Iloilo City News March 2013

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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Seal of Iloilo City
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Iloilo City, Iloilo
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Map Locator of Iloilo City
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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.

Contents

DOLE advises college grads to visit job websites

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

ILOILO CITY, March 31(PIA6) -- Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Western Visayas OIC Regional Director Salome Siaton advised fresh college graduates who are looking for work to visit or log on to PHIL-JobNet or their agency’s website which is www.dole.gov.ph as the first crucial step in their quest to enter the world of work.

By doing so, Siaton said a jobseeker can register as a job applicant and then have his or her skills matched with available jobs.

This happens when a registered jobseeker logs in with, for example, the Phil-JobNet to submit his or her resume.

In the process, the applicant is allowed to view job matches and have the resume automatically matched with existing jobs.

A registered applicant also logs in to update personal information.

PHIL-JobNet is an internet-based job and applicant matching system which aims to fast track the jobseeker's search for jobs and the employer's search for manpower. This is a facility of the Department of Labor and Employment with centralized database maintained by the Bureau of Local Employment.

It is the government’s job matching and labor market information portal.

A list of top hiring companies, hot jobs, job fair schedules and other relevant information are found in the site.

Iloilo airport reports increasing visitor arrivals via international flights

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr. (Inquirer Visayas)

ILOILO CITY, Philippines—International flight arrivals at the Iloilo airport continued to increase at the start of this year, boosting optimism in the tourism industry of the city and province of Iloilo.

Data from the Department of Tourism office in Western Visayas showed that visitor arrivals on direct flights from Singapore and Hong Kong in January reached 2,255, including 1,905 Filipinos, and a total of 1,991 including 1,575 Filipinos in February.

These followed the 1,510 arrivals, including 1,296 Filipinos, in November and 3,219, including 2,837 Filipinos, in December.

December is traditionally a peak travel month while tourist arrivals in Iloilo are high in January because of the city’s Dinagyang festival.

Tourism regional director Helen Catalbas said the visitor arrivals from Singapore and Hong Kong comprised a significant number already although direct flights started only last November.

Budget carrier Cebu Pacific launched the Iloilo-Hong Kong flights on November 8 and the Iloilo-Singapore service on November 9.

The airline is flying direct flights to and from Hong Kong every Thursday and Sunday, and to and from Singapore every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Catalbas said that aside from Filipinos, the passengers included residents of 30 other countries, with the highest number coming from the United States, South Korea, Russia, China and Canada.

“This would still increase because the existence of the direct international flights to and from Iloilo and are not yet widely known,” she said.

Tourism in the region also got a boost with the visit of two international luxury cruise ships with 1,106 tourists to Boracay in the last two months.

The MS Columbus 2 of Hapag Lloyd Cruises anchored off the island in Aklan on February 24 while the MS Europa made a stopover on March 19.

On October 27, 2012, the cruise ship Legend of the Seas, operated by the Miami-based Royal Caribbean International tour company and carrying around 2,000 foreign tourists visited the island resort.

The DOT is targeting to attract three million tourists to Western Visayas this year, a 15-percent increase from the estimated 2.6 million recorded in 2012.

Gov’t agencies in western visayas ready for Holy Week emergencies

By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo — The different government agencies comprising the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) in Western Visayas gave assurances that they are all ready to handle any emergency situation that may occur during the Holy Week.

Rosario Cabrera, regional director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD-6) and RDRRMC-6 chairperson, said all systems are in place.

“We already have the consolidated preparedness plans for safety and peace and order. Our response mechanisms are also ready,” Cabrera said.

The plans include various tasks and responsibilities of the Region 6 branches of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG-6), Police Regional Office (PRO-6), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG-6), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP-6), Department of Health (DOH-6), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-6), Bureau of Fire Protection, and different local government units (LGUs).

All said agencies will be closely coordinating with the RDRRMC-6’s Communications and Warning Group (CWG).

Likewise, the different chapters of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) will also augment government teams in case of any emergency.

Cabrera said the public should stay vigilant at all times to avert any untoward incidents during the Holy Week.

PRC official: We lack seafarer officers

(PNA), HBC/AJPETINGLAY/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 28 (PNA) – Professional Regulation Commission Regional Dir. Lily Ann Baldago said the country still needs more seafarer officers for it is not able to meet its commitment to send 5,000 per year to Japan.

Baldago, in a recent press conference, said that they are encouraging Filipino seafarers to take officership examination as soon as they are qualified since the country is not yet able to meet its commitment with Japan.

“Last year we were only able to send 4000 plus seafarer officers to Japan,” Baldago contended.

She further said that the PRC walk-in exam system is now advantageous for the seafarers since they could know immediately whether they passed or failed.

She contended that there is no such thing as leakage on the test questions of the PRC.

Rather, seafarers are being advised to rest for a year if they are not able to hurdle the exam or that they take the refresher course.

Bayani Challenge 2013 promotes culture of love and care

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

ILOILO CITY, March 27 (PIA) -- Aside from the goal of building homes for the less fortunate, the Bayani Challenge 2013 also aims to promote the culture of love and care among its volunteers and beneficiaries.

Joane Christine Rabulan, head of the Bayani Challenge 2013 in New Lucena, Iloilo, said that they hope they were able to inculcate positive values to everyone participating in this five-day volunteering event.

“Through this event, we could come together, to continue to show our love and care especially to our less fortunate brothers and sisters,” said Rabulan.

Rabulan said that the turn-out of participants for the Bayani Challenge 2013 which kicked off in New Lucena, Iloilo last March 23, was overwhelming.

“Normally in one-province Bayani Challenge event, it would encourage around 2,000 volunteers, but for this year, there are more than 3,000 registered participants coming from corporations, banks, armed forces, navy, local government units (LGUs), agencies, students, and other areas partnering with Gawad Kalinga,” said Rabulan.

Rabulan further said that in terms of community involvement, people around Gawad Kalinga villages have become conscientious.

She shared that in Iloilo City, there are six active Gawad Kalinga (GK) villages and people around these communities are already imbibing the spirit of volunteerism, of loving, sharing and giving.

“It is like a domino effect; if we could just plant one seed of goodness in one’s heart and set a good example, this tradition will carry on,” she added.

On one hand, Rabulan also said that beneficiaries of the Bayani Challenge, particularly the GK homes are required to undergo values formation every Sunday for the next three months where topics on character building such as love of God, love for country, loyalty, respect, and other values are covered.

“We have the mission for each GK village to be safe and peaceful, so we teach them to respect each other, help each other and other goodness of character,” added Rabulan.

PRO6 director says no special treatment on politicians

(PNA),PDS/AJPETINGLAY/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 26 (PNA)--Police Regional Office in Western Visayas (PRO6) Director Agrimero Cruz, Jr. said that there will be no special treatment that will be given to some political candidates running for the May 2013 election.

Cruz, during a press conference Tuesday morning, said the police will be fair in dealing with all candidates and that no one will be given special treatment.

The police director further assured candidates that the police is there to provide them with security if they feel that their lives are at stake.

Cruz said for those local candidates particularly in Bingawan, who have come out into the open that they received a letter of solicitation from the rebel groups for the permit to campaign, they should request for security.

“Until now, we haven’t received a letter of request from them,” the police director said.

Cruz said that if ever they would request for security then this would be assessed first according to their stipulated procedure.

Iloilo Provincial Police Office Dir. Gil Lebin added that Bingawan Mayor Matt Palabrica and his partymates have neither requested yet for security on campaign period from his office that’s why the concern has not yet reached the level of the PRO6.

Lebin further said that if ever the re-electionist mayor will request for security then it would be for “area security” but not for his personal security.

DOLE Intermediaries Academy launched

(PNA), PDS/AJPETINGLAY/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 25 (PNA)-- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Intermediaries Academy was launched Monday to provide strategic training program focused on upgrading the various leadership competencies, level of professionalism, and commitment of the DOLE's intermediaries and staff through the facilitation of highly transformational, holistic and informative activities.

The Academy that will be situated at the Sugar Workers Development Center in Bacolod City.

The training component will be the basic training program and the advanced training program. For the basic training program, it will include the orientation for the intermediaries on the programs and services of the DOLE as well as their role; in-depth review of the socio-political and economic realities, the Medium Term Development Plan, and their role in it; overview of the private and public governance and understanding of the rights and obligations of the management and workers. While the advanced training program will include various activities that will strategically equip the intermediaries with multi-disciplinary skills and knowledge.

DOLE Regional Director Ponciano Ligutom, who led the launching of the DOLE Intermediaries Academy together with Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Regional Director Lily Ann R. Baldago, said they intend to conduct the training at least once a month with the initial training of trainors held Monday .

He said that the DOLE pays for the initial training but later on will be asking for a cost-sharing with the workers management.Sugar workers in Bacolod and Negros will also be given priority slots for the training that will run two to five days under the Academy on-call faculty.

The intermediaries of the DOLE who are part of the training are representatives of the Guidance Counselors Network, Workers Alliance, Public Employment Service Office, Recruiters Group and from the Labor Management, Inc. among others.

The Academy is a public-private partnership (PPP) initiative aimed to further bolster DOLE's and its intermediaries joint effort to build a productive, mutually beneficial relationship.

Iloilo tourism goes digital

By Jennifer Rendon with Charlie Lagasca (The Philippine Star)

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — Tourists visiting Iloilo now have a handy guide to heritage and tourism sites in the province.

Wireless services provider Smart Communications Inc. and new media startup InnoPub Media launched on Thursday their digital tourism program in the province that includes the mobile guide to Iloilo.

The mobile guide contains a list of places to go to and things to try in the province and important contact numbers. It can be accessed via phone scanning of special posters and standees at the airport, Iloilo City gallery, and various establishments. It is produced in partnership with Cebu Pacific.

The digital tourism program also includes a mobile website that allows tourists to view an interactive map of places to go to based on their locations.

To view suggested areas, tourists need to turn their gadget’s global positioning system or GPS, open myguide.ph and enable location sharing.

Special markers containing quick response (QR) codes are placed in select heritage and tourism areas in Iloilo. When scanned with a phone or tablet, the QR codes trigger the download of snippets of information about the landmark or the tourism site. Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

To download information, the gadget needs to be connected to the Internet and have a QR code scanner, which is widely available for downloading for free from the phone’s application market.

“Applications using location-based services and scanning technologies are becoming more popular as more devices are coming equipped with these features. We’re excited to work with our partners in building this local tourism for Iloilo City. We see this as a good model that can be adopted in other cities rich in heritage and culture,” said Nick Wilwayco of Smart’s public affairs group.

The digital tourism project is a collaboration among the city and provincial governments of Iloilo, Smart, InnoPub Media, Department of Tourism, Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council, Center for Western Visayas Studies, and Iloilo Cultural Heritage Foundation Inc.

Smart and InnoPub started their digital tourism program in Cebu City in December 2011. Now, they plan to launch the program in Baguio City and Pampanga.

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has initially allotted P5 million for the ongoing restoration of collapsed sections of the Ifugao rice terraces.

The fund, coursed through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s National Commission in Manila, is intended for the rehabilitation of 8,424 cubic meters of rice fields in the 12 heritage villages in the towns of Hungduan, Kiangan, Banaue, and Mayoyao.

Earlier, Gov. Eugene Balitang said at least P200 million is needed for the full restoration of the 2,000-year-old terraces, which were damaged by intermittent erosions, landslides and earthworm infestation. The terraces were also beset by the decreasing number of farmers who maintain them.

Use alternative fuel, PUV drivers, operators urged

By RAYMART ESCOPEL (Elsa Subong, PIA Iloilo/PN)

ILOILO City — Drivers and operators of public utility vehicles (PUV) were encouraged to use “recyclable fuels” to prevent air pollution and increase fuel consumption efficiency.

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) conducted a seminar on fuel efficiency and conservation in driving at the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas yesterday.

The DOTC is currently focused on “the use of alternative fuel, which may not emit hazardous smoke,” said Romulo Bernardez, director of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 6.

He said the DOTC is promoting the use of compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and other recyclable fuels as alternative to diesel.

According to Bernardez, the seminar was a DOE national program in line with Republic Act 8749 or the “Philippine Clean Air Act.”

During the seminar, drivers and operators of jeepneys, buses, taxis and the UP Express were given tips on fuel-efficient driving and their benefits.

The seminar also tackled ways to avoid traffic violations in line with the country’s Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

DOE’s Eric Soriano, one of the speakers, said the driving techniques will help the drivers save five percent to 10 percent of their fuel.

“Energy saving is very important because it will help (the drivers) decrease their expenses on fuel and increase their take-home pay,” Soriano said.

For the part of UP, its College of Engineering, especially its Mechanical Engineering Department, is conducting research not only on alternative driving habits but also on alternative fuel sources, Chancellor Rommel Espinosa said.

Yesterday’s seminar was the fifth leg of the nationwide initiative.

Similar seminars were already held in Cebu, Davao, Tacloban and Cagayan De Oro.

The DOE will hold the same seminar in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Pampanga, Baguio and Metro Manila./PN

River segments to undergo cleanup

ILOILO City — Synchronized cleanup activities will be held in Iloilo today in celebration of the 2013 World Water Day.

They will be held in 10 adopted estero areas around Iloilo, said Jonathan Bullos, officer-in-charge of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau 6 (DENR-EMB 6).

The areas are the seven Iloilo River segments and the three Batiano River segments.

The cleanup is under the Adopt-an-Estero program, which seeks to address water pollution in the country.

In collaboration with the office of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, the EMB-6 has tapped nongovernment organizations, private and business sectors, and other groups in the community, to cooperate in the Linis Estero Program.

“We are grateful for this positive support given to the program, as the World Water Day 2013 is a significant event,” Bullos said.

Different high schools from around Iloilo City will serve as partner schools.

EMB-6 has enlisted 27 donors/partners who will give assistance to the conduct of the program in the region.

According to Bullos, the Adopt-an-Estero Program has been instrumental in institutionalizing good sanitation among estero communities.

“It has helped reduce water-borne diseases, especially among children and vulnerable groups, and has minimized pollution” in rivers, he said.

Meanwhile, DENR-6 Executive Director Adeluisa Siapno said the synchronized cleanup of esteros will be held so that the community along the esteros will understand proper solid waste management.

This year’s World Water Day has the theme, “Tubig Para sa Lahat, Lahat Para sa Tubig.”

EMB-6 leads synchronized clean-up for World Water Day

By Elsa S. Subong (DENR6-JCM/ESS-PIA 6, Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Mar. 22 (PIA) -- The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-6) is leading the synchronized clean-up activities in celebration of 2013 World Water Day, on March 23.

The clean-up is under the Adopt-an-Estero program, seeking to address water pollution in the country.

EMB OIC Regional Director Atty. Jonathan Bullos said the clean-up activities will be done in 10 adopted estero areas around Iloilo, with their respective donor partners.

The areas are the seven Iloilo river segments and the three Batiano river segments with the different high schools from around Iloilo City, as partner schools.

Bullos said that with their collaboration with the office of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog, EMB-6 was able to tap the cooperation of non-government organizations, private and business sectors, and other groups in the community which ensures maximum support for the Linis Estero Program.

“We are grateful for this positive support given to the program, as the World Water Day 2013 is a significant event,” Bulos said.

To date, EMB-6 has enlisted 27 donors/partners giving assistance to the conduct of the program in the region.

Bulos also said the Adopt-an-Estero Program has been instrumental in institutionalizing good sanitation among estero communities.

“It has helped reduce water-borne diseases especially among the children and the vulnerable groups, and has minimized pollution load into our rivers,” Bulos said.

Meanwhile DENR-6 Regional Executive Director Adeluisa Siapno said the World Water Day 2013 celebration is moving them to conduct the synchronized clean-up of esteros so that the community along the esteros will also understand proper solid waste management.

This year’s World Water Day is driven by the theme, “Tubig para sa lahat, lahat para sa tubig.”

Mayor Mabilog: Iloilo City is truly world-class

(PNA), FPV/AJP/LMSINAY/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 21 (PNA) – A lot of good things are happening in this city in the past three years, according to Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog.

“We are really far from where we were before as we are now truly world-class,” he told heads of departments and offices during their regular Wednesday meeting, March 20.

Mabilog cited the recent accomplishments achieved locally and globally starting with being awarded as best performing city in terms of good governance in the whole Western Visayas region.

“Iloilo City was recognized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government as outstanding in environmental governance, social and administrative governance; we are also recipient of the Seal of Good Housekeeping and Gawad Pamana ng Lahi,” he stated.

In the national level, the city has received this year the Galing Pook Best Local Governance Project for Dinagyang Festival and was chosen as third best performing city nationwide in 2012, besting even the cities of Manila, Valenzuela and Quezon.

“We’re now better off compared to others; we are a city of festival, wellness and culture,” Mabilog noted.

What he really took pride in was the recognition given by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia when it inducted Iloilo City in the Palladium Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy in local governance, the first Philippine city to be given such award in 2010.

Globally, Iloilo City has the distinction of being one of the frontrunners in the New7Wonders Cities of the World campaign this year.

Mabilog said the city is now one of the three cities officially chosen to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in 2015.

“We have gotten these recognitions because we are all helping each other competitively and professionally,” he stated.

He urged the chiefs and heads of offices and departments “to sustain the momentum and support each other.”

“We are doing this for the city,” Mabilog stressed.


Iloilo has 16 devcom awardees

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

ILOILO CITY, March 20 (PIA6) -- Sixteen campus paper writers from Iloilo colleges and universities, including high schools, have qualified as recipients of the IWAG Award 2013 given by the Philippine Information Agency in the region.

These awardees are graduating editors of their respective publications who have written good developmental stories on top of other criteria which include communications training, involvement in community service and academic performance.

Awardees in the college level are: Mark Collin Solas of the JBLMU-Arevalo; Kimberly Rose Pillo, WVSU-College of Education; Raimar Caspillo, WVSU-Main publication; Henrex Paul Alemon, WVSU-College of Nursing, Rose Kareen Defensor, St. Paul University-Iloilo; and, Rafael C. Arroyo III SIPC-Miagao.

For the high school campus paper writers, the awardees are Daphne Divine Dy, Adrian Paolo Cordero, Ma. Patrice Gabito Krizia Marie QueQue, Jezza Ann Regalado, and Abbie Gail Callueng, all of Ateneo-Iloilo; Glo Ann V. Humilde, Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, Christian Mark Fernandez, Lapaz National High School;Charles Arthel Rey, CPU-High School; Jolimee Jamero, WVSU-Laboratory School.

A lone awardee from Guimaras was also cited, in the person of Christian Kent P. Ceriola, of Guimaras State College-High School Department.

PIA-6 Director Ma. Janet Mesa said the IWAG Award is the highest recognition given by the PIA in Western Visayas to school paper writers in high school and college, who have excelled in publishing developmental articles in support of the various thrusts of government.

"We evaluate the articles as to their content and relevance, which also measure the grasp of the student writers of the programs of government,” Mesa said.

“Further, we also value the impact of the articles to the immediate environment, the academic community where the paper is published,” she added.

PIA-6 gave the award also to student writers in the provinces: Aklan – 2; Antique – 4; Capiz – 6; Negros Occidental – 16; Guimaras – 1.

PIA in Western Visayas has been recognizing devcom writers in schools since late seventies yet.

“This has become a tradition for us, as we continue to hold yearly basic journalism workshops for paper writers in the region,” Dir. Mesa said.

Each awardee is given a citation and a Presidential Medal, which are awarded to them during their Recognition Day or graduation ceremonies.

Liberation fighters from Visayas to take centerstage during nat’l observance of Veterans Week

(PNA), PDS/AJP/PGLENA/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 19 (PNA) -- World War II veterans from Visayas will be the focus of the weeklong celebration of the Veterans Week slated April 5-11 in Manila.

This was announced by Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) administrator Ernesto G. Carolina during Monday’s celebration of the 68th Victory Day of Panay, Guimaras and Romblon held at the Balantang Memorial Cemetery National Shrine here.

Carolina disclosed that just last week they brought post commander Claro O. Daulo Sr, president of the 6th Military District World War II Veterans Association Inc. and other veterans from Cebu shared their experience during the World War II (WWII) before some 500 high school students at the Camp Aguinaldo Country Club.

“We wanted the Filipinos, not only the Filipinos in Iloilo, to know the heroism of our freedom fighters in Panay here in the Visayas so that our young people will hear from the mouth of our veterans who were there in the grounds during the war,” Carolina stated.

The resistance movement in this part of the country led by Gen. Macario Peralta was dubbed as one of the most successful in the country.

Carolina in citing history books stated that “veterans of WWII are the ones who liberated Panay Island.”

He added that there was no more fighting when the American troops landed in Parara Sur, Tigbauan, Iloilo because Peralta and his men already defeated the Japanese forces.

“That is the pride of every Ilonggo and that is the pride that we want every Filipino to know and to share,” he stressed.

Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Reserve Affairs Eduardo G. Batac on Monday reminisced how veterans then coming from various directions in Tigbauan, Pavia, Oton, San Miguel, Molo, Mandurriao, Lapaz and Jaro engaged Japanese forces.

Jaro where various Japanese garrisons were constructed then was the site of heavy fighting, he added.

Batac said that youths, being the next generations of leaders, must accept the task of “continuing the legacy of our heroes.”

PVAO distributes walking canes, wheelchairs to WWII veterans in Iloilo

(PNA), FFC/PGL/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 18 (PNA) -- The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) Monday distributed walking canes and wheelchairs to World War II veterans in the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the Victory Day of Panay, Guimaras and Romblon.

PVAO administrator Ernesto Carolina said that the provision of canes and wheelchairs was done in partnership with the 6th Military District-World War II Veterans-Association of Sons and Daughters Inc. to show their concern to veterans.

Thirty-five canes and 20 wheelchairs were brought to Iloilo upon initial request as he assured that those who were not included in the list could still have their chance to avail.

One of the recipients, Marciano Alcarde, immediately traded his walking cane with a wheelchair as it was handed to him personally by Carolina.

Carolina also brought with him personnel from Manila, provided immediate answers to the veterans queries during a short open forum held after the ceremony commemorating the 68th Liberation Day at the Balantang Memorial Cemetery National Shrine.

U.S.-based software company president to visit Iloilo City

(PNA), PDS/JAN

ILOILO CITY, March 17 (PNA) -- Bill Rehring, the president of U.S.-based TOPS Software Corporation, will be here on Tuesday to share his insights on packaging engineering.

Rehring will be the guest speaker of Central Philippine University School of Packaging Engineering’s TOP Software Seminar and Turnover of Donation, according to university’s media liaison officer Cyrus Natividad.

Natividad said Rehring will specifically present the features of TOPS Pro Package Design and Palletization Software – a versatile, user friendly program – to professors, packaging professionals and representatives from various industrial groups in the region.

Small-and-medium scale entrepreneurs are also welcome to participate in the seminar as well as the university’s packaging engineering students.

The ceremony will be attended by Iloilo City Hon. Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog, CPU President Dr. Teodoro C. Robles, world-renowned packaging expert Dr. Lejo C. Braña and CPU Board Trustees.

Natividad said Rehring has been actively supporting the CPU’s Packaging Engineering program since its inception through educational funds, donation of TOPS software, on-the-job-training participation, advisorship, and other opportunities for partnership.

Ilonggo products included in Great Women Brand launch

By Lilibeth A. French (LAF/PIA)

ILOILO CITY, March 16 (PIA6) -- The specialty products of women entrepreneurs from pilot municipalities of the Gender Responsive Economic Actions for Transformation (GREAT Women Project) of the Philippine Commission on Women in the province of Iloilo will be included in the Great Women Brand launch on Tuesday, March 19 at the Yuchengco Museum located at RCBC Plaza in Makati City.

Iloilo Provincial Planning Development Officer Mario Nillos said that among the products from Iloilo that will be showcased are the famous Nating’s Peanut Butter of Pavia, “salabat” and hablon of Badiangan and hablon of Miag-ao.

Nillos said that through the Great Women Brand launch, these valued–up or upscaled products of women entrepreneurs will be introduced to both local and international markets.

“The Great Women Brand is a big help especially in the promotion of the products of participating women entrepreneurs from the province to the upscale markets since there were many products that were introduced to be included in the launch and on the basis that they were screened, few only passed is a big opportunity,” said Nillos.

The Great Women Brand aims, among others to introduce product development and market opportunities to economically empowered women in the country.

It was developed through the partnership of Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) - Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) Project, the Enabling Communities with Hope and Opportunities Sustainable Initiatives (ECHOsi) Foundation and national and local government units with the technical and funding assistance from the Canadian International Development Agency.

Asst. Project Manager Velma Jane Lao of the GREAT Women Project said Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and the local chief executives of Badiangan, Pavia and Miag-ao were invited to attend the Great Women Brand Launch.

Iloilo to open adolescent clinic in health centers

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Iloilo City health office (CHO) is set to open an adolescent clinic in every district health center every Friday for teenagers and young mothers to congregate and seek counseling.

City health officer Dr. Urminico Baronda announced this on Thursday after a team of experts from the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) and from the Department of Health (DOH) central office visited the ICHO to see and observe services for the adolescents and young people.

Baronda said Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is amenable to the idea of an adolescent center and throws his full support for the establishment of the center right after the elections.

The city health officer said a comprehensive training will be conducted for health personnel to man the adolescent center in every city districts separate from the teen centers where the teenagers congregate for fun and sports activities.

The visiting USAid team is headed by youth advisor Cate Lane accompanied by Teresa Carpio, USAid youth advisor in the Philippines, Joni Dichoso and Nelida Perez of USAid Philippines, Lucina Tapere and Myrna Hernandez of PRISM 2 and Jun Onayan and Juanito Basilio of DOH.

Baronda said the adolescent clinic will focus mainly on counseling and prevention of teenage pregnancy among the young people through forums and lectures on family planning and reproductive health with no abortion but only post-abortion services.

The city office has noted the alarming increase of teen pregnancy in the barangays with no one to guide or counsel them aside from their own parents.

USAID team lauds Iloilo volunteer system

(PNA), LAM/LCPENDON/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 14 (PNA) -- A team from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) based in Washington, DC and the Department of Health (DOH) have praised the successful volunteerism program of the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) Iloilo Chapter on health delivery services to people in poor slum villages especially those of adolescent age.

Cate Lane, USAID youth advisor, said the volunteer system of FPOP was effective in delivering services to at least six contiguous coastal barangays here and its advocacy is expected to stem the rise of unwanted teen-age pregnancies.

Mona Diones, FPOP Chapter program manager, said the volunteerism spirit are focused mainly on selected membership of the youth core group and youth leaders who have undergone comprehensive trainings on adolescence, youth and reproductive health programs.

Janvie Amido, FPOP Iloilo youth program coordinator, reported to visitors the manner of selecting youth volunteers to spearhead the public and private projects on teen pregnancy, family planning and birth spacing and the need for delayed pregnancy and monthly medical missions in the barangays.

Amido said the programs focus on lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgenders (LGBT) and early pregnancies with selected peer counselors and mentors composed of volunteer doctors, midwives, nurses and advocates.

Similarly, the Iloilo chapter and its youth core group, in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) city division office, has piloted two schools in Arevalo district to include special education modules on family planning and reproductive health to the curriculum such as science, health and social studies.

These schools are the Calaparan Elementary School for Grade 5 and Grade 6 pupils, and the Melchor Nava National High School, also in Calaparan, Arevalo district.

The visiting group include Teresa Carpio of USAID Philippine youth advisor, Joni Dichosa and Nelida Perez, also of USAID Philippines; youth specialists Lucina Tapere and Myrna Hernandez of PRISM2, and Jun Onayan and Juanito Basilio of the Department of Health (DOH).

Iloilo city gov’t eyes six CCTVs before end of the year

(PNA), PDS/AJP/PGLENA/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 13 (PNA) -- Six closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) will be installed in the city this year.

Iloilo Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog looked forward to the completion of the installation of the first three CCTVs before the end of this month. The cameras are being set up at the Plazoleta Gay area and streets along the University of the Philippines (UP) and Valeria-Delgado.

Meantime, the three additional CCTV will be placed at Jaro Plaza in front of the Jaro Cathedral, La Paz market and at the junction of General Luna-Bonifacio Drive streets.The places where the CCTVs will be mounted are among the busy sections of Iloilo City.

The installation of the CCTV was aimed not only to monitor the traffic situation but more importantly to help address crimes in these areas.

The putting up of the equipment will complement the ongoing enforcement of the CCTV ordinance that mandates all high-risk establishments to install the same prior their business permits will be approved by the city government.

UNIVERSITY of San Agustin Centennial Memorial put up in 2004

By Lito B. Zulueta (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Panay pride and Augustinian audacity were in full display when the University of San Agustin (USA) in Iloilo City celebrated the 60th anniversary of its elevation as a university last March 1 with a solemn High Mass of thanksgiving, a concert that featured a magnificent Olympic-style gallery of lights performed by some 2,000 students, and an impressive fireworks display.

Although USA was elevated as a university on March 1, 1953, its foundation is older. It was founded as a preparatory school for boys by the Augustinian friars on July 15, 1904. Therefore, it is already 109 years old, the oldest university in Western Visayas.

The Order of Saint Augustine (OSA) holds a stellar place in Philippine history. It is the oldest religious order in the country, its members having been the first missionaries to lead the highly successful evangelization of the Philippines.

Famous Augustinians in Philippine history include Fray Andres de Urdaneta, Fray Martin de Rada, Fray Diego de Herrera and Fray Manuel Blanco.

The four Baroque Philippine churches inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List—San Agustin in Manila (the oldest church in the Philippines); Santa Maria in Ilocos Sur; San Agustin in Paoay, Ilocos Norte; and Santo Tomas de Villanueva in Miag-ao, Iloilo—were all built by Augustinians.

ARCHBISHOPS Jose Palma and Angel Lagdameo with the Augustinian friars, led by Father Provincial Eusebio Berdon. Right: Mendel Hall, named after famous Augustinian friar Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-84), father of the science of genetics.

The university was originally founded by the Spanish friars belonging to the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines and affiliated with the University of Santo Tomas of the Dominicans in Manila. It is now managed by the Philippine Province of the Augustinians and has been granted full autonomy by the Commission on Higher Education.

The university houses some of the top schools and programs in the country: Its law school is among the country’s best (its bar topnotchers have included Supreme Court associate justice Carolina Griño, Cornelio Gison, Wenseslao de la Paz, Mario Guarinia and Dolores Abad-Alinio; its faculties in the sciences have produced top nurses, medical technologists and engineers; and its Liberal Arts and Education programs have produced top scholars, humanists and educators.

Thanksgiving Mass

Main celebrant during the thanksgiving Mass was a true-blue Ilonggo, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. (Co-celebrant was Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.)

In his homily, Palma couldn’t help but refer to the fact that USA was celebrating its anniversary a day after Pope Benedict stepped down.

Statue of St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, North Africa, facing Juan Luna Street

“I believe all of us are trying to get reconciled with the fact that the Pope has renounced the papacy,” he said. “Shortly after the death of Blessed John Paul II, and once more starting today, during the Eucharistic prayer, the celebrant does not mention the Pope’s name. Yet in that part of the Mass we still picture the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. If I mention this it is because we all know that Benedict is very much Augustinian.”

Palma was referring, of course, to the Pope’s solid Augustinian theology.

Palma said USA had benefited not only Ilonggos but also all the people of Panay.

“USA commits to the education that recognizes what is true, good, beautiful and noble,” he said. “Hence, we are happy at the thought that USA has a sturdy commitment of preserving the Filipino culture on the island of Panay. Efforts at heritage conservation, appreciation of historical landmarks, publications of Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a, Akeanon are most appreciated.”

Palma also emphasized that academic freedom should not be an excuse by members of the Catholic academe to contradict or attack Catholic teachings. He quoted Pope Benedict XVI:

“In regard to faculty members at Catholic universities… you are to reaffirm the great value of academic freedom. In virtue of this freedom, you are called to search for the truth wherever careful analysis of evidence leads you.

“Yet it is also the case that an appeal to the principle of academic freedom in order to justify positions that contradict the faith and the teaching of the Church would obstruct or even betray the university’s identity and mission, a mission at the heart of the Church’s munus docendi (teaching mission) and not somehow autonomous or independent of it.”

Augustinian interiority

In the afternoon, there was a roundtable discussion on the history of USA. Discussants were Fr. Eusebio B. Berdon, OSA, prior provincial of the Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu in the Philippines; Fr. Arnel Antonio S. Dizon, OSA, VP for academic affairs of Colegio de San Agustin in Biñan, Laguna; and Jose G. Espinosa Jr., retired professor.

DAZZLING.Some 2,000 students use pen-lights and synchronized movements to emblazon the initials of the University of San Agustin in one gallery of the USA Gymnasium.

Father Berdon emphasized Saint Augustine’s theology of “interiority” as the basis of the Augustinian educational mission, which not only involves scholarship and learning but also “intellectual charity.”

Father Dizon traced the beginnings of the Augustinian educational ministry in the Philippines to the asilo de escuela of Augustinian orphanage in Paco, Manila, in the 19th century.

Professor Espino colorfully recounted his teaching years in USA, capped with a grant he got from the Spanish agency of economic cooperation to translate the ancient “Monografias de Pueblos de Panay” written by the Spanish Augustinian friars into English.

USA has published the collection of monographs in bilingual edition; it has been named one of the required readings on Visayas history and culture by the National Book Development Board.

Philanthropic Office

AUGUSTINIAN Provincial Fr. Eusebio B. Berdon is flanked by USA president Fr. Frederick Comendador (right) and USA VP for academic affairs Fr. Harold Rentoria as he unveils theminiature of the planned Garden of Firsts.

The discussion was followed by the formal launching of the USA Philanthropic Office (USA-PO).

The USA-PO was called a “milestone” by USA president Fr. Frederick Comendador, OSA. He said the new office “is primarily tasked to assist the university in generating and scouting for funds coming from generous donors, be they individuals or groups that are believers in the university’s advocacies and are willing to become partners in her mission.”

Comendador said the new office would not only seek “to secure the future of the university but also remind ourselves that education—the vocation to teach and transform the mind and hearts of students—is inherently a philanthropic act. It is a magnanimous, selfless and self-sacrificing act whose allegiance is renewed regularly in our day-to-day struggles.”

The new office will manage the UST Trust Fund, the pool of donations and gifts to USA that will enable it to finance priority projects under its Seven Advocacies: research and development (research, publication, professorial chairs); human-resource development; Augustinian mission and formation (spiritual enrichment, community extension, justice and peace, human rights); infrastructure development (new library, conference rooms, mini-theaters); scholarships; sports and youth development; and culture and the arts (cultural heritage, continuing education, performing arts and exhibitions, art appreciation).

Donors will be inducted to the Fr. Dolse Garcia, OSA, Fellowship, named after the Spanish Augustinian friar who led the reconstruction of USA after the devastation of the Second World War, and its elevation to university rank in 1953.

Other donors, especially corporate donors, will be permanently enrolled in the Benefactors Wall that will be set up on the ground floor of Urdaneta Hall.

USA Gymnasium

Envisioned building

One of the major infrastructure projects will be the development of the Plaza de San Agustin in front of Herrera Hall or Administration Building. The site is familiar to USA alumni and Ilonggos since it is where the statue of Saint Augustine proudly stands.

According to USA officials, the site will be paved with special tiles bearing the names of donors.

Another major infrastructure project is the construction of a new library near the center of USA, where the old U-shaped Dolse Garcia Hall now stands. The envisioned building is planned to be one of the biggest and most modern in the Visayas. Aside from books and electronic and digital learning materials, it will also house rare books and ancient manuscripts from the vast Augustinian collection.

Other support infrastructure projects seek to beautify further campus, already known for its beauty and conduciveness to learning in the region.

A botanical garden will be set up and named after Fray Manuel Blanco, OSA, author of the seminal work and beautifully printed 19th-century book “Flora de Filipinas.”

ARCHBISHOP Jose Palma praises the contributions of the Augustinian friars to the Philippine Church and civilization.

Shown was the 3D rendition of the planned Garden of Firsts that will be a memorial to the intrepid Augustinian spirit. It will particularly trace the voyage of the first Augustinian missionary batch across the Atlantic and the Pacific to reach the Philippines in 1565.

Its rich heritage has made USA a showcase of culture in the Visayas. In fact, the Augustinians are leaders in cultural conservation. Fr. Harold Rentoria, OSA, the vice president for academic affairs of USA, is a former commissioner for cultural heritage of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

(Donations may be deposited in the USA Legacy Trust Fund account: Robinsons Bank-Iloilo City, account no. 203-36-000201-4. Call USA Philanthropic Office at (63) 33-3374403. E-mail usa.philanthropy@gmail.com.)

Next century

The day was capped by a rousing concert at the USA Gymnasium that displayed the youth and promise of students.

That promise was more than shown by the Olympic-style synchronized image-making by 2,000 students.

IN COLORFUL costumes and props, USA students tell the history of the University of San Agustin in dance on the US AOpen Field.

One of the two galleries of the gymnasium was filled with female Physical Education students wearing white jerseys seated on the bleachers. At the closing ceremonies, the gym was plunged into darkness, dreamy music wafted from the speakers, and, at the appointed time, the students switched on pen lights that they, it turned out, had been holding in both hands all along, so that the entire gallery became a huge screen of dancing lights, like fireflies dancing in sync.

At one time, they formed the three letters of the university acronym, and the agility and grace with which they performed the stunt, along with the other stunts, should impress one about the University of San Agustin—that amid such depth and richness of history, it has so much vitality and promise to sustain and carry its mission all the way through its exciting next century.


Iloilo youth encouraged to be smart voters

(PNA), DSP/AJP/KMD/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 10(PNA) -- Maria Ressa, chief executive officer of Rappler which is one of the country’s young social news network, fervently encouraged the youth to be smart voters during the May 2013 electoral process.

Ressa was at Central Philippine University (CPU), Iloilo City recently for a chat series with the students, mostly of whom were communication students. The topic rose about student’s part on the electoral process.

Ressa discussed the topic about student’s part on the electoral process, do’s and dont’s, concerns on media during elections and what is ought for the youth.

Ressa suggested for students to carefully check the background and aims of the candidate, to monitor political ads during pre-election period, report voting delays during election and monitor the promises made after the election.

The Filipino youth, as discussed by the Rappler team, can generate an invisible and vast community within the internet. Articles, songs, videos and other collaboration of materials to avoid bribery during the wait for this coming election have been thoroughly discussed.

Twelve million Filipino youths are estimated to vote for this coming 2013 election.

Iloilo City holds caravan to seek support for its bid as among the new seven wonder cities

(PNA), GHG/PGLENA/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 9 (PNA) -- The city government intensified its campaign to rally people to support its bid to be included in the new seven wonder cities of the world.

On Friday, the city government kicked off its school caravan with a visit at the Iloilo City National High School and at the Fort San Pedro National High School.

The day-long caravan was capped with the launching of a campaign desk at the SM City where they encourage visitors to register their vote.

The caravan will visit eight more public schools next week will also hold campaign in various private schools.

Meanwhile, City Tourism and Development Office (CTDO) head Benito Jimena said that corporations that are interested to support Iloilo City must first seek permission with the contest organizer.

Iloilo City has been included in the 300 cities that have entered the qualification phase from among the thousands of cities that were nominated for the prestigious award.

The individual votes that will be entered until September this year will serve as basis in determining the 77 cities. Thereafter it will be trimmed down to 28 then 21 and 14.

The seven new wonder cities will be announced on July 7, 2014.

Meantime, individuals who are interested to support this city are encouraged to log on at http://world.new7wonders.com/new7wonders-cities/new7wonders-cities/ and choose Iloilo City as among the seven cities in Southeast Asia and Oceania.

Iloilo City gets world-class fire truck

By Jeehan V. Fernandez [(PNA),DSP/AJP/JVF/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, March 8 (PNA) --Iloilo City will receive a world-class fire truck which will be a big help in fire prevention measures, in time with the observance of Fire Prevention Month this March.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said the new fire-fighting equipment donated by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will enhance the city’s capability in responding to fire incidents.

Iloilo City Fire Marshal C/Insp. Gerry Berte said the city’s existing smaller fire trucks are being used to penetrate narrow passageways particularly in slum areas where fire occurrences are common.

The bigger fire truck which can store enough water can complement to fire-fighting operations.

The Austrian-made Rosenbauer TLF 4000 fire truck is specially built to respond faster to fire incidents in highly-urbanized areas, said DILG Secretary Mar Roxas.

The top-of-the-line fire truck has the capacity to discharge 2,400 liters of water per minute and its water cannon can push water up to 62 meters horizontally and 24 meters vertically or the height of an eight-storey building.

Berte stressed the significance of Fire Prevention Month even as he urged Ilonggos to make disaster preparedness a part of daily life.

He noted that FIRE prevention could be summed up by F-ighting fire; I-nformed about fire safety and preparedness; R-espond to fire incident; and E-vacuate during fire disaster.

Iloilo exporters open showroom for products

(PNA), LAP/AJP/PGLENA/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 7 (PNA) -- Products manufactured by members of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc (Philexport) Iloilo chapter are now within reach both by walk-in clients and those who are into retailing with the opening of a display area at the Marymart Mall here.

Trade and Industry Iloilo director Wilhelm Malones said that the display area showcases products made by members from Iloilo, Capiz, Guimaras and Antique.

He said that the area allows the group to reach out to a wider market by “having more traffic of people” coming in to take a look at their products. Likewise, it could also stir the interest of other people who might want to engage in similar ventures in the future.

The provincial director lauded the move, saying that with the chapter having its own site, they could easily “pool their capacities” if there are big orders that could not be met by just a few producers.

Most of the products on display are food-related, garments, hablon products, crafts, furniture and furnishing, accessories, tables, bamboo and abaca products, among others.

Malones viewed the opening of the showroom as complementation of the display area of the Ilonggo Producers Association which also showcases products almost similar to that of the Iloilo chapter of the Philexport.

The Iloilo chapter with around 30-35 members is headed by Ruth Fe Salditos.

DepEd, OSCI to recognize outstanding students

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

ILOILO CITY, March 6 (PIA) -- Twenty graduating students in elementary and secondary levels in the city and province of Iloilo will be recognized in an awarding ceremony at St. Joseph School, Diversion Road, Iloilo City on March 15.

The students are this year’s winners in the Search for the Ten Outstanding Elementary School Pupils (TOESP) and Ten Outstanding Secondary School Students (TOSSS) of Iloilo for academic year 2012-2013 by the Outstanding Students Circle of Iloilo (OSCI).

Aubrey Beatrice Carnaje of SPED-Integrated School for Exceptional Children emerged highest in the rankings.

The other awardees are: Nancy Nicole T. Supena of Sto. Domingo Elementary School; Ma. Samantha Ysabel L. Co of Ateneo de Iloilo-Santa Maria Catholic School (SMCS); Fergie John O. Frange of Central Philippine University; Heather Angelique Parangan of West Visayas State University; Rose Mae L. Andresio of Sta. Barbara Central Elementary School; Dominic S. Yap of PAREF Westbridge School Inc.; Leif Mathieu T. Tobias of Cabatuan Central Elementary School; Eunice Lyn F. Salistre of Solomon Integrated School de Iloilo and Daryl John A. Libiano of Cabatuan Parochial School.

Meanwhile, the outstanding students in the secondary level are: Blessed Bea T. Plondaya of Saint Joseph School (Iloilo); Kevin Friedrich Y Chan of Iloilo Scholastic Academy; Alyssa Jude M. Montalban of Cabatuan National Comprehensive High School; Jose Roy E. Santos. Jr. of Central Philippine University; Kelly A. Binder of University of San Agustin; Nizza Ann E. Regalado of Ateneo de Iloilo -SMCS; Mary Clarence G. Madero of Pavia National High School; Caryl Joanne A. Nonato of SPED – Integrated School for Exceptional Children; Bianca Patrice S. Syching of Iloilo Central Commercial HS and Jovie Anne R. Cabangal of Barotac Viejo National High School.

OSCI Chairman Henry Caspe said 28 pupils and 33 high school students were nominated in this year’s search done in coordination with the Department of Education-Iloilo.

After the written examinations on January 23, finalists faced a panel of distinguished judges for an interview last February 13.

OSCI seeks to recognize not only the outstanding achievements of students in their academic performance but also in their respective schools and communities through the annual event.

Winners will receive medals and plaques while their coaches and schools will be given certificates.

P1.4B major roads, bridges in Iloilo City up by end of 2013

(PNA), PDS/AJP/LCPENDON/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 5 (PNA) -- A total of 14 major roads and four bridges in Iloilo City estimated to cost P1.4 billion including road right of way (RROW) will be opened for public use by the end of 2013.

This was assured by Ilonggo Senator Franklin M. Drilon in presenting the projects under the present Aquino administration to the Iloilo River Development Council meeting recently.

Drilon said the PNoy projects are expected to catapult Iloilo City in its dream of recapturing the title of “Queen City of the South” by 2016 and commended the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for a job well done.

On the other hand, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said these road projects initiated by the senator will help push earlier or by 2014 the city aspiration to become a premier city by 2015.

These road projects include the circumferential road, Iloilo radial R4 bypass road, widening of the Iloilo-Capiz road Jaro Leganes section, floodway bridge, Section E Jaro-Leganes to junction Iloilo coastal road, Section D and Section C of the circumferential road, Jaro Bridge, Iloilo-San Miguel road to junction Iloilo Sta Barbara Road, Iloilo-Antique Road to Iloilo San Miguel Road, Mandurriao Bridge, Iloilo-Antique Road (Arevalo) to Iloilo San Miguel Road, Mandurriao Bridge 1 and Bridge 2, widening of the Benigno Aquino Avenue Iloilo diversion road and widening of Iloilo-Dumangas coastal road.

Mabilog clarified that other PNoy projects in collaboration with the city government here include the comprehensive dredging of the Iloilo River to help restore the river and tributaries, completion of Esplanade I, housing programs for informal settlers, expansion of the Iloilo fish port complex breakwater and the river port for roll on-roll off vessels and fast crafts.

The flagship administration project is the P11.2 billion Jalaur River Multi-purpose Project (JRMP) Phase II in Calinog, Iloilo that will provide sufficient irrigation water for Iloilo’s agricultural areas, additional potable water and power supplies particularly for Iloilo City before the end of 2016.

Iloilo City bids as one of New 7 Wonder Cities

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

ILOILO CITY, March 4 (PIA) – It's all systems go for the bid of Iloilo City to be one of the 7 New Wonder Cities of the world.

Toward this end, the city government has organized a promotion team for the campaign tasked to encourage residents here to vote for Iloilo City.

The promotion team is chaired by Mr. Joeboy Agriam, President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.-Iloilo Chapter, and co-chaired by the Benito Jimena, City Tourism Officer.

“We want everyone to be aware and get their votes,” Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said.

Mabilog said the launching was done March 4, during the flag ceremony at the city hall.

“The campaign will be brought to internet stations, schools, print and broadcast media, and in the realm of the social media,” Mabilog said.

“We will set up computers at the lobby of the city hall so employees can log on to the internet immediately after the launching,” Mabilog said.

One has to log on to http:www.new7wonders.com/cities and select Iloilo and six other urban centers, enter the characters shown in the image, email address, agree to the terms and conditions and click submit to confirm the vote.

The City Information Office said Iloilo City is among the seven Philippine urban centers included in the Southeast Asia and Oceania group of cities qualified for the voting until September 7.

The shortlist of the 28 official finalists will be known from Sept. 7-21, while the phases for finalists for Top 21, Top 14, and Top 7 will be for the period from Sept. 21, 2013 to July 7, 2014.

The official New7Wonders Cities all over the world will be announced on July 7, 2014.

This is the third New7Wonders/Cities campaign organized by the N7W, after the man-made wonders of the world and the new wonders of nature which included the Puerto Princesa Underground River.

“This is an ambitious bid but we know that our city has what it takes to be included in the prestigious list, with the wonderful urban transformation and development happening in our city through the years,” Mayor Mabilog said.

MGB invites private firms to assist in geohazard mapping

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

ILOILO CITY, Mar 3 (PNA) – Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) director Leo Van Juguan is inviting private companies to assist in the completion of the geohazard mapping.

Juguan said that they are now in the process of coming up with a 1:10,000 geohazard map but because of the lack of geologist, with only two now assigned with MGB Western Visayas, they would need private exploration and mining companies through their corporate social responsibility to assist them.

He said that the 1:10,000 map is considered as more detailed than their currently used 1:50,000 geohazard map of the 133 cities and municipalities in the region.

“The 1:10,000 is more detailed and with high classification that it could be very useful in providing information on disaster risk reduction and management,” Juguan said.

He said that they started undertaking the 1:10,000 geohazard map project in 2011 with the intention to have it finished before President Benigno Aquino’s term ends, but because of the lack of geologists they are working very slow, thus, they are asking assistance from the private companies.

Iloilo City to install quick response codes in heritage sites, tourist destinations

(PNA), JBP/PGL/VLO

ILOILO CITY, March 2 (PNA) -- Quick response codes (QRC) will soon be installed in various heritage sites and destinations in the city to make information readily available and accessible through cellular phones.

The QRC is similar to bar codes used in malls and commercial establishments in scanning prices of items. However, this time it will be installed in all heritage buildings and tourist attractions in the city starting from Plaza Libertad to the central business district (CBD).

City Tourism and Development Office (CTDO) head Benito Jimena said the QRC looks like a maze with three squares in three corners.

Anyone who wishes to get information must have a cellular phone with a NeoReader or Android program. To get the desired data they just have to put the screen of their cellular phone closer to the QRC and immediately the information about the particular site will appear in the screen.

A group has been taking care of providing the description for sites and destinations in coordination with the Center for West Visayan Studies at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UPV).

Jimena said that the QRC is very helpful to tour guides and visitors alike. Tourist guides with the use of cellular phones can get information right at the site that they can use for their spiel.

On the other hand, visitors even without guides could familiarize themselves of the significance of the old structures and destinations in the city.

The installation will be done March 20 with Mon Isberto, Smart Telecommunications executive as guest.

Iloilo City is second to Cebu City that will embrace such initiative. However, Smart is very enthusiastic about the city because the sites are closer and well-documented, Jimena said.

DPWH launches multi-million road widening and improvement project

By Leonard T. Pineda I (JCM/LTP-PIA 6, Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, March 1 (PIA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways in Region 6 (DPWH-6) launched today the multi-million project that will pave way for the improvement and widening of the Benigno S. Aquino Avenue, the busiest road in Iloilo City.

Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon , who led the ground-breaking ceremony, said that the start of the project is also the launch of a movement that will boost Iloilo’s bid to host the ministerial conferences of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference in 2015.

“It is our dream to make Iloilo a world class city so we are critical of being able to finish this project in time, including the Iloilo Convention Center in 2014,” said Drilon.

According to DPWH-6 Regional Director Edilberto Tayao, this multi-million road widening and improvement project is the very first of its kind in the country.

Tayao said that the widening/improvement of the Benigno S. Aquino Avenue will optimize its potential as the new growth corridor in Iloilo City leading to the Metro Iloilo area.

The project involves the widening of the 6.79 kilometers (km) road from Iloilo Bridge to Iloilo City-Pavia boundary. It includes the construction of additional one lane on both directions to attain an eight-lane road and provision of bicycle lane and walk lane.

Tayao also said that a two-lane service road including sidewalks and complete drainage system will be constructed. Planting strips will also be provided.

The project is implemented in two phases. Phase 1 is from Iloilo Bridge to El 98 Street in Jaro with the length of 1.9 km, while Phase 2 will start from El 98 in Jaro District to Iloilo City-Pavia boundary with the length of 3.8 km.

Tayao said that Phase 1 is already funded in the amount of P300 million.

He also assured the Iloilo city administration and the residents that the project will be completed utilizing the right cost and the right quality.

For his part, Iloilo City Representative Jerry Treñas said that this road widening/improvement project is necessary for the traffic congestion along the area needs to be reduced.

“The Benigno Aquino Avenue area is the new face of Iloilo City where new infrastructures, industry hubs and business establishments are situated. This road improvement project will complement the rapid development in the city,” said Treñas.

This was echoed by Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog saying that road and transport projects are also given priority to ensure economic growth and prominence for the Ilonggos.