Iloilo City News October 2012

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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.
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


Dinagyang Fest gears for high-flown cultural presentation in 2013


ILOILO CITY, Oct 31 (PNA) -- A grandiose cultural presentation is expected during the 2013 Iloilo Dinagyang Festival’s Kasadyahan competition.

Dr. Eden Deriada, in-charge of the Kasadyahan contest, said invitations were already sent out to local government units and schools here and throughout the province seeking their participation.

She will also be coordinating with the regional office of the Dept. of Tourism to seek help in inviting festivals from various provinces of Western Visayas.

The Kasadyahan contest held during the second day of the three-day highlights of the Dinagyang Festival provides venue to showcase the best festivals of the region.

The 2012 Kasadyahan for the first time gathered festivals from Aklan, Guimaras, Capiz and Negros Occidental.

Next year’s Kasadyahan is slated Jan 26.

Dinagyang Festival to be part of learning exchange mission to Singapore


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 30 (PNA) -- Iloilo City’s Dinagyang Festival will be part of the learning exchange mission to Singapore on November 9-13 that is being facilitated by the Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED).

City Tourism and Development Officer Benito Jimena said that Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will spearhead the five-day learning exchange mission together with mayors of municipalities under the Metro Iloilo Guimaras Economic Development Council (MIGEDC) supported by the Canadian Government.

As part of the mission, Mabilog and the group will be meeting with the Singapore Tourism Board to help promote the festival, the highlight of which is slated January 25-27, 2013.

Meanwhile, LGSP associate field Francis Gentoral in his message addressed to Mabilog stated that the mission among others seek to “inspire and provide ideas for MIGEDC’s LED champions to develop sustainable tourism circuits for a metropolitan area, based on a mix of culture, heritage and arts, as well as agriculture and nature-based assets.”

The mission is a mix of official meetings, observation visits, actual tourism experiences, and guided discussions, he added.

PRO-6 on heightened alert in preparation for 'Undas'


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 29 (PNA) -- The Police Regional Office 6 (PRO 6) here was placed under heightened alert and will be elevated to a full alert Wednesday in time for the Nov. 1 All Saints Day and Nov. 2 All Souls Day celebration.

PRO 6 deputy regional director for operations, S/Supt. Wesley Barayuga said that along with the heightened alert, a simultaneous send off ceremony for police officers and force multipliers to be deployed as part of the preparations under the "Oplan Kaluluwa" was held Monday morning from the regional to the provincial commands in Western Visayas.

The send-off ceremony is also a show of force to manifest the readiness of police authorities to provide security during "Undas."

At the regional headquarters, 100 officers from the Regional Public Safety Battalion and 100 members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) will be deployed to various police stations in the city.

Augmentation forces for provincial stations will be taken from their respective Provincial Public Safety Battalion (PPSB) units.

Earlier, PRO 6 director, Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr., said the region’s security preparation are focused on intensifying police visibility in areas of convergence, security for vital installations and public facilities as well as intelligence gathering against criminal elements.

Women leaders urge end anti-women gov't programs

By May Joven (JMO, The Freeman)

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Women leaders from different sectors under Gabriela believe that there is a need to campaign against programs of the current administration, which they claim to be anti-women.

They expressed this sentiment during the 11th National Congress held in Iloilo City on Friday, October 26, 2012.

One of the programs of the Aquino administration that they consider as “anti-women” and “anti-people” is the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) that can reportedly lead to the corporatization of public hospitals and the liberalization of the mining industry.

Joms Salvador, deputy secretary general of Gabriela, said PPP for women means “Pahirap, Pahamak at Pamatay for Filipino families” and only translates to further poverty, uncertainty and even death for the poor.

She said the corporatization of public hospitals will only make health services more inaccessible to the public, especially to the poor; and the privatization of public service utilities such as power and water will result to an increase in charges.

Further, the women leaders decried the liberalization of the mining industry, which reportedly allows mining explorations by foreign companies in areas of peasant and indigenous peoples.

They said hundreds of foreign companies are already awarded contracts to explore mines and oil fields to extract minerals, stones and oil, while hundreds more are poised to bid for contracts across the country.

With this, Lucy Francisco, Gabriela Iloilo Chairperson noted that women and their families are being displaced from their lands, endangering their lives and livelihood, as well as the country’s food security as agricultural lands and forests are also targeted for mining.

Meanwhile, on the issue of the legalization of prostitution, Gabriela Chairperson Liza Largoza-Maza said that the recent proposal by the United Nations to legalize prostitution is merely a revival of the recommendation of the International Labor Organization during the 90’s.

She explained that the proposal was meant to make prostitution acceptable as work to hide the growing number of women victimized by the commodification due to poverty and the inability of governments to provide decent jobs for both women and men alike.

“Its stated objective to curb increasing HIV infection is merely a smokescreen,” she said.

Maza said that government’s failure to provide jobs is further worsened by the schemes such as contractualization and the two-tiered wage system, currently being implemented by the Department of Labor.

“Such system undermines the Minimum Wage Law because it serves to lower the gravely insufficient salaries of workers. We are studying the option to challenge the legality of this system as a violation of existing laws on the rights of workers to decent compensation for their work,” Maza added.

The Congress last Friday, which was held at the Social Hall of the Department of Education in Iloilo City, gathered around 150 women leaders from different regions of the country and even abroad. The congress is held every three years.

The delegates were from Bicol, National Capital Region, Cagayan Valley, Ilocos, Davao, Southern Mindanao, Negros, Capiz, Iloilo, Cebu, General Santos, Cordillera, Cavite, USA and Japan.

Today, Gabriela will hold a protest action to mark the National Women’s Day of Protest, which they dubbed as “Marchas de las Violetas: Filipinas Not for Sale”. More than a thousand women and women’s rights advocates are expected to march the streets of Iloilo City for the event.

A Similar protest action will be held simultaneously in Manila where hundreds of Gabriela and Gabriela Women’s Party members will also participate.

“We will not allow the Aquino government to continue to put on sale our land, our resources, our women, our children’s future. This day will mark our intensified call for women to unite against anti-women, anti-people policies that will further worsen our already depraved situation. Gabriela will continue to lead the women’s struggle and strengthen the women’s movement not only for the next three years but as long as the government ignores the interest of women and the people,” Salvador said.

New DENR reg’l exec seeks innovations for Western Visayas


ILOILO CITY, Oct 27 (PNA) -- Dr. Adeluisa G. Siapno seeks to institute innovations at the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources here and make it the top performing office of the DENR after assuming office as new regional executive director last week.

The improvements she pioneered in the South Central Mindanao Region, her prior assignment, were able to toss DENR Region 12 from No. 16 to No. 1, making it “the most improved region” this year.

Siapno said she focuses her management in two major programs: good governance and good housekeeping. She stressed the importance of transparency in all office transactions and encouraged participation in decision making.

Good governance at work, she stressed, is anchored on efficiency, effectiveness, working based on ethical standards, and achieving the operation in the most economic way.

She rallied the support of everyone to work hard to achieve the regional office’s target for the year.

Siapno has served the DENR in various capacities such as Director of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau in Los Baños, Laguna; Regional Technical Director for Forestry, and for Research in Caraga Region, among others.

Siapno rose from the ranks to become one of the finest career executives in the Department.

She holds the position of Director III with the rank of Career Service Executive Officer II.

She specializes in forest management, public administration, technical training and research.

She replaced RED Engr. Julian Amador, who will be assigned to the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations with an office based here in Iloilo City.

Iloilo designer champions bamboo-made handicrafts

By Kaye Mangabat

ILOILO CITY, ILOILO – It’s sturdy yet beautiful, abundant and versatile as raw material. These qualities make bamboo popular among designers and manufacturers of environment-friendly products.

Noe Gumayao, manager of Pinili Home Décor, has an undying fascination for bamboo and thru his creations, he hopes more Filipinos will appreciate native products.

His latest design is the bambot, a bamboo-made robot that can be equipped with a camera and speakers. Noe says it takes a few days’ worth of patience to make one.

“People nowadays barely appreciate talent and creativity like this,” he says. Compared to toys made of plastic and synthetic materials, Noe admits it’s difficult to mass-produce his bamboo robot.

So it’s no surprise then that native products can be a bit more expensive than China-made products – there’s more value because these are handmade, not to mention unique in design.

Noe’s company also makes other bamboo products like mirrors, tables, chairs, candle holders, and other home decors. These products were on display during the recent Manila FAME International trade show at the SMX.

“I wish Filipinos try to appreciate more and see the uniqueness of bamboo products,” he says.

Get more information on Pinili Home Décor

Dungon Creek rehab starts


ILOILO CITY, Oct 25 (PNA) -- The restoration and rehabilitation of Dungon Creek, including removal of vegetation and trees along the waterways was given priority following the recent arrival of a dredging machine.

City environment officer Engr. Noel Hechanova reported to City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog that the dredging completion of some 1.1 kilometer span from the Marina up to Taytay Zone 2. The remaining works will be on the 2.77 kilometer stretch from Magsaysay Village to Taytay Zone 2 within 14 months of dredging operations to take out about 90,000 cubic meters of dredged materials from the creek.

An initial P5.8 million budget for dredging from Magsaysay Village to Taytay Zone 2 represents the "Water Master" dredging machine operational cost.

Similarly, the removal and clearing of vegetation along the waterways is a collaborative effort of the DENR, DPWH and LGU. It will be up in eight barangays along the creek with 780 trees already tagged by the DENR and 297 trees below 10 centimeters, 588 saplings 802 clumps and 35 wildings with a budget cost of P2.6 million

The timetable is three months with three barangays cleared of vegetation along the Dungon Creek every month. The demolition cost will be shouldered by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

P450M convention center to rise in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Oct 24 (PNA) -- A 3,000-seater convention center worth P450 million will soon rise at the 1, 600-square meter lot in Mandurriao district donated by the Megaworld Corporation to the city government here.

The project will be funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Senator Franklin Drilon, said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

The mayor received a text message from Drilon on Tuesday informing him of the launching and ground breaking of the project this November 22.

The two-storey convention center complete with an exhibit hall is expected to be completed in the next six to eight months, he added.

Mabilog added that they are contemplating of having the convention center managed by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) of the Department of Tourism (DOT) or bid it out to the private sector so that it will be functional.

“We have to bid it out so that they will be the one to run and market the facility,” he added.

The city government then will just have to earn from the taxes that will be paid by those that will run the facility, he said.

The mayor in quoting the Ilonggo senator said that the convention center is part of the preparations for the possibility of this city hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) Summit in 2015.

Immigration Officer Exam in Iloilo City set Oct 24

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct 23 (PIA) -- Iloilo City will be among the eight testing centers outside Manila for the Immigration Officer Examination of the Bureau of Immigration on Wednesday, October 24.

The qualifying examination will be held in simultaneously nationwide from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, Bureau of Immigration Iloilo District Office Alien Control Officer Bienvinido Regala said.

In Iloilo City, more or less 100 applicants are expected to take the examination which will be administered at John B. Lacson Maritime University in Molo, Iloilo City. Other provincial testing centers are Cagayan de Oro, Cebu City, Tarlac City, Baguio City, Naga City, Tuguegarao and Batangas, Regala said.

The deadline for submission of application was set on October 15. However, Regala said his office will still accept late application until 5 p.m. today, October 23.

Qualified to apply are those less than 36 years old, college degree holder, Civil Service Professional eligible or PRC board passer and with good moral character.

Aside from passing the examination, applicants will also undergo a panel interview and a month-long training program to qualify as immigration officer.

The Department of Budget and Management has created 200 posts for immigration officer who will be deployed in different seaports and airports in the country including the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Examinees are advised to bring any identification during the examination. They may also access the BI website at for their examination venues.

River dredging operations in full blast


ILOILO CITY, Oct 22 (PNA) -- Dredging of the Iloilo River and its tributaries had started with the recent arrival of water master dredging machine of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with P5.8 million initial budget as operational cost.

City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that disposal sites of dredged materials were already identified.

He said the project will include the rehabilitation and restoration of the Dungon and Calajunan creeks including removal of vegetation along the waterways.

Mabilog said the dredging at the Iloilo River covers some 2.2 kilometers from the Carpenter’s Bridge down to the Esplanade.

Dredged materials will be disposed at the eight-hectare vacant property along the river esplanade and another two hectares at the city government property behind the city agriculture office in Molo district.

The city mayor said the informal settlers along the dredging areas will have to be relocated first and full dredging of the whole waterways may start on May 2013 after relocation of informal settlers.

Construction of more than 3,000 housing units worth more than P300 million for displaced informal settlers at the city relocation sites is ongoing.

These sites include the River Subdivision Plains I in barangays Camalig and Lanit in Jaro district and River Subdivision Plains II in barangay Sooc, Arevalo district.

Dredging was already completed for 1.1 kilometers from marina to Taytay Zone 2, while ongoing in 2.77 kilometers from Magsaysay Village to Taytay Zone 2.

Likewise, river and creek clearing including removal of vegetation, trees and wildings will be conducted in eight barangays within three months with an initial budget of P2.6 million.

A total of 398 informal family settlers will be relocated within four months to the Lanit relocation site.

Mabilog expressed hope that all the dredging operations along the Iloilo River and two creeks would be completed by March or April next year.

Iloilo farmers urged to improve carabao


ILOILO CITY: Ilonggo farmers are being encouraged to branch out into genetic improvement of their livestock, especially the carabao for meat and dairy production.

However the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) is also encouraging farmers to preserve the native Philippine carabao as a tool in ricefield production

PCC executive director Dr. Annabel Sarabia, herself an Ilongga, said that there is a current high demand for cara-meat, milk and other dairy products and these can be answered with the propagation of high-yielding Bulgarian Mur-rah hybrid carabao.

The genetic improvement through artificial insemination (AI) and bull loan are currently being implemented by PCC in 13 national centers in the country, which cover five in Luzon, four in the Visayas and four in Mindanao.

The PCC center in Iloilo is located at the campus of Calinog Agro-industrial College in Calinog, Iloilo while PCC administrative office is at the West Visayas State University in Iloilo City. These centers facilitate AI and bull loan and research and development of the carabao population in Western Visayas.

All set for multi-million peso rehab of Iloilo river port


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 20 (PNA)– The city port here is all set for a multi-million peso rehabilitation and upgrading of the Iloilo river port to accommodate ferry boats, fast crafts and roll on-roll off vessels.

City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog announced this during the Oct. 19 meeting with members of the Iloilo River Development Council, chaired by the city mayor with membership from different national government agencies and the private sector.

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) reported the updates on the processing of public land reservation in Barangay Progreso, Lapuz district as the future home of the PPA, RoRo and fast craft terminals.

Three major PPA projects will be developed in the area that include the construction of berthing facility costing some P126 million, including fendering and mooring, platform and RoRo ramp; construction of a P17.3 million passenger terminal building with a 1,000 square meter area; and site development of the river wharf that includes parking areas, perimeter fence, paving blocks and gate, all costing some P20 million.

Similarly, Mabilog is requesting the PPA to develop a 5,000-square meter site in the area as a public park and plaza of the Lapuz district so that several amenities such as a police station, health center and other services will be put up by the city government.

On the other hand, Mabilog reported that the Parola property, including the defunct Rotary Park area given to the city government through a Presidential Proclamation, will now be developed and subdivided between the city projects, 5,000 square meter for the Philippine Coast Guard to house its new building, and 1,000 square meters reserved for the provincial environment office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

A private firm is answering the call for a public private partnership (PPP) with the city in building up a modern and state-of-the art ferry terminal at the old Rotary Park area in Parola, city proper.

Mabilog said a memorandum of agreement was recently signed between the city and Double Dragon Properties represented by Ferdinand Sia for the PPP construction of a ferry terminal building and a commercial building costing some P135 million at the site.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is also readying its bidding for the construction of the ferry berthing facility as its component project costing some P125 million.

The DOTC project will improve and upgrade the berthing area for pumpboats going to Guimaras Island, including the construction of a public park in the area.

Iloilo City's Jaro has the earliest Calungsod baptism


ILOILO CITY, Oct 19 (PNA) -- Jaro district in this metropolis has the earliest recorded baptism of a Calungsod, according to the Mormon-run genealogy website,

This little information perhaps could shed answer to queries on where exactly Blessed Pedro Calungsod came from, as his canonization draws near.

The genealogy website operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, showed the earliest recorded baptism of a Calungsod was that of Maria Calungsod, daughter of Juan Calungsod and Josepha Beatris.

She was baptized on Sept. 7, 1748 in Jaro, Iloilo City, according to one of the most heavily used genealogy sites on the Internet.

The website offers free access to digital images of genealogical records stored at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, which holds genealogical records for over 110 countries, territories, and possessions, including over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records.

Blessed Pedro Calungsod was believed to have been born in 1655 in the Visayas, with the towns of Ginatilan in Cebu, Hinundayan and Hinunangan in southern Leyte, and Molo, Iloilo City as his probable place of birth.

There was no information as to how old Juan Calungsod when his daughter was baptized in Jaro but the website also showed that a Maria Feliziana Calungsod, probably a younger daughter, was baptized on June 2, 1753, also in Jaro, Iloilo City.

A Thomasina Calungsod was also baptized in Jaro, Iloilo City on April 4, 1750 whose parents were listed as Juan Calungsod and Feliziana Olay, also the parents of another Maria Calungsod who was baptized on October 9, 1751, also in Jaro.

The website also yielded baptism records of Calungsods from Baybay, Leyte (1828), Hinunangan, Leyte (1856), Cavite City, Cavite(1872), Ginatilan, Cebu (1889), Taysan, Negros Oriental (1889), La Castellana, Negros Occidental (1900), Iloilo, Iloilo (1900) and Guihulngan, Negros Oriental (1903).

The earliest recorded baptism in Baybay, Leyte was that of Feliciana Alejandra Calungsod who was baptized in the Immaculate Conception Church on Nov 10, 1828 and whose parents were listed as Francisco Calungsod and Maria Vicenta.

In Hinunganan, Leyte, the earliest recorded baptism was that of Calixtra Calungsod, born in 1856 and died on Feb 25, 1926.

There was no information on who her parents were.

17 TIIC students to work abroad


ILOILO CITY, Oct 18 (PNA) -- Some 17 students including four graduates of the city government-owned Technical Institute of Iloilo City (TIIC) Molo campus will work in Doha, Qatar and Saudi Arabia soon.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said they have been certified as qualified for employment abroad after passing the trade test conducted by the LML Manpower Services Inc., a PERT/CPM manpower exponent.

The mayor said the graduates are clear examples of the city government’s desire to help poor students secure vocational and technical courses for job placements in other countries.

Mabilog also assured assistance in securing medical and other certifications from the city government relative to processing of travel documents of the workers.

Mathilde Octavio, officer-in-charge school administrator of TIIC, said that the two are first year Civil Technical students, 11 are second year and four are graduates of Carpentry and Masonry/Tile Setter.

Octavio said TIIC is offering vocational and technical short term courses on six categories in the Molo campus aside from several short term courses offered at the Bo. Obrero campus.

Those who will go to Doha, Qatar are Mandro Alapar Jr., Ernesto Camus Jr., Charlie de Asis, Fernan Guevarra, Ronnie Josal, Randy Jaranilla, Gerbert Moreno, Gary Selorio, Edmund Basilio Jr., Airron Gabion, Shanel Macalalag, Renel Pagayunan, Jessie Fernandez and Alvin Montepio.

Those who will be going to KSA are Paul Gelilang, Eugenio Jamili and Bernie Magallanes.

Firm offers LED-retrofitting of city street lights


ILOILO CITY , Oct 17 (PNA) -- A business firm based in Metro Manila has proposed to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog retrofitting and changing the sodium lights of more than 3,000 streetlights into light emitting diode (LED) at no cost to the city government.

The offer of SAVI Philippines was presented to the mayor Wednesday by the firm’s representatives Eugene Gorospe and Dang Zamora as a joint venture between the firm and the local government unit.

Mabilog said LED is currently the most sought after electric lights that have longer life span and more glow than the ordinary light bulb.

Mabilog said the venture would focus on the savings of electric bills paid by the city government to Panay Electric Company that will be given to SAVI to offset the payment for electricity used on the streetlights.

German city eyes Iloilo as sister city

By Lydia C. Pendon

PREPARATIONS are underway for Iloilo to become a sister city of the State of Bavaria in southeastern Germany, with exchanges on information on technology, education, health, environment and other issues.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is enthusiastic on the offer of the German couple who are residents of Aschaffenburg, Bavaria and good friends and partners of Bavaria Mayor Klaus Herzog.

A highly industrialized city, Bavaria is known as a center of clean solar technology and other heavy equipment and only home of BMW cars in the world.

Import, export consultant Heinz Dieter Bender and his wife Socorro Cansancio Bender paid a courtesy call at the city mayor’s office on Monday to exchange ideas on the proposed sisterhood agreement.

Mrs. Bender traced her roots to the Cansancio family in Leon, Iloilo and still maintains a family house in the Iloilo municipality. She was married to her German husband for the past 32 years, and the couple has three children working in Germany.

Bender and his wife are general manager and chief executive officer respectively of YelloBill 168 eK based in Germany, and they are involved in exports of solar electricity materials and heavy equipment.

At present, their main export is in Iraq with Sheik Khrebett as their main costumer of solar electricity equipment and materials.

Mabilog said he is interested to connect with a German city and Iloilo as the first Philippine city to have a sisterhood agreement with a Euro city. He said there are many Ilonggas married to Germans and raising their families in several cities of Germany.

Bender assured he will do everything to cement the sisterhood agreement before December this year. He said they live near the city hall of Aschaffenburg, Bavaria and the city mayor there is their personal family friend.

Iloilo to hold 5th Indigenous Fashion Fiber Fair


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 15 (PNA) --The 5th Indigenous Fashion Fiber Fair will be held on Oct. 17-21 at the activity center of Shoemart (SM) City here.

Iloilo Provincial Tourism Officer Gilbert Marin said a fashion show is slated every afternoon with the trade fair to attract the crowd.

Handloom textile weaving will also be demonstrated to galvanize issues on social responsibility in the creative industries of Ilonggo Arts and Crafts.

The fair is held to preserve the arts and crafts and to assist identified communities in the development and marketing of their crafts.

The event is held with the Department of Tourism.

Gov't allots P126 M for new Iloilo ferry terminal

By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - The government is putting up a P126 million world-class ferry terminal in Fort San Pedro in Iloilo City to provide safe and convenient travel for passengers from Iloilo to Guimaras that has a combined population of about 2.2 million.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is set to bid out a contract for the construction of the P126-million Iloilo City Parola Ferry Terminal to serve more than 200 vessels with outrigger and rigger canoes.

Apart from serving the needs of commuters, the DOTC said the terminal would boost commerce and tourism in this part of the Western Visayas Region.

The project entails the site development of the 10,408-square-meter port area; construction of shore protection with a length of 267 meters using steel sheet piles; concrete dike with wave deflector with a length of 267 meters; excavation and disposal of unsuitable soil materials from a total area of 10,408 square meter to create a depth of 1 meter; and embankment and filling of aggregate base course in the same area.

The DOTC said the bidding is open to all interested bidders, subject to the conditions for eligibility provided in the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and the bidding documents.

The Bids and Awards Committee would hold a pre-bid conference on Oct. 16.

The agency is also set to bid out four other port development projects in the country worth P20 million.

These projects include the Dapa Port worth P9.68 million for the construction of a back-up area and a 92-meter seawall that would benefit travelers to and from the Island of Siargao, Surigao del Norte as well as the P4.8 million Plaridel-Pulilan port development project in Bulacan covering the construction of two river landings with stairs.

The DOTC is also set to develop the Bansud Port for P3.9-million including the repair of its pier concrete slab with a length of 30 meters and width of 9 meters; and back-up area with stair landings with an area of 502 square meters.

Likewise, the agency has allocated P2 million for the Cantupa port development project in Negros Oriental wherein a causeway with stair landings would be established.

These projects aim to enhance tourism in the areas and provide passengers with a Convenient, Affordable, Reliable, Efficient and Safe transportation system in the country.

Tourism records highest budget among top new businesses in W. Visayas


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 13 (PNA)-- A travel and tourist agency posted P45 million paid-up capital, the highest investment among top 10 new businesses in Western Visayas for the second quarter of 2012, data from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed.

Ceres Liner Travel and Tours, Inc. was also the only investor that took interest in tourism. The higher investment in tourism is expected to boost the industry in Western Visayas as it continues to promote agri-tourism.

Other top investments for the quarter included real estate, trading, quarrying, distribution of hydro power facility, lending, brokerage and financial holding.

The DLA Cloveland Inc and the Capital Properties, Inc. both into real estate, have paid-up capital of P4 million and P2 million, respectively.

Trading investors XYZ Global Express Corporation and Uni Gilsie Trade and Services Co. infused P4 million and P3.5 million, respectively.

The Phil-Power Exploration and Development Corp declared a paid-up capital of P3.125 million for distribution of hydropower facility while Lamis-Gaurana Crusher Aggregates Company has P3 million in paid-up capital for its quarrying venture.

Other top investors included the Kanlaon Lending Corp. with P2.5 million paid-up capital for its lending business and FJS Import-Export Brokerage, Inc. and Murgreen Energy Holding, Corp. which both declared a P2 million paid-up capital for brokerage and financial holding businesses, respectively.

PRO6 implements zero police tolerance


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 12 (PNA) -- The Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 is strictly implementing the zero police tolerance on crimes in compliance with the directive of Interior and Local Government Sec. Mar Roxas.

PRO 6 regional director Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, Jr. further said this was also in support to the administration's thrust of "Matuwid na Daan."

He said Sec. Roxas, a banker, wanted the police to quantify the investment that the government is giving them.

“There will be more police trainings as the government's investment and the police, in return, has to deliver a good performance, thus, the zero tolerance on crimes,” Cruz explained.

Iloilo City now a benchmark for sectoral initiatives


ILOILO CITY, Oct 11 (PNA) -- The city's best management and environmental practices have become the yardstick for other institutions and organizations that plan to improve their own initiatives.

City Planning and Development Office(CPDO) head Jose Roni Peñalosa said Iloilo City is the only local government unit (LGU) worldwide that was awarded the Palladium Award, relative to its being a Hall of Fame awardee for Balance Scorecard under the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA).

Meanwhile, Peñalosa related that 17 representatives of Korea's Local Administration Training Institute (LATI), an institution accredited to provide and organize visits in foreign countries to study development planning and governance visited Iloilo City on Wednesday.

The visitors, who were from Bucheon, Seoul South Korea, studied the city’s environmental practices and programs, parliamentary procedure, balance scorecard, and development planning, especially on how public-private partnership was implemented.

The group was just one of the many visitors that took interest of the city’s practices. Other visitors were from various cities and municipalities in the country.

Mountain-climbing and nature-tripping at Igbaras, Iloilo

By Ronnie Calumpita (The Philippine Star)

I can’t resist going back to the town of Igbaras in Iloilo for its many natural attractions.

I went back to Igbaras for the third time last August, this time visiting Barangay Igcabugao. My trip involved climbing Mt. Loboc, visiting Butuan Falls and the Rafflesia Garden, and exploring Igcabugao’s underground river.

With my cousin Ervin Calumpita and my perennial guide Morot, I started climbing Mt. Loboc around 3:30 pm of August 25. As it is rarely explored, tall cogon grass concealed any visible trail in the area.

We crossed a stream and Igbulo River before we reached its verdant vegetation. I took off my hiking shoes prior to traversing the river and went mountain climbing wearing my sandals. Fortunately, the trails were not slippery and there were was no sign of rainfall.

We finally reached the summit of Mt. Loboc at 5:20 pm after climbing four other mountains. We should’ve arrived an hour earlier, but we wasted at least 30 minutes in the rice field waiting for our guide. He had to borrow a container filled with water that we later used for cooking.

Mt. Loboc has an elevation of 1,000 meters above sea leve (MASL)l. At its summit, the sun was setting down and we were treated to a 360-degree view of the Igbaras mountain range. Mt. Napulak (1,200 MASL) and Mt. Taripis (1,300 MASL), both of which I have previously explored, as well as the other mountains in Igbaras were very visible from the peak of Mt. Loboc. Mt. Napulak in Barangay Tigbanaba, the famous climbing destination in Igbaras, is located south-southwest of Mt. Loboc, while Mt. Taripis is situated west-northwest.

The campsite of Mt. Loboc is just a few meters from the summit, overlooking the boundary of the towns of Igbaras and Tubungan. The campsite has several mahogany trees which according to our guide may have been grown from seeds eaten by cattle grazing the mountains. Yes cattle can conquer mountains and graze steep mountain slopes as well. In fact, there were cattle dung in the campsite and in the summit. We even saw not one but two herds of cattle grazing mountain ridges while we were at the peak.

In the evening, Iloilo City and the soon-to-be international airfield, Iloilo Airport, were visible from our campsite. We saw several planes landing and taking off at the Iloilo Airport located in Cabatuan town, about 23 kilometers northwest of Iloilo City.

There were fireflies in the campsite that appeared to be dancing as they were blown by the strong cold winds. I’m fascinated with fireflies and was very delighted to see them as they are symbols of ecological balance. Fireflies, which are also known as lightning bugs, are very sensitive to water quality and ecological balance so they only thrive in a clean and unpolluted environment.

Seeing fireflies reminds me of Cainta, Rizal, where I was born and grew up. I used to hunt them in our place in Barangay San Juan (beside the Valley Golf and Country Club), where trees were abundant.

At 9:30 pm we called it a night. We were the first climbers to spend the night on Mt. Loboc. Unfortunately, I did not get a good night’s sleep (maybe because I consumed a cup of coffee and took an energy drink while climbing). I also suffered from a coughing problem so I had to stay out of the tent at certain times. It was not that cold at the campsite, however. The temperature ranged from 19 to 20 degree Celcius. I still managed to wake up early, though, and view the sunrise at around 5:20 am.

Our second day was also blessed with good weather. This allowed us to descend Mt. Loboc without much difficulty. We left the campsite at around 8:05 am after breakfast. We then travelled for 45 minutes without rest to Butuan Falls.

We departed after spending 20 minutes there and went to the site of another natural attraction in Barangay.

Igcabugao, the Rafflesia Garden. It just took a five-minute trek to reach our destination.

I was very excited to explore the place. It was called the Rafflesia Garden because of the abundance of the world’s biggest flower there. I’ve been looking forward to see this wonder of nature since I first set on foot on the Igbaras Mountain Range last June when I climbed Mt. Napulak. Seeing Rafflesia flowers just a few meters apart from each other is marvelous. We’re excited to jump from one flower to another. Some of them were already dead or dying. Their flower buds, meanwhile, were the size of duckpin balls.

Some have called Rafflesia a corpse flower because they find it to be foul-smelling. I, however, did not find it to smell bad. Even the dying Rafflesia flowers didn’t smell obnoxious to me.

After 45 minutes of exploring Rafflesia Garden, we continued our journey and found ourselves at the mouth of Barangay Igcabugao’s some 25 minutes later. We only managed to explore some 30 meters of the underground river as the waters got deeper. Also called the Lapusan Cave, Barangay Igcabugao’s underground river is one-kilometer long. Its crystal-clear waters some from the Igbulo River. Nobody has ever conquered it from one point to another. Spelunkers can only reach up to 200 meters from its entry point.

Our exploration of the underground river capped our two-day itinerary in Barangay Igcabuga in Igbaras.

I thought that this third visit would be the last one, but I am now thinking of going back again.

There are still two mountains in Barangay Igcabugao that I want to explore – Mt. Butuan and Mt. Ningwan. The latter boasts of the Gorochan Falls.This most elevated barangay in Igbaras also offers Igcabugao and Alongan caves. I also still haven’t been to the Nadsadjan Falls, a 100-meter waterfalls, whose waters fall unto different pools of different sizes, in the nearby Barangay Passi. It also has Passi Cave, which is also known as the “bat cave” for having different kinds and sizes of bats. It also has a large deposit of guano, a first class organic fertilizer.

Blessed with so many natural attractions and breathtaking sights like mountains, underground rivers, caves, waterfalls, the Rafflesia garden and rice terraces I wonder why there are no efforts from Iloilo officials to make Igbaras mountain range a protected area. These natural wonders should be preserved and protected so that future generations will also have the opportunity to enjoy them.

DILG urges civil society organizations to strengthen participation in governance

By Shiela Q. Patoza (JCM/SQP-PIA6)

ILOILO CITY, October 9 (PIA) -- Officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government official urged civil service organizations (CSO) to strengthen their participation in good governance initiatives of the government.

DILG-6 Regional Director Evelyn Trompeta said that CSOs act as “kaagapay (assist), gabay (guide), tulay (bridge) and bantay (watchdog)” in the different projects and services of the government.

Teodora Sumagaysay, local government capacity development division OIC Chief, said the forum aimed to orient the people to the different programs of the government affecting climate change and to emphasize the role of the each individual in each program.

The DILG urged CSOs to strengthen their participation in government's good governance efforts such as Anti-Red Tape Act-Report Card Survey (ARTA-RCS), Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH), Gawad Pamana ng Lahi, and Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) and Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat (Salintubig).

ARTA-RCS seeks to end red tape in government transactions and make frontline services more accessible to the people.

The SGH aims to recognize local governments that accord to the principles of performance, accountability, transparency and participation.

The Gawad Pamana ng Lahi is a total award concept and is conferred to a province, city or municipality for reason of exemplary performance in administrative governance, social governance, economic governance and environmental governance.

Salintubig Program is designed to provide water supply systems for the 455 waterless municipalities, barangays, health centers and resettlement sites; and enhance the capacity of the LGUs/water service providers in the planning, implementation and operation of water facilities.

A one-day forum on Strengthening Private Sector Participation in Local Governance was held here last October 8.

Per records of DILG-6 there are about 82 non-governmental organizations /civil society organizations in Western Visayas.

The CSOs made a commitment during the forum to support the programs so that partnerships will be strengthened.

DOTC bids out construction of Iloilo City port


MANILA, Oct. 8 (PNA) –- Travelers in Visayas will soon enjoy a world-class facility as the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) announced on Monday the bidding out of construction of the P126-million Iloilo City Parola Ferry Terminal in Fort San Pedro in Iloilo City.

The DOTC published on Monday the bidding out of the project that will provide a safe and convenient travel for passengers from Iloilo to Guimaras, who has a combined population of about 2.2 million.

According to DOTC, the terminal will serve more than 200 vessels with outrigger and rigger canoes.

Apart from serving the needs of commuters, it is expected to boost commerce and tourism in this part of the Western Visayas Region.

The project entails the site development of the 10,408-square-meter port area; construction of shore protection with a length of 267 meters using steel sheet piles; concrete dike with wave deflector with a length of 267 meters; excavation and disposal of unsuitable soil materials from a total area of 10,408 square meter to create a depth of one meter; and embankment and filling of aggregate base course in the same area.

DOTC said the bidding is open to all interested bidders, subject to the conditions for eligibility provided in the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and the bidding documents.

Interested bidders may obtain the bid documents upon payment of P50,000, which is non-refundable.

The Bids and Awards Committee will hold a pre-bid conference at 1 p.m. on October 16, 2012 at the DOTC Conference Room in Mandaluyong City, and is open to all interested parties.

In the same invitation to bid, DOTC announced that it is set to bid out four other port development projects in the country worth P20 million. The pre-bid conference for the four projects is set at 2:30 pm on October 17 at the DOTC headquarters.

The Dapa Port Development Project which costs P9.68 million is expected to benefit travelers to and from the Island of Siargao, Surigao del Norte.

The project entails the construction of a back-up area with a length of 30 meters, width of 40 meters and average depth of 3.5 meters. It also includes a 92-meter seawall.

The Plaridel-Pulilan Port Development Project in Bulacan entails the construction of two river landings with stairs.

With combined ABC of P4.8 million, it intends to develop the Plaridel Port with an area of 360 square meters with a P2.28-million budget; and the Pulilan Port with an area of 360 square meters with a P2.47-million budget.

In Mindoro Oriental, DOTC is set to develop the Bansud Port with an ABC of P3.9 million.

The project entails the repair of its pier concrete slab with a length of 30 meters and width of nine meters; and back-up area with stair landings with an area of 502 square meters.

And lastly, DOTC has allocated P2 million for the Cantupa Port Development Project in Negros Oriental.

The project entails the construction of a causeway with stair landings with a length of 20 meters, width of 5.5 meters and an average depth of two meters.

These projects aim to enhance tourism in the areas and provide passengers with a Convenient, Affordable, Reliable, Efficient and Safe transportation system in the country.

WV’s Disaster Preparedness Plan OK’d


ILOILO CITY, Iloilo (PIA) — The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) has approved the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan of Western Visayas (WV) for 2012-2016.

RDRRMC chairperson and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Rosario T. Cabrera said the plan will serve as a blueprint for programs, projects and activities that the council will undertake before, during and after calamities and other emergency situations.

Under the plan, local government units (LGUs) will also be involved in the implementation of the programs, projects and activities through their respective local DRRM councils.

The plan was approved by the Council with all the comments and suggestions made by members during its 3rd quarterly meeting held last Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Iloilo Grand Hotel here after undergoing a planning process involving various committees or sectors.

Said committees are on Disaster Preparedness headed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Disaster Response headed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation headed by the Department of Science and Technology, and Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery headed by the National Economic and Development Authority.

Cabrera said the regional plan is in accordance with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan which was crafted by government to make safe, adaptive and disaster-resilient Filipino communities toward sustainable development pursuant to the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Law of 2010 or Republic Act No. 10121.

A suggestion taken into account in the regional plan is the taking of specific measures to address adverse effects especially on agriculture by the El Niño (extended dry weather) phenomenon projected by the Philippine Atmospheric, Astronomical and Geophysical Services Administration to occur in the country within this year’s last quarter.

Earlier, the Department of Agriculture (DA), also a member of the RDRRMC, reactivated its El Niño Task Force as a contingency measure should said El Niño phenomenon occurs.

The RDRRMC will most likely take that step into account in preparing Western Visayas for the dry spell. When it occurred 2010, El Niño caused substantial drops in rice production output in Region 6.

The Council will also be drawing up an annual work and financial plan to support the implementation of the regional disaster risk reduction management plan.

Iloilo biz group urges PNoy to certify as urgent repeal on airline taxes


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 5 (PNA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) has cited this city's outstanding performance in the implementation of health programs during a monitoring and evaluation of the Visayan regions held in Tacloban City recently.

Dr. Mae Delmo, City Health Office (CHO) assistant department head who attended the conference, said that in the local government unit (LGU) scoring on health, Iloilo City is in the top 10 for its various health programs.

The city was recognized as top performer in PhilHealth accreditation or out-patient package benefits and Tuberculosis-Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (TB-DOTS) package accreditation.

The city ranked second in TB cure rate, number five in PhilHealth enrolment of LGU-sponsored indigents, and 10th in facility-based deliveries like birthing centers.

Delmo said that particularly in the TB-DOTS package accreditation, the city already has seven out of nine accredited district health centers which are giving quality care services to TB patients.

For PhilHealth enrolment, 100 percent of intended beneficiary indigents are already covered by the program.

“We are truly proud of these accomplishments proving that we are effective in our health management and advocacies towards a healthier and more productive citizenry,” Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said.

“Being recognized for our initiatives also becomes extra sweeter because DOH was the one that really set the standards,” he added. “This is aside from the fact that we made it over the other LGUs in the three Visayan regions.”

DOH cites Iloilo City as top performing in health programs


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 5 (PNA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) has cited this city's outstanding performance in the implementation of health programs during a monitoring and evaluation of the Visayan regions held in Tacloban City recently.

Dr. Mae Delmo, City Health Office (CHO) assistant department head who attended the conference, said that in the local government unit (LGU) scoring on health, Iloilo City is in the top 10 for its various health programs.

The city was recognized as top performer in PhilHealth accreditation or out-patient package benefits and Tuberculosis-Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (TB-DOTS) package accreditation.

The city ranked second in TB cure rate, number five in PhilHealth enrolment of LGU-sponsored indigents, and 10th in facility-based deliveries like birthing centers.

Delmo said that particularly in the TB-DOTS package accreditation, the city already has seven out of nine accredited district health centers which are giving quality care services to TB patients.

For PhilHealth enrolment, 100 percent of intended beneficiary indigents are already covered by the program.

“We are truly proud of these accomplishments proving that we are effective in our health management and advocacies towards a healthier and more productive citizenry,” Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said.

“Being recognized for our initiatives also becomes extra sweeter because DOH was the one that really set the standards,” he added. “This is aside from the fact that we made it over the other LGUs in the three Visayan regions.”

Officials sign a memorandum of commitment for WV DRRM plan


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 4 (PNA) –- Regional and local officials Wednesday signed a memorandum of commitment for the implementation of the Western Visayas Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) plan that will reduce the impact of disasters and calamities in the region.

Western Visayas DRRM council chair Rosario T. Cabrera, also Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director, said that the signing of commitment, held at Iloilo Grand Hotel, is already a big step to attain the the vision "a Stronger, Safer and Resilient Western Visayas."

According to Cabrera, the plan is a product of a series of consultations since last year.

In the commitment, the members of the DRRM council, composed of heads and representatives of the different government agencies, expressed to work in partnership with OCD and other stakeholders in the operationalization and implementation of the plan; and ensure the mainstreaming of the of DRR and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) in regional, sectoral and local development policies, plans and budgets.

They also pledged to advocate for the harmonization and strengthening of DRR and CCA policies, programs and projects for building resilience against disaster and climate change; and help engage the participation of the Civil Society Organization, the private sector and volunteers in the government DRRM programs, projects and activities.

Cabrera said that with the pulling of resources by the different government agencies in the plan's implementation, they hope to reduce the loss of lives and mitigate damage to properties.

The plan, described to be bottom up and participatory, will serve as roadmap for Western Visayas DRRM until 2016.

World Bank picks Iloilo City for global environment facility project


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 3 (PNA) -- Recognizing its trust on the local government here, the World Bank (WB) has chosen Iloilo City to host a global environment facility (GEF) project and provide technical and financial assistance to the city worth more than P14 million through an Integrated Persistent Organic Pollutants (IPOPs) management project.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog was recently authorized by the city council to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon JP Paje for a three-year project that will also be implemented in four other Philippine cities.

The WB project was coursed through the National Solid Waste Management Council (NSWMC) spearheaded by the DENR with an aim to reduce the releases of unintentional persistent organic pollutants in the air, specifically dioxins and furans through the burning of agricultural wastes and improper solid wastes disposal.

Engr. Raul Gallo, chief of office of personal services (OPS), said the WB assistance would require the drafting of a city IPOPs action plan to reduce and prevent burning at the backyards and dumpsite.

Gallo stressed that the latest WB assisted IPOPs project is a separate one from the conversion and upgrading of the open dumpsite in Calajunan into a sanitary landfill which was also assisted by WB.

On the other hand, the Sangguniang Panlungsod will enact required ordinances and resolutions for the appropriation of its in-kind and cash counterparts as well as the grant proceeds from the GEF-WB IPOPs project. The project will also cover capability building and public awareness programs by complementing the projects implemented at the Calajunan dumpsite.

Both the World Bank and DENR saw Iloilo City's compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological and Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 by declaring a policy of the state to adopt a systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program which shall ensure the protection of public health and the environment.

Gallo added that the sanitary landfill project is right on track and the city government is awaiting the approval of the Development Bank of the Philippines Monetary Board for its application of a P297-million loan to finance its environment-friendly sanitary landfill and disposal facility.

Iloilo lights candles for peace

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct 2 (PIA) -- The 301st Infantry (Bayanihan) Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army spearheaded a Candle Lighting for Peace in Iloilo City on September 28 as a culminating activity of the celebration of the National Peace Consciousness Month in Western Visayas.

Assistant Secretary Howard B. Cafugauan of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) thanked the organizers and participants of the event.

He cited the event as a fitting culminating activity to the month-long celebration designed to underscore the importance of attaining lasting and meaningful peace as a major requisite for the country’s development.

Cafugauan specifically referred to the on-going peace process being pushed by the government with Moro and communist rebel groups designed also to promote a culture of peace among Filipinos.

Cafugauan also recalled the efforts made by OPAPP to make this year’s peace celebration as colorful and meaningful as possible through a series of activities that included “1 Goal for Peace” featuring the Philippine Azkals and Peace Fair, “I Am for Peace” campaign involving famous celebrities, photo exhibit on the gains of the peace process, job fair, cultural and gala program peace process milestones and golf tournament in Metro Manila and simultaneous peace concerts in selected venues nationwide.

Also, a National Day of Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation was held as one of the major highlights of the celebration.

In Iloilo, the peace concert was also held on September 28 at a university in downtown Iloilo City featuring a popular Manila band.

The OPAPP official was joined by Army brigade commander Col. Arnold Quiapo, Iloilo City Vice Mayor Joe Espinosa III and Police Chief SSupt. Marieto Valerio, Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center Director Msgr. Meliton Oso and representatives from different government, private, academic and religious institutions.

In behalf of the lead organizations of the event, Quiapo also thanked stakeholders which made the activity held at SM City Iloilo possible.

The guests also took turns in delivering messages about the event and its relation to the peace program of the government, which is one of the major thrusts of the Aquino administration.

Prior to this, the participants lighted candles and released a pair of white doves to symbolize the aspirations of Filipinos for peace.

The peace month event in the Philippines is also a contribution of the country to highlight global efforts towards world peace which are marked with the observance of International Day of Peace as declared by the United Nations on September 21.

This year’s peace month celebration in the country had for its theme, “Ako. Ikaw. Tayo. Magkakaiba, Nagkakaisa sa Kapayapaan.” Similar candle lighting activities were also held in other parts of the region.

RDC chair cites strong partnership in developing W.Visayas

By Vicente W. Villavert (JCM/VWV-PIA 6, Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Oct 1 (PIA 6) - - Regional Development Council (RDC 6) chairperson and Governor of Capiz Victor A. Tanco Sr. lauded the strong collaboration between government and the private sector in pushing for the progress and development of Western Visayas.

“Our RDC for the past 39 years has remained steadfast and strong. Our region has been steadily growing, economically, peaceful, and attractive to investors and tourists,” said Tanco during the September 28 RDC Third Quarter Regular Meeting held in Sibalom, Antique.

Tanco said that the recent RDC meeting is “a very special one, as this is the culminating day of the celebration of RDC week which started last September 24.” The celebration is per Proclamation No. 1164 by former President Fidel V. Ramos, where the fourth week of September of every year is declared Regional Development Council Week.

He recalled that the RDC was created during the administration of then President Marcos through LOI 122 in 1972, and RDC 6 was organized in 1973 with then Iloilo Governor Conrado Norada as first chairperson.

“In 1987, by virtue of Executive Order No. 308, the RDC underwent reorganization to make the Council more effective instrument for regional development consistent with the mandate of the newly ratified 1987 Constitution particularly Article 10, Section 14 to further strengthen coordinative and consultative efforts in the region,” Tanco said.

Tanco said that the current mandate of the RDC was further strengthened by former President Fidel V. Ramos’ issuance of EO 325.

The RDC 6 chair urged the officials and members of the RDC to join President Aquino’s Matuwid na Daan, as “This calls us to constantly improve governance in our respective office and units. The path to honesty and integrity in the public sector is a long way to go but it is a challenge to all of us to be constantly vigilant in protecting the government coffers.”

“Always be reminded that the ultimate purpose of public service is to serve the citizens especially those who have less in life,” Tanco emphasized as he look forward for the 40th anniversary of RDC 6.

Among the Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) resolutions approved during the RDC meeting were the proposed Port Zone Delineation Plan of Caluya Port in the Province of Antique; Creation of an Infrastructure Development Committee Validation and Review Team for the processing of Port Zone Delineation applications; implementation of development projects identified in the calendar year 2011 and 2012 investment programs of the Department of Transportation and Communications for the Evelio B. Javier Airport in the province of Antique; and endorsing the upgrading and improvement of the Maayon, Capiz; Lemery and Sara in Iloilo province road project in the succeeding DPWH infrastructure program.

The IDC Chair and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog was represented by RDC 6 C0-chair Ma. Luisa Segovia.

For Economic Development Committee, chaired by DTI 6 DTI director Dominic Abad the approved resolution include: conduct of Visayas Information and Communication Technology Organizational Conference to be hosted by the RDC 6 and to be participated by the representatives of the RDC and ICT Federations of Regions 6, 7, and 8 together with the business sector and major government agencies in the Visayas regions; reiterating the compliance of LGUs to the provisions of the Barangay Micro Business Enterprise Act of 2002; endorsement of the Rural Development Program of the Department of Agriculture and DOST in the regional Program Advisory Board; and the resolution supporting the establishment of Mineral Resources Investment and Research Center for Caraga Region to serve Mindanao and the Visayas area.

The RDC meeting also tackled sector committee reports under the Development Administration Committee of DILG Director Evelyn Trompeta; Social Development Committee Chair Minda B. Brigoli; Regional Land Use Ciommitte, Regional project Monitoring Committee and Regional Statistical Coordination Committee of Chairperson Ro-Ann Bacal of NEDA; and Regional Competitiveness Committee under RDC Co-chairperson Ma. Luisa C. Segovia, among others.