Iloilo City News November 2014

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Iloilo City - Archived News

Seal of Iloilo City
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Iloilo City, Iloilo
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Map Locator of Iloilo City
Aerial View of Iloilo City
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Aerial View of Iloilo City
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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Molo Church, Iloilo City
Iloilo dinagyang festival.jpg
The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan.
Barangay anim 4500.gif
A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.

DSWD invades social media for ‘Kaya ko ang Pagbabago’


ILOILO City – Aimed at informing the public of the positive changes in the lives of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently launched the “Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago” campaign.

DSWD’s regional offices nationwide simultaneously launched the campaign through social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

The campaign gives Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries a platform to share to the public the positive changes in their lives.

“Allow our clients to tell you their stories. Let them have a chance to inspire others who may be feeling hopeless already,” said DSWD Region 6 director, Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre.

Macapobre led the nationwide ceremonial posting of the message in social media for the said campaign.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor households, particularly of children aged zero to 18 years old.

Patterned after the conditional cash transfer scheme implemented in other developing countries, the Pantawid Pamilya provides cash grants to beneficiaries provided that they comply with the set of conditions required by the program.

Opening of Lights at Savannah City tonight


CHRISTMAS, for most Filipino families, is the most awaited time of year for giving and sharing. In this season, there is nothing better to do than be home with one’s family and relatives, strengthen the bond and celebrate love.

Savannah City, a prime housing development of Vista Land in Iloilo, will show how it gives importance to Yuletide as much as almost every Filipino family does with a month-long display of Christmas lights.

Starting 8 p.m. today, Savannah City, including Camella Iloilo, will be transformed into a Christmas Village as it is filled with colorful and sparkling lights.

Tonight’s Opening of Lights has become one of the anticipated events in Savannah City and Camella Iloilo every Yuletide

It is expected to gather thousands of residents inside and outside the subdivision as it will showcase not only bright lights but also beautiful Christmas decorations.

Since 2010, it has become a tradition for Savannah City to fill its areas with the spirit of Christmas that radiates not only to the residents of the subdivision but also to the neighboring places.

It has served as a “Christmas destination” where people can enjoy various sights that will surely delight their hearts.

This year’s theme of the Opening of Lights is inspired by “Frozen,” one of the most popular and successful animated films to date.

The subdivision will be decorated with figures of characters and scenes from the movie. Residents and visitors, especially children, can play with “Princess Ana,” “Queen Elsa” and “Olaf.”

Tonight’s lighting event will be complemented with band performances and other activities especially for the spectators.

Everyone is welcome to join the Opening of Lights at Savannah City.

The event will be the community’s early Christmas treat to Ilonggos for making Savannah City and Camella Iloilo among the leading names in real estate development.

More than the Christmas spirit it brings, the Opening of Lights is a manifestation of how Savannah City created a happy community with its satisfied homeowners.

Spend the Yuletide at Savannah City and make your Christmas merrier.

Iloilo City to launch mobile payment

By Lydia C. Pendon

ILOILO City will launch on December 4 the Online Business Registration System, Mobile Money Payment, and the Virtual Investment Promotion Center of the City Government at the Amigo Terrace Hotel.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the launching will replace the online Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS) with real mobile payment services for the business tax to provide better technological solutions to the public in transacting with the City Government.

The project will initially cover the payment for the second quarter of 2015 with service provider Globe Telecom through its G-Cash services.

Mabilog said that since 2012, the City Government has been working to improve the BPLS with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to encourage more investors to do business in the city and to shorten the processing time of obtaining the permits.

In January 2014, the City Government tested the online application and submission in renewing business permits and pursued a mobile money payment system for financial transactions, specifically for business permits and licensing payment.

Other speakers during the launching next month are Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Nora Terrado, University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) dean Mary Ann Gumban, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Austere Panadero, and IC Trade and Investment Promotion Board’s Felix Tiu.

A live simulation of business registration and mobile payment will be conducted by the City Government, UPV, and Globe X-Change Inc.

A signing of agreement will be made by the city and UPV.

Students explore Bulabog-Putian National Park


ILOILO – Thirty-eight high school students explored Bulabog-Putian National Park in Dingle town during a youth camp that the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) organized for Fort San Pedro National High School (Iloilo City) and Dingle National High School.

The youth camp helped instill a sense of responsibility among students to protect natural wonders, said Lally Sales, OIC head of Dingle National High School’s Science Department.

The youth camp included an eco-walk, tree planting, cave exploration, workshops on biodiversity and how to become “environmental heroes.”

There was also a forum on protected areas and climate change. Dr. Emelyn Peñaranda, Protected Areas Division chief of DENR Region 6, was the speaker.

“The students were given real experience of communing with nature as reinforcement to the usual classroom activities on environmental protection,” said Sales.

Bulabog-Putian National Park is a protected area under Presidential Proclamation No. 760 that President Carlos Garcia issued on June 14, 1961.

The national park occupies a land area of 847.33 hectares covering nine villages in the towns of Dingle and San Enrique.

Shayne Kae Lemery, a third year secondary student of Fort San Pedro National High School and active member of their school’s YES-O (Youth for Environment in Schools’ Organization), said the youth camp enabled her to explore for the first time a natural park.

“I enjoyed hiking in the forest, going inside the caves, and discovering different plants and animals that I have not seen yet,” she said.

Lemery said the youth camp also made her realize her role in environmental protection.

DOT promotes cybercrime laws


ILOILO CITY, November 26 (PIA) --- The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Western Visayas is taking an active role in promoting public awareness on various cybercrime laws.

In a media release, Atty. Helen Catalbas, DOT-6 Regional Director said that they are initiating briefings on cybercrime laws in their offices, local government unit partners and private stakeholders as member of the Regional Development Council (RDC)-6.

This is through RDC-6 resolution No. 46 that was endorsed by the Development Administration Committee (DAC) as one way of preventing people to be cybercrime victims through proper information dissemination

“Cybercrimes are acts committed with, or through the use of information technologies such as radio, television, cellular phone, computer and network, and other communication device application,” she said.

Cybercrime offenses that are considered punishable are: offenses against confidentiality and integrity, and availability of computer data system; computer-related offenses; content-related offenses; and other offenses such as aiding or abetting in the commission of Cybercrime and attempt in the commission of Cybercrime.

Existing laws affecting cyberspace include, but not limited to E-Commerce Law (RA 8792), Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 (RA 9995), Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 (9775), and Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (RA 10175).

High-tech crimes also include cyber-based terrorism, espionage, computer intrusions, and major cyber fraud.

Any person found guilty of the act can face imprisonment of prision mayor (6 years and one day to 12 years) or pay fine amounting from P50,000 to P1-million.

4,000 jobs up for grabs on Dec. 2


ILOILO City – Around 4,000 job vacancies and job orders are up for grabs on the Dec. 2, 2014 job fair of the provincial government.

Spearheaded by the Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO), the job fair will be held at the Iloilo provincial capitol lobby.

As of yesterday, 77 local companies and recruitment agencies expressed intention to participate.

“This is part of the program of Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. for our unemployed or underemployed constituents,” said Francisco Heler, PESO head.

Each year, PESO conducts the job fair twice: during the “Semana sang Iloilo” every April and first week of December.

In 2013, 1,000 applicants were hired for both local and overseas placements.

According to Heler, on top of the two job fairs is a monthly special recruitment activity at the provincial capitol participated in by various companies.

Heler said the provincial PESO had been cited by the regional PESO as “top performer” (first class provincial category). It is also a consistent nominee for the National Best PESO award.

This year, PESO will also be giving awards to “top local manpower performers” among participating companies.

The most common openings during the job fairs are for business process outsourcing, engineers, ship crew, hotel and restaurant employees, nurses, medical technologists, technicians and skilled workers.

Iloilo to hold 1st Biodiversity Week

(JCM/LAF-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 24 (PIA6) - - The province of Iloilo through its Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office will hold the first Iloilo Biodiversity and Watershed Week from December 1-5, 2014.

The five-day event will gather the different watershed councils, national government agencies, academe, non-government organizations and people organizations in the province to display their unique watershed and biodiversity features through tarpaulins and live flora and fauna at the provincial capitol grounds.

PENRO Officer Sol Sucaldito said the event will highlight and recognize the efforts being made by the watershed management councils and other concerned agencies and organizations towards conservation and protection of local biodiversity. This will be undertaken in collaboration with Department of Environment and Natural Resources 6-Biodiversity Partnerships Project, University of the Philippines-Viayas and West Visayas State University-College of Agriculture and Forestry.

Sucaldito said the various watershed management councils in the province have already expressed their participation in the week-long event that will feature series of lectures, contests and award ceremony for the Governor’s Prize on Blue Waters competition. To date, there are 26 watershed management councils in the province.

Topics that will be discussed during the lectures include Biodiversity in Central Panay Mountains; Critical Habitat; LGU role in CH; Indigenous People Ethno Knowledge on pharma, vet, potion, food, farming techniques, Beach Forest/Mangrove, Corals, Seagrass, Fishes and the Iloilo Provincial Environment Code.

Lantern making, poster making and Biodiversity and Watershed Quiz Bowl for college and secondary schools are the three contests that will be conducted during the event.

Participating watershed management councils will show their creativity and ingenuity in the lantern making contest as they are required to use indigenous plant materials in creating their entries.

Ilonggo makes waves as doll dress designer


WHAT began as a hobby is now a promising venture for Reynel Solen.

Fresh from college four years ago and waiting for calls from potential employers, he collected retaso (excess strips of cloth) from his mother’s work space, and made doll dresses to kill his time. It was only a hobby, he said, until his friend suggested that he take photos of the dresses, and post them on his Facebook account.

Today, Reynel is making waves as a designer in Doll World, a group of doll collectors and doll directors involved in the production of doll beauty pageants. His handmade creations, often accentuated by intricate beadwork, are a hit among doll aficionados here and abroad.

happy doll pics (4)“It never occurred to me that this hobby would turn out to be a business enterprise,” said Reynel. “I did not expect that by posting photos of my creations on my Facebook account, someone would notice them and that I would eventually be introduced in Doll World.”

But it was not an easy journey for him to be admitted to Doll World, he said, because an aspiring member needs to prove his worth before earning the nod of the other members. So at first, a member would buy his works, and sell them in Doll World on his behalf.

In 2012, Reynel quit his day job to focus on making doll dresses and gowns to accommodate orders from his clients. He has also invested on equipment and materials that are essential in his business.

happy doll pics (3)“I regularly receive orders from doll collectors. My creations dress their dolls like the Fashion Royalty series, Barbie Playline, Dynamite Girl, among others. These dolls compete in several doll beauty competitions that are done online. In fact, I have received inquiries if I can ship my works to Paraguay.”

Today, Reynel’s talent and craftsmanship is recognized in the world of doll pageants. He said he has also improved on his techniques despite not undergoing formal training on designing and sewing.

“I think I mastered this skill because I used to observe how my mother made dresses. I also update myself on the latest trends in design, and learn more cutting and sewing techniques from the Internet,” said Reynel.

Looking back at his journey as one of the most sought-after designers and makers of doll dresses and gowns, he shared it has been a fulfilling experience.

“I love what I am doing. Every finished product is a reason for me to celebrate. Imagine working for about five hours a day for two to three days and seeing that my work perfectly fits the dolls, and it looks beautiful once I put it on a doll. That is a priceless feeling that motivates me to create more,” he said.

He added that he enjoys what he is doing because he feels he is not working, but playing whenever he is working on each dress.

“Of course, it also helps that my customers provide positive feedback when they buy my works. Some of them even encourage me to put up my couture line, which I am also considering,” he said.

Reynel’s collection may be viewed at his Facebook account, where he also transacts with his clients.

Cancer institute to rise in Western Visayas


CANCER is the third leading cause of death in the Philippines, government data show. It is estimated to afflict 189 per 100,000 Filipinos. Of this number, 103 die each day, or four deaths per hour.

A lawmaker is in fact pushing for a bill that will make cancer treatment more accessible to people outside Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao, where cancer treatment is already available.

With these in mind, St. Paul’s Hospital of Iloilo, Inc. will open a cancer institute that will provide better options for Ilonggos seeking cancer treatment.

“This project has been considered by the sisters and doctors for a long time. In fact, I’m already the third hospital administrator who has had this dream,” said Sister Rosamond Marie Abadesco, SPC, hospital administrator. “It will be materialized now because we have learned to take the risk and coupled it with a leap of faith.”

Building a cancer institute is “a work of faith,” she said, because it is quite expensive — from procuring the equipment to building the four-storey edifice.

“God gave us the opportunity, and He also sent us people who are willing to help and invest in the facility,” said Abadesco.

There is no cancer institute in Western Visayas yet, and what the hospital is going to build will be the first, she said.

“Cancer treatment is very expensive,” said Abadesco. “Many patients from this region would go to Manila or Cebu for treatment. Aside from the treatment, they also need to spend for their plane fare and other expenses.”

Putting up a cancer institute “is going to be part of our charity service to the poor,” she said.

Tapped to be on top of this project is Dr. Michael Malabanan, a radiation oncologist from Makati Medical Center.

“For St. Paul’s Hospital, we will have a TomoTherapy Radiation machine that treats all types of cancers — breast, brain, lung, bone, brain metastasis — that will need radiation therapy treatment,” said Malabanan.

He said this technology is more advanced than the typical cobalt machine and the typical linear accelerator.

Malabanan said he has been manning a similar machine for about two and a half years now as section head of Makati Medical Center’s radiation oncology facility.

“This machine treats patients effectively and fast. A treatment of 30 minutes can be given for 10 to 12 minutes,” he said. “The patient’s comfort is assured since the treatment is tolerable.”

A TomoTherapy Radiation machine can also treat a tumor but will spare organs at risk, he said. The side effects are minimal, lesser than the typical radiation machine.

St. Paul’s Hospital of Iloilo, Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony for its cancer institute on Nov. 15. Abadesco said construction will begin soon, and the facility is expected to be fully operational by middle of 2015.

“We have already procured the machine. Now we wait until the building is constructed so we can better serve the Ilonggos, especially the poor, who need cancer treatment. That is the core of our mission, after all,” she said.

Malabanan will be at the helm of the hospital’s cancer institute for its initial operation next year.

He brings with him years of expertise as radiation oncologist, backed by his fellowship training under the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Canada and link with the National Cancer Center of Singapore.

Tourism infra projects get P1.167B


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 21 (PIA6)—The Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Tourism here is jointly implementing some P1.167 billion for 17 infrastructure projects in support of tourism development in the region.

The projects are components of the convergence of DOT and the DPWH which are expected to boost the tourism industry in Western Visayas to attract both local and foreign tourists to visit more tourist destinations.

In Iloilo City, District Engineer Rodney Gustilo said they have completed the rehabilitation and upgrading of various roads and bridges leading to tourist attractions in the city.

There is the upgrading and reconstruction of 4-lane, 376.50 lineal meter J.M. Basa-Gen. Hughes-Fort San Pedro Road in the amount of P27.120 million; Reconstruction/Rehabilitation of 2-lane, 480.0-lineal meter Rizal Street in Lapaz District in the amount of P12.7 million, and Upgrading of 20.0 lineal meter San Lorenzo Bridge and 25.0-lineal meter Rizal Bridge both leading to Iloilo International Container Port, Iloilo City, in the amount of P14.0 million and P18.0, respectively.

There is also the 2,418.13 lineal meters Leganes-Sta. Barbara road leading to heritage sites in Iloilo City in the amount of P60.0 million. The San Miguel-Sta. Barbara road leading to Sta. Barbara Golf course, in the amount ofP78.055 million and the old route of Iloilo-Capiz road, from Iloilo City-Pavia Boundary to Aganan Bridge in Pavia, 1,611.0 lineal meters long, with an allocation of P58,945 million.

On the other hand, in the province of Antique, there is the Access Road in Tibiao, Antique which leads to White Water Kayaking, Tibiao Ecopark and tibiao Fish Spa with the length of 4.613.54 lineal meters, in the amount of P110. million.

In Aklan, there is the Tangalan-Ibajay Road, 4,764.16 lineal meters amounting to P98.0 million.

In Negros Occidental, these are the 2.836.05 lineal meters Access Road leading to Mambucal Resort in Murcia, with an allocation of P60.0 million; the 3,836.05 lineal meters Bacolod City Boundary Road from La Salle Ecopark to Mt. Mandalagan, with an allocation of P140.0 million, and the 5,996.22 lineal meter Silay Lantawan-Patag Access Road to Bacolod Silay Airport Road in the amount P200.0 million.

Engineer Jaime SJ Javellana said the engineering district has already completed the rehabilitation of 2,401.0 lineal meter Access Road leading to “The Ruins” in Talisay City in the amount of P50.0 million.

Javellana said they are currently undertaking the P50.0 million worth of rehabilitation of Bacolod-Murcia-Don Salvador Benedicto-San Carlos City Road, with the length of 5,268.79 lineal meters which leads to Mambucal Resort and Alindahaw Falls in the amount of P50.0 million and the Rehabilitation of 2,999.64-lineal meter Access Road leading to Gawahon Resort in Victorias City in the amount of P40.0 million. Engr. Edilberto Tayao, DPWH-6 regional director, said that these are the convergence targets of the department together with the DOT to foster faster growth for tourism here.

Region 6 leader organic farming – DA


ILOILO City – “There is reason to celebrate the growing organic movement in Region 6, according to the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) national program coordinator for organic agriculture.

“Region 6 is one of the leaders in the promotion of organic agriculture in the country. It has become the birthplace of organic farming,” said Director Leo Cañeda, national program coordinator for organic agriculture.

Cañeda also lauded the collaboration among DA, the private sector and the academe toward public-private partnership.

“This is the kind of initiative that I get to see only in Region 6,” said Cañeda.

Cañeda was the resource speaker during the opening of the week-long 4th Regional Agri-Fair at Central Philippine University here on Tuesday.

According to Joyce Wendam, DA-6 regional technical director for Research, Policy Planning and Support Services, the Agri-Fair and other programs of the department aim to increase the level of public awareness on organic farming.

So far, Western Visayas has cultivated 38 percent of the target 33,000 hectares into organic farming, and that 97 percent or 135 local technical committees out of the 139 municipalities and cities in the region were organized to assist farmers going into organic farming.

Next year, Iloilo will be hosting the 12th National Agri-Fair that will be attended by around 2,500 farmers nationwide.

Think beyond APEC, Ilonggos told


ILOILO City – This city’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit ministerial meetings in 2015 is a good starting point in making it a global city.

But this early, Ilonggos should be thinking of what can be done to make the city prosper beyond APEC, said Guillermo Luz, private sector co-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC).

He spoke at the recent 3rd Western Visayas Business Forum at Hotel del Rio here.

The hosting provides opportunities for infrastructure and investments, said Luz, but it is important that preparations go beyond APEC.

Iloilo City has been assigned to host two ministerial meetings by the APEC National Organizing Committee:

• the Small Medium Enterprises (SME) from Sept. 21 to 25, 2015, and
• the Food Security Week (High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy) from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6, 2015.

In terms of competitiveness, Iloilo ranked sixth among the 122 cities in the country in the latest round of the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) conducted by the NCC.

According to the NCC, cities and municipalities are ranked on their competitiveness based on an overall competitiveness score which is the sum of scores on three main pillars: economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure.

“Iloilo City is competing with other cities for investments, trade, services, tourists, image and brand,” said Luz.

The city must continue tracking local competitiveness indicators, formulate programs to improve competitiveness, and engage in investment promotion activities to attract investors and create new jobs, he stressed.

CPU hosts 4th regional organic agri-fair

By Florence F. Hibionada (With reports from Cyrus Natividad)

CURRENT trends and strategies on organic food production and technology were among the highlights in Monday's opening of the 4th Regional Organic Agri-Fair Seminar and Exhibits.

With the Central Philippine University (CPU) as returning host, the weeklong event is led by the school in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Western Visayas office.

During the event, themed “Organic Agriculture: Opportunities and Challenges in Asean 2015,” industry advocates are one in saying that the agri-fair is important in the coming Asean integration.

“The opportunity for farmers and local government units to develop agricultural technology that is in line with the advocacy of organic food production will be availed at the technology and livelihood seminars prepared by the organizers,” said the event organizers in a press release.

The weeklong agri-fair kicked off with seminars and art contests. A symbolic 4-K fun run also gathered running enthusiasts, agency representatives and students.

APEC hosting bolsters Iloilo’s global city aspirations

(JCM/ ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

Iloilo City (PIA) – The hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) ministerial meetings in 2015 is a good starting point in realizing the development of Iloilo as a global city.

In the 3rd Western Visayas Business Forum held recently at Hotel Del Rio here, National Competitiveness Council (NCC) Private Sector Co-Chairman Guillermo Luz said hosting the APEC meetings provides opportunities for infrastructure and investments.

Iloilo City has been assigned to host two meetings by the APEC National Organizing Committee (NOC). The city will host the Small Medium Enterprises (SME) ministerial meeting on September 21-25, 2015 and the Food Security Week (High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy) on September 28 to October 6, 2015.

However, Luz stressed that it is important that preparations to go global should be made beyond APEC.

“This early, we should be thinking of what can we do to make Iloilo City prosper beyond APEC,” he said.

Luz said that in terms of competitiveness, Iloilo ranks sixth among 122 cities in the country in the latest round of the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) conducted by the NCC.

According to the NCC, cities and municipalities are ranked on their competitiveness based on an overall competitiveness score which is the sum of scores on three main factors, namely, economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure.

“Iloilo City is competing with other cities for investments, trade, services, tourists, image and brand,” said Luz.

He added that the city must continue tracking local competitiveness indicators, formulate programs to improve competitiveness, and engage in investment promotion activities to attract investors and create new jobs.

Farmers coop soon to have rice processing complex

(JCM/ ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 15 (PIA6)—The Pototan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PFMPC) will soon have the P200-million Rice Processing Complex from the Korean International Cooperative Agency (KOICA) through the Department of Agriculture-6.

Coop members, recipients of the Korean-funded Rice Processing Complex were told to sustain the initiative and become growth-oriented.

The members recently underwent a training to prepare them for the commercial operations of the RPC, facilitated by the West Visayas State University College of Business Administration, focusing on business planning and value-chain analysis.

Training facilitator Prof. Florencio Dagdag said the training aimed at enhancing the capability of the coop members in business entrepreneurial skills particularly on palay processing and trading, on top of value adding.

Josefa S. Melocoton, RPC Plant Manager, said the PFMPC, established in 1969, was chosen as recipient farmers’ organization to take over the management of Iloilo RPC from the National Agribusiness Corporation.

The PFMPC, chaired by Andrei Celiz, with over 4,000 active members, has given an equity of P2 million for the operations of the RPC, indicating that it is capable of managing it.

Iloilo is among the four provinces piloted by the Korean government for the RPC, the other three being Bohol, Davao del Sur and Panngasinan to help the country develop on technology and mechanization.

The Iloilo RPC is jointly owned by the Department of Agriculture and the town of Pototan.

It is situated in Bgy. Amamaros, and is capable of producing high quality milled rice, from regular to well and premium milled.

Iloilo, Guimaras teachers learn storytelling techniques


More than 50 elementary school teachers and librarians from various schools in Iloilo City and Guimaras province brushed up their storytelling skills during a recent workshop sponsored by the Uygongco Foundation Inc. (UFI) in partnership with Museo Pambata Foundation, Inc.

Titled “Sharing Stories, Shared Life”, the workshop included teachers from Kinder, Grades 1 and 2 and school librarians from UFI’s nine adopted elementary schools. These schools in Iloilo City and Guimaras include: A. Bonifacio Elementary School, Bo. Obrero Elementary School, Don Pedro Vasquez Memorial School, Hibao-an Elementary School, Jordan Central School, N.J. Ingore Elementary School and Rizal Elementary School.

The two-day workshop seeks to transform teachers into interesting and lively storytellers to encourage more kids to pick up the reading habit and enhance their vocabulary.

On day two of the workshop, 45 Grade 2 pupils from A. Bonifacio Elementary School were invited as audience. They were captivated as teachers told stories using new skills and storytelling techniques acquired the previous day.

UFI is the corporate social responsibility arm of La Filipina Uy Gongco Corporation Group of Companies which includes La Filipina Uy Gongco Corporation, Philippine Foremost Milling Corporation, Capiz Sugar Central and Amigo Terrace Hotel.

APEC in Iloilo City pushes it global


ILOILO CITY, November 13 (PIA) --- The hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) ministerial meetings in 2015 is a good starting point in making Iloilo City as a global city.

In the 3rd Western Visayas Business Forum held Thursday at Hotel Del Rio here, National Competitiveness Council (NCC) Private Sector Co-Chairman Guillermo Luz said that hosting the APEC meetings provides opportunities for infrastructure and investments.

Iloilo City has been assigned to host two meetings by the APEC National Organizing Committee (NOC).

This city will host the Small Medium Enterprises (SME) on September 21-25, 2015 and the Food Security Week (High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy) on September 28 to October 6, 2015.

However, Luz stressed that it is important that preparations to go global should go beyond APEC.

“This early, we should be thinking of what can we do to make Iloilo City prosper beyond APEC”, he said.

Meanwhile, Luz said that in terms of competitiveness, Iloilo ranked sixth among the 122 cities in the country in the latest round of the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) conducted by the NCC.

According to the NCC, cities and municipalities are ranked on their competitiveness based on an overall competitiveness score which is the sum of scores on three main pillars: economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure.

“Iloilo City is competing with other cities for investments, trade, services, tourists, image and brand,” he said.

He said that the city must continue tracking local competitiveness indicators, formulate programs to improve competitiveness, and engage in investment promotion activities to attract investors and create new jobs.

City schools strengthen YES-O initiatives


ILOILO CITY, November 12 (PIA) --- The Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Iloilo City continue to strengthen its environmental and climate change initiatives through the Youth for Environment in Schools Organization (YES-O).

Melanie Tabaculde, Division of Iloilo City YES-O Coordinator, said that city schools have year-round activities that continue to promote strong interest in protecting the natural resources and mobilizing renewed youth participation towards environmental stewardship.

“Nursery establishments, tree-planting activities, clean-up drives in main thoroughfares and in schools are some of the mandated activities for YES-O,” she said.

She said that symposia and fora on climate change are also being conducted in schools to elevate student awareness on environmental protection.

DepEd Order No. 72, series of 2003, establishes YES-O as the only co-curricular environmental club or organization in schools.

YES-O consolidates all other environmental and ecology clubs or organizations in schools with main and primary programs or projects for the environment.

Tabaculde also said that they recently conducted fire and earthquake drills to help prepare students in times of eventualities.

She said that the YES-O National Evaluation Team is set to visit Iloilo City on November 26-28, to conduct the annual monitoring of schools here.

“The evaluation team will monitor if schools are implementing mandated programs, projects, and activities”, she said.

She also said that they will also look into initiatives and best practices that are not common and not part of the mandated ones.

She added that the monitoring will be the basis of the National Evaluation Team in identifying the schools with the best YES-O.

DOT gears up for PWDs accessible tourism

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Department of Tourism-Western Visayas is gearing up for accessible tourism awareness program for persons with disabilities (PWDs) in all tourism facilities and destinations in the Philippines.

DOT Regional Director Helen Catalbas said, that in line with the agency’s commitment to promote a barrier-free tourism industry, the Office of Tourism Standards and Regulations, DOT central office, the regional office, and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) will conduct a two-day seminar workshop on November 17 and 18, 2014 at the Hotel del Rio, Iloilo City.

Catalbas said the seminar aims to provide basic information on accessible tourism and create awareness in the tourism industry in dealing with the needs of PWDs.

The first day will focus on the regional forum on accessible tourism with an overview of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and NCDA mandates making tourism establishments accessible to PWDs, universal design for barrier-free tourism, non-handicapping environment, and web accessibility.

The seminar will conduct sensitivity training of elderly PWDs, including those that are orthopedically handicapped, visual and hearing impaired.

The second day seminar will deal on disability perspective and universal design with acting NCDA Executive Director Carmen Reyes-Zubiaga and key mandates in disabilities with NCDA chief Rizalino Sanchez of the Information, Education and Communication Division.

The afternoon session will focus on practical and appropriate ways in handling PWDs.

A certificate of participation will be awarded to each participant of both seminars.

Implement integrated coastal management plan, LGUs urged


ILOILO City Coastal resources are complex and no coastal areas are the same as to habitats and the kind of protection needed.

Likewise, bays and coastal areas have no boundaries so it needs concerted and integrated planning among the local government units (LGUs) to synchronize ordinances and programs.

Conrado Marquez, regional technical director for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-6 Wildlife Protection, Protected Areas and Costal Management Service, said that they are assisting the LGUs in coming up with their Integrated Coastal Resource Management Plan.

The three major coastal habitats are mangroves, sea grasses and corrals, which should be protected and preserved as they serve as home for coastal fishery resources.

Western Visayas is rich in coastal marine resources, it being part of the Visayan Sea, one of the richest fishing grounds in the country. “Although rich, the country, being an archipelago with long coastlines, is also vulnerable to sea level rise and increase in sea temperatures causing corral bleaching, destroying the homes for fishes,” said Marquez.

In Iloilo, there are 115 marine protected areas and these have been assessed as to their vulnerability to changes in the weather.

Meanwhile, the Integrated Coastal Management plans, with corresponding budgets, have provisions for mechanisms in mobilizing, harmonizing and strengthening the programs of the LGUs.

As to enforcement of common laws and ordinances, the LGUs and the DENR work with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Further, they collaborate to build the capacity of the LGUs in running their local structures tasked to work for the preservation and protection of marine resources.

Rehab continues in storm-hit areas


ILOILO City — Rehabilitation efforts are still ongoing in super typhoon “Yolanda”-affected areas in Western Visayas a year after the monster howler battered the region, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said.

Initiatives aimed at rebuilding the lives of the survivors like livelihood projects continue, according to Judith Barredo, DSWD regional focal person on disaster risk reduction and management.

A total of P10,854,407 worth of livelihood assistance was given to 1,279 beneficiaries in six provinces in the region, she said.

Among the livelihood projects are:

• rag and furniture making, seaweed farming, rice retailing, food vending, livestock raising, dress making, and food processing in Antique
• calamansi growing, piña weaving, handicraft making, planting, and putting up fish cages in Aklan
• oyster aquaculture, buy-and-sell of fish and rice, and sari-sari store in Capiz
• bobo (fish trap) making, fishing, sewing, organic farming, vegetable production, and handicraft making in Iloilo, and
• trade and commerce, and fishing and crabbing in Negros Occidental.

DSWD has also provided survivors with motorboats (coastal areas) and pedicabs.

As of Nov. 5, the Social Welfare department has given out P1,621,903,584.42 worth of aid to 84 identified typhoon-affected areas, said Barredo.

The amount includes early relief and recovery efforts such rice augmentation, transfer of funds to local government units, and payouts to survivors, among others.

A total of 563,383 families benefitted.

Of the number, 211,002 families were from Iloilo; 143,288 from Capiz; 93,401 from Aklan; 61,150 from Negros Occidental; 53,891 from Antique; and 651 from Guimaras.

Meanwhile, for the Cash for Work for Early Recovery, DSWD distributed P5,096,000 to 2,450 families, said Barredo.

DSWD has also provided 9,840 families with shelter projects worth a total of P29,756,160, including 20 bunkhouses (worth a total of P16,720,000) for 240 families in Estancia and Concepcion. Each bunkhouse unit has 12 rooms.

Moreover, several international humanitarian groups and nongovernment organizations built 644 units of permanent houses for typhoon survivors in Capiz and Iloilo.

Barredo said the pace of rehabilitation and the sustainability of livelihood assistance depend on the availability of funds.

Iloilo City awards students, schools in tax info drive

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Iloilo City Government has awarded ten students and 14 schools in its campaign on tax information education spearheaded by the city’s assessor’s office.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog presented the certificates during the awarding ceremony at the Grand Hotel in Iloilo City.

This year’s theme is “Enhancing tax consciousness among students through tax information education campaign.”

The participating public high schools were SPED-ISEC, R. Avancena National High School (RANHS), TCT-AR Foundation and Integrated School, Iloilo City Community College (ICC), Lapaz National High School (LNHS), Jaro National High School (JNHS), Buntatala National High School (BNHS), Fort San Pedro National High School (FSPNHS), RG Hechanova National High School, Mandurriao National High School (MNHS), Bo. Obrero National High School (BONHS), Melchor L. Nava Memorial National High School (MLMNHS) and Jalandoni National High School (JNHS).

The awarded students were: Ma. Nievel Adio of ICNHS, Vanessa Sampiano of MNHS, Jasnell Oclares of ICNHS, Jonas Fernandez of RANHS, Ariel Lorenz Castronuevo of JNHS, Mary Ann Dichosa of RGHNHS, Grace Joy Manalo of ICNHS, Lowella Marie Pabalinas of RANHS, Lyka Hisu-an of JNHS, and Lorenzo Angelo Borda of SPED-ISEC.

Iloilo, JCI team-up to make women’s rights real

By Jezza A. Nepomoceno (Capitol News)

THE Gender and Development Program (GAD) of the Provincial Government is tying up with the Junior Chamber International-Iloilo Ilang-Ilang in putting flesh to the rights of women.

Alma Ravena, the Vice President of the Technical Working Group of GAD, said the newly formed alliance will work on the realization of women empowerment through the program dubbed as “All About Her” of JCI-Iloilo Ilang-Ilang.

All About Her will be launch at 9 a.m. Friday (November 7) at Conference Room, 5th floor of Iloilo Provincial Capitol with Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and Provincial Board Member Shalene Palmares-Hidalgo as guests.

The program basically aims to provide solutions to specific issues concerning legal rights, health and economic development of women from all walks of life in the city and province of Iloilo.

On its first year, the program will provide technical assistance to the members of Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina, a women’s organization in the province aimed at assisting the women and the youth with community activities and livelihood programs.

The launching of partnership in making women’s right real will then be followed by the signing of pledge of commitment between the province and the civic group.

A talk on women’s health, specifically on the signs and symptoms of menopause, by Dr. Fredilyn Samoro, will be held thereafter.

Lawyer Jojie Balume will also lecture on Magna Carta of Women, while Joy Palmada, the manager of Pavia Entrepreneur’s Multipurpose Cooperative, will likewise talk on women empowerment.

Aside from the seminar, JCI-Iloilo Ilang-Ilang President Atty. Essy Genebelle Antonano said they will also hold the first ever all-female run in Iloilo on November 8 at 5 a.m. in Diversion Road, Iloilo City.

The fun run, in partnership with the City Government, is expecting one thousand runners in three- and six-kilometer run.

Antonano said 20 percent of proceeds of the fun run will be used to purchase solar panels for the fisher folks affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda in Sitio Bat-os, Concepcion, Iloilo.

Dance exercise, fun walk to usher envt’l celebrations


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 5 (PIA6) - - More than three hundred people are expected to converge on Saturday, November 8 at the Iloilo River Esplanade in the district of Mandurriao here for a morning dance exercise and fun walk.

The activities will usher in the celebrations of the three environmental events in Western Visayas this November, which include the National Clean Air Month, National Environmental Awareness Month and the Climate Change Consciousness Week on November 19 to 25.

Rabbie Chris Carvajal, Information Officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau 6 said they have invited the national government agencies, different universities and the Metro Iloilo Airshed to send participants.

To further spur awareness and action of local communities on the preservation of coastal ecosystems, a Mangrove Tree planting will be conducted at Brgy. Hinactacan, Lapaz on November 25.

Around two hundred mangrove trees were prepared to be planted by residents in the community, members of the Metro Iloilo Airshed and the personnel of the Panay Energy Development Corporation.

The month of November is declared as Environmental Awareness Month pursuant to Republic Act 9512 or the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008 which calls for the integration of environmental education in the curricula in all levels.

Carvajal said to arm students with knowledge and information on environmental preservation and protection at an early stage is essential in efforts to combat global warming and climate change.

Along this line an Environmental Quiz Bee will be held on November 27 involving elementary students from the seven local government units that comprised the Metro Iloilo Guimaras Economic Development Council. These LGUs are the municipalities of Pavia, San Miguel, Oton, Sta. Barbara, Leganes, Iloilo City and Guimaras.

The November environmental events will be guided by the theme “Environmental Sustainability: Moving into greater actions”.

Renewable energy can mitigate climate change - DOE


ILOILO CITY, November 4 (PIA) --- The Department of Energy (DOE) said that the usage of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro and geothermal for the country’s power supply, can mitigate climate change and reduce negative environmental impact.

In a PIA interview, Mario Marasigan, Director IV, Renewable Energy Management Bureau of DOE, said that the utilization of renewable energy resources can hugely contribute to addressing environment and climate change concerns.

“As part of our mandate in accordance with the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, we are pushing for an accelerated development of power renewable energy resources all over the country,” he said.

He said renewable energy sources should be part of our energy and power mix in terms of utilization.

“Our main policy for the development of our renewable energy resources is to reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels,” he said.

“At the same time, if we are already independent and we have reduced our importation of fossil fuels, more or less, we can achieve energy security,” he also said.

He said that usage of renewable energy sources can also lessen our vulnerability on international pricing.

In Western Visayas, there are major renewable energy projects being built that will assure sufficient power supply in the region.

In Guimaras, 27 windmills are expected to be completed by end of November under the San Lorenzo Windfarm Project by the Trans-Asia Renewable Energy Corporation (TAREC) that will generate 54 MW power.

San Carlos Solar Energy (SaCaSol) Inc.’s solar plant in Negros Occidental province is expected to start operating by end of the year, providing 22 MW of energy.

In Iloilo, 5.67-megawatt solar power plant will be established in Miagao town by COSMO Solar Energy Inc. and is expected to be finished by March 2015.

P37-M livelihood assistance released


ILOILO City – Ninety-eight checks in the total amount of P36,605,536 were handed out to various proponents of livelihood projects in Western Visayas.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz led the distribution during the reorientation on DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) Guidelines at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center here on Oct. 29.

The checks will fund approved project proposals that aim to improve the proponents’ economies of scale through community-based enterprises.

Of the total, 58 checks in the amount of P17,497,689 were turned over to 54 proponents from the province of Iloilo while 12 checks worth P8,218,986 were handed over to 11 proponents from Negros Occidental.

Eight checks amounting to P4,997,139 were released to six proponents from Aklan while P3,635,550 worth of livelihood assistance were released to 17 proponents from Capiz.

Three proponents from Guimaras received checks amounting P2,256,171 for various livelihood projects in support of the Pier to Port or P2P project implementation.

Iloilo province’s 58 livelihood endeavors consist mostly of projects under the Tulong Pangkabuhayan Sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged (TUPAD) program intended for the reconstruction of public utilities and infrastructures of proponent local government units in northern Iloilo severely affected by typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) last year.

These projects will benefit 3,089 unemployed, out of school youths and differently-abled persons who will be hired as workers to undertake the projects.

Three projects under the Kabuhayan program in Guimaras include native bag production and marketing, saba banana production and processing, and seaweed processing project aimed to benefit 575 local residents.

Assistance for Negros Occidental and Capiz will mostly go to the rehabilitation of public utilities under the Yolanda Rehabilitation and Recovery Program where 3,264 unemployed and displaced workers will be given emergency employment.

Livelihood assistance released for Aklan will benefit 710 unemployed workers and marginalized fisherfolks. Projects assisted are capture fishing and aquaculture, oysters, fish cage and mud crab fattening and emergency employment.

Congressmen: Move to probe ‘overpriced’ Iloilo building linked to 2016 elections

By Charissa Luci

Congressmen said yesterday that the call to investigate the allegedly overpriced Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) is tainted with politics; with some saying it is just a witchhunt.

Members of the House of Representatives gave this cold response after Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero called on his colleagues in the Senate as well as congressmen to investigate the ICC in the wake of a graft and plunder complaint filed against Senate President Franklin Drilon and nine others for alleged overpricing.

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said, “What is there to investigate? Hindi naman si Senator Drilon ang nag-implement niyan. At the end of the day, I am seeing that these things happen because the 2016 election is coming. This is all about politics.”


In opposing Escudero’s call, Deputy Minority Leader and Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano even cracked a joke, “It’s Halloween, maybe he wants to go on a witchhunt.”

“Unless there’s a Makati building-type of evidence, we have no intention of investigating the Iloilo Convention Center,” Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said in an interview.

“Bakit kami? We have other better legislative things to do,” Majority Leader and Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II said.

When Congress resumes session on Nov. 17 from the three-week Halloween break, the House of Representatives is expected to tackle the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), Resolution of both Houses No. 1 or economic Charter change (Cha-cha), and House Bill 3587 (an Act Prohibiting the Establishment of Political Dynasties).

AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe also thinks that it would be better if the Senate, not the House conducts the investigation.

“Let the senators investigate their own. As a matter of courtesy, the House should give way to the Senate to investigate its peer and not the House, especially so that the Senate President is involved,” he pointed out.


Deputy Majority Leader and Citizens Battle against Corruption party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, for his part, said any probe, be it in the House and Senate, “should always be in aid of legislation and not in aid of re-election or besmirching a possible political opponent.”

“For me, before a probe of the Iloilo Convention be made, there should be a strong basis that it is in aid of legislation and not in aid of publicity of the prober,” he stressed.

Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., chairman of the House Committee on Justice, agreed with Tugna, saying that the appropriate House panel should first find sufficient basis before conducting a probe.

“I think that issue is under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability. It’s up to the chair of the committee to conduct a probe on the matter but the panel should first look if there is sufficient evidence to conduct a legislative investigation considering that there could be a political angle on that issue,” he said.


Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon had earlier filed House Resolution 1466 that calls for the conduct of a congressional inquiry into alleged overpricing of the ICC.

He had earlier said the House leadership assured him that the investigation sought by HR 1466 will push through.

Just like Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, who had earlier filed the same resolution, Ridon sought an inquiry into the involvement of Hilmarcs Construction Corp. in the construction of the ICC, and for clinching several big-ticket government projects.

Hilmarcs is the same contractor that won the bidding for the Makati City Hall Building II.

Under her Senate Resolution No. 906, Santiago noted that the ICC was funded partly out of Drilon’s P200-million allocation from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in 2012 and P100-million from Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) in 2013.

Escudero had earlier asked the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, chaired Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, to show same enthusiasm in investigating the ICC controversy in the same manner it is probing the controversial Makati City Hall Building II.

The call was made after detained Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada’s challenged Guingona’s panel to investigate the ICC controversy “motu propio” in accordance with the Senate rules.

DOH bats for exclusive breastfeeding for babies


ILOILO City – The Department of Health (DOH) advocates exclusive breastfeeding – giving a baby only breast milk and no other liquids or solids, not even water in the first six months of life.

“The best breast milk is the one women produce in the first few days after delivery. It is thick and yellowish or clear in color,” said Health undersecretary Janette Garin during the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan Roadshow held recently in San Joaquin, Iloilo.

Breast milk contains the perfect nutrients that could protect babies against infection, stressed Garin, a doctor by profession.

It helps prevent bacterial infections that are a danger to newborn babies, and provides the first immunization against many of the diseases that babies face after the delivery, she added.

Breastfeeding also allows a woman to easily return to her original figure after giving birth, Garin said.

The DOH official also encouraged women to consume iodized salt during their pregnancy.

Iodized salt enables mothers to increase their babies’ intelligence quotient by at least 10 percent, she said.

“If you want to make your babies smarter, use iodized salt when you are pregnant,” she said to pregnant mothers.

DOH’s “Kalusugan Pangkalahatan” Roadshow focused on mothers, youth and adolescents, men and elderly through a festive event that offers health services and awareness raising activities.

Garin is expected to temporarily assume as DOH chief. President Benigno Aquino III reportedly granted Health secretary Enrique Ona’s request to go on a medical leave.

Ona, appointed in July 2010 after serving as executive director of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, personally asked the President’s permission to take a leave of absence during a Cabinet meeting on Monday in Malacañang, sources revealed.

President Aquino apparently granted the 75-year-old secretary’s request; his leave starts after All Souls’ Day, sources said.

Malacañang, however, has yet to confirm Garin’s new appointment.

Garin, former congresswoman of Iloilo’s 1st District, was appointed as Health undersecretary July last year.