Iloilo City News October 2011

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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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-aerial.jpg
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

Contents

News feature: Partnership sustains Guimaras mangrove project

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 31 (PIA) –- A mangrove planting project at Barangay Hoskyn, Jordan, Guimaras has survived typhoons and strong waves for five years now, thanks to the dedication of its partners whose number has also grown through all these years.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Jesse L. Vego of Guimaras called the mangrove project an example of public-private partnership, which is a major program of the Aquino administration designed to get development projects done.

The project of SMART Communications, Inc. under its KABALIKAT corporate social responsibility program was initially a foursome affair involving the telecommunications company, DENR-Guimaras, Barangay Hoskyn, and Hoskyn Fisherfolks Association, Inc. (HOFAI) when it took off in 2007 after the island-province was hit by an oil spill a year before that.

This year, the project has found three more partners – Philippine Coast Guard, Hoskyn Elementary School of the Department of Education, and Philippine Information Agency 6, according to NN Navarro, supervisor of the Public Affairs Group of SMART Communications for Visayas and Mindanao.

In his message at the program for the mangrove enrichment planting activity held Oct. 28 at the project site at Sitio Cabadiangan of said barangay, Vego said the entry of new partners in the project is timely as the government now encourages participation from the broader sector of society particularly in reforestation activities.

He noted that the project has been adversely affected by unfavourable weather conditions but nevertheless commended the painstaking efforts made by private telecommunications company to sustain the project.

With more partners involved in the project, Vego said the project would live up to the role of mangroves as breeding ground of fishes, a source of beautiful scenery and as an agent of ecosystem preservation.

The project was launched by SMART as a response to the call for help for the rehabilitation of coastal areas affected by the 2006 oil spill, the worst to hit the country.

The initial project site was at Sitio Libongcogon of Brgy. Hoskyn wherein 10,000 propagules of mangrove tree species had been planted.

Much as the project has wanted to address the effects of the oil spill problem, the initial effort also fell victim to the adverse effects of typhoons especially typhoon “Juaning” which hit the country about middle of this year.

Some of the propagules planted over the years were destroyed.

This did not dampen the commitment of SMART and its partners to push the project and planted some 1,000 new “bakhawan” propagules at the new site at the recent enrichment planting activity.

The planting activity was led by PENRO Vego, Punong Barangay Jonathan Abalajon, school principal Clyla Baril, and SMART’s NN Navarro.

Around 50 representatives from project partners took part in the activity.

Navarro said the Guimaras project is one of only four mangrove projects initiated by SMART in the country with the three others located in Bohol, Bulacan, and Cagayan de Oro City.

The Guimaras mangrove project is covered by a Memorandum of Understanding among its initial partners.

The activity also took on added meaning this year as the telecommunications company joins the rest of the nation in commemorating Teachers Month this October. Thus, SMART also dubbed the mangrove planting activity “Treebute,” which is a nationwide tree-planting activity initiated by the company in honor of teachers. It is also part of their KABALIKAT program.

Stat Month celeb ends, contests winners awarded

by Lilibeth A. French (JCM/LAF/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 30 (PIA) - -Major winners of the various statistical contests conducted by the member-agencies of the Regional Statistical Coordination Committee in Western Visayas were all present to receive their awards during the closing and awarding ceremonies of the 22nd National Statistics Month celebration held here on October 27, 2011.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Iloilo Branch won anew the top prize in the Statistical Exhibit which was presented at the Robinson’s Place Iloilo from October 10 until 21. BSP also earned the grand slam after winning the contest for three straight years. Other winners are the National Irrigation Administration 6, second place, and National Statistics Office 6, third.

In the Statistical Bulletin Board contest, the Department of Agriculture 6 was adjudged first place; Bureau of Internal Revenue Region 11, second place; Department of Agrarian Reform 6, third. The contest was participated in by some 12 government agencies this year.

Winners in the Statistical Analysis Contest are Colegio de San Agustin, Bacolod City – first place; Technological University of the Philippines in Negros Occidental, second place; and University of San Agustin, Iloilo City, third place.

Iloilo Chinese Commercial High School team emerged champion in the Statistical Quiz. Second place went to Negros Occidental High School and third place went to the University of the Philippines-Visayas, Iloilo City.

The winners in the statistical exhibit, statistical bulletin board, and statistical analysis contests received P4,000, P3,000, and P2,000 cash prizes, respectively while winners for the statistical quiz took home P5,000, P4,000, and P3,000.

West Visayas State University Learning Assessment Director and Professor of Statistics Dr. Cherry Nepomuceno and UPV Miag-ao Professor of Statistics Vicente Balinas were named Achievers in the field of Statistics in the Pure Statistics and Applied Statistics categories. The search is another unique activity launched by RSCC 6 in line with the observance of the first World Statistics Day celebration last year.

National Statistical Coordination Board 6 Officer-in-Charge Nelida Losare said that it is because of these diverse and unique activities undertaken by the RSCC through the support of its member line agencies and local government units that Western Visayas was declared as the NSM Best Region for two years in a row and is aiming for the grand slam this year.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Mateo Montero led the awarding ceremony, together with DSWD 6 Assistant Director Joel Galicia and NSCB 6 Consultant Presentacion Penpillo.

Montejo also keynoted the event as this year’s celebration theme "Quality Social Protection Statistics for Focused Targeting: Improving Outcomes, Changing Lives” highlights social protection statistics.

The awarding and closing ceremony attended by officials and NSM Coordinators of almost 50 line agencies and winners of the contests was hosted by the BSP in coordination with the RSCC 6, NSCB 6 and the Philippine Statistical Association.

PNP6 needs holding centers, social workers for CICL

by Elsa S. Subong (JCM/ESS/PIA/Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 29 (PIA) -- The police here said the lack of holding center and social workers are problems in dealing with children in conflict with law (CICL).

Supt. Eugenio Espejo said the problem is made more difficult when the apprehension of youth offenders happen at night, and in far-flung municipalities.

Espejo was representing the Philippine National Police - 6 during the inter-agency dialogue on “Strengthening the Pillars of the Criminal Justice System” for the celebration of the National Correctional Consciousness Week (NACOCOW).

He said that compounding the problem on the CICLs is the crowded municipal detention cells, besides the fact that RA 9344 or the Juvenile Justice Law prohibits child offenders to be detained together with adult criminals.

The police officer said the situation calls for the establishment of holding centers for the CICLs where they can be held for temporary custody.

The Department of Social Work and Development, represented by Rose Sanagustin said that local government units, under the law should provide for salaries of social workers and activate its Municpal and Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children (M/BCBP) to address lack of holding centers.

Sanagustin said the problem is that not all LGUs have organized their M/BCPCs, which should be a concern of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

The dialogue, which was also participated in by representatives from agencies composing the other pillars of justice, namely the courts, prosecution, corrections and the community, surfaced the recurring and seemingly neglected problem on the lack of prosecutors in the province.

Assistant Regional State Prosecutor Kenneth John Amamanglon said there are only 10 prosecutors in the province now, as against the ideal which is 24.

He said they are waiting for actions on their request for additional prosecutors which may take some time. Nevertheless, they try to work hard and cope with the bulk of cases at hand.

Other concerns expressed included the urgent necessary treatment for mentally-ill inmates in the jails in Iloilo and the putting in place of services and programs for parolees and those on probation.

CITY HALL TO LOSE P160 M (‘If it defers 2012 land tax rates’)

By: Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE ILOILO City Government will still end up losing more than P160 million by settling for the full implementation of the 2006 real property tax schedules instead of imposing half of the proposed RPT values for 2012.

Councilor Perla Zulueta, committee of ways and means chairperson, said the City Hall could earn P634.18 million if they decide to collect 50% of the revised RPT schedules for 2012.

But instead of the 2012 values, the City Government will settle for the full implementation of the 2006 schedule which will earn its coffers P93.165 million.

Zulueta led a public hearing on the implementation of the 2006 values Thursday which was attended by business groups in Iloilo City.

Zulueta said the full implementation of the 2006 values will even save real property taxpayers a total of P162.97 million, a substantial loss to City Hall coffers which is already reeling from internal revenue allotment (IRA) share cuts and reduced amusement taxes.

RPT collections go to two main components – the special education fund (SEF) and the general fund. The SEF is used by the local school board for education purposes while the general fund is source of the local government unit’s annual budget.

For the general fund, Zulueta said the City Hall will only earn P37.5 million from the full 2006 RPT values, compared to P256.8 million it should earn if 50% of the 2012 revision is imposed.

The 2006 RPT values were imposed in staggered manner – first at 50% and later to 60% – following requests from the business sector.

Per mandate by the Local Government Code, the City Hall was supposed to adjust the RPT values in 2009 but it was deferred to help businesses and land owners recover from the effects of typhoon Frank in June 2008.

Zulueta said their hands are tied as even the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) reminded them of the adjustments in RPT values.

“The BLGF is wondering why we have been so lenient as regards the RPT values. They even reminded us of the memorandum of the Department of Interior and Local Government and Department of Finance regarding the adjustments,” she added.

Staggered imposition

In a position paper, Iloilo business groups said it agrees that there is a need to generate more revenues with the IRA share cut and that the full implementation of the 2006 market values is already a form of compromise on the part of the City Hall.

Instead of the full implementation, the groups reiterated their stand to stagger the imposition of the remaining 40% of the 2006 values between 2012 and 2014. The proposed schedule would be 75% in 2012, 90% in 2013 and 100% in 2014.

The business community cited uncertainty in the world economy; price escalation of fuel, electricity and other business inputs; and international unrest which displaced overseas workers as the main factors why the 2006 RPT values should be implemented on a staggered basis.

The position paper was signed by the presidents of nine business organizations who attended the first of three scheduled public hearings – Juan Jose Jamora III of the Iloilo Business Club, Joe Marie Agriam of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Iloilo III, Felipe Uygongco of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Iloilo Inc., Dr. Sandra Gomez of the Iloilo Hotels, Restaurants and Resorts Association, Valerie Maravilla of the Ilonggo Producers Association, Fanny Uy of the Iloilo Multi-Sectoral Business Organization Inc., Ramon Cua Locsin of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Panay Inc., Danny Woo of the Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. Panay Chapter and Francis Chung of the Philippine Retailers Association Iloilo chapter.

PPA seeks to join ranks of world’s best managed ports

by Elsa s. Subong(JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 27 (PIA) –- The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) in Iloilo aims to be among the world’s best managed ports, with the launch of its Port Safety, Health Environmental Management System (PSHEMS).

Port Manager Winfred Elizalde said during the launching ceremony, October 26, that the system they are preparing to put into full effect embraces the entire commitment of PPA operations which include safety, health and environment.

Likewise, the environment they are working for is one that is friendly to stakeholders, employers and dock workers.

“We want this environment to favor them, encourage their growth, their careers and their livelihood, without being exposed to risks and dangers,” Elizalde said.

He also assured investors that there will be no accidents involving their cargoes, vessels, vehicles once the PSHEMS will be in place.

The program is supported by the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the Partnership in Environmental Management for South East Asia (PEMSEA).

Program Manager of the PEMSEA Renato Cardinal said they have been helping the PPA with the system which is now on its implementation and monitoring stage.

The other phases include initial status review, strategic planning and systems development which are already completed. The last phases will include PSHEMS audit and continual improvement.

Cardinal said once the phases have been completed and have met the standards set, the PPA will be given a citation by the PEMSEA, something that is almost similar to that given by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Iloilo is a pilot site along with the Cagayan de Oro Port which both aim to earn the said recognition by May 2012.

HALIGI’s fund not used in 2010 elections

(PNA) RMA/AJP/MGCaoyonan/vlo

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 26 — The P2-million grant of United Parcel Service (UPS) to Honest Accountable Living for Ilonggos and a Graft-free Iloilo (H.A.L.I.G.I) Foundation for the training of city’s public school teachers on English language proficiency in 2007 was fully consumed on that specific program and was not used for 2010 elections, said HALIGI executive director Norman Tabud.

HALIGI is a non-government organization (NGO) that was organized by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog when he was still the vice mayor. The foundation’s budget depends on support from the community and private well-meaning individuals, and definitely not from the government.

A total of 400 public school teachers benefited on the said training conducted by several private instructors coming from Panpacific Carrier Management Institution- a registered training provider in this city which is being managed by retired City School Division Superintendent Eda Endonila.

Tabud, also an executive assistant to the Office of the City Mayor, said the participant has an allocated budget of P 5, 000 each payable to their instructors, facility, and hand-outs, among others. He added they gave the budget directly to the Department of Education- Iloilo (DepEd- Iloilo) upon finishing the training of every batch. The DepEd- Iloilo is the one paying the hired institution.

“We are just providing the budget to DepEd-Iloilo, which is our partner in materializing this program”, he said.

There are 13 batches. Each batch has almost 30 participants that would complete 100 hours of training depending upon the schedule convenient for the participants either during weekdays or weekends.

The training focuses more on speech and reading power development, vocabulary enrichment, writing, language, creative thinking styles, culmination of talents and skills, and personality development.

Tabud also said that the mayor has come-up with the initiative and solicited financial support from UPS after he noticed that some public school teachers were not fluent in speaking and writing in English.

“As an outcome, it helps boast the self-confidence of our teachers”, he said.

Tabud cleared that no single -centavo from UPS fund was allocated to other projects. He said if ever there are some expenses spent by the foundation on other activities the resources for these came from other private sponsors.

He said the HALIGI is maintaining its scholarship program given to high school students. Tabud also said that they have now 30 scholars enrolled from eight national schools in this city.

Tabud said there was no major program for now after the mayor temporary stopped sending solicitation letters to other private sectors so to preempt conflict of interest with his present position.

City to vie in world awards in South Korea

by Lydia C. Pendon

ILOILO City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will lead a delegation to Seoul, South Korea to vie in the prestigious International Awards for Liveable Communities (Livcom Awards) set on October 27 to 31, 2011.

Iloilo City will participate in three categories - Whole City Category, Projects Category, and Bursary Awards Category - that will highlight the city’s best practices on an international stage and influence accepted international best practices.

Mabilog said the city will also vie in the Whole City Category participated by 16 cities in Category E with population over 400,000.

Two city projects - the Dinagyang Festival and the Iloilo River Development Initiatives through Integrated Sustainable Management - will vie in the Projects Category that will be participated by 58 projects all over the world.

The city will also vie with six projects in the Bursary Awards Category participated by 15 cities worldwide.

The projects include Livelihood Enhancement Project; Disaster Risk Reduction Initiatives; Pilot Integrated Coastal Environment Sanitation Project; Tuberculosis Social Mobilization; Composting: Alternative Livelihood for Wastepickers; and Bamboo Reforestation in the Maasin watershed.

Department heads Benito Jimena of the City Tourism Office, Noel Hechanova of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, Jose Roni Penalosa and Claire Villanueva of the City Planning and Development Office, will be with Mabilog in the said event.

The Iloilo delegation will observe the other city presentations that contain examples of international best practices applied to challenges similar to those facing Iloilo City.

The delegation will also meet participants from other countries.

Civic pride will be enhanced by being with “the leading communities in the world”, Mabilog said.

News Feature: Transform your creations into tangible products, inventors told

by Lilibeth French (JCM/LAF/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 24 (PIA) -- Inventors, researchers and innovators were recently told to transform their creations into tangible products designed to address the needs of the market.

The call was issued by Department of Science and Technology 6 Director Engr. Rowen Gelonga during the closing and awarding ceremonies of the 2011 Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits held October 21, 2011 here.

“The bigger challenge lies ahead...that is, the challenge of transforming these creations of our minds into actual products in the market. The transformation of our ideas into business enterprises that will build our industries – from mind to market, from ideas to industries”, said Gelonga.

Gelonga cited a study showing that for every 10 research papers published by Filipino researchers, three are potentially patentable and if properly developed and nurtured can lead towards new technologies that can contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

The study was conducted by the Intellectual Property Institute, a US-based organization, in partnership with US Patent and Trademark Office and IPO Philippines. The team, composed of an international pool of patent experts from the Philippines, Canada and US reviewed about 1,000 papers published and presented by people from 9 Philippine-based research institutions.

Gelonga said according to Bruce Lehman, President and Chairman of the International Intellectual Property Institute, “the Philippines is home to a creative and innovative people…but there is a failure to capture and exploit their inventions.”

Lehman said that for the period 2000-2010, annual research publications in the Philippines increased by 250 percent but patent applications in the Philippines, both from the government and private sector did not change much.

Gelonga also said that in 2000 to 2007, there were 1,178 patent applications by local researchers and inventors from the Philippines as compared to 516 of Vietnam, which was the lowest among the list of 13 countries he identified.

The list include Japan with 2,1907,338 patent applications, United States of America with 1,576,028, Korea 795,043, China with 586,608, Germany with 389,821, India with 19,203, Thailand with 6,014, Singapore with 4, 821, Malaysia with 2,750 and Indonesia with 1,535.

In 2009, however, the data changed because Vietnam has already more patent applications by its residents compared to the Philippines, said Gelonga.

“As of 2009, our ASEAN neighbors and contemporaries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, all had all higher levels of patent applications than us,” said Gelonga.

In an earlier interview, Gelonga said he is hoping that through the conduct of activities such as the RICE, inventors and researchers in the region will become more conscious to have their developed products registered with the patent office for protection.

“And once patented, the DOST and other government agencies can now start looking ways of commercializing their products,” said Gelonga.

In fact, due to failure to register their inventions, the region has no entries to the Invention and Industrial Design categories for the national invention contest (NIC) slated on July 2012 although there are entries in the RICE that could have qualified particularly in the Industrial Design category.

Recognizing the value of getting a patent for their invention, the 2011 RICE winner and region’s qualifier in the Student Creative Research for college (Sibol Award) category of NIC, Jeremy Pascual, Jr. and his team mates plan to register their entry “Microcontroller Based Electronic Load Controller with SMS Monitoring System for Stand Alone Generating Systems” with the patent office.

Pascual and his other team are 5th year Electronics and Communications Engineering students of the Central Philippine University, Iloilo City.

Gelonga said the first RICE in the region has gathered 74 inventions, ranging from equipment to new products and some of them are simple but have potentials in the market.

“The DOST, together with its partners commit to give assistance to researchers and inventors in order for their technologies to be commercialized,” said Gelonga.

Research outputs and technologies, however, need to be subjected to critical evaluation “in order for us to ensure that our limited resources will be put into wise use as we all join hands in moving this country forward,” Gelonga said.

Inventor tells colleagues to link with businessmen to bring products to markets

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 23 (PIA) -- Tapping businessmen will help bring products to the market because they think differently from inventors, says an Ilonggo inventor.

Philip Cruz, President of Herbanext Incorporated,

said creating a product is not the end but inventors/producers should endeavor to develop their craft by learning from business people. He was among the speakers during the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits at the Amigo Mall, Iloilo City, October 19-21.

“Business people think differently from us, as they understand consumer behaviors, including practical considerations like supermarket shelf space and product competitions,” Cruz told the inventors participating in the contest and exhibits.

Cruz, married to a businesswoman, said he learned so much from his wife and from there he changed his way of thinking about getting one’s product into the market.

“Before, we used to say, ‘publish or perish,’ now it is ‘patent or perish’ to avoid our products being copied,” Cruz said as he emphasized the need for patenting.

He said many inventors continue to create products but fail to have them patented which could be risky because their products could be copied by unscrupulous people and make profits from it.

Cruz said it is also worthwhile to join events like the invention contests and exhibits. His career as an inventor started after he won in the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development Award, of the Department of Science and Technology.

His winning entry was the kinetic fish feeder which has helped aqua farmers simplify their feeding management.

Cruz also invented an all-weather sea cage on farming fish which used less expensive raw material but of same quality. It was sold at a much lower price than the imported one.

His innovative products which were high in market potentials gave him the recognition as among the 50 Men and Women in Science in 2008.

NEDA to brief media on reg’l development plan

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 22 (PIA) -- The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) 6 will conduct a roundtable discussion on Oct. 25 with the local media to orient and discuss with them the 2011-2016 Regional Development Plan and its accompanying Regional Development Investment Program.

The Regional Economic Situationer for the first and second quarters of this year will also be included in the briefing and discussion.

The regional development plan is the blueprint for development in the region and is anchored on the national development agenda of President Aquino.

NEDA 6 Regional Director Ro-Ann A. Bacal said the discussion seeks to enhance the awareness and understanding among media personnel and government information officers about the development plan and the socio-economic situation of Region VI.

Bacal said the activity, to be held at NEDA 6 Jalaur Conference Hall here, is in connection with the celebration of the 22nd National Statistics Month in the region on the theme “Quality Social Protection Statistics for Focused Targeting: Improving Outcomes, Changing Lives."

The yearly celebration is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 647 which declared the month of October of every year as the National Statistics Month.

Filipino student wins world environment award

By Tarra Quismundo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

LEVERKUSEN, Germany — For promoting environmental education among children with special needs, a Filipino student won the Bayer Young Environmental Leader Award Thursday night here (early Friday in Manila) along with three other young environmentalists from around the world.

Mary Jade Gabanes, 19, a Special Education major at the West Visayas State University won the top prize with delegates from Kenya, Indonesia and Ecuador.

Winners will receive project support from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and global company Bayer, which have been jointly implementing the youth program since 1998.

Gabanes hopes to inspire others to take better care of the environment by showing that special needs children could do the same despite their limitations.

“If you see special needs children doing something for the environment, wouldn’t we take a second [look] at ourselves and ask what we can do?” said Gabanes in an interview moments after her win here.

A panel of judges composed of representatives from UNEP and Bayer picked the winning projects out of 18 top country winners from across Asia, South America and Africa.

Gabanes’ project engages special children aged 12 to 22 in environment-themed sessions, from arts and crafts, using recycled materials to performing environmental songs, at a locally supported special education center in her native Iloilo City.

The articulate and animated Gabanes impressed judges at final presentations on Wednesday, responding to questions about her project without pause.

When one judge asked how she coped with the known challenges of teaching special children, Gabanes said: “I’ve never had a problem. I’ve always had a soft spot for special needs children.”

Bayer flew in winning environmental envoys from around the world for an exposure trip around Germany, engaging them in discussions on trends in environment protection, experiments in Bayer laboratories and site visits around Cologne and Leverkusen.

Aside from Gabanes, three other Philippine envoys were invited to the field trip: Reymart Canuel of the University of Baguio who designed a website called “GreEnitiative” which aims to raise awareness on forest conservation;

Cris Viray of the St. Paul University of Quezon City who organizes youth environmental camps and training programs in his native Rizal; and Alfie Desamparado of the West Visayas State University who wrote and performed 10 original environmental songs in bus and boat terminals in Guimaras and Iloilo.

Delegates from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam participated in the youth conference.

Some 550 students from around the world have been invited to visit Germany since the program started 13 years ago.

DOST’s RICE paves way for inventors to showcase technologies

by Lilibeth A. French(JCM/LAF/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 20 (PIA) -- The Department of Science and Technology has created an opportunity for inventors in the region to showcase their new inventions, researches and technologies through the first Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits (RICE) which opened October 19 in this city.

“The event is also our way of recognizing our inventors for the technologies that they have developed.” said DOST 6 Director Rowen Gelonga. “We are hoping that through this activity the DOST and other government agencies could look for ways to assist them in the commercialization of their inventions and products.”

Gelonga said this year’s RICE in Western Visayas has attracted 74 entries in the region, just 10 entries short of the 84 entries showcased in last year’s Visayas Islands Invention Contest and Exhibit held also in this city participated in by investors and researchers within the Visayas area.

Gelonga said it is also from the 74 participants that the region’s entries to the National Invention Contest will be selected. Regional finalists will receive P20,000 and qualifiers P10,000.

The National Invention Contest has six categories that include Invention Category (Tuklas Award); Utility Model Category; Industrial Design Category; Creative Research Category (Likha Award); Student Creative Research Category (Sibol Award) for High School and College.

According to Gelonga the region will not have entries for the Invention and Industrial Design categories in the coming national contest “although there are entries that could qualify particularly in the Industrial Design category but they don’t have patents or registration yet.”

To qualify in the said categories, entries should be covered by utility patents/registration granted by the Intellectual Property Office.

Out of the 74 entries, 33 of them are participating in the Likha Award, 21 in the Sibol Award for college, 18 for Sibol Award in high school, and 2 in the Utility Model category.

Winners will be known during the awarding and closing ceremonies on October 21 at 2 PM in the same venue of the exhibit at Amigo Plaza Mall.

Aside from Gelonga, the opening ceremonies of the 2011 RICE was attended by DOST Undersecretary Dr. Carol Yorobe, DOST- TAPI Director Engr. Edgar Garcia, and former Vice Mayor Victor Facultad. Inventor and Entrepreneur Mr. Philip Cruz gave the keynote message.

Ilongga educator conferred the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit award

By TARA YAP

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — The chairperson of the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU) has been awarded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit.

Dr. Mary Lou Lacson-Arcelo was given the Nordic award for “outstanding service in the interests of Norway” by Norwegian Ambassador Knut Solem.

Solem recognized the JBLFMU through Lacson-Arcelo’s “sterling leadership” as one of the world’s leading maritime educational institutions that have produced competent seafarers serving on board Norwegian ships sailing worldwide.

Solem also emphasized that because of the efforts of Lacson-Arcelo, the relationship between the Philippines and Norway have been strengthened with the common tradition of seafaring.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian ambassador challenged the JBLFMU to improve even further its academic standards to enable its graduates to be highly qualified in the international shipping industry.

Earlier this year, the Norwegian Maritime Foundation of the Philippines Inc. disclosed that the world shipping industry is facing a looming global shortage with approximately 50,000 competent seafarers needed. The shortage is expected to double by 2015.

Lacson-Arcelo assured the Norwegian ambassador that the JBLFMU will continue to be among the top maritime educational institutions with the capacity to produce competent cadets and officers with its academic policies.

The institution currently enforces a strictly high-standard screening policy which requires a 70% passing rate for students enrolling in its maritime courses.

Dr. Ronald Raymond Lacson Sebastian, JBLFMU chief executive officer, also disclosed that the university maintains a linkage with the Norwegian Training Center to integrate the latest maritime technology in training cadets to be at par with international standards.

Socio-economic gains in garbage recovery

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 18 (PIA) -- Iloilo City's almost half a million population generates about 170 tons of garbage daily, which are dumped at Calahunan. More than half of the trash can be recycled.

With such amount of garbage, waste pickers like Rowena cannot cope, as they also have to contend with the scorching heat of the sun on one hand, and the drenching rain on the other hand.

Besides, without the appropriate technology, she added, they could not produce much out of the recovered garbage, and ultimately these will just go back to the dumpsite.

Rowena is one among the 300 scavengers at the nine-hectare Calahunan dumpsite in Iloilo City.

In 2005, the German International Cooperation (GIZ) selected Iloilo City as a recipient of technical assistance and funding program for the improvement of the disposal facilities as well as enhancement of solid waste management programs of local government units in the Visayas.

The project was implemented within the framework of Solid Waste Management for Local Government Units (SWM4LGUs), part of which was the gradual development of the dumpsite into sanitary landfill in the years to come.

The project will lead to the displacement of waste pickers, based on the project framework.

The GTZ-SWM4LGUs Project aims to build the the capability of the LGUs in establishing integrated solid waste management systems and to operate them in economically and in an environmentally sustainable manner.

On a larger scale, it provides technical support to the National Solid Waste Management Commission in the Development of the Natiional Solid Waste management Strategy.

In 2006, Iloilo City with GIZ- SWM4LGUs project conceptualized various strategies under the Waste pickers’ Socio-Economic Development project for the Calahunan scavengers.

Initially the SWM4LGUs assisted the waste pickers to recover garbage such as paper and cartons, tetra packs and wrappers, and turned them into recycled bags and other useful products like cosmetic bags, conference bags, wallets and backpacks.

With a mechanized recovery system, the waste pickers can recover about 30 tons of garbage a day, and with Alternative Fuels and Raw (AFR) materials as substitute, they are able to produce cement in addition to other recycled objects.

Engr. Marivic Ricana of the GIZ/AHT Group, said they were fortunate because in 2008, Holcim Philippines agreed to utilize AFR from Iloilo for cement production in their plant in Mindanao.

“With the AFR, we don’t have to work under the heat of the sun or the heavy rains at the open dump. We stay under a roof, work as a team, and earn more,” Rowena said in the dialect.

Ricana said more than 90 waste pickers have benefited from the project, now working under shade, protecting themselves from the adverse effects of scavenging in the open dumpsite because they already have a mechanized recovery system.

In 2009 they organized themselves into a group called the USWAG Calahunan Livelihood Association, Inc. or UCLA.

The GIZ headquarters in Eschborn, Germany, through a sector project called “Recycling Partnerships, financed a 12-day training, where 20 local traines were tapped to provide knowledge and lecture on interesting topics, including basics of solid waste management, teamwork, bookkeeping and marketing, composting, AFR recovery, household charcoal briquette.

They also discussed the development plans of the city, incorporating topics such as responsible parenthood, conflict management, sanitation and occupational health.

Today, UCLA has new training center and more than 150 former waste pickers are now registered UCLA members, out of the 300.

Ricana said the SWM4LGUs has changed lives and attitudes of waste pickers because they have options now.

Andrew, an UCLA member said, ”Before, I picked waste from the open dumpsite, or else hang around, loiter, play basketball. Now, with the AFR project, with Holcim and the inspiration of the SWM4LGUs, I have learned to work well, earn P800 a week and help my mother with the household needs,”

Ricana said, step by step, the waste pickers are realizing that they really have options to enhance their lives, that they can have more benefits.

Eco Center upgrades database to improve monitoring waste management compliance

by Elsa S. Subong (ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 17 (PIA) -- The Regional Ecology Center-6 (REC), an inter-agency group, is improving its database to help the Office of the Ombudsman in investigation of cases of non-compliance of the provisions of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law.

The REC, which functions under the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) of the DENR, has been in the frontline of seeing to it that communities and local government units implement RA 9003.

Environmental Management Bureau-6 Director Oscar Cabanayan said the REC should be helping in the implementation by maintaining and updating data on solid waste management programs and initiatives of various agencies and LGUs so that the Ombudsman will have reference in their investigations.

Cabanayan said with the data, the DENR will also have a profile of SWM implementation in the region, including good practices that can be documented and replicated.

He said that the more the REC should have the impetus in pursuing solid waste management because in the last few weeks of heavy rains in the country, the problem of garbage has once again surfaced as having contributed much to flooding and landslides.

Cabanayan also said that the role of local government units in solid waste management is crucial in the face of inevitable disasters.

He added that in this case massive monitoring should be undertaken in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) as monitoring increases compliance.

So far the REC has data on status of dump sites, sanitary landfills in the region, activities undertaken by LGUs, academe and other institutions on SWM, best practices and the IEC materials developed, produced and disseminated.

Private sector to help realize WV dev’t plan

by Jaime S. Cabag, Jr.(JSC/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 16 (PIA) -- The private sector will help in the 2011-2016 Western Visayas Regional Development Plan which to meet the necessary P230 billion worth of investments to realize its proposed programs, projects and activities.

Based on a report made by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) 6, the private sector is expected to contribute about P18 billion to fund some of the projects in the six-year development plan.

A portion of private sector involvement is expected in the industry and services sector as well as in tourism, bio-fuels and renewable energy development.

Collaboration between the sector and government is also expected in Research and Development (R & D) as well as in peace and security maintenance.

Investment requirements in these development areas with private sector involvement amount to some P4 billion, broken down as follows: industry and services - P1.8 billion; tourism development - P371 million; bio-fuels and renewable energy development – P10 million; research and development – P189 million; and, peace and security maintenance – P1.6 billion.

Private funds will also be tapped for other projects proposed in the regional development plan.

The investment requirements are laid down in the Regional Development Investment Program (RDIP) of the regional plan, which will serve as the blueprint for development in the region in the next six years.

3 WV LGUs recipients of Gawad Pamana ng Lahi awards

  • Saturday, October 15, 2011
(DILG/JSC/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 15 (PIA) -- Three local government units in Western Visayas were among the 46 provinces, cities and municipalities from all over the country that have been awarded with Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) incentives for good governance under the Gawad Pamana ng Lahi program.

These are the province of Negros Occidental, Iloilo City, and municipality of New Lucena, Iloilo.

Negros Occ. received a check for a P3 million incentive plus trophy, Iloilo City P2 million and trophy, while New Lucena town received P1 million and also a trophy.

The awarding took place last Oct. 11 during the culminating activity of the “Biyaheng Pinoy”, a year-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Local Government Code of the Philippines held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

The awards were handed to the 46 LGU-recipients by Interior and Local Government Sec. Jesse M. Robredo and Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines president and Oriental Mindoro Gov. Alfonso Umali, Jr.

The PCF incentives will be used by the recipients as funding support for the implementation of programs and projects designed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Robredo said the Gawad Pamana ng Lahi award is conferred on LGUs for their exemplary performance in major development initiatives in administrative governance, social governance, economic governance, and environmental governance.

He added that the recipients were chosen based on their scores in the development indices from the Local Governance Performance Management System, the Seal of Good Housekeeping, organization of national government bestowed awards, and acknowledged innovations.

The funds for the incentives came from DILG’s PCF appropriated by Congress to the tune of P500 million and aimed to serve as incentives for LGUs to adopt transparent, accountable and participatory governance.

Philippines: Iloilo City Plans to Buy Dredger

(usnewslasvegas)

Iloilo city is eyeing its own dredging machine to be used at the 15-kilometer stretch Iloilo River, including that of the Batiano river and creeks, with the help of Senator Franklin M. Drilon.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said he has requested the senator for a dredger justifying that it is more economical to buy and own a dredging machine and not rely on the dredger of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The dredger machine is estimated to cost some P90 million which the city could hardly afford to buy, Mabilog said.

DPWH is hopeful for the immediate transfer of Water Master dredging machine from Mamburao, Mindoro Occidental. The dredger is slated to arrive here before the end of October to undertake the dredging of the Iloilo River from stations 2-6.

Meanwhile, dredging of Station 1 by the Visayas Dredger near the mouth of the river at Parola station is already ongoing as facilitated by the Philippine Ports Authority.

Mayor foresees construction boom in Iloilo city

by TWVillavert (JCM/TWV/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, October 13 (PIA)-- Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog expressed confidence that a construction boom will soon change the skyline of Iloilo City.

Mayor Mabilog said during the Western Visayas Housing Fair 2011 that “Iloilo is fast progressing and soon some construction boom here will change the city’s skyline forever because there are three projects right now that are set for condominium constructions”.

Mabilog cited the Injap Land Corporation on their condominium projects in the city.

He admitted that he made a special mention of the Injap Land Corporation “because they have donated our Iloilo City Community College”.

He said that there several others who have approached him to also venture into construction of high-rise buildings, to put up condominiums, and “this will change the skyline of Iloilo City forever, because this is going to be the start of housing boom for Iloilo City”.

The City Mayor thanked Undersecretary Cecilia S. Alba of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, who was the activity’s guest, the private developers and the government’s shelter agencies, for making Iloilo City as the venue of the Western Visayas Housing Fair 2011 with the theme “Gaganda ang Buhay sa Sariling Bahay”.

Mabilog also noted the efforts extended by Senator Franklin Drilon for the realization of P344 million “that would make the biggest housing project in Iloilo City”.

Mabilog said that the Housing Fair “is very timely because right now, we need to aggressively address the problem on housing”.

The Housing Fair 2011 which is currently being held at the Amigo Plaza Mall, Iloilo City highlights the exhibition of newly-built housing units of the private developers, as well as the disposition of acquired assets of key shelter agencies and other government financial institutions.

NSO taps 3,514 WV households for survey on kids

by Lilibeth A. French(JCM/LAF/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 12 (PIA) -- The regional office of the National Statistics Office for Region 6 is again asking for the cooperation of some 3,514 households in Western Visayas for the on-going Survey on Children (SOC) until October 31.

“We are appealing for the cooperation of our sample households to spare their time for a personal interview when our field interviewer knocks at their door especially those households with children aged 5 to 17 years old,” said NSO 6 Statistician Arlene Bagoning.

The SOC intends to gather data on working children in the country including the economic status of the households to which they belong. Among the specific data to be obtained by the survey are the activities of children aged 5-17 years old, whether working, studying, housekeeping, or looking for work; and their individual characteristics such as age, sex, and highest grade/education completed.

Also, information on the working children’s conditions such as occupation, industry, status of employment and working hours are included in the SOC data being gathered.

The SOC is being undertaken nationwide by the NSO in cooperation with the International Labour Organization-International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO-IPEC). This is the third in the series of surveys to be undertaken by the ILO-IPEC.

Survey results in 2001 indicated that of the total 4,017,886 working children aged 5-17 years old in the country around 327,466 of them are found in Western Visayas.

“Data gathered are useful tools for research on child labor and for monitoring the policies, regulations and programs for the elimination of the same,” said Bagoning.

The SOC is a rider survey of the October 2011 round of the Labor Force Survey.

Foreign envoy visits Iloilo, urges public-private efforts vs. poverty

By TARA YAP

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — The ambassador of South Africa to the Philippines is urging for stronger public-private partnership in alleviating poverty.

“As long as there is unemployment and people cannot eat, we need to work together to ease this social problem,” said South African Ambassador Agnes Nyamande-Pitso during her first official visit to Iloilo.

Nyamande-Pitso was in Iloilo for two days, Monday and Tuesday, to observe the implementation of the 1Meal Program here which was patterned after Cape Town, South Africa’s StreetSmart program.

Said programs seek to raise funds to give underprivileged or homeless children a chance to have a better life by providing not only food, but also educational opportunities.

1 Meal, which is founded by prominent Ilongga, Teresa Chan, collects funds from diners in participating restaurants for feeding programs and improving facilities in less privileged public schools.

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 6, there are 2.3 million people in Western Visayas living below the poverty line with Iloilo City registering the most number of poverty-stricken individuals.

DPWH bids out P100 M worth of Iloilo City infrastructure projects‎

(Manila Bulletin News Article)

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines (PNA) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Region 6 is looking forward to announce the winning contractor within seven days for two major projects worth P100 million to be implemented in Iloilo City.

DPWH regional director Evelyn Barroso said the agency has to abide by the law with the bidding out conducted for two major projects worth P100 million Friday, Oct. 6, last week.

Roprim Construction submitted the lowest bid for the widening of the Trenas Boulevard road component also known as Esplanade along Iloilo River. The approved budget for the contract was P48.44 million and Roprim submitted a bid of P38.460 million.

A total of 18 contractors took interest in the project but during the bidding it was announced that one withdrew while another failed to purchase bid documents.

Meanwhile, the Kirskat Venture offered the lower bid for the completion of the Metro Iloilo Radial Road (R-4 by pass road) with an approved P58.2 million budget for the project contract. Kirskat Venture’s bid was P28.426 million, the lowest among 13 bidders.

Aforesaid companies may have given the lowest bids, but the DPWH would still have to evaluate the documents they submitted and come up with the lowest calculated bid from amongst the bidders.

The P100 million worth of infrastructure project that were just subjected for bidding were part of the P2.4 billion infrastructure projects pledged by Iloilo-native Senator Franklin Drilon to this city.

Said Esplanade project has a 180-day contract duration while the R-4 bypass road is to be completed within three to four months.

Drilon personally attended the opening of bid documents for the two projects to ensure transparency in the conduct of bidding.

Gov't increases housing funds for Iloilo City’s informal settlers‎

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 9 (PIA) -- Government officials and agencies have pledged to increase the housing fund for the informal settlers in Iloilo City who will be displaced by the ongoing development and rehabilitation of the Iloilo and Batiano Rivers and four creeks.

Mayor Jed Mabilog said, the fund now totals to P344 million and will benefit about 3,000 families for Iloilo and Batiano riverbank dwellers and those who live along the other four creeks in the city.

He said the National Housing Authority had earlier assured P100 million for 1,000 units, while the city government has pledged P44 million for land development on top of the 5.6 hectares in Brgy. Lanit, Jaro, owned by the city and reserved as relocation site.

Recently, President Aquino, per request of Sen. Drilon, has also committed another P100 million for another 1,000 units, Mabilog said.

Meanwhile, Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman said the P100 million they have committed will be taken from the agency’s core shelter program for indigent families.

Some 1,000 riverbank families living along the 11-kilometer stretch of the Batiano River from Baluarte Molo to the town of Oton, Iloilo will be given decent housing units, according to the DSWD.

The city government is currently looking for lands to buy and develop as relocation sites for the estimated 8,000 households of informal settlers.

Meanwhile, last Oct. 8, stakeholders, composed of the city and provincial officials, Senator Franklin Drilon, and agencies like the DENR, DPWH, BFAR, and the Philippine Ports Authority, with Oton Mayor Vincent Flores signed a covenant for the Batiano River cleanup, rehabilitation and development.

These rehabilitation projects are now being developed to boost the economy of the city and nearby towns and promote tourism destinations, according to the Iloilo River Development Council stakeholders.

Vigilance urged by Iloilo authorities‎

By TARA YAP

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — The Philippine Army (PA)’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) based in Iloilo has yet to verify a report alleging the presence of a special unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Iloilo City.

The PA’s 3ID spokesman, Capt. Reylan Java said on the side of the Army, the latter cannot yet verify an intelligence report released by the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) claiming the existence of the terrorist group in the city.

Said police information made known to the public by city police director S/Supt. Marietto Valerio indicates that a special partisan unit (SPARU) of the NPA is operating in the city and will be targeting known businessmen and government officials for liquidation.

There are also still-to-be-verified reports that the ICPO was acting on information released by the Military Intelligence Group (MIG).

Java clarified that the MIG is under the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) and not with the PA’s 3ID.

“We have our own intelligence network, and they (the MIG) have their own and so with the ISAFP which has its own,” Java said.

The 3ID spokesman explained that military intelligence monitoring is focused mostly in the hinterlands and interior rural areas of Central Panay and southern Iloilo, where the NPA is known to continue operating.

Based on previous military intelligence gathering, Java said that only NPA “think tanks” have been monitored by the 3ID in Iloilo City. In the height of the Chinese New Year celebrations last February 2010, joint forces of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested Cirila Estrada, secretary of the NPA’s Kilusang Rehiyon-Panay Southern Front Committee.

Java pointed out that it is “unlikely for the NPA to sow terror in Iloilo City.”

The PA’s 3ID commanding general, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, has emphasized that while the Army has no knowledge of any SPARU presence in Iloilo City, it will try to verify the veracity of the police report saying there is.

Meanwhile, both the Army and the PNP are urging the citizenry in Iloilo to remain vigilant.

Iloilo river rehab project set

By TARA YAP(With a report from PIA)

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — The city government of Iloilo is embarking on an almost P1-million environmental project outside its territorial jurisdiction.

It is set to avail of a P995,000 funding from the Department of Energy (DoE) for the Bamboo Plantation for Riverbank Rehabilitation, Protection, and Stabilization of Tigum River.

However, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Office (PENRO) is wondering if the Tigum River is under the territorial jurisdiction of the provincial government as it runs along the towns of Maasin, Cabatuan, Sta. Barbara, and Pavia.

“It may be a good environmental service to preserve and protect the ecosystem, but there is no coordination,” said PENRO chief Soledad Sucaldito.

Sucaldito emphasized that the city government should have at least informed the Iloilo Watershed Management Council (IWMC) through Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. who serves as chairman.

IWMC — which is composed of the Iloilo provincial government through PENRO, the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR 6) — is the governing body in “overseeing watershed management, provision of legislative support, policy setting, direction for service delivery, monitoring and resource generation.”

DoE is also requiring an endorsement from the City Counsel authorizing Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to enter and sign a contract agreement on behalf of the city government.

Along with the Aganan River, the Tigum River serves as a tributary of the Jaro River that runs along the heart of Jaro district in Iloilo City.

The Tigum River is also the main source of water for MIWD consumers in Iloilo City.

Meanwhile, Sen. Franklin M. Drilon and Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. will lead Saturday’s covenant signing for the Batiano River cleanup and rehabilitation at Tatoy's Manokan Resort in Arevalo district.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Oton Mayor Vincent Flores will also be present together with the regional directors of the various government agencies including the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) who will sign the covenant.

The cleanup and rehabilitation of the Batiano River — which is an 11-kilometer natural waterway and actually an arm of the sea starting from the river mouth at Baluarte in Molo district up to Oton — is necessary to address the perennial flooding problem of Oton municipality due to the illegal structures that impede the water flow.

The Batiano River is also connected to the Iloilo River where there is now an ongoing development project supported by the senator.

Iloilo City to get P5-M from DILG

(LCP/Sunnex)

MAYOR Jed Patrick Mabilog will lead a delegation from Iloilo City to receive awards from President Benigno Aquino III on October 11 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Iloilo City director Ferdinand Panes said Iloilo City will get P3 million for being regional winner for good housekeeping, and another P2 million as a prize for being the regional winner in the Pamana ng Lahi awards.

Iloilo City will vie in the national competition and the winner will be announced on October 11 during the PICC program with separate prizes and awards.

Consumer Welfare Month highlights sufficient, safe, affordable foods

by TWVillavert(JCM/TWV/PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, October 5 (PIA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Region 6 assured that the region will have safe and affordable agricultural products as part of its continuing program on food self-sufficiency according to Director Larry Nacionales.

Nacionales said in a PIA interview that in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the DA this year spearheads the observance of the Consumer Welfare Month with the theme “Sapat, Ligtas at Abot-kayang Pagkain para sa Lahat” highlighting DA’s food sufficiency program with quality and safe food to consumers.

Rice harvest from January to June 2011 was recorded at 735,000 metric tons which is 61 % higher than last year’s 438,000 metric tons over the same period.

While he did not mention the statistics on vegetable growers, Nacionales cited the municipalities of Leon and Alimodian in Iloilo province as famous for its vegetables. He said that the agriculture department has opened new areas for high value crops production in the region like lettuce, cabbage, and many others.

“More than 50 percent of rambutan and lanzones sold here are our very own products,” Nacionales said as he cited the province of Aklan and other areas in Panay and Negros Occidental as sources.

Poultry, swine and livestock production is also sufficient in Western Visayas, the DA 6 Director said.

Book on Iloilo's titans launched

By TARA YAP

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — A new coffee table book chronicling Iloilo’s rise as the former Queen City of the South and the business titans that shaped the province’s progress and current status has been launched.

“Ilonggo Initiatives: The Changing Face of Business in Iloilo” was recently launched by the Iloilo Business Club (IBC) to commemorate its 20th anniversary.

“This is our story and our version of Iloilo’s past, present and what is to come,” said IBC chairman Juan Jose Jamora III.

The IBC-published book is not only a purely historical account of the province’s business progress but also features stories of Ilonggo entrepreneurs and their successful endeavors.

“There have been many books and reference materials written about Iloilo’s rich history and culture,” Jamora said.

“This unprecedented special effort offers an alternative which features both familiar and untold stories behind Iloilo’s successful enterprises, people and places.”

Included in the publication are profiles of food titans Edgar Sia II of Mang Inasal, Larry Borro of Ted’s Old Timer La Paz Batchoy, Gerry Guadarrama of food souvenir chain Biscocho Haus, Raymundo Robles of seafood restaurant Breakthrough, Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing of Al Dente and Freska restaurants, Arnaldo Borres Jr. of Jumbo Fishing, Evelyn Que of Tinapayan bakery, and Johnny Que of Waffle Time and Coffebreak chain of restaurants.

Other personalities likewise featured in the book are former chief operation officer of Ortigas and Co. Rex Drilon II, Dr. Alfonso Uy of La Filipina Uygongco Corp., media magnate Dr. Rogelio Florete, Dr. Mary Lou Lacson-Arcelo of the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University, Dr. Sandra Sarabia-Gomez of Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center, Ian Eric Pama of Valiant Bank, Angel De Leon Jr. of micro-financing company Taytay Sa Kauswagan Inc., Joseph Go of Light of Glory Taxi, Virginia Segovia of Nissan Iloilo, Arsenio Rafael of A.M. Builder’s Depot, and construction magnates Alfonso Tan and Pepe Layson.

The book also celebrates the harmonious relationship between government and the local business community in developing Iloilo province.

Philhealth's private partners provide beneficiaries with special privileges

by Elsa S. Subong(PhilHealth/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 3 (PIA) -- The PhilHealth has tapped corporate partners from the private sector in its new approach to bring all Filipinos into the National Health Insurance Program and achieve the government’s goal of universal health care.

PhilHealth-6 Information Officer Larry Tabsing said in a press release that PhilHealth has partnered with SM City branches in Iloilo and Bacolod Cities in Western Visayas, where the new PhilHealth card was on September 30.

The other corporate partners of PhilHealth are All Card Plastics Philippines and e-Soluzione for card production services, Prime IT Source, Inc. and 1abx, Globe Telecom and Smart Communications for advocacy efforts, Unilab for cards, GalxoSmithKline, Qualifirst Health, Inc., PQ HealthShield, Watsons Pharmacy, Rose Pharmacy, South Star Drugstore, Fressnius/FMS Renal Care Corp., Vivian Sarabia optical, and JNW Drug Testing, Inc., providing discounts and incentives.

Tabsing said this new identification card will enable members to avail of health and wellness benefits at participating businesses nationwide.

He said this partnership with private sector aims to give the new ID card more value, without requiring the card holder to be hospitalized.

The cardholders, Tabsing added, may avail of special privileges such as discounts when buying branded or unbranded generic medicines, vitamins and medical equipment and devices, as well as health services like eye exams, drug testing, or vaccination at participating stores and branches nationwide.

The card has a permanent PhilHealth Identification Number (PIN), with a magnetic strip that will enable the merchants to verify whether or not the cardholder has sufficient premium contributions before granting the discounts or privileges.

All SM branches in Iloilo and in Bacolod are also accepting applications for new memberships, as well as provide limited member updating services.

Study Iloilo int'l flights – DoTC

By TARA YAP

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — The Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) is asking that a comprehensive study be conducted on the marketability of opening Iloilo airport for international flights.

“The decision on whether or not to open Iloilo airport for international flights is dictated by market forces,” said DoTC Asst. Sec. Ildefonso Patdu Jr. during the 3rd Quarter Annual Meeting of Regional Development Council (RDC 6) held recently in Iloilo City.

A R698-million fund has been set for a five-year development plan in reconfiguring the airport of international standards from domestic operation into international operation.

Domestically, Patdu said, the new Iloilo Airport has performed beyond expectations since it opened in June 2007.

The Air Transportation Office (ATO) has recorded a total of 1,570,361 actual passengers in 2010, way above the 2010 forecast of 1,222,000 passengers. It also exceeded the 2015 forecast of 1,431,000 passengers.

In terms of aircraft movement, there were 15,902 flights in 2010. This is also way above the 2010 forecast of 10,970 flights and the 11,700 flights for 2015.

Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. echoed Patdu’s suggestion by citing the number of Ilonggo overseas workers and the areas where they work for possible direct flights from and to the new Iloilo airport.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has earlier announced the possibility of direct flights from Hong Kong or China for the Dinagyang Festival this coming January 2012.

However, former Department of Tourism (DoT 6) regional director Edwin Trompeta said there is need to reassess Iloilo’s tourism potentials over and above efforts to market it as a travel destination for the seasonal Dinagyang festivity alone.

He said Iloilo currently only serves as gateway for tourists going to popular beach destination Boracay and other key Panay island destinations.

Iloilo airport gets P698 million for international operations development plan

By TARA YAP

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines – A P698 million fund is set for a five-year development plan that will enable the new Iloilo Airport to operate international flights.

Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Assistant Sec. Ildefonso Patdu, Jr. disclosed this at the 3rd Quarter Annual Meeting of the Regional Development Council (RDC 6) recently held in Iloilo City.

“The enabling policy for international operations is already in place,” Patdu said. “What we have to prepare is the transitional plan from current domestic operation into an international operation.”

Patdu admitted that the likelihood of international flights is largely dependent on market demands, but nevertheless, the preparatory phase is already underway with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) five-year plan for Iloilo Airport’s inclusion of international operations. Said plan is set for implementation starting next year.

Major infrastructure projects included in said plan are an expanded 5,480-square meter passenger terminal that will cost P164.4 million and an expanded 17,271-square meter parking apron estimated to cost P10 million.

The cargo terminal will also be expanded by 1,000 square meters and the budget for this will cost a total of P46.2 million.

Other infrastructure work includes installation of lighting at the airstrip’s perimeter fences, additional check-in counters, additional ticketing offices, additional security fences, construction of a covered gym, and construction of a parallel taxiway.

Additional equipment needed includes x-ray machines, flight information display system, baggage handling system, and a building management system.

Patdu added that the market in Iloilo may be similar to the airports in Caticlan and Kalibo in Aklan province. The two airports in Aklan have flights catering to tourists flocking to the country’s famed premier holiday destination, Boracay Island from China, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Earlier this year, the Korean community in the country has urged the establishment of direct flight between Iloilo and Incheon, South Korea.

The new Iloilo Airport, which was built with international standards, is located in property bounding the towns of Cabatuan and Sta. Barbara, It was constructed at a cost of P9 billion and operations began in June, 2007.