Iloilo City News July 2014

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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


Drilon, Paje lead tree-planting activity in Iloilo



ILOILO CITY, July 31 (PNA) -- Senate President Franklin M. Drilon together with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje led a tree-planting activity today, Thursday along the Iloilo circumferential road which is to be renamed President Corazon C. Aquino national road.

Sec. Paje is in Iloilo city for the DENR national executive committee meeting held Wednesday.

The tree-planting activity was joined by Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr., and Iloilo Second District Rep. Arcadio Gorriceta.

The officials planted fire trees and golden flowers for beautification and as part of the National Greening Program of the DENR.

PHl's Private Sector Leaders, Movers to attend 5th National RDC-PSR Convention in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, July 30 (PNA)-- Over 170 private sector representatives (PSRs) from all over the country will gather in this city on August 13-15, 2014 for the 5th National RDC PSR Convention at the Diversion21 Hotel, Benigno Aquino Drive here.

The Regional Development Council VI (RDC VI), with the full support of the NEDA-VI staff, hosts this year’s National Convention with the theme “PSRs: RDCs’ Crucial Partners in the Pursuit of Inclusive Growth and Job Creation.”

The delegates will be enriched by the wealth of ideas coming from the following experts: NEDA Deputy Director General Margarita R. Songco, DTI Assistant Secretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba, DOT Assistant Secretary Arturo P. Boncato, Jr., Jones Lang, La Salle’s Country Director David Leechiu, and National Confederation of Cooperatives Chief Executive Officer Sylvia O. Paraguya.

The Convention is intended to strengthen the role of the PSRs in the RDC, particularly in getting their full support and cooperation in the realization of the updated Philippine Development Plan and Regional Development Plan, 2011-2016, and to serve as an opportunity to link and share best practices with one another.

It will also be an occasion for key PSRs to experience Western Visayas’ hospitality and to share their positive experience of the Region to their networks back home.

Preparations for the event are in full swing in close collaboration with RDC-VI PSRs, local government units, state universities and colleges, regional line agencies, and private companies.

Iloilo readies tourism sites, food for APEC 2015

By Lydia C. Pendon (JCM/LTP/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY is ready to serve the food needs of delegates of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meetings in 2015 as well as the tourism sites the delegates wanted to see in the city, said city tourism officer Benito Jimena.

The tourism officer said the city is going to host two top level meetings, one in September 21-25, 2015 for the SME Ministerial Meeting with an expected 700 delegates. The other meeting is slated on September 28 to October 6, 2015 for Food Security Week, a high level dialogue on food security and the Blue Economy and other related meetings with an expected 900 delegates.

Jimena said that an ocular inspection team from the APEC national organizing council will here on July 30, 2014 to see the vital sites or the hosting especially construction of the Iloilo Convention Center as main venue of the meetings, hotels for accommodation of the delegates, and road networks among others,

He said the city is capable of hosting a big international event and the existing hotels have a combined 2,000 rooms. Moreover, two high end hotels of Megaworld Corp. are being constructed just beside the convention center to accommodate the international delegates.

Regarding the food being served to the delegates, the city and province of Iloilo are capable of providing authentic raw materials for the halal foods for the Muslim delegates, Jimena said.

The Department of Tourism is going to conduct training programs for restaurant chefs especially in the preparation of halal foods and other targeted food outlets within the city.

Ilonggo cuisine will also be served to the delegates for them to get a taste of the authentic Ilonggo food such as tinuom, grilled chicken, pancit molo, batchoy, kadios with langka and meat, and others.

Jimena said the security and safety is a must in the city tourism sites such as the hospitals, Calle Real, Iloilo River and Esplanade, bridges connecting to the city proper, public markets and others.

Ilonggo cooperation key to successful APEC hosting

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

ILOILO CITY, July 28 (PIA) --- The cooperation of the Ilonggos is a key element to ensure the successful hosting of the ministerial meetings for the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) summit slated in 2015.

In a media release, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that with developments on the confirmation of Iloilo City as one of the two areas in Region 6 selected to host high level meetings for APEC 2015, it is also vital to gain the full support of people from both the city and province of Iloilo.

In a memorandum from Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa dated July 22, 2014, Malacanang has approved eight areas in six regions as sites for the APEC meetings in 2015.

Iloilo City has been assigned to host two meetings by the APEC National Organizing Committee (NOC).

Iloilo City will host the Small Medium Enterprises (SME) on September 21-25, 2015 and the Food Security Week (High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy) on September 28 to October 6, 2015.

The SME meeting is expected to have 700 delegates while the Food Security Week meeting will have 900 expected delegates.

Aside from Iloilo City, Boracay in Malay, Aklan was also approved to host two different meetings namely the second senior officials meeting and related meetings on May 10-21, 2015 and the Ministers Responsible for Trade on May 23-24, 2015.

Other areas approved to host the APEC meetings include Metro Manila; Tagaytay City in Southern Tagalog; Metro Cebu in Central Visayas; Bagac, Bataan and Clark, Pampanga in Central Luzon; and Legazpi City, Albay in Bicol.

APEC-NOC Director-General Marciano Paynor, Jr. said that a formal advance ocular inspection of Iloilo City is expected soon.

P3.3 million for canals


ILOILO City – A total of P3.3 million had been allotted for the clearing and rehabilitation of canals here.

“Oplan Tatap Kanal sa Barangay Program” covers 25 flood-prone barangays in five districts, as determined by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Launched on Friday, the program is a joint undertaking of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Rep. Jerry Treñas.

“Aside from clearing gutters, this project will help ease constant flooding in selected areas,” the congressman said.

It is also an emergency employment strategy for the poor, he added.

Twenty people from each concerned barangay will be employed for 22 days. Each will receive a minimum wage of P287 daily.

The workers will be provided, too, with working shirts, masks, caps, work boots and gloves.

Reyland Hervias, barangay captain of Compania Central in La Paz district, welcomed the project.

“Ma-complement ni siya nga project sa cleanup drive namon kada aga para ma-eradicate ang sources sang lamok. Sa bulig sini, matinluan man namon ang amon mga kanal,” Hervias said.

Aside from providing employment to the poor, the project will have huge impacts, health-wise, he added.

“May mga cases nga daan kami subong sang dengue kag chikungunya,” Hervias said. “Kung matinluan ang kanal, ma-eliminate man ang mga lamok.”

Felix Ventura of Barangay Sinikway, La Paz also acknowledged the need of his village for such project.

Barangay Sinikway is flood-prone.

Among the project recipients are barangays Bolilao, Bakhaw and Guzman Jesena in Mandurriao district and barangays Simon Ledesma, Cubay, Sambag, Bitoon, Tacas, San Isidro and Quintin Salas in Jaro district.

Other barangays covered are Concepcion and Veteran’s Village in the City Proper, North Baluarte, East Baluarte, South Fundidor, San Pedro and Boulevard in Molo, and Barangay Dulunan in the district of Arevalo.

W. Visayas farmers seen to benefit from Doppler Radar


ILOILO City — Once it becomes operational next year, the P25.2-million Doppler Radar here is seen to give relief to thousands of farmers in Western Visayas.

It is currently being constructed on a 1,000-square meter lot donated by West Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center in Sitio Hamungaya, Barangay Buntatala, Jaro district.

“Once the Doppler Radar is completely installed, the monitoring equipment will provide an accurate warning to farmers and fishermen to prevent damage on crops, vegetables, livestock, and fisheries if a tropical cyclone hits the region,” Larry P. Nacionales, regional executive director of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 6, told Panay News.

Among those that would benefit most are the rice farmers, according to Nacionales.

“Western Visayas has an estimated 561,059 metric tons of rice production from both irrigated and rain-fed farms, with a total production area of 183,663 hectares,” he said.

“Official data from the Philippine Statistics Administration showed that irrigated palay from 91,093 hectares reached 312,452 metric tons, while rain-fed palay from 92,507 hectares reached 248,607 metric tons,” he said.

In November last year, super typhoon “Yolanda” battered northern Panay, including northern Iloilo, Aklan, and Capiz, taking lives and damaging properties and agriculture.

Nacionales said DA Region 6 is currently extending agricultural support to farming communities affected by “Yolanda.”

A project of the Department of Science and Technology–Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, the Doppler Radar here will be the 10th monitoring facility in the country, some of which were undergoing post-“Yolanda” repairs.

Iloilo City one of PH’s top destinations

(JV Fernandez, Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City – This city is a “must-try and worth your visit,” according to travel blogger Ivan Henares, president of the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS).

Iloilo City is No. 2 in his list of the country’s top 50 cities to see, noting its rich history, abundance of built heritage, delicious food, and colorful local culture.

“A city that has realized the potential of revitalizing old downtowns, Iloilo City is now in the process of restoring the prewar buildings along Calle Real, the city’s old business district,” stressed Henares. “No doubt, Iloilo has the best preserved downtown area among major cities in the Philippines.”

Plaza Libertad and the old Iloilo City Hall (now part of the University of the Philippines Iloilo City campus) are national historical landmarks.

Jaro district boasts of the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral and Jaro belfry proclaimed as landmarks by the National Historical Institute, and grand ancestral homes.

The old Jaro town hall, as the district was a separate town until 1937, will soon be a branch of the National Museum.

Another interesting attraction is the Molo Church which is home to statues of female saints.

All over the city, local cuisine is readily available such as La Paz batchoy.

The metropolis is also becoming a favorite convention destination.

HCS, the city government and the Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council (ICCHCC) will bring here the Heritage Conservation Summit 2014: Revitalizing Old Downtowns from October 24 to 26 organized for the third time now.

It aims to bring together a wide spectrum of participants representing the national government, local government units, local historical and heritage societies, academe, heritage conservation practitioners and allied professionals, architects, planners and real estate developers, tourism industry, and media.

Its primary objective is to discuss and exchange knowledge on revitalizing old downtown areas and best practices in heritage conservation in historic old quarters and districts in the Philippines, its recent developments and challenges and opportunities faced.

The presentations will include successful experiences of local government units and community conservation groups in revitalizing their historic downtown areas.

Eco-friendly streetlights for Iloilo City

(Lucy Montealto-Sinay, Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City – The city government has started replacing the more than 4,000 street lights here with environment-friendly light-emitting diode (LED) type.

“We are using LED lights as they are more environment-friendly, have lower energy consumption and longer lifetime others compared to incandescent or sodium lamps,” said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

The bridges of the city are now using LED lights instead of sodium-vapor lamps, while streetlights along main thoroughfares will also be replaced with the former.

Lower energy usage would mean reduction in operating costs, said Mabilog.

Also, the less frequent need to service or replace LEDs means lower maintenance cost in the part of the city government.

The Electrical Division of the City Engineer’s Office will soon replace the lampposts from Bonifacio Drive up to Plaza Libertad with LED lights, said Engr. Salvador Pedregosa, division head.

The bridges that are now lighted using LED are the Jalandoni, Quirino-Lopez, Forbes and opposite it, the Rizal bridge.

Search on for 100Mth Pinoy


ILOILO City – What future awaits the 100 millionth Filipino?

On July 27, 2014 at 12:06 a.m., it is estimated that the Philippines will become a home for 100 million Filipinos, according to the 2010 population projections of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

This demographic event brings both a positive promise as well as challenge to the country as it struggles to give its people a better quality life.

The Commission on Population (POPCOM believes the birth of the 100 millionth baby is a good time to highlight the importance of the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) in pursuing national and local development.

It is also a good opportunity to bolster POPCOM’s advocacy that every child’s basic rights on education, health and development are guarded.

With this significant milestone in the context of population growth, POPCOM Region 6 will be recognizing the birth of seven babies to be born on that date and time coming from six provinces (Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental) and one from Iloilo City who will symbolize new hope for the country.

Each baby will be receiving a starter kit worth P5,000 provided they met the following conditions:

the babies will be born at 12:06 a.m. or seconds/minutes later
he/she should have been born in a government licensed health facility
born through normal spontaneous delivery
the health facility is observing the Philippine Standard Time; and be certified by the attending doctor.

The recognition of the symbolic babies shall be in close coordination with the Department of Health (together with its attached agencies such as POPCOM, PhilHealth, and the National Nutrition Council), local government units and other partner agencies in ensuring his/her development.

Also on the same date, given the population growth rate of 1.35, Region 6’s population is projected to increase at 7,518,063.

City braces for growing mutual fund investments

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILOILO City is bracing the entry of mutual fund investment opportunities as Sun Life Asset Management Company Inc. (SLAMCI) unleashes its award-winning Sun Life Prosperity Dynamic Fund during the ghost or lean months of August to September this year.

SLAMCI president Valerie Reina Pama acknowledged that Ilonggos are conservative investors but “this is for the investors who would like to make most of their money through stocks and bonds but don’t have the time or the expertise to do so. When markets move, our clients need not worry about reallocating their funds themselves. Our team of expert fund managers will do it for them.”

During the ghost months, the dynamic fund, also known as a swing fund or all weather fund, is consolidating in the next few months to pose an 8 percent growth which primarily caters to the needs of small and medium investors and wage earners.

The largest non-bank affiliated asset management company in the country with P43.4 billion in assets under management as of May 2014, SLAMCI is active in reaching out more Filipinos in Visayas and Mindanao. The company is also growing its team of financial advisors in the area as part of SLAMCI’s commitment to help more Filipinos achieve financial security.

Pama is married to an Ilonggo from Passi City, Iloilo and primarily accountable for the growth agenda, achievement of the short and long term strategy of asset management business line. Before joining Sun Life, she was with ING Bank as a consultant for the Investment Management Group and was mainly involved in product development.

She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Engineering. She took further studies in Katholike Unibersiteit Leuven in Belgium and finished her Master’s degree with distinction in Business Administration.

Blood Olympics up in 2015

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

ILOILO CITY, July 21 (PIA) --- With the success of the 1st Grand Blood-Letting activity held recently at Sarabia Manor Convention Center here, the Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas is planning to hold a “Blood Olympics” next year to increase blood collection in the region.

Dr. May Ann Sta. Lucia DOH-6 Regional Blood Program Coordinator, said that the Blood Olympics will highlight the month-long celebration of the Blood Donors Month which is marked every July.

“Each province will conduct the contest and the top three municipalities in every province will receive trophies from DOH in a planned awarding ceremony by the end of July 2015,” she said.

She said that the health department is requiring municipalities to conduct blood donation activities since the blood program is already included in the Local Government Unit (LGU) Scorecard.

The LGU Scorecard is one of the scorecards in the Monitoring and Evaluation for Equity and Effectiveness (ME3) of the DOH.

The scorecard is a performance assessment of the combined efforts of stakeholders within the province-wide health system (PWHS), which include the clients and public private providers within the municipalities, cities and provinces.

Meanwhile, Sta. Lucia said that the Grand Blood-Letting activity was simultaneously conducted nationwide to raise blood donations.

“The demand for blood is always more than the supply and sometimes blood type O is not available,” she stressed.

This year’s celebration of Blood Donors Month is anchored on the theme “Safe Blood for Saving Mothers”.

Energy projects benefit Customs, too


ILOILO City – Various energy projects being implemented in Western Visayas will not only address future electricity demands in the region but also bring in more revenues for the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The coal-fired power plant expansion of Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC), the wind farm project in the island-province of Guimaras and the coal-fired power plant of Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC) in Concepcion, Iloilo can further improve collection performance of the bureau, said Ernelito Aquino, district collector of the Port of Iloilo.

“We are positive that these projects will entail importation of raw materials,” Aquino said.

The BOC is in charge of imports, exports and foreign trade. It is specifically mandated to assess and collect lawful revenues; prevent smuggling and other frauds; control vessels and aircrafts engaged in foreign trade; enforce tariff and customs laws; control the handling of foreign mails for revenues and prevention purposes; and control import and export cargoes.

PEDC is currently building another 150-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Iloilo City as part of its expansion.

Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. is building a P6.3-billion wind farm in Guimaras.

PCPC is building a 135-MW coal-fired power plant in Barangay Nipa, Concepcion town to address power demands in Panay Island and the rest of the Visayas.

For the first and second quarters of 2014, the BOC Collection District VI composed of the Port of Iloilo and Sub-port of Pulupandan has already reached total revenue collection of P546.3 million.

The amount is 31.3 percent higher than its P416-million target for the first half of 2014.

Iloilo NGP target on track

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

ILOILO CITY, July 19 (PIA) --- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-6 said that Iloilo is on its way of attaining its target for the National Greening Program (NGP) with about 7.8 million tree seedlings already planted in the province.

In an edition of the radio program on climate change "Panahon, Hibaluon, Handaan, Aksyunan", DENR-6 Forest Resources Development Division (FRDD) Chief Danilo Lorilla said that a total of 15,516 hectares have been utilized for the NGP with some 7.8 million seedlings planted, as of June 2014.

He said the figures represent 74 percent of the target. For Iloilo province, the NGP target is 20,950 hectares within the six-year period, 2011-2016.

He clarified, however, that the figures only include the number of hectares utilized for the NGP and the tree seedlings planted in the province under the regional target as spearheaded by the DENR.

“The statistics does not include yet the interventions and programs conducted by the provincial government especially its major program Action for Regreening and Transformation for Climate Change Adaptation Program (ART for CCA),” he said.

“The figures would be bigger if we are to add the figures coming from the ART for CCA and the tree planting activities conducted by the private sector,” he added.

The DENR official also said that they welcome the help of the academe and other private institutions in taking part in the NGP.

“The institutions could coordinate with our DENR offices in San Dionisio, Barotac Nuevo, and in Iloilo City so they could be guided in what areas are appropriate for their tree planting activities,” he said.

He also said that they can provide personnel with technical capabilities to help them in the tree planting.

“The DENR offices in the province can also provide the seedlings that they can plant as well as planting materials that they can utilize for the tree planting activity,” he said.

NGP is a massive forest rehabilitation program of the government established by virtue of Executive Order No. 26 issued on Feb. 24, 2011 by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

It seeks to grow 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares nationwide within a period of six years, from 2011 to 2016.

Iloilo braces for first waste-to-energy project

By Lydia C. Pendon

EVERYTHING is set for a joint venture agreement on the P1.3 billion solid waste-to-energy project at the Calajunan dumpsite, Mandurriao district, Iloilo City.

Councilor Plaridel Nava, chairman of the City Council committee on ways and means, said the equipment, including big boilers and turbines, are set to be sent to Iloilo City in October this year.

As soon as the equipment arrive, the installation of the Philippines’s first solid waste-to-energy project will start.

Nava, however, admitted that the original signatory of the agreement, Dream Engineering Co. Ltd chaired by Youn Pyo Hong of Gongju City, South Korea with Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, has already expanded operation in whole Asia.

The one taking over the Iloilo operation is chaired by Daniel Cheon, also with Dream Engineering.

The joint venture agreement between Iloilo City and the Korean firm was signed last February 5, 2014 at the Iloilo City Hall calling for a pyrolysis and gasification technology designed to last for 20 years.

Phase I of the project will cover from one to 15 years amounting to P1.3 billion, while Phase II will run from 16 to 20 years amounting to P2.5 billion.

The City Government will not spend a centavo on the project.

Volume of waste to be processed includes 250 metric tons (MT) of garbage per day in the first phase and 500 MT per day in the second phase with an estimated annual gross income of P270 million in the first phase and P540 million in the second phase.

The city will get a share of five percent of the gross income or $20,000 per month whichever is higher in the first phase, while five percent of the gross income or $30,000 per month whichever is higher in the second phase.

Nava said he is enthusiastic with the project as it is designed to prolong the life of the soon to be constructed sanitary landfill.

The waste-to-energy project will only take one hectare, while the sanitary landfill will cover some four hectares -- all inside the 23-hectare dumpsite area.

Iloilo City eyes pact for market redevelopment


THE Iloilo City Government is eyeing a joint venture agreement with an unnamed bidder for the city’s central market construction.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog made the announcement during a dialogue with market vendors on Tuesday, July 15. The sentiments of the vendors will be included in the final draft of the Term of Reference (TOR).

He said the joint agreement on central market revitalization will bring cooperation and attract more investors to Iloilo City.

The mayor will see another batch of central market vendors on July 21 at the new City Hall to discuss with them the TOR and solicit their ideas before submitting the final draft to the City Council for approval.

The central market project is part of the central business district’s redevelopment.

Under the provisions of the revised TOR, the winning bidder will operate the second up to the fifth floors of the market, while the City Government will manage the ground floor to guarantee legal occupancy of the space to more than 1,000 qualified stallholders and vendors.

RDC-6 to host 5th Private Sector Representatives natl confab


ILOILO CITY, July 16 (PNA) -- More than 200 delegates from different parts of the country are expected to participate in the 5th RDC Private Sector Representatives’ (PSRs) National Convention on August 13-15 in this city.

The Regional Development Council VI (RDC VI) is hosting the three-day national convention in Diversion21 Hotel, Benigno Aquino Drive with this year’s theme, “PSRs: RDCs’ Crucial Partners in the Pursuit of Inclusive Growth and Job Creation.”

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA 6) Regional Director Ro-an Bacal is officer in charge of RDC VI pending the appointment of RDC 6 chairman by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

NEDA said the convention is intended to strengthen the role of the private sector representatives in the RDC particularly in getting their full support and cooperation in the implementation of the Updated Philippine Development Plan and the Updated Regional Development Plan for 2011-2016.

Pursuant to Executive Order 325, the private sector representatives comprise one-fourth of the membership of the fully constituted Regional Development Council (RDC).

Given the important role of the private sector in regional development, EO 325 specifically promotes their active participation in regional planning, investment programming, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation.

The convention is also expected to showcase the Ilonggo cuisines and attractions including the recent public and private infrastructure developments in Iloilo City.

City council declares heritage house as national treasure


ILOILO CITY, July 15 (PNA)– The city council here has declared through a resolution the 150- year old stone house in Arevalo, Iloilo City as an Important Cultural Property (ICP) and national treasure pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.

Main proponent city councilor Nielex C. Tupas said the Camiña Balay nga Bato, formerly the Avanceña Ancestral House located at Osmeña St. will be celebrating its 150th year this 2014 as a great milestone in the cultural heritage landscape of Iloilo City.

Avanceña heirs Gerard and Minviluz Camiña wrote the city council requesting for a resolution supporting the declaration of Balay nga Bato as an ICP and part of Iloilo City’s cultural heritage and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Tupas said that under the law, the ICP is protected by the national government and to be given priority protection in times of disaster.

The Balay nga Bato is the first heritage site outside of the central business district and houses priceless historical and cultural relics.

The house is made of stone with wood posts carved with intricate designs reminiscent of the affluent family living during the Spanish era. It is included in the city’s cultural heritage circuit tour and considered a pride of the place in Western Visayas.

40th Nutrition Month and Breastfriends Launching


ILOILO CITY, July 14 (PNA) -– The province of Iloilo held Monday the 40th Nutrition Month Celebration and Breastfriends launching to urge mothers in particular to give importance to proper nutrition and practice exclusive breastfeeding for their infants for the first six months.

Center for Health Development 6 Assistant Regional Director Maria Paz Corales in her keynote speech during the celebration held at the capitol lobby said that breastfeeding is the best start because of the nutrients derived from breast milk especially the colostrum that could be had for the first six months. The nutrients promote cognitive development and other developmental domains of the child.

Dr. Corales likewise zeroed in on the importance of breastfeeding in times of calamities and disasters as breast milk could prevent hunger and thereby malnutrition among infants and children.

On the other hand, Iloilo provincial administrator Raul Banias, who is a doctor, expressed the commitment of the provincial government under Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. in addressing the malnutrition problem in the province.

He mentioned the ongoing supplementary feeding program and milk feeding of the province to school children. The province of Iloilo is recipient of the supplementary feeding program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for Day Care children.

But aside from that the province through its provincial agriculture office, breeds buffaloes in Pototan that is used for its milk feeding program. The governor himself led the milk feeding program in the component Passi City on May 26 with 350 public school children.

As part of the celebration,there’s a display of locally produced vegetables and fruits at the capitol and a call for action and declaration of support to the municipal nutrition action plan, and signing of nutrition pledge by the participants.

WV disaster warning system gets boost


Iloilo City – Before the year ends, Region 6 will have 24 more weather monitoring equipment for its early disaster warning system.

The aim is to make Western Visayas more prepared for weather-related calamities, said Regional Director Rowen Gelonga of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

To date, DOST has 101 weather monitoring equipment scattered all over the region.

“The equipment give us real data – rainfall, rise of rivers and other weather parameters,” said Gelonga.

Of the 101, 12 are Automated Weather Stations (AWS), 50 are Automated Rain Gauges (ARG), 28 are Water Level Monitoring System (WLMS) and 11 are “Tandem” or a combination of WLMS and ARG.

AWS is a monitoring station with sensors measuring weather parameters such as wind speed and direction, air temperature, humidity and pressure, and rainfall amount, duration and density.

ARG gathers and records the amount of rainfall over a set period of time.

Selected ARGs are capable of measuring air pressure.

WLMS is a monitoring station equipped with sonar sensors capable of measuring the water level.

Gelonga said the Department of Agriculture has also adopted their technology and funded the installation of six automated weather stations, one for each province of the region, to help farmers when it comes to climatological data.

Local APEC organizers fret as 2015 draws near


ILOILO City – The local Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) organizing committee is doing extra work as 2015 nears, especially that two high-level and major APEC meetings will be held here.

Junel Ann Divinagracia, local APEC organizing committee executive director, said Iloilo will host the meeting on Small and Medium Microenterprise (SMME) from September 21 to 25, 2015 and on Food Security and the Economy from October 15 to 17, 2015.

The committee is expecting 42 ministers to attend the Food Security and the Economy meeting and 21 for the SMME meeting.

“Most probably they will be with their staff and consultants,” Divinagracia said, adding that the committee will be expecting more guests.

In preparation, the committee has just finished selecting 30 APEC delegation and liaison officers.

According to Divinagracia, these officers will serve as facilitators and organizers. Although all of them are volunteers, Divinagracia is assured the public of their commitment.

They will also be in-charge of the Mayor’s Ball to be held on the Charter Day. They will be in-charge of the preparations, including setting up the venue and the food.

Divinagracia said the volunteers will be thoroughly trained.

“They will be displaying diplomatic protocol trainings during the summit. The Deputy Director General for Diplomatic Protocol will be here in the city to critique on them – kun may improvements pa kag adjustments sila nga himuon.”

The executive director said the Department of Public Works and Highways and Megaworld Corp. both have offered assurances that the Iloilo Convention Center will be finished before the summit.

But the city is also readying alternative venues, said Divinagracia.

“More of international standards naman ang conference venues and hotels diri. Diversion 21 Hotel, Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center and Royal Garden all offered to be venues should there be a need,” Divinagracia said.

Iloilo City to host first RPOC meeting on July 15


ILOILO CITY, July 11 (PNA) -- Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., who is the newly appointed chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), will be presiding their first meeting here on July 15.

Defensor, who received his appointment this June, said that he will be convening the RPOC July 15 to get a situationer about the peace and order in Western Visayas.

The governor said that he intends to make the RPOC vitally contribute in the effort of the national government to encourage more rebels to join the mainstream once again.

In Western Visayas, there is presence of the New People’s Army (NPA) in some areas and reports of encounters with the military. The Philippine Army, however, said the rebels' number is already dwindling.

Iloilo to observe World Population Day through symposium


ILOILO CITY, July 10 (PNA) -– The province of Iloilo will be observing the World Population Day tomorrow, July 11, by holding a symposium for young people at the Leonora Salapantan National High School in San Miguel, Iloilo.

Iloilo Provincial Population Office chief Ramon Yee, in an interview, said that they have invited resource persons for the symposium who would discuss topics relevant to this year’s theme, “Investing in Young People”.

Yee said that based on the statistics provided by the Commission on Population 2010, there are 2,170,476 young people ageing 10-24 years old in Western Visayas of which 538,377 come from Iloilo.

Yee further said that youth is often considered a critical period for it is the “time of magnificent promise and insidious risk” that there is really a need for continuous proper guidance and strong partnership by the family, school, and the community in the molding of young people.

Yee cited in particular the increasing teenage birth incidence in Iloilo province. In 2010, there were 2,331 young mothers. The number somehow went down to 2,254 in 2011 but again climbed to 2,452 in 2012 and further to 2,499 in 2013.

The reasons cited for the increasing teenage birth incidence are exposure of the youth to pornographic materials or websites with explicit content.

The Provincial Population Officer said because of this, there is really a need for the family, school, and the community to work together so that children would not go wayward.

”Holding of the symposium is part of enlightening the youth,” Yee added.

Ceremonial signing of MOU on illegal recruitment-free LGUs campaign held

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

ILOILO CITY, July 9 (PNA) – A ceremonial signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Illegal Recruitment-Free Local Government Units campaign was held by Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr. and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) administrator Hans Leo Cacdac Wednesday, July 9.

Also signing the MOU were Iloilo city executive assistant Ariel Castaneda, in behalf of City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, and other regional directors concerned with overseas employment.

Cacdac, in an interview right after the signing, said that the POEA and the other government agencies are making sure that the illegal recruiters are arrested or avoided and that the public looking for employment abroad have enough knowledge on the legal way of being recruited.

The POEA official further said that on average per year there are 2,000 illegal recruitment complaints that they could receive but the figure is already decreasing lately. “We are not letting our guard down however,” Cacdac said.

He said that usually illegal recruitment happens in the barangay level whether the applicant is being asked of money in advance or that the family of the applicant is being given a bribe to give their approval on the application.

He added that because of the illegal recruitment happening in the barangay level, they are forging MOU with the Local Government Units (LGUs) to make them partners in addressing the problem.

Aside from illegal recruitment, the MOU also addresses the problem on trafficking in persons which is another pressing problem.

Gov. Defensor, in response, said that the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) headed by Francisco Heler in Iloilo province will be the point person to make sure that the provisions in the MOU will be realized.

He said that it is indeed true that in Iloilo province there’s illegal recruitment for families of victims usually come to him to ask for help. Defensor added that with the MOU signed, the provincial government through PESO will have tracking of overseas Filipino workers hailing from Iloilo province so that whatever would happen to them their families could be easily contacted.

The fake agencies conducting recruitment in the barangays could also be easily reported.

The other national government agencies involved are the Department of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

The barangay officials and law enforcers in the region, who attended the seminar on Anti-Illegal Recruitment and Trafficking, also witnessed the signing.

Iloilo City student to join children’s confab in Japan


ILOILO CITY, July 8 (PNA) -– An 11-year-old high school student of Ateneo de Iloilo in this city will be representing the Philippines as one of the six outstanding students of the country in the 26th Asian Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) to be held in Fukuoka, Japan on July 10-24.

Ma. Abby Genevieve Inocencio Penaflorida, daughter of lawyer mediaman Joebert Penaflorida and wife Rhea Inocencio, was selected as a Philippine Junior Ambassador and the first student outside Metro Manila and Luzon to be selected in the last 26 years.

Abby is also the current president of the Junior Student Council of Ateneo de Iloilo.

Abby underwent a rigid screening before qualifying as a Philippine Junior Ambassador for Japan Convention where all expenses for the trip, including airfare, food and accommodation are provided by APCC.

APCC aims to develop children to become global citizens who will shape the world in the 21st century by gathering them together in Fukuoka to gain mutual understanding of different cultures and traditions through home stay and cultural exchange.

A total of 230 children from 58 countries and big cities in the Asia Pacific region and 40 peace youth ambassadors will gather in Fukuoka to participate in the biggest international event for children aged 11 years old.

The other Philippine Junior Ambassadors are Francis Adrian Matondo Bernas of Las Pinas City, Eugene Francis Adanza Cutillar of Bacoor City, Julian Angelo Dioso Garcia of Las Pinas City, Marina Sophia Cumigad Fagela of Pasig City, and Amanda Luisa Marco Roque of Batasan Hills, Quezon City.

Chaperon is Chris Edson San Gabriel Alquizalas of Paranaque and Peace Ambassador is Raphael Antonio Villamiel Morallo of Alabang, Muntilupa City.

Dad eyes sound drainage rehab, upgrading for Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, July 7 (PNA) -- Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog aims rehabilitating and upgrading the city's drainage system using as basis findings of a study on this and flooding in all 180 villages here.

Information in the study by Geoscience Foundation Inc. will be included in the city's 2015 Annual Development Plan, he said.

He wants research-backed drainage rehabilitation and upgrading, noting flooding in the city must be addressed effectively.

Downpour and river overflows are causes of flooding here.

Mabilog assured efforts to seek funding for the target drainage rehabilitation and upgrading so this work can proceed as soon as possible.

City Planning and Development Officer Jose Roni Penalosa said the study will help Iloilo City government identify villages where drainage rehabilitation and upgrading will be prioritized.

Such villages will be those where flooding is severe, he noted.

Commissioned by Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the June 14-29, 2013 study assessed flooding susceptibility of the city's villages.

The study focused on flooding since Iloilo City isn't susceptible to landslides.

3,359 students DSWD scholars


ILOILO City – A total of 3, 359 poor but deserving students across Western Visayas availed themselves of a scholarship grant through the Expanded Students’ Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Of the number, Negros Occidental has the biggest slot with 1, 271, followed by Iloilo with 981; Capiz, 414; Antique, 311; Aklan, 294; and Guimaras, 87.

“They are now enrolled in different state universities and colleges in the region, taking up priority courses,” said Assistant Regional Director Joel P. Galicia of DSWD.

ESGP-PA aims to effectively address poverty alleviation by increasing the number of graduates in higher education among poor households and making them employable.

Given priority to the ESGPPA scholarship are beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program, Galicia said.

Student-grantees are entitled to a maximum grant of P60,000 per academic year, which includes P20,000 for tuition, other fees and academic and extracurricular expenses; P5,000 for textbook and other learning materials, and P3,500 per month for 10 months for food, lodging, clothing, transportation, health or medical needs, basic school supplies and other related costs.

According to Galicia, funding for the program is released directly by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to the concerned state universities and colleges.

The program was first implemented in 2012 with 242 students in the region availing themselves of it. They are now on their third year in college.

Iloilo City pilots online services for business permits


ILOILO CITY, July 5 (PNA) -- The city government here was recently lauded by the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines (NCCP) for being one of the three local government units in the country to pilot online services for business permits and licenses.

NCCP Program Officer Marina Saldana said the city is the only one in the whole Visayas area selected by NCCP to pilot the program for its dynamic leadership and ability to adapt new technologies. Other cities as pilot areas are Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao and Batangas City in Luzon.

NCCP held a capacity building program “Discovering Government E-Service” in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional office last July 2, 2014 in this city attended by government agencies and the local business sector.

Under the program, pilot government agencies in Western Visayas are the Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, Social Security System and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Reynaldo Malaya, vice president of Pag-IBIG Fund management group and PhilHealth officers Soledad Alfonso of QA and IT officer Guillermo Razon answered questions from the participants.

DSWD says SFP implementation to go full swing this July


ILOILO CITY, July 4 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office 6 said that the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) will go full swing this July in time also for the celebration of the National Nutrition Month.

Sally Gayoma, DSWD Regional Office 6 program in charge, said that they have been assured by the National Food Authority (NFA) that the rice component of the SFP will not be affected by the reported artificial rice shortage and that in fact the NFA is now busily delivering the rice to the Day Care centers.

The DSWD has a budget of P309.4 million for the 120 days program implementation. It would benefit 198,360 children enrolled at the 5,568 Day Care centers in the region.

65 applicants hired-on-the-spot in Iloilo job fair


ILOILO CITY, July 3 (PNA) -- There were 65 applicants who were hired-on-the-spot (HOTS) by the participating companies at the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) job fair held Wednesday at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol lobby.

The job fair had a total of 1,601 applicants -- 616 males and 985 females.

PESO chief Francisco Heler said that 74 business process outsourcing (BPO), local and overseas companies participated in this year’s job fair.

The job fair is held annually by the Iloilo PESO to provide job opportunities for fresh college graduates and those others looking for employment.

Heler said that help desks were set up by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, Social Security System, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Department of Foreign Affairs, and Technical Education Skills and Development Authority that assisted applicants with their documentary requirements and provided information.

P19M social pension for senior citizens


ILOILO City – Senior citizens numbering 8,704 in Western Visayas will be receiving P19.9 million in social pension from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

DSWD Region 6 is set to transfer the fund to 133 local government units that will distribute the pension to identified elderly beneficiaries.

The amount will cover the P500 monthly pension of each beneficiary for the second quarter of 2014 (April, May and June).

“The releasing will start second week of July,” said DSWD focal person for older persons Judith Marte.

The breakdown of pensions per province are as follows:

• P2,310,500 – 965 beneficiaries in Aklan
• P3,074,500 – 1,239 beneficiaries in Antique
• P2,015,000 – 917 beneficiaries in Capiz
• P981,500 – 395 beneficiaries in Guimaras
• P7, 839,000 – 3,612 beneficiaries in Iloilo; and
• P3,680,000 – 1,579 beneficiaries in Negros Occidental.

For 2014, P221.5 million has been allotted for the pension of 36,920 indigent senior citizens, said Assistant Regional Director Joel Galicia.

Only those included in the National Housing Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) list are currently receiving pension as specified by the General Appropriations Act.

Galicia said DSWD enumerators are now in the field and conducting house-to-house visits to about 11,873 elderly who are subject of validation.

If these elderly are found eligible to the program, they will get a retroactive payment from January of this year.

Social pension is one of the provisions of Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 which provides P500 monthly pension to indigent senior citizens aged 77 years old and above, without pension or permanent source of income.