Iloilo City News May 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
Iloilo molochurch.JPG
Molo Church, Iloilo City
Iloilo dinagyang festival.jpg
The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan.
Barangay anim 4500.gif
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.


Badiangan inland resort gives farmers a hand in livelihood


ILOILO City – It may appear like any other inland resort, but what makes Ephrathah Farms in Barangay Sariri, Badiangan, Iloilo different is that it helps farmers earn a living.

Ephrathah Farms, a Department of Tourism-accredited agritourism farm, does not only offer an avenue for leisure but also gives farmers a hand in improving economically.

Those from Sariri and its neighboring barangays undergo free training on agriculture, according to General Manager Ed Roderick Cañuto.

“We teach them how to properly and systematically grow their produce, and link them to the markets,” said Cañuto.

A sprawling 7-hectare resort and rolling hills, Ephrathah Farms is committed to organic farming and natural food production.

It has an orchard dedicated to dragon fruit, or pitaya — the biggest in Panay Island — and another with a mix of lansones, pomelo, durian, banana, mangosteen, and papaya, among others.

The agritourism farm-resort, a family enterprise, has around 30 farmers overseeing its produce.

Aside from the farm’s own produce, Ephrathah Farms also takes in produce, including ampalaya (bitter gourd), banana, and other fruits and vegetables, from around 15 to 20 farmers in other parts of the town.

The farm in turn delivers the produce to the markets and sells them at reasonable prices, according to Cañuto. In fact, he revealed, the farm supplies vegetables to one of the malls in Iloilo City.

Ephrathah Farms was named after the old name of Bethlehem, which the New Testament identified as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Ephrathah also means “fruitful.”

It has function rooms, a glass chapel, two swimming pools, and a zip line.

It had a “soft opening” in January last year and was fully opened on May 21.

Campaign to strengthen Iloilo-Guimaras ties

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) in Western Visayas is launching a new campaign that will strengthen the tourism industry of the provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras.

The campaign, Experience Western Visayas First, aims to attract tourists to visit the region.

Tourism office regional director Helen Catalbas said the next target is to create a campaign that will emphasize the tourism circuits within the region by strengthening mutual ties among the provinces.

Catalbas said Iloilo and Guimaras should help each other in promoting their tourism industries after the two provinces landed in the same Tourism Development Area No. 1 under the National Tourism Development Plan.

Guimaras is easy to access from Iloilo City, and can be reach within 15 to 20 minutes away via pump boat.

Old Iloilo capitol opens today


ILOILO City – The restored old Iloilo provincial capitol, also known as Casa Real De Iloilo, will have a “soft opening” today.

“This is in preparation for the Independence Day celebration,” said Vice Gov. Raul Tupas.

Malacañang has chosen the old capitol on Bonifacio Drive here as venue of the traditional June 12 vin d’honneur.

Tomorrow, May 30, the Girl Scouts of the Philippines which is holding its 23rd National Council Convention here will hold socials at the old capitol.

In a previous interview, Provincial Administrator Raul Banias said no less than President Benigno Aquino III will unveil the old capitol’s marker on June 12.

Malacañang officials will inspect the building today and again on June 1, he said.

The restoration cost P51 million.

The old capitol became the seat of the civil government of Iloilo in 1901.

In November 1998, fire gutted more than half of the old capitol. A new capitol was subsequently built behind it.

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines declared the old capitol a National Historical Site in April 2010./PN

WV tech-voc students to exhibit skills

By Carlson Alelis (JCM/LAF/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, May 28 (PIA6) - - The regional office of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Western Visayas organized a Skills Exhibition as part of an event dubbed “Fiesta sa Mayo Para sa mga Obreros Year IV” to mark the culmination of the Labor Month celebration here.

The skills exhibition will be participated in by students from the different technical-vocational education and training (TVET) institutions in the provinces of the region. It will be held along Delgado-Iznart Streets on May 29 starting at 4 P.M..

“The activity which is also in coordination with the Western Visayas Regional Skills Olympics Association, Inc. intends to showcase the skills and competencies acquired by our TVET students. This is also one way of promoting TVET programs being offered by our TVET institutions,” said Bernadette Puertas, Information Officer of TESDA 6.

Puertas said students will show their skills in areas of bartending, fruit carving, barista, table skirting, fashion show and beauty care.

As of May 2015, TESDA 6 record showed that some 9,237 students have graduated from tech-voc courses offered by public and private TVET institutions in the region.

To date, there are around 199 institutions accredited by TESDA in Western Visayas offering tech-voc courses that prepare and help enrollees for a better chance to find gainful employment or start their own business after graduation.

Puertas said TVET courses were designed based on industry standards for students or workers to gain necessary skills or competencies for them to be employable.

10 automated weather stations up in Iloilo

(PNA) lgi/Richelle Jean E. Nacita (OJT) / VLO

ILOILO CITY, May 27 (PNA) -- Ten automated weather stations (AWS) will be installed in various municipalities of Iloilo including in this city that was inaugurated Wednesday afternoon.

The AWS installation project is a collaborative effort of the Manila Observatory, Shell Philippines companies, and Smart Communications.

Manila Observatory executive director Antonia Yulo- Lozaga said that the initiative aims to boost the climate resilience and disaster preparedness of local government units (LGU) across the country.

Genie Lorenzo, Project Research Associate at the Manila Observatory, said the 10 sites being identified for AWS are Passi, Lambunao, Sta. Barbara, Pavia, Janiuay and Miagao in Iloilo province and districts of Villa, Jaro, Lapuz and Manduriao.

The AWS can accurately record temperature and humidity, solar radiation, wing speed and direction, as well as rain fall, she added.

With the installation of additional AWS points in coastal cities, the information gathered will enhance Manila Observatory’s urban risk and resilience analysis, as well as its regional and local climate system research, said Lozaga.

Sankie Simbulan, Social Performance Manager and Lead for Shell Powering Progress Together Projects said that Shell is supporting the installation of a total of 50 weather stations concentrated Iloilo City in the Visayas, Davao City and Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao, utilizing its gas stations and oil depots as sites in order to achieve strategic reach for the AWS network.

Furthermore, Smart as telecommunication partner will provide the technology in data transmission in each coastal City.

Prior the unveiling of the first AWS, a climate resilience seminar was conducted to raise awareness among community representatives in Iloilo about weather, climate and the value of the AWS network in supporting the LGU to manage climate risks and prepare for weather- related disaster.

The LGU officials, representatives from the academe, church and business sectors as well as local media attended the seminar.

Iloilo City to host first Apec meet in July


ILOILO City is ready to host the four meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) with its first meet on July 23 and 24.

Junel Divinaracia, executive director of the local organizing committee, reported to the City Council on May 26 regarding the preparations for the four Apec meetings that include two Ministerial Meetings and another SOM on disaster risk management slated on September to October 2015.

The first SOM on finance will be held either at the old Iloilo provincial Capitol building or at Diversion 21 Hotel as the new Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) will not be ready yet.

The Ministerial Meeting on September 21-26 will be held at the ICC to be followed by the SOM on disaster risk management, the Ministerial Meeting on Food Security, and the Blue Economy on September 28 to October 6.

About 2,500 delegates from 21 countries in Asia and the Pacific Rim, including delegates from the United States, Canada and other western countries, are expected to attend.

Divinagracia said the national organizing committee (NOC) has assured that all expenses during the meetings will be shouldered by the committee, including vehicles for the foreign Ministers and support staff of the Cabinet Secretaries.

The LOC will facilitate the meetings and delegation officers will be dispersed to assist and guide the foreign delegation including the spouses.

Century-old city bldg restored soon

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

ILOILO CITY, May 25 (PNA) -- A century-old building, considered as one of the historical markers in downtown Iloilo City will soon be restored, according to Senate President Franklin M. Drilon.

Building owner Commission on Audit (COA) and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) are working together to revive one of Iloilo City’s historical markers, while the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) approved the budgetary request of P40 million to have it restored.

Drilon, instrumental in the building restoration, said the building, formerly known as the Elizalde and Co. building, is one of Iloilo City’s hidden gems, and preserve its historical value as a reflection of the city’s magnificent past as the Queen City of the South.

The COA building, or the “Edificio de Elizalde y Cia” building, is a hundred years old complex whose architecture depicts the age of progressive commerce and trade in Iloilo during the late 19th century to early 20th century.

The NHCP will soon start the four-phase restoration project for the COA building. The NHCP was authorized to take the lead in the restoration project, following a Memorandum of Agreement signed last April 7, 2014 between the COA and the NHCP.

The structure is also part of Iloilo City’s Central Business District (CBD), which has been declared a national heritage zone last June 2014. The ICBD, also known as Calle Real, is a district cultural heritage site and home to several infrastructures built at the height of Iloilo’s growth as a business and cultural center during the late Spanish and early American colonial eras.

Several heritage buildings preserved and used as stores and restaurants, dotted the Calle Real and restoration of some buildings started some two years ago.

The building lies along the Calle Real and beside the Iloilo Cityhall. The original owners used it as the family abode while a supermarket dominates the groundfoor as the first comprehensive grocery store in the city.

COA bought the building and established its regional office there until the audit agency transferred to Pavia, Iloilo.

City government’s health, local civil registrar, city planning, city budget and city tourism offices, among others, used to hold offices there.

Iloilo Esplanade Phase 3 starts


ILOILO City – Phase 3 of the Iloilo Esplanade will be in Muelle Loney near the city hall, revealed Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

It has already started with the construction of a bridge that will connect the City Proper and Lapuz district.

The Iloilo Esplanade is a flagship undertaking under the Iloilo River Development Project that aims to rehabilitate what is actually an arm of the sea.

Phase 1 of the project located in Mandurriao district was funded through the P70-million Priority Development Assistance Fund of Ilonggo Senate president Franklin Drilon.

According to Mabilog, Phase 3’s Muelle Loney Bridge leads to the new fast craft terminal in Barangay Progreso, Lapuz.

Phase 3 will also have a river promenade or walkway and a new leisure area for people.

The Iloilo Esplanade’s Phase 1 — now a popular tourist destination and rest and recreation area — was designed by renowned architect Paulo Alcazaren.

Phase 2, on the other hand, covers 2.6 kilometers at the other side of the Iloilo River across Phase 1. It is nearing completion.

Join Maasin Bike and Wholeness Day today


ILOILO – We all desire to have a healthy body but that is not enough to feel whole.

If one chooses to feel complete, his or her physical, emotional and spiritual states have to be aligned. How do we align them? By exercising, managing stress and strengthening our spiritual practice.

With this aim in mind, the Movement for a Sustainable Maasin is inviting Ilonggos to join the Maasin Bike and Wholeness Day today in Iloilo’s “bamboo capital,” Maasin town.

The event will start with a Maasin-Santa Barbara-Maasin bike fun ride from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

The program at the municipal hall will start at 9 a.m.

To grace the occasion are Mayor Mariano Malones, who will welcome the participants and spectators; Dr. Elmer Hubero, who will share about homeopathy, a natural system of healing; Dada Dharmavenanda, an American yoga monk, who will talk about stress management and basic meditation techniques; and Ravi, who will hold a yoga demonstration.

Other activities today are as follows:

• 8 a.m. – medical mission, Maasin plaza (free) • 9 a.m. – Track Bike Competition, Delgado Street (with prizes; to join, register by texting your name to 09224279467) • 10 a.m. –Yoga Meditation and Stress Management, Maasin gym (free) • 10:30 a.m. – Trisikad Competition, Maasin plaza (with prizes) • 3 p.m. – Skateboard Competition, Maasin plaza (with prizes) • 4 p.m. – Yoga Asanas Workshop, Maasin gym (free)

For more information, contact 09224279467 or 09212606657.

SSS-Iloilo to ink agreement with LGU, NGA for e-AlkanSSSya program


ILOILO CITY, May 22 (PNA) -- The Social Security System (SSS) Iloilo Branch is slated to sign agreements with a local government unit (LGU) and the Department of Health (DOH) next week for its e-AlkanSSSya program.

Asia Lopez, information officer, said that a memorandum of agreement (MOA) will be signed together with the Treatment and Rehabilitation Center of the Department of Health (DOH) based in the town of Pototan on May 28 that would pave the way for the latter’s job hires and contractual workers to enroll with the e-AlkanSSSya.

The agreement would benefit more than 40 job hires and contractual workers of the center.

A similar agreement will be signed together with the municipality of Cabatuan the next day.

SSS earlier entered into an agreement with the Guimaras local government unit in May 21 and with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines-Iloilo last April 23 to benefit some 100 job hires and contract workers.

The e- AlkanSSSya program is opened to job hires and contractual workers of government offices. As job hires and contract workers, they don’t enjoy and employer-employee relationship thus they are not entitled to benefits under the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

Their monthly contribution, however, will be deducted from their salary by the agency where they work for.

Aside from this two government offices, SSS is also targeting to enroll the job hires and contractual workers of the city government here.

Reading program caters to city street children


ILOILO CITY, May 21 (PNA) -- A village in this city has provided street children venue to experience excitement and fun of reading.

The Brgy. Aduana reading activity and feeding program started wayback 2010 when Iloilo City Librarian IV Asuzena Fernandez happened to pass by the pier area one afternoon and saw some street children who are frequenting the place.

She talked to village head Teresita Conejar about the possibility of hosting a reading program and her job hires at the city library if they could spare time and volunteer their services.

With all agreeing to the noble intention, the reading activity and feeding program was born.

“This serves as an outreach activity of the city library,” she said.

They have chosen Aduana for their venue because it is closer to the city hall where access to the library is easier.

Fernandez disclosed that sessions were held either on a Saturday or a holiday.

The city librarian shared that she was overwhelmed with the attendance that ranges from 15 to 50 children per session.

One of their staff, Nestor Atinado, also does puppet show to the enjoyment of children, she added.

Meanwhile, her staff and the officials of Aduana also augment for the snacks of the participants.

Fernandez hoped to someday bring the same activity to other districts of the city. Currently, they could not due to limited manpower.

She took pride in saying that the city library has plenty of children’s books because Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog always sees to it that every year they acquire new reading materials.

DA 6 conducts AEC Awareness Campaign among Farmers’ Organization


ILOILO CITY, May 20 (PNA) -- The Department of Agriculture 6 through its Regulatory Division conducted an awareness campaign on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) integration among farmers’ organizations in Western Visayas on Tuesday.

Dr. Jonic F. Natividad, Chief of Regulatory Division, said understanding AEC integration will equip farmer leaders of necessary information about its effects to the agriculture sector.

Natividad added that adopting organic agriculture technologies and strengthening good agricultural practices (GAP) among farmers’ organization will be a vital edge to gain competitive advantage among ASEAN member countries.

He encouraged the participants to emulate technologies and best practices of GAP-certified farms from other countries.

Felicitas M. Neturada, DA 6 Senior Science Research Specialist discussed the topic on Code of Conduct on Hygienic Practices for Herbs and Spices while Sonie S. Guanco, Agriculturist I talked on understanding GAP and its guiding principles.

The participants were expected to identify their needs and opportunities towards GAP certification of their respective farms in line with country’s AEC commitment.

The ASEAN Economic Community is an integrated economy of 10 ASEAN member countries. It is envisioned as a highly competitive economic region that is fully integrated into a global economy having equitable economic development and a single market and production base.

AEC 2015 heralds the establishment of the ASEAN economic community that will allow the free movement of goods, services, investments, skilled labor and capital flow in the region.

DTI allots P23.036M for 32 SSF projects in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, May 19 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is now gearing for the implementation of its shared service facilities (SSF) project with fund support worth P23.036 million.

DTI supervising trade and industry development specialist Ruby Melliza said that as of Tuesday they already have turned over 42 SSF facilities all over Western Visayas composed of 13 in 2013 and 29 in 2014.

“It is a major project of the DTI that provides tools and equipment to identified cooperators of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” Melliza said.

Its main purpose is to increase productivity, competitiveness and efficiency of MSMEs, she added.

Meanwhile, the 32 SSF will be provided to Aklan with six; Antique, four; Capiz, five; Guimaras, three and seven each for Negros Occidental and Iloilo.

City gov’t to build Ati village


ILOILO City – The city government here will establish a cultural village for the Ati community in Barangay Lanit, Jaro district.

Dubbed “Lanit sa Langit,” the project will be in collaboration with the civic organization JCI Ilang-Ilang.

It aims to provide huts and houses for the aetas, said Councilor Lady Ann Baronda, also a member of the organization.

The city government has long envisioned putting up such project, according to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

The village will include an area for the locals’ livelihood, as well as huts for tourists who want to immerse in the aetas’ way of life.

Baronda said the site may become a cultural tourist destination.

University of San Agustin’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Interior Design will take charge of the village’s structures, interior design, gardening, and landscaping.

Western Institute of Technology’s College of Engineering, on the other hand, will handle plumbing, drainage and electrical connections.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the village was held yesterday.

Abot-Alam registration to determine number of OSYs

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

ILOILO CITY, May 17 (PIA6) - - A desk will be set up in schools dedicated for Abot-Alam program registration during the conduct of Brigada Eskwela 2015 or the National Schools Maintenance Week which will start on May 18.

Dr. Eden Deriada, Chief, Education Support Services Division of the Department of Education 6 said Brigada Eskwela volunteers and Out of School Youths (OSYs) in the community, aged 15 to 30 years old, who have not yet finished basic or higher education, not in school, and not enrolled in the Alternative Learning System program are enjoined to register in the Abot-Alam registration desk.

Launched in March 2014, the Abot-Alam program is a convergence effort spearheaded by the DepEd and the National Youth Commission to provide target OSYs access to quality education and government’s programs and services. This is also to ensure that no Filipino gets left behind.

Deriada said since its launch, the program has already mapped more than 1.9 million OSYs nationwide of which 412,000 were given intervention and the 1.5 million have yet to be given intervention.

She said through the week-long registration they are hoping to map OSYs in the region this year to be able to have a captive knowledge of their number.

DepEd is also enjoining the participation of industry partners and private individuals to the Abot-Alam program. Industry partners are encouraged to provide education and employment opportunities in their areas and private individuals to identify and report OSYs they know of to the nearest DepEd office.

Iloilo to host Asean ‘smoke-free’ workshop


ILOILO City – This city will host a workshop on anti-smoking policies for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-countries from May 20 to 21.

The workshop aims to discuss initiatives against tobacco and share best practices among delegates.

Hosting the 3rd Smoke-free Asean is an honor for the city, according to Iñigo Garingalao, director of the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force (ICAST).

Garingalao believes Iloilo City was chosen as host due to the city government’s vision of making the city a smoke-free metropolis.

In February, the city government bagged its third Red Orchid Award from the Department of Health for having the “Best Anti-Smoking Initiatives” in the country.

It was already in the Health department’s Red Orchid Hall of Fame.

Governors, mayors, anti-smoking coordinators, health ministers, and other stakeholders from 10 Asean-member countries are expected to join the workshop.

The 3rd Smoke-free Asean workshop will focus on the theme, “Building the Alliance of Smoke-free Cities in the Asean Region.”

On Day 1, the participants will discuss anti-smoking laws based on the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, specifically “Protection from Exposure to Tobacco Smoke.”

Mayors and governors from cities, municipalities and provinces in the Asean will share their experiences in carrying out smoke-free initiatives during the “Smoke-free Leaders and Champions Summit” on the second day.

Aside from the Philippines, other Asean-member countries are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Site visits and a “Mayor’s Night” are also part of the two-day itinerary.

The workshop is organized by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance in collaboration with the World Health Organization in the Western Pacific and the Philippines’ Department of Health.

Iloilo Bridaga Eskwela kicks off with caravan

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

ILOILO CITY, May 15 (PIA6) - - The Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Iloilo City will kick off the 2015 Brigada Eskwela on Monday, May 18, with a caravan which will start at 6:30 A.M. in Mabini Street here.

DepEd Division of Iloilo City Brigada Eskwela Coordinator Concillo Bonilla said the caravan will pass major streets of the city and stops at Arevalo Elementary School for the opening program.

The caravan and the program will be participated in by school heads and representatives of elementary and secondary schools of the different schools district offices in the city. Other national government agencies were also invited to join the kick-off ceremonies.

Meanwhile, the other 17 schools division offices in Western Visayas will have their own kick-off activity organized by their respective coordinators also during the first day of the Brigada Eskwela or National Schools Maintenance Week, said Dr. Eden Deriada, Chief of the Education Support Services Division of DepEd 6.

In 2014, Education Secretary Armin Luistro personally attended the national kick-off ceremony here in Western Visayas held in the province of Guimaras. This year, Region XIII or the Caraga Region will host the event.

Deriada solicited anew the cooperation and support not only of parents but the community and other stakeholders in the region to the week-long activity that espouses the spirit of volunteerism to ensure that schools are clean, conducive to learning and disaster-prepared in time for the opening of classes on June 1.

She noted that the participation of the education stakeholders in the region to the activity improves every year may it be in terms of labor, time and in-kind support offered.

The 2015 Brigada Eskwela is guided by the theme “Tayo Para Sa Kalinisan, Kaligtasan at Kahandaan ng Ating Paaralan”.

Restoration work for old Iloilo Rehabilitation Center starts


Iloilo City, May 14 (PNA) -- restoration work for the old Iloilo Rehabilitation Center (IRC) Has started with a budget of P15 million for the Phase I which would include the interior and exterior walls.

Iloilo Provincial Administrator Raul Banias, in an interview Thursday, said that the initial budget comes from the Provincial Government as its counterpart while awaiting the funding from the national museum which is P18 million for Phase I.

“Scope of work is to restore the old facility, “Banias said. He said that the walls of the old cells would be torn down to expand the space for the museum with the intent to convert the old jail into the Western Visayas Regional Museum.

The national museum's total budget for the restoration work is P80 million including the succeeding phases, with a time frame of more than a year.

The facility will be operated by the National Museum and will showcase artifacts from around the region.

New nutri guides for Pinoys out

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

ILOILO CITY, May 13 (PIA) --- The media can spur the improvement of the nutritional status and quality of life among residents here by helping disseminate the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) 2012.

In the Iloilo Nutrition Communication Network (NUTRICOMNET) media forum held Wednesday, Salvador Serrano, Special Research Specialist II of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), said that media can help promote and encourage the public to use the NGF 2012 for a healthier lifestyle.

“Nutritional guidelines are simple statements that give advice on the consumption of foods and food components for which there are public health concerns,” he said.

The Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos 2012 are as follows: 1. Eat a variety of foods everyday to get the nutrients needed by the body; 2. Breastfeed infants exclusively from birth up to six months and then give appropriate complementary foods while continuing breastfeeding for two years and beyond for optimum growth and development; 3. Eat more vegetables and fruits to get the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber for regulation of body processes; 4. Consume fish, lean meat, poultry, egg, dried beans or nuts daily for growth and repair of body tissues; 5. Consume milk, milk products, and other calcium-rich food such as small fish and shellfish, everyday for healthy bones and teeth; 6. Consume safe foods and water to prevent diarrhea and other food-and water-borne diseases; 7. Use iodized salt to prevent Iodine Deficiency Disorders; 8. Limit intake of salty, fried, fatty, and sugar-rich foods to prevent cardiovascular diseases; 9. Attain normal body weight through proper diet and moderate physical activity to maintain good health and help prevent obesity; and 10. Be physically active, make healthy food choices, manage stress, avoid alcoholic beverage, and do not smoke to help prevent lifestyle-related non-communicable disease.

The first NGF released in 1990 was composed of five messages called “Dietary Guidelines for Filipinos."

In 2000, a revised nutritional guidelines composed of ten messages was released and it was called the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos.

In 2012, the Technical Working Group (TWG) for the revision of the NGF, led by the FNRI of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) developed a new set of the NGF, based on the 2000 edition.

The revisions were made based on the results of the 2008 National Nutrition Survey (NNS) conducted by FNRI-DOST.

Based on the said survey, the Filipino household diet fell below the recommended levels except for niacin, which is above the recommended. Furthermore, all nutrients and energy were below the 100 percent adequacy levels.

May 31 is 'World No Tobacco Day'

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

ILOILO CITY, May 12 (PIA) --- The Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas is strengthening its advocacy campaign against smoking, in line with the observance of “World No Tobacco Day” on May 31.

DOH-6 Senior Health Program Officer John Richard Lapascua said that local government units are gearing up on their respective anti-smoking campaign and promotion activities in support in support of the World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).

The World Health Organization has designated May 31 each year as the WNTD to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and diseases it causes.

Lapascua said that the DOH is pushing for stricter implementation of the national law which provides prohibited acts on smoking.

Among the prohibited acts are smoking in enclosed or partially enclosed public places, workplaces, public conveyances, or other public places; selling or distributing tobacco products in a school, public playground, or other facility frequented by minors, or within 100 meters from any point in the perimeter of these places; selling or distributing tobacco products to minors; and, purchasing tobacco products from minors.

Likewise, placing cinema and outdoor advertisements of tobacco products, and placing, posting or distributing advertising materials of tobacco products such as leaflets, posters and similar materials outside the premises of point-of-sale establishments are also forbidden.

Meanwhile, Lapascua said that the implementation of the Sin Tax law brought a decrease in smoking prevalence in the country.

He said that there has been data that showed a decline on the number of smokers particularly those who smoke “less than one pack a day”.

Among the youth, the sin tax law has brought down the ratio of smoking students in the country – from “1 in 5 students” to just “1 in 10 students”.

Local artists to perform during APEC ministerial meetings, welcome dinner in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, May 11 (PNA) -- The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) will tap local artists to join the repertoire of performers during the welcome dinner for the delegates of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meetings in Iloilo.

Junel Ann Divinagracia, executive director of the Iloilo Organizing Committee (IOC), said the National Organizing Council (NOC)-CCP, in charge of the welcome dinner, has already finalized their plan for the event.

Divinagracia said that CCP will utilize the city’s two famous festivals in welcoming the more than 600 delegates of the two meetings in September and October.

Thirty paraws (sailboat) docked at the Iloilo River with two dancers on board each boat as well as a Dinagyang tribe will provide a festive mood while the dinner is going on at the Royal Garden Hall.

Meanwhile, local designers and local singers and choirs will also be tapped during the cultural show dubbed as “Fused” that comes in four suites.

The welcome dinners that will be hosted by the NOC are slated September 24 and October 4 for the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Ministerial Meeting and the Food Security Week & High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security & the Blue Economy and Related Meetings, respectively.

DILG leads disaster planning


ILOILO City – After the regional launching of Operation Listo, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Iloilo also held a local launching of the disaster preparedness and management initiative.

It conducted a “convergence action planning” related to the program.

“This is just the first step of our [Operation Listo],” said DILG-Iloilo head Teodora Sumagaysay. “We have another activity — a provincial dialogue — on the last week of May.”

Involved in the planning are the local government units (LGU), represented by local chief executives; police stations, represented by chiefs of police; Bureau of Fire Protection, represented by fire marshals, and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, represented by jail wardens.

Three sets of Operation Listo manuals were distributed to the concerned agencies during the provincial launching.

The agency representatives were taught how to use the manuals.

“We planned on what to do at the LGU level (during disasters),” said Sumagaysay. “Each agency’s action should be aligned with each other. Each other’s role is specified.”

The LGUs were required to create an action plan, which should include a list of must-do things in preparation for disasters like typhoon.

In February, Undersecretary for Local Government Austere Panadero led the Western Visayas-wide launching of Operation Listo and the “Disaster Preparedness Manual-Oplan Listo (Typhoon Edition).”

For his part, Iloilo Police Provincial Office director Senior Superintendent Cornelio Salinas said coordinating every agency’s action during calamities is important.

He pointed out that the agencies’ response to previous disasters was “unsystematic.”

“Through the manual, we can have what we call a synergy of different stakeholders and their respective resources and personnel,” said Salinas.

Ilonggo farmers prepare for ASEAN Integration

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

ILOILO CITY, May 9(PIA)—Ilonggo farmers are looking into the strengthening of irrigation systems and structures and more infra support as they aim for competitiveness in the impending ASEAN Integration.

Likewise, they see the farming interventions given by government to be coupled with sound agri-development planning.

The farmers’ groups and grains retailers gathered in a forum recently organized by the regional office of the National Food Authority here to discuss the preparedness of the rice farmers for the AI and the lifting of the Quantitative Restrictions on Rice in 2017.

In the said forum, the NFA officials led by Regional Director Bernardo Asetre and Assistant Regional Director Hedy Jardeleza assessed how prepared both the farmers and the government for such situations.

“With the June 2017 deadline for the lifting of the QR, now is the time for us to unite and agree how our rice production can be competitive, profitable and sustainable,” Asetre said.

The forum was participated in by officials from the Regional and Provincial Farmers Action Councils, retailers groups, the academe and other stakeholders.

The farmers’ councils were one in their concern that the irrigation systems have to undergo major developments in infrastructures and local organizations to address problems on maintenance, lack of water supply and specific situations of localities.

Ricardo Provido, president of the Iloilo Provincial Farmers Action Council, said government has allocated big budgets for irrigation systems in the country as well as other agricultural interventions but issues on devolution may have affected implementation.

“There has to be prioritization and focus, as priorities have become political,” Provido said, adding that farmers’ association themselves have to be strengthened and empowered.

On the other hand, the grains and rice producers themselves said that government has introduced more than enough interventions to help them produce more, through facilities and machineries, but there has to be more studies yet as to the viability, usefulness and adaptability of these.

“On top of the machineries and equipment, is a study on what the area is suitable for and a comprehensive plan on agriculture of a certain community,” one farmer quipped in the midst of the discussion.

NFA Asst. Director Hedy Jardeleza said that since the forum sought to solicit recommendations, the stakeholders’ opinions and recommendations shall be considered well.

“The NFA is here to assist our rice farmers most in the midst of the challenges of the ASEAN Integration,” Jardeleza said.

Director Asetre said that the farmers’ views and recommendations during the forum will pave the way for an institutional unity among the rice growers, grains retailers and other stakeholders.

“Very important, of course is that, as we seek to be competitive with all the government interventions, is it also worthwhile to determine if our production is competitive enough in quality?” Asetre added.

Iloilo takes center stage during the Independence Day celebration

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

ILOILO CITY, May 8 (PIA) --- The 117th Independence Day celebration on June 12 in Sta. Barbara town here will be the opportunity to showcase Iloilo to the world.

Ilonggo Senate President Franklin Drilon said that this is the first time the commemoration of the country’s Independence Day will be taking place outside Luzon.

“All of us must work together in order that we can proudly present the city and province of Iloilo to the world,” he said.

He said that diplomatic corps, cabinet members, members of the Senate and Congress, the civic and business leaders will be coming here to take part in this historic event.

The Senate President is supervising the preparations in the city and province for the June 12 celebration.

“All the committees involved are working and I am satisfied with the preparations and progress. But we are also looking into what are necessary to ensure the success of the event,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the provincial government, and other concerned government agencies are also fine-tuning preparations for the celebration in Sta. Barbara town including the program and the physical arrangements.

The Sta. Barbara church was the site where General Martin Delgado of the Visayan Revolutionary Government declared the first Cry of Revolution against Spain outside Luzon.

NHCP spearheaded a P50-million restoration project of the Santa Barbara church and convent, in preparation for the 2015 Philippine Independence Day celebration.

Dinagyang warrior statue up at Iloilo Esplanade


ILOILO CITY, May 7 (PNA) -- A statue of a Dinagyang warrior will soon be mounted at the Iloilo Esplanade, one of the most sought-after destinations in this city.

On Thursday, the Junior Chamber International Philippines (JCI) Ilang-ilang entered into an agreement with the city government for the first legacy marker entitled “The Effigy of a Victor” as well as broke ground for the project.

“We have the vision to provide development opportunity that will empower young people to believe that there is change. One of the vast changes that our chapter can cultivate is that we will unveil the mark for our city together with our city government,” said JCI Ilang-ilang president, Atty. Essy Gennebelle Antonano.

The title “An Effigy of a Victor” represents our victorious undertakings and the development of the city. We want to be a part of that, she added.

The lowering of the time capsule was headed by Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog and other JCI members.

The JCI hoped to complete the project in 45 days as soon as the city government commences with the foundation work.

“We will first make a miniature. If possible we'll do it before June 12," said Gregorio "Boy" Masculino, Jr., local artist for the warrior.

No detail was mentioned as Masculino said that they only wanted the public to have a glimpse of what it looks like during the day of the unveiling.

IBC initiates link-up of local producers with businesses


ILOILO CITY, May 6(PIA)—The local producers should not be left out from the benefits of emerging businesses in Iloilo City.

The Iloilo Business Club (IBC) has initiated a project that will link local agricultural producers to businesses that are going up in Iloilo, like hotels and restaurants.

According to IBC Executive Director Lea Lara, they are aiming for inclusive growth for farmers amidst the burgeoning businesses here.

Lara added that IBC is doing a survey as to the needs for prime agricultural commodities of restaurants and hotels here, which the local farmers can provide.

“It is lamentable that despite the fact that Iloilo province is an agricultural economy, the hotels and restaurants still get their basic ingredients from Baguio or Tagaytay,” Lara said.

She added that they aim that 30 to 40 percent of the daily demand of businesses will be sourced from the local farmers to help them market their produce.

“We also see to it that it is not only enough supply that is available, but also the quality,” Lara said, adding that IBC will provide technical assistance for this purpose.

Meanwhile, the provincial government will be setting up a Municipal Agriculture Information System which will collate data of production from farmers.

This mechanism includes provision of phones to farmers so that the hotels and restaurants can get data direct from them.

IBC itself is also investing on Geographic Information System so that they can pinpoint key production areas and the needed access roads to markets.

“This will lessen transportation costs for businesses in the city,” Lara said.

OWWA offers free computer training this Labor month


ILOILO CITY, May 5 (PNA) –- The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has kicked off its week-long free computer skills training to interested individuals on Monday.

OWWA director Ron Lionel Bartolome said that the free computer training, focusing on digital ads (adobe photoshop and video editing) as well as fundamentals is open to the public and not just to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as part of their activities this Labor month.

Already, OWWA has conducted 23 sessions under its Information Technology Program for the first three months of the year, benefiting some 203 individuals who are OFW beneficiaries.

To recall, the free computer skills training was initiated to allow OFWs to communicate with their families using the latest available technology.

Iloilo promotes production of organic black rice


ILOILO CITY, May 4 (PNA) -- The Iloilo provincial agriculture office is promoting the production of organic black rice among farmers.

Ellas V. Sandig, focal person on organic agriculture of the province, said that the reason for this was the many health benefits of black rice.

It gives the farmers high income because compared to other types of rice, organic black rice is more expensive when sold to the market, he added.

For the recent record, one kilo of the organic black rice costs P70.

Already, some farmers from different municipalities in the province have embarked on planting organic black rice.

Sandig, meanwhile, said that the use of dry seeded rice technology was the best option for the production of rice this summer season.

The agriculture office, as for its long term target, eyes to export the organic black rice, which could improve the economic status of the government.

The provincial agriculture continues to promote organic farming as a way to become the best rice producing province in the country.

Football tourney eyes more nat’l players


ILOILO City – Philippine Azkals former team captain Chieffy Caligdong and former player Ian Araneta were among the products of the Monfort Cup Football Fiesta who kicked their way to fame and professional success.

And with the biggest and longest-running football cup in Iloilo, 4th District Provincial Board member Carmen Rita Monfort-Bautista hopes to produce more players like Caligdong and Araneta in the future.

Both former Azkals players hailed from Barotac town, Iloilo’s “football capital.”

“We are hopeful that more world-class footballers will come from Iloilo through the [Monfort Cup],” said Monfort-Bautista.

Monfort-Bautista led opening of the 14th Monfort Cup Football Fiesta on May 1 at the West Visayas State University football field here.

Eighty-nine football teams comprising 1,068 male and female football players from different schools, barangays and footballs clubs in Iloilo and Negros Occidental are competing in various categories.

“The Cup is getting bigger and better every year,” said Monfort-Bautista, granddaughter of the late 4th District representative Narciso D. Monfort, founder of the Monfort Foundation that sponsors the annual sports event.

“Last year,” she said, “we had only about 70 teams.”


All the players were insured. An ambulance is ready at the event site in case of emergencies.

Monfort-Bautista, chair of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan committee on youth affairs and sports development, said what makes the Cup unique is that there are no cash prizes at stake but only trophies.

“More than anything else, we would like the children to enjoy and have fun,” she said, believing that children need to play without having money as motivation.

“It’s all about camaraderie,” she stressed. “We don’t want money to be their end-goal.”

Meanwhile, Monfort-Bautista urged parents to give their all-out support to their children who want to pursue a professional career in football.

Not only does football teach camaraderie and sportsmanship, it also brings the players to different places here and abroad, said the Board member.

Monfort-Bautista thanked the Department of Education, Iloilo Football Association, Philippine Football Federation, and the Iloilo provincial government for supporting the Cup.

Vice Gov. Raul Tupas also graced the event.

10T in Bike Fest fun ride


ILOILO City – Participants in today’s 2nd Iloilo Bike Festival Fun Ride are not limited to biking enthusiasts from the city and province of Iloilo.

National biking groups Firefly Brigade, National Bicycle Organization and Dakila will also pedal in support to Iloilo’s campaign for road sharing, healthy lifestyle and greener environment.

An estimated 10,000 participants are expected to join the fun ride that Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog considers to institutionalize.

Miss International Bea Rose Santiago will also participate, said Iloilo City Youth and Development Division chief Rommel Castro.

Last year’s Bike Festival spanned only three days, with 5,000 participants in the fun ride. This year, the festival covered seven days, with more events like Bike Expo, symposium on safety and bike ordinances, art exhibit by Ilonggo artists on bicycles, and a 120-kilometer race.

Mabilog said the city’s “share-a-road” movement pushes for harmony between pedestrians, motorists and bikers.

The event also aims to promote Iloilo City as a sports and tourist destination, with the route covering major landmarks here.

The 20.53-kilometer route will also highlight the use of bike lanes along the Circumferential Road from Pavia, Iloilo to Arevalo district here, and along Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue, or Diversion Road.

The 2nd Iloilo Bike Festival Fun Ride will start at 3:30 p.m. at the Iloilo Business Park.

Biking groups from Western Visayas that confirmed participation were Janiuay Mountain Bikers, Capiz Cyclist Club, Antique Mountain Bikers (AMBA), JBLFMU Vanguards, Iloilo Padyak Extreme (iPad XTR), Unified, Mountain Bikers of Iloilo, Rock and Roll Mountain Bikers, Tambayan sa Taluer (TST)-San Miguel, Pavia Bikers Club;

Team Lubag, Iloilo Brakeless, Miag-ao Bikers, Kalibo Padjackers, JBLF Training Center Bicycle Club, Team Spin District, Iloilo Balantang Bikers Association, Beer Biker Team, Iloilo Mountain Bikers Federation, Centralian Cruisers Cycling Club (C4);

Very Friendly Bikers Oton (VFB), Iloilo Dog Lovers Bike Hobbyist, Ateneo de Iloilo Blue, Dragon Bike Club, Hao Xiao MTB Club, iFold, Phil.Ask_Watch (P.A.W.), BMX Racing Team, Westbridge Cycling Club, XC Trail Republic (XTR);

Iloilo Biking Buddies, Twenty-Niners Iloilo, Wolfenstein, MTB Biker Dudz Iloilo, Guimaras Mountain Bikers Club (GMBC), Guimaras Extreme Riders, 7 Eleven Bikers, Antique Freeriders, Agustinian Cyclist, Iloilo BMX Mafia, Iloilo Mountain Bike Association, Trailseekers Iloilo Bikers Group, and Zarraga Bikers.

P11.50 wage hike takes effect in Western Visayas

By Louine Hope Conserva

ILOILO CITY -- An P11.50 increase for minimum wage earners in the Western Visayas Region takes effect today in accordance with a March 27 order by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-Region 6).

“The order granted an adjustment of P11.50 for employees in the private sector both agricultural and non-agricultural,” said RTWPB-6 Secretary Nesa S. Nolido.

The wage hike was affirmed by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) on April 15, 2015.

Non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 workers will now be paying a P298.50 minimum wage while those with 10 and below, P256.50.

For the agriculture sector, the new minimum is P266.50 for plantation workers and P256.50 for non-plantation employees.

The wage increase was a result of petitions filed by workers’ organizations, including the General Alliance of Workers Association, New Independent Workers Organization and Ceneco Union of Rational Employees.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment in Region 6 reported an increase in the region’s employment rate, which stood at 94% or 3.136 million workers as of January 2015, up from from 93.4% in the same period last year.

“Our employment rate received a boost following the boom in the construction industry, road infrastructure projects and business process outsourcing (BPO). Also some companies continue to hire additional staff,” said DOLE-6 OIC Regional Director Salome O. Siaton.

DOLE in Region 6, simultaneous with other offices nationwide, conducted a job fair yesterday with some 40,000 local and overseas job openings.

More than 100 local companies, including BPOs and 29 overseas firms, participated in the event held at SM City Iloilo, Amigo Plaza Mall and SM City Bacolod.

The director said the agency is optimistic of surpassing a target of 15% of applicants hired on the spot.

Western Visayas is composed of the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental.