Iloilo City News June 2013

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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


Amnesty offered to illegal handheld radio owners


ILOILO City – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in Region 6 is offering a chance to owners of unlicensed two-way communication radios or handsets to legitimize the use of their gadgets.

Through the agency’s General Amnesty Program, owners can take advantage of registration fees lower than the prescribed regular rates.

Regional Director Antonio Mondoy said those in possession of unlicensed handsets should avail themselves of the “friendly” terms under the amnesty program.

In this age of cutting-edge phone and computer technology, communication radios continue to be popular among users such as police officers, barangay officials, media practitioners and businessmen.

The granting of amnesty coincides with the agency's 34th founding anniversary next month.

Early this year, NTC also offered a five-day amnesty period (March 11 to 15).

Covered were the following radio equipment:

  • VHF / UHF Radio Portable
  • VHF / UHF Mobile/Base
  • HF Radio / Equipment / VHF / UHF Repeater
  • WDN Central Base Outdoor Equipment
  • WDN Subscriber / Remote Outdoor Equipment
  • Microwave / Multichannel radios

The new amnesty program is pursuant to NTC’s thrust to minimize the proliferation of unregistered radio equipment and to afford the owners, possessors or users an opportunity to comply with existing rules and regulations on the use of this kind of communications equipment.

City hosts advocacy parade vs smoking

(JVF, Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City — This city hosted an advocacy parade against smoking from the Provincial Capitol grounds to the Freedom Grandstand yesterday.

About 2,000 participants joined the “Walk for Smoke-free” Western Visayas, which started at 4 p.m.

The parade was an offshoot of the city government’s second Red Orchid Award. The Department of Health (DOH) recently recognized the city for having the “Best Anti-Smoking Initiatives” among local government units in the country.

“The recognition is another manifestation that the city’s anti-smoking campaign and advocacies are working effectively,” Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said.

Inigo Garingalao, director of the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Taskforce (ICAST), said the city posted the highest score among the awardees in the region.

Mabilog credited the ICAST headed by Councilor Joshua Alim and Garingalao for the intensified anti-smoking campaign in public places and conveyances here.

Emilia Monicimpo, acting chief of the DOH – Center for Health and Development 6, said a strong leadership is behind ICAST’s promotion of the smoking cessation program in the metro.

Along with the award, the city received a P100,000 worth of drugs and medicines for non-communicable diseases.

This second win will make the city vie next for the Hall of Fame Award wherein a P500,000 grant to be used for tobacco control projects is at stake.

Iloilo City was adjudged based on the strength of comprehensive efforts to implement a 100-percent tobacco-free environment anchored on standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The City Hall was declared a smoke-free zone — smoking inside the building and within its 100-meter perimeter radius is banned. The City Health Office also established a smoking cessation clinic at the second floor and will replicate the same in district and barangay health centers.

The Red Orchid Award prescribes WHO’s MPOWER initiative: Monitor tobacco control policies; Protect people from tobacco smoke; Offer help to quit tobacco use; Warn against the dangers of tobacco; Enforce bans on tobacco advertising; and Raise taxes on tobacco.

It follows the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 8, which recommends the adoption of measures to provide protection from exposure to smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor places and other public places, as well as Republic Act 9211 or the “Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003,” which provides protection from exposure to tobacco smoke.

Over 45,000 tree seedlings planted in Iloilo City under National Greening Program


ILOILO CITY, June 27 (PNA) – Fifty-eight poor families affected by storm surge and fire received financial assistance from the city government here Thursday.

The recipients received their cash benefits from Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III in rites held at the City Hall penthouse.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office headed by Alfredo Villanueva facilitated the release of P5,000 each to seven families whose houses were destroyed by the storm surge in Barangay Bitoon, Jaro district.

The 31 families with damaged houses received P2,500 each.

The six families from Barangay Hipodromo, City Proper whose houses were hit by fire received P5,000 each.

Two families whose houses were destroyed by fire in Barangay Laguda, La Paz district received P5,000 each while five families with damaged houses got P2,500 each.

53 calamity-hit families get financial aid


ILOILO CITY, June 27 (PNA) – Fifty-eight poor families affected by storm surge and fire received financial assistance from the city government here Thursday.

The recipients received their cash benefits from Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III in rites held at the City Hall penthouse.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office headed by Alfredo Villanueva facilitated the release of P5,000 each to seven families whose houses were destroyed by the storm surge in Barangay Bitoon, Jaro district.

The 31 families with damaged houses received P2,500 each.

The six families from Barangay Hipodromo, City Proper whose houses were hit by fire received P5,000 each.

Two families whose houses were destroyed by fire in Barangay Laguda, La Paz district received P5,000 each while five families with damaged houses got P2,500 each.

WV to hold fluvial parade on Iloilo Strait for the 2013 NDCM

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

ILOILO CITY, June 26 (PIA) -- Western Visayas will launch the National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM) observance with a “navalcade” on the Iloilo Strait.

Through Executive Order No. 137, the month of July of every year has been designated as NDCM to increase public awareness of disasters and their role and that of the government in making communities safe and resilient.

This year, a bigger contingent consisting of Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (RDRRMC), municipal and city DRRMCs (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils), councilors of Iloilo (including those from Iloilo City and Dumangas) are expected to sail along with other partners from the port of Iloilo City to the coastal town of Dumangas.

The activities in Dumangas begin with a Holy Mass followed by a program at the town's gymnasium.

After the program, there will be lectures on emerging hazards, simulation exercises, and the Dumangas CFS.

Dumangas is a model site for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management practices through its Climate Field School (CFS),

The Dumangas CFS is the first of its kind in the Philippines and second in Asia (after Indramayu, Indonesia). It aims to enhance the capacity of extension workers and farmers to understand and apply climate information to reduce risk in agriculture.

Throughout the month of July, Western Visayas has prepared be several activities for regionwide observance of 2013 NDCM. These activities included the DOH motorcade, mass casualty incident exercise, launching of flood control monitoring system, earthquake drill and Memorandum of Agreement signing with local government units for Panay River Basin.

Also scheduled this July are the strategic planning for Jalaur River Basin, display of database of past disasters in Western Visayas, Oplan Tag-ulan Bloodletting, photo exhibit, poster-slogan making and essay writing contest, and the regional summit on disaster risk reduction and management.

RDRRM chair and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Rosario Cabrera urged also partners to put up streamers bearing the theme of the observance, "Ligtas na Bayan, Maunlad na Pamayanan".

Cabrera has convened a series of meetings with core members of the council including the vice chairpersons and PIA to prepare for the observance. The vice chairpersons are Regional Directors Evelyn Trompeta of DILG for Disaster Preparedness, Ma. Evelyn Macapobre of DSWD for Disaster Response, Engr. Rowen Gelonga of DOST for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, and Ro-Ann Bacal of NEDA for Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery.

'Cops on the Bike' finish training


ILOILO CITY, June 25 (PNA)-- It began in earnest two weeks ago, and the first batch of the Philippine National Police's (PNP) "Cops on the Bike" training program in Western Visayas hurdled successfully its final test on Monday, and soon will become a familiar sight in the busy streets of the region as they chase after offenders.

This early, police big wigs at the police Regional Office-Western Visayas (PRO-6) expressed confidence that criminals would have to think twice before launching their next crime.

PRO-6 Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, Jr was visibly in an upbeat mood as the 45 graduates who recently underwent a 10-day training in Camp Delgado as bike patrollers to conduct police visibility in tourists spots and places of convergence in highly urbanized cities in Western Visayas.

They showed their mettle on the grounds of Camp Delgado by flaunting a variety of techniques meant to subdue a suspect.

Not different from a beat patrolman, however, a policeman riding a bike is more mobile and can react more swiftly because he is pedaling rather than just walking and has greater chances of catching an offender. He can also cover a wider area, Cruz said.

Twenty cops on the bike will go to this city while the rest stretched thin in Western Visayas.

Priority are urbanized areas and tourist destinations, Cruz said.

Cruz said a second batch of trainees may soon follow.

MGB-6 fast tracks completion of geohazard maps


ILOILO CITY, June 24 (PNA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 6 revealed that most towns in Iloilo are prone to floods and that they now fast tracking the completion of geohazard maps of these areas.

Twenty municipalities and cities in Western Visayas, including Iloilo City, are still waiting for their maps to be finalized.

MGB-6 Director Leo Van Juguan said they hope to complete the geohazard maps before 2014 to help them identify the mitigating measures and disaster risk reduction programs that will be applied for every town classified as hazard area.

Juguan said that in Iloilo City and Province, for example,most of the villages and towns are surrounded by rivers, the reason why most of these areas are flood-prone.

With the geohazard map, they can easily classify what measures to take and trainings to conduct, he added.

Juguan also cited the case of Leon town, wherein based on its map, most of its villages, including Barangay Bucari, known as Little Baguio of Iloilo, are considered landslide-prone since it is situated in a mountainous area.

Apart from Iloilo, several towns in Antique are also considered landslide-prone considering that the province has a mountainous landscape.

“Once we can map these areas according to their category, it is easy for us to discuss possible solution and disaster preparation with their local government units (LGUs),” he said.

The geohazard map indicates the susceptibility of areas to flooding and landslides as well as areas the LGU can use for evacuation. Depending on the category, the map has three indicating colors – red, which indicates high susceptibility level; green, medium; and yellow, low.

APEC triggers multi-million airport expansion

By Montesa Griño Caoyonan (IMT)

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP-Iloilo) is proposing for a multi-million terminal building expansion to decongest the volume of passengers coming ‘in’ and ‘out’ at the Iloilo Airport in Sta. Barbara-Cabatuan, Iloilo especially this city is possibly hosting several events for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in 2015.

Airport manager Efren Nagrama said the proposed extension is to accommodate separately the domestic passengers from growing number of international passengers . He added they are now on its planning stage and many things are being considered right now before the construction will start anytime this year.

During their airport’s 6th anniversary celebration last June 14, Nagrama confirmed that the building to be expanded will also be located beside their present terminal building.

The main passenger terminal of the airport has a 13,700-square-meter (147,000 sq ft). It was designed to accommodate around 1.2 million passengers annually after started its operation in June 14, 2007.

Once finished, Nagrama said they could add some additional baggage conveyors and aerobridge for the passengers’ convenience to augment the present the baggage claim area located at the ground floor of the terminal building which is accessible from the second floor. It has two 51-meter conveyors.

“This is in preparation for the upcoming APEC Summit so that we could accommodate volume of international passengers from other countries”, he said.

The Iloilo Airport has been opened to direct international flights to Singapore and Hong Kong early of November last year and there were already 136 flight arrivals from these two countries.

Singapore had a total of 80 flights with 9,191 total passengers on board and Hong Kong with 56 flights and 6,350 passengers.

Nagrama said he is also expecting volume of passengers both international and domestic once Iloilo City will be hosting the summit apart from the number of passengers for the two direct international flights.

DOT opposes renaming of Iloilo Airport


ILOILO CITY, June (PNA)-- A proposal to rename the Iloilo International Airport to Tomas Confessor Iloilo International Airport has been met with indifference by the director of the Department of Tourism in Western Visayas (DOT-6) Atty. Helen Catalbas who called the move as “unnecessary.”

She said the airport which continues to receive direct international flights from Singapore and Hongkong is beginning to establish a name for itself, and changing “the horse in midstream” may not help in the development of tourism in the region particularly in the province of Iloilo.

Stretching a point further, Catalbas reasoned that giving it a new name could give rise to confusion as prospective foreign guests, those who are unfamiliar with the place might mistake it for something else, thus earn the ire of tourists instead of their goodwill.

Rather, she proposed upgrading the airport's existing facilities to make it on a par with international standards.

Green jobs, industries in WV pushed


ILOILO CITY, June 21 (PNA)-- Industries and workplaces in Region 6 are encouraged to adopt green practices for sustainable environment.

According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 6, the “Green Our Workplace” program in Western Visayas is part of DOLE’s effort to adhere to the four pillars of decent work, and at the same time, part of the nationwide programs geared to promote green economy.

DOLE regional director Ponciano Ligutom earlier committed to the Boracay Beach Management, a group of stakeholders from the private and public sector, a year-round converging in greening the workplaces in the resort-island.

In June 27 and 28 this month, DOLE, with the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB), will conduct an orientation on "Green My Enterprise Productivity" in Boracay.

The two-day training and consultation event aims to increase productivity through green practices for sustainable environment.

Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz earlier said the DOLE is resolved to implement the following programs geared towards promoting green economy: Green My Enterprise Program, Green Livelihood Program, Occupational Safety Health and Environment Program, Green Skills Program and Green Jobs Mapping Program, as embodied in the Labor and Employment Plan.

Iloilo City to hold massive tree-planting


ILOILO CITY, June 20 (PNA)-- Some 5,880 jackfruit seedlings will be planted during a simultaneous tree-planting activity of the city government of Iloilo on June 22 at 7 a.m. spread out in five districts.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said the endeavor strengthened the city’s environmental governance initiatives by cultivating an ecologically-friendly, clean and green metropolis.

City Hall employees, Dept. of Education Division of City Schools and barangay officials will plant seedlings in 29 sites in barangays in Jaro, La Paz, Molo, Mandurriao and Arevalo districts.

The jackfruit seedlings are being grown in the city’s nursery by the City Agriculture Office.

City Agriculturist Geraldine Hautea said there's 60 percent survival and growth rate of seedlings planted earlier, thus the additional tree-planting will be launched.

Mabilog initiated the activity in 2011 resulting to some 15,000 seedlings planted in 2012 in support of the National Greening Program of Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III.

Historic Plaza Libertad up for rehab


ILOILO CITY, June 19 (PNA)-- The historic Plaza Libertad located at the far end of another historic area, the Calle Real, is up for rehabilitation funded by the Department of Tourism-Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority (DOT-TIEZA) of more than P4 million.

Formerly known as Plaza Alfonso XIII, a king of Spain, it is one of the six beautifully landscaped plazas in Iloilo. Plazas can be found in each of the districts of Iloilo City, a clear manifestation of the strong Spanish influence in this city.

A groundbreaking rite was held last June 14 to start the plaza rehabilitation as part of the seven heritage sites in this city.

President Benigno Aquino III has signed Republic Act 10555 or the heritage tourism law of Iloilo City on May 15, 2013 and the measure was spearheaded by Iloilo City Lone District Rep. Jerry P. Treñas and Senator Franklin M. Drilon in defining the sites as city cultural heritage tourism zones.

The other cultural heritage tourism sites are the Jaro Cathedral, Molo Church, Iloilo City Central Business District, Fort San Pedro, Jaro Plaza Complex, and Molo Plaza Complex, all expected to further enhance the city's claim as a top cultural heritage destination of the country.

The plaza projects will include a fountain, skating rink, basket and volleyball courts and other amenities such as sheds, lightings, seats, fast food stalls and comfort rooms.

Plaza Libertad had served as a leisure ground in the past for residents of downtown Iloilo and later declared as a historical site by the National Historical Institute (NHI) in 1996 as recognition for its contribution to the Philippine History and freedom.

The flag of the First Philippine Republic was raised in Plaza Libertad in triumph after Spain surrendered Iloilo,her last capital in the Philippines to the Ilonggo revolutionaries led by General Martin Delgado of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo on December 25, 1898.

The imposing new Iloilo City Hall stands right beside the plaza and on the other side is the San Jose Parish Church, seat of the Patron Saint Senor Sto. Nino in which the world famous Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is anchored. Also, a Rizal Monument refurbished by the Yuchengco Group of Companies stands at the center of the plaza.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is endorsing the seven historical sites for tourists and visitors starting with a walk-on visit at the new city hall building, Plaza Libertad and along the central business district to see the refurbished heritage commercial buildings and up to Fort San Pedro for a view of the green island of Guimaras across the Iloilo Strait.

Tourists will also be treated to the historical Jaro Cathedral and its plaza complex, the all-women saints Molo Church and its plaza complex, and the newly developed fun center, The Smallville and the Iloilo Esplanade along the diversion highway.

Iloilo to tap barangays to carry out smoking ban


ILOILO CITY, June 18 (PNA)-- Iloilo City will enlist the help of local barangay councils to enact local ordinances against smoking in their respective areas.

Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force (ICAST) executive director Iñigo Garingalao said that ICAST chairman, city councilor Joshua Alim is now looking into the possibility of starting the campaign in day-care centers on kiddie tarpaulins with graphics to show the evils of smoking on the human body.

Other activities will include a regional grand advocacy march on June 28 from the Iloilo provincial capitol to the city hall for a program on anti-smoking, a "Quits Bee" and an anti-smoking jamboree for youths slated in October 2013.

Garingalao reported that more than 4,000 smoking offenders were apprehended in 2012 and about 54 percent of the number were students and minors.

Dinagyang lauded in PHL tourism promotion in US


ILOILO CITY, June 17 (PNA)-- The Department of Tourism (DOT) cited Iloilo City's premier cultural event, the Dinagyang Festival, for promoting “It’s More Fun in Philippines” in the United States of America recently.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog stressed that Dinagyang’s US trip strongly promoted the city and the country to the rest of the world and enticed prospective investors during the series of performances.

DOT lauded the city government “for the invaluable contribution in the overseas promotion of Philippine Cultural Tourism through the stunning performance of Iloilo Dinagyang Festival Tribe Panayanon.”

The certificate of appreciation was given by DOT Undersecretary Ma. Theresa L. Martinez to city contingent in New York June 4 following its performance during the Independence Day Parade in Madison Avenue, Manhattan.

The Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles praised Tribu Panayanon “in recognition for sharing the time and talent in the maiden performance at the Los Angeles Historic Filipino Town during the Kalayaan 2013 celebration parade.”

The citation was given by Consul General Ma. Hellen Barber dela Vega in Los Angeles June 8.

The certificates were presented to Mabilog and Iloilo City National High School principal Blesilda Floro by City Tourism Officer Ben Jimena at Plaza Libertad following City Hall’s Monday flag-raising ceremony.

360 ship passengers cheat near sea disaster in Iloilo Strait -- PCG


ILOILO CITY, June 15 (PNA)-- The almost 360 passengers aboard the St. Gregory The Great of the 2GO shipping lines were spared from near sea disaster as the ship nearly capsized after it suffered a hole in its hull while navigating Iloilo Strait Saturday morning.

But the ill-fated passenger liner safely reached Arrastre Port in Fort San Pedro, Iloilo City despite the water that submerged its engine compartment with the timely action initiated by the Philippine Coast Guard here.

PCG Iloilo Commander Lt. Cdr. Dominador Senador III said that based on their initial investigation with the ship captain Gregory Diamante, the near disaster happened 3:00 o’clock early Saturday morning.

The ship was sailing Iloilo Strait in the vicinity of the Siete Picados islets or an estimated seven nautical miles away from Iloilo City when the vessel vibrated or jolted after which, the crew felt the onrushing water entering the engine compartment that reached to almost two meters in height.

The crew wasted no time and asked the help of the PCG which immediately responded to the area along with two tugboats that towed the passenger ship safely towards Iloilo arrastre port early Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, PCG authorities here is presently conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the incident.

They theorized that the vessel may have hit hard rock under the water while navigating the shallow portion of the Iloilo Strait causing damaged to the ship’s hull that later saw water entering the engine compartment.

Fortunately, no one were reported hurt or injured during the incident apart from the sudden panic that gripped passengers aboard after seeing the ship crew who started to distribute life jackets to them.

The St. Gregory The Great came from Metro Manila passing BREDCO port in Bacolod City before going to Iloilo City on its way to Cagayan De Oro when the sea-going was caught in near disaster.

But the preparedness on the part of Coast Guard authorities here in responding to such disaster has prevented possible lost of precious lives.

The St. Gregory The Great is presently docked at the Iloilo arrastre port for proper repair of its damaged while the management of the shipping firm also assured to help passengers who were stranded in the port of Iloilo City.

Preservation of heritage landmarks an investment - HCS

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

ILOILO CITY, June 15 (PIA) -- The notion that preserving heritage landmarks and structural icons are just expenses and nothing more is proven wrong by the influx of tourists in places which have invested on these.

“With the coming in of tourists went investments and some places in the Philippines are now enjoying tremendous growth,” said Dr. Ivan Henares, vice president of the Heritage Conservation Society of the Philippines.

Henares, who was guest during a forum at the Independence Day celebration in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo, cited the experience of Vigan, where heritage conservation and development efforts were given impetus by the local government unit.

“Suddenly, real estate boomed in Vigan because pieces of lands commanded very high costs, as many investors became interested to put up business because of year-long tourists flocking there,” Henares said.

He also noted the efforts of the City of Iloilo in restoring to their original appearance the form and texture of old buildings in the central business district.

He also cited the Iloilo provincial government for the resources poured in for the restoration and repair of the old provincial capitol.

Henares said heritage development and conservation are investments, not expenses.

“Continuous repairs, restoration of old buildings are not beautification efforts nor detrimental to progress,” Henares said.

He added that heritage conservation efforts are drivers to progress, for they push investments for the next generation.

“What Iloilo province and Iloilo City are doing is pushing investments, with the surrounding areas also developed, tourists and investors are coming in to spend their money,” Henares added.

Seeing the potential of Iloilo, Henares said the cities and municipalities can draw up a heritage trail which would serve as a catalyst for progress in other areas.

Iloilo Airport launches “Love to Serve” tagline

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

ILOILO CITY, June 13 (PIA) -- Iloilo City is the City of Love and the Iloilo Airport management wants to reflect this in its service.

Iloilo Airport Manager Efren Nagrama said that with the celebration of the airport’s 6th anniversary, they are launching the tagline “Love to Serve” on June 14 as its highlight.

“This is to show that we at the Iloilo Airport as well as our partners and stakeholders, love the job we do and we seek to give good service at all times,” Nagrama said.

“The tagline is our version of ‘Tuwid na Daan’ of President Aquino, showing that our service comes from the heart,” he added.

He also said that with the slogan, they seek to promote and market genuine, quality products, which are the show window of Iloilo.

Among the thrusts they are pushing is the safety and security of the airport.

Another is the partnership with agencies that can readily help the airport in times of emergencies.

“We have signed a Memo of Agreement with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Reserve Groups, Office of Civil Defense, Local Government Units, for these agencies to extend support and capabilities when needed,” Nagrama said.

Moreover, the airport management has reviewed and redesigned policies to fit the convenience of passengers.

Nagrama said they are now implementing the No Shoe Removal Policy, unless otherwise, based on a rapid risk assessment, a passenger’s shoe/s show signs of threats.

Further, the airport management has seen to it that airline companies observe timely opening of counters for early morning flights, and comply with the provisions of the Passengers Bill of Rights concerning delays and cancellations of flights and other circumstances.

As to airport transport services, Nagrama said they have put in order the operation of vans and taxis servicing passengers to and from the airport and have discipline operators of colorum vehicles.

They will mark the highlight, June 14, with a motorcade from the Capitol Grounds to Cabatuan, then a Holy Mass, program and press conference.

Also part of the 6th year celebration is community service, which consists of the feeding program in nearby barangays of Cabatuan and Sta. Barbara, tree planting and clean-up activities.

“With these activities anchored on our tag line, we are informing the public that the Iloilo Airport is helpful and accessible, responsive and service-oriented,” Nagrama said.

HK journalist calls Iloilo one of the prettiest cities in PHL


ILOILO CITY, June 11 (PNA)-- A foreign journalist based in Hongkong and writes for "Time Out Hongkong" magazine is all praises for this southern city calling it one of the prettiest cities in the Philippines.

Calling himself a Hongkonger, Matt Fleming "goes hopping mad in Iloilo City" to see, observe and enjoy the many wonders of the city of the Ilonggos and admitted hitting dirt cheap in food, fun and finery in the city.

In a "Time Out Hongkong" issue early this year, Fleming said the newly opened direct international flights to Hongkong and back has "opened up the heart of the Philippines to the Hongkongers and created a clear route up to the beaches of Boracay. It also allowed this beautiful island region to be explored within minutes to the airport."

Fleming raved about the Ilonggos being proud of their rich history and colorful culture, the heritage houses and buildings and ths a place like something out of the Water World but only much impressive.

It is worth hopping mad in Iloilo City and its surrounding area. Fleming said and "so cheap you forget you're paying anything at all".

DOT launches 7 Bridges of Blessings in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, June 10 (PNA)-- A new tourism product for development that focuses on existing bridges of this city was launched recently by the Department of Tourism as additional attraction to domestic and foreign tourists.

To be known as the 7 Bridges of Blessings, some of the city bridges are considered as heritage and historical sites with each having a story to tell and the persons responsible for its construction.

The city has a total of 20 bridges and two flyovers and are considered as monuments of growth and part of city history. DOT Regional Director Helen Catalbas said that of the seven bridges, four pass across the Iloilo River while three cross the Salog River.

The oldest is the historical Forbes Bridge built in 1910 and rehabilitated in 1975. The other bridges that cross the Iloilo River are the Quirino-Lopez Bridge built in 1967 and rehabilitated in 2000, Iloilo Bridge or the diversion bridge built in 1982, and the new Carpenter's Bridge built in 2010 beside the old Carpenter' Bridge rehabilitated into a pedestrian bridge.

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

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

The Infante flyover was built in 2008 and the Jalandoni flyover was built in 2010.

Catalbas said the packaged 7 Bridges of Blessings are expected to generate more income for the transport sector, more souvenir sales for vendors and more walking tourists.

Iloilo to host Asian prayer conference


ILOILO City -- Multitudes of delegates from many churches in Western Visayas, neighboring regions in the country, and across Asia are expected to convene for The Intercessors Regional Summit (TIRS) here from June 28 to 30.

The three-day event at the Regatta Residence Hotel on General Luna St. is a prayer conference where ministers and intercessors “learn and understand more of the different movements of the Holy Spirit in response to prayer and its powerful results to change things, both in the physical and spiritual realms.”

The conference will cover seven sessions filled with “explosive personal and national revival messages that cause major tipping point in some other countries,” according to Eunice Bennett Ministries that organizes the event in cooperation with Iloilo’s local church leaders and committed believers.

Eunice Bennett, an Ilongga who prophesied during the March for Jesus last July 2012, pointed out that, “The united prayer of the believers is now creating an economic shift from Asia to Iloilo, when Iloilo City by itself, is not even the capital of the Philippines!”

“Mind-boggling foreign investments are coming to Iloilo. This is going to heal joblessness in the land! I am going to break down the details about this during The Intercessor`s Regional Summit. You might think that what was prophesied over the city would happen in a distant future. No, it is almost here,” said Bennett.

Bennett, based in New York, USA, is a nurse by profession but gave up the lucrative job and heeded God’s call 20 years ago.

She is also a recognized evangelist trained by Billy Graham under his Billy Graham School of Evangelism.

“The content and the substance of the event (TIRS) will not only give you a new mandate in the spirit but several weeks of preaching sermons. It will open your eyes to the reality of the spirit realm that prevents Philippines from breaking out to its destiny. I will dedicate the last day of the event for leader`s anointing and impartation service,” Bennett said.

P3M Seal of Good Housekeeping Award goes to 3 city dev’t projects

By Lydia C. Pendon [(PNA), CTB/AJP/LCP/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, June 8 (PNA)– Three city barangay projects will be funded with P1 million each to be taken from the city’s cash award for being a winner of the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) which entitles the city to the performance challenge fund of P3 million.

A memorandum of agreement was signed between the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) represented by refional regional director Evelyn Trompeta and Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog on Thursday, June 4, 2013 and witnessed by DILG city director Ferdinand Panes to effect the projects to be funded from the SGH cash prize.

Trompeta said the city projects include the construction, widening and concreting asphalt overlay of the road in Brgy. PHHC Blk 22 in Mandurriao district; construction, renovation and repair of open court/gymnasium in Brgy. Balantang in Jaro district; and the construction, rehabilitation and repair of Brgy. Health Center in Brgy. San Pedro, Molo district.

The cash award was given to 51 local government units in Western Visayas in recognition of the LGUs accountable governance for having no adverse findings by Commission on Audit on qualified and unqualified programs.

The other criteria is transparent governance which is in full compliance of full disclosure and transparent policy on projects and programs.

The SGH regional awardees are six provinces, 14 component cities, two highly urbanized cities and 29 municipalities, each garnering P1 million each for the town, P7 million for the province and P3 million for the highly urbanized city.

On the other hand, Iloilo City was also recognized as one of the top five cities in the country and as a regional winner of the prestigious Gaward ng Lahi Award given once every three years for best performing LGUs. The city was awarded P2 million as incentive.

Iloilo to join Independence Day ‘Freedom Ride’


ILOILO CITY, June 7 (PNA)-– Around 100 bikers from the city and province of Iloilo are expected to join in the nationwide simultaneous “Freedom Ride” this June 12, 6:00 a.m. at Jaro Belfry in Iloilo City.

According to organizers Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, the event will be held simultaneously in Metro Manila, Dumaguete City and Zamboanga.

The "Freedom Ride for Independence Day" is an offshoot of the April 20, 2013 Freedom Ride against Human Trafficking held in Iloilo City, the group said.

The 20-km ride will traverse the major districts of Iloilo from Jaro Belfry to Mandurriao, Molo and La Paz. The ride will culminate at the Jaro Plaza where a short program in celebration of Independence Day will be held.

Dakila said the ride will also reiterate its campaign against human trafficking and modern day slavery.

“We believe the campaign will deliver a strong message to the public to celebrate and protect every Filipino’s independence and freedom.”

The event is co-organized by the biking group IFold (Iloilo Folding Bike Riders).

Iloilo City wins 2nd Red Orchid Award


ILOILO CITY, June 6 (PNA) -- Iloilo City will receive its second Red Orchid Award in Manila on June 13 after it was recognized by the Department of Health (DOH) for having the “Best Anti-Smoking Initiatives” among local government units all over the country.

“The recognition is another manifestation that the city’s anti-smoking campaign and advocacies are truly working effectively,” Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said.

The city will receive P100,000 worth of drugs and medicines for non-communicable diseases. The second win will make the city vie next for the Hall of Fame Award wherein a P500,000 grant to be used for tobacco control projects is at stake.

The city was adjudged based on the strength of comprehensive efforts to implement a 100-percent tobacco-free environment anchored on standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The City Hall was declared a smoke-free zone prohibiting smoking inside the building and within its 100-meter perimeter radius. The City Health Office also established a smoking cessation clinic at the second floor and will replicate the same in district and barangay health centers.

An active public-private partnership is also being practiced wherein the business community, academe, and non-government organizations are strongly supporting and helping anti-smoking advocacy from information and education dissemination to apprehension of violators of city’s anti-smoking ordinance.

The mayor also credited the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force (ICAST) headed by Councilor Joshua Alim and ICAST director Inigo Garingalao for the intensified anti-smoking campaign in public places and conveyances.

The Red Orchid Award prescribes WHO’s MPOWER initiative which stands for: Monitor tobacco control policies; Protect people from tobacco smoke; Offer help to quit tobacco use; Warn against the dangers of tobacco; Enforce bans on tobacco advertising; and Raise taxes on tobacco.

It follows the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 8 which recommends adoption of measures to provide protection from exposure to smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor places and other public places as well as Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 that provides protection from exposure to tobacco smoke.

DepED-6 contracts differently abled persons coop to make 6,000 desks


ILOILO CITY, June 5 (PNA) -- The Differently Abled Persons Multi-Purpose Cooperative will be delivering 6,000 wooden desks to the Department of Education Regional Office 6 to help meet the lacking writing desks of students.

Louie Posa, founder and manager of the Differently Abled Persons Multi-Purpose Cooperative here in Iloilo city, said that they target to deliver the desks as soon as they could finish it so that students could use them for this school year.

He said they are just waiting for the raw materials to be used for its members, who are differently abled persons, could already start their work.

“They are well-trained individuals that they could make as many as 80-100 chairs a day,” Posa contended. He said that the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) trained cooperative members to make desks for their livelihood.

The cooperative as of now has 135 members who have also been temporarily provided a production space by the TESDA here in Iloilo city so they could further be assisted.

The cooperative contract with the DepEd is worth P7 million and would be good for 6,000 chairs with each unit costing P640.

The wooden chair is made of mahogany or gmelina that is being cut with the permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

He said that despite of their being able to make wooden chairs they are really proposing for the engineered bamboo, which has abundant supply and to help address climate change.

However, Posa said that there is a need for the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Science and Technology to sit down with the DepEd in order to adjust the price given them for the engineered bamboo.

He said that the price of P640 per bamboo chair is so lean that they are asking for a better price considering that the work is tedious.

DSWD starts social pension door-to-door delivery in Iloilo City

By Lilibeth A. French (LAF/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, June 4 (PIA) -- Starting June 4, the P500 monthly stipend of the 329 indigent senior citizens in Iloilo City under the government’s social pension program will be delivered on their doorsteps.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-6) focal person Judith Marte said Iloilo City is included among the four areas in the region as pilot sites for the implementation of the door-to- door pay-out scheme of the program.

Under the new scheme, beneficiaries in Iloilo City will receive their second quarter pension of P1,500 intended for the months of April, May and June from the postman of the Philippine Postal Corporation.

Marte said the DSWD and Philpost have signed a memorandum of understanding for the implementation of the scheme as part of the efforts of the government to fast track the delivery of the social pension especially in far-flung barangays.

Other pilot sites in the region are Anilao with 154 beneficiaries, Calinog with 226 and Pavia with 78, all in the province of Iloilo. The testing in Calinog and Pavia towns also began on June 4 while Anilao on June 5.

Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines-Iloilo Chapter President Erlinda Garlit said she is hoping that this new scheme will help address problems encountered in the delivery of the social pension.

“But we have to consider the safety issue and it will be time consuming. What if the senior citizens are not in their homes at the time of the delivery?” said Garlit.

Marte said PhilPost has already coordinated with the Philippine National Police in pilot areas as to the implementation of the door-to-door scheme.

Elderly beneficiaries in areas not covered by the PhilPost door-to-door payout will continue to receive their pension from their Local Government Units through the transfer of funds and from the Special Disbursing Officers of DSWD in municipalities which have problems as to the liquidation of their funds.

To date, 19,904 indigent senior citizens aging 77 years old and above from the 133 local government units in the region benefit from the program with an annual allocation reaching P119,424,000.

The P500 monthly cash grant is intended to augment the daily subsistence and medical needs of the indigent beneficiaries in line with the implementation of the Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

Dinagyang makes New York parade more fun


ILOILO CITY, June 3 (PNA) -- Dinagyang Festival, Iloilo City’s premier celebration, wowed once more the revelers of 115th Philippine Independence Day Parade in Madison Avenue, Manhattan, New York, USA on Sunday. They first invaded the Big Apple in 2011.

The Dinagyang contingent, which first invaded the Big Apple in 2011, will again conquer the Historic Filipino town in Los Angeles, California on June 8.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said the Dinagyang’s US trip strongly promoted the city to the rest of the world and would entice prospective investors during the series of performances.

The lively and colorful Dinagyang street dancers from Iloilo City performed as part of Department of Tourism’s (DOT) highly successful “It’s More Fun In The Philippines” campaign, said noted journalist Ricky Lo of PhilStar.

“Dinagyang turned the streets of New York into a field of lively and spectacular Philippine festival. It was such a hit that community leaders and parade-goers wanted Dinagyang back (this time),” Mitchelle Dy, head of Philippine Tourism office in New York, was quoted as saying.

Dinagyang paid homage to Sto. Niño and showcased Ilonggo culture giving non-Filipino spectators a beautiful glimpse of unique Philippine culture and heritage, said Dy.

Dinagyang champ Tribu Panayanon of Iloilo City National High School’s 23 performers also bannered the “It’s fun to be Pinoy!” battle-cry in time with Freedom Day.

The US trip was sponsored by DOT’s Tourism and Promotions Board.

The internationally-known Dinagyang served as the city’s major promotional vehicle and tourism magnet.

Filipino and US dignitaries and officials of Filipino-American communities graced the NYC parade touted as the largest celebration of its kind attended by some 100,000 people.

Army rallies youths to promote peace, development


ILOILO CITY, June 02 (PNA)-- The Philippine Army’s 82nd Infantry Battalion (82IB) based in Camp Monteclaro, Barangay Igtuba, Miag-ao, Iloilo recently initiated a three-day Youth Leadership Summit for 110 out-of school youths (OSYs) from Antique and Iloilo provinces in its bid to promote peace, unity and development especially in far flung barangays.

The summit with a theme "Youth: Building a Nation Through Unity,” aims to empower the youth sector and develop their leadership and social responsibility as advocates of peace and development within their respective community

Various activities were undertaken to empower the youth like team building activities and lectures that included Community and Personal Development with Ms. Teresa Hortillo, Guidance Service Specialist, OSA, University of the Philippines in the Visayas; Human Rights and the Youth by Christopher Montaño of the Commission on Human Rights; and, Peace Process by Pastor Dexter Robite, head City Light Church, Iloilo.

The youth participants took part in the just concluded Sky Lantern Flying for Peace of the Midway Meditation Institute International which broke the Guinness Book of World Records at UPV campus on May 24, 2013.

The youths who are looked upon as the hope of this nation bears big responsibility to promote peace in this part of the country.

Lt. Col. Aldwine I. Almase, 82nd IB commander, emphasized the relevance of the youth in nation building. He added that his unit's framework in attaining peace and helping in community puts premium in empowering the youth sector and helping them to become socially responsible community leaders.

Almase said the activity was undertaken in partnership with Youth for Peace and Development (YPD), national government agencies, local government units and various organizations in Antique province and Southern Panay.

Eating alternative staples can bring self-sufficiency in rice

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

ILOILO CITY, June 1 (PIA) – Aside from increasing outputs, Filipinos can attain self-sufficiency in rice by adopting alternative staple foods like beans, corn, camote, and squash.

Edgar Baylon, seed coordinator of the Department of Agriculture-6, said in a cable TV program, that self sufficiency is attainable when Filipinos returns to traditional breakfast like boiled bananas and camote.

“This translates to 33 percent rice saved, and healthier Filipinos, as these root crops provide energy and nutrients,” Baylon said.

He said that the dry spell which hit the region during the first quarter of the year has delayed rice production, hence the government’s target for full rice self-sufficiency this 2013 may be affected.

Elias Sandig, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist, said that attainment of self- sufficiency in rice can also be attained with reduced consumption of ordinary rice and a shift to black or red rice.

Sandig said Iloilo Province promotes organic black rice and red rice farming to increase Iloilo’s surplus and at the same time promote good health with these.

He said that per capita rice consumption in the Philippines is 120 kilos per year, but Ilonggos eat more at 135 kilos.

Sandig added that if Ilonggos shift to black or red rice, per capita consumption will go down to 90 kilos.

“Black and red rice contain more protein, fibers, and nutrients that give eaters sense of fullness for lesser intake,” Sandig further said.

The province of Iloilo began to propagate red and black rice in 2010 and Ilonggo farmers have been engaged in it because of its profitability.

PAO records showed that red and black rice yields an average of four metric tons per hectare, higher than the usual produce of white rice.

Baylon and Sandig said with the adoption of alternative staples and the shift to red and black rice Iloilo can still attain rice self-sufficiency.