Iloilo City News November 2016

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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.


Iloilo City gov't ready to implement new system in business permit applications


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The city government through its Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) is now ready to implement the prescribed system in issuing business permits.

Norman Tabud, BPLO head, stressed that application for new permits is now made easier with documents ready to be released within eight hours, faster than what was announced by President Rodrigo Duterte of three days.

A Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) released by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in September this year set a new system for business permit processing.

The new circular prescribed local government units to simplify their processing requirements and release permits in one to two days for new and one day for renewal.

“We have streamlined processes and reduce several steps and minutes in the conduct of transactions,” he said.

He said that the basic requirement now would be locational clearance, fire safety inspection certificate, DTI or SEC registration and lease contract of agreement if they are renting a space.

The business permit would be issued even if the applicant has no occupancy permit, provided that it will be complied with in one month. Otherwise, the permit will be revoked.

All other requirements and regulatory documents, especially from national government agencies have to follow within the one month period, he said.

Meanwhile, Tabud said that they looked forward to another 2,000 new businesses next year similar to this year’s 2,000 target. They also anticipated some 13,000 establishments to renew their licenses.

“We are very hopeful that we can achieve our target,” he said, adding that renewal of permits can be done in 30 minutes.

Starting today, however, the BPLO temporarily suspends the processing of permit applications.

Tabud said that the suspension of permit applications is meant to “avoid giving of favors” this Christmas season. Processing of permits for new applicants will resume on February 1, 2017 to give way to the renewal of licenses that will be from January 1 to 20, 2017.

However, they may also consider other applications in a case-to-case basis. He said that there are businessmen who believe that it will bring them luck if they open their establishments in December, hence they need a permit to operate.

Iloilo city gov't gets PHP2.089–B budget for 2017


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 29 (PNA) -- The city government here will be operating on a PHP2.089 billion budget in 2017.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod (city council) on Tuesday approved the budget, which is lower by PHP81.285 million, compared to this year’s budget.

This year’s PHP2.171 billion budget is boosted by the loan of the city government with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to the tune of PHP360 million, intended for the construction of school buildings for senior high school, according to Appropriations Committee chair Eduardo Peñaredondo.

The 2017 budget allotted PHP426.7 million for the city's statutory/mandatory obligations; PHP108.54 million for contractual obligations; PHP163.35 million for financial assistance and other obligations; and PHP81.89 million for programs and projects.

“With the total budget, the city can best answer and meet the basic needs of our constituents to the best we can and further continue the fast pace development of our city in all areas of concern,” he said.

Meanwhile, City Budget Officer Ninda Atinado said that the city is no longer dependent on its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) fund and relies mostly on its local revenue sources.

Some 58.88 percent of the fund will be sourced from local taxes, 40.66 percent from IRA and .45 percent from the 2 percent share in economic zone.

Meanwhile, the SP also approved the PHP77.8 million budget of the Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO).

Peñaredondo in his report expressed hope that the office could earn a higher income next year following the acquisition of new boilers.

Several city councilors also wanted to take a closer look at the provisions of the ordinance creating the LEEO following the losses it has incurred since it started operating.

Peñaredondo added that the ordinance mandates that after five years of losing, the LEEO may be dissolved and its operation will revert to the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO).

To date, the LEEO, which also operates the city public markets, has some PHP39 million in unpaid electricity bill from the Panay Electric Company (PECO).

Iloilo City opens DRR information and exhibit museum


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 28 (PNA) -- The city government opened Monday its Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Information and Exhibit Center that serves as repository of learning materials on disaster preparedness.

Dubbed as "Kabalaka Gallery", the center is hosted by the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU), one of the city government's partner academic institutions in coming up with informative materials to better prepare the public on disasters.

"Kabakala" stands for Kahublagan sa Barangay para sa Lapnagon nga Kahandaan sa Kalamidad. For Ilonggos, kabalaka also means concern.

The center, touted as the one of its kind in the country, is one of the initiatives of the city under the Community Based Adaptation and Resiliency Against Disasters (CBARAD) II Project. It is supported by the CITYNET Yokohama Project Office, Yokohama City and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

"As part of the CBARAD Project, we are now more focused on preparedness, prevention and mitigation measures on disasters, calamities, and hazards. We can definitely say we are better prepared, more cooperative, and united with our response in case unfortunate events may happen in the city," said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Information and education materials (IEC) available in the gallery are produced by the College of Communications of the West Visayas State University (WVSU). These include flyers, audio and video materials that will help enlighten and educate about disasters with particular focus on assisting vulnerable groups.

The center is at the Art Deck Building of the JBLFMU in Molo district.

SM makes big move in Iloilo

By Tara Yap

Iloilo City—The SM Group will start construction for its hotel and a tower for business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in this city.

Hans Sy, board chairman of SM Prime Holding Inc., said the two projects could start as early as the first quarter of 2017.

Sy said the Park Inn Hotel will be built next to SM City Iloilo.

Speaking at the recent opening of Southpoint at SM City Iloilo, Sy also revealed that a BPO tower is also in the works.

The tower will be built on a 5,480-square-meter property and will have a total floor area of 45,000 square meters.

Sy is optimistic of the country’s BPO industry will thrive despite pronouncements by the US President-elect Donald Trump that he will adopt a protectionist policy that would discourage American businesses from relocating to other countries.

“That’s why we have not stopped any of our BPO buildings that we are putting up,” Sy said.

Southpoint, SM City Iloilo’s latest expansion project, has an area of 7,541.96 square meters, with 24 restaurants and cafes. It also features an outdoor mini-park.

That gives SM City Iloilo, the biggest mall in Western Visayas, a total land area of 174,000 square meters.

DTI trains staff to become business counselors


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Selected regular plantilla personnel of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here are being trained to become business counselors.

Andrea S. Reyes, Trade and Industry Development Specialist of DTI 6 on Wednesday said that the five-day course for business counselors to enable them to be equipped with tools on how to handle clients coming into their office.

“Not all are really business counselors, thus, after training it is expected that they are already equipped,” she said.

The Small Business Counselor Course (SBCC) 103 or Access to Market is now going on at the Hotel del Rio here and will culminate this Friday with 28 graduates. The participants were trained on franchising, branding, bar coding, dealing with clients and approaches on various personalities of customers, among others.

The training is handled by the Association of Development Facilitators and Enterprise Counselors (ADFEC). It is part of the initiatives launched by the Human Resource and Admin Services (HRAS) of DTI Manila.

Next month, the training dubbed as SBCC 101 will be for DTI personnel detailed in Negosyo Centers or assigned in local government units (LGUs).

Parols, giant Christmas tree, Belen-making contest up in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 25 (PNA) -- More than 600 parols will illuminate the major thoroughfares of Iloilo City starting December 1 to welcome the Christmas season.

The parols are donations coming from establishments and associations in the city, according to Vincent dela Cruz, assistant tourism officer of this city.

In addition, the city government will also launch on the same day the "Paskua sa Plaza Belen-making Contest". Each of the city’s seven districts will be provided with a "bahay-kubo" to be mounted in their respective plazas.

The uniformed "bahay-kubo" that will be turned into a Belen will be decorated using only indigenous and recyclable materials, he explained.

“We would like to promote our plazas as destinations after the Simbang Gabi. Thus, we proposed that it will be mounted right on front of churches,” he added.

The Belen will be mounted until January 8 next year. However, the judging is tentatively set on December 15 and the winners will be announced the next day.

Another attraction to be mounted by the city government in partnership with private partners is a giant Christmas Tree right at the Plazoleta Gay area. It is approximately 30 feet high and will be decorated with various icons of Iloilo City.

It will be lighted simultaneous with the lighting of the parols and Belen on December 1.

Malaysian attaché to speak with Visayas IT-BPM sector


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 24 (PNA) -- Malaysian Trade Commissioner Nyaee Ayup will share the Malaysian Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) Industry to the Visayas Cluster of IT-BPM and other industry players at Richmonde Hotel Iloilo, today.

Information Communication Technology (ICT) players all over the Visayas Region are here in this city for the two-day Strategic Planning Session for IT-BPM from November 24-25, 2016, in collaboration with the DTI Export Marketing Bureau.

Ayup said that this will also be a venue “to connect to business industries in Iloilo and which industry we can collaborate with local business communities here that we can link to Malaysian companies.”

“Iloilo is part of the cities that we see in terms of development, one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines, especially on IT-BPM,” she explained. Other cities that they have visited in the country are Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa and Cebu.

She added: “There are other opportunities in these parts of this country. We would like to promote these cities to Malaysian companies, whereby there are opportunities in the Philippines not only in Manila.

DTI Iloilo Provincial Director Diosdado P. Cadena acquainted the trade attaché on the various programs, projects and initiatives offered by the DTI to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The Malaysian Trade Commissioner is also scheduled to meet with Lea Lara of the Iloilo Business Club and Donna Rose Ratilla of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Iloilo Chapter.

Youth group to stage Iloilo’s biggest Produkto Lokal


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 23 (PNA) -- The Youth First Initiative Philippines Inc. (YFI) is set to stage its biggest weekend fair in this city this year.

Janvie Anido, YFI founder and executive director, said the group’s year-ender Produkto Lokal Weekend Fair is set on November 25-27, 3 p.m to 9 p.m. at Iloilo Convention Center in Mandurriao here.

The weekend fair will feature local products made by over 100 artisans and food entrepreneurs from Panay and nearby islands.

The fair will not only showcase local products but will also present the best of local talents, with their works paying homage to Panay’s rich culture and traditions, he said.

Anido called on the Ilonggos to patronize local products by supporting the weekend fair.

The public can enjoy a variety of products including calligraphy kits, handmade jewels, scrapbooking materials, crochet goodies, dream catchers, and trinkets from Tigbato, Iskalligraphy,Corral’s Shell Arts and Crafts, The Yarn Artisan, Anna J Creatives, and many others Visayan crafters; hablon goods from Oton Woven Products and Municipality of Miag-ao, handwoven laptops bags from Scherz Creations, and wallets and organizers from Tahum Leather; books published by Kasing-kasing Press; health and beauty products by Rraw, Hairfood Co., among others.

Fair-goers can also enjoy good food and drinks from start-up and family-owned food businesses will offer exciting selection of food and drinks.

The ICC Fair is part of YFI’s first anniversary celebration.

“YFI pledges to continue its campaign, to encourage love and support for locally made goods. Support Lokal!” he concluded.

World AIDS Day celebration in Iloilo City to focus on youths, medical workers


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 22 (PNA) -- The celebration of the World AIDS Day (WAD) in this city seeks to raise the awareness of the youth about the deadly infection, likewise pay tribute to medical workers who are helping in the human immunodeficiency virus - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV-AIDS) campaign.

The global celebration slated December 1 in this city will be held at the West Visayas State University (WVSU) campus to “highlight the advocacy campaign among the youth,” said Robert Figuracion of the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) during Tuesday’s press conference here.

WVSU also produces medical doctors and nurses who are working in various health offices, specifically for the HIV-AIDS program, both in Western Visayas and at the national level.

Figuracion added that the activity will also serve as venue to “rekindle the commitment” of stakeholders to the HIV advocacy.

The December 1 activity will also be highlighted by an exhibit dubbed as ‘Sights and Sounds’ with a theme “Ilonggo HIV Advocacy: Through the Years and the launching of the WAD Run 2016.

The 2016 run slated December 11 is expected to generate some Php100,000 to be donated to the United Western Visayas Inc., a community of People Living with HIV. It targets students from 10 colleges and universities in this city.

Figuracion added that the focus of their advocacy is the youth sector as cases coming from their age bracket are alarming.

Data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that 67 youths with ages 15-24 from Western Visayas were diagnosed with HIV during the first half of this year. As of June this year from 1986, Western Visayas already recorded 1,357 HIV-AIDS cases.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ray Celis of the HIV-AIDS Core Team at the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) said that as of October 30 this year, they are catering to 550 persons living with HIV-AIDS. Around 86 percent or 478 of them are taking anti-retroviral medication.

This year, WVMC has 224 additional new cases but 24 already died due to AIDS-related conditions, he revealed.

All patients diagnosed with HIV-AIDS are referred to WVMC for management. It is one of the two treatment hubs available in Western Visayas and Negros Occidental, Celis said.

This year’s celebration of the WADS has for its theme “Hands Up for HIV Prevention.”

The celebration will be done simultaneously in the cities of the National Capital Region (NCR), Puerto Prinsesa, Davao, Cagayan De Oro, Zamboanga and Iloilo City.

Iloilo opens 3rd Biodiversity, Watershed Week


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 21 (PNA) -- The Iloilo Provincial Government led the opening ceremonies of the 3rd Biodiversity and Watershed Week in the Province of Iloilo Monday morning.

With the theme "Mainstreaming Biodiversity and Watersheds; Sustainable Iloilo's Livelihood," the week-long celebration aims to create public awareness on the importance of biodiversity and watersheds in human's survival in the planet.

Dr. Antonio Manila, assistant director, Biodiversity Management Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (BMB-DENR), cited the many species of flora and fauna that are endemic in Iloilo, particularly in Lambunao.

He said aside from public appreciation of this endemic and unique flora and fauna species, it is equally important to ensure these species are protected.

The protection of these species, he said, can be done by crafting resolutions declaring certain areas critical habitat or protected areas.

He called on local government units (LGU), especially where these distinct flora and fauna species are located, to initiate measures to ensure biodiversity and watershed protection.

In the opening ceremonies, partner agencies and institutions including Central Philippine University, SEAFDEC, Iloilo Watershed Management Council, University of the Philippines in the Visayas, USAID, Department of Education, MIWD, among others, mounted an exhibit at the Capitol grounds featuring their environment conservation efforts as well as the different species endemic in Iloilo that need protection.

The CPU, with Haribon Foundation, brought the Biodiversity on Wheels to the Capitol. The CPU-Haribon BOW van visits schools in Iloilo, and holds workshop on environmental protection.

Levi Delos Santos, CPU Community Engagement and Learning Center director said the partnership of CPU and Haribon was inked in June.

The BOW goes to schools identified by the DepEd. "We conduct workshops, and engage the students in different activities that will raise their awareness on the importance of the environment, and protecting it," he said.

Delos Santos said both CPU and Haribon believe the mobile BOW is important venue to reach out to kids, whose means of learnings are now different.

"Kids nowadays are more adept in technology, that's why in the van, we have interactive videos about environment, that even adults enjoy," he concluded.

Php22M to bankroll 2017 Dinagyang Festival


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI) is eyeing some Php22-million fund for the staging of the 2017 Dinagyang Festival, which highlights will be on January 20-22.

The festival, which is managed by a triumvirate composed of the IDFI, Iloilo City Government and the San Jose Parish, is expected to be more grandiose as the 2017 event will serve as a prelude to its golden year in 2018.

Dinagyang promises more impressive choreography and more striking costumes for the participants, which display the ingenuity, craftsmanship and artistry of Ilonggos.

IDFI president Ramon Cua Locsin said that they plan to increase the subsidies of participating tribes to half a million each if funds permit.

Of the Php22-million target funds, Php8 million will come from the city government while the rest will be sourced out by the foundation from various sponsors.

Bannering the tagline “See, Feel, Love” and the theme “Communion of Communities with Santo Niño,” Dinagyang is expected to showcase some 10 competing tribes while Kasadyahan Regional Cultural Competition has attracted top festivals from all over Western Visayas and Negros Occidental.

Dinagyang celebrates the arrival in 1968 of the replica statue of Santo Niño the child Jesus from Cebu, met with merriment by devotees. The festival will mark its golden year milestone in 2018.

Dinagyang is a Hiligaynon term, which means revelry or merrymaking, as coined in 1977 by Ilonggo journalist Pacifico Sudario.

DA-6 intensifies RICEponsible campaign

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA)—There is no let-up in the campaign on responsible rice consumption, as the Department of Agriculture gives more tips for consumers and farmers.

James Earl Ogatis, DA-6 Information Officer said, that the agency is sharing to the public the goodness of rice, especially brown rice.

“Much more that we are celebration this November the Rice awareness Month, we encourage everyone to support our campaign,” Ogatis said.

“If you are a consumer, do not waste even a single grain of rice, eat brown rice as well and mix it with other staples like corn and camote,” he added.

He said that along with this, thank and appreciate the rice farmers as a form of valuing their produce.

“If you are a farmer, plant rice and adopt recommended technologies that help you increase your farm yield and your income,” Ogatis said.

The DA also called on policymakers to institutionalize the availability and default serving of half cup of rice to prevent wastage and give consumers more options.

“They can also help promote the production and serving of healthier regular milled rice, brown rice and rice mixed with other staples,” the information officer said.

Meanwhile, DA said its BROWN4good Challenge is extended until December 5, 2016, so posting pictures of brown rice meals on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, is still encouraged.

SSS pensioners to receive 13th month pension first week of December


ILOILO CITY, Nov 17 (PNA) -- Pensioners of the Social Security System (SSS) will receive twice the amount of their monthly pension in December as the office deemed to credit their 13th month benefit first week next month.

SSS, in a statement released on Thursday, said that its Benefits Administration Division has requested all its accredited paying banks to credit to the accounts of pensioners their 13th month pension earlier.

Panay and Guimaras provinces have around 100,000 pensioners, according to Raul Casiano, Officer-in-Charge of the SSS Western Visayas 2 Division.

Iloilo PESO to provide special lane for IPs on Christmas job fair


ILOILO CITY, Nov.17 (PNA) -- The Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in Iloilo will provide special lane to accommodate the indigenous peoples (IPs)who will join the one-day Christmas job fair at the provincial capitol here on December 2.

PESO department head Francisco Heler Jr. said that the special lane will help the IPs match their skills to specific companies.

Heler said they believed that IPs have "good skills and education that are qualified for some companies."

Aside for the IPs, the special lane for the Yolanda victims, solo parents, persons with disabilities will also continue.

As of Thursday, there are already 106 confirmed companies to join the job fair; 88 of which are for local employment and 18 companies for overseas employment.

Heler said that they are not only focusing on private companies but also tapping some government agencies to join the job fair.

The Philippine Ports Authority in Western Visayas is among the government agencies with job vacancies.

Some 2,000 job seekers are expected to join the job fair.

WV RDRRMC okays emergency telecommunications team, manual

By Jaime S. Cabag, Jr. (JCM/JSC/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 16 (PIA6) – The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) – 6 approved the creation of the Regional Rapid Emergency Telecommunications Team (RETT) and its Manual during its regular meeting for the fourth quarter of the year held Nov. 15 here.

The members of the region’s two RETT Teams were also introduced to the members of the council by their respective team leaders.

The creation of the team, which is a rapid deployment team equipped with ICT resources, both human and equipment, was spearheaded by the Communications and Warning Group (CWG) headed by Director Engr. Nestor Antonio Monroy of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Operationally, its primary function is to support the RDRRMC by providing telecommunications resources and services in an area affected by a disaster. It is the implementing and supporting arm of the existing Emergency Telecommunications Cluster of the council.

The CWG also formulated the Manual in collaboration with Prof. Anita Estela M. Monroy of the West Visayas State University College of Arts and Science.

RDRRMC chairperson and Office of Civil Defense Regional Director Rose Cabrera said the team would be a valuable member of the council especially during response operations in an emergency or disaster.

The report on the status of rehabilitation and recovery projects in Western Visayas as well as the “Ambisyon Natin 2040” briefing of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) was presented to the council by NEDA-6 Assistant Regional Director lawyer Raul Anlocotan.

Guidebook for better tourism planning out soon

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA) --- The Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 is set to unveil a tourism guidebook that will help local government units in Western Visayas better plan tourism project and activities.

In a media release, DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the tourism guidebook was developed as one of support mechanisms to serve as reference and guide in the local government units’ tourism planning activities.

“The book contains the guide in formulating tourism development plans and supplemental readings to understand the various tourism concepts and tourism planning processes better,” she said.

The DOT official is optimistic this tourism guidebook will help local government units to formulate better tourism plans and pursue more relevant projects and activities that will benefit the communities within the tourism areas of Western Visayas.

“This roll out of tourism guidebook is timely as most of the tourism officers in the LGUs are newly-designated/appointed,” she said.

She also said that DOT-6 will conduct an orientation workshop on the tourism guidebook for tourism and planning officers from the different local government units on November 14, 16 and 25, 2016 at The Venue Function Rooms, G. Pison Avenue, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

“This orientation/workshop will assist tourism officers and planning officers in planning and developing tourism plans and projects for their respective destinations”, she added.

RDRRMC to endorse RETT manual at Q4 meeting

By Jaime S. Cabag, Jr.

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) – The Regional Disaster Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) Region VI will and present and endorse the Rapid Emergency Telecommunications Team (RETT) 6 Operations Manual at the 4th Quarter Regular Meeting of the council on Nov. 15 here. The operations manual was prepared by the Communications and Warning Group, headed by National Telecommunications (NTC) Regional Director Engr. Nestor Antonio Monroy, and was finalized recently for approval by the council in a regular meeting.

The manual provides guidance in the organization, processes and resources of RETT 6. It also supplements the Rapid Emergency Telecommunications Team Handbook of the NDRRMC. As a management tool it intends to guide the Regional RETT to realize its objectives, while at the same time serve as template in establishing the RETT of the local DRRM in the Region.

It is the outcome of numerous consultations among key participants of the RETT 6 and members of the Communications and Warning Group (CWG) – RDRRMC 6. The Chair of the CWG being the focal person tasked to spearhead the creation of the RETT 6 was also tasked to craft this SOP in collaboration with Prof. Anita Estela M. Monroy of the West Visayas State University, College of Arts and Science.

It will be recalled that the creation of RETT 6 was initiated during the Emergency Telecommunications Summit: ICT “Bayanihan” held July 7-8, 2016 here.

The activation of the local RETT is within the authority of the Office of Civil Defense 6 being the lead agency of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster and is tasked to provide operable and inter-operable telecommunications support before, during and after emergencies and disasters especially whenever it is beyond the capacity of local government units to do so. The council will also tackle other disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) concerns during the meeting. (JCM/JSC/PIA6)

Plans for wider, longer esplanade in the pipeline

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA)—Ilonggos and tourists alike will have longer and wider esplanades to enjoy, as the Department of Public Works and Highways laid down plans for construction.

Engr. Jose Al Fruto, DPWH-6 OIC asst. regional director, said Esplanade 4 will connect Iloilo Bridge B.S. Aquino Jr. Avenue to Jalandoni Bridge and Esplanade 6, from Jalandoni down to Forbes Bridge along River Queen Hotel.

A review of the cadastral survey undertaken by the PENRO-Iloilo, showed that the original boundaries of the Iloilo River were identified way back to the 1916 Cadastral survey.

PENRO’s Engr. Romulo Sumaculob presented the 2011 survey which determines the river’s present boundaries during a meeting with stakeholders.

Fruto said DPWH is starting the marking of the property lines in the area so that the plan will be finalized this November.

“We will develop the areas outside the cadastral lines, and we start with workable areas to fast track the construction “ Fruto said.

DPWH will join hands with the PENRO, the Iloilo City Engineering Office, and the Iloilo-Batiano River Development Council.

Fruto appealed for the support of home owners and business operators along the areas, to address issues on ownership and extent of encroachment along the Iloilo River covering the two esplanades projects

PENRO-Iloilo head Raul Lorilla assured them that the DPWH and the DENR will maintain the cadastral lines based on the documents submitted.

Ilonggos interested to avail of Tesda skills training

By Lilibeth A. French (JCM/af/Pia6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) -- More than 15,000 Ilonggos have already enlisted to take part in the Barangay Kasanayan Para sa Kabuhayan at Kapayapaan (BKPKK) program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

BKPKK program is part of the two-pronged strategy in poverty reduction of the Duterte administration that aims to bring technical and vocational education and training (TVET) services to beneficiaries in the rural areas.

Last week of August of this year, TESDA-Iloilo has started the conduct of a skill mapping in all the barangays of the province. Survey forms were distributed to barangay officials for them to fill-up the names of their constituents and the skills they needed and those who would like to avail of the skills training program being offered by the government and implemented by TESDA.

As of November 4, some 15,745 have already enlisted to be included in the program from the 1,901 barangays of the province.

Respondents have 16 sectors to choose from on the survey form that include Agri-Fishery; Automotive and Land Transport; Construction; Electronics; Garments; Health, Social and Other Community Development Services; Heat, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration; Information and Community Technology; Furniture; Maritime; Metals and Engineering; Processed Food and Beverages; Tourism; Wholesale and Retail Trading; Non-TVET; and others.

Preliminary results of the survey indicated that enlisters numbering to around 2,845 would like to avail of the Driving National Certificate (NC) II course under the Automotive and Land Transport; Construction sector. Other top four preferred qualifications are Automotive Service NC II, Cookery NC II, Dressmaking NC II and Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC I.

TESDA Director General Atty. Guiling Mamondiong who personally led the launching of the program in this part of the country on October 19 said some 32,000 scholarship slots will be made available for Western Visayas under the program.

He said through the program the agency intends to create jobs in the barangays as part of their efforts to help alleviate poverty.

The program’s implementation in 2017 got a boost when representatives of local government units, partner agencies and other stakeholders in the region have committed their support as they signed a manifesto of commitment during the regional launch.

Some of the notable persons who signed the manifesto included Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Department of Social Welfare and Development 6 Director Rebecca Geamala and Department of Health 6 Assistant Regional Director Ma. Paz Corrales, among others.

Iloilo City to host 5 ASEAN meetings

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

ILOILO CITY, November 11 (PIA) --- Five meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 2017 will be hosted by Iloilo City.

According to the City Tourism and Development Office, the National Organizing Council (NOC) has set a coordination meeting with the city government and ocular visits here recently.

The meetings that will be convened by various lead government agencies will be attended by high-level delegates such as ministers and senior officials.

The City Hall will help NOC determine the possible engagement sites and specific arrangements for the ASEAN meetings such as airport facilities, hotel accommodation, conference venues and tourism destinations.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that this news manifests the growing reputation of Iloilo City as ideal convention destination.

He also encouraged everyone to support the preparations of the city for the hosting of the 2017 ASEAN meetings.

Meanwhile, it was in Laos last September that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte formally accepted the chairmanship of the ASEAN 2017, which is, coincidentally, the regional organization’s 50th anniversary.

The theme for ASEAN 2017, which is “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”, captures the resolve to consolidate our community for our peoples, with a sense of togetherness and common identity, ready and able to take our rightful place in the global community of nations.

He said that during the Philippines’ chairmanship, the country will highlight ASEAN as a model of regionalism and a global player with the interests of our peoples at its core.

He added that he will pursue initiatives and enhance cooperation with global partners to ensure that ASEAN citizens live in peace, stability, security and growth, while maintaining ASEAN centrality, unity and solidarity for all times.

ASEAN is composed of 10 member-countries including Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

DENR-6 intensifies forest protection and conservation

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

ILOILO CITY, November 10 (PIA) --- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-6 has further strengthened its anti-illegal logging campaign to sustain the forest protection and conservation efforts of the government.

In the Regional Multi-Sectoral Forest Protection Committee (RMSFPC) Meeting held November 10 at the Madison Hotel here, DENR-6 reported that 4,496 pieces of lumber were apprehended by the different provincial environment and natural resources offices (PENRO) in the region which is equivalent to130.11 cubic meters, for the period January to October 2016.

DENR-6 said that the PENRO offices in Western Visayas were also able to apprehend 467 pieces of round poles, 748 pieces of charcoal, and 145 pieces of fire wood.

In terms of apprehension of conveyance and equipment, the PENRO offices in Region 6 were able to capture 19 truck/elf, three jeeps, eight tricycles, and three chainsaws.

DENR-6 said that 11 provincial/municipal forest protection committees (FPC) have been established in various local government units in Region 6.

Of the figure, two MFPCs are from Aklan; three in Antique; three in Capiz; two in Iloilo; and one provincial FPC in Guimaras.

DENR-6 added that these provincial/municipal FPCs comprised of 118 members.

Iloilo City searches for most outstanding child-friendly village


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Seven barangays from this city will vie for this year’s most outstanding child-friendly barangay (village) search that showcases the four major rights of a child.

The annual search, now on its third year, aims to “awaken barangays to make their barangay council for the protection of children (BCPC) functional and be responsive to the needs of children,” said Cherry Lyn S. Bermejo, of the city social welfare and development office on Monday.

She added that it is also important that barangays could respond according to the four major rights of children namely participation, development, protection and survival.

One barangay from each of the city’s seven districts will be chosen as nominees. To date, they already have Barangay San Isidro, Jaro; Calaparan, Arevalo; Bolilao, Mandurriao; Veterans Village, City Proper; Nabitasan, Lapaz and Calumpang in Molo district as nominees.

They are still waiting for the entry of Lapuz district.

A field validation will be conducted on November 21-23 and the winner will be announced on November 29 during the Children’s Congress. The winner will receive a plaque and Php20,000 cash prize that they can use for child-related activities and projects.

Bermejo added that barangays Calaparan and Veterans Village are winners during the 2014 and 2015 search, respectively but they are still joining to get the Hall of Fame Award.

She also disclosed that around 21 of the city’s 180 barangays have already “ideal” BCPC based on the indicators of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Iloilo biz club hosts national conference of independent business organizations in PH


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 8 (PNA) -- The Iloilo Business Club (IBC) is now set to host the fourth National Conference of Independent Business Organizations in this city on Friday.

The one-day conference will enable businessmen to discuss matters on regional and national growth drivers, power and energy, infrastructure development, investments in agriculture, globally competitive industries and business.

IBC executive director Lea Lara said that it is a big privilege for Iloilo to host this national event with around 250 participants across the country expected to participate.

“It is our time to showcase our city and province because I know some of them have not remembered Iloilo,” she said.

“We are hoping that beside the conference, they will also see the development here and attract the investors who will be visiting and joining the conference,” she added.

The highlight of the conference is on official statement of independent business organizations addressed to President Rodrigo Duterterte to be delivered by IBC chairman Juan Jose Jamora III.

Top officials from the different government agencies and private organizations were invited as resource speakers in the conference.

President Duterte was also invited to give the keynote address about priority programs and plans for regional development.

The conference is divided in five sessions, which include Driving Regional and National Growth; Resolving High Cost of Power and Attaining Energy Security; Public-Private Collaboration for Infrastructure Development; Investing in the Underdeveloped Agriculture Sector and Developing Globally Competitive Industries and Businesses.

“It is time for the businessmen to discuss and throw their concerns especially on national issues,” she said.

”We are getting excited how we can improve our planning especially on how the private sectors could help identify the needed roads and other infrastructure projects that can really boost the economy and how we can make our local businesses be competitive,” she added.

DSWD chooses Iloilo City as pilot site in profiling of senior citizens, PWDs in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, Nov. 7 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has chosen this city as pilot site for the profiling of senior citizens and persons with disability (PWD).

Cherry Lyn S. Bermejo, focal person for PWD and senior citizens of the city social welfare and development office (CSWDO), said that they are targeting to cover 30,000 elderly and 15,000 PWDs from this city’s 180 barangays.

The profiling will be conducted by barangay volunteers who are also involved in the implementation of the supplementary feeding program, district president of senior citizens and PWD and youth volunteers under the youth development office of the city government, she said.

The data to be gathered will be found useful in the implementation of various projects for the two sectors.

She added that this is the first time that a profiling will be conducted, which is also a target project under the National Plan of Action (NPAC).

A training for those who will be engaged in the project will be held on November 14 and thereafter, the three-month profiling will commence.

DSWD-6 to revitalize volunteer program in Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here is now gearing for the reactivation of its Bayanihang Bayan Program (BBP) in Western Visayas after being dormant for several years.

L’Michelli K. Horlador of the DSWD’s capability building unit said that they are calling on volunteers of BBP to be part of the initial gathering to be held on December 10, 2016 to kick off the revival of the noble program.

The BBP seeks the cooperation of the youth sector, mid-career professionals, retirees and even overseas Filipinos in implementing various programs and projects of the government.

DSWD focuses on professional services with interests on spiritual enhancement, therapy, psychological evaluation, medical, educational, caregiving, homelife service, capability building, administrative works and resource generation.

Provincial gov’t to create inter-agency task force on road safety


ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Iloilo provincial government will create an inter-agency task force on road safety to lead in addressing the concerns and issues related to road safety and management.

“They will look into the violations of the drivers on provincial ordinances and help implement the inspection of the vehicles if they comply with the regulations,” Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. said.

Defensor added that they still have to organize the members of the task force as they have not yet gone into details. However, he assured that the task force will start its operation within the year.

The creation of the task force is part of the proposals made during the conduct of the one-day Provincial Summit on Traffic and Road Safety last August 16 that gathered concerned agencies namely the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO), as well as operators public utility vehicles, among others.

Records from the IPPO showed that 2,095 vehicular accidents happened in the province from January until July of this year.

Most of vehicles involved in traffic accidents were motorcycles. The accidents mostly happened on weekend, especially Saturday and most of the victims acquired physical injuries.

The Poblacion, national highway, intersection areas and schools are among the identified accident-prone areas in the province.

IPPO attributed the vehicular accidents to human error, road condition, unlighted roads, lack of road signage, mechanical error and bad weather conditions as common causes of accidents.

DSWD eyes complete release of Php118.059-M Q3 elderly pension this November

(Philippines News Agency)

ILOILO CITY — Anytime this month, qualified senior citizens could expect a representative from the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) to knock at their door for their third quarter pension.

Senior citizens line up at the Cebu City Hall Friday to claim their P1,000 cash aid. The city has set aside P67.3 million for its 67,300 elderly residents. (Juan Carlo de Vela)

Gretchen Anne Taleon, social worker II assigned at the Social Pension Program, said that they have already transferred Php89.538 million to PhilPost for the door-to-door delivery of the three-month pension equivalent to Php1,500 each for the 59,692 qualified senior citizens in Western Visayas.

She added that the Php609,000 pension of 406 pensioners in Caluya island in Antique was released through cash advance to their recipients last week while that of Negros Occidental’s Php27,912,000 for 18,608 pensioners was transferred to their local government unit.

DSWD has tapped PhilPost to deliver the social pension of the elderly. Taleon said that the pension, which covers July, August and September, was a bit delayed due to transition. Previously, pension was downloaded to local government units.

Negros Occidental, however, was done through a fund transfer following its separation from Western Visayas due to the creation of the Negros Island Region (NIR).

Caluya Island is difficult to reach due to its geographical location.

PhilPost will be reaching out to 9,843 qualified senior citizens in Aklan; 9,169 in Antique except Caluya; 10,498 in Capiz; 27,424 in Iloilo and 2,758 in Guimaras.

A total of Php14,764,500 will be delivered to Aklan; Php13,753,500 to Antique; Php15,747,000 for Capiz; Php41,136,000 for Iloilo and Php4,137,000 for Guimaras.

She added that they hoped to see PhilPost complete the delivery within this month.

DA-6 cites interventions for increased cassava yield

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

ILOILO CITY, 3 Nov. 2016 (PIA) — There are interventions for the cassava industry in Western Visayas and the farmers’ production level has increased, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Dr. Candido Damo, national consultant on cassava production, said that farmers are benefiting from the technical interventions from government and the private sectors.

“The area of production remained the same but the level of production has increased,” Damo said.

“Cassava has a high potential in the industry since other crops are vulnerable compared to it,” he added.

Damo said stakeholders and agricultural extension workers in local government units should promote new technologies to help farmers increase their yield.

He further said that the DA-6 Corn and Cassava Program should also strategize and propose new interventions to be included in the 2018 plans and budget.

The cassava industry ranks 5th among the country’s major crops following palay, coconut, corn, and sugarcane, but it has contributed P14.8 billion to the economy based on the 2014 current price, the highest among other crops.

The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics has recorded a total of 2.7 metric tons of cassava production with 6.8 percent growth, in the country in 2015.

Western Visayas ranks 9th among the top producing regions and contributes about three percent to the total volume of cassava production in the country.

Besides being a major staple food in the country, cassava is also used as animal and aqua feeds ingredients, food mixtures, textiles and pharmaceutical products.

The DA’s intervention programs for the cassava industry includes trainings on technology transfer, continuous development of high yielding variety planting materials, strengthening of insect and disease monitoring and surveillance and provision of post harvest facilities and equipment, like cassava chipper and grater granted to farmers’ associations in the region.

Iloilo to open more teen centers

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

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 2 (PIA6) --- The Iloilo provincial government will open 10 more teen centers in the province next year to avert more young people from engaging in risky behaviors.

Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. said that these school-based multi-purpose teen centers have helped the youth in the province become more responsible citizens.

“Nakatukod naman kita sang 42 ka mga school-based multi-purpose teen centers sa bug-os nga probinsya (We have established 42 school-based multi-purpose teen centers in the whole province),” he said.

He said that eight more teen centers will be inaugurated before the end of the year.

This initiative under the Provincial Population Office has contributed to the significant reduction on the number of teenagers engaging in risky behaviors such as drinking, illegal drug use, and teenage pregnancy.

The governor also said that they are strengthening the “Iskolar sang Iloilo Program” which will soon include persons with disabilities (PWDs) and members of the indigenous communities.

Last school year, the scholarship program has produced 23 graduates. Of these graduates, one graduated as summa cum laude, one magna cum laude, and 10 cum laude.

The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office has also implemented a skills training program for young people who are members of the Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines.