Iloilo City News November 2013

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


'Cash for Work’ starts for typhoon victims in WV

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

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 30 (PNA) - The first wave of 2,500 beneficiaries selected from various municipalities in Western Visayas hard-hit by super typhoon Yolanda had started working under the 'Cash for Work; program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

In a meeting of the regional disaster risk reduction and management council here Friday, DSWD Asst. regional director Joel Galicia said his agency has available funding of P5.2 million for beneficiaries in five provinces of the region.

The beneficiaries include 50 individuals in each of the 50 municipalities to work for 10 days at P208 per day by clearing of roads, drainage including community clean-up and help in the repair of school buildings and health centers.

Galicia said they have already started accepting 350 beneficiaries with P728,000 funding from seven towns in Aklan; 500 beneficiaries from 10 towns in Antique with a funding of P1,040,000; 700 beneficiaries from 14 towns in Capiz amounting P1,456,000; 600 beneficiaries from 12 towns in Iloilo amounting P1,248,000; and 350 beneficiaries from seven 7 towns in Negros Occidental amounting P728,000.

Galicia said the emergency food assistance will have a deadline on December 31, 2013 as they are now implementing the Cash for Work program in providing livelihood assistance to the beneficiaries with priority on Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) families in the region.

The continuing food assistance is ongoing including relief operations in island barangays in northern Iloilo and at the evacuation centers in Estancia town, Galicia said.

On the other hand, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported that its emergency livelihood assistance program is already in place with P5.3 million funding to help typhoon victims in the region.

DOLE has identified 109 beneficiaries as recommended by the local government units to work for 15 days at P287 per day. Priority is being given to sugarfarm workers or sacadas in Negros Occidental and Aklan and in areas with high incidence of child labor.

Officer-in-charge Salome Siaton said the livelihood assistance was already initiated by local government units with initial 48 beneficiaries in Aklan and 61 in Negros Occidental. The program will start on December 2, 2013 for beneficiaries in other severely affected municipalities in Region 6.

Write inspiring stories, student journalists urged


ILOILO City – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. urged some 360 student writers in Region 6 who took part in the 2013 College Press Conference (COPRE) to use their writing prowess to uplift the human spirit.

In his video message during the COPRE conducted by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region 6 yesterday at the Iloilo Grand Hotel here, Coloma said students should develop their skills in writing and use these not just to express themselves creatively but also to serve their communities.

Coloma said great leaders and heroes are known for what they wrote because they moved many people into believing in worthy causes.

“They have inspired others to transcend their self-interest and they chose to serve others,” he said.

Coloma also shared three important ideas to student writers: to write is already to choose, the pen is mightier than the sword, and to be a person for others.

“To write is already to choose, and what you write is what you believe, and what you believe is what you will do,” he said.

Coloma also stressed that a sword may kill but words and ideas flowing from a pen can inspire and transform people’s lives.

In the aftermath of the series of natural disasters and man-made calamities hitting the country, Coloma said this is an opportune for writers to be a person for others.

He shared a heartwarming news about some 885 inmates at the Pampanga provincial jail who decided to join a cause with those who suffered much pain and sorrow from super typhoon “Yolanda” by giving up their breakfast allowance for three consecutive days and raising more than P50,000 in cash.

He said writers can write and share such stories with friends and members of their social network and multiply the possibilities that many will be encouraged to pitch in their own modest measure of assistance.

Iloilo City allocates P74.1M for disaster mgmt in 2014

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

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 28 (PNA)-– This southern city has allocated some P74.12 million budget for its local disaster risk reduction and management (LDRRM) in for 2014.

The LDRRM Fund for 2014 will cover quick response and relief operations, disaster preparedness, prevention and mitigation, and recovery and rehabilitation.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, in convening the city disaster risk reduction and management council on Thursday, November 27, said the budget for local risk reduction and management, formerly known as the calamity fund, will cover the needs of the council committees composed of city government officials and volunteer groups.

Mabilog said a new P12 million 3-storey building will soon rise at the open space behind the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand covering the prevention and mitigation aspect of the LDRRM Fund Plan 2014 which provides infrastructure for resiliency against disaster.

The city mayor said the city engineer’s office will be undertaking the building construction starting January until December 2014. Ground area will be a six-vehicle garage while the second floor will serve as offices for the disaster risk management council command center, Iloilo City emergency response (ICER), storage for equipment and the Transportation Management and Traffic Regulation Office (TMTRO)

Third floor will be for the cctv room, radio communications and conference hall while the roofdeck will be utilized for other meetings. The quick response fund of P22.23 million based on the 30 percent LDRRMF will cover damage assessment, relief operations, search, rescue and retrieval operations, health, evacuation center, early recovery mechanism, evacuation management and food assistance and assistance to other LDRRMC under state of calamity. The sector will also have a contingency fund of P8.2 million. The preparedness aspect will have funding of P51,43 million based on the 70 percent LDRRMF to cover P35,33 million subtotal for the purchase of equipment, operational expenses, early warning system, purchase of new ambulance, rapid emergency damage assessment system, community-based adaptation, local drills and simulation exercises, hazard, risk and vulnerability assessment, and relief and emergency medicines stockpiling. Another portion will be for prevention and mitigation and recovery and rehabilitation which has a subtotal of P16.1 million.

Ilonggo filmmakers brace for first film festival in Iloilo City

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

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 27 (PNA)-– All filmmakers from Western Visayas will gather in this city for the CineKas1manwa, the first film festival in the country to feature all types of film genres by Ilonggo filmmakers.

Ilonggo festival director Elvert de la Cruz Bañares said the festival slated on December 10-14, 2013 will feature 12 full length films and more than 40 short films by the filmmakers from Panay, Negros and Metro Manila who have Ilonggo roots and can speak the Hiligaynon dialect.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will grace the opening day on December 10 at SM Cinema 1 with a short film by noted Ilonggo director Nick Deocampo

Bañares said that all proceeds of the film festival will go to victims of typhoon Yolanda in the region through the Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center’s relief operations and rehabilitation projects.

The film screening will be held at the SM Cinema I, FDCP Iloilo Cinematheque and at the UPV Cinematheque to give a chance to the Ilonggo filmmakers to show off their talents and know-how through films.

The Panay Island film festival is supported by the National Commission on Culture and Arts, Negros Museum, FDCP Cinematheque, and other sponsors in aiming to unify local filmmakers.

Bañares said that for the first time, notable mainstream, digital, independent, experimental, documentary, animation and new breed full-length and short films of Western Visayas will be screened under one film festival with an advocacy of promoting and creating a directory of filmmakers in the region.

On December 2-6, festival organizers will conduct a campus tour in different schools and universities in Iloilo City to promote the event and be part of the students’ film aesthetics, film production and humanities subjects. The schools for a Meet and Greet the filmmakers include WVSU, CPU, St Vincent Seminary, St Paul University and John B. Lacson Maritime University

Notable filmmakers to showcase their films in the festival include Peque Gallaga, Lore Reyes, Nick Deocampo, Tara Illenberger, Erik Matti, regional filmmakers Joenar Pueblo, Ned Trespeses, Ronny Poblacion, Peter Solis Nery, TM Malones, Jay Abello and more than 40 others including the filmmakers of Guimbal, Iloilo.

Bañares said that this year’s film festival is content driven, free for all with no quality control films in support to new unconventional filmmakers.

By next year, there will be competitions and the quality control might be adopted then, he said.

DSWD-6 starts to implement Cash for Work Program


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 26 (PNA)--The Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD) Regional Office 6 has now started to implement the Cash for Work Program (CWP) among their identified beneficiaries affected by typhoon "Yolanda" last November 8.

DSWD Asst. Regional Dir. Joel Galicia, in an interview, said that since they have now finished their validation of the beneficiaries they started to implement the CWP to alleviate the situations of the people in the five provinces except in Guimaras, which did not suffer much from the typhoon.

Galicia said that the DSWD Assistant secretary Camilo G. Gudmalin, DSWD regional office 6 coach monitor, was here over the weekend in order to validate the beneficiaries and to visit the affected areas.

The CWP is initially funded by the P5.2 million that the DSWD Regional Office 6 has on hand. The work involves clearing, repair of houses of typhoon survivors and other nature of work identified by the initial 50 municipalities in the five provinces.

The initial 50 beneficiaries per municipality are to receive P208 per day for 10 days of work.

In Aklan, the allocation was P728,000; Antique, P1,040,000; Capiz, P1,456,000; Iloilo, P1,248,000; and Negros Occidental, P728,000.

DSWD Regional Director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre in her rehabilitation plan submitted to DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman has requested for additional P17,264,000 for the CWP.

4Ps beneficiaries to be prioritized in Cash-for-work program

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

ILOILO CITY, November 25 (PIA) --- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-6 is now preparing to implement the “cash-for-work” program for the typhoon Yolanda affected municipalities in Western Visayas.

DSWD-6 Regional Director Evelyn Macapobre said that the “cash-for-work” program already has an initial funding of P5.2-million.

She said that priority will be given to hardest hit areas as per guidance from the agency’s central office.

She also said that DSWD will prioritize beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the 50 worst hit municipalities in the region for the "cash for work".

Of the P5.2 million, beneficiaries in Capiz will get P1.45 million; Iloilo, P1.2 million; Antique, P1.04 million; Aklan and Negros Occidental, P728,000 each.

The “cash-for-work” is an emergency employment program that aims to help disaster-stricken families rebuild their lives by providing them with better access to sustainable income.

The DSWD official said that they are now coordinating with the local government units (LGUs) for the program implementation.

The program would allow the beneficiaries to receive P208 daily wage for the work that would be identified by the LGUs such as clearing of debris, carpentry, road construction and other jobs identified to be necessarily undertaken.

In Western Visayas, there are some 112,938 4Ps beneficiaries who suffered totally and partially damaged houses due to typhoon Yolanda.

Iloilo catching up as BPO center in the region


Iloilo City, despite being hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda, is all set to bring the Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry in the province to the same level as that of Bacolod and Cebu.

In a statement, Jo Mari Mercado, president of IT Business Process Association of the Philippines said that, “Iloilo has developed a good eco system to attract multinationals and BPOs [business process outsourcing], the next step is now for Iloilo to develop its local ICT [information and communications technology] industry.”

He added that, “That is why we have brought resource persons from ACPI [Animation Council of the Philippines Inc.], the Contact Center Association of the Philippines, Game Developers Association of the Philippines, Philippine Software Industry Association and Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines to motivate students to take up IT-related courses and capacity development programs supported by the industry to support the human resource requirements of the IT-BPM industry of Iloilo.”

Iloilo currently employs 9,000 workers in eight IT-BPM companies located in the province. It is currently in the top 10 next wave cities, together with the Baguio, Davao, Metro Laguna, Dumaguete and Naga. Iloilo City is one of the leading next wave cities in the country and a leading IT-BPM destination.

According to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog of Iloilo City, “Iloilo City prides itself in having the right ecosystem required to support the industry such as stable energy and power facilities, an army of skilled human resource, IT-BPM-ready real estate and robust telecommunications infrastructure.”

City braces for World AIDS Day celebration

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

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 23 (PNA) – This city is bracing up for the yearly World AIDS Day celebration spearheaded by the Department of Health (DOH) starting November 25 and to highlight on December 1, 2013.

Various activities have been lined up for this year's celebration themed, “Getting to Zero” by zero AIDS related deaths, zero new HIV infection and zero discrimination against the victims.

Charity Perea of the Department of Health regional office said the celebration include a region-wide school and agency initiated HIV and AIDS awareness orientation, symposium and IEC distribution, Hataw exercises, free voluntary counseling and HIV antibody testing, on-the-spot poster making contest, World AIDS Day mobile quiz bowl and a fashion show.

Perea said the disease is alarming as it is fast becoming a public health issue. DOH reported a total of 332 registered people living with HIV from May 1994 to October 2013 in Region 6. There were 46 deaths and 13 new cases during the period and treatment hubs were established in Iloilo City and Bacolod.

Of the 332 cases, 90 are OFWs composed of 52 seafarers, 9 domestic helpers, 19 land-base contract workers, 2 paramedical workers, 7 skilled workers and 1 entertainer. The rest are people living with HIVs infected locally, she said.

DOST to provide nutritious relief food to children

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

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 22 (PIA6) - - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 6 is taking steps to help provide nutritious relief foods among 6 to 35 months old children in typhoon-stricken areas in Western Visayas.

DOST 6 Information Officer Sol Salazar said that the agency had initial talks with the University of Antique for the production of a complementary food blend which will be distributed to affected areas during the NUTRICOMNET Monitoring Meeting and Media Forum held at the DOST 6 Training Room in La Paz, Iloilo City, November 21..

The complementary food blend is in the form of rice and mongo which was developed by the DOST-Food Nutrition Research and Institute as part of its nutrition intervention to reduce the prevalence of underweight among 6 to 35 month old children.

The University of Antique has availed of equipment and technical assistance from both DOST 6 and DOST-FNRI in the production of complementary food blends and snack foods which are also used in feeding programs.

As part of its efforts to address the needs of the typhoon victims to communicate with their loved ones, Salazar said the Emergency Communications Vehicle of the agency has been deployed to various towns affected by the typhoon in the region since November 15.

The vehicle has a generator set and electrical outlets for typhoon victims to charge their cellular phones for free.

Likewise, victims could also avail of free calls to connect with their families using the services of Smart and Globe.

So far, the DOST’s ECV has visited the towns of Dumarao, Cuartero and Pontevedera in Capiz province and Batad in Northern Iloilo.

DOH to focus AIDS awareness among HS students

By Leonard T. Pineda I (JSC/LTP-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 21 (PIA6) --- The Department of Health Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6 is set to focus its AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) awareness campaign towards high school students in Western Visayas.

Charity Perea, Regional Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Coordinator of DOH-6, said that more than 50 percent of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus infection) and AIDS cases in the Philippines come from the 20-29 year-old age group, based on the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry.

Perea said that the persons infected with HIV and AIDS are getting younger and younger, that means the teenagers are already prone to risky behaviors leading to the infection.

She said that even with the growing population of persons living with HIV (PLHIV), those who are free from infection are not being left behind in the AIDS awareness advocacy.

She said that she hopes to strengthen their partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) to integrate AIDS education in the high school curriculum for both public and private schools.

“It is also my hope that school teachers be given the awareness on this concern so they could also help the students in their own ways,” said Perea.

The DOH official also said that anyone in the education sector can be a counselor to their peers, the school children, and those who need their help.

Perea added that as of October 2013, there are 89 recorded PLHIVs in Western Visayas with 4 cases of deaths.

DA-6 to start P154-M rehab plan to restore damaged agriculture


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 20 (PNA) --The rehabilitation works for damaged agriculture, fisheries and livestock in Western Visayas will start next week as the Department of Agriculture 6 (DA-6) has set aside P 154- million rehabilitation fund.

DA-6 record shows that production losses reached to P 3. 16 billion in agriculture, fisheries and livestock from six provinces of Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Guimaras, and Negros Occidental.

DA-6 director Larry Nacionales said the rehabilitation works will start next week that will focus more in two provinces of Iloilo and Capiz.

As part of the rehabilitation plan, Nacionales said the fund will be used to purchase bancas, fishing paraphernalia, farm tools and various seeds such as high variety rice, vegetables and other root crops.

Nacionales also said all these items will be given to farmers and fishermen for free through their cooperatives so that they could recover immediately from their losses.

Based on the department’s latest data, the fisheries got the highest damage with P 1.3- billion followed by sugarcane with an estimated losses amounting to P1.21- billion and rice with P 258- million.

So far, the director said there is no problem on rice production since only 17, 000 metric tons or equivalent to two percent was damaged in the remaining two months before year ends.

Other damages include P130-million for high value crops; P108-million for livestock and poultry; P93-million for coconut and inter-crop; and P8.83-million for corn.

Nacionales added some of their facilities were damaged, too. Among these are National Food Authority (NFA) buildings and warehouses amounting to P9.41 million and DA-6’s regional outreach stations amounting to P2.73 million.

Land Bank to fund P 300M for Iloilo Hospitals' rehab/enhancement

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

ILOILO CITY, November 19 (PIA) --- A ceremonial signing between the Iloilo provincial government and Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for the P300-million omnibus term loan facility for hospital rehabilitation/enhancement was held recently at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.

The Iloilo provincial government has secured the P300-million loan from LBP for the upgrading of four catchment hospitals in the province.

LBP president and chief executive officer Gilda E. Pico said that LBP is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the goal of promoting and enhancing hospital care and delivery to the constituents in Iloilo.

Pico assured that Land Bank will be a partner in the rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts of the provincial government citing the recent onslaught of typhoon Yolanda which damaged hospital facilities here.

The loan acquired by the provincial government is allocated for the Iloilo Provincial Hospital in Pototan, which will get the biggest share of about P100 million.

The rest of the fund will be utilized for the rehabilitation and enhancement of facilities in Ramon Tabiana Memorial District Hospital in Cabatuan, Rep. Pedro Trono Memorial District Hospital in Guimbal, and Sara District Hospital in Sara town that has been damaged by typhoon Yolanda with its roof blown off.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., said that the P300-million loan will be a big boost in improving the facilities and the rehabilitation of the hospitals.

He also said that with the fund, the hospitals could be able to truly serve the poor residents of the province who no longer have to be brought to Iloilo City for their medical needs.

Iloilo City eyes relief operation office, insurance to calamity victims


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 18 (PNA) -- Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is set to draft an executive order soon to create a separate disaster relief operation management office with the private sector as main volunteers in any calamity relief operation.

Mayor Mabilog said the operation office will also be in charge of monitoring the calamity in other local government units (LGUs) in the region on top of the city relief, search and rescue operation activities.

The private sector-led operation office will lead in disaster relief with assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to conduct relief operation and people awareness on storm surge.

Mabilog is also eyeing the need for calamity insurance to barangay officials, city hall employees and volunteers during disasters.

Meanwhile, the Urban Environmental Accord based in South Korea expressed the willingness to help the typhoon victims in Panay by sending blankets, tents and cooking utensils.

The city mayor and vice mayor of Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat, who both studied in Iloilo City schools, also told Mayor Mabilog they will extend help to typhoon Yolanda’s victims in Iloilo.

DSWD, DA forge food project for Yolanda victims in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 17 -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) have joined forces for the provision of food assistance to victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Western Visayas.

Under the tie-up project called the “Food First Project,” the DA pooled its resources and came up with savings amounting to P3.58 million for the purchase of goods to be immediately distributed to typhoon victims, specifically in the towns in Northern Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, and Antique, a statement from said.

DA Regional Executive Director Larry P. Nacionales turned over 6,000 trays of eggs, 40,000 cans of sardines, 140,000 packs of noodles, and 200 two-kilo bags of well-milled rice to DSWD-VI Regional Director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre after the signing of the memorandum of agreement yesterday.

Director Macapobre expressed gratitude for the partnership, saying the goods will go a long way in helping meet the food needs of the typhoon victims.

As of November 15, DSWD-VI has released more than 78,000 food packs and 49 sacks of rice to the six provinces in Western Visayas amounting to P20.5 million.

Stakeholders sign pact on climate change action

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

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 16 (PIA) – The Iloilo City government led by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, representatives from barangays, civil society, people’s organizations, NGOs, academe and religious organizations recently signed the “Iloilo City Declaration on Climate Change Actions.

For Mayor Mabilog, the statements are not just mere commitments ceremonially signed but those which advocate particular pathways and the courses of actions to pursue with determined efforts to keep the effects of climate change in check.

“We have finally reached a level where we have to plan and act accordingly to confront and mitigate the effects of climate change in Iloilo City and its environs,” Mabilog said in a press release.

The signing was done during a recent two-day sectoral consultation which was a prelude to the actual mainstreaming of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management to the Comprehensive Development Plan of the city.

In that consultation, the results of the vulnerability and adaptation assessment conducted by the city government with the support of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

The different sectors participating came up with strategies, interventions and activities that can contribute to making the city more adaptive and resilient to hazards, like typhoons, flooding, storm surge and sea level rise.

Maria Adelaida Mias-Cea, regional coordinator of UN-Habitat for Asia has urged the city government to make the city a champion in sustainable development.

“A plan is just a plan unless we take steps towards its implementation,” Mias-Cea said.

Mayor Mabilog said climate change today is manifested by intense typhoons like Frank, Ondoy, Pablo and lately, Yolanda.

Yolanda has left 5,741 families affected, with more than 300 houses damaged, in the city.

“If we just pay lip service to climate change, such typhoons will become a way of life for us, deadly, fatal and destructive, not only for this generation but for the next generations,” Mabilog said.

IBC mulls helping school rehabilitation


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 15 (PNA) –- Aside from helping in the relief operations, the Iloilo Business Club is looking into helping in the school rehabilitation in Iloilo province.

Leah Lara of the IBC said in an interview that they are seeking the help of independent business clubs in the country for the rehabilitation of schools that have been damaged by super typhoon Yolanda.

Lara said that they expect their Italian benefactor to help through their corporate social responsibility.

“We are more inclined in the rebuilding of schools,” she said.

She recalled how the IBC had adopted schools and helped in their rehabilitation and repainting. “We provided chairs, electric fans and other immediate needs of the schools,” Lara said.

She said that right now they are collecting funds for the project to rehabilitate schools.

Iloilo Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) head Jerry Bionat has reported Thursday to Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. a total of P471,340,000 worth of damages in the schools under the Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Iloilo.

Citing report from the DepEd Division of Iloilo submitted to his office, Bionat said that there’s an overall total of 1,139 classrooms totally damaged by the typhoon while partially damaged 1,168 and 879 classrooms used as evacuation centers.

Iloilo city slates thanksgiving mass

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

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 14 (PNA)-– The city government here will hold a procession and thanksgiving mass for cityhall employees and barangay officials on November 15, 2013 to thank the Almighty for sparing Iloilo City from the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda.

The procession will start from the cityhall at 3:00PM to Fort San Pedro, some 800 hundred meters away and overlooking the Iloilo Strait, where the mass will be held.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog here said the city and its populace have so much to be thankful for. While other areas in the whole Visayas are still agonizing from the havoc brought by “Yolanda” the city continues its usual life complete with power and water services.

Upon recommendation of Mabilog, the city council has issued a resolution giving financial assistance to two cities in Panay Island and 11 municipalities in the fifth district of Iloilo, considered as most hard hit areas by the typhoon.

The city council approved the financial aid of P100,000 to the component city of Passi, Iloilo in central Panay, another P100,000 to Roxas City in Capiz province and P50,000 each to the municipalities of northern Iloilo namely Estancia, Carles, Balasan, Concepcion, Ajuy, San Dionisio, Barotac Viejo, Lemery, San Rafael, Sara and Batad.

Mabilog said the city has zero casualty but suffered damages in houses along the coastal areas of the city and other danger zones. A total of 57 houses were totally damaged and 313 were partially damaged, affecting 5,741 families and 28,705 persons.

Evacuated were 5,741 families who immediately returned home after the storm.

The city will be giving financial assistance of P5,000 each family with totally damaged house and P2,500 each for partially damaged house.

P1.2B for typhoon relief aid of WV


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 13 (PNA) – President Benigno Aquino III has assured P1.2 billion assistance for relief and rehabilitation of Western Visayas hard hit by supertyphoon Yolanda over the weekend.

This was announced by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional director Evelyn Macapobre who assured that the government is on top of the situation during the report conference of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) held at CAAP office at the Iloilo Airport on Wednesday, November 13, 2013.

Macapobre said the relief food supply is topmost priority right now as thousands of typhoon victims have no immediate food. Rehabilitation for shelter and livelihood will follow.

This was also the consensus of Visayan congressmen Jerry Treñas of Iloilo City, Albie Benitez of Negros Occidental and Antonio del Rosario of Roxas City while attending the meeting with President Aquino in Capiz over the weekend.

Macapobre said there is no need to worry as the national government support for food assistance continues even if her office standby fund of P10 million is already consumed. What is badly needed right now are volunteers to do the packing of family relief packs containing three kilos of rice, 7 canned goods and 6 noodles.

The DSWD official said another repacking station was opened at the Iloilo sports complex covered court to accommodate the repacking of relief goods to be sent to the typhoon victims in four provinces of Panay.

PNP regional chief, Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz assured the assistance of some members of the battalion company who will volunteer for the repacking of relief assistance.

Cable cars eyed between Iloilo and Guimaras


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 12 (PNA) --Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is eyeing to put up cable cars between Iloilo and Guimaras Island as part of the plan to gain more tourist arrivals in Iloilo City.

This initiative was taken by the mayor during his recent business trip to Korea where their cable cars have been part of Korean tourist attractions.

Cable cars are rail vehicles that are propulsed by a cable (rope) and can detach themselves from the cable.

Mabilog said he has been inviting investors from Korea to visit Iloilo City and have their feasibility study on how it could be marketed here.

“It is always my dream to have these cable cars and having it would be a big boast to our tourism industry”, he said.

Meanwhile, the city mayor also wanted to adapt the waste-to-energy practice of Korea where their garbage has been converted into power energy.

Mabilog stressed the said practice is very applicable to Iloilo City since the city can produce 170 metric tons of garbage everyday.

The mayor added he already referred this to the city’s technical group which is composed of Solid Waste Management Board to study and review the project.

Mabilog said the city government will look for a private investor to invest on this project under the Private Public Partnership (PPP).

If materialized, the mayor also said the project could be placed at the one-hectare available lot in Calajunan dumpsite in Brgy. Calajunan, Mandurriao district here.

The three-hectare Calajunan dumpsite is now on its transition stage.

Solid Waste Management chief Emmaculate Juntarciego said more than half of the total dumping site area is now closed to give way to its development project.

The end portion of the 23-hectare Calajunan dumpsite is being used as the new dumping site for the almost 170 metric tons of collected garbage in the city everyday.

Presently, the Calajunan is now implementing its (Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to convert biodegradable materials into compost. The MRF has also its drying area.

Juntarciego said the present practice in Calajunan does not totally address the garbage collection problem in the city but it helps a lot.

Iloilo bags Chamber of Commerce Award

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has awarded Iloilo City for its Local Economic Development Program, particularly its Outstanding Investment Promotions Initiatives that enabled the city to become a vibrant and attractive destination for investments.

Iloilo City, the first local government unit to receive the President’s Award, was recognized during the 39th Philippine Business Conference at the Manila Hotel last October 24.

PCCI national president Miguel Varela signed the trophy himself.

The ceremony was attended by more than 1,000 PCCI chapter presidents and businessmen in the country.

DSWD distributes 9,832 family packs worth P2.5M to 'Yolanda' victims


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 10 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 6 has provided relief assistance amounting to P2.5 million in the five provinces in Western Visayas during its third day of relief operation.

As of November 9, 9:00 p.m., the amount of relief assistance amounted to P2,566,155. The amount of assistance increased with the number of requesting local government units swelling to 30.

The P2.56 million in assistance to disaster survivors is equivalent to 9,832 family packs distributed from Day 1 to Day 3 of relief operations in the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Negros Occidental and Iloilo.

A bigger slice of the went to the city and province of Iloilo with P941,129 or 3,606 food packs.

Iloilo City got 234 food packs while the remaining 3,372 food packs were distributed to the towns of Leganes, Barotac Nuevo, Zarraga, Concepcion, and Oton. These five municipalities are among those affected by typhoon Yolanda which were able to request assistance from DSWD.

DSWD Regional Director Evelyn B. Macapobre led the distribution of relief goods to affected local government units to ensure that all disaster survivors will receive the needed immediate assistance.

The number of affected municipalities in the province of Iloilo, particularly in the northern part is still expected to rise after the respective LGUs come up with their assessment on the devastation brought about by typhoon Yolanda.

On the other hand, the province of Negros Occidental with 17 affected municipalities and cities received P547,056 worth of relief assistance or 2,096 family packs.

The province of Antique with three affected municipalities -- Caluya, Laua-an and Patnongon -- received P203,580 worth of relief assistance or 780 family packs. So far, only these municipalities have requested for relief assistance.

There are 2,100 family packs allocated and ready for distribution in the province of Aklan worth P548,000.

The province of Capiz and Roxas City also received P326,250 worth of relief assistance or 1,250 family packs.

Macapobre assures the agency will continue to provide augmentation relief to local government units.

The repacking of relief goods is ongoing with the assistance of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Naval Reserve Center-Western Visayas, Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) and non-government organizations.

Economic activities in metro Iloilo back to normal

By Annabel J. Petinglay [(PNA), CTB/AJP/VLORQUIOLA]

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 09 (PNA)- The economic activities in this city has been normalized after the onslaught of tropical storm Yolanda that devastated the province and city of Iloilo Friday afternoon.

Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) chair Darwin Papa said at least 50 percent of the almost 4,081 families or a total of 16,847 indviduals that evacuated to the various evacuation centers throughout the Iloilo metropolis have already returned to their respective houses early Saturday morning.

While evacuees whose houses have been damaged by the typhoon or their barangay has not been cleared yet of debris, were told to remain at the evacuation centers where they availed of emergency assistance extended by the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

The CDRRMO identified Project 5 and portion of Brgy. So-oc, Arevalo where waist-deep flashflood pose danger to residents.

The CDRRMO chair said all streets in the City Proper area have been cleared of fallen trees and other obstacles by maintenance personnel of the City Engineer’s Office which also fasttrack the clearing operations in other barangays in various city districts to pave way for the smooth flow of vehicular traffic.

The maintenance crew of the Panay Electric Company (PECO), the lone power provider in the city, also speed-up the rehabilitation works of damaged power lines and toppled electric posts to energize other barangays rendered powerless by Yolanda’s devastating winds.

Power blackouts plunged the entire city and province of Iloilo about 2 p.m. on Friday at the height of Yolanda’s devastation.

Fortunately, the communication facilities and commercial power in the city were restored barely nine hours later while the province of Iloilo remain powerless as scores of electric posts were toppled down by the super typhoon Yolanda.

Meanwhile, the operation of sea-going vessels throughout the Western Visayas, particularly the fleet of passenger fast ferries plying Guimaras-Iloilo and vice versa as well as Bacolod-Iloilo and vice versa had already resumed after the storm signal was lifted.

The Philippine Coast Guard-Iloilo Station, on the other hand, continues to scour the Iloilo Strait separating Guimaras island from mainland Iloilo City in search for the still missing 22-year-old criminology student from the University of Iloilo here.

The student from Morobuan, Jordan, Guimaras who was reported to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor, suddenly jumped into the sea in Brgy. Ortiz, City Proper amid strong waves brought about by typhoon Yolanda.

Prior to the incident, the victim was seen having a drinking spree with several friends in the barangay.

Apart from the missing student, the CDRRMO also reported one person injured in Brgy. Gustilo, Lapaz, Iloilo after he was pinned down by a fallen mango tree.

The CDRRMO also continues to consolidate reports on the damage wrought by the super typhoon Yolanda that hit this southern metropolis this year.

November is ‘Nationalist Consciousness Month’


ILOILO City – Progressive groups here will hold activities in line with the “Nationalist Consciousness Month” to commemorate the life and works of hero Andres Bonfacio as well as observe his relevance to modern Philippine society.

On November 30, the country will celebrate the 150th birthday of Bonifacio, who led armed uprisings against Spanish rule in the late 19th century.

According to JC Alejandro of the League of Filipino Students (LFS), progressive youth groups will take part in protest actions aimed against corruption and social injustices that will peak on November 29.

Forums exploring the life and ideals of the Supremo will also take place in schools here, said Charmaine Chin of Kabataan Partylist

“The problems he faced during his time still exist,” said Anakbayan spokesperson Bryan Bosque. “Bonifacio taught us the importance of collective action.”

Alejandro said although the illustrados sought to alleviate the Filipinos’ plight through a lobby at the Spanish Cortes (Supreme Court), it was Bonifacio who initiated a more concrete approach: an armed revolt.

“He was not only against Spain, but he was also against the forces of corruption and poverty... I think his ideals should be lived up by the youth of today,” said Chin.

Alejandro also said there is a need to include a subject on Bonifacio in college and high school curricula, alongside the subject on national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

“We can never deny that Rizal inspired the revolution that Bonifacio undertook,” he said.

In 2011, the Kabataan Partylist, through Cong. Raymond Palatino, urged Congress to pass House Bill No. 4353, the “Andres Bonifacio Act of 2011” which sought to strengthen the values of nationalism and patriotism through the inclusion of a college course on the life, works and ideals of Bonifacio.

Iloilo City council joins bandwagon vs use of plastic bags

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr. (Inquirer Visayas)

ILOILO CITY, Philippines—This city has joined the global campaign to minimize the use of plastic bags as part of efforts to preserve the environment.

A ban on the use of nonbiodegradable plastic bags in all business establishments would be implemented within the month, according to Councilor Nielex Tupas, author of the ordinance regulating the use of plastic bags.

The ordinance, passed by the city council last month, will take effect 15 days after its publication in local newspapers.

The ordinance promotes the use of alternative packaging materials like reusable and woven cloth, rattan or recycled paper and others made from biodegradable materials.

Tupas said a six-month information campaign would be conducted.

The ban covers all forms of plastic bags used by business establishments and vendors that cannot be broken down or disintegrated by microbes, according to Tupas.

“This is not just a trend but a must. This will involve a lifestyle change for those used to the ease of using and throwing plastic bags,” he said.

He said at least 40 percent of the garbage collected in the city are made of plastic, including bags, which are among the main reasons for clogged drainage systems and polluted rivers.

The ban will be implemented gradually in four years starting with a once-a-week ban in the first year, twice a week in the second year and thrice weekly in the third year.

Full implementation will start in the fourth year.

Violators will be meted a P500-fine and confiscation of the plastic bags for the first offense and a P700 fine, confiscation of the plastic material and a one-week suspension of business permit for the second offense.

Third and subsequent offenses are punishable by a P1,000 fine, confiscation of plastic bags and cancellation of business permit.

The Iloilo Business Club (IBC) is supporting the ordinance.

“It may mean additional costs for businesses but it’s a small sacrifice for the environment,” said Maria Lea Victoria Lara, IBC executive director.

Western Visayas disaster council holds emergency meeting in preparation for TS Yolanda

By Annabel J. Petinglay [(PNA), LAM/AJPETINGLAY/VLO]

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 6 (PNA) -- The Western Visayas Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) called an emergency meeting Wednesday in preparation for TS Yolanda, which is expected to become a super typhoon once it makes landfall in the Visayas region including Western Visayas around Friday (Nov. 8) noon.

RDRRMC chairperson Rosario T. Cabrera, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director, presided the meeting because of the threat of the super typhoon which, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), is now located at 1,560 kilometers east of Mindanao with maximum sustained winds of 120 kph and gustiness of up to 150 kph. It is forecast to move west at 30 kph and expected to be the in the vicinity of the Visayas by Friday.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the region already directed all local government units to convene their city and provincial DRRMCs for their preparations.

Rosario San Agustin, of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 6 office, said they have relief goods prepositioned in the different provinces of the region.

San Agustin said their Delta Force is on duty 24/7 to ensure the delivery of relief assistance. The DSWD has also given instructions to workers under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to be on alert and immediately make incident reports. The DSWD also has P500,000 standby fund that could be used anytime for relief goods and other emergency needs.

The NFA has also available stocks of rice on the different warehouses that could be withdrawn by the DSWD on credit to support the local government units.

Police Regional Office 6 (PRO6) director Agrimero Cruz Jr. said they have also alerted all the provincial and city police directors and their 21 rubber boats are ready for rescue operations.

He added the PRO6 Search and Rescue Rapid Deployment Battalion has 207 responders.

The Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy have alerted all their units to be ready for any eventuality.

Colonel Arnold Quiapo, commanding officer of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said their engineering brigades and reservists have already been alertedy. Likewise, two navy ships are now prepositioned for any rescue and transport of relief goods.

Leo Van Juguan, Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director, also presented during the meeting the high risk areas in the region based on their geohazard maps which were provided to the mayors for their guidance.

He said that close monitoring should be done at the rivers of Libacao, Aklan and in Antique being heavily silted and also in the uplands due to possible landslides.

National Telecommunications Commission Regional Director Antonio Monroy, who heads the RDRRMC Communications and Warning Group (CWG), said they have a vast network of volunteers who would like to help disseminate information to the public and just need updates from the PAG-ASA and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The Philippines News Agency is part of the the CWG.

BFAR 6 to hold reg’l launching of FishR


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 5 (PNA) -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Office 6 will spearhead the Western Visayas regional launching and training of project implementers for the national program of Municipal Fisherfolk Registration (FishR) on November 15 at Royal Garden Hall, Gen. Luna St., Iloilo City.

Expected to attend the activity are the about 1,000 project implementers including provincial governors, local chief executives from 84 coastal municipalities/cities together with their respective agricultural officers and Fisheries Extension officers, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARMC) chairpersons and fisherfolk.

Heads of the Regional offices from the Department of Agriculture, Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Authority, National Telecommunication Commission, Department of Interior and Local Government, National Statistics Office, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, National Economic Development Authority, Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Social Welfare and Development will grace the activity.

Among the highlights of the launching will be the ceremonial show of commitment by program partners and FishR program orientation by BFAR Dir. Asis G. Perez.

Part of the undertaking was the conduct of the regional training of the local field project implementers with the municipal agricultural officers and the agricultural technicians for fisheries as participants last October 7-9.

The regional training is composed of three modules: the FishR program mechanics back to back with the Communication Plan Workshop; the FishR Software Systems Hands-on Training; and the Regional Action Planning Workshop.

NFA-Iloilo assures enough supply of rice this Christmas season


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 4 (PNA) -– National Food Authority (NFA) Iloilo manager Marianito Bejimino has assured they have enough supply of rice this Christmas season.

Bejimino said that as of Monday, Iloilo city and province has 2,356,853 bags of rice which could last for 115 days based on the daily consumption of Ilonggos.

“Iloilo is self-sufficient in rice,” the NFA official said.

He also said that they expect harvest for the second cropping end of December or early month of 2014.

“Palay planted in some farms are in fact on the vegetative stage now and so there would be harvest in less than a few months time,” Bejimino said.

He said that the monsoon rains is a blessing to the rain-fed areas planted to palay.

The NFA official said that he is confident the same rice self-sufficiency is true to the entire Western Visayas region.

Gov't allocates P900M for BuB agri projects in W. Visayas


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 3 (PNA) -- The National government has allocated P900 million for agricultural projects in 2014 under the Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB) scheme.

Department of Agriculture Region 6 (DA-6) director Larry Nacionales said that more than half of the agency’s funds have been allocated for BuB projects or projects identified by the local government units (LGUs).

He said that most LGUs in the region opted for projects that would boost the agriculture sector, including farm-to-market roads, small irrigations, high-value crops and livestock production, livelihood projects for farmers, among others.

In Iloilo alone, Nacionales said 28 towns will benefit from these projects.

“We hope to cover all the province’s 42 towns by year 2015,” he said.

Nacionales explained that BuB is a budget preparation scheme wherein LGUs identify the projects they need, contrary to the common practice of national agencies providing projects for LGUs, which sometimes, are not needed or are priority projects of the LGUs.

Spearheaded jointly by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the scheme prioritizes municipalities with the highest poverty incidence, Nacionales said.

For his part, Barotac Viejo Mayor Niel Tupas III, president of League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Iloilo, said Iloilo mayors welcome the new scheme, and urged other LGUs which have yet to submit their BuB proposals.

Applications for WVSU presidency due Nov. 6


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 2 (PIA6) – The Board of Regents of the West Visayas State University reminds that applications for the presidency of the university are due on or before November 6, 2013.

The formal application letter must be addressed to Ho. Commissioner Maria Cynthia Rose B. Bautista, Chair of the Board of Regents of the said university located at La Paz, Iloilo City.

The following documents are requested from applicants: (1) formal application letter (2) curriculum vitae with authenticated/certified supporting documents (3) applicant’s proposed vision, mission and thrust for the university (4) neuro-psychiatric examination result accredited by a government physician as recommended by the search committee (5) medical certificate of physical fitness issued by a government physician from a reputable medical center (6) clearance certificates (original) from the Ombudsman or Sandiganbayan, Civil Service Commission and National Bureau of Investigation (7) accomplished CSC Form 212 , under oath (8) statement of assets and liabilities of year 2012.

These for must be sent to either of the following: Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman, Chair, Search Committee for WVSU Presidency, Mrs. Belen G. Carreon, Board Secretary, or Hon. Maria Cynthia Rose B. Bautista, Commissioner, Commission on Higher Education, CP Garcia Avenue, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

For updates and other information, interested applicants are advised to keep in touch with the Office of the Secretary of the Board of Regents at WVSU.

NNC: Follow ten nutritional guidelines

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

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 1(PIA) – The ten guidelines on nutrition has to be popularized according to the National Nutrition Council (NNC) here so that Filipinos understand them better, practice them and inform others.

Termed the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos or the NGF, these contain basic information based on studies of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) and the NNC as to current situation in the lifestyle of the people.

Popularizing these guidelines means translating them into the local dialect and using all types of media to reach various audiences, according to NNC-6 Regional Nutrition Coordinator Nona Tad-y.

Tad-y said the translations have already been reviewed by a team of media practitioners and government agencies members of the Regional Nutrition Committee Technical Working Group, in consultation with the Provincial Health Office and the Philippine Information Agency.

She said NNC is employing print, broadcast and community media strategies to deliver the messages to target audiences particularly in the barangays.

“We expect the nutrition workers to effectively use the translated materials and ensure widest dissemination,” Tad-y said.

The NGF include 1) Eat a variety of foods everyday to get the nutrients needed by the body; 2) Breastfeed infants exclusively from birth up to six months, then give appropriate complementary foods while continuing breastfeeding for two years and beyond for optimum growth and development; 3) Eat more vegetables and fruits everyday to get the essential vitamins, minerals and fiber for regulation of body processes; 4) Consume fish, lean meat, poultry, egg, dried beans or nuts daily for growth and repair of body tissues; 5) Consume milk, milk products and other calcium-rich foods, such as small fish and shellfish everyday for healthy bones and teeth; 6) Consume safe foods and water to prevent diarrhea and other food and water-borne diseases; 7) Use iodized salt to prevent Iodine Deficiency Disorders; 8) Limit intake of salty, fatty and sugar-rich foods to prevent cardiovascular diseases; attain normal body weight through proper diet and moderate physical activity to prevent obesity, and maintain good health.

Tad-y said NNC has stepped up its efforts popularize the NGF to help Filipinos maintain a healthy lifestyle and the government achieve the Millennium Development Goals through its universal health care program.