Iloilo City News November 2015

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Iloilo City - Archived News

Seal of Iloilo City
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Iloilo City, Iloilo
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Map Locator of Iloilo City
Aerial View of Iloilo City
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Aerial View of Iloilo City
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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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.
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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.


TESDA trains laborers for mega dam construction


ILOILO City – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) offers trainings to those interested to work at the soon-to-start P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) in Calinog, Iloilo.

According to Engineer Jonel Borres, principal engineer of JRMP II, Korean contractors of the mega dam are soon coming over and they will be looking for skilled laborers.

On radio program Reklamo Publiko yesterday, Borres said TESDA and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) had a memorandum of agreement on the training.

NIA is the lead government agency implementing JRMP II.

Borres said members of families affected by the project would be given priority in the hiring of laborers.

All workers will receive a salary and will be registered to PhilHealth, he added.

TESDA already finished training the first batch of workers, said Borres.

JRMP II is the second phase of a two-part project to tap the Jalaur River for multiple uses.

After Republic Act 2651 was passed in 1960, the first phase kicked off. The second phase languished for decades due to lack of government funds.

JRMP II involves the construction of three dams — Jalaur reservoir dam, afterbay dam and a catch dam.

A 6.6-megawatt hydropower plant and an 81-kilometer highline canal will also be constructed.

The mega dam will upgrade the existing irrigation system coverage in Iloilo from 22,000 hectares to 31,840 hectares of farmland. The goal is to increase rice production even during dry spells.

On July 27, 2015 President Benigno Aquino III mentioned the mega dam project in his final State of the Nation Address – the second time he did in two years – to emphasize its importance.

Last year, he defended it from “noisy” critics. He said the dam will provide “uninterrupted irrigation water supply” to Iloilo province.

BPO firm seeks expansion in Iloilo City

By LMSinay (Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City – A billion-dollar business process outsourcing (BPO) company is seriously considering this city as its newest business location, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog announced.

Officials of Stefanini, a global supplier of technology solutions, paid a courtesy visit to city hall to have exploratory talks with the local chief executive.

“We are pleased with their interest in our city. This is clearly another proof of our being business-friendly and an ideal place for investments,” Mabilog said.

They saw the metropolis as a peaceful and secure investment haven, he added.

Stefanini’s country manager Gary Grossman, together with Senior Global Manager James Chapman and Delivery Manager Antonio Lutero, met with the mayor and told him that the city of Iloilo has all the capabilities and manpower to be the site of their ongoing expansion in the country.

Stefanini has around 20,000 employees worldwide and has businesses in China, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore

Iloilo’s Smallville Complex declared a 'no firearm zone'

By Lydia C. Pendon

AUTHORITIES in Iloilo City have placed the Smallville Complex under a "no firearm zone" following a shooting incident this month that killed a businessman in the city.

A meeting was held early this week between Iloilo City Police Office chief Kashmir Disomangcop and operators of Smallville establishments regarding the area's security after the fatal shooting of businessman Tommy Tan Robiso at the JLK Restobar, Smallville Complex last November 19.

Mario Sison, head of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Western Visayas, has said the suspect, Mark Blancaflor, a security officer in their office, remains at large, as of this posting.

The NBI has assured help to the Philippine National Police in investigating the shooting incident.

After the incident, the association of restaurants at Smallville Complex has sought help from the Iloilo City Police Office (Icpo) and agreed not to allow customers to enter the area with guns and other deadly weapons even with a permit.

The firearms must also be deposited in a safety box, which every establishment must have.

The Icpo chief assured the deployment of more cops, including roving police patrol cars, to help ensure peace and order at the area.

All security guards must also have a radio to contact the police, in case of commotion.

The complex, which is located at Mandurriao District, is a recognized place that caters several game centers and amenities like swimming pools, specialty restaurants, family gaming, specialty shops, hotels, and video and music bars.

City gov't 2 prime properties open to investors


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 27 (PNA) -- Two prime properties owned by the city government here are open to interested investors, according to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Mabilog said that the Commission on Audit (COA) has already pegged a price for the 3,000-square meter lot in Brgy. North San Jose in Molo district at PHP15,000 per square meter. The property used to be the site of the old slaughterhouse that was transferred to Brgy. Tacas in Jaro.

Earlier, Singaporean investors have expressed interest to build a mixed-use cruise terminal facility in the area. In one of the meetings of the Iloilo-Batiano River Development Council, the investors presented their proposal to build a hotel, health and wellness, retail, restaurants and recreations in the property situated beside the historic Carpenter’s Bridge.

However, Mabilog said that during the period when the proposal was presented, the city government was still waiting for the approved selling price from COA.

Another property waiting to be sold is the 6.9-hectare lot in Brgy. Ungka in Pavia town, Iloilo.

The lot is situated along the national highway that was earlier utilized for the socialized housing project of Iloilo City hall employees. The project, however, became a white elephant.

The lot was bid out twice but failed. During the second bidding the price was pegged at PHP3,700 per square meter.

Mabilog said that they will try to have it bid out again but if still there are no takers then they might enter into a negotiated procurement.

ALS center proposed in every city district


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 26 (PNA) -- The city government is mulling to establish a center for Alternative Learning System (ALS) in each of its seven districts here.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that one center funded by around PHP1.5 million from the special education fund (SEF) was established inside the compound of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

Ongoing construction, he said is the eight-classroom building at the Iloilo City National High School (ICNHS) amounting to around PHP6 million. It is expected to be completed before the year ends.

“Our direction is one ALS center in every district and inside jail facilities so that they can enroll in college once they get out,” he said.

ALS is one tool developed by the Department of Education (DepEd) that provides opportunity for learning to those who could not have access of formal education in schools.

It covers non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills, according to DepEd.

Two major programs are being implemented through DepEd’s Bureau of Alternative Learning System namely the basic literacy program and the continuing education program-accreditation and equivalency.

Pre-registration now ongoing for provincial government’s biggest job fair


ILOILO, Nov. 25 (PNA) -- The Public Employment Service Office (PESO) here is urging job seekers to register prior to Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.’s biggest job fair on December 1, 2015.

Job applicants may submit their resume and curriculum vitae during office hours at PESO, 3rd floor of Iloilo Provincial Capitol, Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City.

As of November 25, a total of 111 local and overseas companies have confirmed their participation to Capitol’s December Job Fair, the biggest number of participating agencies so far.

Of the number, 86 are local companies and 25 are overseas recruitment agencies based in Iloilo, Cebu and Metro Manila.

Most of these are automotive, construction, distribution, electronic, insurance, real estate, service providers, and financing companies.

Others are banks, business process outsourcing, colleges, direct sellers, hotels, and hospitals. Over 3,000 job vacancies will be up of grabs during this fair.

The available jobs are for flight attendants, nurses, physical therapists, engineers (all fields), electronic technicians, carpenters, technicians, elders, masons, heavy equipment operators, call center agents, music instructors, bankers, office personnel positions, bank tellers and cashiers, sales representatives, fast food crews, store personnel, hotel staff and caregivers.

PESO Iloilo regularly conducts two job fairs every year — first is during the annual Semana sang Iloilo and second is during December.

The job fair is part of governor’s Alay Regalong Trabaho (ART) sa mga Ilonggos that aims to facilitate employment and job generation to unemployed individuals.

Unemployment remains a concern in this province. According to March 2011 Household Survey Result conducted by the Provincial Population Office, 32.03 percent of the population aged 15 and above who are in the labor force is unemployed.

Among the unemployed, 28.07 percent are males and 38.56 percent are females. Municipalities with high proportion of unemployed population (15 years old and over) include Anilao (32.67 percent), Sara (30.26 percent), San Joaquin (28 percent), Leon (26.85 percent), and Janiuay (25.95 percent).

The household population count in the survey is 1,835,099 with 50.57 percent (928,032) males and 49.43 percent (907,067) females.

Dinagyang Festival to invade Hong Kong in 2016

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) in Western Visayas is set to bring the Dinagyang Festival to Hong Kong to participate in the most colorful Chinese Festival Night Parade in February 2016.

DOT Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the region's participation in the Hong Kong Festival started in February 2015 upon the invitation of Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Masscara Festival of Bacolod City was sent in 2015 to show off the festival of Western Visayas. There are more than 200 local festivals in the region and Masscara was selected to represent the region in the night parade.

In 2016, the Dinagyang Festival will be sent to Hong Kong as a goodwill ambassador to perform before the people there and thousands of overseas Filipino workers.

DENR-6 exceeds mangrove, beach forest target

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

ILOILO CITY, November 23 (PIA) --- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-6 has exceeded by 2.6 percent its mangrove and beach forests plantation target in Western Visayas.

DENR-6 said it has achieved a total of 102.66 percent accomplishment in terms of plantation establishment or a total of 2,820 hectares from its target of 2,747 hectares under the Mangrove and Beach Forest Development Project (MBFDP).

The MBFDP is a component program under the National Greening Program (NGP) aimed at strengthening the coastal areas in the country.

The project is both a rehabilitation and reconstruction project for disaster launched in mid-2014 after super typhoon“Yolanda” hit the country on Nov. 8, 2013.

No less than President Benigno Aquino III has commissioned the project, who looks forward to a more Climate Change resilient Philippines in the future.

In Region 6, coastal areas in Northern Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, Aklan, portion of Guimaras and Negros Occidental were badly hit by Yolanda. DENR buildings and structures in the these provinces were also damaged by the typhoon.

The event highlighted the need to reforest thousands of hectares of denuded coastal and beach forests in the country.

“The guardians of the coasts – the mangroves and beach forests – have the strength to protect our coastal communities from the devastating effects of extreme weather events,” said DENR-6 Regional Director Jim O. Sampulna.

He added that after Yolanda, DENR-6 had acted first by assessing and validating the damages and afterwards, started identifying coastal sites to be rehabilitated by each province.

The following were the target areas for mangrove and beach forest development: Aklan – 319 hectares; Antique – 200 hectares, Capiz – 488 hectares; Guimaras – 350 hectares, Iloilo – 1,080 hectares; and Negros Occidental – 1,030 hectares.

DENR 6 is actively implementing both the NGP and MBFDP which help to reforest the upland, coastal, urban and mangrove areas in the region.

DepEd Iloilo assures available classrooms for senior high school in 2016


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Education (DepEd) Iloilo province here has assured that the construction of classrooms for Senior High School (SHS) will be completed by June next year.

Gilbert Solidum, DepEd Iloilo chief education supervisor for School Governance and Operations Division said that there is an ongoing construction of 599 classrooms needed to cater to the incoming grade 11 students of Iloilo province next school year.

The 599 classrooms will be used by 32,000 to 34,000 public secondary high school students from the 100 public secondary schools in Iloilo that applied for SHS.

“Some schools offers only one track like technical-vocational-livelihood (TVL) track while others are offering two or more tracks,” Solidum said.

He also said that buildings that are being constructed now are two-storey high with either six, eight or 12 classrooms.

The funds came from the DepEd central office and downloaded to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) district offices as implementer of the project.

Solidum said that there are also 40 other private schools in Iloilo that will offer SHS.

Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., in a press conference Thursday, said that the province will not borrow money for the construction of classrooms since DepEd has assured that they will take care the needed classrooms for the K to 12program.

“But if DepEd cannot provide the needed classrooms and they need the help of the province, I am prepared to make a loan for education,” he added. “For now, there is no threat for possible shortage of classrooms in the implementation of K to 12 program,” he added.

Biggest shopping mall in Iloilo opens expansion wing

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

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- SM City Iloilo opens its expansion wing of four floors at the left side with its food hall of popular local and international restaurants, boutiques and specialty stores establishing its dominance as the biggest shopping mall in Iloilo City and the rest of Western Visayas.

The inauguration today was graced by local officials on top of representatives of the Iloilo business community and store suppliers.

SM Prime Holdings’ total investment in the expansion was at P1.3 billion and set to offer the best entertainment, dining, lifestyle and shopping experience to its shoppers and patrons.

Furthermore, the expanded mall will provide more jobs to the Ilonggos.

From an existing 71,995 square meters and 200 leased units, SM Prime Holdings added four floors of 21,124 square meters and 165 units shopping and dining spaces. The mall now has a total of 93,079 square meters and 365 units.

Steven Tan, senior vice president of SM Supermalls, said the expansion program also covers the works at SM Cebu set to be inaugurated next week to become the biggest in the whole Visayas and at the Mall of Asia (MOA) in Metro Manila to have a third level and botanical garden.

SM targets 75 shopping malls in the country by 2018 from its existing current 55 malls. SM is also expanding overseas with 37 shopping malls in China with the latest in Tianjin, China. SM is also into business partnership with Double Dragon Properties Corp with its City Malls while its latest acquisition is Cherry Foodarama in Mandaluyong to be converted into a premiere shopping site.

DA-WESVIARC hosts three weather monitoring stations


ILOILO CITY, Nov 20 (PNA) -- Residents of Western Visayas are assured of accurate and efficient weather forecasts once the establishment of three weather monitoring stations is completed at the compound of the Western Visayas Agricultural Research Center (WESVIARC) compound in Hamungaya, Jaro district of this city.

Engr. Rowen Gelonga, regional director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Western Visayas, disclosed that aside from the Doppler Radar station, also to be installed in the same compound are the synoptic station and a flood monitoring station.

The Doppler radar has been in a test run following the complete installation of its equipment middle of this year.

However, the synoptic station equipment is yet to be installed. It is the same equipment used in the station previously situated inside the old airport in Mandurriao district but was closed when the airport was transferred to Cabatuan, Iloilo.

However, this time, aside from personnel doing the readings the equipment will be upgraded to become a full-fledged synoptic station.

Gelonga added that they are also working on installing a flood monitoring device for the Jalaur River Basin.

“ We will install additional equipment to be able to do flood forecast. Hopefully it will become operational next year,” he stated.

PHIVOLCS, UPD to perfect technology developed to monitor landslides


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 19 (PNA) -- A pilot testing is now being done to perfect a pioneering technology that was developed to monitor landslides.

The equipment, known as senslope, was developed by the University of the Philippines-Diliman and the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), according to Engr. Rowen Gelonga, regional director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Western Visayas.

The automated equipment is being buried on the ground situated in landslide prone areas. Any changes on the ground is being recorded and sent to the receiving station for the concerned community to be warned.

“We are trying to perfect the technology and we are hoping that by next year it will become almost stable for us to start promoting to the community,” he said.

For the past two years, the equipment has been buried in a landslide prone area in Iloilo and has actually released landslide warning occurring in previous years.

“We can deploy this equipment in landslide prone areas of Western Visayas, which we have lots,” he said citing areas in Iloilo and Antique among others.

Gelonga said that senslope can help lessen damages that maybe incurred due to landslide because affected communities can evacuate to safer places once they are warned.

Meanwhile, the regional director said that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) was involved at the national level by helping identify places that have potentials for landslide.

“Definitely once the technology gets matured MGB will be our partner because their area is really into hazard assessment,” he added.

Once it is perfected, Gelonga hoped that it will become a national project just like Project NOAH. Perhaps, the first sets of the equipment will be subsidized by the DOST.

The developer is now addressing the issue on corrosion that affects the sensor of the senslope because the equipment is being buried on the ground.

Philippines could become world’s largest producer of mud crabs, says aquatic research exec


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 18 (PNA) -- There is a chance for the Philippines to become the world’s largest producer of mud crabs, an emerging commodity in the domestic and export market, if the remaining gaps in the production aspect will be addressed with appropriate intervention.

“The Philippines is second only to China in terms of volume that’s why there is much potential to this export commodity,” said Dr. Dalisay Fernandez of the Inland Aquatic Research and Development of Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

Mud crab production in the Philippines stands at 16,000 metric tons, mostly coming from the sea. The population in the wild, however, has been declining.

In 2012, Dalisay said that the production was valued at around 100 million dollars.

However, with the available technology that was developed by researchers from the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD) in collaboration with the University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UPV) and funded by PCAARRD it is expected that the production will be boosted.

“The chance of increasing the production is very high so people will not be collecting crablets from their natural environment. To compensate for that we have to provide the seeds from the hatchery,” said Dr. Felix Ayson, chief of SEAFDEC.

Hatcheries with an 80-ton capacity developed by SEAFDEC and UPV can produce around 90,000 crablets per run with 46 runs per year, said Dr. Fe Estepa, also of SEAFDEC AQD.

Dalisay added that they are now ready to roll out technologies that were developed to include production of hatchery-reared juveniles for soft shell crab farming, commercial production of pathogen-free marine worms (polychaetes) for broodstock diet, techniques to reduce cannibalism, development of suitable diets, immunostimulants and microbial compounds to mitigate diseases.

Secretary Mario Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) during Monday’s kickoff of the three-day national mud crab congress here underscored that a prototype hatchery is already operational and turned over to the local government of Guindulman, Bohol.

The prototype hatchery can produce 40,000 crabs in one run.

“We expect other demonstration hatcheries set up strategically in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to build up the momentum towards making the mud crab industry one of the pillars of Philippine aquaculture,” he stressed.

The congress that officially culminates today, Wednesday, with a tour of the various facilities of SEAFDEC and UPV anchors on the theme ““Philippines: In the forefront of the mud crab industry development.”

Iloilo Doppler radar and synoptic stations help farmers prepare vs threats of El Niño


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 17 (PNA) -- The operation of the Iloilo Doppler radar and synoptic stations based in Hamungaya in Jaro district here is very timely as they could now provide farmers with data as they prepare for the impact of the El Niño phenomenon.

Engr. Rowen Gelonga, regional director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Western Visayas, explained that the Doppler radar is very important because it could provide a “better climate forecast.”

The Doppler radar is still in its testing stage although it has been operational for several months already. Installation of the equipment at the stations was completed middle of this year. It also has permanent employees based at the stations, he said.

The radar is used to measure rainfall and could detect even localized clouds that could cause thunderstorms.

Gelonga said that in the past months, the station in Hamungaya already issued initial thunderstorm warnings for Panay. Before, the thunderstorm warning was available only for Negros Occidental because it was detected by the Doppler radar in Cebu.

With the forecast made readily available, farmers will be aided in determining the appropriate variety to plant during months when the rainfall is very low, he added.

DOST ready to roll out technology to boost mud crab production


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 16 (PNA) --Researchers of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD) and the University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UPV) have developed technologies that ensure high survival rate of mud crabs amid their dwindling population in the wild.

The development of the technologies was funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)

Secretary Mario G. Montejo in his keynote address delivered by DOST 6 director Rowen Gelonga at Monday opening of the three-day national mud crab congress, said that the DOST has invested on technologies “geared toward improving the technical efficiency and financial viability of raising mud crab.”

"DOST has a role on helping the mud crab industry through the science and technology and serve as catalyst in attainment of the industry goals through the national mud crab science and technology program,” he said.

With its science and technology program, the DOST hopes to increase the survival rate of hatcheries from 1.5 percent to 5 percent; nurseries from 50 percent to 70 percent; and in grow out culture from 50 percent to 60 percent.

Dr. Dalisay Fernandez of the Inland Aquatic Research and Development of PCAAARD said that national mud crab science and technology program “define different stages of crab.”

“From there we have to increase their survival rate, we will have the hatchery-bred so they will be available anytime,” she said.

She added that they hoped to share the technologies during the first ever mud crab congress hosted by this city.

”We would like to release the technology for our adopters to know that we have already this technology,” she said.

PCAAARD has invested around Php 82 million, for a five-year period since 2011, for the national mud crab that is now considered as a high value commodity.

The Philippines is now the second mud crab producer in the world, second to China.

The national mud crab congress anchors on the theme "Philippines in the forefront of the mud crab industry development."

Php 12-B project eyes PEZA accreditation


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- This southern city is perking up with a soon to be Information Technology Park in a 16-hectare mixed use area along the Benigno Aquino Avenue in Mandurriao district.

City councilor Neilex Tupas, chairman of the committee on trade and industry of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) here said the Php 12-billion project was a clear manifestation of investors’ trust and confidence in Iloilo City as the city raced to become the new business and tourism hub in this part of the country.

Last week, the Iloilo City Council has approved an endorsement to the property development project of HEVA Management and Development Corp., a part of the Gaisano Group of Companies, in order to get accreditation from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

Tupas said the project will help push the city as an IT center in the Visayas. Aside from being a new shopping and fun center in the city, the project boasts of a 40-storey skyscraper, commercial and residential spaces and leisure parks to soon rise in the area.

Tupas said the SP endorsement aimed to help project developer HEVA Management and Development Corp. get accreditation from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

Once accredited, the project will be eligible to receive incentives given to investors in PEZA-accredited areas.

‘Scientific Prayers’ at Casa Real de Iloilo


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Art enthusiasts in Iloilo are in for a treat as Ilonggo artist Allain Hablo exhibits his works at Casa Real de Iloilo here until Nov. 18, 2015.

Dubbed “Scientific Prayers,” a total of 11 oil paintings on canvas of varied sizes are all painted with seemingly connected dots and monotonous colors.

Looking at the artworks can put one in a trance – a meditative phase as each artwork seems connected to one another.

“I was fascinated by the meditative nature of repetitive sound, such as in prayers,” Hablo, a pride of Estancia in Iloilo said.

“Science has already made that certain transcendental effect as a proven fact,” he added.

“I felt I could translate the same visual effect into visual art,” he said.

Hablo is a widely exhibited Ilonggo artist. Scientific Prayers is his fifth solo exhibition.

He has previously held exhibits at Avellana Art Gallery, Metropolitan Museum, and Red Mill Art Gallery in Vermont, among others.

The series of art exhibits being held at Casa Real de Iloilo are prelude to the Visayas Visual Artists Exhibition and Conference in November 2016.

1st Iloilo Startup Weekend opens today


ILOILO CITY, Nov 13 (PNA)-– Let the startup battle begins.

Students and professionals from all over Western Visayas and nearby regions are all up to their sleeves for the 1st Iloilo Startup Weekend which starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the University of the Philippines Visayas Iloilo City Campus auditorium.

The participants will battle for the best business or entrepreneurial ideas which they will develop with the help of selected mentors, who are startup experts.

“Iloilo City is going premier, it is about time that we host this kind of event,” said organizers Jeffrey Teruel and Kyra Dianon.

The event is part of the Startup Weekend that is happening in at least 150 areas all over the world.

Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate and empower individuals, teams and communities, they explained.

It is a 54-hour “no-talk-all-action” event designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs, they added.

On the first night, the participants will start pitching their business ideas, meet the speakers and coaches, and start forming teams.

On the second day, teams are expected to craft their business plans and create basic prototype of the business with the help of their mentors.

On the third day, they will present their business ideas that will be evaluated by a panel of judges.

One of the mentors is Ilonggo Karl Balingit. He is the community manager of WeAreLATech, a startup based in Santa Monica and the host of an inspirational Filipino podcast “Filspiration”.

Other mentors are Althea Tan, founder of online advertising company Bluagile; Noreen Bautista, social enterprise developer and founder of SlashIgnite Inc.; Juanito Jacela, PPC Strategist and a practicing paid advertising professional; Julian Teodoro, a pioneer Unmanned Aerial Services systems operator and integrator in the Philippines;

Jonathan Lansangan, co-founder and COO of Dynamic Objx; Kenn Costales, regional assistant brand manager, New Brand Launches for Procter & Gamble Singapore; Agustin Busamante, founder of My Happy Fireflies, a child development milestone tool; Godfrey Beray, who has been in the academe for more than 10 years, and almost two years as System Administrator/Java Developer @ F&C Group of Companies; and Maria Albana.

Judges include former Iloilo City councilor Jason Gonzales, who is also an entrepreneur; Eddie Ybañez, CEO and co-founder at miCab; Lloyd Tronco, who is an expert in outdoor advertising in the Philippines; Yosuke Fukada, founder and CEO of YOYO Holdings Pte. Ltd. and YOYO Philippines; Prim Paypon, a voluntrainer who founded The Dream Project PH; Bea Querido, the Development Manager of Airport Operations for the Port of Seattle; and Dr. Arnold Fuentes, an animator, Software Developer, Game App Developer, painter, comic illustrator and a writer.

Startup Weekend participants can learn more about entrepreneurship and how to put together an actual startup strategy.

They can learn from experts and potential investors and partners; can network with like-minded people as well as finding potential partners/co-founders for the start-ups; and learn everything from target markets to go-to-market strategies, then giving a full presentation of a working prototype, then getting validation of the concept from a panel of expert judges.

Winners will take home the following prices: USD27,000 worth of Bizpark from Microsoft; three months free use of space from Dojo 8 Coworking Space; Dojo 8 Coworking Space shirts; Notebooks from miCab, and 3-5 minuter Corporate Audio-Video presentation from Xane Production. Awarding is on November 15, 2015.

Other organizers are Yen Felipe, Jover Nuevaspana, Katrina Bayog, and Juanito Jacela.

Experts gather in Iloilo for the first national mudcrab congress, Nov 16-18


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 12 (PNA) - - Some 300 scientists, industry practitioners, stakeholders and the academe from different parts of the country will gather in this city for the First National Mud Crab Congress slated November 16-18, 2015.

The activity will serve as venue to discuss the present state of the mud crab industry and share the latest developments on its culture, according to congress chair Emilia Quinitio.

Likewise, insights on relevant issues and problem areas for further research on mud crab aquaculture and fisheries management will also be discussed during the workshops.

Facilitated by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center - Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD) and the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), the three-day event anchors on the theme “Philippines: In the forefront of the mud crab industry development.”

Delegates to the congress can avail of a post conference tour of the three facilities of SEAFDEDC in Iloilo and Guimaras on November 18.

Route 1 will cover Iloilo City to Tigbauan main station (TMS), University of the Philippines in the Visayas and the Miag-ao Church.

Established in 1973, The Tigbauan Main Station (TMS) in Tigbauan, Iloilo is the SEAFDEC AQD headquarters located in the south coast of Panay Island.

The 40-hectare complex includes various research laboratories, hatcheries, and broodstock facilities for experiments in artificial propagation, feed development, and health management.

Route 2 will cover Iloilo City to Dumangas Brackishwater Station (DBS) in Dumangas, Iloilo.

Located about 20 kilometers northeast of Iloilo City, the DBS has a 16-hectare pond area intended to verify research and demonstrate developed aquaculture technologies. It houses a staff field office, dormitory of trainees, and a field laboratory for routine chemical analysis and quarantine facility.

Route 3 covers Iloilo City to Igang Marine Station (IMS) in Brgy. Igang, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras Island.

The Igang Marine Station (IMS) is located in the southwest coast of Guimaras in central Philippines. It is composed of four islets and clusters of floating fish cages interconnected by pontoon foot bridges. The station maintains captive broodstock of various commercially important species to provide eggs for research and production runs.

Iloilo PVO distributes farm animals as donations from FAO


ILOILO CITY, Nov 11 (PNA) -– The Iloilo Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) has distributed farm animals to identified farmers in Carles and Barotac Viejo towns.

These are donations received from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations as part of their assistance to victims of typhoon Yolanda.

Dr. Darel Tabuada of the PVO said that last Friday 16 carabaos shipped from Batangas by the FAO were given to farmers in Carles.

These animals were particularly given to the coco farmers with the program tied up with the Philippine Coconut Authority. The farmers-beneficiaries were also provided farm equipment.

Other farmers could also benefit from the provided carabaos as initial beneficiaries are to give the offspring of these animals to them.

The PVO also recently distributed 10 carabaos to farmers in Barotac Viejo. There were also given 100 native female goats and four male goats.

Carles also received 100 female goats and four males goats.

SP okays ordinance regulating operation of lodging houses, similar establishments in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 10 (PNA) -- The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) here on Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance regulating the operation of lodging and pension houses, inns, hotels, motels, apartelles and other similar establishments in the city of Iloilo.

Main proponent city councilor Liezl Joy Zulueta-Salazar, chairperson of the SP committee on moral recovery, said the ordinance focuses on the youth sector of society to protect their rights and properly safeguard their welfare amidst the harsh realities of the present society.

Any establishment mentioned, especially lodging houses and motels, shall be required to post notices on the entrance door or gate or any conspicuous place in their establishment such as “No Entry/Admittance of Minors.”

Any person attempting to check-in with a minor or any vehicle with minors on board who wish to enter said establishments must be inspected by the security guard before they will be accommodated.

Zulueta-Salazar said an exemption is given when the minor is personally accompanied by parents or guardians who are in-charge of the minor’s care and custody.

Any person or in-charge of the lodging house, motel, inn and similar establishment found violating the ordinance shall be meted with a fine of P5,000 and imprisonment of one year or revocation of business permit.

Banks open loan windows to micro entrepreneurs


ILOILO CITY, Nov 9 (PNA) - - Eight commercial banks and microfinance institutions here offered reasonable loan packages to support the development of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) assisted by the provincial government.

Ranging from P10,000 to half a million, the credit opportunities were shown and explained to 33 MSMEs from Janiuay, Miagao, Passi City, Oton, Barotac Viejo, Concepcion, Calinog, Carles, Leganes and Ajuy during the recently-concluded Financing Forum.

The forum held in Eon Centennial Hotel was organized by Iloilo’s Negosyo Center in partnership with Department of Trade and Industry and Local Government Support Program-Local Economic Development.

Japhet Padasas, staff of Negosyo Center, explained that the forum aimed at improving MSMEs’ access to credit facilities. It likewise gave them an array of credit information directly from representatives of financing institutions through presentations and one-on-one consultations.

As of 2012, 99.58 percent of the 944,897 businesses operating in the Philippines were MSMEs — 844,764 were micro enterprises, 92,027 were small enterprises, and 4,095 were medium enterprises.

Majority of these MSMEs or 436,809 business establishments were into wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycle industries, based on the data from DTI.

A total of 53,746 of these MSMEs could be found in Western Visayas; making it one of the top five regions in the country with most number of MSMEs.

Iloilo alone, through the support of various national agencies and non-government organizations, assists in the development of 129 MSMEs using support services such as, but not limited to marketing, product development and business planning.

Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officer Velma Jane Lao said MSMEs are vital to the growth of the country since they are the number one creator and provider of jobs and effective tool in poverty alleviation.

“Helping them grow would mean helping the nation grow as well,” she stressed.

Aside from bridging MSMEs to local financing institutions, Negosyo Center provides business counseling and technical assistance to MSMEs like business matching, marketing, business advisory, skills training, product development, management training and business planning.

Solar streetlights installed in 77 typhoon-hit LGUs


ILOILO City – Seventy-seven local government units (LGUs) in the Visayas hit by super typhoon “Yolanda” were provided with solar photovoltaic streetlights by the Department of Energy (DOE).

DOE coordinator for household electrification program (HEP) Lourdes Arciaga said the bulk of the solar photovoltaic street lighting project was in Leyte.

The project was funded out of DOE savings from 2011 and 2012 regular projects that amounted to some P56 million.

Of the 77 LGUs, 43 municipalities were in Leyte and Tacloban City with 456 units of the projects installed.

Fifteen 15 municipalities from Samar provinces were installed with 212 units; 12 municipalities with 168 units in Panay Island, and seven municipalities with 76 units in Cebu.

In Panay Island, six Iloilo municipalities were the recipients – Ajuy, Carles, Concepcion, San Dionisio, and Sara.

Carles, Concepion and Sara got 20 units each; Ajuy and Estancia with 12 units each, and San Dionisio with 11 units.

Roxas City and Jamindan in Capiz received 28 and eight units, respectively.

Meanwhile, the municipalities of Barbaza, San Remegio and Valderrama in Antique were given 15, 10 and six units of the solar electrification project, respectively.

The town of Balete is the lone recipient in Aklan with six units.

DSWD seeks to hasten child adoption process

By John Sacramento (DSWD/PN)

ILOILO city – Judges of family courts and officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 6 recently gathered to hasten the adoption cases.

“We seek to map out the best practices in adoption. We should be able to shorten the process of adoption without sacrificing the law,” said Regional Director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre during the focus group discussion titled, “Adoption with Family Court Judges at Days Hotel in Iloilo City.”

The forum was attended by 19 family court judges from Regional Trial Court branches within the region and was facilitated by the Adoption Resource and Referral Section (ARRS) and training staff of DSWD.

Training specialist Josie Cambel said the forum’s goal was to articulate issues and challenges in the adoption processes and requirements, gather good practices and recommendations, as well as initiate collaboration with family court judges in the implementation of adoption laws.

Macapobre said the length of the present adoption process would take about nine months to one year. This is very lengthy already, she stressed.

DSWD is concerned of the children’s welfare, said Macapobre, and it is eager to give them families that could shelter and take care of them.

Iloilo finalist in eGov ICT Award

By Jezza A. Nepomoceno (Capitol News/PN)

ILOILO – The system this province developed to improve its real property tax assessment has made it a finalist in the 2015 Awards for Excellence in Information and Communications Technology for Good Governance (eGov Awards).

Known as Iloilo’s Enhanced Assessment System with Tax Mapping System (Assys2v2), the entry was shortlisted in the Best Customer Empowerment category during the annual search held in Legaspi City, Albay recently.

The search was organized by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and National ICT Confederation of the Philippines to highlight the best practices in the use of ICT to deliver government services effectively and efficiently.

According to Salvacion Sibonga, chief of the Information Communication Technology Management Office, Assys2v2 was an innovation currently used by the Provincial Assessor’s Office in dealing with taxpayers, processing assessment transactions and establishing database record.

The software program was an enhancement of the of the province-wide Real Property Tax Assessment and Collection System (RPTACS) developed in 1998 to computerize real property tax collection in 42 towns here.

RPTACS materialized using a grant from the International Bank Reconstruction and Development – World Bank, Bureau of Local Government-Department of Finance and Canadian International Development Agency.

Sibonga said ICTMO was motivated to develop Assys2v2 due to the apparent growth in the assessment and revenue generation from RPT brought about by changes in assessed values of properties resulting from new ownership, new construction or appraisal.

Assys2 was created on June 2013 and was fully replicated in 42 towns following the nine-month training of all the personnel involved on system installation and network and hardware configuration since September 2013.

The tax mapping component was incorporated in Assys2 on August 2014 and 21 towns were using the software program to produce or generate reports required by the stakeholders in consonance with the requirements of the new manual on real property appraisal and assessment operations issued by the Department of Finance.

Municipal Assessor’s Office using Assys2v2 could charge certain amounts based on their local revenue code from taxpayers who wished to avail themselves such services, thus additional revenues for the local government.

The innovation in the system helped increase the province’s RPT revenues by 128 percent from P286,192,138.75 taxes in 2012 to P366,467,516.37 taxes in 2013.

Delayed submission of reports was also resolved and anomalous transactions could be easily tracked since reports could be generated reflecting the transactions made on a specific date and who handled it.

Dinagyang spectators to get a glimpse of South Korea’s Namsadang Baudeogi Festival


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 5 (PNA) –- Organizers of the Dinagyang Festival never fail to give spectators something new to look forward to every year.

As preparations for the 2016 staging are ongoing, Ramon Cua Locsin, president of the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc (IDFI), disclosed the participation of the Namsadang Baudeogi Festival of South Korea’s Anseong City during the highlight of the festival on January 24 next year.

The Namsadang Baudeogi Festival is a popular art festival in South Korea and was named as the official festival of the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts in 2016.

In October this year, IDFI brought Tribu Panayanon to perform during the grand opening of the 15th Namsadang Baudeogi Festival in Anseong City.

Meanwhile, Robert Alor, chair of the tribes committee of IDFI disclosed that 10 tribes, mostly school-based are joining the 2016 Ati-ati competition.

The tribes include Panayanon, Obrero, Baybayanon, Ilonganon, Atub-atub, Dagatnon, Salognon, Buntag-ala, Pan-ay and Paghudaet.

On Wednesday, the IDFI released the second tranche of the subsidy given to the tribes, Alor disclosed.

The Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is being managed by the Iloilo City government, San Jose Parish and the IDFI.

The successful public-private partnership earned the city government here the 2012 Galing Pook Award for innovative and exemplary local governance program.

DSWD-6 releases PHP8.2B for ESA


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 4 (PNA) –- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-6 has already released more than PHP8.2 billion as Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) to 470,575 victims of typhoon Yolanda in Western Visayas as of October 28, 2015.

Of the amount, ESA released over PHP7.19 billion under the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Recovery Plan (CRRP) benefiting 420,154 victims of the typhoon while more than PHP1.01 billion under the non-CRRP that were released to 50,421 beneficiaries.

May Rago of the DSWD-6 said that victims with totally damaged houses received a total of PHP4,490,340,000 with each victim getting PHP30,000 each under the CRRP. There were 149,678 households that had totally damaged houses in the region and CRRP beneficiaries.

The 270,476 residents whose houses were partially damaged got PHP10,000 each or more than PHP2.70 billion under the CRRP.

It maybe recalled that President Aquino signed the CRRP in October 2014 that also commenced the release of the ESA funds. However, there were other local government units (LGUs) who later asked for assistance for their other constituents who were also affected by Yolanda but were not able to receive aid from the CRRP. The LGUs requests realized the non-CRRP funds released.

The total amount released for the non-CRRP, 25,354 people with totally damaged houses and 25,067 with partially damaged houses received assistance.

Iloilo provincial government to release Php4.45-M to micro coops


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 3 (PNA) --The Iloilo Provincial Cooperative Development Office (PCDO) is set to release Php4.45 million to 10 micro cooperatives by the end of November as part of its continuing program to support the cooperative movement.

Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., who was earlier recognized by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) for his “indefatigable contribution to the promotion of cooperativism” approved the release of the financial assistance.

According to PCDO Chief Atty. Arturo Cangrejo, the assistance is in a form of loan payable for three to five years with an interest of six percent per annum.

“This loan is under the Provincial Livelihood Program that aims to help cooperatives with good track record expand their existing businesses,” he said.

The following are the micro cooperatives benefiting from the loan:

LEPSTA- 1 Credit Cooperative of Leon (P500,000),

Kabalikat Multipurpose Cooperative of Bingawan (P300,000),

Barosbos, Cawayan, Guinticgan Credit Cooperative of Carles (P5oo,ooo),

DATEC Teachers and Employees Multipurpose Cooperative of Dingle (P500,000),

Dingle Multipurpose Cooperative of Dingle (P500,000)

Carles Municipal Employees Multipurpose Cooperative of Dingle (P500,000),

Tina Multipurpose Cooperative of Badiangan (P200,000),

ISCOF-San Enrique Teachers and Employees Multipurpose of San Enrique (P500,000),

Kapihan of Estancia Port Credit Cooperative of Estancia (P450,000) and

Batad Municipal Officials and Employees Multipurpose Cooperative of Batad (P500,000).

Mock cheques were turned over by PCDO to chairpersons of these cooperatives during the culminating activity of the 2015 Provincial Cooperative Month held in Pavia last October 30.

The Provincial Livelihood Program has an annual appropriation of P5-million and it has been institutionalized since the creation of PCDO on September 1993, a year after Defensor served as governor for the first time in Iloilo.

“I have extended my full support to the cooperative because I believe that, through it, we can attain development. Creating PCDO as a department in the provincial government was the first thing I did after election in 1992,” recalled Defensor.

His contributions to the promotion of cooperativism as a means of uplifting the social and economic conditions of its members and providing an enabling environment towards the growth of cooperative earned him an award from CDA.

CDA Chairperson Orlando Ravanera hailed Defensor and Governors Faustino Dy III of Isabela and Vilma Santos-Recto of Batangas during the celebration of cooperative’s centennial year on October 23, 2015 at Philippine Trade Training Center, Pasay City.

Western Visayas takes part in world’s biggest travel fair in London


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 2 (PNA) -- Tourism packages available in Western Visayas are currently being showcased at the World Travel Market (WTM) at the ExCel Convention and Exhibition Centre, London, United Kingdom.

Western Visayas and the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) are the only two regional destinations in the country that are featured in the event that kicked off Monday until Thursday, according to DOT 6 regional director Atty. Helen Catalbas.

On display at the convention and exhibition center are the logos of tourism campaigns namely Experience Western Visayas First, It’s More Fun in the Philippines and that of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

The tourism product portfolio of the region includes nature-based tourism, cultural tourism, leisure and entertainment tourism, meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibits (MICE), health, wellness, and retirement tourism, diving and marine sports tourism, sun and beach tourism, cruise and nautical tourism, educational tourism and culinary tourism, the regional director, who manages the Western Visayas section of the Philippine Pavilion, said.

Also joining the biggest world tourism event are 12 tour, hotels and resorts operations from the Philippines. They also mounted booths at the Philippine Pavilion of the WTM.

Also set to be launched within the four-day event is the new campaign dubbed “Visit the Philippines Again 2016.”

DOT 6 serves as the regional office of the National Tourism Organization (NTO) of the Philippines, the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT).

LTFRB tests target drug-crazed drivers


ILOILO City – Public utility vehicle drivers in various transport terminals across Western Visayas may soon be subjected to drug tests.

The tests will be done randomly should these push through, said Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Region 6 legal counsel Jose Marie Lamparero.

The goal of the drug tests is to ensure public safety, he stressed.

The Board plans to conduct the drug tests after Halloween in coordination with the regional offices of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Department of Health.

“We may come up with a memorandum of agreement,” said Lamparero.

In Manila, LTFRB has already started random drug tests on public utility bus drivers.

“We have not received a directive to conduct the same. But LTFRB Region 6 wants to initiate regular random drug tests,” said Lamparero.

For now, only drivers involved in vehicular accidents resulting to injuries or fatalities are being subjected to mandatory drug tests.

LTFRB Region 6 plans regular random drug tests as a preventive measure.

“Public utility vehicle operators are required to have their drivers undergo drug tests only if they get involved in serious road accidents. The vehicles are also suspended for 30 days,” said Lamparero.

The suspension is lifted only if the driver tests negative for illegal drugs, he added.