Iloilo City News March 2015

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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


Iloilo province holds 1st sports summit


ILOILO CITY, March 31 (PNA) –- The Iloilo provincial government spearheaded the holding of the 1st sports summit Tuesday with the hope of winning more gold medals in both local and national sports competitions and even in the Olympics.

Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr., in his message at the sports summit held at the Sarabia Manor Hotel here, said that he finds it strange for a first class province not to have ever hold a sports summit except only today in order to come out with a sports development program.

He said that despite of having no sports development program, the province has also been known before on sports because of the athletes accomplishments. However, with the sports summit attended by the different mayors, school administrators and other sports enthusiasts, the provincial government was optimistic that it could produce more athletes who would excel and win gold medals in various competitions.

”The Philippines has still to win one gold medal in the Olympics,” Defensor said. He hopes that from among the Iloilo athletes the much coveted gold medal could be achieved.

Meanwhile, Iloilo Vice Gov. Raul C. Tupas said that through this sports summit, a roadmap was charted for the next three years in honing good athletes. “This will give hope to athletes,” the vice governor said.

He said that sports also built character, united communities and forged lifelong friendships among athletes.

The summit was attended by Commissioner Matthew P. Gaston, who talked on the Role of Games and Amusement Board in Development of Sports; Chairman Ricardo R. Garcia of the Philippine Sports Commission who also discussed the Role of PSC; and Assistant Sec. Tonisito MC Umali on the Role of the Department of Education.

A ceremonial signing of Sports Covenant was also done by the attendees to the summit.

NFA completes delivery of rice in two tranches for supplemental feeding


ILOILO CITY, March 30 (PNA) -– The National Food Authority (NFA) has completed the delivery of 18,000 bags of rice meant for supplemental feeding of day care children in Iloilo city and province before the school year 2014-2015 ends.

Lino Lamojer of the National Food Authority Iloilo, in an interview Monday, said that they started the delivery of rice for the Day Care centers in the province of Iloilo in July up to September last year with 9,000 bags and then for the second tranche starting December to only recently with another 9,000 bags.

The bags of rice delivered are the orders of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for its supplemental feeding program intended to mitigate hunger among the enrolled children.

Lamojer said that for the next school year they are still waiting for the DSWD to place its order so that rice delivery could be done earlier.

The supplemental feeding program has benefited in Iloilo province day care children 51,781 while in Iloilo City, 10,804 children. Each child was given a budget of P10.00 for viand and P3.00 for rice for 120 days.

11 capitol scholars get top honors

(ECGarcia, Capitol News/PN)

ILOILO – Eighteen provincial government scholars under the “Iskolar sang Iloilo” program are graduating this year with 11 of them getting the top honors.

Seven graduates will receive cum laude honors while four graduates will receive magna cum laude honors.

The Iloilo provincial government will give cash incentives to 18 “Iskolar sang Iloilo” graduates in appreciation of their achievements.

Magna cum laude graduates will be given P5,000 each while cum laude graduates will receive P3,000 each.

Graduates without honors, on the other hand, will receive P1,000 each.

The magna cum laude graduates are: John Frederick C. Bugayong (West Visayas State University or WVSU), Jelyn L. Clar (WVSU-Calinog), Jonathan S. Peñol (WVSU), and Lea Joy S. Sicabalo (WVSU).

Graduates with cum laude honors are: Arlene B. Ciudad (WVSU), Reeann B. Dailo (WVSU), Mary Ann E. Elamparo (WVSU), Jose Fretz H. Morillo (WVSU-Janiuay), Angelie Christine A. Pomado (WVSU-Janiuay), Frea Lyn D. Soberano (Western Visayas College of Science and Technology or WVCST), and Deverly T. Torremoro (WVSU).

The other “Iskolar sang Iloilo” graduates are: Julie Ann M. Aceña (WVSU), Emie Joy A. Balayo (WVSU), Charlie G. Capili (WVSU), Charlene Mae V. Centeno (WVSU), Lorly J. Conejo (Iloilo State College of Fisheries – Barotac Nuevo), Bryan O. Molina (Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College – Estancia) and Danrey P. Pagaypay (WVCST).

“Iskolar sang Iloilo” was established by Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. in 1996 to assist poor but deserving students in the province by providing them the opportunity to pursue college education.

It is open to all incoming college students who are bona fide residents of Iloilo province, belong to families with annual gross income of not more than P120,000 per annum, and belong to the upper 10 percent of the graduating class.

Seven scholars from each of the five congressional districts are chosen every school year.

The qualified scholars will have the opportunity to enroll in a four-year baccalaureate degree in any state university or college in the city or province of Iloilo.

Aside from free tuition, the scholar is also entitled to P2,000 monthly allowance, P1,000 book allowance per semester, and P1,000 clothing allowance.

Bikers to “light up” Iloilo city during Earth Hour

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

ILOILO CITY, March 28(PIA)—The Iloilo Folding Bike Riders (I-Fold) and Fit Stop will light up the City of Iloilo for the duration of the Earth Hour, March 28, from 8:30 to 9:30 in the evening.

In a media advisory by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources -6, these bike enthusiasts will be joined by environmentalists around the city thoroughfares, passing the plazas of Jaro, Mandurriao and Molo districts. Dubbed as “Earth Hour Ride,” the event seeks to make the public aware of the impacts of climate change and the importance of a green lifestyle, according to the DENR.

DENR Regional Director Jim Sampulna said the Earth Hour ride will not only create awareness but will also encourage the citizens to practice measures that will create significant impact on energy conservation, healthy lifestyle, clean environment and promote the city’s tourist attractions at night.

“We are experiencing climate change now so we need to adopt measures on how to mitigate its adverse impacts, on us and our environment,” Sampulna said.

He added that it is important to constantly remind the people of their roles and responsibilities in promoting activities to safeguard the environment.

The ride will kick off from SM City, after the walkathon representatives from national government agencies and other sectors, and the program ushering in the Earth Hour at the SM City Iloilo.

Earth Hour Ride is a joint event with the SM-City Iloilo and the Iloilo City government.

Iloilo now a Local Learning Hub for Gender and Development Mainstreaming


ILOILO CITY, March 27 (PNA) –- The province of Iloilo is now a Local Learning Hub for Gender and Development Mainstreaming after it has been recognized by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW).

Commissioner Ma. Paloma B. Papa of the PCW said that they gave the recognition to the province of Iloilo because of its Gender and Development (GAD) program that is now institutionalized and empowering women through skills development and education.

”We foresee it (Iloilo province) to be role model to other Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Philippines,” Papa said. The commissioner said that in fact, Iloilo province is just one of the five LGUs now given such a recognition after their assessment and evaluation.

Papa also said that the ongoing gender sensitivity program in the province is successful because of the provincial government using its resources to see women change as well as its collaboration with other groups such as the Junior Chamber International Iloilo Ilang-ilang that was launched also Friday during the Women Leadership forum the Search for 10 Outstanding Community Women Leaders in Iloilo.

The recognition of Iloilo as a Local Learning Hub for Gender and Development Mainstreaming was held during the forum which is one of the activities lined up for the National Women’s Month celebration in the province.

Iloilo City joins Earth Hour


ILOILO CITY, March 26 (PNA) -- Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog is enjoining all city residents to celebrate Earth Hour 2015 with people around the world switching off their lights on March 28 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

“We are taking part in this global campaign to send a strong message for everyone to take action on global warming,” Mabilog said.

In support of the movement, the City Government is encouraging the public to switch off or dim non-essential lights in their homes, including streetlights, signages and key monuments for one hour on Saturday.

Main venue for the Philippine switch off is at the Quezon Memorial Circle grounds in Quezon City.

Mabilog said even beyond Earth Hour, the city is already practicing energy conservation efforts like the use of solar-powered streetlights, LED-lights instead of high powered sodium street lamps, switching off of lights during lunch break and use of solar-powered air conditioning units at the City Hall, among others.

The Earth Hour campaign is spearheaded by the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature Philippines, the world’s largest and most experienced conservation organization, operating in over 100 countries through the support of over five million people worldwide.

WWF started Earth Hour to engage a mass audience behind the issues facing the planet.

The organization also helps communities adapt to climate change, switch to clean sources of renewable energy and instill sustainability into the lives and businesses of Filipinos.

Atty. Angela Consuelo Ibay, Earth Hour Pilipinas national director, said a record of 7,000 cities and municipalities from 150 countries observed the 60-minute lights-out for the environment last year.

“Since 2008, the Philippines has been hailed as Earth Hour Hero country for having the most number of towns and cities participating,” she said.

City sees stronger tourism this year

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

ILOILO City – The city government expressed optimism that the tourism industry here will be more formidable this year following the increase in tourist arrivals in 2014.

“We are committed to be a premier destination in the country with culture, heritage and the warmth of Ilonggos as part of our main attractions,” said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

“This year is an exciting one for us as Iloilo City plays host to the Urban Environmental Accord conference and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in September and October. Prior to these, a bike festival and international dragon boat race will spice up the tourism arrivals in April and May,” he said.

The local chief executive was pleased with the report of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Western Visayas, noting the increase in tourist arrivals for 2014.

Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the city registered 676,287 visitor arrivals for 2014, with same day visitors or excursionists totaling 156,985.

This registered a growth rate of almost eight percent compared to 2013 and has earned more than P12 billion tourist receipts, she said.

“This clearly shows our painstaking efforts towards effective tourism promotions are paying off,” Mabilog said.

The city has produced brochures and posters, set up a tourism information desk, arranged for city tours, partnered with the private sector for better tourism promotions, among others.

The mayor said Iloilo City is now a preferred convention destination and a benchmark city for all other local government units to learn about best practices in governance.

“With all the awards and recognitions and the many improvements in infrastructure, Iloilo City has become a by-word not only locally but internationally, thus encouraging more visitors to come here,” he stated.

DENR urges new ways to grow bamboos

By Lilibeth A. French (JCM/LAF/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, March 24 (PIA6) - - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) advised farmers to practice cultural management for optimum growth and to be able to produce quality bamboos.

Dr. Alice Lustica, Head of the Ecosystem Research and Development Service (ERDS) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that “we thought growing bamboos is easy but there are steps that must be followed for its growth and health unlike our practice here where we just plant but we do not apply cultural management practices”.

She said among the first interventions that they have introduced to farmer beneficiaries of the science and technology community-based farm approach projects that they are currently implementing in the five barangays of Maasin, Iloilo is the rehabilitation of their existing bamboo clumps.

“We taught them how to manage their bamboo clumps by cutting their old poles or culms that will allow new shoots to grow,” said Lustica.

She said project beneficiaries were also taught the importance of fertilization in growing healthy bamboos either using complete or organic fertilizers.

Harvesting bamboos at the right age is also an important factor of bamboo plantation management and if it is going to be used for construction, according to Lustica. She said bamboos are good for construction when they are four to six years.

Other interventions that were provided to project beneficiaries under the two projects funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development are nursery establishment and bamboo potted propagules production and technologies on post harvest/treatment, bamboo weaving, and bamboo lamination and production.

The fifty farmer beneficiaries from Barangays Abay, Bolo, Daja, Dagami and Buntalan, all members of the Katilingban sang Pumuluyo sa Watershed sang Maasin (KAPAWA) have the opportunity to showcase some of the S&T interventions that they have learned from the projects through a recent Technology Field Day held at the Common Service Facilities in Brgy. Daja.

Lustica said the Technology Field Day is a requirement of the PCAARRD as the two projects which started in April 2013 are set to end this year.

The two projects are entitled “Enhancing Bamboo Production in Maasin, Iloilo: An S&T Community-Based Farm (STCBF) Approach” and “Production and Marketing of Bamboo Woven Products: Enhancing on Business Enterprise Through TECHNO Mart in Maasin, Iloilo”.

Bamboo which is abundant in Maasin is considered as one of the important components of the town’s agricultural economy. Maasin is known as the ‘bamboo capital of Iloilo’.

PHL to launch micro-satellite in 2016

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

ILOILO CITY, March 23 (PIA) --- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is planning to launch the country’s very own micro-satellite next year as part of the government’s disaster risk management program.

This is under the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Micro-Satellite (Phl-Microsat) program which aims to hasten the creation of the Philippine Space Agency to help sustain and enhance efforts in research and development in this area.

Rowena Cristina Guevara, executive director of DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), said the country needs a space agency and space policy to compete regionally and globally.

“The importance of satellite communication was underlined during the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda when most forms of communications were knocked off,” she said.

The Phl-Microsat is being led by PCIEERD, involving the University of the Philippines, Hokkaido University and Tohoku University in Japan, with the backing of the Japanese government.

The three year (2015-2017) budget for the program has been pegged at P840-million, with the Philippines chipping in P324-million while Japan is taking care of P515.92-million.

The micro-satellites are slated to be launched with the help of the Japan Space Exploration Agency with a data receiving station to be put up in Subic at a former communications facility used by the United States.

The data station is codenamed the Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation or “PEDRO”.

Meanwhile, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said the government-owned microsatellite can be used to improve weather detection and forecasts, agricultural growth patterns, and monitor forest cover and the country’s territorial borders.

“We can develop a lot more uses for the microsatellite if we keep on improving its capability to expand its applications,” he said.

He said that DOST is launching not just one, but two-micro-satellites as the country’s ambitious plan of sending its own satellites into space formally rolls out.

Iloilo City rides wave of new app

(RP Sombero, Iloilo City PIO)

ILOILO City – The city government and Tidal Solutions have collaborated to develop a free mobile application software (app), “I am Iloilo”, for android phones and tablets.

“We are pleased that a private firm has decided to put up this app that could help in the promotion of tourism as well as to provide information on the latest happenings in the city,” said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

At no cost to the city government, the free app includes latest news, attractions, vacations spots, where to dine in Iloilo City, emergency response, and many other features soon.

Android phone and tablet users have to access Google Play Store to download the app.

No less than Tidal Solutions president Harold Martinez visited City Hall on March 19, for the ceremonial signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the local chief executive.

“This is the first android app for a local government and city outside of Metro Manila, for we have seen the vast potential of Iloilo as a market for business and tourism,” he said.

Tidal Solutions is a company that provides key solutions and services on technologies and applications, offering services on sales and distribution, marketing applications, and software and app development.

Iloilo to host vin d’honneur


ILOILO City – President Benigno Aquino III agreed to hold the Independence Day vin d’honneur here, Senate President Franklin Drilon said.

“I discussed it with the President yesterday,” Drilon said. “He has given the go-signal to, for the first time in his administration, hold vin d’honneur outside Malacañang.”

The controversial Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) might also be set for a soft opening that day.

“It is a target [date] because the President will be here on June 12,” said Drilon.

President Aquino will raise the Philippine flag during the Independence Day celebration in Santa Barbara, Iloilo.

The old Iloilo provincial capitol, or Casa Real, is being eyed as venue of the cocktail.

“We are [yet to decide]. It could be the renovated provincial capitol,” said Drilon. “[The ICC] cannot be ready [for vin d’honneur] yet.”

The Ilonggo senator assured, however, that the convention center will certainly be ready for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit ministerial meetings here in September and October.

Drilon said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and the architects assured him that the structure will be completed in time for the international event.

“I had a conference today with DPWH and TIEZA assistant chief of operations for infrastructure Atty. Guiller Asido, and we are certain to finish the convention center by the time the APEC [Summit] is here,” he said.

If the ICC “can have a decent, substantial completion,” the President will lead its soft opening, the senator said.

“We will target — and underscore target — a soft opening by June 12,” said Drilon. “I would highlight and emphasize this is a target date.”

Ambassadors and all Cabinet members and high-ranking government officials are expected to attend vin d’honneur.

Vin d’honneur (French for “wine of honor”) is a traditional wine-toasting event.

It is traditionally hosted by the President on Independence Day and New Year’s Eve in Malacañang.

Ilonggo WW II vets recognized

By Lilibeth A. French (JSC/LAF-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, March 20 (PIA6) - - The provincial government of Iloilo on Wednesday recognized 150 living veterans for their selfless service and honorable performance during World War II.

Governor Arthur Defensor personally handed the certificates of recognition to veteran honorees in attendance or their representatives during the commemorative ceremonies for the 70th anniversary of the Victor Day in Panay, Romblon, and Guimaras held at the Balantang Memorial Cemetery National Shrine (BMCNS) in Brgy. Quintin Salas, Jaro district here.

The event was also witnessed by Lt. Gen. Ernesto Carolina, Administrator, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office; Congresswoman “Bethe” DL Santos, National President of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines Sons and Daughter’s Association, Inc.; Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa; Col. Raymundo Banares, Chief GSMO of the Philippine Army 3ID; and other VFP officials.

It was learned that 57 or one-third of the 150 surviving WW II heroes in the province are now in their nineties. The oldest is PFC Ariston Castrancio of Brgy. Guadalupe, Janiuay who turned 99 years old last February 16.

One of the recipients of the certificates of recognition is 93-years old Jose Margate of BLISS, Calinog. Margate was very happy and honored with the commendation as he considered his position at that time at the lowest level. He was a Supply Officer of the 6th Military District and his assignment includes supplying food to the fighting unit.

Chuckling, he recalled his unforgettable experience during WWII when they swam in the muddy creek somewhere in Brgy. Alibunan, Lambunao and hid in the water lilies with no food for one week because the Japanese soldiers are at the bank watching. They were only able to eat rice when the Japanese left.

Now, Margate wanted his ‘apos’ to remember the sacrifices that the veterans of war made for the love of country.

The award may have been long overdue, according to 87-year old veteran Gaudioso Defensor, Jr. of Brgy. Trapeche, Oton but this will serve as a memento for his sacrifices during the 1945 war. He was then the radio operator of the 97th Infantry Division.

Carolina, in his message, acknowledged the efforts and support of the Iloilo provincial government particularly of Governor Defensor for the successful commemoration of Victory Day for the last several years at the BMCNS as a way of increasing people’s historical awareness.

“By knowing our glorious history, especially the many victories and successful feats our veterans had in their campaign for liberation, we effectively instill a sense of national pride among our citizens, and inspire a sense of gratitude and appreciation for our heroes,” said Carolina.

He further said that the programs address the need to prepare today’s youth to become the future veterans – veterans who would become defenders and leaders of the country.

SP enacts ordinance to enhance mobility of PWDs, elderly, pregnant women in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, March 19 (PNA) -- The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) here has passed an ordinance that penalizes individuals, organizations, head of agencies and other concerned sectors for failure to provide access to persons with disabilities (PWDs), elderly and pregnant women in Iloilo City.

Authored by councilor Lady Julie Grace Baronda, the ordinance seeks to enhance their mobility by “requiring certain buildings, institutions, establishments and public utilities to install facilities and other devices.”

The ordinance, which is in consonance with the National Building Code (NBC), provides that five years from the passage of the ordinance buildings, institutions, establishments and public utilities should already make sure that necessary facilities are provided.

The penalty ranges from Php 3,500 to cancellation or revocation of permits for failure to comply.

“If corporation, organization or similar entity the officials directly involved shall be liable without prejudice to the penalties imposed under Magna Carta for Disabled Persons,” the ordinance further stated.

Women migration issues up in forum


ISSUES addressing gender, sexuality, reproductive health, human rights, HIV/Aids in the Philippines will be taken up at a forum on Women Migrants on March 25 at the Neda-RDC Hall in Iloilo City.

The forum is organized by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in Western Visayas and is part of the the observance of “Women’s Role in History Month.”

The Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC) of the Regional Development Council, in coordination with the Migration Development Initiative–Western Visayas (MDI-WV) Project, will conduct the forum to be attended by some 60 participants representing provinces and highly urbanized cities, regional line agencies, private sector organizations, academe, and the media.

The forum will have as resource persons actress singer Monique Wilson, Director of International Affairs for Gabriela Women’s Party and Sabine Claudio, Executive Director of Chameleon Association Incorporated.

Other speakers will be from the Philippine Council on Women and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

RDC-VI to tackle regional concerns in Q1 meeting , March 20


ILOILO CITY, March 17 (PIA6) -- The Regional Development Council (RDC) - Region VI is scheduled to convene for its 1st Quarter Regular Meeting on March 20 to discuss a number of concerns forwarded by its regular sector committees and special committees. Resource persons have, likewise, been invited to update the Council officers and members on specific topics of interest to them.

Regional Director Paul D. Ledesma of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will brief the provincial governors, mayors of highly-urbanized cities, mayors of components cities, mayors of capital towns, presidents of League of Municipalities, RDC-VI member heads of regional line agencies and private sector representatives on the Anti-Dangerous Drugs Enforcement Activities/Operations in Western Visayas during the meeting.

The RDC-VI requested for Director Ledesma to report on the anti-drugs operations given the recent occurrence of drug-related crimes in the region. The briefing is expected to solicit support and commitment from the local chief executives, heads of other national government agencies and the private sector leaders towards the eradication of the drug problem in the Western Visayas region.

The 1st Country Report on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) will also be presented by Mr. Renato Bañas, Chairperson of the Negros Organic Agricultural Movement, Inc., along with other major agenda, including : the forthcoming meeting of the RDC-VI Executive Committee to review the budget proposals for FY 2016 of 22 national government agencies and 11 state universities and colleges slated on March 26-27 at NEDA VI and; the RDC-VI Work Programming and Agenda Setting Workshop for 2015 to June 2016 which is scheduled in Bacolod City on April 15-16, 2015.

The Council is also set to confer and award its members, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick A. Mabilog and Economic Development Committee Chairperson, DOST-VI Regional Director Rowen R. Gelonga, the Plaque of Commendation as one of the Top 5 World Mayors for 2014 and the Gawad Career Executive Service Awardee for 2013, respectively.

Hotels, restaurants urged to upgrade services for Apec meetings


ILOILO City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is calling on hotels and restaurants to upgrade their services in preparation for the two ministerial meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) the city will host this year.

Mabilog said chefs, food servers and hotel staff need to be trained for the two events.

The Apec meetings will be on September 21-26, 2015 and September 28 to October 6.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is preparing seminars and training sessions for hotel and restaurant staff.

It will hold a seminar on halal food since most of the close to 2,000 delegates will come from Muslim countries in Asia.

Iloilo City has more than 2,000 hotel rooms and more than 200 regular and specialty restaurants to cater to the delegates.

The main venue of the meetings is the newly built Iloilo Convention Center in Mandurriao district.

Two five-star hotels have been built primarily for the Apec delegates.

Iloilo City tourist arrivals up 7.2%


ILOILO City – Tourist arrivals here reached 676,287 last year or a 7.15 percent increase from the 2013 figures, data from the City Tourism Office showed.

In 2013, 627,870 tourists visited the city.

Data also showed that 660,445 of the visitors were local travelers while 15,842 were foreigners.

City Tourism Officer Benito Jimena said tourism boosts the city’s economy. Tourism receipts from local and foreign tourists reached P12,264,414,098 last year.

However, the figures were lower by 0.16 percent compared to the total tourism receipts in 2013 which reached P12,284,414,958.

The City Tourism Office expects more tourists to visit Iloilo this 2015.

It will launch more programs to further boost tourism such as the “Arte sa Kalye” that will promote arts on the streets using roads and jeepneys.

Student achiever takes on Google challenge


IT felt like destiny was at play when 20-year-old Rommel Terante hurdled the challenge to become affiliated with the multinational corporation Google.

His name was nowhere in the list of 140 Filipino Google Student Ambassadors (GSAs). But when he knew that he was one of the nine more ambassadors that the company was taking in, he shed tears.

Now the University of Iloilo-Phinma senior student is proud to have become one of the first Ilonggo GSAs, along with three others from the University of the Philippines Visayas and John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University. They were among the 134 GSAs in Southeast Asia.

Rommel says the ambassadorship was part of Google’s promotion of community service through eligible college students all over the world.

“I am used to joining volunteer work. But this is what I love most because it is in line with my course,” Rommel says, marveling on how overwhelmingly exciting the tasks are. Google takes in “mostly those [who have information technology-related] courses,” he says.

Google is continuously taking in GSAs, he says, encouraging other young Ilonggos to grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“We are not receiving any payment for this title,” says Rommel, son of Mary Joann and Romeo Terante. “This prestigious title is not yet publicized, especially here in Iloilo, because it is still in the process of development, but I encourage students to apply because the application is open.”

Applicants are made to submit an application letter, a video clip about one’s self and a comprehensive essay. It is necessary, he says, that the applicants put in the essay their achievements in school and the fields where they excel.

After being named a GSA, Rommel went through trainings and travels all financed by Google. His title brought the Barangay Infante, Molo, Iloilo City resident to Cebu City, Bacolod City and Baguio City.

This year’s GSA Summit is in the Philippines, while the next one will be in Thailand.

However, “being a GSA is not easy,” Rommel warns. “You need to hold monthly events, like Google trainings, in different schools and universities.”

That he had to juggle being a GSA and being the president of their student council made the past year tough for Rommel.

There was too much pressure, all right, but giving up any of these responsibilities never crossed Rommel’s mind. Caving in won’t solve anything, he thought.

“School was demanding. There were many (student) council duties, and then the GSA events. I just took breaks,” he says. Time management and striking the balance is the key, and being busy is no excuse to make one’s social life suffer, he adds.

“Being a GSA has more advantages than disadvantages,” he says. It is an “opportunity to become part of something big, meet more knowledgeable people, and (look for) future employment.”

Rommel Terate held the ambassadorship only until May. Another set of GSAs will be selected.

His being an achiever did not stop there. Just this Feb. 21, he was named one of the recipients of The Outstanding Students of Iloilo Award, or TOSIA.

“Keep dreaming and serving your community,” he advises young Ilonggo students who want to achieve more at a young age. “Even if I am no longer an official GSA, I am still part of Google, and my commitment remains.”

NAPC allots Php1.5-M for livelihood projects in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, March 13 (PNA) --The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) has allotted some Php1.5 million for various livelihood projects to be implemented in this city.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is set to sign an agreement with the government agency following the authority given to him by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP)for the project implementation.

The project under NAPC’s Integrated Community Food Production program will be implemented through the City Social Welfare Office.

The project will specifically benefit the women sector, the mayor added.

Other parameters of the projects will be defined in the agreement that will soon be signed by the city government and NAPC.

USAID, Synergeia to make learning more fun in Iloilo

By Jezza A. Nepomoceno (Capitol News/PN)

ILOILO – Thousands of pupils in Grades 1 and 2 in all public schools in typhoon-ravaged towns here will find learning fun again with the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Synergeia Foundation.

This is expected after USAID Mission Director for Philippines Gloria Steele and Synergeia Foundation president and chief executive officer Dr. Milwida Guevara launched the Hugpong sa Pagbangon (Rising Up Together) in a ceremony held in Iloilo City on Monday.

Hugpong sa Pagbangon is a project under the Education Governance Effectiveness (EdGE) of USAID that aims to improve, among others, the basic education and literacy of pupils in areas devastated by super typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013.

According to Program Manager Rafael Coscolluela, the project will be implemented in 19 local government units (LGUs) in the Visayas wherein 13 are in the Province of Iloilo.

These are Ajuy, Alimodian, Batad, Balasan, Barotac Viejo, Cabatuan, Carles, Estancia, Concepcion, Dumangas, Lemery, San Enrique and Mina. The six others will be in Capiz (four towns) and Bohol (two towns).

“This project will make a ray of sunshine for the pupils and teachers in schools affected by the super typhoon and we hope that this can help learning more fun for them,” said the former governor of Negros Occidental and a trustee of Synergeia Foundation.Under this project, all the public elementary schools in 19 LGUs will be provided with P70,000 grant each which they can use to purchase teaching equipment, books, computers, wifi access and reproduction of learning materials (e.g. photocopying machines).

On top of the grant, each pupil in Grades 1 and 2 will be provided with school supplies worth P475, while their teachers will have P1,475 each for the improvement of their teaching aids.

“We choose to implement it in Grades 1 and 2 because these are the crucial years in child development. This is actually the stage where they learn how to read and write,” Steele explained.

Steele added that the project will last for one year or until the end of the next school year but the EdGE will be until 2018.

EdGE, which started in 2013, seeks to improve education governance through decentralization, with the end goal of improving learning outcomes, particularly early grade reading for at least one million children in 50 LGUs in the Philippines.

Aside from this, Steele said that USAID is also helping the government rebuild schools, clinics and variety stores in Visayas, particularly in Leyte and Samar.

USAID is also providing micro finance to the survivors to help them get back on their feet.

Outstanding Ilonggo students get awards

By Lilibeth A. French (JCM/LAF/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, March 11 (PIA6) - - Ten students from the public schools and ten from private schools comprised the twenty outstanding students of Iloilo in the elementary and secondary levels for academic year 2014-2015.

The twenty pupils and students will join the ranks of 180 outstanding students who have been recognized by the Outstanding Student Circle of Iloilo and the Department of Education-Iloilo since 2006.

They will receive their medals during the awarding ceremony on Friday, March 13 at Hua Siong College of Iloilo, Inc., Gymnasium in Ledesco Village, La Paz.

Pupils who successfully hurdled the Search for the Ten Outstanding Elementary School Pupils of Iloilo for AY 2014 – 2015 are: Braña, Arabella Shayne of Children's Integrated School of Alta Tierra, Inc.; Insigne, Ewemiz of SPED - Integrated School for Exceptional Children; Dequilla, Raphael Francis of St. Joseph School (Iloilo), Inc.; Peñaflorida, Ma. Abby Genevie of Ateneo De Iloilo; Engallado, Frelean Faith of Solomon Integrated School de Iloilo; Tabares, Shannalie of Cabatuan Central Elementary School; Dolendo, Joelian Marie of Iloilo Scholastic Academy; Andresio, John Mark of Sta. Barbara Central Elementary School; Valderrama, Matthew of PAREF Westbridge School, Inc.; and Aguila, Raniella Louise of Cabatuan Parochial School.

The Ten Outstanding Secondary School Students of Iloilo are: Galvan, Ramon III of Hua Siong College of Iloilo; Sibug, Antonio of Iloilo City National High School; Recabar, James Matthew of St. Joseph School (Iloilo), Inc; Castañeda, Ramon David of SPED - Integrated School for Exceptional Children; Silvederio, Julienne Marie of Oton National High School; Biso, Cedric Fritz of Central Philippine University; Lao, Nicole Casey of Iloilo Scholastic Academy; Gallaza, Andrea Louise of University of the Philippines High School in Iloilo; Labasan, Cherry Lane of Leonora S. Salapantan National High School, San Miguel, Iloilo; and Ruel, Philipp Centenni of Cabatuan National Comprehensive High School.

Brana and Galvan who topped their categories and named as Most Outstanding Pupil and Student respectively were tasked to deliver messages during the awarding ceremony.

A total of 56 students, 28 from each category qualified for the written examination and later trimmed down to 15 from each category for the panel interview which was held on February 11, 2015.

Iloilo City brings arts via streets and jeepneys

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

ILOILO CITY, March 10 (PIA) --- The City Tourism Office here is set to launch the project dubbed “Arte sa Kalye” this year to showcase art via streets and jeepneys.

City Tourism Officer Benito Jimena said that this project is an attempt to bring art to the streets, to make a scene, and to create fanfare on the road.

“The project aims to make the street scenes of Iloilo reflect the local way of life and promote tourism through the arts,” he said.

He said this is a collaboration of the various sectors in preparation for the influx of visitors for the upcoming hosting of big and significant events in the city.

“With the relentless development of the metropolis, this drive will complement the vitality of the place and strengthen our claim as center of culture, arts, and heritage,” he said.

The project will utilize two media – the jeepneys and the streets including other structural configurations.

For jeepneys, artworks will be painted on bodies of jeepneys which are the popular public transport in this southern city.

Meanwhile, three-dimensional designs will be put up on the streets, parks, and walls that will create illusionary images and draw interest of the public to artistic talents.

App for taxi debuts in Iloilo City


HAILING a taxi via a smartphone will be introduced in Iloilo City on Wednesday.

MyTaxi Philippines Inc. will launch the Grabtaxi application in cooperation with the city's cab operators.

The Grabtaxi app is already available in Metro Manila, Davao, and Cebu.

Abby Macabit, media relations assistant of Havas PR Agatep, said that with the system, a passenger can communicate directly with a cab driver and be informed of the fare based on the distance travelled.

Macabit said a memorandum of agreement will be signed by the taxi operators and Grabtaxi for the new service.

USAID Director in Iloilo for EdGE Project (Newsfeature)


ILOILO CITY, Mar.08 (PNA)– Gloria Steele, the mission director of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for Philippines and the Pacific Islands,, will arrive in Iloilo on Monday,March 9, for the launching of Hugpong sa Pagbangon (Rising Up Together).

Hugpong sa Pagbangon is a project undertaken by Synergeia Foundation under the Education Governance Effectiveness(EdGE)of USAID– a five-year project (2013-2018) that seeks to improve education governance through decentralization.

It will specifically provide post-disaster education recovery assistance to public elementary schools in 19 select local government units (LGUs) in the Visayas that were severely affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

Upon her arrival, Steele will join the ceremonial signing of memorandum of agreement between USAID, Synergeia, and the beneficiaries at 10:30 am in Smallville 21 Hotel. Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. Iloilo Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Myrna Castillo will also grace the ceremony.

Based on its plan, Hugpong sa Pagbangon will award a community incentive grant of P70,000 to any relevant projects developed by the school in partnership with their respective LGU.

These school projects, among others, must be geared towards the improvement of learning outcomes in public elementary schools. It can either be teaching equipment or books and other learning materials.

Each teacher in Grades 1 and 2 will also receive P1,475.00 which they can use to enhance their teaching aids, while the each pupil can have P475.00 to buy their school supplies and other needs.

To determine which is best, the Local Sangguniang Bayans (LSBs) will evaluate the proposals based on the intended results of the project, community participation and the value of resources that will be shared by the community.

The LSBs will also be responsible for the proper monitoring of the projects to ensure its proper implementation.

The school administration, on the other hand, will be accountable for proper project management and proper distribution of materials intended for teachers and pupils.

After the MOA signing, Steele will proceed to Monfort Civic and Cultural Center in Dumangas town for the ceremonial handover of community incentives grant to 31 public elementary schools of the town.

Among the items to be turned over include audio visual equipment for Dumangas Central Elementary School.

Iloilo joins March 8 nationwide street dance

By Lilibeth A. French (JCM/LAF/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, March 7 (PIA6) - - A nationwide simultaneous street dance will be held on Sunday, March 8 in celebration of the National Women’s Day and International Women’s Day.

In Iloilo, some 1,500 representatives of Ugsad Gender Resource Center 6 member institutions, schools, women organizations and local government units are expected to converge at Oton Amphitheater Green for the event which was organized by the Gender and Development Unit of the provincial government and the municipal government of Oton.

The event will start at 7 AM where participants will perform the official dance “Juana, Ikaw Na ang Manguna!” to be followed by a short program.

Mrs. Cosette Defensor, the First Lady of the province, will give a message and Sangguniang Bayan Member Chairperson Committee on Social Services Jafet Salinas was tasked to read the message of President Benigno Aquino III.

Mayor Vicente Flores, Jr. will also brief participants on their initiative dubbed “Magpakatotoo ka Juana, Wag Kang Maging Plastik!” in line with the implementation of their Municipal Ordinance No. 2014-257 on banning the use of plastic.

Other side events during the day are ‘Tiange ni Juana Sa Oton’, a showcase of products of the various women organizations in the province, and “We Bleed for Women”, a blood letting activity of the Philippine Red Cross and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Oton for child birth and other reproductive health complications.

The nationwide simultaneous street dance is one of the activities identified by the Philippine Commission on Women to celebrate achievement in empowering Juanas and encourage more Juanas to step up, participate and lead in different sectors.

Aside from Iloilo, it will also take place in Quezon City, Davao and Naga.

Boost for Iloilo River’s recreational fishermen


A TOTAL of 7,000 fish fingerlings were released into the Iloilo River on Friday to boost recreational fishing along the waterway.

The 5,000 tilapia and 2,000 milkfish bangus fingerlings were released from the Carpenter's Bridge in ceremonies headed by Senate President Franklin and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Mabilog said fishermen using fine mesh nets are prohibited from fishing downstream of Carpenter's Bridge to allow the fingerlings to mature and reproduce. Only the hook and line method used in recreational fishing is allowed.

Drilon also ordered the release of white ducks into the river to add beauty and enhance tourism.

Kayaking is being promoted, with a station for kayak boats put up at the ecopark in Barangay San Pedro in Molo district.

IT expert to train selected W. Visayas teachers on ‘cloud technology’


ILOILO CITY, March 5 (PNA) -- Selected teachers from Western Visayas will undergo training on Information Technology (IT) development advance course in preparation for ‘cloud technology.’

The training, specific on Information Storage and Management, will be offered in selected key cities in the country, including Bacolod and Iloilo and selected higher education institutions (HEIs) in Panay.

Joeven C. Tansi, deputy executive director of the Iloilo Federation for Information Technology (I-FIT), said that they were going to level up, thereby opening more IT opportunities aside from the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

An expert from India has been tapped to provide the needed training, Tansi said.

I-FIT has partnered with the EMC Academic Alliance, an international organization that develops talents for IT.

The ‘cloud technology’ is currently being used by Google in Microsoft applications and Drop box, among others, however, there are only a few experts in the world, he said.

“We want to be on that level,” he said.

Upon completion of the training, the teachers are expected to teach the program back in their respective institutions as an elective.

"We need more graduates so that they will be employed by the industry later on," he said.

“Students will be required to get certification program so that anywhere in the world they could be hired immediately,” he said.

The training in Bacolod City will be on March 27 to April 1 while it will be held at the Central Philippine University (CPU) here on April 20-24.

New teen center opened in Iloilo


ILOILO, March 4 (PNA) -– Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and Provincial Population Officer Ramon Yee led the blessing and inauguration of the 23rd school-based multi-purpose teen center in Alimodian town here on Tuesday.

Dubbed as “Rombuhan Sang Kasanag Teen Center”, the project in Alimodian National Comprehensive High School is part of the Adolescent Health and Youth Development Program spearheaded by the Provincial Population Office.

Using a Php300,000 budget, the teen center was built in a hope to prevent the incidence of teenage pregnancy and substance abuse among students and out-of-school youth in the town.

It would be manned by a guidance counselor and five peer helpers who were trained to provide individual and group counseling to any confused and troubled youth.

The center is also equipped with recreational materials like board games for the students to use during their recess or vacant period.

During an inspection, the governor promised to give more equipment and recreational materials to the centersuch as computer sets, television set, karaoke, chess board, scrabble, word factory, guitars and other musical instruments.

He would also fund the building of a comfort room/rest room next to the center.

“Forget gambling or trying any illegal drugs, make use of this teen center instead,” Defensor told the students.

He also hoped that the establishment of the teen centers province-wide would improve the quality of education in public schools.

“For us who are living in the countryside, education is the only thing that can help us escape poverty. So I urge you to study well and be a better person,” he said.

During the ceremony, the teen center was received by ANCHS Principal Ma. Phoebe Andiano and Alimodian Mayor Geefre A. Alonsabe.

4Ps community stores available soon in Iloilo City

By Perla G. Lena [(PNA), CTB/AJP/PGL/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, March 3 (PNA) -- Community stores that will be managed by the associations of Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries will soon rise in the six districts of the city here this year.

Alfredo Villanueva, head of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) in an information provided to the office of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, stated that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has allotted P750,000 for the acquisition of goods to be sold at the stores.

The city, as counterpart, will be the one to provide for the site where the community stores will be erected.

The provision of community stores is just one of the initiatives being cascaded by the DSWD to the local government unit where there are 4Ps beneficiaries.

The DSWD has also lined up skills training that will benefit 90 4Ps beneficiaries to include 25 each for the consumer electronic servicing and food and beverage servicing and 20 each for the preventive maintenance and engine tune up and commercial cooking.

Recipients of these skills training except for the preventive maintenance and engine tune up upon passing an assessment are entitled to a National Certificate Level II (NC II) from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

In 2014, some 1,325 4Ps beneficiaries have availed of training on Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) and 1,961 for various vocational and skills training.

As of last year, Iloilo City has a total of 13, 534 active 4Ps beneficiaries, according to the CSWDO.

‘Juana’ March-es on


ILOILO CITY, March 2 (PIA6) – The key roles and accomplishments of women in leadership, power and decision-making will be highlighted in this year’s National Women’s Month Celebration as a tribute to their efforts in leading and advancing women’s advocacies.

In its memorandum circular on the event, the Philippine Commission on Women said the goal is to influence and break the conservative mindset and belief that politics and leadership are not women’s world.

The organizers have chosen as theme for this year. “Juana, Desisyon Mo ay Mahalaga sa Kinabukasan ng Bawat Isa”.

The nationwide celebration will also be a perfect time, PCW said, to drum up the call for “Juanas” to run for public office since the last quarter of 2015 is the period for filing of candidacy for the 2016 election.

They also have lined up a series of activities to promote public awareness in the observance of the event involving all government agencies. The agencies as well as local government units and Philippine embassies and consulates are also encouraged to display the 2015 NWMC official streamer.

Spearheaded by PCW, the celebration is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 224, 227 and Republic Act No. 6469, declaring the first week of March as Women’s Week, March 8 as National Women’s Day, and providing for the observance of the month of March as omen’s Role in History Month”.

Feeding program benefits 11T malnourished kids


ILOILO – More than 11,000 severely wasted schoolchildren in 552 public schools in the province are currently benefiting from the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP) of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Ma. Liberty Mabunay, DepEd Division of Iloilo nurse, said prioritized under the SBFP are those severely wasted learners in Kindergarten to Grade 6 based on the nutritional status report as of school year 2011-2012.

In her report during the Provincial Nutrition Consultative and Planning Workshop on Feb. 23, Mabunay said the nutritional status report as of school year 2011-2012 indicated 11,102 severely wasted out of the 268,171 students weighed.

The report also showed that of the 11,102 severely wasted students, 2,240 were in Kindergarten, 2,658 in Grade 1, 2,347 in Grade 2, 2,884 in Grade 3, 490 in Grade 4, 304 in Grade 5, 172 in Grades 6 and 7.

Mabunay said DepEd allotted P19,983,600 for the program for 120 days this school year in Iloilo province starting August last year.

The feeding program intends to provide children hot meals following the developed standardized recipes using malunggay and 20-day cycle menu utilizing locally produced or grown foods.

Mabunay said parents handle the food preparation as their counterpart to the program which is expected to improve the nutritional status, classroom attendance and health and nutrition values and behavior of the learner beneficiaries.

Further, the said nutritional status report listed 37,788 Kinder to Grade 6 students wasted; 5,163 overweight; and 1,185 obese. Some 216, 933 are categorized under normal or about 80.89 percent of the total number of children weighed.