Iloilo City News July 2016

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Iloilo City - Archived News

Seal of Iloilo City
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Iloilo City, Iloilo
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Map Locator of Iloilo City
Aerial View of Iloilo City
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Aerial View of Iloilo City
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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.


Western Visayas economy grows by 8.3 percent in 2015


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The economy of Western Visayas grew by 8.3 percent last year, higher by 3.1 percent when compared with the 5.2 percent growth in 2014.

The 2015 report on the regional economic performance of Western Visayas by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday disclosed that the region’s economic performance was higher than the national economy’s 5.9 percent, which has decelerated from its 6.2 performance in 2014.

Giving boost to the economic growth was the industry sector which grew by 22 percent from the previous year’s 13.5 percent, with the construction sub-sector pushing for the highest growth of 46.9 percent from 14.4 percent in 2014.

The service sector grew at a slower rate of 6.9 percent from 5.5 percent in 2014 to 6.9 percent.

It is also worthy to note that the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishery (AHFF) registered a lessened contraction of negative 0.6 percent compared with the negative 2.4 percent in 2014.

Of the sub-sectors, only the construction from the industry sector; trade and repair of motor vehicles, personal and household goods; real estate, renting and business activities and other services from the service sector posted growth.

Mining and quarrying; manufacturing and electricity; gas and water supply from the industry sector and transport, storage and communication; financial intermediation; public administration and defense and compulsory social security of the service sector experienced slower growth.

The agriculture and forestry and fishing sub-sectors posted a lessened contraction.

Nonetheless, the region’s growth was so far the fastest for the past five years, according to PSA regional director Fred Sollesta. He added that compared with other regions, the improvement was significant because it almost made it to the number one post. It came second to Bicol Region’s 8.4 percent.

“What is important is that the region will be able to sustain the growth so that its impact can be felt by the common people. If sustained over a longer period of time this will have a trickle down effect that will be felt by the populace through employment and job opportunities, especially if the manufacturing will improve more and the agriculture will be able to recover,” he said.

Director Ro-Ann Bacal of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said seeing the result, she was not happy especially with the slow growth of the manufacturing sub-sector. It grew by by only 3.4 percent from 10.3 in 2014.

She explained that the manufacturing sub-sector should be sustained because of its multiplier effect to the economy.

“We are happy that we have these figures now because these will guide us as we prepare our Regional Development Plan. So know where to focus our attention in this case,” she added, nonetheless.

Meantime, senator Franklin Drilon who was in Iloilo Thursday for the reconvening of the Iloilo Batiano River Development Council expressed that the growth only reflected that “if all the projects are properly done, they can really help improve lives of our people.”

“I am so glad that we are able to bring progress to Western Visayas. And I am certain that a good portion of this growth and expansion of the economy was the infrastructure projects that the national government brought here,” Drilon said.

Western Visayas contributed four percent to the 2015 national gross domestic product and ranked fifth in terms of regional share.

DOST-6 prepares MSMEs in Western Visayas on disasters


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology here in Western Visayas gathered micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region mainly to prepare them in times of disasters.

Naomi Cossette Luis, DOST-6 supervising Science Research Specialist, said that there is a need for MSMEs to be prepared to mitigate the impact of disasters on their businesses.

“We really need to strengthen the way they address disaster risk concerns, otherwise, if they do not have relevant information, then they may be not be ready or prepared to respond to disasters and emergencies,” she said.

Luis said that the forum on ‘Strengthening Disaster Risk Reduction and Management for MSMEs,’ served as venue for the DOST to know their status with regards to disaster preparedness especially now that they are being provided with equipment and technology through the former’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).

Specifically, MSMEs were taught how to use early warning systems, geo-hazards and earthquakes assessment tool, how to assure food safety during calamity, awareness on business continuity planning for MSMEs, among others.

Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) who discussed about geo-hazards and earthquakes, pointed out that MSMEs should have disaster imagination as best way to prepare in times of disasters.

Solidum added that if MSMEs could imagine the things that will happen in times of disaster, they will be able to formulate measures to be safe.

Further, Luis said that the output of the forum might be an indicator that DOST here needs to offer programs and services geared towards disaster risk reduction for MSMEs.

Iloilo City charms Aussie envoy


ILOILO CITY, July 29 (PNA) -- Iloilo City caught the eyes of Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely who paid a courtesy visit to Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog at City Hall on Thursday.

She noted of the city’s booming landscape and likened Iloilo to charming cities in Australia. Gorely shared that “the way towards sustainable progress should be keeping a small city with big services.”

“Seeing this unique and historical part of the Philippines. What a spectacular and amazingly warm traditional welcome we had in Iloilo City. Those (Dinagyang) headdresses are heavy!” Gorely posted on Twitter.

Mabilog told the Australian envoy that the city should sustain being livable amidst the rapid development.

He explained that heritage sites are protected, environmental measures are in place, urban planning is being updated, and that traffic plans, peace and order and social programs ensure inclusive growth for the people.

Malacanang declares August 25 a special non-working day in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -– Malacanang declared Aug. 25, 2016 as a special non-working holiday in Iloilo City in celebration of the 79th anniversary of its declaration as a chartered city.

The declaration was signed July 19 by executive secretary Salvador Medialdea by authority of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

The declaration will give the people of Iloilo City “full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies” as stated in Proclamation No. 21.

Iloilo, as a chartered city, was formally inaugurated on Aug. 25, 1937 after the surrounding municipalities of La Paz, Mandurriao, Molo and Arevalo were merged with the progressive town of Iloilo on July 16, 1937, by virtue of Commonwealth Act No.158.

The city government here on July 15 kicked off its month-long series of activities to usher the celebration with a mass and a simple program.

The lineup of activities included the delivery of social services, such as dental mission, mass wedding, sports festivities, photo exhibit showing the city’s rich culture and heritage, recognition of outstanding employees, debate, oratorical, extemporaneous contests and quiz bee, among others.

A civic parade will be held in the morning of Aug. 25. The parade will gather the participation of city hall employees, national government agencies (NGAs), schools, non-government organizations (NGOs) and barangays.

DOST-6 eyes establishment of food innovation centers in every Western Visayas province


ILOILO CITY, July 27(PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) here is aiming to establish food innovation centers in every province of Western Visayas in the next two years, regional director Rowen Gelonga said.

Currently, there are only two functional food innovation centers in the region. The first was the food innovation center located at the regional office of the DOST and the recently opened Western Visayas Food Innovation Center at the Guimaras State College.

Gelonga said that they are currently working on the other food innovation centers at the Capiz State University, which is almost operational.

“We already have basic equipment there. We are just custom-fitting the equipment so it can be used more for marine and fishery product development,” he said.

He assured that the scenter at Capiz will be launched before the end of this year.

Further, next year, Gelonga said that they will be working on the establishment of the food innovation centers at the University of Antique and Aklan State University.

“Within two years, each of our provinces will have their own food innovation center with each of them coming up with specialization,” Gelonga added.

Food innovation centers are being establish mainly to provide support to the local food processing industries through providing them services such as research and development, training and consultancy, laboratory testing, packaging and labeling.

Iloilo kids get a crack at world-class football camps in Malaysia, Europe


ILOILO CITY, July 26 (PNA) -- About 300 talented kids aged 10-12 years old from different football clubs in Iloilo participated in a football clinic supervised by coach Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong of the Azkal fame, himself a hometown football hero worshipped by local kids.

The kids will vie for a chance to join world-class football camps in Malaysia and possibly, Europe, for free as 'TM Football Para sa Bayan' kicked off in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo last July 23, 2016 as part of the partnership between Astro Malaysia and Globe Telecom.

The football clinics are open to all football communities, underprivileged kids, varsity players from public and private schools and private football clubs.

The Barotac Nuevo kick-off was held at the PFF National Training Center of the town, followed by a clinic at the Sta Maria Football field in Talisay, Negros Occidental on July 24; Tionko Football Field, Bolton Riverside at Quimpo Blved “Agro” Davao City on August 13; and at the De la Salle Santiago Zobel Football Field, University Ave, Ayala Alabang in Metro Manila on August 20.

The TM Football Para sa Bayan clinics is being handled by Green Archers United (GAU), a professional football league and partner of Globe Telecom in developing the football grassroots program in the last three years.

Technical director Hans Peter Smit of GAU said that 12 players will be selected from the four areas to attend the Astro Kem Bola Advanced Training Program in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in September together with their counterparts from Singapore and Malaysia.

Selected players from the advanced camp will be sent to Europe for two weeks of professional football training in December 2016.

The grassroot training clinics is a venue to discover talented kids who would be given a opportunity to further harness their craft and bring them closer to their dreams, according to Bong Esguerra of Globe.

Barotac Nuevo is considered as the football capital of the Visayas by producing several football heroes. Aside from Caligdong, the other hometown football heroes are the Araneta brothers namely Pablito, Antonio and Mariano Jr and others.

Aside from its PFF training camp, the town is also hosting an Olympic size football field at the town plaza where international, national and local tournaments are being held.

DILG secretary cites Iloilo City as best place to live in the Philippines


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ismael D. Sueno said “Iloilo City is the best place to live in the country.”

“Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is good. While presenting, Mayor Jed is proud to showcase Iloilo City,” Sueno said, referring to the former’s talk on Local Economic Development (LED) during the Basic Orientation for Newly-Elected Officials (NEO) Program particularly the new city mayors in Manila July 21.

The DILG head also took notice of the famous infrastructure projects such as the beautiful Esplanade and widened Diversion Road with bike lanes.

“Secretary Sueno's statement is a recognition of Iloilo City' growing reputation as one of most livable places. It's a manifestation that the city is safe, peaceful and vibrant for both residents and tourists,” said Mabilog.

The mayor shared Iloilo City’s lessons, experiences and best practices for the new city chief executives to learn and even replicate in their respective areas of jurisdictions.

He also highlighted the city’s continued exponential progress and sustainable development with the hope to attract interests from prospective visitors and investors to the metropolis by the time when other cities start to talk about Iloilo as a benchmark city.

S & T interactive exhibits until July 31

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) -- “Science on the Move Exhibit”, an interactive science exhibit, is currently ongoing at SM City Iloilo until July 31.

DOST 6 Information Officer Sol Aplaon Salazar said the facility allows visitors to discover, interact and manipulate science and technology exhibits to excite their minds to learn more about science and appreciate how it contributes not only in the improvement of the quality of life but to national development.

The exhibit features 20 fun, exciting and entertaining activities such as anti-gravity mirror, Bernoulli blower, colored shadow, eddy current brake, finger tingle, flashing pendulum, following faces, frozen shadow, head on a platter, gravity well, hot spot, hydro power, hyperbolic slot, mirage, photovoltaic cells, plasma sphere, simple generator, wind power, zoetrope, and van de graaff.

Visitors can also interact with planets, eight wonders of the world, vehicular transportation, sea animals, wildlife and dinosaurs in an exhibit called Discovery Kids and Animal Planet.

The interactive exhibits are part of the activities for the five-day 2016 National Science and Technology Week celebration which will simultaneously open nationwide on July 25.

In support of the 2016 NSTW, the Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus will host the open house of its Planetarium and Science Camp from July 22 to 24.

Also, a TekTienda Fair and S &T Info Exhibits will be held from July 25 to 29 at SM City Iloilo.

Salazar said 20 Micro and Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will join the TekTienda Fair to showcase their best products. These MSMEs have availed of assistance from DOST ranging from technology training, acquisition and upgrading and consultancy.

The Info Exhibits will showcase the S&T transformation, trends, developments, breakthroughs, products and services from DOST agencies, other government offices, academe and private sectors in the form of information boards. Some 48 technologies will be featured during the exhibit.

Other activities for 2016 NSTW in the region include Inauguration of the Western Visayas Food Innovation Center in Guimaras State College in Jordan on July 26; Awarding of DOST Scholar Graduates with Academic Excellence on July 27; R&D Training for Health Research Scholars on July 27 to 29; Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management on July 28; and Closing Ceremonies on July 29.

Salazar said the NSTW aims among others to showcase the significant S&T trends, developments and breakthroughs and accomplishments of DOST. This year, the celebration is anchored on the theme “Juan Science, One Nation”.

BFAR extends livelihood assistance to Iloilo City’s indigent fisherfolk

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

ILOILO CITY, July 22 (PNA) -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Friday turned over 40 engines for motor boats and 70 fish nets to 110 sustenance fisherfolk in this city as part of its livelihood assistance to registered fishers.

City Agriculturist Romulo Pangantihon said that fisherfolk with a registered income of Php4,000 per month were the recipients of the support. Their names were verified with the data coming from the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) to ensure that they really belong to the poorest group.

Edna Janeo, officer-in-charge of BFAR’s provincial fishery office, also encouraged other fisherfolks to enlist in the Municipal Fishefolk Registration (FishR). She expressed that those who are registered are given priority in the provision of assistance.

She likewise urged them to undertake mangrove planting and help in the preservation of sea grass and corals that serve as haven for fishes.

The turnover ceremony held at the city’s terminal market was graced by OIC city administrator Atty. Hernando Galvez who expressed the support of the administration of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to the project.

He also called for the cooperation of everyone in development projects as these are instrumental in providing income that they can use to send their children to school or buy food.

15 Negosyo Centers established in Western Visayas, Negros Occidental


ILOILO CITY, July 22 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry-6 has established 15 Negosyo Centers (NCs) to be able to reach out and assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) throughout the archipelago.

Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo Provinces have three NCs each, Antique and Guimaras Provinces have one NC each, and Negros Occidental Province has four NCs, as of June 30, 2016. It targets to launch 13 additional NCs in the region this year.

The establishment of NCs is in line with Republic Act No. 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act to help MSMEs, promote ease of doing business, facilitate access to grants and other forms of financial assistance, Shared Service Facilities (SSF) and other equipment.

The NC likewise facilitates the other support for MSMEs through national government agencies (NGAs), ensure management guidance, assistance and improvement of the working conditions of MSMEs; and facilitate market access and linkaging services for entrepreneurs.

DTI VI OIC-regional director Rebecca M. Rascon said that these NCs would provide more business opportunities to communities, and likewise promote rapid economic growth in the region.

As of June 30, there are 252 Negosyo Centers nationwide since its inception in 2014. Of the total number of centers, 162 are located in Luzon, while 46 and 44 centers are located in Visayas and Mindanao, respectively.

With the Negosyo Centers, the DTI has assisted 178,681 existing or new entrepreneurs and 61,678 potential entrepreneurs. The DTI has already established 103 Negosyo Centers in the first half of 2016 after setting a 150 target by end of the year.

Iloilo City invited to avail of European-funded technical assistance for improved governance


ILOILO CITY, July 21 (PNA) -- The city government here was identified as one of the recipients of the Integrity Pledge for integrity for Jobs (I4J) project, co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through the Konrad- Adenauer- Stiftung (KAS).

The KAS website explained that the project “focuses on the pilot development of integrity mechanisms and models of transparent and effective small business and investment registration and promotion procedures at selected local government units (LGUs), in cooperation with civil society and decision makers at these LGUs.”

“It looks into governance practices of the city to further boost its provision of services to constituents,” said Atty. Joan Montaño, assistant city treasurer and head of the city government’s local economic and investment promotion office.

She added that the areas that are being targeted in the project are already available in the city so this local government unit need not spend much for its implementation.

The grant will cover the technical assistance that is needed while in the process of developing initiatives that will conform to the requirements of the project, she added.

Once the requirements have been complied with, the city government receive a certification that is equivalent to that of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

“This means that our services are already at par with international standards,” she said.

The project was first implemented in nine pilot cities in the country. However, it was expanded to 25 additional local government units (LGUs) that included this city.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, on the other hand, welcome the grant even as he mentioned that the city government has been a recipient of awards on administrative governance and government efficiency.

The project is also in partnership with the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP).

PCCI helps strengthen MSMEs at the grassroots level


ILOILO CITY, July 20 (PNA) -- The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) leads the way in empowering micro, small and medium enterprises, especially those in the countryside using the ‘big brother-small brother’ concept.

PCCI Iloilo president Donna Rose Ratilla said that they are now trying to come up with municipal chapters of their chamber. The new members are provided with information on market trends as well as seminar and training to improve their craft.

With the ‘big-brother-small brother’ concept, Ratilla said that they are pushing that those that are already established business acquire their supplies from their small brothers or those that are just starting.

“We complement each other. We urged them not to compete but complement, thus, we are one in promoting our products,” she said.

Already chapters were established in towns of New Lucena, Lambunao, Passi City and Miagao. They also intend to revive the chapter in Cabatuan and Sta. Barbara.

Ratilla added that it would be better for MSMEs to develop products whose materials are readily available in their area as she reminded local government units of their One Town, One Product (OTOP).

She added that PCCI will introduce how they can “level up with the present economic situation so that they won’t be left behind.”

PCCI is joins the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in celebrating the MSME Development Month this July.

CSC cites Division of Iloilo City for outstanding human resource system


ILOILO CITY, July 19 (PNA) -- Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog commended the Division of Iloilo City for being recognized by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) as one of the outstanding Division Offices in Western Visayas in terms of human resource systems.

The Division of Iloilo City was recently awarded a Certificate of Recognition for meeting Maturity Level 2 Indicators in one or more Core Human Resource (HR) Systems under the Enhanced Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM).

"This achievement is surely a manifestation that our education department here has human resource systems and practices that are above par," Mabilog stressed.

He said the award is all the more meaningful because the City Government's own Human Resource and Management Office was also conferred the PRIME-HRM Maturity Level 2 on Recruitment Selection and Placement by the CSC earlier this year.

"We are definitely committed to HR excellence and we demand no less from all departments and agencies attached to the City Government," Mabilog added.

Division of Iloilo City Schools OIC-Superintendent Clarissa Zamora thanked the City Government for the all-out support to the agency's various programs and projects during the Departments Heads' meeting at City Hall recently.

She expressed their continued dedication towards much improved HR systems and management.

The PRIME-HRM is a mechanism that empowers government agencies by developing their human resource management competencies, systems, and practices towards HR excellence.

Under the program, the CSC assesses the maturity level of an agency in the four HR systems: (1) Recruitment, Selection and Placement, (2) Learning and Development, (3) Performance Management, and (4) Rewards and Recognition.

An agency may be classified according to four maturity levels- Transactional HRM, Process-Defined HRM, Integrated HRM, and Strategic HRM.

CHR leads celebration of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week in WV


ILOILO CITY, July 18 (PNA) -- The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) led the weeklong celebration of the 38th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week in Western Visayas that kicked off on Sunday.

Christopher Montaño, CHR-6 division manager for promotions and linkages development division said that the celebration aims to highlight the calls and concerns affecting the sector of the persons with disabilities and our strive for their continued empowerment.

This year’s theme “Karapatan ng May Kapansanan, Isakatuparan…Now Na!” focuses on the realization of the fundamental freedoms and rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) as provided for in existing international mandates and national laws.

“The thrust is, there should be rights-based empowerment to our fellowmen in the disability sector,” he said.

Montaño pointed out that the most common concern of PWDs is the denial of their basic human right.

According to him, PWDs should have continued access to basic services of the government such as health.

“All of these rights are contained in the various laws that have been passed by our Congress,” he said.

“All of these are supposed to work together to ensure that our PWDs are not discriminated against because that is one of the concerns,” he added.

Today, the Department of Health together with the provincial government of Iloilo and Guimaras launched the online registration for PWDs in Iloilo.

On Thursday, a forum on the Rights of PWDs in the morning and Justice and Equality forum in the afternoon will be conducted here at the Casa Real and Jubilee Hall in the Iloilo City Hall, respectively.

Further, other activities for the weeklong celebration include the Search for Mr. and Miss PWD and the PWD’s Got Talent.

DPWH allots PHP37.4-M for rainwater collection system in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has allotted PHP37.4 million for the construction of 187 rainwater collectors and rehabilitation of water supply/septage and sewerage in Western Visayas.

The project is part of the efforts of the department to prepare for the La Niña phenomenon.

The implementation of the rainwater collection system (RWC) is also in compliance to Republic Act 6716 that provides for the construction of water wells, rainwater collectors, development of springs and rehabilitation of existing water wells in selected barangays.

The design of the RWCS should conform to the prototypes as prescribed by DPWH. It includes reinforced ground storage tank with capacity of 4,000 liters of water; reinforced steel ground storage tank with 4,000 liters capacity; plastic container tank and concrete storage tank with a capacity of 6,000 liters.

Preferably, the RWCS shall be installed within the premises of public markets and public elementary schools that have no existing water supply or the source of water is limited or scarce, according to Vivian Tan, information officer of DPWH 6.

She added that the project will be monitored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for its climate change adaptation. This project aims to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for water supply. The harvested rainwater can also be used for several agricultural and environmental purposes, she added.

Iloilo MSME expo to kickoff July 18


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Various food processors, health and wellness operators, producers of wearables and homestyle and fresh fruits and vegetables traders are up to showcase their products and services during the weeklong Iloilo MSMEs Expo 2016 on July 18 to 24, 2016.

There will be 47 MSMEs from the city and province of Iloilo participating in the activity organized by the DTI Iloilo Provincial Office. The product showcase will be held at the Activity Center of SM City-Iloilo from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In Iloilo City, 14 MSMEs will join the exhibit --15 MSMEs from the first district, three MSMEs from the second district, seven MSMEs from the third district, six MSMEs from the fourth district and two MSMEs from the fifth district of Iloilo.

DTI VI OIC-Regional Director Rebeca Rascon said the activity aims to promote the products of the MSMEs.

“We assist them to link and introduce their new products in the market. Feedbacks from buyers also help in further developing their products,” she said.

Rascon said MSMEs contribute largely to the economy.

The MSMEs are considered the backbone of the Philippine economy as they comprise 99 percent of total business establishments in the country and the generator of a huge percentage of jobs and economic activities.

Valerie S. Maravilla, chairperson of the Iloilo Provincial MSME Development Council, will welcome the guests and participants, while DTI Iloilo Provincial Director Diosdado P. Cadena will lead the toast for the fair’s success.

Iloilo City kicks off month-long celebration of 79th year as Charter City


ILOILO CITY, July 15 (PNA) -- The city government today kicked off its month-long celebration of the 79th year of the declaration of Iloilo City as a Charter City with a mass and a short opening program attended by employees of the city hall.

“It’s a simple celebration with all the activities being prepared by our tourism office,” mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said.

The lineup of activities included the delivery of social services, such as dental mission, mass wedding, sports festivities, photo exhibit showing the city’s rich culture and heritage, recognition of outstanding employees, debate, oratorical, extemporaneous contests and quiz bee, among others.

A civic parade will be held in the morning of August 25. It will be participated by city hall employees, national government agencies (NGAs), schools, non-government organizations (NGOs) and barangays.

“We are enjoining everyone to celebrate the city’s charter which gives us a sense of ownership of our city and identity as Ilonggos,” stressed Mabilog.

Mabilog first institutionalized the Charter Day celebration when he became mayor in 2010.

Iloilo, as a chartered city, was formally inaugurated on August 25, 1937 after the surrounding municipalities of La Paz, Mandurriao, Molo and Arevalo were merged with the progressive town of Iloilo on July 16, 1937, by virtue of Commonwealth Act No.158.

Iloilo City third most efficient among country’s highly-urbanized cities in competitiveness index


ILOILO CITY, July 14 (PNA) -- Iloilo City was adjudged third in government efficiency among highly-urbanized cities (HUCs) in the league of Manila and Quezon as first and second, respectively, for 2016 by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC).

Iloilo City also ranked 8th most competitive in the Top 10 among HUCs’ overall rating, which included two other criteria on economic dynamism and infrastructure of this year’s Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI).

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog stressed the recognition was a manifestation that Iloilo City, despite its limited resources, could level off the performance of bigger urban centers like capital Manila and Quezon.

“This affirms the city’s good governance that is honest, transparent, effective and efficient in delivering services to the clients, resulting to continued progress and sustainable development,” he said.

Mabilog said city government continued to improve performance through effective delivery of social services and active collaboration with stakeholders through participatory governance.

Government efficiency rated Iloilo City’s awards and investment promotion with top score, along with the capacity of health services, capacity of schools, police to population, business registration efficiency, investment promotion, compliance to national directives, LGU tax, transparency, and economic governance.

Mabilog hoped the award would help promote and sell Iloilo City to prospective investors because CMCI database might be used by businesses and government as a tool for policy making, planning, governance, budget management, and investment promotion.

This year’s CMCI has the largest number of participants with 1,389 LGUs including 144 cities and 1,245 municipalities which equals to about 85 percent of total LGUs. When CMCI started in 2013, only 285 or 17 percent of LGUs participated.

The increasing coverage signified a higher level of interest and awareness on importance of being measured and a stronger commitment to improve LGU performance based on resulting ranking.

The annual ranking is developed by NCC through Regional Competitiveness Committees (RCC) composed of public and private sectors and the academe, with support of United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

NCC believes that LGUs are the building blocks of national competitiveness and RCCs are tasked to regularly assess local competitiveness indicators, formulate programs to improve competitiveness, and engage in investment promotion activities to attract investors and create new jobs.

7th Rafi Triennial Awards invites Ilonggos

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILONGGOS have been invited to join the 7th Rafi Triennial Awards, which is held every three years and whose nominations are now open.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi), in coordination with the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), announced the call for nominees for the search for unsung grassroots heroes in the Visayas and Mindanao who made significant contributions to social development, particularly in areas where help is most needed.

Categories include the Ramon Aboitiz Award for Exemplary Individual and the Eduardo Aboitiz Award for Outstanding Institution that commends the philanthropic, humanitarian and holistic efforts of individuals and institutions.

Launched in 1996, the Rafi triennial awards are conferred every three years to recognize individuals or institutions who have dedicated themselves to building a more humane, equitable and caring society.

Nomination form is available at the Rafi Triennial Awards official webpage.

The filled-up nomination form must be submitted on or before December 31 to The Secretariat of the 7th Rafi Triennial Awards at Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., 35 Lopez Jaena Street, Cebu City.

Iloilo to inaugurate 35th teen center


ILOILO CITY, July 12 (PNA) -- Students of Tigbuan National High School now have access to various development programs and services provided the Provincial Population Office through the establishment of Duyan Teen Center this school year.

The 35th teen center in the province will open on July 13 following its blessing and inauguration led by Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., Provincial Population Officer Ramon Yee, Tigbuan Mayor Suzette Alquisada, DepEd Schools Division Superintendent Myrna Castillo and Principal Patricia E. Sotiar.

The provincial government provided PHP300,000 for the procurement of computers, musical instruments and other materials needed for counseling and recreational activities at the teen center.

The provincial government has spent about PHP15.4-million for the establishment of multipurpose teen centers in a hope to help teenagers live to their fullest potentials.

The establishment of multipurpose teen centers in every town was among the key investments that the governor made in the past five years to advance his development agenda for the youth.

“It is an investment that aims to empower the youth by giving them access to various programs that befit their needs,” Yee shared during the celebration of World Population Day on July 11.

Observed in the province through simultaneous symposia in select teen centers, the 2016 World Population Day revolved on the theme “Investing in Teenage Girls.”

The symposia reiterated the awareness campaign on the ill effects of both risky sexual (e.g. pre-marital sex) and non-sexual behaviors (e.g. cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol) to psychological and physical well-being of girls ages 13-19.

Through the teen centers, Yee stressed the youth today can acquire knowledge and complete understanding of their human and reproductive rights so they will not be vulnerable to illness and abuse.

He added that a functional teen center is an embodiment of stronger ties between public and private stakeholders who are directly and indirectly involved in the attainment of development goals for their youth.

Since 2011, the provincial government has appropriated funds for the establishment of 50 teen centers by 2017, which included the public high schools in island-barangays in Northern Iloilo.

These were Tambaliza National High School in Tambaliza Island in Concepcion and Granada National High School – Balesteros Campus in Brgy. Gabi, Carles, Iloilo.

Two more teen centers will be become operational this month -- De La Paz National High School in Banate and Anilao National High School in Anilao, Iloilo.

DOST 6 to launch food innovation center this month


ILOILO CITY, July 11 (PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) here will highlight the celebration of the Science and Technology Week in the region by formally opening its food innovation centers (FIC) to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Western Visayas is among the first regions to come up with the FIC. While the center in other regions is located in one location or state university, the FIC in Western Visayas is not. Some of the facilities are based at the regional office.

The FIC in the region is equipped with a sensory evaluation laboratory, packaging laboratory, baked products laboratory, knowledge center and product display area.

The major equipment are based at the Guimaras State College (GSC). These include, among others, water retort, which can be used to “thermally process food packaged in sealed containers such as metal cans and retortable pouches.”

The idea is to develop the product at the GSC while other support services will be done at the DOST FIC.

DOST has invested around Php5 to Php7 million for the establishment of the two centers.

The FIC concept was introduced to help small and medium enterprises “set-up clients, especially in the food sector,” according to DOST regional director Rowen Gelonga.

The food sector is one of the major industries that is being supported by the DOST, however their product development is slow because not all have capability to innovate, Gelonga added.

“The purpose is to come up with new products on a regular basis,” he explained.

Soon, Gelonga said that they envisioned coming up with a network of facilities, with each province having its own specialty. Guimaras will focus on tropical vegetables and fruits while the soon to open center in Capiz to be hosted by the Capiz State University will specialize on marine and fishery products.

“Our target is every year we will be able to come up with a new product variant and we transfer this to SMEs so that their product line will also change,” he revealed.

The FIC can also do product research, which currently, is being offered free because it is being subsidized by the DOST.

This year and next year more services will be for free, Gelonga said.

Prior to the FIC, DOST already assisted more than 500 SMEs for the packaging laboratory that is now part of the services being offered at the center.

Gelonga said that the centers are already operating on a low profile mode. This month as part of the S&T Week celebration, the two centers will be formally launched.

Other equipment available at the center include vacuum fryer that deep-fries food inside a closed system under reduced pressure, thus lowering the boiling point of both oil and water in food; spray dryer that produces powder from liquid inputs like food solutions, slurry, paste gel or suspension; vacuum packaging that evacuates gas or air inside the package; freeze dryer to preserve the perishable material; fill-seal machine and band sealer with gas flushing, among others.

City gov’t turns over 70 units of barangay patrol vehicles


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The second batch of patrol vehicles, a brand-new Honda TMX installed with a sidecar, was officially turned over to 70 barangays of this city in a ceremony led by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and graced by Police Regional Office 6 (PRO 6) director Jose “Jojo” Ginteles here on Thursday.

Liga ng mga Barangay president Reyland Hervias who received the symbolic key said the vehicles will be used to curb criminality and fight drug problems in the community.

“We are with you for the future of this country, for the future of our children,” said Ginteles, meanwhile, said who called on members of the community to help in rehabilitating and monitoring of drug-related personalities and crimes.

Mabilog also reiterated that the patrol units shouldn’t be for personal purposes but rather be used to strengthen and increase mobility in arresting problematic citizens. He appealed that high-profile targets should be prioritized.

Since the vehicle is small enough to pass in alleyways, it could also be used for emergency purposes. He also suggested that the gas money be taken from the Php5,000 barangay anti-drug abuse council (BADAC)fund of each barangay.

Mabilog and Ginteles both emphasized the strict three to six months timeline to end the drug menace as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The fund for the project was taken from the peace and order budget of the city government. The first 70 units of barangay patrol were given out last month, while the remaining 40 will be turned over in August this year.

DENR to plant 13-M seedlings in Western Visayas this 2016


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6 is now ready to plant 13,504,124 seedlings in a span of 8,977 hectares National Greening Program (NGP) areas spreading in the different provinces of the region.

These seedlings will be planted 1,414 hectares in Aklan; 1,194 hectares in Antique; 3,991 hectares in Capiz and 2,378 hectares in Iloilo.

The seedlings were raised by the different field offices from January to June this year that represent 90 percent accomplishment out of the total target of 14,999,508 seedlings regionwide.

DENR 6 regional director Jim O. Sampulna in giving instructions to all field offices believed that “the rain has already set the momentum for the planting season. In as much as we have much to accomplish for this second semester, we must immediately start planting in order to accomplish our targets ahead of time by taking advantage of the rainy season,” he said.

Regional NGP focal person Ailene Cadungo said all the identified NGP sites/areas had been done with the area development activities for site preparation like brushing, hole digging, staking, hauling of seedling and outplanting.

“We fear however that we may lack areas for plantation since we have almost covered all available areas in the region for NGP,” disclosed Sampulna.

Executive Order No. 26 or the National Greening Program is set to reforest 1.5 million hectares of open and denuded lands with 1.5 billion of trees from 2011 to 2016. This was later amended by E.O. 193 thereby expanding the NGP to include unproductive, denuded and degraded lands until 2028.

PAGASA: More than 20 Doppler radars operational by 2017


ILOILO CITY, July 8 (PNA) -- More than 20 Doppler radars, majority are based in the Visayas, are expected to be operational by 2017, a top official of state weather bureau Philippine Astronomical Geophysical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

Engr. Oscar Tabada, officer-in-charge of PAGASA Visayas said that 13 Doppler radars are already operational while the construction of two others is ongoing. The installation of additional four Doppler radars and acquisition of mobile radar are on the pipeline.

Tabada said that Doppler radar can provide the movement, location and strength of typhoon in an hourly basis.

Visayas was privileged to have most of the radars located in Guiuan, Eastern Samar; Mactan, Cebu; Tagbilaran, Bohol and in Jaro district in Iloilo City.

“The effective range could cover whole of Visayas but there are blind spots due to mountain ranges,” he said.

When supertyphoon "Yolanda" hit the country in 2013, its eye was detected by the radar in Guiuan.

Those that were not covered due to the mountain ranges in Burauen, Leyte was detected through the radar in Mactan, he shared before members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) here.

Mt. Kanlaon, on the other hand, prevented the radar from generating data from Iloilo and Bacolod. This was addressed by the presence of the radar in Iloilo City.

Tabada said that soon, generating data from Antique would be easier once the construction of the radar in Busuanga in Palawan is completed.

Currently, the mountain ranges of Antique made it difficult for the radar to detect the weather condition in the province.

Meantime, he also urged residents of Visayas regions to prepare for more tropical cyclones affecting this part of the country, especially during the last quarter of this year.

Iloilo City’s best practices spotlight in global gab


ILOILO CITY, July 7 (PNA) -- Iloilo City’s disaster experiences and best practices were highlighted in a book given to delegates of a global conference in South Korea, recently.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog stressed, this is a manifestation of the urban center’s growing reputation as a benchmark city where local governments here and abroad can learn and replicate.

He hoped the feature will help promote the metropolis as a resilient city to visitors and investors as well as catch the interest of more institutions from around the world.

The city’s portfolio appeared on the CityVoices Special Edition Spring/Summer 2016 Issue titled Asian Perspectives on Sustainable Urbanization – Views from Practitioners.

“We officially launched this publication in conjunction with the First International Forum on Urban Policy for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Seoul from June 8-10. The ‘bite-sized’ insights offered by you along with other distinguished contributors were very well received, and will feed into the Urban Knowledge platform that we proposed to set up,” CityNet secretary general Vijay Jagannathan wrote Mabilog.

The document was published with the support from United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia (UNESCAP) and Seoul Metropolitan Government.

“Your article ‘Disaster Risk Reduction Management Lessons from Iloilo City’ highlighting innovative solutions to specific, city-level problems is a crucial reference for Asian cities in finding urban solutions in specific sector, inspired by the multi-dimensional urban challenges facing the Asia Pacific region that are different from the models and paradigms of cities across Europe and United States,” said Jagannathan.

Mabilog shared the strengthened City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council implementing preparedness, prevention, mitigation, response and rehabilitation measures, community-based risk assessment, advocacies with partners, and intensified information and education campaign.

“Through this publication, you demonstrate that every challenge can potentially lead to locally customized solutions, which can then serve as useful case studies for other cities. I would like to express my appreciation for your continuous support with the network by sharing your stories. Your contribution is key to fully implement CityNet’s value to share knowledge and find innovative solutions,” he added.

Iloilo City is a member of CityNet, the largest association of urban stakeholders committed to sustainable development in Asia Pacific region. The network has grown to include 131 local governments, NGOs, private companies and research centers after it was established in 1987 with the support of UNESCAP, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and UN-Habitat.

CityNet connects actors, exchanges knowledge and builds commitment to create sustainable and resilient cities. Through capacity building, city-to-city cooperation and tangible projects, it helps members respond to climate change, disaster, SDGs and rising infrastructure demands.

Biggest human drop blood formation in Iloilo kicks off National Blood Donor’s Month


ILOILO CITY, July 5 (PNA) -- More than 5,000 individuals from various groups gathered Tuesday in Central Philippine University (CPU) in Iloilo to form one of the biggest blood drop formations in the world.

The participants consisted of students and faculties, personnel from local government units, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Red Cross, health workers and other non-profit organizations among others.

The main purpose of the event was to increase awareness of blood donation and its significance in today’s life highlighting the importance of volunteerism in blood donation as it is a kind of community service and social commitment. The event is also the kick-off ceremony of this month’s celebration of Blood Donors’ Month.

“We are faced in an increasing blood demand as a result of a growing and an aging population. Blood demand will continue to increase therefore, to meet the increasing demand we must not only expand the blood pool more rapidly but we must also increase the number of blood facilities,” Dr Ma. Paz Corrales, assistant DOH regional director said during the ceremony.

She emphasized that if blood donation facilities are accessible to donors this will provide more opportunity to reach out to more potential donors.

Part of the ceremony included a mass blood donation led by DOH Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial in her third day of office as new health secretary under Duterte’s administration. Ubial has been a regular blood donor herself for 27 years.

Ubial, a Ilongga herself, has cited during the ceremony held in her hometown that a lot of Filipinos have misconceptions about donating blood, saying that in fact it makes you adapt a healthier lifestyle, and with the donor’s blood cells being replaced, and bone marrows stimulated to produce new blood.

The DOH is targeting to have at least 20 bank blood centers present one per region and major islands like Panay to increase blood collections for this year as it is targeting to collect 1 million blood units compared to last year’s 771,000 blood units collected.

“We are encouraging every Filipino to volunteer at least once a year,” Ubial said.

DOT, stakeholders craft policies on child-safe tourism

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

ILOILO CITY, July 4 (PIA) --- The Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 engaged tourism operators and national government agencies in the region in crafting policy and practices against exploitation of children in the tourism industry.

DOT-6 recently conducted a Child Safe Tourism Orientation and Seminar at Amigo Terrace Hotel here which geared on making active steps towards ensuring a protective environment for children in tourism destinations and DOT affiliates.

DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said tourism brings billions of tourist receipts every year attracting, among others, exploiters to operate.

“Children are very vulnerable to this modus and it is of utmost importance that we protect our children against these abusers”, said Catalbas.

The seminar topics included content and the impact of the 7 travel tips in the Philippines and the impact of travel and tourism on the protection of children,

Likewise, participants learned on ways on how tourism stakeholders and frontliners and other duty bearers can protect and report children’s rights.

“We stand against any form of exploitation, may it be of tourist destinations or children. Tourism is meant to improve lives, not destroy them”, she added.

DENR official shares 5 C’s of environmental protection

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) – The chief of planning and management division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office here shared to their partners the 5 C’s needed in the joint task of protecting the environment.

Edna B. Locsin, who was also acting as the DENR-6 Officer-in-Charge said during the 2016 Gawad DENR held June 29 at Amigo Terrace Hotel that the 5 C’s are communicate, cooperate, coordinate, conserve, and consume less.

Locsin told their partners who showed up to receive their respective awards that the task or advocacy for environmental protection especially combating biodiversity loss involves communicating the kinds of wildlife that exist in our country or community and the threats they face, the need to protect or preserve them, and the policies and programs of government with regard to them.

Since the environment and its ecosystems from the mountains down to the coastal areas are interconnected, there is a need for partners and other stakeholders to cooperate with one another.

We need to put our hands together so that the things that we enjoy today, the flora and the fauna, can be enjoyed by the next generation

Coordination also requires that partners and stakeholders should work with one another, whether they come from the public, private and other sectors so that we work toward a common purpose or direction, according to Locsin.

Conserving or consuming less means that we should extract from the environment what we need and avoid wasteful consumption activities.

She thanked their partners and congratulated the awardees for being part of the DENR, for being there and supporting the agency to make a difference by sharing the social responsibility in making Mother Earth a perfect place to live in.

With her to lead the DENR family in the Gawad event was Engr. Virgilio Fabronero, chief of the Clearance and Permitting Division, in behalf of Regional Executive Director Jim O Sampulna and other regional officials who were in Manila at the time for a national event.

The Gawad event was organized to recognize DENR’s environmental partners who have actively supported the agency in the implementation of various programs and projects these past years including solid waste management program, community based forest and mangrove management project, adopt-an-estero water body project, and information, education and communication with media partners.

The event was also one of the highlights of the celebration of Environment Month in Western Visayas.

Young moms receive free maternal aid

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILOILO CITY – Young mothers in Iloilo got maternal assistance from three government hospitals in the province supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAid).

The Program for Young Parents (PYP) pioneered at the Iloilo Provincial Hospital (IPH) in 2014 and eventually expanded at the Balasan District Hospital in Northern Iloilo and Western Visayas Sanitarium of Sta. Barbara.

Dr. Prem Parcon, Director of Iloilo Provincial Hospital (IPH) said the selected maternal services for teenage mothers include prenatal visits, deliveries and postpartum visits.

Tzytel Castro of Pototan, Iloilo was 18 when she got pregnant. At present, she is already married to her boyfriend and are proud parents of a three-year-old girl. Castro was awarded as a PYP Champion of the IPH and in the province as benefactor of the services.

DOH Regional Director Marlyn Convocar is requesting the USAid to expand the program to other areas in Western Visayas that were not covered by the USaid-Engender Health and the Visayas Health Program so that more young and adolescent parents may avail.

AS a result, more teenage moms are given access to a range of services best suited to their needs and ensure better maternal and child health outcomes.

For the long term, it is hoped that the PYP and health zone network will be able to contribute to reducing teen moms with rapid repeat pregnancies.

USAid assesses Visayas in family planning assistance


ILOILO CITY –- The United State Agency for International Development (USAid) has included the province of Iloilo and Negros Occidental in Western Visayas for a five-year Visayas Health Project that covers eight provinces and 259 municipalities in the whole Visayas area.

Dr. Susan Brems, USAid Mission Director for the Philippines, Pacific Islands and Mongolia, was in Iloilo City June 28-29 to assess the project implementation in Western Visayas.

The USAid official said the assisted project will work to address provider bias and myths and misconception on family planning (FP) promote post-partum and other long acting and permanent FP methods, and mobilize community network for health promotion, adopting proven high impact interventions as appropriate.

The project which started from 2013 and ends in 2018 is expected to scale up proven and effective FP practices in Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Bohol and Cebu in Central Visayas, and Leyte, Southern Leyte ad Northern Samar in Eastern Visayas.

Close interventions will be implemented in partnership with the Department of Health regional offices on the integrated maternal, neonatal, child health and nutrition and family planning.

Dr. Brems said the goal is to improve the health of families in the Visayas region through strategic interventions on increasing demand and enhancing the supply of maternal, neonatal, child health, nutrition and family planning services as well as strengthening the capacity of DOH as steward for program implementation.

The VisayasHealth Project aims to increase demand and supply of quality services and hopes to remove local policy and health system barriers.