Iloilo City News May 2016

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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Map Locator 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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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
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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.


Iloilo City draws more BPOs, real estates


ILOILO CITY, May 31 (PNA) -- Iloilo City is selling like hotcakes to investors in the field of business process outsourcing (BPO) and real estate industries.

This was the assessment of industry players citing the metropolis potentials in attracting investments.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog stressed the welcome development manifested the city’s booming economy driven by business and tourism, which continues to provide jobs to the Ilonggos to improve their living condition.

Investors’ confidence is also attributed to the Ilonggos’ rich culture and educational excellence.

“Iloilo is diverse in terms of culture and the business here is booming. In fact, many investors from Cebu and Davao are looking for lands here to start their business,” said Megaworld Corp. public relations and communications head Harold Geronimo.

The company is developing the PHP35-Billion Iloilo Business Park, a live-work-play township that hosts BPOs, hotels, malls, condominiums and Iloilo Convention Center at the old airport property in Mandurriao district.

Megaworld said that they invested in the city because of its culture and business growth.

Iloilo City as an outsourcing hub is finding increasing favor with buyers, assessed Asia Property Report, a realty publication.

“Iloilo is buoyant growth city especially for the BPO sector owing to a high number of college graduates,” property portal Lamudi managing director Jacqueline Van den Ende was quoted as saying.

Developers and locators take advantage of the city’s adequate manpower pool with more than 20,000 graduates annually.

The city offers abundant office space with the presence of capable English-speaking, diverse young population; and lots of cultural activities, according to Property Report.

MIWD closely coordinates with DPWH 6 on pipeline repairs


ILOILO CITY, May 30 (PNA) -- The Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) is closely coordinating with the Department of Works and Highways (DPWH) on the repair of its pipelines in Iloilo City.

MIWD general manager Imelda Magsuci said that they were allowed by the DPWH to comply with their excavation permit after the repair of the pipeline.

“Before we cannot repair leaks without the excavation permit. But this time, with our coordination with the DPWH, we are allowed to excavate and comply with the excavation permit after the repair,” she added.

Meantime, Magsuci is urging the public to report to the MIWD any leakage on their pipelines for it to be properly addressed.

Engineer Joey Sioco has been appointed as coordinator on the repair and maintenance of pipelines.

Sioco and his team will be the one to assess and immediately repair the leaks of caused by the ongoing projects of the DPWH.

P262-M additional hospital budget OK’d

(ECGarcia, Capitol News/PN)

ILOILO – Twelve provincial government-run hospitals could already hire additional personnel to further improve their services.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved Supplemental Budget No. 2-A amounting to P262 million.

Of the total amount, P66 million was allotted for the hiring of 590 personnel such as nurses, doctors, X-ray technicians, etc., to address the personnel gap of the 12 hospitals.

Provincial Administrator Raul Banias, concurrent head of the Hospital Management Office, said the move is also in compliance with the licensing requirement of the Department of Health for Level I hospitals.

Nine of the 12 provincial government-run hospitals would upgrade their bed capacities this year.

Also included in the supplemental budget was P50 million for medicines.

Banias said the budget would ensure the availability of medicines and other medical supplies in the pharmacy of the hospitals.

It would also mean full compliance with the No Balance Billing policy of PhiHealth, he added.

Meanwhile, P18.6 million was allotted for the improvement of the province’ sports development program as well as sports facilities and infrastructures broken down into the following:

  • P2.6 million for grassroots sports development program, and
  • P16 million for improvement of sports facilities.

Last week, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan also approved Supplemental Budget No. 2 amounting to P45,102,993 for the midyear bonus of qualified provincial government employees.

EMB 6 to recognize model buildings with safe bicycle parking zone


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Two government buildings and another two commercial establishments in this city will be recognized by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) on June 3, 2016 as model buildings for providing a safe bicycle parking zone within their parking spaces.

The certificates will be handed to the Iloilo City Hall, regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Robinsons Place and SM City simultaneous with the inauguration of their bicycle racks as part of the road-sharing exercise that will kick off at 5:30 a.m. at the SM City grounds.

Rabbie Chris H. Carvajal, chief of the environmental education and information unit of the EMB, said that the event, which is held as part of the activities for the Environment Month, seeks to promote sharing of public places, making them available for cyclists and pedestrians and not just for motorized vehicles.

Iloilo City’s regulation ordinance 193 authored by Jose Efrain G. Treñas III and enacted in 2014 requires government and non-government buildings with existing parking space to provide safe bicycle parking zone

The road sharing exercise will be led by environmental lawyer, Atty. Antonio Oposa and EMB regional director, Atty. Jonathan Bulos. They will be joined by around 300 bikers from national government agencies, students from universities along General Luna and non-government organizations (NGOs).

From the SM City ground the bikers will traverse the Senator Benigno Aquino Avenue to Quezon Street towards Robinsons Place.

They will then proceed to the DENR regional office passing by Rizal Street, General Hughes and Pepita Aquino Avenue.

After DENR, bikers will take the Muelle Loney route going to the Iloilo City Hall for the inauguration of its bike rack.

Thereafter, the group will take the JM Basa route, proceed to E. Lopez passing at the back of the Iloilo provincial capitol. They will proceed to Jaro Plaza then take the El 98 route going to SM City for the inauguration of another bicycle rack.

The bikers will again proceed to the John B. Lascon Foundation Maritime University in Molo for a short program.

DOT recognizes WaterF’All heroes

By Lilibeth French (JCM/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, May 27 (PIA6) - - Junalyn Fontiveros of Lapaz, Iloilo City was declared grand winner of the “Operation WaterF’All or Water for All”, a water conservation advocacy campaign, launched by the Department of Tourism Region VI in the light of the current El Nino.

Fontiveros’ household registered a consistent reduction in their water bills and highest savings in terms of volume of water of about 43 cubic meters among the households, establishments and local government units that joined the campaign.

Participants, mostly households, submitted their water bills for six months, from October 2015 to April 2016, to DOT-6 as their entries and for verification of their water reduction.

Director Helen Catalbas of DOT 6 handed the P10,000 cash prize and certificate of appreciation to Fontiveros during the culmination activity of the campaign dubbed Recognition and Awarding of Operation WaterF’All Heroes held at SM City Iloilo on May 26.

Aside from Fontiveros, 100 other WaterF’All Heroes received their gift packs and certificates of appreciation during the awarding of which 25 of them recorded 1 to 3 cubic meters water reduction, another 25 recorded 4 to 8 cubic meters water reduction, another 25 recorded 9 to 15 cubic meters water reduction and 25 others recorded 16 cubic meters and above water reduction as indicated in their water bills.

Overall the campaign has resulted to a saving of 1,048 cubic meters total volume of water and P14, 861.62 total amount of money.

Catalbas said the figures may look small but behind this is a story of how members of the family cooperated with each other in order to save, how they played their roles in disciplining themselves despite the odds of El Nino so that they can control and manage their water consumption and in the process, still save and that is what is more important.

“It speaks of family unity, it speaks of discipline of Western Visayans as a people and it speaks of cooperation for a cause which is to combat the negative effects of El Nino,” said Catalbas.

The efforts done by the individuals, families and LGU who accepted the challenge of the advocacy campaign to conserve water or reduce their water use despite the escalating heat and scarcity of water is a heroic act, according to Catalbas.

Operation WaterF’All primarily aims to emphasize the importance of water in our daily lives. It also aims to contribute to the overall water sufficiency not only in the tourism destinations but in the region as a whole by actively promoting water conservation among tourism establishments, government offices, private companies, academe and households.

Director Jim O. Sampulna of the DENR 6, Asst. Regional Director Raul Anlocotan of NEDA 6 and Local Government Operations Officer Ana Lee Mostacho of the DILG 6 who are members of the Regional Ecotourism Committee in Western Visayas also attended the event.

Almost 3,000 jobs up for grabs on June 3 PESO job fair


ILOILO CITY, May 26 (PNA) -- Almost 3,000 local and overseas jobs are up for grabs in the upcoming job fair organized by the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Iloilo on June 3 at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.

PESO Head Francisco Heler Jr. said that as of May 25, there are already 104 companies that have confirmed their participation to the job fair.

Of the 104 companies, 79 are for local employment composed of five Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) and 74 local companies from Luzon, Cebu and Negros while 25 are for overseas employment composed of two sea-based companies and 23 land-based companies.

Specifically, Heler said that the companies offer jobs related to car or automotives, hotels, restaurants, malls and academic institutions, hospitals, construction and other industries

“With the 104 participating companies, almost 3,000 positions are available. We hope that we will have more hired-on-the-spots applicants,” he added.

In 2015, PESO Iloilo facilitated the employment of 4,656 applicants through job fairs, which was almost 50 percent higher than the 2,255 placed in 2014.

Help desk will be available during the activity where the major partners of PESO namely the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), among others to help the applicants when they have concerns or questions.

Special lanes will also be available for beneficiaries of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), solo parents, and Persons with Disability (PWDs).

Heler said that there are already almost 300 applicants who have pre-registered in their respective local government units for the job fair.

Also, about 10 LGUs in the province have committed to provide free transportation that will bring their applicants to the capitol and back to their respective towns on the day of the job fair.

Free pneumonia vaccines available for senior citizens in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, May 25 (PNA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) is making available to all senior citizens the free pneumococcal vaccination through their respective health centers, according to DOH Reg. Dir. Marlyn Convocar.

DOH has launched the Expanded Pneumococcal Immunization Program not only for indigent citizens but also for all senior citizens aged 60 and 65 years old to avail of free vaccination against pneumonia.

Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of serious illness throughout the world. A common type of bacteria, the pneumococcus, causes illnesses such as pneumonia, meningitis, middle ear and sinus infections, and a condition called sepsis, which is an infection of the bloodstream.

Age related-impairment of the immune system compounded with decrease of physical activity and poor nutrition increase the risk of severe pneumococcal infection.

Data from the DOH Field Health Services Information System (FHSIS) showed that pneumonia, along with acute lower respiratory tract infections rank as the second leading cause of morbidity among Filipinos in 2013.

Statistics point to pneumonia as one of the leading causes of mortality among Filipinos along with heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. As such, it is also the leading vaccine-preventable death in the country.

Convocar said the vaccine will comprise of two doses. Senior citizens aged 60 years old will be given the first dose and will receive the second dose after a 5-year interval. On the other hand, senior citizens aged 65 years old will receive one dose of the pneumococcal vaccine.

DTI: Compliance with price guide a must

By Lilibeth french (JCM/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, May 24 (PIA6) -- With about three weeks to go before the opening of the new school year on June 13, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Western Visayas reminded retailers here to comply with the price guide for school supplies and avoid overpricing.

DTI 6 Trade Development Division Chief Felisa Judith Degala said they have already distributed printed copies of the 2016 Price Guide for School Supplies to the different retailers in the region.

The “Gabay sa Presyo ng School Supplies” or the price guide includes the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for certain school supplies that were issued by manufacturers to retailers so as to ensure market share and fair competition in the market.

Degala said immediately when the price guide was released last May 17 price monitors in all the provinces of the region started to monitor the compliance of retailers.

She noted that based on the new price guide, majority of the school supplies retained their prices last year except for certain brands of crayons that increased their prices from P2.00 to P7.00. However, there is another brand of crayons that decreased its price from P1.00 to P6.00.

Other products that showed an increase in pricing are pencils and ball pens. For pencils, an increase of P2.00 to P3.00 was noted and for ball pens from P1.00 to P3.00.

Degala said the price increase in these school items was attributed to the increase in foreign exchange rate and cost of raw materials such as color pigments for crayons and wood slab for pencil.

She said DTI is always assured by manufacturers of enough supply of school supplies in the market.

“Sufficiency of school supplies will assure us of a competitive price and compliance with the SRP,” said Degala.

For discrepancy in the price of a certain item as listed in the price guide, consumers can always call the attention of the retailer or establishments or they could visit the DTI.

DTI will issue Show Cause Orders to retailers found to be selling beyond the prices indicated in the “Gabay sa Presyo ng School Supplies” and have them explain on the high prices of their products within 48 hours.

If they have no justifiable reason, they will be held liable under the Consumer Act of the Philippine or the Price Act.

Pursuant to DTI Department Order No. 06 Series of 2007, retailers found to be selling at very high prices can be imposed with an administrative fine of P20,000.00 to maximum of P1,000,000.00 while criminal penalties under the Price Act include imprisonment from five up to 15 years.

Iloilo City educational center of WV

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) -- Iloilo city is the education hub in Western Visayas, said the Commission on Higher Education-6.

CHED Supervising Education Specialist Dr. Rex Casiple said the city has 28 public and private colleges and universities at present.

Casiple cited recent milestones in higher education in Iloilo City, which CHED has facilitated as it is mandated.

It has converted the Western Visayas College of Science and Technology into the Iloilo Science and Technology University in May 2015.

Recently, it has facilitated the granting of recognition by CHED of the Iloilo City Community College, which Casiple considered as a milestone.

“It is a legacy of the Iloilo City government, in its fight against poverty through education,” Casiple said.

He added that the ICCC is the first local college in Western Visayas to be recognized by the CHED through a resolution en banc.

While the State Universities and Colleges are created by virtue of a Republic Act, the local colleges are created by virtue of a Local Government Ordinance.

“Both are governed by their own charter commonly known as either Board of Directors, Board of Trustees or Board of Regents,” Casiple said.

Meanwhile, there are three CHED Centers of Excellence (COE) and Centers of Development (COD) in various program courses in Iloilo City.

Central Philippine University is COE in Agriculture and Business Administration and COD in Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

West Visayas State University is COE in Teacher Education and COD in Nursing, while the University of San Agustin is COD in Teacher Education.

The COD and the COE programs, according to Dr. Casiple, are subsidized by CHED to give assistance to other schools in the region, in terms of research, faculty development, library and laboratory facilities.

EMB slates series of lectures for heightened awareness on protection and conservation of natural resources


ILOILO CITY (PNA) –- The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Western Visayas will gather municipal environmental officers and information officers of the various local government units in Western Visayas for a series of lectures on environmental protection and conservation.

The event slated on June 2, 2016 will kickoff the month-long celebration of the Philippine Environment Month held every June as mandated under Presidential Proclamation 237, series of 1998.

Atty. Jonathan Bulos, regional director of EMB, explained that the series of lectures during the one day environmental congress seeks to enhance public awareness and consciousness of climate change and impacts on people’s livelihood and environment, promote the 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) culture with emphasis on values formation and collective action in reducing carbon emission and recognize good practices on solid waste management for expansion and replication.

Among the topics to be discussed are the legal implications in the ecological solid waste management implication; challenges and way forward in environmental conservation, protection and management; challenges and way forward in the implementation of Republic Act 9003 and proper closure and rehabilitation of open and controlled disposal facilities.

This year’s Environment Month celebration anchors on the theme “Fostering Shared Responsibility in Integrated Waste Management.”

Iloilo City set to hold Flores de Mayo

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE City Government of Iloilo is set to hold Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May) and Santacruzan on May 27, 2016.

Flores de Mayo is a religious festival held in the Philippines in the month of May in devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Santacruzan is the ritual pageant held on the last day of the said religious event.

The event will be participated by 30 sagalas or maidens in costume who will join the procession, which will start at 4 p.m. from the Provincial Capitol grounds to San Jose Church at the Plaza Libertad passing the heritage buildings along Calle Real.

A holy mass and coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary will follow.

San Jose Church parish priest Father Raymundo Alcayaga said the event will also showcase the creations of local Ilonggo fashion designers who will provide the gowns of the sagalas.

Ilongga fashion model Rachel Santillan, who once graced the prestigious European fashion magazine Elle, will be the Santacruzan's Emperatriz.

Other queens who will join the Santacruzan procession are Iloilo Miss Dinagyang Vanessa Caro as Reyna Elena, Miss Paraw Regatta as Reina de las Flores. Iloilo Festival Queen Miss, Miss Manggahan of Guimaras and the three city lady councilors are also invited to particpate in the Sagala.

President of the Iloilo City Tourism Mae Panes said that the activity will increase the city's tourism development through its religious and cultural heritage endorsed by the City Government, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, tourism council, Department of Tourism Regional Office, and the City Tourism Office.

DPWH-6 slates cleanup operations of drainage system in preparation for the onset of rainy season


ILOILO CITY, May 20(PNA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways in Western Visayas (DPWH-6) will embark on cleanup operations this month in preparation for the rainy season.

DPWH 6 officer-in-charge Wenceslao M. Leaño Jr. said that he already instructed their district engineers to focus on the cleanup and maintenance of the drainage systems to avoid clogging.

A series of ocular inspections on drainage systems to identify points that should be cleared of debris and garbage have been done.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in Visayas forecasts the rainy season to start next month.

Meanwhile, Leaño likewise ordered contractors to fast track the construction of projects so they will no longer suspend their works due to the bad weather.

“We already gave them time to complete the project before the onset of the rainy season,” he said.

However, Leaño admitted that projects funded under the 2016 budget are just about to start these coming months, thus they won’t be completed before the rainy season starts.

DOH eyes strengthened public awareness on cervical cancer


ILOILO CITY, May 18 (PNA) –- The Department of Health (DOH) seeks to strengthen public awareness on risk factors of cervical cancer as the country celebrates Cervical Cancer Consciousness Month this May.

Cervical cancer is now the second deadlist cancer among Filipinas next to breast cancer.

“Let’s take this month of May as a challenge for us, especially to our health workers to help us advocate programs of the DOH with regards to cervical cancer,” said John Richard Lapascua, Senior Health Program Officer of the DOH in Western Visayas.

Lapascua explained that risk factors include host related cofactors, exogenous co-factors, and human papillomavirus (HPV) related cofactors.

Host related cofactors may affect people with immuno-suppression or those patients with low immune system while exogenous co-factors are present to patients who smoke or are affected with sexually transmitted infection (STI).

HPV related cofactors may occur with simultaneous infection with several high risk types.

Lapascua encouraged everyone to be informed of these risks for them to take the necessary preventive measures.

SP approves Php44-M for bonus of capitol employees


ILOILO CITY, May 18 (PNA) -- Employees of the provincial government are now assured of their mid-year bonus following the approval of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Php44 million supplemental budget during Tuesday’s regular session.

Supplemental budget number two contains the Php34 million taken from the general fund for the 1,474 capitol officials and employees and Php10 million from the Local Economic Enterprise for the 697 employees of provincial government managed hospitals.

Provincial administrator Raul Banias said that the approved supplemental budget would be submitted for approval of Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and thereafter would be forwarded to the Department of Budget and Management.

“We have about two weeks for the approval of DBM and before the end of the month, we hope that we will be able to download the fund,” he added

In March this year the capitol employees also received incentive totaling to Php44.86 million.

MIWD now gets full water-supply contract from bulk water supplier


ILOILO CITY, May 17 (PNA) -- Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) is now ready to get its full water contract of 15,000 cubic meter a day from the Flo Water Resources Iloilo, Inc. with the operationalization of its new pipeline, Tuesday.

A new pipeline connecting Injection Point No. 3 in Leganes to Injection Point No. 2 in Barangay Ungka, Jaro, Iloilo City was inaugurated today. It can accommodate the 9,000 cubic meters used to be undelivered by the Flo Water.

Prior the completion of the new pipeline, MIWD line could only accommodate 6,000 cubic meters a day.

The project was financed by the Development Bank of the Philippines through a Php51 million loan.

“This 400 mm pipeline could accommodate 9,000 cubic meters of additional water. This will augment the existing water supply this El Nino phenomenon,” said MIWD general manager Imelda Magsuci.

Magsuci assured that the additional water will be supplied to Iloilo City, specifically villages in the districts of Jaro, Molo, Manurriao, Arevalo and the City proper.

However, Magsuci clarified that the completion of the pipeline project will not translate to increase in tariff. She said that they will still maintain their Php15.90 rate per cubic meter for the minimum consumption.

She pointed out that MIWD’s rate is one of the lowest rates in the entire country today.

Today’s blessing and inauguration was attended by Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Leganes Mayor Adolfo Jaen.

Ocean Month celeb bats for “detoxifying” oceans

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

ILOILO CITY, May 16(PIA)—On the 17th year of celebrating Ocean Month this May, the focus is on the need to cure the oceans and the coastal areas of toxic elements.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which spearheads the celebration, said that the event also focuses on the importance of biodiversity in food security.

DENR-6 Director Jim Sampulna said protecting and conserving our marine and coastal resources equates to sustainable aquatic food production.

“Western Visayas has a lot of coastal resources needing protection and we need to act together to protect them,” Sampulna said. Sampulna added that the DENR-Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau will initiate a dual activity with mangrove planting and coral transplanting in Anilao, Iloilo.

DENR said mangroves are considered as natural barriers to tsunamis, storm surges and tidal waves.

“They also serve as spawning grounds for fishes and crustaceans,” Sampulna said.

A DENR-6 press release said that as part of the total mangrove ecosystem, the corals and the seagrasses have important roles in maintaining a balance in the ecosystem.

“The coral transplantation activity will help regain a healthy coral population,” Sampulna said.

The Philippines has at least 16 species of seagrass in an estimated 978 sq.kms. of seagrass beads, which serve as food for dugongs, manatees, sea turtles, hundreds of fish species and several species of waterfowls.

DBM 6 prepares SAROs, NCAs of gov't employees’ midyear bonus


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in Western Visayas is now working on the special allotment release order (SARO) and notice of cash allocation (NCAs) for the mid-year bonus of government employees employed in agencies within its jurisdiction.

However, DBM regional director Alfonso Bedonia Jr, said that some personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd) in the region, especially those employed in independent schools, may not be able to receive their bonus immediately.

He explained that independent schools, usually secondary schools, have their own administrative unit that handles their money concerns. For elementary schools, the fund goes directly to their divisions.

He said that there are only 17 divisions in Western Visayas to already include Negros Occidental. Whereas there are more than 400 independent schools in the region.

Aside from DepEd, DBM 6 also handles the processing of the bonus for employees of state colleges and universities (SUCs), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Health (DOH), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Commission on Higher Education (Ched).

DBM circular number 2016-3 states that the mid-year is equivalent to one month basic pay as of May 15 and shall be given to entitled personnel not earlier than May 15.

Iloilo City Community College now CHED-accredited

(Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City – The Iloilo City Community College (ICCC) is now accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

CHED-6 chief education program specialist Dr. Rex Casiple turned over the Certificate of Recognition for ICCC to operate as a Higher Education Institution (HEI) to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog on May 6.

The citation is a manifestation of the city government’s success in providing affordable, accessible and quality public education to underprivileged but deserving students giving them the opportunity to finish college, said Mabilog.

ICCC complied with requirements for the operation of a college, stated CHED’s Commission En Banc (CEB) resolution.

ICCC will be entitled to CHED benefits such as scholarships for students and teachers.

It produced five magna cum laudes and 27 cum laudes from its pioneer 149 graduates of four-year courses Bachelor of Science (BS) Travel Management and BS Office Administration on April 8.

Mabilog encouraged graduates of the city’s public high schools to avail themselves of scholarships provided by ICCC for deserving youth to finish college.

ICCC is currently accepting applicants for entrance examination and interview scheduled this May prior to enrollment and opening of classes in June.

Applicants must have a General Weighted Average of 82 percent and bona fide residents of the city.

They should bring primary documentary requirements including a National Statistics Office copy of birth certificate, report card, certificate of good moral character, and barangay clearance.

Interested parties are requested to visit ICCC fronting City High in Molo district or call Registrar at 335-0798.

Travel mag highlights tourist destinations of Iloilo


A TEAM from AsianTraveler Magazine came to Iloilo last week to feature the province’s emerging tourist destinations for its “Incredible Journey” issue, according to the Department of Tourism regional office.

The five day tour gave a glimpse of the province of Capiz as gateway to Western Visayas and highlighted the Iloilo municipalities of Carles, Miagao, San Joaquin and the city of Iloilo.

The itinerary included a visit to Panay Church in Capiz, Garin Farm in San Joaquin, Iloilo, Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City and the Hablon weavers of Miagao, Iloilo, island hopping in Gigantes Islands in northern Iloilo, hike to Tinagong Dagat in Lambunao, Iloilo dive in Bugnayan, San Joaquin, barquillos making and a taste of various gastronomic destinations around the province.

DOT Regional Director Helen J. Catalbas said other tourist destinations in mainland Panay and Guimaras, such as those in northern and southern Iloilo, are being developed and promoted to spread the blessings of tourism to many areas in Western Visayas.

Catalbas said the hosting of AsianTraveler Magazine is under the strengthened promotional campaign ‘Experience Western Visayas First’, where different media are utilized to instill pride of place among residents, create better Western Visayan hosts, and provide jobs through tourism.

AsianTraveler Magazine is an award-winning and longest running travel and leisure magazine published quarterly in the Philippines. Its “Incredible Journey” issue promotes culinary attractions and most established tourist attractions with 75,000 subscribers, 40,000 E-newsletter subscribers and partners with approximately 40 local and international tourism stakeholders.

Asean firm cites Iloilo City’s BPO boom


ILOILO CITY, May 12 (PNA) --An economic think tank for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region has cited this city's booming Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector.

“BPO facilities are located mainly in Metro Manila and Cebu City. However, more of such facilities are being found in the smaller cities like Iloilo and Baguio,” assessed Asean Briefing report about the country’s growth topping its neighbors as published on its website May 9.

Asia Briefing Limited is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates, a specialist on foreign direct investment practice which also provides services on corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review to multinationals in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and rest of ASEAN.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog hoped the citation will help strongly promote and globally sell Iloilo City as ideal investment destination.

He added that being a top BPO hotspot was a manifestation of the city’s business-friendliness, conducive investment climate, and strong economic promotions in attracting major locators to settle and expand here.

The metropolis was recently recognized as an established hub for Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) operations by the Information and Communications Technology Office of Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO) and IT-Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP).

The BPO industry is normally classified into the eight sub-sectors: contact centers, back office, knowledge processing services, data transcription, animation, software, engineering, and game developments.

“A consistent effort should also be made to promote the BPO sector as one of the Philippines’ pillar industries. The public too needs to understand and support the industry by creating an environment that facilitates BPO careers for graduates,” the business intelligence firm suggested.

The city government is collaborating and working closely with Iloilo Federation for Information Technology (IFIT) composed of private sector and academe in responding to the needs of BPO industry.

IFIT executive director Joeven Tansi noted there were 12,000 BPO jobs available for applicants, adding to the current 20,000 employees working in 45 companies operating here.

IT-BPAP President Jose Mari Mercado said Iloilo had developed a good ecosystem to attract multinationals and BPOs. He added the next step was to develop the local ICT industry to motivate students to take up IT-related courses and capacity development programs supported by the industry to support the human resource requirements.

“The rise of the popularity of the Philippines as a BPO destination owes to its large English speaking workforce who are demographically young and whose wages are competitive in the BPO market. Additionally, the Philippines boasts a large degree of economic and political stability, which compliment government sponsored economic zones offering both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for investors,” said the Asean consulting company.

Italy pours more aid to Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, May 11 (PNA) -- The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, through ActionAid Philippines and Balay Mindanaw, will give additional support to the continuing effort of empowering poor farmers to attain food and income security.

Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno, who is instrumental in securing the aid, will lead the distribution of additional 14 rice threshers and hand tractors to select farmer-beneficiaries in a ceremony to be held at 3 p.m. in Casa Real de Iloilo on May 12.

He will be assisted by ActionAid Philippines Country Director Joyce Laker, Balay Mindanaw Foundation Trustee Ariel Hernandez, Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., Provincial Administrator Raul Banias and Provincial Agriculturist Ildefonso Toledo.

The farm machineries are part of Italy’s PHP25-million post-Yolanda aid to the Philippines, which aims to contribute to improving income and food security among marginalized farmers and fisher folk in Iloilo.

It is in addition to 130 hand tractors and 65 rice threshers which they provided last year that helped increased the productivity of 1,765 farmers in Batad, Carles, Estancia, Concepcion and San Dionisio.

Laker explained that prior to the distribution of the equipment, the farmers were organized, mobilized and mentored on how to lead and manage their associations or cooperatives.

Series of training on the maintenance and repair of the equipment, agribusiness, food security, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and women’s rights were then conducted.

From June 27, 2015 until April 26, 2016, the project benefited 1,765 smallholder farmers (950 men and 815 women) from 28 farmers cooperatives. It also reached approximately 12,500 women, men and children indirectly.

According to Laker, the sustainability of the project now lies with the farmer-beneficiaries and the local government units.

Reelected Iloilo gov thanks voters, vows to continue reforms he started


ILOILO CITY, May 10 (PNA) -- Reelected Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. thanked his supporters on Tuesday for giving him fresh mandate to continue the reforms he has started in the next three years.

“Thank you for your trust and confidence in me. I am hopeful that in my last term as your governor, you will help me fulfill the dreams and aspirations we both share for Iloilo,” Defensor said in mixed Hiligaynon and English languages.

In a separate interview with PTV-4, Defensor reiterated his promise to transform the face of then sleepy and poor Iloilo into a progressive and vibrant province through good governance before his term expires in 2019.

“That will be the kind of legacy I want the people to see and experience. Iloilo will be entirely different three years from now,” he said.

Poverty alleviation, he said, will remain in the forefront of his platform of governance and the programs to make the province business-friendly and competitive will be intensified to pull more big-ticket investments here.

He also stressed that his administration will be “aggressive” in seeing to it at every Ilonggo has access to basic social services, especially in healthcare, education, sustainable livelihood and improved accessibility (e.g. paved roads).

Meanwhile, Defensor, also the provincial chairperson of the ruling-Liberal Party in Iloilo, admitted that he was expecting presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to win based on the surveys released days ahead of the election.

He believed that the traffic woes in Metro Manila, including the Mamasapano clash and the poor services in Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which the present administration failed to address, affected the candidacy of their standard-bearer, Mar Roxas.

“Although Mar is the most qualified candidate..., it is clear that the majority wants a different style of governance. I am just crossing my fingers that this will not turn into a disaster,” he said.

Nonetheless, the Liberal Party in Region 6 delivered the expected majority votes for Roxas.

Iloilo Provincial Board of Canvassers starts convening

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

ILOILO CITY, May 9(PIA)—The Iloilo Provincial Board of Canvassers is starting to convene at this time to wait for transmission of results.

This despite the glitches in vote counting machines which did not hamper at all, the voting in the province of Iloilo, according to Provincial Comelec Supervisor Atty. Wil Arceño.

Arceño said all the defective VCMs were replaced as the province has 30 machines for the purpose.

“This is positive sign of the elections and we hope by 5:00 this afternoon, we would have finished voting,” he added.

He said the malfunctioning of the machines may have been due to overheating but this cannot really be determined unless the machines are opened.

He said that ballots rejected are counted when inserted again in good functioning VCMs.

Given a normal flow as of this time, and a good signal for transmission, Arceño said the Board of Canvassers will be able to complete results by Wednesday or Thursday.

“The credibility of these results will be determined by the Random Manual Audit,” Arceño added.

He recalled that the last two elections in his experience, Comelec has yielded credible results.

DOLE 6 to recognize outstanding workers in the private sector in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- For the first time, top performing workers from the private sector in Western Visayas will be given due recognition as part of the activities lined up during this month-long celebration of the Labor Day in this region.

Labor and Employment OIC assistant regional director Salome Siaton said that nominations for the 1st Search for Workers/Employees are now being accepted at their regional office. The deadline is set on May 13, 2016.

The search is open to all Filipino rank and file workers employed in private establishments in Western Visayas that are compliant to Labor Standards.

One winner will be chosen each from services, agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

To qualify, the nominee must be currently working in the endorsing company for at least three years, must have exemplary work performance, promote good labor and management relations, have good moral character and leadership skills and an active community member.

Winners will receive a Plaque of Excellence for the Outstanding Worker/Employee.

The final screening is set on May 18-20 while the awarding ceremony will be during the culmination of the celebration on May 27 with Labor Sec.Rosalinda Baldoz as guest of honor.

The search is spearheaded by the Regional Coordinating Council of Region 6 in coordination with the Regional Tripartite industrial Peace Council in Western Visayas.

Iloilo gets P118.4-M for feeding program

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA)—The province of Iloilo will get a share of P118.4 million from the P374.6 million funding for supplementary feeding program in Western Visayas.

The program is intended for children aged three to five years old who are enrolled in day care service.

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the feeding program provides food in addition to the regular meals to enrolled Day Care Center children, in the form of hot meals recommended by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI).

DSWD-6 Director Rebecca Geamala said the program is a response to the 2006 Family Income and Expenditure Survey which revealed that 11 percent of Filipino Families had income that cannot buy the food needed by family members for nutritional well-being and health.

“These families are considered hungry and food poor,” Geamala said.

“Through the feeding program, we will be able to help curb hunger in the region, especially among children,” she added.

DSWD Information Officer May Rago said the supplementary feeding program also aims to improve knowledge, attitude and practices of children enrolled in day care centers, as well as parents and caregivers through intensified nutrition and health education.

“Through this, the nutritional status of children is improved and sustained, and their medical and nutrition-related problems will be referred to health units,” Rago said.

Besides Iloilo, Antique will also get P41 million; Capiz, P34.9 million; Aklan, P26.4 million; and, Guimaras, P8.7 million.

The Negros island region will also get P145.2 million.

OWWA 6 disburses more than Php400-T for assistance program to 250 scholars in W. Visayas


ILOILO CITY, MAY 6 (PNA) -- The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)here has released Php412,000 during the first quarter of this year for the implementation of the education and livelihood assistance program (ELAP) in Western Visayas.

ELAP has 250 scholars in Region 6 composed of 110 males and females, according to the OWWA report.

The program has two components namely a scholarship for each legal dependent of the deceased overseas Filipino worker (OFW) and livelihood assistance for the surviving spouse.

Survivor-scholars of deceased OFWs could get an amount of Php 5,000.00 for elementary; Php 8,000.00 for high school and Php 10,000.00 for college annually depending on their educational level at the time they availed of the program.

The surviving spouse will receive Php15,000 worth of livelihood package to start a small business that will provide another source of income for the deceased OFW’s surviving family members.

DOH bares 3,407 wheelchairs for PWDs

(Sun.Star Iloilo)

WESTERN Visayas has a share of 3,407 wheelchairs for persons with disabilities from the Department of Health, according to Health Secretary Janette Garin.

A ceremonial turnover of the wheelchairs to the region was held May 3,2016 in the presence of President Benigno Aquino III in Iloilo City that signals the start of massive wheelchair distribution nationwide.

The DOH procured a total of 85,311 wheelchairs to equip primary care facilities nationwide. The wheelchairs will be distributed to rural health units, urban health centers and barangay health stations.

A total of 68,249 units are allocated to the regional health offices where 15,586 will be given to RHUs and BHS for patients short term use, 20,044 units for patient transport within the facilities.

A total of 23,379 units will be received by the DOH regional offices for patients use through other sources and 9,240 units for persons with disabilities needing long term use.

The additional 17,062 wheelchairs will be distributed to the RHUs and BHS for short term use of patients. There are 3,362 walkers and 500 canes that will be given to patients needing ambulatory support.

In Western Visayas, the wheelchair distribution is 418 Aklan province, 448 Antique, 703 Capiz, 169 in Guimaras, 1,388 in Iloilo province and 281 for Iloilo City.

Western Visayas to avail of 3,407 ambulatory support from DOH


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -– Western Visayas is a recipient of some 3,407 various ambulatory support provided by the Department of Health (DOH) under the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP) program of the national government.

Health Secretary Janette L. Garin, during the ceremonial turnover of wheelchair here Tuesday, said that DOH has procured 85,311 wheelchairs to equip primary care facilities nationwide.

These wheelchairs will be distributed to rural health units (RHUs)/urban health centers (UHCs) and barangay health stations (BHS) nationwide.

In addition 3,362 walkers and 500 canes will be given to patients needing ambulatory support.

DOH data disclosed that of the 3,407 combined ambulatory support for Western Visayas, 1,388 will be released to Iloilo province; 418 in Aklan; 448 in Antique; 703 in Capiz; 169 in Guimaras and 281 for Iloilo City.

Health Undersecretary Vicente Belizario Jr. said that persons with disabilities can also avail of the walkers and canes for long-term use provided they comply with the requirements set forth by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and upon application with the health department.

During the ceremonial turnover, Mary Jane Lagunday, a PWD-recipient of wheelchair from Leganes, Iloilo, said that the equipment will make it easier for her to sell goods like tocino, longganisa and even Avon products.

OWWA disburses PHP2-M for seafarer’s upgrading program


ILOILO CITY, May 3 (PNA) -- The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has spent some PHP2.022 million during the first quarter of this year for the seafarer’s upgrading program (SUP) in Western Visayas.

Data from OWWA showed that 507 seafarers have availed of the program during the said period.

SUP provides scholarship program for short-term upgrading courses for seafarers. First time recipients may receive PHP7,500 worth of training assistance.

The recipient is eligible to avail of the succeeding training course every after three recorded membership with OWWA.

Those who are interested to avail of the program are advised to visit the OWWA office nearest them.

RTWPB facilitates ‘fun day’ for house helpers in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, May 2 (PNA) -- "Kasambahays" of house helpers who are on day-off this May 21 are encouraged to join the "Kasambahay Fun Day", an initiative of the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) as its contribution to the month-long celebration of Labor Month this May.

Atty. Aileen Valaquio, board secretary, said that the event is going to be a fun-filled day with the pampering and product sampling to be made available to the kasambahays.

Also they will be putting up a help desk and likewise conduct orientation on social protection to raise their awareness on benefits and privileges due them as domestic workers.

Valaquio shared that kasambahays should know that there has been a Php500 increase in their monthly minimum salary effective February 18 this year.

Under Wage Order No. 01, domestic workers in first class municipalities and cities will have a monthly minimum wage of P2,500 from Php 2,000.

Minimum wage for those working in other municipalities will be Php2,000 from the previous Php1,500.

Republic Act 10361 or the Domestic Workers Act covers workers such as but not limited to general househelp, "yaya", cook, gardener, laundry person or those who perform domestic work in one household on an occupational basis.

The one-day event will be held at the Jaro gymnasium, this city.

DA-6 urges farmers to organize for increased income


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) 6 here is encouraging farmers to organize to increase their income.

Manuel O. Olanday, DA 6 Technical Director for Operations and Extension, said that 50 percent of the poor are farmers and fisherfolk.

They are being encouraged to organize and become entrepreneurs. DA has already provided trainings to the farmers to improve their entrepreneurial skills.

“We have a lot of trainings however, the problem is the character of the farmers who are not engaged into cooperativism,” Olanday said.

He also said that farmers in the region are individualistic in terms of selling their products and they compete with each other.

“If they belong in a cooperative, there products will be consolidated and sold and their income will be higher,” he said.

Further, Olanday said that the middlemen who buy the products of the farmers at a low price is also a reason for their low income.

“That is why it is very critical that they should be organized,” he said.

Currently, DA 6 is working on capacitating the farmers and fisherfolk to form their organizations and cooperatives.