Iloilo City News November 2012

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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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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Dinagyang Festival is ‘big brother’ to other festivals in PHL


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 30 (PNA) -- Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival plays the role of a "big brother" to other festivals in the country and its organizers are willing to share learning with other local government units (LGUs) that want to establish their local festivity.

This was shared by City Tourism and Development Office (CTDO) head Benito Jimena in Thursday’s kick off of the series of media interaction as part of the preparations for the 2013 Dinagyang Festival.

Jimena said that Dinagyang Festival now serves as benchmark for other festivals in terms of music, choreography and costumes.

“Iloilo's Dinagyang Festival has a name already,” he stated, adding that other festivals try to copy its beats.

The festival now only has five years to reach its golden age. It has evolved into a big religious and cultural event supported by both the government and private sectors.

The festival is held in honor of Señor Santo Niño but its cultural presentations trace their beginning from the barter of Panay by the 10 Bornean datus from the Aetas led by King Marikudo held way back 13th century in Sinugbuhan, San Joaquin town of Iloilo province.

Dinagyang has already won numerous awards and recently was the only festival to became finalist in the Galing Pook award, a recognition bestowed to best practices of LGUs.

Next year will be another year of exciting performances as participating groups to various competitions are working to improve their production number, according to Ramon Cua-Locsin, chairman of the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc (IDFI), the implementing arm of the activity.

He disclosed that 11 tribes will vie for the Ati-Ati and maximum of 15 for the Kasadyahan. Subsidies for the Ati tribes are expected to increase similar with the Kasadyahan groups, Locsin added.

Iloilo gears towards 100% Filaria elimination

By Karen V. Bermejo

The Department of Health is gearing towards the 100 percent elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis cases in Iloilo as it culminates its five-year mass drug administration campaign this year.

The World Health Organization said that filariasis is “transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected aedes poecilus mosquito and develop into adult worms in the lymphatic vessels causing severe damage and swelling.

Ana Maria Hibionada, regional Filariasis program coordinator of DOH said that Iloilo is the first province in the region that will complete its 5-year MDA program.

The MDA program or the distribution of anti-Filaria drugs is one the main strategies of DOH for the elimination and prevention of the parasitic disease that affects about 645,232 Filipinos today.

This year also is the fourth year for the province of Capiz, third in the provinces of Aklan and Antique and the second year for Iloilo City.

Hibionada noted that the MDA started in 2007 in Iloilo with the discovery of the first Filariasis case in Lambunao town.

She said that in 2007, about 501 persons were tested for filariasis and 66 were found positive in the town of Lambunao and 14 in Concepcion.

In this year’s survey, Lambunao now has three positive cases and Concepcion has none.

In other parts of the region, positive cases were also seen in Tapaz, Dumalag and Jamindan in Capiz; in Valderrama, Bugasong and Laua-an in Antique and in Libacao, Madalag and Malinao in Aklan.

Meanwhile, Luisa Hipolito, Iloilo City Filariasis Control Program Coordinator encouraged the public to avail the free anti-filaria drugs like DEC or Diethylcarbamagine citrate and Albendazole.

Hipolito also urged the public’s participation in the intensive information dissemination against filariasis.

Of the 44 affected provinces in the country, 15 already successfully reached the elimination stage in 2011. These include: Southern Leyte, Sorsogon, Bukidnon, Biliran, Romblon, Agusan Sur, Dinagat Province, Cotabato province, Compostela Valley, Marinduque, Albay, Catanduanes, Eastern and Western Samar, Mindoro Oriental and Mindoro Oriental.

City gov’t gives assistance to fire, tornado victims


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 28 (PNA) -- The city government has extended financial assistance to 16 families who were victims of tornado that lashed the city last October.

Mayor Jed Patric Mabilog said the city government has earmarked P65,000 and distributed the same to the beneficiaries on Wednesday.

Two families from Brgy. Hipodromo whose houses were totally destroyed were given P5,000 assistance each.

The beneficiaries were mostly fire victims from three city barangays. Families of three totally burned houses were given P5,000 each as financial assistance and three partially houses of P2,500 each of Brgy. Compania Central in Molo district.

Owners of five totally burned houses were given P5,000 each and three partially burned received P2,000 each in Brgy. Cubay, Jaro district.

Iloilo City ready for Batang Pinoy Games


ILOILO City, together with the Iloilo Provincial Government and the Department of Education, are all set to host the 2012 Philippine Youth Games popularly known as Batang Pinoy (BP) on December 5-8.

Around 1,778 athletes and sports official from 130 local government units in the country are expected to participate in the event.

Spearheaded and organized by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the games for local government unit (LGU)-based 15 years old and below, mostly from the elementary grades, will present sports action in 14 sports disciplines.

The competition will be on arnis, archery, athletics, swimming, basketball, badminton, chess, table tennis, lawn tennis, boxing, karatedo, taekwondo, wushu and triathlon.

PSC commissioner Jollie Gomez said the revival of BP will focus on talent identification in the grassroots. The BP is looking for those qualified to be enrolled in the proposed regional sports academy.

BP also plans to adopt athletes for further training earmark to compete in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, he said.

Gomez said the BP was revived two years ago, and was only revived last year in Naga City upon the recommendation of the late Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

He said Iloilo City is a perfect venue for the games, with it having several sports venues and covered gymnasiums, augmented by billeting schools mobilized to accommodate the athletes and sports officials.

Iloilo City will be fielding a total of 258 composed of 227 athletes and 31 coaches, while Iloilo province will have 141 athletes, 28 coaches and 5 officials.

The National Capital Region will have 250 athletes, 65 coaches and 27 officials; Northern Luzon with 271 athletes, 57 coaches and 26 officials; Southern Luzon with 249 athletes, 60 coaches and 22 officials; and Mindanao with 232 athletes, 62 coaches and 25 officials.

Expected to arrive during the opening ceremonies are PSC chairman Reggie Garcia and Senator Pia Cayetano. Iloilo City Mayor will also invite other government officials and sports enthusiasts to the games.

Iloilo now key player in business – DTI

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

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 26 (PIA6) – Metro Iloilo has been included in the 2012 Surveys of Enterprises on Corruption, where more than 70 percent of the respondents expressed satisfaction on the efforts of the local government in promoting good business climate.

Department of Trade and Industry-Iloilo Director Wilhelm Malones said in media interviews that this meant that the city and province of Iloilo have growth potentials.

“We are included so that we will be aware that we have become a great part of the big group which can contribute so much in the business,” Malones said.

The survey also showed that about 66 percent of respondents have good business expectations in the next two years in the midst of perception that the level of corruption is found the most in the city and municipal government.

Malones noted that Iloilo has tools to enable it to address corruption that includes investment and incentives bodies existing in the local government units.

The perception can make way for the stakeholders to review the procedures that need improvement, Malones also said.

Malones said there is the need for officials to identify what would be their focus, particularly in reducing the steps of transactions to reduce perception of corruption.

It was the first time for Metro Iloilo to be included in the survey together with Angeles in Pampanga.

Before, the surveys covered only the National Capital Region, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas.

More participants expected to join Dinagyang’s Kasadyahan cultural contest in Jan


ILOILO CITY — The Kasadyahan regional cultural competition, among highlights of the 2013 Dinagyang Festival, will be a showdown of best festivals among local government units in Western Visayas and festival interpretation by colleges and universities here.

Five groups have confirmed their participation to include this year’s defending champion and winner of a consolation prize during the Aliwan Fiesta, Salakayan Festival of Miagao; Hubon Saranggola and Hubon Binagtong, all of Guimaras’ Manggahan Festival; Tribu Hugyaw of St. Therese MTC Colleges and Olalong of Cabalum Western College.

Dr. Eden Deriada, in-charge of the Kasadyahan Group said that she has already talked to several interested groups and she is just waiting for them to submit their documents.

These groups from University of San Agustin; Western Visayas College of Science and Technology; University of the Philippines; Leon, Leganes and San Joaquin all in Iloilo province and from Capiz.

She said the Dept. of Tourism under Atty. Helen Catalbas as regional director also committed to help in encouraging festivals from other provinces in the region to be part of the cultural event.

This year the participation of Bacolod City’s Masskara Festival; Sigabong sang Kanyon and Hugyaw Kansilay from Negros Occidental; Mandaragat and Panguyang from Antique; Sinadya sa Halaran from Capiz; Palayag sang Buenavista and Hubon Sinulog sang Oracon all in Guimaras and Ati-Atihan of Kalibo added color to the festivity.

Other participants during the 2012 cultural competition were the Tribu Maragtas of the West Visayas State University (WVSU), Kahilwayan Festival of Sta Barbara, Iloilo and Hugyaw Arts and Dance Company of the St. There MTC College.

The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in this city, held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog in Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan.

It is held both to honor the Santo Niño and to celebrate the arrival on Panay of Malay settlers and the subsequent selling of the island to them by the Atis.

Iloilo pursues bid to host APEC Summit in 2015

By: Francis Allan L. Angelo

ILOILO will pursue its bid to host the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) summit in 2015 amidst comments that it is “too ambitious.”

Senator Franklin Drilon mocked the comment saying “there is nothing wrong in having big ambitions.”

“Why can we not be ambitious? Tell me. What’s wrong with being ambitious? No one could have said that we can have a convention center but it is now here,” Drilon said.

The Ilonggo senator said it is about time that the city and province of Iloilo is showcased to the world via international conventions and meetings such as APEC.

“Andrew Tan of Megaworld pledged that they will hasten their projects so that the hotels and other amenities are ready should we host the APEC summit,” he added.

The 2015 APEC summit is being considered in the island resort of Boracay in Aklan province. A team from the Department of Foreign Affairs visited the island two weeks ago to assess its capacity to host the international gathering of world leaders.

But sources in Boracay Island said the island must cope with problems of flood, security and accessibility to become a satiable site for the summit.

Drilon said holding international summits in Iloilo will also shore up market for international flights between Iloilo and Hong Kong via Cebu Pacific Airlines.

“We have to create activities that will also help the market for international flights or else it will not last,” he said.

DSWD readies 2013 120-day supplemental feeding program


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 23 (PNA) -- Preparations are underway for the 120-day Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Food Authority (NFA) 2013 Supplemental Feeding Program (SFP).

National Food Authority Iloilo Asst. Manager Jose Pacificador said their early preparation is necessary so they could deliver the rice to the respective Day Care Centers in Iloilo early.

“We need to iron fortify the rice before its delivery,” Pacificador explained.

The SFP, which is being spearheaded by the DSWD is one of the government's priority program which aim to mitigate hunger and address malnutrition among the day care children.

This year, the SFP has been implemented in the 5,557 Day Care Centers throughout the six provinces of Western Visayas including Iloilo. It benefited a total of 185,198 children who received cooked rice cereal and viand prepared by their own parents’ at the Day Care Centers.

According to the DSWD Regional Office 6, the same Day Care Centers in the region will be next year's beneficiaries.

New tourism ad soon to air worldwide


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 22 (PNA) -- A new promotional material for the Philippines will soon be unveiled by the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Russia, Europe and other Southeast Asian countries.

Two advertisements that were shot in Boracay Island were first shown here Thursday during the 2nd Western Visayas Business Forum, spearheaded by the University of Iloilo-PHINMA president Dr. Chito Salazar.

The commercials depict how foreigners have embraced the Filipino culture and enjoy the richness of the country’s natural resources such as its pristine beaches.

DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., who was the guest of honor during the forum, emphasized that the advertisements are not necessarily just all about traveling but also how to live here in the Philippines.

The DOT also announced other projects such as the world's largest fruit market in Davao where every product is made of fruits -- from fruit juices to handicrafts made of fruit; Coconut Tourism Facility in Quezon Province -- a showcase of Filipinos using every part of the coconut tree; and the Rice-Agri Tourism in Naga which presents 12 different kinds of rice products.

Iloilo City rates high in promoting good business climate for enterprises


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 21 (PNA) -- A higher percentage of entrepreneurs in Metro Iloilo are satisfied with the good business climate offered by the city government here.

Result of the 2012 Surveys of Enterprises on Corruption conducted by the Social Weather Station (SWS) showed that 71 percent of respondents were satisfied with the business environment in this city.

The figure came second to Davao where satisfaction rating has increased to 87 percent compared with the 76 percent score in the 2009 survey.

Cebu, with its 76 percent, showed a decline compared with its 77 percent result three years ago.

The survey that was conducted July 16 to October 16 this year gathered information from seven areas in the country although it was the first time that Metro Iloilo was included thus leaving no room for comparison.

A total of 100 respondents came from Metro Iloilo composed of 33 large enterprises and 67 small and medium entrepreneurs.

Further, 66 percent of those surveyed shared excellent/good business expectations for Iloilo in the next two years.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog was also challenged by the result of the survey showing 85 percent of respondents, saying corruption among public sector was prevalent in the city and municipal level.

Mabilog said he would be glad to show them the initiatives of the city government to dispel their perception on corruption happening in Metro Iloilo.

The result was a combination of this city and its neighboring towns.

The mayor also stated that he would be calling the SWS to determine specific areas where they need to improve.

“It would serve as basis for us to work on our departments so as to reduce if not eliminate the perception on corruption,” he said after meeting with city department heads today.

Lea Lara, executive director of the Iloilo Business Club (IBC), said it is worth citing the high confidence extended by businessmen to the city government in fighting corruption.

“The concern is more developmental and not on personalities; it refers to how services are being obtained. It is an indication that there is room that needs to be improved,” she cited.

Lara also underscored the need for transparency and improvement of the other aspects of the system in line with the streamlining of processes in securing business permits to address the perception.

The result of the survey was presented by Linda Luz Guerrero, vice-president of the SWS, as part of the National Competitiveness Roadshow held here Monday.

Police to undergo sign language training


Fifty-five police officers will undergo training in preparation for the establishment of persons with disability (PWD) desks in Region 6.

The training tentatively set today includes orientation on sign language, lectures on disability classification, do’s and don’t’s in dealing with PWDs, laws pertaining to PWDs and the universal design simulation workshop.

The participants of the training are the women and children protection desks officers, who are given an added responsibility to help PWDs seeking police assistance.

Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, Jr., police regional director, said the training is aimed to make the PWD desk personnel ready and competent to discharge their functions.

The training is only the first of a series of enhancement trainings and seminars that we will provide our personnel, he said.

The first batch of participants will come from the Iloilo Provincial Police Office, Iloilo City Police Office, Guimaras Provincial Police Office and the Regional Women’s and Children’s Protection Desk.

Calle Real, Iloilo City’s heritage street, restored


The Iloilo Cultural Heritage Foundation Inc. (ICHFI) recently honored individuals and organizations in Iloilo City for their outstanding commitment and contribution to heritage conservation, restoration and promotion at the first Iloilo Cultural Heritage Awards Night .

The awards, given by the ICHFI in conjunction with the Office of the City Mayor and the Department of Tourism Region 6, were held to coincide with the grand celebration of the 75th charter anniversary of Iloilo City.

Manuel Villa Jr., ICHFI president, said the award honored individuals and organizations whose works had resulted in significant initiatives and achievements in the promotion and conservation of the many facets of Iloilo City’s rich cultural heritage.

Recipients of the first Iloilo Cultural Heritage Awards are the Angelicum School Iloilo (Asil); Ma. Luisa Minviluz S. Camiña; lawyer Mario C. V. Jalandoni; Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC); and Maria Elnora P. Santos.

Asil was cited for its respect for the artistic, cultural and social value of the Lizares Mansion, a beautiful (and reportedly haunted) house the school had bought from the original owners. Asil has repurposed the mansion as part of its school building, thus preserving it for future generations.

Camiña restored her family’s imposing balay-nga-bato and transformed it with love, careful research and integrity into a living museum, an important component of Iloilo’s tourism offerings.

Its ground floor has been transformed into the Lola Rufina Curio Shop, where one may buy hablon scarves woven by the resident weavers, tsokolateras and batirol for making the traditional cocoa beverage, among other interesting Ilonggo souvenirs.

Through the efforts of ICHFI and Jalandoni, the third-generation owner of the 1927 heirloom E/R Villanueva Building, once known as the International Hotel, Iloilo’s iconic heritage building has emerged from the grime and disrepair of the past decades graceful and beautiful again.

The International Hotel, a stone’s throw from the waterfront and the Iloilo Customs House, had counted among its guests American, British, Spanish and Chinese sugar traders, merchants and bankers.

The RCBC top management, through its vice chair, former Prime Minister Cesar E.A. Virata, had presented the idea of restoring the 1927 RCBC Building. Its local staff, headed by branch manager Ma. Victoria Jarantilla, enthusiastically supported ICHFI’s efforts to revitalize Calle Real, and ensured that RCBC restored its own building’s façade as part of its good corporate citizenship.

Santos demonstrated her support of the restoration of Calle Real by taking the risk of offering her building as a demonstration project for the restoration, and providing generous and free space in it for the ICHFI office to serve as a base for heritage-related activities.

These two structures, both on J. M. Basa cor. Arsenal Streets, have behind them a three-generation-old abaca-processing factory. The factory, which faces Iloilo River, was housed in a vintage 1912 balay-nga-bato, and once fabricated all specs and sizes of ropes (known to the world as Manila hemp). The ICHFI plans to restore the balay-nga-bato and build a mini rope/abaca museum on the site.

ICHFI is involved in the restoration of heritage buildings (circa 1920-1930) on Iloilo City’s Calle Real, officially designated as J. M. Basa Street, its central business district. Thus far it has completed the restoration of the vintage 1925 S. Villanueva Building on J.M. Basa cor. Arsenal Streets.

Also completed in time for Iloilo City’s 75th charter anniversary is the 1927 E/R Villanueva Building, Iloilo’s signature structure.

These efforts hope to recapture the old look and ambience of Iloilio City’s central business street and allow it to tell its story to both local and foreign visitors. ICHFI believes that a restored Calle Real is key to both honoring the city’s history and looking forward to a prosperous future.

In its heyday, Iloilo was known as La Reina Ciudad del Sur, or the Queen City of the South, famous for its stately mansions, genteel people and a bustling economy. Calle Real, then called the Royal Street, was the heart of high-end shopping during the early American Occupation.

DOLE,guidance counselors partner for career guidance


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 18 (PNA) –- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has strengthened its partnership with the guidance counselors here in Western Visayas to effectively promote career counseling among graduating high school students.

Amy Judicpa of DOLE recently said that they helped facilitate the organization of the guidance counselors which lately elected their Western Visayas regional president Lucy Moralla of the Western Institute of Technology (WIT) based in Iloilo City. The Guidance counselors then called their organization as "Network of Guidance Counsellors Advocates."

Judicpa said that the organization of the guidance counselors is a pet project of the DOLE regional director in order to address the mismatch of college students with the available jobs in Western Visayas.

She said that because of the mismatch of courses with the labor market trend that render many college graduates unable to find employment after graduation.

“The guidance counselors can do a great role in addressing this problem because they usually conduct among graduating high school students’ career counseling. If they know the labor trend, they could guide well the students in choosing the courses they would take in college,” Judicpa contended.

Judicpa said that right now the labor trends are into the business process outsourcing or call center agents, hotel and restaurant management, among others.

DA to provide additional funds for Iloilo Fish Port complex breakwater


ILOILO CITY, Nov 17 (PIA6) - - The Department of Agriculture will provide additional funds for the construction of the breakwater and other needed ancillary facilities of the Iloilo Fish Port Complex in this city.

This was announced by Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala during the groundbreaking ceremony of the project on November 16 in this city.

The project has an initial contract amount of P102, 380,000 sourced from the DA and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Senator Franklin Drilon.

Alcala said the additional fund will be taken from the remaining P204 million budget of the agency for 2012.

He added that he has already instructed Philippine Fisheries Development Authority General Manager Eduardo Chu to arrange the bidding so that other works to complete the project will be started by January.

In his message, Alcala acknowledged the effort of Drilon in the realization of the project which will upgrade the facilities and improve the services of the IFPC.

The aim of the Iloilo River Clean-Up Project was to decongest the Iloilo River with idle boats, derelicts and sunken ships to maintain the smooth flow of commercial vessels passing through the waterway, prevent water pollution, and ensure safety in navigation. It was proposed that the vessels be transferred at the IFPC.

However, the fishing boats operators were hesitant to be relocated at the IFPC because it is shallow and exposed to the elements during southwest monsoon or “habagat” which is characterized by strong winds and wave currents.

Most of the fishing boat operators have already transferred to the fish port because of the assurance that the PFDA, with the assistance of the DA, will provide funds for the construction of breakwater that responds to the need of the fishing industry.

Chu said the project is a welcome development for the fishermen as this will serve as their protection when they stay at the port during the southwest monsoon. This will also serve as a new start for the Iloilo Fish Port since as fishing boats dock trade and business inside, the IFPC will be boosted.

Situated in a 21-hectare reclaimed area at Brgy. Tanza, Iloilo City, the Iloilo Fish Port Complex was completed in 1991 under the Nationwide Fishing Ports Package I financed by the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund of the government of Japan and was operated and managed by the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority. Since then, the IFPC has been the center of fish trading and marine products processing in Region 6.

However, after two decades, most of the facilities have been deteriorating despite minor repair and maintenance conducted yearly.

Aside from Alcala, Drilon and Chu other DA and city officials, directors of regional line agencies also attended the event.

First week of international flights at New Iloilo Airport successful – CAAP


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 16 (PNA) -– Initial assessment of the international flights at the New Iloilo Airport in Sta. Barbara-Cabatuan towns showed a successful launching and regular operation during the first week, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) area manager Efren Nagrama said.

Nagrama said the initial assessment Thursday was conducted together with the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) and Bureau of Quarantine.

He said the assessment was done to know what areas need to be improved to better serve the passengers' comfort and convenience.

The CAAP official said that they saw the need to give more space at the check in area at the New Iloilo Airport as it is presently a bit congested. He added that the other problems were easily responded to.

He also said that the BID is efficiently doing the verification of passports and visas through the computer units lent by the Department of Tourism while awaiting for the purchase of Digital Passport Verifier (DPV). Sen. Franklin M. Drilon promised to help to acquire them by next year.

“We have a very good coordination with the Bureau of Customs, BID and Bureau of Quarantine,” Nagrama said.

For the transport sector, Nagrama reminded them to comply with the Operational Instructions, especially on their decorum in approaching the passengers at the airport.

After the launching on Nov. 8, Cebu Pacific flights Iloilo-Hong Kong is every Thursday and Sunday at 11:10 p.m. and Hong Kong-Iloilo flight every Monday and Friday at 2:20 a.m.

The Iloilo-Singapore is every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:25 p.m. and the Singapore-Iloilo on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2:40 a.m.

RDC 6 conducts forum on official development assistance

By Lilibeth A. French

ILOILO CITY, Nov 15 (PIA6) -- The Regional Development Council-6 will conduct a forum on Bilateral and Multilateral Official Development Assistance with development stakeholders in Western Visayas today, November 15.

The one-day activity aims to orient and update local government units, regional line agencies, state universities and colleges, government corporations and financial institutions, including selected private sector organizations accredited by the RDC 6 on the various foreign funding sources that may be tapped for projects included in the local investment programs.

The forum will also provide an opportunity for stakeholders to interact and confer with ODA partners on specific projects for possible technical assistance or direct funding for project implementation.

Presentors include NEDA 6 and RDC 6 Vice-Chairperson Ro-Ann Bacal; Asian Development Bank Principal Country Specialist Claudia Buentjen; and Japan International Cooperation Agency Administration Coordination Section Chief Ms. Misa Kemmiya.

There will also be speakers from the United States and Australian Agencies for International Development. They are USAID General Development Officer Kevin Sharp and AUSAID Portfolio Manager Rod Ervin Sollesta.

RDC 6 Chairperson and Capiz Governor Victor Tanco will also attend the event at Smallville 21 Hotel, Iloilo City.

Iloilo City hosts 2012 Philippine Youth Games


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 14 (PNA) -- More than 2,000 athletes, coaches and officials will gather here for the national finals of the 2012 Philippine Youth Games (PYGa)-Batang Pinoy on December 5 to 8.

Delegations will be coming from the National Capital Region (Metro Manila cities), Northern Luzon (Regions I-III & Cordillera Autonomous Region), Southern Luzon (Regions IV-A, IV-B and V), Mindanao (Regions IX-XII, Caraga and ARMM) and Visayas (Regions VI-VIII).

The 14 events of the finals are arnis, archery, athletics, swimming, basketball 3 on 3, badminton, table tennis, boxing, karatedo, taekwondo, chess, wushu and triathlon.

The games will be held at the Iloilo Sports Complex (for archery, athletics, swimming and basketball), the Western Visayas College of Science and Technology covered gym (for arnis), ISC covered gym (for chess, badminton and table tennis), La Paz tennis court (for lawn tennis), La Paz covered gym (for boxing), Iloilo National High School covered gym (for wushu), Jaro Plaza covered gym (for karatedo) and Western Institute of Technology new site covered gym (for taekwondo).

“Iloilo City is truly privileged to host this sporting event for the very first time and we are ensuring everything to make everyone’s stay here memorable, exciting and fruitful,” Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said.

The mayor already issued an executive order that will look after the smooth conduct of the youth games, especially those that will deal on security, billeting and other facilities for the athletes.

Iloilo Province is the event's co-host.

The PYGa-Batang Pinoy was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 44 to serve as national sports competition program for children aged 15 years old and below.

The event aims to address the need for grassroots sports program that will promote values formation including sportsmanship and fair play.

Batang Pinoy is in partnership with the Department of Education, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Leagues of Provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays.

Management and supervision of the event is done by the Philippine Olympic Committee and National Sports Associations, and other internationally recognized authorities in different sports.

DOH names Iloilo city as breastfeeding friendly LGU


ILOILO CITY, Nov 13 (PNA) -- The Department of Health recently named Iloilo City as breastfeeding friendly local government with its effort to appoint breastfeeding counselors in the barangays.

The city government bested other local government units in the country and was praised for ensuring the health of children through its implementation of the Infant Young Child Feeding-Breastfeeding at the community level.

The leaders through its City Health Office(CHO)have been working on the institutionalization of breastfeeding counselors in city villages. The new city hall also has constructed a breastfeeding station.

Similar stations are also available in major hospitals and commercial establishments in the city.

The DOH handed the award to Iloilo officials during the Infant and Young Child Feeding-Breastfeeding Summit at the City State Tower Hotel in Manila recently.

On Monday, City Health Office (CHO) head, Dr. Urminico Baronda handed the plaque of recognition to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog who also praised the former and other city health personnel for their efforts in winning the national recognition.

DTI-Iloilo tells consumers to be vigilant, watchful

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

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 12 (PIA6) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here today advised consumers to remain vigilant and watchful on the commodities they purchase to ensure that these comply with the Philippine standard requirements, especially this holiday season.

DTI-Iloilo Director Wilhelm Malones said the agency has already started monitoring supermarkets and malls here including establishments in the downtown area selling commodities related to the holiday season such as Christmas lights.

Malones said during their monitoring they have noticed that most of the Christmas lights being sold in establishments here bore Import Commodity Clearance or ICC stickers which means that these products have passed the safety and product standards or testing given by the Bureau of Product Standards.

“We are hoping that these establishments will to continue to sell quality products to help protect our buyers against sub-standard products in order for them not to be exposed to dangers especially fires,” said Malones, in a radio interview.

He cited the fire incident due to a faulty Christmas lights that caused the death of the daughter of former House Speaker Jose de Venecia in December 2004.

Malones said commodities that lack ICC stickers or Philippine Standard (PS) mark will be confiscated and may end up just like the confiscated sub standard products worth an estimated more than P3 million which they destroyed recently.

Malones urged consumers not to sacrifice the small difference in price that they could save from these sub standard products but rather patronize those with PS mark and ICC stickers.

This applies not only to electrically sourced Christmas decors but also to other household electric appliances such as electric fan, washing machines and electric stove including Liquified Petroleum Gas, added Malones.

LPG cylinders that have undergone the BPS mandatory testing have the quality marks before they are allowed for distribution in the market.

Comics to promote WV sights


ILOILO City – The Department of Tourism (DOT) regional office here is thinking out of the box to promote Western Visayas’ tourist attractions. This time, it mulls doing so using comics.

Regional Director Helen Catalbas and the Iloilo Comic Con are jointly reminding comic book creators to submit their entries now and beat the November 15 competition deadline.

Entries must feature known and potential tourist attractions in Western Visayas that locals and foreigners have yet to discover and experience.

Participants must follow the given theme, Ang Maanyag (The Beautiful), and must contain moral lessons without using any obscene language or foul gestures, extreme violence and gory descriptions.

Stories must be from four to 12 pages, excluding the cover, and created in 8.5” x 6.5” folded long bond paper in color or black and white.

They must feature distinct places and events, and fictional or non-fictional characters of Western Visayas.

Catalbas said the comics competition is open to all amateur and professional artists.

An entry which had already won previous local and international competitions will not be honored.

Participants must be at least 13 years old prior to the event.

The entry will be posted at the Iloilo Comic Con website and Facebook page for online voting.

Winners will be announced on December 2, 2012 during a program at Robinsons Place Iloilo based on the judging criteria – originality, art, story and online voting.

PRO-6 to set help desks for PWDs

By Jennifer P. Rendon (The Philippine Star)

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — The Police Regional Office-6 announced it will put up help desks for persons with disabilities (PWDs) all over Western Visayas to serve these people’s concerns and needs.

Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, PRO-6 director, said the PWD help desks will be integrated with the Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD), a police office established in 2011.

Cruz said there are clear barriers faced by PWDs in achieving equality and justice. “Sa ating pakigpag-ugnayan sa mga kapatid nating may kapansanan, ating napag-alaman na may mga kakaiba silang pangangailangan na dapat nating tugunan,” he said.

To bridge some of these gaps, Cruz said he would order some WCPD personnel to undergo special skills like sign language interpretation and communication.

The implementation guidelines of the project are already on its final review and, in coordination with the DSWD and PWD organizations is also being made to ensure that the project will be responsive to its target sector.

Cruz’s brainchild, the project will be proposed to the PNP National Headquarters for its nationwide implementation of the project to all police units nationwide

Iloilo airport now a full-fledged international airport


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 9 (PNA) -- The Iloilo airport of international standard has graduated into an international gateway and is now known as the Iloilo International Airport.

The Cebu Pacific Airways had its maiden flight from Iloilo to Hong Kong Thursday night, while the flight to Singapore is slated Friday night.

Ilonggo Senator Franklin M. Drilon, during Thursday's launching of international flights, has assured P25 million in the 2013 national budget for the purchase of additional equipment and facilities such as passport scanners for the Iloilo airport based in Cabatuan, Iloilo.

The senator also stated his willingness to convince other airlines to come to Iloilo and bring in tourists and travelers to see the opportunities here.

However, he challenged Ilonggos to help airline operations here become viable and sustainable and to consequently make Iloilo an important and attractive destination.

On the other hand, Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing, said they are happy to serve the international travel needs of the Ilonggos. Booking reservations were already made next year for the Iloilo-Hongkong and Iloilo-Singapore routes and back.

Iloilo-Hongkong direct flights are scheduled every Thursday and Sunday and Hongkong-Iloilo on Monday and Friday.

Iloilo-Singapore flights are scheduled every Monday, Wednesday and Friday while Singapore to Iloilo is on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

USAid pilots clean air project in Iloilo City

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILOILO CITY was identified as a pilot area in the Visayas for the implementation of a policy toolkit on climate change and clean energy project for local government units (LGU).

The project is envisioned to aid LGUs in developing policies and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions from the urban transport sector.

It is being developed by the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) Center with Climate Change and Clean Energy and the International Resources Group for USAid Philippines.

CAI-Asia is conducting trainings on sustainable and low emissions transport on November 19 and to follow on November 20 is a visioning exercises workshop with local stakeholders.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will welcome the delegates and participants of the training to be held at the Grand Tower Suites on November 19-20, 2012.

Aside from Iloilo City, the policy toolkit will also be piloted in Baguio City for Luzon and Cagayan de Oro City for the Mindanao.

Pagcor to donate P1M to 2013 Dinagyang Festival


ILOILO CITY, Nov 7 (PNA) -- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has committed P1 million for the staging of the 2013 Iloilo Dinagyang Festival.

Ramon Cua-Locsion, president of the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc (IDFI) said a memorandum of agreement (MOA) will be signed between the foundation and PAGCOR to seal the commitment.

PAGCOR has been supporting the Dinagyang Festival since 2010.

The IDFI is eyeing to raise some P14 million for the festival. Of the target fund, the city government will provide P6 million and the rest will come from sponsorships.

The IDFI Marketing Group said commitments from other interested sponsors have been secured.

To date, organizers of the festival are intensifying promotion efforts to gather bigger audience for the celebration slated on Jan. 25-27.

City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will be joined by City Tourism and Development Office Benito Jimena in the five-day Singapore Learning Exchange Mission of the Metro Iloilo Guimaras Economic Development Council (MIGEDC) where the festival will be promoted starting this Friday.

Meantime, those who would like to know of updates about the festival may log on to the IDFI official facebook account, facebook/dinagyangsailoilofestival, meantime that the official web page,, is undergoing renovation. The new webpage is expected to be available by Nov 15.

DTI to inspect establishments in preparation for Christmas season


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 6 (PNA) –- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will conduct random inspection of establishments in the city as preparation for the Yuletide season.

DTI Iloilo director Wilhelm Malones said that the inspection aims to determine if products are covered by mandatory standards met the quality set by the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS).

Products that conform with the standards shall bear the Product Standard (PS) mark and the Import Clearance Commodity (ICC) for imported commodities.

Particularly, products to be inspected are Christmas lights, decors and household items which serve as gifts for the Yuletide season.

They will also determine what products are most in demand for the season.

Urban poor women trained in beauty care, cooking


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 5 (PNA) -- Four hundred twenty urban poor women successfully completed a one-day livelihood training program held here recently.

The “Negosyo sa Barangay Entrepreneurship Training Program” was a joint effort of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan to empower women on beauty care and cooking.

Half of the total participants were trained in cooking while the other half finished the one day beauty care training.

“We want to help augment the income of families the reason why we continue to come up with programs and projects that can boost their economic conditions,” Mayor Mabilog said.

The mayor thanked Sen. Pangilinan for giving P500,000 from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to Iloilo City.

The training participants each received a certificate of completion and P1,000 financial assistance as start-up capital for their livelihood.

Iloilo airport to start servicing int’l flights Nov. 8

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr. (Inquirer Visayas)

ILOILO CITY, Philippines—Civil aviation and tourism officials in Western Visayas are gearing up for the opening of direct international flights to and from the Iloilo international airport on November 8.

Tourism regional director Helen Catalbas said the inaugural flight from Iloilo to Hong Kong of budget carrier Cebu Pacific would be launched with a program at 6 p.m. on November 8, just hours before the 11:10 p.m. flight.

“We are all set and this will be a big boost for Iloilo and Western Visayas,” Catalbas told the Inquirer on Sunday.

Cebu Pacific’s flights between Iloilo and Singapore will commence on November 9. The Iloilo-Hong Kong flights will be twice weekly while the Iloilo-Singapore trips will be thrice weekly.

The inaugural flight from Hong Kong, which is scheduled to arrive in Iloilo at 4:45 a.m. on November 9, will be joined by the heads of 10 Filipino migrant worker organizations and Noel Servigon, the Philippine consul general in Hong Kong.

The maiden flight from Singapore, which will arrive in Iloilo at 6:10 a.m. on November 10, will be joined by representatives of 12 Singaporean travel agencies, according to Catalbas.

The start of direct international flights makes Iloilo the fifth Cebu Pacific hub following Manila, Cebu, Clark and Davao.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) on October 31 turned over six computer units to the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation that will be used for the scanning and verification of passports for international passengers.

The DOT has also put up a desk of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority for the collection of the P1,620 travel tax for Filipino travelers.

Tourist arrivals in Western Visayas are expected to increase significantly with the opening of regular international flights along with regional flights earlier this year from the Iloilo airport.

Catalbas said a 15-percent increase in domestic and foreign tourists is expected this year compared to the 2.47 million tourist arrivals last year.

The P8.76-billion Iloilo airport in Cabatuan town opened in June 2007.

Restoration of heritage buildings in downtown Iloilo at no cost to city gov't


ILOILO CITY, Nov 3 (PNA) -- A strong public-private partnership is behind the ongoing restoration of the heritage structures at the city's central business district.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the city government has not spent a centavo for the restoration, which now covers eight heritage buildings.

The Iloilo Cultural Heritage Foundation, chaired by Manuel Villa, Jr., spearheads the activity with the help of philanthropists and building owners who were inspired by the motivation of the association to bring back the old look of this city.

“We are already inspiring not only the city but the country and the world that heritage buildings should be restored and protected. For as long as there are (people) willing to help the city we will continue with this,” he stressed.

Structures as old as 75 years or more are aplenty in this city.

However, the foundation is eyeing first the restoration of the façade of 40 buildings along the CBD also known as Calle Real that encompasses streets of JM Basa, Iznart, Aldeguer, Guanco and Mapa.

The foundation targets to restore 10-15 buildings at the end of 2015, provided funds are sufficient.

Villa estimated that the restoration would cost around P1 billion.

NSO is Western Visayas' 2012 best NSM agency

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

ILOILO CITY, Nov 2 (PIA6) -- The regional office of the National Statistics Office based in Iloilo City was declared Best National Statistics Month (NSM) Agency, in this year’s celebration of the 23rd National Statistics Month.

Director Normay Julag-ay led the NSO-6 personnel in receiving the cash prize of P6,000 and certificate of recognition during the closing ceremonies of the month-long celebration held at Smallville 21 Hotel, Iloilo City, October 30.

Next to NSO-6 was the National Economic and Development Authority-6 and placing third was the National Irrigation Administration 6.

Nelida Losare, National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB)-6 officer-in-charge, said winners were chosen based on the participation of the agency in NSM activities of the regional statistical coordination committee, chairmanship to committees, and initiated activities in line with the celebration. The results of the statistical contests where the agency have participated also count.

NSO-6 also took home P5,000 cash prize and a certificate of recognition when it won this year’s statistical exhibit, participated in by more than 18 government agencies, including the non-contesting NSCB and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. BSP was disqualified to join this year after winning the contest for three consecutive years since 2009.

Other winners were the Department of Agriculture, coming in second; Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, third; Department of Labor and Employment, fourth; and Bureau of Fire Protection, fifth.

In his message, BSP–Iloilo Branch Deputy Director Job Nepomuceno said this year’s NSM was a successful one.

Nepomuceno also lauded the participating local government units, government agencies and offices and their respective NSM coordinators for their exhibits that demonstrated their support to the celebration, which has greatly contributed to the region’s induction into the Hall of Fame this year, after winning the Best NSM Region for 2011.

OWWA-6 Regional Director Samuel Madrid, represented by Administrative Officer Nancy Oyco, was the keynote speaker of the event.

City mayor opens offers for water supply

By Lydia C. Pendon

MAYOR Jed Patrick Mabilog said he is opening the offer and accepting bids of possible suppliers of water in Iloilo City starting November 1, 2012.

A Task Force Water will be created soon to study the possibility of having other water suppliers in the city amidst the proposed bulk water supply project of Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD).

Mabilog admitted he is already fed up with the promises of MIWD to supply sufficient water to city consumers which was promised to be in December 2012 after so many extensions were already given to the private contractor.

He said the task force will study the possibility of opening up new offers of water suppliers and the mechanics to be implemented in the city.

The city mayor said precedence was already tested in Cebu City after the Supreme Court allowed other players to come in and supply water.

The task force will have city health officer Dr. Nick Baronda as possible chairman with city general services officer Joren Sartorio and city councilor RLeone as members, along with other representatives of the private sector.

MIWD said the city is its franchise area since the early 1950s. However, the recent Supreme Court decision in Cebu showed a modified franchise of water utilities after the promulgation of the 1987 Constitution.

Mabilog said he will seek for a certificate of convenience for water services issued by the National Water Resources Board and the Local Water Utilities Administration.

The city mayor said his move is expected to start the proposed privatization of water supply services in the city and should not be a monopoly of MIWD which cannot also assure sufficient water supply.