4 (PNA) -- The Dept. of Tourism Region 6 has conducted consultative meetings and brainstorming sessions with different stakeholders here to finalize the list of 7 Bridges of Blessings in Iloilo City to be launched in September.

Among the stakeholders are the Dept. of Environment National Resources, Dept. of Public Works of Highways, Dept. of Interior and Local Government, Iloilo City Government, tri-media and private-sector.

DOT-6 Director Helen Catalbas said the consultation includes selection of the seven bridges and corresponding blessings, clarifications, suggestions, marketing strategy, roles of stakeholders, and proposed itineraries.

Iloilo City has 19 bridges mostly connecting the Iloilo-Batiano Rivers and two flyovers.

Most of these bridges have their own histories and stories to tell that are already part of the city’s history.

The oldest is the historical Forbes Bridge built in 1910 and rehabilitated in 1975.

The other bridges that cross the Iloilo River are the Quirino-Lopez Bridge built in 1967 and rehabilitated in 2000, Iloilo Bridge or the diversion bridge built in 1982, and the new Carpenter's Bridge built in 2010 beside the old Carpenter's Bridge that was rehabilitated into a pedestrian bridge.

Bridges across the Salog River are the Montinola Bridge built in 1956 and Jaro Bridge built in 1982, and the Buhang Bridge built in 2010 across the Jaro floodway.

Other city bridges are the six Dungon bridges over Dungon Creek with the first Dungon Bridge built in 1948, Dungon Bridge I, Dungon Bridge II, Dungon Bridge III, Dungon Bridge IV and Dungon Bridge V, all built in 1982, Buntatala Bridge built in 1956, Calajunan Bridge built in 958, Ticud Bridge built in 2000, Bitoon Bridge built in 2010, and the newest Jalandoni Bridge, Drilon Bridge and Nabitasan Bridge.

Meanwhile, the two flyovers are the Infante, built in 2008, and the Jalandoni built in 2010.

Catalbas said the main attraction is the Iloilo River wherein most of these bridges have been part of the city and good to be promoted as tourist spot.

“In modern days, it is part of our job to identify other heritage sites either it’s man-made, natural, lifestyle, or food that we could link to our history,” she said.

Dr. Kristine Treas, president of the Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Council, said Iloilo City heritage sites particularly these bridges are beneficial and they have their own roles in the life of Iloilo City.

Iloilo City river a finalist in 2013 Thiess International Riverprize award


ILOILO CITY, July 3 (PNA) -- The Iloilo River in this southern city is the only one in the Philippines selected as one of four international finalists in the 2013 Thiess International Riverprize award.

A communication dated July 3, 2013 from Matthew Reddy, chief executive of the International River Foundation based in Brisbane, Australia to city environment and natural resources officer Noel Hechanova showed the selection of the Iloilo River as a finalist in the international search.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the full rehabilitation of the Iloilo-Batiano river system started in 2011 and the city hosted the first international river summit in May 2012.

The efforts at the river showed a cohesive participation of government agencies and people's organizations clearly showing a public private partnership in rehabilitation and preserving the river in this city.

Mabilog said the river became an anchor of all development and pro-projects such as the Esplanade, housing projects for informal settlers displaced along the river and other danger zones, road widening, completion of circumferential and radial roads and construction of new ports for roll-on and roll water vessels and fast crafts.

Aside from the Iloilo River, the other international river finalists are the Bolshaya River in Russia, Mara River in Kenya, Africa and the Murray Darling Basin in Australia.

The representatives of the finalist rivers are required to attend the 16th International Riversymposium on September 16-23, 2013 in Brisbane where the international grand winner will be announced during a gala dinner.

They have the opportunity to present their work in the Riverprize sessions and meet other alumni members and symposium delegates. The international winner will win one million Australian dollars for projects.

DENR starts removal of obstructions along Iloilo City creek


ILOILO CITY, July 2 (PNA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has started the removal of obstructions, mostly illegal fish pens, mangroves and nipa clumps along the Calajunan Creek in Mandurriao district here.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Raul Lorilla reported the DENR action during the recent Iloilo River Development Council (IRDC) meeting attended by Senator Franklin Drilon.

An inventory team was dispatched last month to list down all obstructions at the creek that prevent the flow of water, including islets formed with vegetation, and fish pens at the boundary of Iloilo City and the municipality of Oton.

Lorilla said the inventory showed the presence of 89 mangrove species such as pagatpat, bakauan, pedada and bungalon and 10 nipa clumps along the Iloilo River upstream at Barangay Sooc, Arevalo district.

Meanwhile, 98 mangroves of pagatpat, bakauan babae and pedada species and a nipa clump are in Islet II at the Calajunan Creek in Barangay Sooc.

There are 67 mangroves and five nipa clumps at Islet III, while 451 mangroves species and 50 nipa clumps are at Islet IV upstream near the Sooc Bridge. At Islet V near the bridge, there are 407 mangrove species and 22 nipa clumps.

There are also 9 units of fish corrals or "punot" and other obstructions from the junction of Iloilo River and Calajunan Creek.

DPWH builds pedestrian underpass below bridge in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, July 1 (PNA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways Region 6 is building a scenic pedestrian underpass under the multi-million peso diversion bridge connecting the side of the Iloilo Esplanade I to the Benigno Aquino Jr. highway popularly known as the Diversion Road.

The Diversion Road is currently undergoing a road widening to accommodate eight lanes of roads and pedestrian overpasses.

DPWH-6 Regional Director Edilberto Tayao reported to Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog the ongoing underpass construction as part of the Esplanade expansion.

Esplanade I was already completed at the 1.2 kilometer Dean Efrain B. Treñas Boulevard and construction is ongoing at the Esplanade II project from the Medical City area up to the barangay ecopark in Barangay San Pedro, Molo district.

Tayao said the underpass project will be completed early next year to add more accessibility to the Esplanade park, currently the exercise haven and leisure area of this city.