Iloilo City News May 2013

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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Seal of Iloilo City
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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
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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
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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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Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.

Contents

Iloilo-Guimaras Ferry Terminal construction to start soon

(PNA), PDS/AJO/MGCAOYONAN/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 31 (PNA) -- After a long delay, the construction of the P260-million proposed Iloilo-Guimaras Ferry Terminal on the 1.2-hectare property in Parola, City Proper will soon to start as the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) building is about to be finished by next month.

It was City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog who ordered last year to set aside the project after it faced several delays due to legal matters.

Mabilog, however, said the construction of the project which is through Public Private Partnership (PPP) venture between the Iloilo City Government, DoubleDragon Properties Inc. and Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will push through as soon as the PCG-Iloilo District building is already finished and their private partner -DoubleDragon Properties Inc. could already submit their master plan and financial analysis.

Mabilog said the property, where the Rotary Park once stood, is now owned by the government after President Benigno Simeon Aquino III issued a presidential proclamation for such.

He said the land is now shared by the city government, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and PCG.

City Administrator Norlito Bautista said the PPP project was already reviewed by the technical experts from Manila-based Public Private Partnership Center of the Philippines (PPPCP) that arrived in the city late last year.

During the visit, Bautista said the team had a consultative meeting with DoubleDragon Properties Inc., DOTC and Iloilo City Government to re-assess their PPP venture and work out a reduction in the project’s cost.

Bautista added there were some changes in their Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

Part of the MOA, the DOTC will allot P125 million for the construction of the slope protection embankment and other site developments while a private company will provide P135 million for the construction of the terminal building.

LTO-6 enforcers go after tint-covered plates

(PNA), JBP/AJP/ELT/VLO

ILOILO CITY (PNA)-- Tint-covered number plates sported by a number of private vehicles here have not escaped the eye of the public, and its continued practice are raising eyebrows of other motorists who believe that dark-colored plates are unauthorized and as such, should be banned from the road.

In response to mounting queries by citizens, the Land Transportation Office Region 6 (LTO-6) has come out with a statement explaining that darkened plates are indeed not sanctioned, and moreover, its origin is not the LTO.

In a clarificatory statement, Anuel Bonite, director of LTO-6, said intentionally-darkened plates are a violation of the agency's guidelines as their identification numbers cannot be immediately seen by the naked eye in urgent situations.

The LTO executive reassured, nonetheless that his men on the field have began to accost owners and with instructions to replace them in accordance with existing LTO rules.

Iloilo includes senior citizens in supplemental feeding program

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILOILO City has the most number of daycare children with 9,819 to avail of the supplemental feeding program with an allocation of P15,371,640 from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

But Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog assured a counterpart from the City Government for the program to include supplemental feeding to indigent and sickly senior citizens in time for the feeding program of daycare children in the city.

Mabilog said he is aware of the problem of senior citizens, thus he instructed the City Welfare Office to augment and include them in the supplemental feeding program, especially those who are neglected by their own families.

The DSWD allocation for cities in Western Visayas include Bacolod City with 4,556 beneficiaries and allocation of P7,107,360, and Roxas City with 2,415 beneficiaries and total allocation of P3,767,400.

At least 180,335 daycare children in Western Visayas will benefit from this year’s Supplementary Feeding Program of DSWD which targets to release P281,322,600 for the implementation of the program at the 5,557 daycare centers in the region for 120 days.

The biggest share of the budget will be spent in Negros Occidental, which has the highest number of beneficiaries with 65,353 daycare children and with a total allocation of P101,950,680. The province of Iloilo follows, with 46,791 and an allocation of P72,993,960, and Antique with 19,848 and allocation of P30,962,880.

Capiz has 14,578 daycare children with an allocation of P22,741,680, Aklan with 12,749 and allocation of P19,888,440, and Guimaras with 4,226 beneficiaries and total allocation of P6,592,560.

The Supplementary Feeding Program is the provision of food, in addition to the regular meals, to currently enrolled day care center children. This is in the form of hot meals recommended by Food and Nutrition Research Institute and served during break time to children in day care centers.

Beneficiaries of the program are three- to five-year-old children who are enrolled in day care centers.

DSWD reported that a total allocation of P277,797,000 was released last year for program implementation that benefited 185,198 children enrolled in 5,557 daycare centers in Western Visayas.

P500-M convention center soon to rise in Iloilo

(PNA), LAP/AJP/LCPENDON/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 28 (PNA) -- The much awaited Iloilo Convention Center with world class amenities will soon rise at the 1.7-hectare lot donated by Megaworld Corp. within the more than 25-hectare site of the old Iloilo airport in Mandurriao district here.

Ilonggo Senator Franklin M. Drilon said recently the project will kick off July 2013 and is expected to be finished by the end of 2014 in time for the city's hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) Ministerial Conference here.

Drilon said the amount of P500 million is allotted for the construction of the convention center taken from his own priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of P200 million, another P200 million from the Department of Tourism and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (DOT-TIEZA) and P100 million from the Office of the President.

The Ilonggo senator said the convention center is expected to become a catalyst of the tourism industry in Western Visayas, create more jobs for the Ilonggos and spur the growth of hotels and related industries in the region.

The convention center will raise the capability of the city and province of Iloilo to host big international conferences and conventions and push the city's target of becoming the conference hub of the region.

Designed by Ilonggo world class architect William Coscoluella, the convention center will feature the sail of the Iloilo Paraw Regatta and the world-famous Dinagyang Festival as trademarks of Iloilo.

The project was launched in November 2012 by Drilon, with Iloilo city Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Rep. Jerry P. Treñas, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez and Megaworld Corp. president Andrew Tan.

The Department of Public Works and Highways Central Office will conduct a public bidding for the project by June 2013.

DSWD targets 180,335 day care children to benefit from feeding program

(PNA), FFC/JMC/AJP/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 27 (PNA) –- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Office 6 is targeting 180,335 day care children to benefit from its Supplemental Feeding Program (SFP) this school year.

Sally Gayoma of DSWD Regional Office 6 said they would implement the program in 133 local government units (LGUs) throughout the region where there are 5,557 day care centers (DCCs).

She said the supplemental feeding program-cycle 3 will run for 120 days with children receiving rice cereal and viand to mitigate hunger while they are in school.

The number of beneficiaries in Aklan province are 12,749 from the 441 DCCs; Antique with 19,848 beneficiaries from the 633 DCCs; Capiz, 14,578 beneficiaries from the 540 DCCs; Guimaras, 4,226 beneficiaries from the 150 DCCs; Iloilo, 46,791 beneficiaries from the 1,743 DCCs; and Negros Occidental, 65,353 beneficiaries from the 1,690 DCCs.

From Roxas City 2,415 beneficiaries from 48 DCCs; Iloilo City, 9,819 beneficiaries from 200 DCCs; and Bacolod City, 4,556 beneficiaries from 112 DCCs.

Sky lanterns light up Iloilo sky, set world record

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr. (Inquirer Visayas)

MIAG-AO, ILOILO—Thousands of lanterns brightened the evening sky in this town on Friday as the Philippines lit its way to a Guinness world record for the most number of sky lanterns flown simultaneously.

The event held at the University of the Philippines Visayas here was also a call for “World Peace through Inner Peace” and was organized by Filipino and Thai participants from various religious faiths.

Seyda Subasi-Gemici, adjudicator and official representative of Guinness World Records, said thousands of participants launched 15,185 sky lanterns at the football pitch of UP-Visayas (UPV). This bested the previous record set in June 2012 by Romania at 12,740 lanterns to promote a shopping mall opening.

“I’m happy to announce a new Guinness World Record. You all were officially amazing,” Gemici told the crowd of around 15,000 who broke into cheers and chanted “Philippines! Philippines!”

A certificate from the world record body was awarded to the organizers for the feat.

The event dubbed “Inaugural Light of Peace Event in the Philippines: World Peace through Inner Peace,” was organized by the Middle Way Meditation Institute (MMI)-Philippines and its Thailand-based main organization which promotes meditation.

Venerable Burin Thitakusalo, MMI director, said flying sky lanterns, a traditional form of prayer for Thais, was a way to encourage harmony and cultivate inner peace toward attaining world peace.

“We need more than material things. We need a sense of calmness, a sense of direction amid the challenges in our lives,” he told the Inquirer.

He said that similar activities were held in Thailand but the number of lanterns flown was less than 10,000.

The activity was joined by leaders of various religions, including Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Imam Abdulnasser Langco and Babaji Karmjit Singh.

“World peace starts from inner peace,” Lagdameo said in his prayer.

He said that world peace would come from “within our hearts, within our own persons.”

The participants mostly came from Miag-ao, other parts of Panay Island and other provinces. They were joined by around 100 MMI partners and volunteers from Thailand.

Participants of all ages and from all walks of life arrived as early as 2:30 p.m. on the 1,200-hectare UPV campus in Miag-ao, about 42 km south of Iloilo City.

The campus was chosen as the venue because of its extensive open space bounded by trees and mountains on one side and the sea on the other.

The event organizers asked for a P350 donation from each participant to cover the cost of the activity and they were given priority passes, but those who did not make a donation were still allowed to join.

The release of the sky lanterns was preceded by a 15-minute guided meditation with the participants sitting on the football pitch.

The participants first lit 10,000 ground lanterns to illuminate the football field. A short orientation video and live demonstration were shown.

The Thai-manufactured sky lanterns were made of rice paper with bamboo frames. They had a diameter of 50 cm and a height of 150 cm, according to Dr. Emiliano Bernardo III, the event organizer.

The participants were instructed to light the lanterns for two minutes and 45 seconds to allow the air inside to heat up before releasing them.

The lanterns were released in three waves within 10 minutes starting at 6:45 p.m. by 5,000 pairs of participants.

The cheers of excitement grew as more of the lanterns were released.

Around 15,687 lanterns were prepared and displayed but some were flown outside the 10-minute limit. Others burned up before they could be released.

Organizers said the environmental impact of the event was “much less than that of fireworks and rubber balloons.”

Bernardo said the lanterns did not use fuel oil but tissue paper dipped in wax. The only metal material was the 1-mm wire used to secure the heat source.

WV tops carabao prod’n in PH

By Lilibeth French (PIA–Iloilo/PN)

ILOILO City — Western Visayas has remained the top producer of carabao in the Philippines despite the decreasing volume in production.

It accounts for 14 percent of the country’s total annual carabao production, the National Statistical Coordination Board 6 (NSCB–6) data as of May 20 revealed.

It was also the top carabao producer from 2010 to 2012.

Last year, the region was able to produce 19,919 metric tons of carabao.

It was followed by Region 12 (Soccskargen), with 12,308 metric tons; Region 11 (Davao), with 12,213; Region II (Cagayan Valley), with 11,549; and Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), with 11,210.

However, there was a decrease in carabao production in Region 6 for the past three years, the NSCB–6 data, sourced from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, noted.

From 21,267 metric tons in 2010, carabao production dropped to 20,524 metric tons in 2011 and 19,919 metric tons in 2012.

One of the factors causing the production drop was the increasing demand for carabao for consumption, said Manuel Porque, officer-in-charge of the Department of Agriculture 6’s Livestock Division.

Many have turned to carabao meat and cattle beef when the price of pork increased, he said.

“Our carabaos are being transported to Manila through the facilities of RORO (roll-on, roll-off). There are many viajeros who come to the region to buy carabaos and bring them to Manila for slaughtering,” said Porque.

The drop is also recorded in the other 11 regions last year.

Only four regions posted an improved production last year — Region 3 (Central Luzon), 7.3 percent; Region 8, 3.4 percent; Region 10 (Northern Mindanao), 2.5 percent; and Region 1 (Ilocos Region), 1.5 percent.

The NSCB data noted the same decreasing trend in the country over the last three years.

Only three regions increased their production consistently from 2010 to 2012 — Region 3, Region 10 and Region 8 — the NSCB data showed.

Iloilo old capitol interior restoration to start soon

(PNA), PDS/AJP/MGCAOYONAN/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 24 (PNA) -- Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has announced that the restoration of the interior of the old capitol building under Phase II will start few months from now after Phase I, exterior design restoration, has already reached 82 percent.

Defensor said the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has approved a fund of P 15 million for the restoration of Phase II and P 20 million for Phase I.

Phase I of the project, which covers the exterior of the old Iloilo Provincial Capitol, includes the demolition of the front canopy and the side offices constructed during the 1960s.

Also for the Phase II includes interior designs, function room or ceremonial hall that could be rented for small-time occasions like weddings and birthday parties to generate additional fund for the provincial government and a bridge connecting from the new building of the Iloilo Provincial Capitol to old building.

Defensor stressed only few have been changed outside and even to be changed inside the building to preserve its heritage structures.

“We want to preserve the old capitol by its name for it’s a heritage and symbol for Iloilo. This will become a tourist attraction”, he stressed.

Defensor said that once the construction will be finished some provincial departments will be transferred there to hold regular offices.

The old capitol has been used as military garrison by the Japanese Imperial Forces during World War II in the 1940s.

DTI brings ‘Doing Business in FTAs' campaign to Iloilo City

(PNA), JBP/AJP/MADS/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 23 (PNA) -- Recognizing Iloilo City as one of the next wave cities in the country, the Department of Trade and Industry conducted “Doing Business in Free Trade Areas” information campaign recently at the Hotel Del Rio here.

Stakeholders from both private and public sectors were briefed on how a business can take advantage of the seven existing FTA agreements the government has with ASEAN member-countries and with Japan, New Zealand, Australia, China and India.

Bureau of Export Trade Promotion Director Senen Perlada encouraged small businesses in the region to take advantage of these agreements maybe not as direct exporters but as indirect exporters supplying quality materials to established firms which are already global players.

“It is important for the big brothers and small brothers play its role,” he said.

“The SMEs have to really integrate because that’s the only way they can be integrated into the global economy,” he added.

He noted that the Philippines is already part of the global supply chain, thus, “the important thing for SMEs is to link to be part of that supply chain, maybe not as direct exporters but as indirect exporters supplying quality materials.”

“For local producers, network with those companies that are already in the global supply chain, introduce your product, otherwise, it’ll be difficult to do it by yourself. Eventually, when you are strong enough, you can do it on your own,” Perlada said.

Being an agricultural region, Perlada encouraged entrepreneurs to look into all possible product they can develop and improved from “buko” or young coconuts.

He said “buko” is faring well in the United States of America, Canada, European Union and Japan.

“The people here have to look in every opportunity for ‘buko’ – from water to ‘bunot’ to everything, that is a great product which has good opportunities in all aspects,” he said.

To date, the Philippines is a signatory to a number of Free Trade Agreements, namely: Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement; ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement; ASEAN-India Free Trade Area; ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area; ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement; ASEAN-China Free Trade Area; and ASEAN Free Trade Areas.

Products exported in these countries include agri- produce like bananas, mangoes and pineapples; aquamarine products like shrimps and prawns, yellow fin tunas and smoked fish; coconuts and by products; minerals; chemicals; machinery; metals; among others.

FTAs are economic blocs by which member countries remove tariffs on goods exported from signatory countries.

"Fiestas in the City" depict colorful festivals in Western Visayas

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

ILOILO CITY, May 22 (PIA) -- The parade of festival sagala and fiesta queens will highlight the celebration of “Fiestas in the City”, a week-long event showcasing the colorful festivals in Western Visayas.

Lawyer Helen Catalbas, Department of Tourism-6 (DOT-6) Regional Director, said that DOT, in cooperation with SM City Iloilo, has lined-up daily special events from May 20-25 to promote the richness of West Visayan culture and the talent of the Ilonggos in one setting.

Catalbas said that foreign visitors and local tourists can catch a glimpse of the much-anticipated parade of maidens featuring local festival queens under floral arches in the Sagala of Festival Queens on May 25, 2:00 PM at the SM City Events Center.

Festival queens from Iloilo City and Passi City and from the municipalities of Badiangan, Cabatuan, Igbaras, Lambunao, Leganes, Oton, Pavia, San Miguel, Sta. Barbara, Tigbauan, and Tubungan will take part in this Santacruzan-inspired event.

The DOT said that aside from the Sagala of festival, other scheduled activities include Fiesta Cuisine on May 22, Moda Filipiniana, a fashion show of Filipiniana-inspired gowns and barongs on May 23, and the Mayflower Sagala on May 24.

“Fiestas in the City”, which started in 2002, is Iloilo’s oldest continuous tourism celebration held inside a mall. It has evolved into one of Iloilo’s premier tourism celebration.

The DOT said that the celebration of “Fiestas in the City” depicts the historical and religious significance of the rich and diverse heritage, culture, and the spirit of the Ilonggos.

DepEd: There is more to Brigada than repair, clean-up

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

ILOILO CITY, May 21 (PIA6) -- Education stakeholders in this city were urged to go beyond doing minor repairs and clean ups and help schools in jumpstarting their other projects such as Gulayan sa Paraalan and tree planting, among others as the five-day Brigada Eskwela started Monday, May 20.

The call was made by Division of Iloilo City Schools Division Superintendent Nelly Valerio during the regional launching and kick-off program of the 2013 Brigada Eskwela held at the Jaro National High School (JNHS) in the district of Jaro.

Valerio said Brigada Eskwela is part of the desire to ensure that children will have access to clean classrooms and schools on June 3 unlike in the past years where children are the ones doing the cleaning and classes would formally start two weeks after.

She added that since the program was launched ten years ago, children return to a clean classroom and classes start right away that signals that students and pupils are now required to be in school.

Brigada Eskwela also symbolizes harmonious partnership between the public and the private sector, according to Valerio as she encouraged volunteers, organizations and other stakeholders to also register and take part in the Brigada Eskwela activities of other city schools.

She likewise thanked the regional office of the DepEd in Western Visayas for choosing the Division of Iloilo City, particularly the JNHS as the regional venue of the kick-off program for this year’s Brigada Eskwela.

In her message, JNHS Principal Belinda Dinopol expressed hope that the launching activities will radiate to each and every school campus in the division, in the province and in the region so that each classroom and each campus will be prepared to receive students come June 3.

She also emphasized that the focus of this year’s Brigada Eskwela is the greening of the campus and hoped that this will become a year-long activity for each administrator.

A caravan participated in by more than 50 vehicles which started at the Division of Iloilo City was held before the program at the JNHS followed quickly by a tree planting activity led by DepEd 6 Director Mildred Garay.

The participation of the Philippine National Police mascots added attraction during the caravan and program inside the JNHS.


Iloilo media undergo entrepreneurial training

(PNA), HBC/AJP/LCP/VLO

ILOILO CITY - Core members of the Iloilo City Hall Press Corps and Capitol Press Corps recently underwent a one morning session on "Media Entrepreneurial Skills Training on Cassava Delicacies" held at the Department of Agriculture (DA)regional office.

DA Reg. Dir. Larry Nacionales said the skills training will enable media participants to embark on small scale business and enhance livelihood opportunities.

The last entrepreneurial skills training for the local media was conducted in 2004 and the latest was held May 17, 2013.

Experts from the rural improvement club served as mentors in sharing knowledge on the many uses of cassava including cakes and many delicacies at a short time and minimal cost.

Juvy Gaton, DA regional information officer, said the local media from different radio stations, televisions and print media participated in the training on cooking and making many cassava recipes.

Cassava is a year round root crop and abounds in Western Visayas.

It can be made into pichi-pichi and espasol which the local media participants trained how to make, Other cassava recipes are puto, ginataang cassava leaves, steamed cassava cup cake, suman, cheese cake, fries, cassava cake, cue, bibingka, steamed cassava cake with coconut custard topping, shrimp stick, with sweet banana, with garlic lime sauce, pie, with tapioca pearls, upside down cake, butter cake, polvoron, cuchinta, chippy, pinipig cookies, nilupak, cassava balls, jolly rol l and many more.

Got HIV? Seek help – DOH

BY LEO LUTERO (PN)

ILOILO City – The Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas is encouraging people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to seek help.

The first step, however, is for individuals to know if they are HIV positive. This can only be determined through an HIV antibody test.

The test is available for free at the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) in Mandurriao district here and at the Social Hygiene Clinic in Brgy. Tanza, said Charity Perea, DOH regional coordinator for sexually transmitted infections.

There are available anti-retro viral drugs to help people with HIV prolong their lives and improve their quality of life, Perea also said.

Since 1994, 60 deaths due to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) have been recorded by DOH in Western Visayas.

HIV causes AIDS. HIV attacks the immune system and damages the body’s ability to fight infections.

According to Perea, most of the deaths came from the sector of overseas Filipino workers; they were infected due to unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Today, DOH Region 6 will commemorate the 30th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial at the Freedom Grandstand as part of the government’s effort to raise public awareness on HIV/AIDS.

DOH is advising people to practice the following to avoid HIV/AIDS:

  • abstinence
  • being faithful
  • correct and consistent use of condoms
  • don’t use drugs, and
  • early detection or treatment.

At 3 p.m. today, there will be a special Mass at the Jaro Cathedral, followed by a motorcade to the Freedom Grandstand.

The Philippines is one of the nine countries left with a rising number of HIV infection cases, DOH revealed.

Dr. Cynthia Cabangal, an Ilongga who has worked in the Bahamas where AIDS is has become an epidemic, warned that the disease may take months or even years to produce symptoms.

She also said the symptoms are too generic and if one feels he or she is at risk, a test should be sought right away.

Dr. Rey Celis, chairman of the HIV AIDS Core Team of WVMC, said only one has died in their facility due to AIDS.

Treatment for the disease includes lifelong medications currently available for free at WVMC until 2014 when it will be replaced by an HIV/AIDS PhilHealth package amounting to P30,000 per year of support, Celis said.

1st Pamunit Sports Fishing Festival kicks off Saturday

(PNA), HBC/AJP/KMDRAHEIM/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 18 (PNA)-- Anglers dunked their fishing rod in the clear blue sea of Oton for the ever first Pamunit sports fishing festival, held at Anhawan Beach Resort and Spa in Oton, Iloilo Saturday.

The event is jointly held by the Pamunit Festival Association, Inc., the Department of Tourism Region VI and Municipality of Oton.

With the theme, "Sports fishing: Emerging Medium for Tourism and Marine Ecosystem Conservation and Protection", the President of Pamunit Festival Association, Inc. Manuel "Bong" Sanagustin advocates the importance of fishing, its discipline and its being a unique hobby.

“I am happy that the people who are gathered here today made this event possible, making it a humbling experience for me and making a difference for the better,” Sanagustin quoted.

Also Atty.Helen J. Catalbas, DOT VI Regional Director, said “Now that the Pamunit Sports Fishing festival officially gained its own identity other than that of the angling competition during Paraw Regatta, this event would further promote the tourism attraction in Western Visayas (WV).

The festival also aims to promote international cooperation and, adding to that, the APEC 2015 is one of the possible hosting events by 2015 of the DOT, though a massive planning is still on-going.

“It is something to be proud of considering that WV has three wonderful fishing spots - Boracay in Aklan, Iloilo City and Bacolod City”, Atty. Catalbas added.

WV also aims to have one million tourist arrivals and 3.6 domestic tourist arrivals by 2015.

A Tribe performance of Tribu Papulo Malaca, champion of the Katagman Festival 2013 performed and kept the audience excited during the opening of the two-day fishing festival.

The festival will also showcase Iloilo's best foods, beach football and a dive exhibit.

The awarding ceremony will be tomorrow, May 19,2013 at 7 PM still in Anhawan Beach Resort and Spa in Oton, Iloilo.

Megaworld taps award-winning int’l design firm for Richmonde Hotel Iloilo

BY RAYMART ESCOPEL (PN)

ILOILO City -- After announcing the expansion of its premier development here, the 72-hecatre Iloilo Business Park, Megaworld continues to make waves.

Yesterday, it revealed a partnership with Gettys, an award-winning US interior design firm, for Iloilo’s first luxury brand hotel – Richmonde Hotel Iloilo.

Gettys will be Megaworld’s partner in conceptualizing the hotel’s facade, grand lobby and interiors, restaurant and guest rooms.

According to Ariane Steinbeck, Gettys managing director and principal, the P50-million Richmonde Hotel Iloilo will have one of the region’s agricultural crops – sugarcane – in the design concept.

“The theme will be incorporated throughout the space through color, texture and finishes,” Steinbeck said.

The overall idea is to have a dynamic yet relaxing environment where both hotel guests and locales can indulge in luxury at reasonable prices.

Megaworld First Vice President Jericho Go said Megaworld commissioned Gettys because of its excellent record in designing some of the world’s five-star hotels and resorts.

This partnership is a testament to Megaworld’s commitment of providing truly world-class developments to the people of Iloilo and Western VIsayas as a whole, Go stressed.

A respected name in the interior design industry for 25 years, Gettys is behind the design of renowned five-star hotels such as The Peninsula Hong Kong; Hyatt Regency in Cancun, Mexico; Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai; The Ritz Carlton in Miami, Florida; Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago; Westin Golf and Spa Resort in Abu Dhabi; Shangrila Hotel in Beihai, China; and Hard Rock Hotel in Macau.

Richmonde Hotel Iloilo will have 151 guest rooms and luxurious amenities, including a restaurant and deli which will serve Ilonggo dishes, function rooms which can house around 120 guests, a business center, fitness gym and a 50-meter lap pool with its own pool bar.

It will occupy eight floors of the 12-storey Richmode Tower. The first three floors will be office spaces and will eventually house the country’s biggest Business Process Outsourcing companies.

The luxury hotel will be completed in time for Iloilo’s hosting of one of the side meetings of

the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in 2015.

Iloilo City govt schools open doors to poor students

(PNA), HBC/AJP/LCPENDON/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 16 (PNA)-- Two city government-operated schools opened their doors Thursday to poor but deserving students to avail themselves of free education in college and in vocational and technical courses.

Mathilde Octavio, administrator of the Technical Institute of Iloilo City, said the Molo campus is now accepting enrollment of students in two-year courses Construction, Electrical and Automotive Technology with free tuition and other needs subsidized by the city government here.

On the other hand, the TIIC Bo.Obrero campus is now accepting enrollment for short term courses for three months in Sewing, Hotel and Restaurant Servicing, Beautician, Culinary, and other short courses.

The city government-run Iloilo City Community College is currently accepting enrollment of 240 college student graduates of Iloilo City high schools for the 2013-1014 school year to take up four-year courses on Bachelor of Science in Travel Management and Bachelor of Science in Office Management.

Dean Catalina Sanico of the community college said the baccalaureate courses started in 2012 and the first enrollees of 195 students are now on their second year.

The school has also additional nine new teachers who have masteral or doctorate degrees to augment the increasing student population of the college.

Sanico said the school although run by the city government, is also charging a very minimal tuition fee of P100 per unit on the two courses.

The incoming students were pre-selected and have already taken the entrance examination last month.

There is no more need for an entrance examination for TIIC students.

The only requirement include their high school card Form 138, barangay clearance, barangay certification as being indigent of the city, four pieces 1x1 photos, six pieces passport size colored photos in white background, medical certificate, birth certificate from the National Statistics Office and a long, white folder.

Octavio reported that several graduates of TIIC Molo are now working abroad, specifically in Qatar in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Others are in businesses with repair shops employing workers.

Both Sanico and Octavio said that city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has taken steps to enhance and improve the schools with additional classrooms, tools and equipment.

A sports gymnasium across the community college and a school bus for Travel Management students are being prepared before the end of this year.

Gov’t bets sweep all posts in Iloilo City

By Jennifer Rendon (The Philippine Star)

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Candidates of Team PNoy in this city have swept all elective posts in Monday’s balloting.

Re-electionist Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Rep. Jerry Treñas got fresh mandates after defeating their opponents, businessman Rommel Ynion and former congressman Raul Gonzalez Jr.

Incumbent Vice Mayor Joe Espinosa III also triumphed over his opponent, councilor Jeffrey Ganzon.

Re-electionist Lex Tupas topped the race for the Sangguniang Panglungsod. Other winners were Love Baronda, Jason Gonzales, Joshua Alim, Jay Treñas, Lyndon Acap, Eduardo Peñaredondo, Lee Zulueta, R. Leone Gerochi, Armand Parcon, Rodel Fullon Agado, and Plaridel Nava.

In his Facebook page, Mabilog thanked “everyone who supported us and made the choice in giving us the chance to be of service to our fellow Ilonggos and our beloved City of Iloilo.”

Jeffrey Celiz, Mabilog’s political liaison officer, said the results of the city’s elections where their entire slate won is a reaffirmation of the Ilonggo people’s indomitable will. Nation ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Despite the nasty exchange of words between his supporters and Mabilog’s camp, Ynion has conceded.

“Let me be the first to congratulate my opponent, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, for winning in these midterm elections. The people have spoken and we should respect their collective will,” he said.

Ynion asked his supporters to refrain from pinning the blame for their defeat on their refusal to buy votes.

“Vote buying is against the principles for which we stand and we can never engage in that. Let us be graceful in defeat as well as in all the small victories we achieved in this campaign,” he added.

Biron concedes Iloilo governorship to incumbent Defensor

By Karen Bermejo, Nestor P. Burgos Jr. (Inquirer Visayas)

ILOILO CITY—Iloilo Representative Ferjenel Biron of the United Nationalist Alliance has conceded defeat to re-electionist Governor Arthur Defensor of the ruling Liberal Party in Iloilo’s gubernatorial race.

“I congratulate Gov. Art Defensor Sr. for his victory. I wish him all the best. We respect the decision of the Ilonggo electorate. We thank our leaders and supporters all over the province who risked their lives and limbs for our cause of bringing real change in Iloilo. We fought a principled fight and ran a reform-driven race. It is time to unite for the betterment of our beloved province of Iloilo. Thank you and Good bye! God bless us all,” Biron said in a post on his Facebook account at 11:47 a.m. Tuesday.

Defensor dominated the count in the first 16 towns that transmitted the results of their voting early Tuesday morning.

Results from the 16 towns transmitted to the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) showed that Defensor won in 13 towns, while his close rival, outgoing Fourth District Congressman Ferjenel Biron won in the three towns.

Defensor dominated in the towns of Barotac Viejo, Guimbal, Pavia, Badiangan, Banate, Tubungan, Zarraga, Mina, Tigbauan and San Miguel while Biron got higher votes in the towns of Pototan, Lemery, Batad, San Rafael and Anilao.

Partial and official results showed that Defensor garnered 137,801 votes while Biron had 88,236.

Independent candidate Serapio Camposano got only 1,045 in 16 towns.

Jessie Suarez, Iloilo provincial Commission of Elections (Comelec) officer, said the delay in the transmission of election returns was due to heavy rains in some areas of the province and some malfunctioning precinct count optical scan machines.

Millions of voters expected in Western Visayas

By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo—An estimated four million voters in Western Visayas region are expected to exercise their right to suffrage today, May 13, midterm polls.

Atty. Renato Magbutay, regional director of Commission on Elections (Comelec-6), said the region is the fifth largest in the nation. Western Visayas has a total of 4,049,640 registered voters.

The province of Negros Occidental and its capital city of Bacolod has the most number of registered voters with 1,574,784. It is followed by the province and city of Iloilo with 1,270,100 registered voters.

Capiz province and its capital city of Roxas have 457,379 registered voters. Aklan province and its capital town of Kalibo have 328,642 registered voters.

Antique province and its capital town of San Jose have 318,214 registered voters. The island province of Guimaras and its capital town of Jordan have 100,521 voters.

Iloilo residents have to vote from among 48 candidates for congressional representatives, 14 for governor, 14 for vice governor, 139 for provincial board member, 32 for city mayor, 28 for city vice mayor, 328 for town mayor, 295 for town vice mayor, and thousands for city and town councils.

Better fire station service seen with new fire truck

(PIA-6/PN)

ILOILO City – With a modern fire truck from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Iloilo City Fire Station is expected to perform well during fire emergencies.

The brand new Rosenbauer fire truck here is one of the two fire trucks given to Western Visayas from the 38 first batch of fire trucks purchased by DILG to further enhance fire protection services nationwide.

The fire truck given here cost P17,500,000. It was acquired through a soft loan from the Austrian government payable in 17 and a half years.

Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Region 6 Public Information Section head, Insp. Stephen Jardeleza said the other new fire truck will be serving the Bacolod City Fire Station.

On the next batch, BFP Region 6 will get another fire truck for the Roxas City Fire Station in Capiz.

The Rosenbauer fire truck is a 1,000-gallon capacity with a 240 horsepower water-cooled main engine and connected to the water pump via power-take-off (PTO).

It has a seating capacity of seven and can discharge 2,400 liters of water per minute.

The modern fire truck has also a strong water cannon that can push water up to 62 meters horizontally and 24 meters vertically – equivalent to an eight-storey building.

It has two minimum-sized rubber hoses that are very useful for rapid deployment while bigger and longer hoses are being laid out.

These rapid deployment hoses are mounted in the rear portion and can also use chemical fire suppressant that is very useful for chemical fires.

The fire truck has also a complement of different hose sizes including forcible entry tools, and suction hoses.

P.5M to jumpstart school’s e-library

(PN)

ILOILO City – In consonance with her former high school’s thrust in keeping up with educational strides, a US-based gynecologist and obstetrician donated P594,772 to the Iloilo National High School (INHS) for its e-library.

Dr. Joy Zerrudo-Seldera of INHS Class 1963 donated the amount in cash to the INHS through its principal, Dr. Nordy Siason Jr., on April 2013 so it can be used to jump-start the INHS e-library, “an electronic or online library where one can have access to books, journals, novels, articles, or any other information over the internet.”

Dr. Zerrudo-Seldera, the 2013 commencement speaker of INHS, graduated first honorable mention and Outstanding Student Leader in 1963 and soon after graduation, proceeded to Paramus, New Jersey as an American Field Scholar from 1963 to 1964.

She graduated cum laude from her BS Premed course at the University of San Agustin and was an entrance scholar at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center where she finished her Doctor of Medicine degree.

After passing the medical board, Dr. Zerrudo-Seldera had her post internship at St. Peter’s Hospital in New York and her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at St. John’s Hospital in Brooklyn, New York.

INHS Principal Siason says he is truly grateful for the thoughtfulness and generosity of Dr. Zerrudo-Seldera and the Class of 1963 for helping the INHS maintain its reputation as one of the country’s most outstanding public high schools.

Dr. Zerrudo-Seldera, a native of Panay, Capiz, has been in medical practice since 1981 and is a member of various medical associations and organizations in the United States.


BFP 6 to recruit 57 firefighters to increase manpower

(PNA), PDS/AJP/MADE LOS SANTOS/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 10 (PNA) -- To boost the firefighting operations in Western Visayas on top of procurement of modern equipment, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-6 announced it will hire 57 additional firefighters.

“The BFP is still undermanned from the ideal ratio of one firefighter for every 2,000 population,” the BFP 6 said, adding “with the recruitment, the BFP 6 hopes to achieve the ideal ratio.”

The qualified applicants can submit their requirements for initial screening starting May 13 until May 27 to the Secretariat, Regional Placement and Selection Board at the BFP Regional Headquarters 6, Admin Division.

The administrative requirements for appointment to Fire Officer 1 rank are as follows: Application Letter addressed to the Regional Director, BFP 6; Personal Data Sheet (handwritten, 3 original); Eligibility/Report of Rating (for board, RA 1080, 3 copies-authenticated by CSC/PRC); Transcript of Records/Diploma (authenticated by the school); Birth Certificate (authenticated by NSO); Marriage Certificate, if married; Clearances (original copies); Medical Certificate; and Age/Height Waivers (for those above 30 years old/below height limit)

According to the BFP 6, age limit is 21 to 30, with height requirement of 1.62 meters (5’4) for males and 1.57 meters (5’2) for females.

The applicants must also submit clearances including barangay clearance, prosecutor’s clearance (fiscal), MTC, PNP and NBI clearances.

Applicants shall undergo qualifying examination, physical/agility tests, panel interview and neuro-psychiatric examination among others and pass the battery of tests to be appointed and accepted to the ranks of the BFP.

DOST 6 to host nat’l medical writing, peer review workshop

(PNA), JBP/AJP/MAD/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 10 (PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 6 is slated to host the 4th National Medical Writing and Peer Review Workshop on July 25 and 26, this year.

According to the DOST 6, the confab will gather Filipinos in the medical profession and health researchers who want to learn how to have their works published in science journals.

The workshop, organized by DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, in cooperation with the Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors and the Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (WVHRDC), targets to help and guide health researchers and editors in writing articles for scientific journals and related publishing materials.

According to the DOST 6, the workshop will tackle lectures, practical exercise and discussions that will hone the participants’ knowledge and skills in medical writing.

In addition, workshop facilitators will train them on how to deal with the peer review processes, editor’s comments, journal protocols and how to prepare a manuscript for publication. Registration to the said workshop is free.

The DOST 6 said the interested participants must submit a draft manuscript or completed health research projects to the WVHRDC Secretariat on or before May 17, 2013. Likewise, endorsement from the head of research office or head of institution is required to non-affiliated institutions of WVHRDC that wish to join the medical writing workshop.

Applicants from WV can now pursue master’s, PhD S&T scholarships

(PNA), HBC/AJP/MADE LOS SANTOS/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 8 (PNA) – Applicants from Region 6 can now start applying for Science and Technology (S&T) scholarships for Master’s and PhD programs.

This, after the Dept. of Science and Technology, through its Science Education Institute started the implementation of the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program for AY 2013-2014.

According to the DOST, the program aims to boost the global competitiveness of Science and Technology researches and produce top-level human resources through provision of scholarship for Master’s and Doctorate degrees.

Applicants may apply for any of the following graduate scholarships: University-based /MA/MS/PhD Program or Thesis/Dissertation Grant Support for DOST R&D priority areas.

Those who will qualify, said DOST, are encouraged to pursue S&T fields of study, namely: Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources, Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Chemical Sciences, Earthl

Atmospheric, and Space Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Fisheries and Marine Science, Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science and Nanotechnology;

Pure and Applied Mathematics, and Pure and Applied Physics.

The scholars shall also take the courses in National Science Consortium member universities, namely: Ateneo de Manila University, Central Luzon State University, De La Salle University, Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology, University of the Philippines Diliman Campus, UP Manila Campus, UP Visayas Campus, University of Sto. Tomas, and Visayas State University.

Scholars are entitled to free tuition and other fees, stipend, book allowance, transportation allowance, group insurance and thesis/dissertation grant.

Cervical cancer awareness month kicks off in Iloilo, Visayas

(PNA), LAP/AJP/RJCBata-anon(OJT)/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 7 (PNA) -- The Cervical Cancer Awareness month kicked-off Tuesday in Iloilo and the entire Visayan island through a public-private partnership among medical institutions and organizations held at the Western Visayas Medical Center, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

The theme for this year's observance is "Babae, Mahalaga ka".

The objective of the awareness month celebration is to inform the public about healthcare topics and treatment options on cervical cancer.

Also, the opening celebration gave emphasis on the latest innovation on cervical cancer screening method with its guidelines issued way back 2005 yet.

Representatives from other provincial offices such as Antique, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros graced the opening celebrations today.

Iloilo City draws tourists to WV

(PNA), PDS/AJP/LCPENDON/VLO 

ILOILO CITY, May 6 (PNA)-- This southern city gets the bulk of tourist arrivals this year with an expected 526,000 visitors out of the 3.1 million arrivals in the Western Visayan region this 2013.

This was disclosed by Department of Tourism Regional Director Helen Catalbas recently, citing the city's vibrancy and urban attractions to lure visitors here.

Catalbas said the region will have a projected share of 4.6 million tourist arrivals in 2016 and this is not farfetched as the region swings to become a top tourist drawer with Iloilo City as its standard-bearer.

Tourists started to come in after the Iloilo International Airport was opened to international flights, specifically direct flights from Iloilo to Hongkong and Singapore late last year. This opened the gates for more tourist arrivals, Catalbas said.

DOT has listed 2.6 million arrivals in 2012 and targets tourist arrivals of 3.1 million in 2013, 3.5 million in 2014 and 4.6 million in 2016.

Catalbas said the target is not hard to attain, considering that Iloilo City is currently on the upswing of infrastructure development and business locations. A total of nine high-end hotels and condominiums will be built within 2013 with seven hotels almost completed.

Among the ongoing construction are two high-end hotels by Megaworld Corp. namely the Richmond Hotel and Marriot Courtyard expected to be completed by end of 2014.

To be completed this year are the Go Hotel of Robinsons Corp., Diversion 21 Hotel of businessman Romeo Go, Injap Hotel of Injap Corp, Injap Tower of Injap Corp. and Injap Place by Double Dragon Corp.

To be started before the end of year are the high-end hotel and commercial center of Gaisano Capital and the Atria Business Park of towers and stories of Ayala Land Corp.

UNA hits fund misuse in Iloilo

By Karen V. Bermejo, Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Norman Bordadora (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

ILOILO CITY—Campaigning in Iloilo this week, Vice President Jejomar Binay and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) may very well have thought that they had uncovered unmistakable signs that all is not straight and righteous in the Aquino administration.

In a press conference here on Tuesday, Binay and the UNA denounced the alleged misuse of P45.7 million in public funds by the provincial government whose incumbent officials are running in the May 13 elections under the ruling Liberal Party.

They called on the Commission on Elections and the Department of Education to investigate the Iloilo provincial government’s disbursement of P40 million for educational assistance and P5.7 million in assistance to selected villages.

“We have elevated the complaint to the Comelec,” said Binay, even as he admitted that it was difficult to get the necessary evidence.

Government funds are “shamelessly being spent for the political survival of those seeking government positions,” said Iloilo Rep. Ferjenel Biron, the UNA gubernatorial candidate.

Biron’s running mate, former Iloilo vice governor Rolex Suplico, said the release of the funds constituted “electioneering,” considering the timing.

At least P40 million was released in educational assistance to high school students through the office of Gov. Arthur Defensor, said Suplico. Defensor is running for reelection under the LP.

The governor has denied that there were any irregularities in the release of the funds. “It is for a very good purpose,” he said.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the Iloilo fund releases being questioned were not meant to influence the results of the local elections, particularly in the bailiwicks of the LP’s political opponents.

“No, those are regular releases intended to benefit their respective constituents,” Abad, a senior LP leader, said in a text message.

But the budget secretary said he would look into the fund releases.

Megaworld expands P25-B Iloilo business park

(PNA), HBC/AJP/MGCAOYONAN/VLO

PROPERTY developer Megaworld Corp., controlled by billionaire Andrew Tan, said it has bought an additional 18 hectares of land in Iloilo City to further expand its Iloilo Business Park, located at the city’s former airport, as demand for residential and commercial properties is expected to increase.

Jericho Go, Megaworld first vice president, said the P25-billion project will now have 72 hectares of total land area and will be the biggest business park in Western Visayas.

“We are expanding to cater to the increasing demand for residential and commercial properties in Iloilo Business Park. During the past months, we have experienced the overwhelming reception of Ilonggos to our first development in the region,” Go said.

The company, however, is yet to reveal its plans for the additional 18 hectares. It previously announced that the mixed-use township will cover residential condominiums, boutique hotel and commercial lots, office towers, two luxury hotels, a convention center to be called Iloilo Convention Center, the Megaworld Central Mall and Annex, and the 1.1-kilometer Festive Walk commercial strip.

“Megaworld is one with the local government’s goal of helping Iloilo regain its stature as Queen City of the South, which we are optimistic about in the next five to 10 years,” Go said.

In March the company begun selling its first condominium tower, One Madison Place. The property is now 85-percent soldout and the second tower is scheduled for preselling this month.

The two office towers on Megaworld Boulevard, along with the Iloilo Richmonde Hotel tower, are now under construction. The towers are expected to be completed next year, the company said.

Iloilo Business Park is Megaworld’s biggest township in the Visayas and is modeled after the company’s live-work-play formula that Megaworld claimed it pioneered in the Philippines. Among its successful townships include Eastwood City, known to be the country’s first cyberpark; McKinley Hill in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; and Newport City in Pasay City, where the casino Resorts World Manila is located.

“We introduced the live-work-play lifestyle concept to Filipinos way back in the 1990s, which paved the way for the development of townships in the Philippines. Since then, other developers have followed our footsteps in this new wave of nation-building,” Go said.

Iloilo City official ballots ready for distribution

(PNA), HBC/AJP/MGCAOYONAN/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 3 (PNA) -- As the deputized department of the Commission on Elections, the Iloilo City Treasurer’s Office will start distributing the official ballots in 350 clustered precincts early morning of May 13 election day to preempt any discrepancy.

Iloilo City treasurer Katherine Tingzon said she has 60 personnel to do the distribution of ballots in 66 voting centers in the city after the ballots had arrived in Iloilo City last April 27, 2013 and were being kept at the city warehouse guarded by members of the City Comelec, representatives from running candidates and Philippine National Police.

Tingzon also said these ballots will be officially turned over to the chairmen of the board of election inspectors during the actual political exercises.

Iloilo City has a total of 247,564 registered voters from 180 barangays in the city.

Tingzon said Comelec Resolution 9598 provides the deputation of certain departments under the Executive Branch, government owned and controlled corporations and financial institution with the May 13, 2013 automated national and local elections.

Other deputized government agencies are the National Telecommunications Commission, Philippines Airlines, Department of Education, Department of Transportation and Commission, Department of Energy and Electric Cooperatives, Philippine Postal Corp., Civic Service Commission, Commission on Audit, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Public Works and Highways, Philippine Information Agency and government owned and controlled corporations (GOCC).

Comelec-Iloilo assures PCOS secured

(PNA), PDS/AJP/MADE LOS SANTOS/VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 2 (PNA) -- City Election Officer Lawyer Jomar Alyzar Betita assured anew the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is all set for the May 13 polls.

He also assured that the PCOS is built with security features that are very difficult to tamper or to hack.

In his presentation during the National Youth Commission’s Voters’ Education Forum held here recently, Betita said the PCOS machines are built with safety and security features that are very hard to tamper, like bar codes, invisible ink, security paper, watermarks, digital signature, password and PIN of BEIs, and 128-bit encryption or the same security used by banks.

He said the PCOS has also a built-in battery in case of power supply shortage and the BEIs have three SIMs to try to ensure the smooth transmission of results.

Betita explained that voters can’t take advantage of the automated election to cheat since the ballots cannot be re-scanned once the ballots are used in one PCOS machine.

The voters are given four chances to insert their ballots in the PCOS, he added.

Betita noted that based on the first automated elections, the rejected ballots are very minimal.

Betita warned though that cheating could come in the form of persons taking too much time casting their votes to deprive others of their right to vote.

In Iloilo City, Betita said the BEIs were instructed to accommodate 20 voters at a time instead of the usual 10 to ensure that all voters in a particular precinct can cast their votes between the 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. limit.

Betita also advised voters to go to the polling precincts early and appealed for patience in case of long queues.

He urged every Filipino to exercise their right to vote, and take it as a responsibility to help in the nation-building.

“It is the most active part one can do for the country,” he said.

He appealed for support, vigilance, cooperation and coordination of the citizenry to ensure honest, peaceful and orderly elections.

There are about 52 million registered voters in the country.

Water district told: Put public interest above personal pride

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

SENATOR Franklin Drilon asked members of the old and new board of directors of the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) to place public interest above personal pride and find a win-win solution in the distribution of water supply to water consumers.

Iloilo City is still reeling from water shortage from MIWD and the City Government is still delivering water to unserved areas such as the waterfront villages and Barangay Obrero.

Drilon admitted talking to MIWD members of the board during Labor Day and said the problem lies mainly on the water distribution due to internal squabble between the old and new members of the board, the governing, and policy body of the water district.

He said many national big investors are ready to come to Iloilo to solve the water problem but are hesitant because of the opposing boards of directors.

The new board is appointed by the Local Waterworks Utility Administration while the old board is appointed by the city mayor based mainly on the MIWD charter.

Drilon said the opposing position of the two boards stood on legality. He asked them to render service of public interest and put aside personal gains.

He said the government’s P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project has a water supply component out to provide additional water supply to the city and help solve the water shortage.