Iloilo City News October 2013

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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


WV tourism industry also for farmers, fisherfolks

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

ILOILO CITY, October 31 (PIA) --- Local farmers and fisherfolks should gain maximum benefits from the fast growing tourism industry of Western Visayas.

Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 Regional Director Atty. Helen Catalbas said that growth and development in tourism should be felt by small, medium, and large scale farmers in the region.

“If we are serious about our direction towards inclusive growth through tourism, the agricultural sector should be in sync with the tourism industry,” said Catalbas.

In 2012, around 3.1 million tourists visited Western Visayas resulting to tourist expenditures amounting to P70 billion.

The DOT official said that local farmers and fisherfolks would feel the economic impact of these tourist arrivals and expenditures only when the food consumed by tourists are produced in the region.

She said that Western Visayas should produce food with its countryside benefitting more as suppliers of the food requirements of the tourism sector.

She also said that farmers and fisherfolks can easily transport their products in tourist destination areas if there is improved connectivity within and to Western Visayas.

She added that in the face of strong competition offered by similar sectors from neighboring regions, we do not want to be left behind right in our own home front.

DENR finalizes proposed Jalaur Watershed WQMA

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

ILOILO CITY, October 30 (PIA) --- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB)-6 is finalizing the proposed designation of the Jalaur Watershed Water Quality Management Area (JAW WQMA) here.

In a public consultation held recently, DENR-EMB-6 Regional Director Atty. Jonathan P. Bulos said that it is necessary to consult with various stakeholders within the prospective area of the proposed WQMA.

“This is to ensure that issues and concerns shall be considered in reviewing and finalizing the proposed designation of the Jalaur Watershed WQMA,” said Bulos.

The designation of WQMA is one of the strategies identified to effectively enforce Republic Act No. 9275, or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, and improve the water quality of water bodies through focused interventions or actions that are designed to address specific water quality issues of the areas.

The proposed Jalaur Watershed WQMA is composed of 21 municipalities in the province and two cities.

Bulos said that the Jalaur Watershed WQMA aims to achieve the following objectives and policies: (1) streamline process and procedures in the control of pollution in the WQMA; (2) promote environmental strategies for protection of the WQMA; (3) formulate WQMA program that encompasses all management issues; (4) provide comprehensive program on pollution prevention; (5) promote public information and education to stakeholders, and; (6) encourage all stakeholders to organize, motivate, and educate people in addressing environmental problems in the WQMA.

The DENR said that there are already two designated WQMAs in Iloilo province that include the Tigum-Aganan watershed and the Iloilo-Batiano river system.

“Lakbay Alalay” to assist motorists

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 29 (PIA) – The Department of Public Works and Highways will again be on the road to assist motorists as they observe All Saints and All Souls Day.

DPWH-6 Information Officer Vivian Tan said the agency here is reactivating the “Lakbay Alalay” Program to ensure smooth travel for motorists including visitors and tourists, from October 30 at 5:00 p.m. until November 4, 12 noon.

Tanm said DPWH Regional Director Edilberto Tayao has directed all District Engineering Offices (DEO), through a memorandum, to activate a composite team, including an anchorman.

“These teams are deployed in strategic locations within a DEO to help the motorists,” Tan said.

Considering the big volume of motorists and the riding public, these DEOs are required to submit situationers every six hours for effective monitoring, Tan added.

Further, the agency has instructed that the DEOs should also thoroughly maintain national highways and see to it that they are in good condition for easier and safer travel.

“This is also to ensure that there is an uninterrupted flow of traffic in the area,” Tan said.

Moreover, Tan said, DPWH is urging the DEOs yo vigorously undertake, traffic service maintenance, provision of informative or regulatory warning signs and traffic advisories.

Iloilo City officials laud senators’ move to utilize P3.18-B unused PDAF as calamity fund


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 28 (PNA) -– Officials of this city hailed the move of senators to allocate their unused P3.18-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) 2013 allocation to augment the calamity fund of the government.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that Resolution No. 14 sponsored by Senate President Franklin Drilon showed the total commitment of the senators in waiving their remaining PDAF for 2013.

The remaining funds created savings which President Benigno S. Aquino III may use as calamity fund for areas affected by typhoons “Labuyo” and “Santi,” the earthquake in Visayas, and the crisis in Zamboanga City. The Office of the President declared that only P1.37 billion of the P7.5-billion calamity fund is left.

Mabilog said the acts of the senators showed their statesmanship and love of country.

Echoing the mayor’s statement, Councilor Nielex Tupas said the senators’ joint act showed compassion for the victims of calamities which brought pain and sufferings and great losses to the economy and environment.

Region 6 rep tops World Food Day mosaic contest


ILOILO City – Western Visayas’ representative emerged as one of the five national winners in the 2013 World Food Day (WFD) Mosaic-Making Contest conducted at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management in Quezon City.

Andrea Coleen Socuelan of Ticud Elementary School here topped the tilt along with the contestants from regions 11, 12, CARAGA and Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative to the Philippines Toshihiro Tanaka and Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala awarded a cash prize of P15,000 each and trophies to the young artists and their respective schools.

For 12 straight years, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 6 representative constantly got a top place finish in the national competition.

Socuelan and his coach, Jonathan Jaleco, joined other national winners in a three-day educational tour around Metro Manila sponsored by DA and FAO.

They visited the Taal Lake, Shoe Museum, Aguinaldo Shrine, National Museum and Angono, Rizal which is known to be the “arts capital of the Philippines.”

DA and the United Nations’ FAO, in partnership with the Department of Education, National Nutrition Council, Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the National Agricultural and Fishery Council had supervised the competition at the school, district, division and regional levels.

Lapuz boy city’s model child

(Lucy Montealto–Sinay, Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City — A talented young writer from Lapuz district here is this year’s winner of the Search for Huwaran nga Anak conducted by the city government’s Task Force on Street Children.

Dexter Dee Hasan-gas, a fourth-year high school student from Jalandoni Memorial National High School, bested 13 other finalists from indigent families during the final judging held at SM City yesterday.

His answer to the question about what to give grandparents before they become senile impressed the audience and the judges.

Hasan-gas said he would give them the love they long for from their grandchildren because that feeling is already just like heaven for elderly people like them.

He also impressed the team of evaluators composed of members of the task force who visited their house for validation prior to the awarding ceremony because of his life story and how he copes with poverty.

Hasan-gas’ father left them and his three siblings when he was a young boy. He wrote in his essay that he last saw his father in 2012, “inside a white, rectangular wooden box.”

Having no father, the young man helped his family cope with their difficult situation by selling food and vegetables in the wet market very early in the morning.

He then goes home to study, sleep a little, then go to school.

He said there were times when they could not eat a decent meal and had to contend with only dukot or the part of steamed rice that sticks on the side of the pot.

The young Hasan-gas excels in his school where he is running for valedictorian or salutatorian. He is also a feature writer and cartoonist of their school paper.

The “Huwaran nga Anak” grand winner received a total of P20,000 cash prize plus various gift packs and certificates from sponsors.

Placing second is Kenneth Cordero of Brgy. San Juan, Molo, a senior high school student from Iloilo City National High School–Special Science Class.

Cordero is a talented youngster who likes to join newscasting, declamation and dance contests, among others. He has a younger sister, a person with disability, whom he takes care of.

Cordero received a cash prize of P14,000, gift packs and certificates.

In third place is Bernadeth Arricaya, daughter of a carpenter and a housewife, from Brgy. Navais, Mandurriao. She is a senior in Mandurriao National High School.

Arricaya feeds and bathes their family’s pigs to help her parents.

She believes possessing wisdom or intelligence is a wealth that cannot be easily taken away by others.

She was awarded P10,000 plus other gifts packs and certificates.

Consolation prize of P3,000 each was given to the rest of the finalists.

All 14 were assured of college scholarship from the city government under Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and from Cong. Jerry Treñas.

The Search for Huwaran nga Anak, now on its fourth year, is a priority project of the Task Force on Street Children headed by Rosalie Treñas.

It recognizes the youth’s valuable contribution to family, community and nation-building, aside from strengthening family relationship.

Power plant firm partners with schools in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 25 (PNA) -- Parents of pupils in three elementary schools in La Paz district here need not worry about vegetable supplies to feed their children.

The elementary schools in barangays Ingore, Balabago and Ticud were chosen as pilot areas for the vegetable garden project sponsored by Global Power Business Corp. (GPBC) and its power firm subsidiary Panay Energy Development Corp (PEDC).

Oh My Gulay (OMG) is an advocacy program of the power firm that aims to augment nutritional deficiencies through cultivation of vegetable gardens.

Started in August 2013, the vegetable gardens are now blooming with spinach, pechay, eggplants and other vegetables.

A culminating program was held Thursday as a Community Day to show off the vegetable harvests and best vegetable dishes.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Engr. Petronilo Madrid of GBPC, Schools Division Superintendent Nelly Valerio and City Health Officer Urminico Baronda graced the culminating program held at the Ingore Elementary School.

The program was spearheaded by the office of former Senator Edgardo Angara in partnership with the Department of Education and East West Seed Foundation to help combat malnutrition and promote the value of eating vegetables through cultivation of vegetable gardens in adopted schools.

‘Government position a sacrifice,’ Iloilo guv tells poll bets


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 24 (PNA) --Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. reminded candidates for barangay elections on Oct. 28 that the positions they aspire entail sacrifices to help improve the plight of the poor.

Defensor, during a press conference Thursday, reminded those who are running that these elective government positions are not businesses they can earn money from.

These positions are very important, but it doesn’t mean that these are guarantees that your lives will improve, he said.

Consider it a sacrifice because this attitude will not make a candidate desire to make his position an income-generating position, he added.

The governor advised candidates to not spend too much on the campaign, and just instead ask for the support of the voters.

“Don’t buy votes and don’t tempt voters to sell their votes, just ask for the support of your constituents,” he said.

The governor also called on the public not to support candidates who have dubious track records like those with criminal records, including known supporters of drug trade.

WVisayas benefits from DOST’s Dream project

By Leonard T. Pineda I (JSC/LTP-PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 23 (PIA6) --- Western Visayas is one regions in the country that is benefitting from the Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation or DREAM project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The DREAM project is part of DOST’s Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards or Project NOAH, the country’s flagship program in disaster mitigation.

DOST Assistant Secretary for Strategic Plans and Programs Engr. Robert Dizon said that through the DREAM project, high resolution and three-dimensional maps are being generated using state-of-the-art Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology.

The LIDAR technology will create reliable, detailed, and up-to-date flood models of the country’s 18 major river basins including Ilog-Hilabangan in Negros Occidental, Panay River in Capiz, and Jalaur River in Iloilo.

On one hand, a state-of-the-art Doppler radar station of the Philippine Atmospheric Geo

Iloilo CHO to field sanitary inspectors in food stores


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 22 (PNA) -- Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog here has ordered sanitary inspectors to inspect all food outlets in the city to determine if they are using products approved by Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) under the Department of Health (DOH).

Mabilog said he has instructed the City Health Office (CHO) to advise food store owners to display their imported food products and to report immediately the status of food products used in restaurants and carinderias in the city.

Violators of the executive order will be subjected to non-renewal of business permit for not following the food safety regulations.

Mabilog said the DOH has confirmed that salmonella poisoning was the main cause of gastroenteritis in 11 persons and the death of one who were served tea drinks at the Dakasi Restaurant here last month.

Another case of alleged food poisoning also occurred at The Castle Hotel occupied by some 200 Korean students.

Health authorities ruled that severe case of stomach disorder caused some Korean students to seek medical attention.

DOST sees brighter prospects for the ICT sector in Visayas

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

ILOILO CITY, October 21 (PIA) --- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said that brighter prospects can be seen for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in the Visayas.

DOST Assistant Secretary for Strategic Plans and Programs Engr. Robert Dizon said that the ICT sector has emerged as one of the high-impact industries in the country and the sprouting of information technology business process management hubs has been witnessed not only in Metro Manila but in other parts of the country including the Visayas.

Dizon said that Visayas region takes pride in Iloilo City and Dumaguete City as part of the Next Wave Cities program.

The Next Wave Cities program identifies ICT hubs beyond Manila, based on criteria such as worker supply, telecom infrastructure and other factors necessary to sustain a local business processing outsourcing (BPO) industry.

Metro Cebu and Bacolod City are already major ICT hubs in the country and are considered center of excellence for ICT management.

The DOST official is optimistic that Iloilo City will be elevated to the ICT center of excellence loop sooner than expected.

The ICT sector is expected to earn $25 to $27.5 billion by 2015, employing 1.3 million professionals, and is expected to be valued at $50 billion by 2015.

Dizon assured that the government is working hard to sustain the growth in the field of ICT and is addressing various development constraints.

At present, DOST is focused on technology-intensive non-voice services, which include the creative industries like the games, animation, health care information management, outsourcing of Information Technology and engineering services, and corporate services like human resources.

DOST also came up with interventions including English learning modules such as LEAP (Learning English Application for Pinoys) in order for more people to qualify to work in the industry and to support the existing voice sector.

Dizon added that there are endless possibilities for our local economy to grow with the continuous development in the booming ICT industry in the Visayas.

Iloilo City govt sets aside P400-K aid to quake victims in Bohol, Cebu


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 20 (PNA) --The city government of Iloilo will be giving P400,000 financial assistance to victims of magnitude 7.2 quake that battered Bohol and Cebu recently.

In a resolution passed by the august body, the city government of Iloilo has set aside P100,000 each to Cebu and several towns hit by the strong tremor in Bohol.

City Councilor Ed Peñaredondo, Committee on Appropriations chair, said the budget will be withdrawn from the contingency fund of the city.

Penaredondo said they are amenable to donate bigger financial aid to the quake victims but the city government has the problem where to source out the needed fund considering it is already the last quarter of this year.

For its part, the Iloilo provincial government will also give financial aid to the quake victims in Bohol.

Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. has asked the provincial board that he be given authority to extend financial aid to Bohol quake victims, the fund of which will be withdrawn from the calamity fund of the province.

The Iloilo provincial chief executive wants speedy processing for the release of fund so that the financial aid could immediately reach quake victims in dire need.

It was learned that Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto is the close friend of the Iloilo governor.

Food poisoning, helminthiasis preventable, says DOH exec


ILOILO City – Food poisoning is preventable. It’s all about sanitation, stressed Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, Department of Health (DOH) assistant secretary. She was reacting to recent food poisoning cases here.

Even water-borne diseases and soil-transmitted helminthiasis or infection with parasitic worms are avoidable if only people are conscious of sanitation, she stressed.

Ubial was here the other day for a regional forum on the expansion of DOH’s mass drug administration (MDA) against soil-transmitted helminthiasis and other selected Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

She stressed the importance of personal hygiene and proper waste disposal.

Last month, 66 persons complained of diarrhea, severe stomachache and fever after consuming milk tea here.

Just last week, 11 South Korean nationals were rushed to the hospital here in another case of food poisoning. They allegedly had stomach upset after eating fried chicken.

Among others, Ubial said proper hand-washing must be observed, most especially by food handlers.

She also expressed concern over the problem on open defecation.

Open defecation is a practice whereby an individual and or a group of people in a community does not partronize available toilet facilities but would rather ease themselves in an open environment.

Food contaminated with fecal material can cause food poisoning. Feces can also spread soil-transmitted helminthiasis.

Here, the City Health Office (CHO) chief, Dr. Urminico Baronda said food handlers and employees in food establishments should secure health certificates prior to employment.

He also stressed the importance of proper food handling procedures.

Most people get infected with salmonella bacteria by eating contaminated food.

In the case of those who drank milk tea, DOH said the salmonella bacteria likely contaminated the egg pudding – one of the add-on ingredients in the concoction.

The CHO and Food and Drug Administration in Region 6 agreed on a joint regular monitoring of food establishments here to ensure that these comply with sanitary requirements.

Ubial, on the other hand, pushed for strengthened partnerships for the control and elimination of soil-transmitted helminthiasis and NTDs in the Visayas.

DOH is gearing up for a region-wide mass drug administration (MDA) against such diseases especially among children in elementary and high school.

DOST strengthens LGU's capacity in meeting disasters

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

ILOILO CITY, October 18 (PIA) --- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is strengthening the capacity of local government units in the Visayas for disaster preparedness, prevention, and mitigation.

In his keynote address during the opening of the 2013 Visayas Science and Technology Fair held Wednesday at SM City Events Center here, DOST Assistant Secretary Engr. Robert Dizon said that while we are far from being able to anticipate the occurrence of calamities including the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Central Visayas Tuesday morning, the department is doing its best to mitigate the impacts on our communities.

Dizon said that one recent initiative of the DOST thru PHIVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) and partners was the turning-over of vivid multi-hazard maps to local government units thru its Project Ready.

The Project Ready aims to address the problem of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) at the local level by empowering the most vulnerable municipalities and cities in the country and enable them to prepare disaster risk management plans.

The DOST official said that there are ongoing capacity-building of local government units on the use of REDAS (Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System).

REDAS is a software which was originally developed by PHIVOLCS for earthquake emergency response but is now being used as a tool to mainstream disaster risk reduction into the local development process.

He also reported that they are testing the prototype landslide sensor which they intend to deploy in landslide-prone areas in the country.

The DOST said that coping with natural hazards is possible if appropriate technologies are available to empower the people and transform them into disaster-resilient communities.

DOST exec cites role of MSMEs in achieving inclusive growth


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 17 (PNA) -- The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country are not only major players in the country’s economy, they also play important role in achieving the government’s thrust of “inclusive growth,” an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.

“Inclusive growth” means sustained growth that “creates jobs, draws the majority into the economic and social mainstream, and continuously reduces mass poverty”.

DOST Assistant Secretary for Strategic Plans and Programs Robert Dizon, who attended the opening rites of the three-day Visayas Science and Technology (S&T) Fair 2013 here Wednesday, said the government recognizes the potentials of MSMEs amid the recent bullish economic growth of the country.

Dizon said DOST’s new development strategy dubbed “Smarter Philippines” aims to adopt innovative, better and more cost-effective ways of doing things using S&T.

He added that to support the sector, the DOST is leveling up and retooling its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) to support MSMEs in terms of product development, technology training, product and equipment upgrading, greener technology adoption, energy efficiency, productivity improvement, laboratory and testing services, packaging assistance, among others.

For next year, the DOST has allotted P58 million worth of technological interventions for MSMEs, he said.

The SETUP program started in 2002 with a budget of only P15.4 million that initially supported 38 MSMEs. The budget increases yearly and as of 2012, the SETUP has helped 1,951 MSMEs with a total of P1.02 billion worth of technology support.

In Western Visayas, DOST-6 has already released P150 million worth of assistance to MSMEs.

Dizon said the retooling and leveling up of SETUP is geared to create “smarter MSMEs,” which are sustainable, market-oriented, agile, resource efficient, technology driven, environment friendly, and responsive to the overall development thrusts of the government. DOST exec cites role of MSMEs in achieving inclusive growth


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 17 (PNA) -- The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country are not only major players in the country’s economy, they also play important role in achieving the government’s thrust of “inclusive growth,” an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.

“Inclusive growth” means sustained growth that “creates jobs, draws the majority into the economic and social mainstream, and continuously reduces mass poverty”.

DOST Assistant Secretary for Strategic Plans and Programs Robert Dizon, who attended the opening rites of the three-day Visayas Science and Technology (S&T) Fair 2013 here Wednesday, said the government recognizes the potentials of MSMEs amid the recent bullish economic growth of the country.

Dizon said DOST’s new development strategy dubbed “Smarter Philippines” aims to adopt innovative, better and more cost-effective ways of doing things using S&T.

He added that to support the sector, the DOST is leveling up and retooling its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) to support MSMEs in terms of product development, technology training, product and equipment upgrading, greener technology adoption, energy efficiency, productivity improvement, laboratory and testing services, packaging assistance, among others.

For next year, the DOST has allotted P58 million worth of technological interventions for MSMEs, he said.

The SETUP program started in 2002 with a budget of only P15.4 million that initially supported 38 MSMEs. The budget increases yearly and as of 2012, the SETUP has helped 1,951 MSMEs with a total of P1.02 billion worth of technology support.

In Western Visayas, DOST-6 has already released P150 million worth of assistance to MSMEs.

Dizon said the retooling and leveling up of SETUP is geared to create “smarter MSMEs,” which are sustainable, market-oriented, agile, resource efficient, technology driven, environment friendly, and responsive to the overall development thrusts of the government.

Iloilo renews ties with Japan


ILOILO, Oct. 16 (PNA) -- The chief executives of the city and province of Iloilo rekindled the Ilonggos’ friendship with the Japanese government during its envoy’s visit here Wednesday.

Ambassador Toshinao Urabe and his wife Etsuko were warmly welcomed by Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog upon their arrival at Hotel del Rio, Iloilo City.

In his message, the governor thanked the Japanese government for its “unquantifiable” support to boost Iloilo’s economy through the establishment of Iloilo Airport in 2007.

He also thanked the Japanese for helping them restore the province’s marine resources in Banate Bay in Banate town and for empowering the persons with disability in New Lucena.

Through the support of Japanese International Cooperation Agency, the multi-billion Iloilo Flood Control Project, which helped mitigate flooding in the province’s capital, was also realized.

“We can no longer quantify and determine the extent of Japan’s help to the Philippines, especially in the province and city of Iloilo,” he said.

He added that “Japan and Philippines have long been friends and partners in moving this country forward and for it to acquire its place in the sand.”

Meanwhile, Mabilog also expressed gratitude to the Japanese government for helping the city in its solid waste management and disaster risk reduction and management programs.

The Japanese ambassador and his group also went to New Lucena town to visit Japan’s Technical Cooperation Project for Disabled Persons there.

Iloilo City wins DILG awards

(RPSombero, Iloilo City PIO/PN)

ILOILO City – Two barangays from this city emerged as winners during the awarding ceremony organized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on their 22nd Local Government Code Anniversary.

Brgy. San Rafael, Mandurriao district was declared the regional winner in the search for outstanding tanods group category; while Brgy. Calumpang, Molo was adjudged champion in Western Visayas for the Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives Awards (LTIA) for highly urbanized cities category.

“Indeed the barangay tanod and the lupong tagapamayapa serve as bastions of community justice for paltry or no incentives; they protect the rights, lives and properties and preserve peace in the community,” said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Brgy. San Rafael tanods, who won P20,000 and a plaque, were recognized for their exemplary performance in assisting the police, firemen and emergency responders during any type of disaster and public disorder that threaten peace and order, and public safety.

Village chief Azucena Tabuyoc said barangay tanods will continue to serve and assist persons in authority to ensure public safety of residents and visitors coming to the city’s night life hub.

Meanwhile, lupon members of Brgy. Calumpang were recognized for their innovative efforts in mediating and resolving disputes in the community.

Their contribution does not stop in conflict resolution but also extends in assisting the barangay in other endeavors such as clean-up drives, feeding programs and blood-letting activities.

They were awarded P10,000 and plaque.

The 22nd Local Government Code Anniversary has a theme Kilos Progreso, Makilahok sa Pag-asenso that urged citizens to participate in nation building.

Filipino youth challenged to take lead in promoting good governance


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 14 (PNA) -- Young people from all over the country should unite and take the lead in demanding and promoting good governance to help curb corruption in government.

This was the challenge posed by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to his fellow members of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) in his message at the Temiong Awards of the 65th JCI Philippines National Convention over the weekend here.

“Take the lead in the pursuit of good governance in our country, for the good of our people and the future generations of Filipinos,” he said.

Pimentel said the country has the needed resources to “improve the quality of life of our people within our lifetimes.”

“If only we minimize the waste. If only we stop the corruption, which I believe we can do, if we help one another for this particular cause, kung magkakaisa tayo tungo sa hangaring ito,” the senator added.

Pimentel lauded the JCI, a non-partisan, non-government international organization of 18 to 40 years old individuals who desire to be catalysts of change, for its efforts to inspire the young Filipino to be agents of change through the Temiong Awards.

“Let me remind everyone that the Temiong Awards is not designed to measure the superiority or inferiority of anyone. For embedded in the principles underlying the awards is the belief that every person is just as capable as the one beside him or her,” he said.

Pimentel vowed before the 1,500 members of JCI that attended the convention that he will serve well during his six-year term.

He also urged the JCI members to be united in providing the Filipinos in the grassroots their needed support to be realized through various JCI projects implemented nationwide.

“And together with our Filipino brothers and sisters, as Filipino JCI members, let us unite with the rest of the Filipino people in the passionate call of the times, which is to fight corruption,” he stressed.

PCA notes increase in Western Visayas coconut production


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 13 (PNA) -- Coconut production in Western Visayas has increased by 20% at this time of the year compared to the same period in 2012, as demonstrated by the mushrooming of coconut products sold either as food or beverage in shopping malls here.

Similarly, brisk sales in matured coconut, the source of “gata” (coconut milk), have been observed in the city's public markets.

Jose Cruz, manager of Philippine Coconut Authority in Region 6 (PCA-6), said the target of 1,000 hectares planted to coconut trees this year seems highly attainable with the current figure reaching 70 percent of the target.

Cruz attributed the growth in the region's coconut production to the farmers’ use of agricultural salt as fertilizer.

As part of the PCA's program to encourage farmers to grow more productive coconut trees, old ones are replaced by saplings and the government is providing free seedlings, Cruz added.

SETUP firms to join tech fair


Several business firms assisted by the Department of Science and Technology under the agency's Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program will join the Visayas-wide three-day Science and Technology Fair at SM City in Iloilo next week, DOST Region 6 Director Rowen Gelonga, said in a statement yesterday.

The fair that has the theme: “Science, Technology and Innovation: The Way to a Smarter Visayas”, will run from October 16 to 18 and will showcase scientific innovations of the micro, small and medium enterprises, Gelonga said.

There will also be exhibits to be led by DOST national officials and representatives from its Regional offices in Central, Eastern and Central Visayas, he said, adding that a forum on how technologies help grow the businesses of MSMEs will be held.

The DOST Science and Technology Information Institute-developed Science and Technology Academic and Research based openly operated kiosk station, a digital science library equipped with latest science and technology information, journals and researches fir for today's learners will also be tackled, Gelonga also said.

The forum will also be a venue for the discussion on the significance of the monitoring and operating system for emergency services and the nationwide operational assessment of hazards survival kit as part of its initiative to boost disaster risk reduction campaign, he added.

Iloilo CHO fields sanitary inspectors at Korean school


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 11 (PNA) -- The City Health Office (CHO) has fielded sanitary inspectors at The Castle Hotel, currently being occupied as a boarding school by some 200 Korean students studying English in this city.

Dr. Urminico Baronda, city health officer, said that initial reports indicated it was food poisoning that had earlier downed 11 Korean nationals staying in the school.

However, the allegation has yet to be proven as health workers started the inspection only Friday morning, he said.

Baronda said that on Wednesday, 11 Korean students were brought to the hospital after they complained of stomach ache and cramps. After they received first aid treatment, the students were released by the hospital.

He added that food prepared at the school canteen must be inspected thoroughly, including the utensils and the preparation of menu.

Baronda said he was informed that some of the students ate outside the school and may have contacted the virus from other places. Some of the students already had fever before the Wednesday incident.

Last month, a customer died and several others were hospitalized after taking milk tea at the Dakasi Milk Tea House in Smallville complex.

The Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine reported that the main cause of food poisoning at the tea house is Salmonella virus aggravated by unsanitary handling of food items.

Arts and culture stakeholders urge cultural mapping of Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 10 (PNA) -- Various stakeholders in the city and province of Iloilo gathered Thursday to discuss comprehensively the Ilonggo culture, arts and heritage and embark on strategies to enhance Iloilo’s rich tourism potentials.

The strategies will involve the preservation and protection of the declared national treasures in the province and the declared heritage sites in both the city and the province.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the programs are hoped to start the much-needed cultural mapping and action package to put the city and the province in the forefront of emerging cultural heritage revival in the Philippines.

Mabilog reported that as one of the three finalists as a business-friendly city, Iloilo City should work harder for its business and tourism attractions. The other city finalists are Mandaluyong and Olongapo.

Provincial Tourism Officer Bombette Marin said the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA) declared as national treasures the three historic churches in the province, namely those the towns of San Joaquin, Miagao and Dumangas.

Declared as important heritage sites by the National Historical Institute (NHI) are the churches of Sta. Barbara, San Joaquin and Miagao. Also declared as heritage sites are the golf course in Sta. Barbara, and Casa Real, formerly the old Iloilo provincial capitol.

Marin said there are several heritage sites in the province that need declaration from the NHI. Among these are the old camposanto or cemeteries built during the Spanish times in several towns and churches in the municipalities of Leon, Janiuay, Tigbauan, Tubungan, Dingle, Leganes, Pavia, Oton and Dueñas.

The local government units must take the lead in mapping out these cultural heritage structures in their areas and have it declared by NHI, Marin said.

In Iloilo City, seven important heritage zones are currently being rehabilitated jointly by the Tourism Infrastructures Economic Zone Authority (TIEZA) of the Department of Tourism, the Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Foundation, the city government, and the office of Iloilo City Rep. Jerry P. Treñas.

These declared heritage zones are the Port San Pedro, Plaza Libertad, central business district, Jaro Plaza, Jaro Cathedral, Molo Plaza and Molo Church.

News Feature: Reviving the art of letter writing

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

ILOILO CITY, October 9 (PIA) --- The art of writing letters seems to fade away in this day and age of electronic mails (e-mails), mobile phones, and social media.

Letter writing can seem outdated and its many aspects may also be forgotten but this art is worth bringing back for it will always offer an experience that modern technology cannot touch.

In celebration of World Post Day, the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost)-6 held the1st National Letter Writing Day, October 9, at SM City Activity Center.

The event was highlighted with a “Thank You Letter-Writing” activity which was participated in by elementary and secondary students from various schools in Iloilo City.

Fabiolita Ferraris, Area Director for PHLPost Area-6, said that the National Letter Writing Day is part of PHLPost’s postal awareness program called “Sulat-Mulat”, with the aim of re-introducing the art of letter writing to students and encouraging them to use letters as a means of communication.

Ferraris said that students can express their thoughts and feelings through writing letters instead of conveying them through text messaging or e-mails.

On one hand, Van Kristine Mendoza, a faculty of West Visayas State University Integrated Laboratory School (WVSU-ILS), said that the activity enabled the students to appreciate and experience the old-school way of communicating.

“There is a certain degree of intimacy when one is engaged in letter writing and it is coupled with experiencing a pleasant feeling when receiving a correspondence through the mail,” Mendoza also said.

For a number of students who took part in the letter writing activity, it was their first time to write a letter that they sent through the mail.

Jane Lavalle, a fourth year student of Iloilo National High School, said that her letter contained words of gratitude for her mother.

“Unlike in e-mails, I gave a special effort in expressing my personal intentions through this letter,” said Lavalle.

Khaesha Arsenal, a grade 9 student of Colegio De San Jose, said that letter writing also gave her the chance to express her sincere feelings towards her mother.

“I got to use a pen and a paper to express how I feel towards one important person in my life,” said Arsenal.

For Teofy Rabanes, a grade 8 student of WVSU-ILS, the letter she wrote to a friend gave information on a common interest they both share that is animation.

Kristly Delaba, a grade 6 pupil of Iloilo Central Elementary School, was just too happy to write his first letter, put it on an envelope, place a stamp on it, and have it sent it through the mail.

Meanwhile, Ferraris said that PHLPost is already collaborating with the Department of Education to include letter writing in communication subjects in schools.

PHLPost plans to make the National Letter Writing Day an annual event and hopes to secure a Presidential Proclamation from Malacañang to institutionalize the occasion.

DOLE 6 needs partners in livelihood programs for students


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 8 (PNA) -- The Dept. of Labor and Employment Region 6 is seeking partnerships with various schools in Western Visayas to intensify its bridging of employment and livelihood assistance for students in 2014.

DOLE-6 Director Ponciano Ligutom recently met with officials from 34 state universities and colleges and private higher education institutions in the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo to discuss what the DOLE can offer to students in terms of employment and livelihood assistance.

Ligutom said there is a significant increase in the DOLE’s budget for the implementation of the Special Program for the Employment of Students and the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program, amounting to more than P140 million in 2014.

For SPES alone, P55.494 million will be added to next year’s budget of P22.26 million while in DILP, P83.250 million will be added to the 2014 budget of P49.388 million.

With the additional budget, Ligutom encouraged school officials/representatives to support the programs and help their students earn even while studying.

Under the SPES, students belonging to indigent families can be employed for a maximum of 52 days where DOLE will be paying 40 per cent of their salary.

He also urged schools to assist their students in preparing project proposals so they can avail of the livelihood assistance under the DOLE’s Youth Entrepreneurship Support Service (YES).

Ligutom cited as example college students enrolled in business administration and accountancy courses wherein part of the requirement is to engage in entrepreneurial activities where they apply the theories they learn to real business set-ups.

In 2012, the dole assisted 87 students from three state universities in aklan and iloilo by funding their project proposals for poultry raising, tilapia and quail production, vegetable farming, and various livelihood.

DOST-6 plays host to Visayas Cluster S & T Fair

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

ILOILO CITY, October 7 (PIA) --- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-6 will host the 2013 Visayas Cluster Science and Technology Fair on October 16 to 18 to showcase products and innovations from Regions 6, 7, and 8.

DOST-6 Regional Director Rowen Gelonga said that the three-day event with the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation: The Way to Smarter Visayas,” will be held in SM City Iloilo.

For the first day of the Science and Technology (S & T) fora, topics will include Learning Innovations equals Smarter People through Starbooks: Science and Technology digital library; Smarter Disaster Management equals Empowered Communities through Project Noah; and Science and Technology developments on volcanology and seismology.

The fair will also be the venue for the launching of the MOSES tablet and the NOAH survival kit.

Topics for discussion scheduled on the second day will include Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Innovations equals Smarter People which will feature product presentations from the three Visayas regions; Smarter Materials equals Globally Competitive Industries through biodegradable packaging materials, S & T innovations in fibers and fabrics, natural dyes and colorants, and nano-technology applications in industry.

A forum on health plus environment plus innovation equals smarter living and a smart talk on micro, small and medium enterprises on S & T innovations are also slated to be conducted in the third day of the event.

Gelonga said that participants will also be treated to a project visit in selected places in Iloilo and Guimaras hosting S & T projects.

DSWD-Western Visayas releases P5 billion for children's health, education

(Philippines News Agency,

ILOILO City -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development here has released a total P5 billion for poor households covered by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Western Visayas which ensures that children are in school and healthy.

This was revealed by Regional Director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre, who recently delivered her State of the Region Address (SORA), saying the program now covers all local government units in Region 6 with a total of 297,831 household beneficiaries.

Pantawid Pamilya, also known as the conditional cash transfer program of the national government, is a human development program that invests in health and education of the poor with children aged zero to 14 years old. Beneficiaries are given cash grants in exchange of compliance to conditions.

“This year, compliance to the condition on health such as immunization and prenatal visit was at 97.39 percent and attendance in primary and secondary school for children 6-14 years old was at 96.86 percent,” said Macapobre, saying that compliance to conditions was high for the period January to June 2013.

Other conditions such as deworming for children six to 14 years old had a 99.16 percent compliance rate; attendance in day care for children three to five years old, 92.03 percent; and attendance to Family Development Session (FDS) for parents, 96.24 percent.

In 2012, monitoring of compliance to program conditions also posted high rates with health visits/immunization was pegged at 98.29 percent; deworming at 98.78 percent; attendance in day care, 97 percent; attendance in primary and secondary school, 97 percent; family development sessions, 97 percent.

Spot checks conducted on program implementation showed that enrollment rate has increased in 2010 with 96 percent as against 86 percent in 2007.

In 2011, another spot check was conducted. That time, focus was given on how beneficiaries were using their cash grants. Results showed that beneficiaries spent their cash grants for education and school materials, food, and health and medical expenses.

World Bank said the program is “on track to achieve its objectives of promoting investments in health and education.”

Jaro bridge reopens Monday


ILOILO City — Public transport and private vehicles from northern Iloilo can pass through the Jaro bridge starting Monday.

The Department of Public Works and Highways has given the Traffic Management and Transportation Regulation Office (TMTRO) the go-signal to reopen the bridge.

Engr. Jose Tengco, chair of the TMTRO, said the retrofitting has been completed.

The odd-even scheme that the TMTRO implemented in the area to avoid traffic congestion will also be lifted.

“We expect the traffic problem to lessen when the Jaro bridge reopens,” said Tengco. “We thank all drivers who cooperated with us while the bridge was under repair.”

The Public Works department conducted repairs on the bridge after cracks were seen on it.

The repair works cost P34 million.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog was happy about the development.

The mayor appealed to the public to strictly follow traffic rules and regulations.

S & T fair to showcase ICT products for smarter Visayas


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 4 (PNA) -- The Visayas Cluster Science and Technology Fair will be held in this southern city on Oct. 16-18 to showcase Information and Communications Technology products and innovations in Regions 6, 7 and 8.

This year’s fair, themed “Science, Technology and Innovation: The Way to Smarter Visayas,” will be held at SM City Iloilo.

Science and Technology Regional Director Rowen Gelonga said they expect about 500 participants to attend the three-day event.

The participants will be treated to a project visit in selected places in Iloilo and Guimaras hosting S &T projects.

The S & T fora will have discussions on Learning Innovations equals Smarter People on Starbooks: Science and Technology digital library; learning English application for Pinoys through English proficiency software; Smarter Disaster Management equals Empowered Communities through Project Noah; and S & T developments on volcanology and seismology.

Also included are the launching of MOSES tablet and NOAH survival kit.

Other topics include ICT Innovations equals Smarter People with product presentations from three Visayan regions; Smarter Materials equals Globally Competitive Industries through Biodegradable Packaging Materials; S & T Innovations in Fibers and Fabrics, Natural Dyes and Colorants; and Nano technology applications in industry.

Discussions on health plus environment plus innovations equals smarter living through smarter health care, and smarter environment coral restoration are also scheduled as well as talk on micro, small and medium enterprises on S & T innovations.

Recognition for Iloilo River brings international exposure to Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 3 (PNA) -- The inclusion of the Iloilo River in the Thiess International River prize award held recently in Brisbane, Australia brings positive international exposure to Iloilo and the rest of the country by showing the best efforts of the local government unit to rehabilitate and preserve the heritage river.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, who recently returned from the September 25 awarding rites in Australia, said that four rivers in the world, one of which is the Iloilo River, were selected for the award.

The top prize went to Kenya River, which shows a people component with water for use of the community, industries, and livestock.

The two other rivers are in Australia and Russia.

Mabilog said the Iloilo River was selected as the lone entry of the Philippines in the international competition. The rehabilitation and preservation efforts of the city government and the inter-agency cooperation accomplished since Feb. 11, 2013 were presented to the international audience.

The mayor said the Iloilo delegation was able to network with universities in Australia and with a European University and their officials have expressed interest to come to Iloilo to see the river and the internationally famous Dinagyang Festival in January 2014.

Iloilo City Council approves amendments to CCTV ordinance


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 2 (PNA) --The City Council here unanimously approved amendments to the existing closed circuit television (CCTV) ordinance by requiring high risk establishments to install CCTV cameras as crime deterrent factor against property and persons.

Proponent Councilor Nielex Tupas said during the session on Tuesday the CCTV council is working hard to help deter crimes and for faster resolution of criminal cases against property and person.

The camera recordings can help the police and other law enforcers to act faster and apprehend the criminals, he said.

A total of 570 establishments in the city have already applied for the issuance of a CCTV Certificate of Compliance (COC) and out of this number, 554 are considered high risk establishments.

These high risk establishments include banks, pawnshops, money changers, financing institutions, hotels and supermarkets. To be included as high risk establishments are private schools, 24/7 convenience stores, bus and jeepney terminals, gas stations and private schools.

The Task Force on CCTV Council is conducting inspections of the establishments and so far, has denied exemptions of nine establishments to seek COC.

Policy research supports development, says PIDS

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 1 (PIA6) – September of every year is devoted to the observance of Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) in the country.

This is by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 247 which was issued on September 2, 2002 in order to underscore “the need for promoting, enhancing, instilling, and drawing awareness and appreciation of the importance and necessity of policy research”.

The utmost importance of policy research lies in its being a tool for national development, according to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), which was designated as the overall coordinator of all the programs and activities of DPRM.

To be always on line with this aim, the annual DPRM observance since 2003 focuses on areas that the PIDS considers of national importance and in need of utmost attention and support.

In last year’s observance, for example, DPRM focused on “Regional Economic Integration and Inclusive Growth” to underscore the impact of greater regional economic integration and globalization.

Specifically, this has reference to the upcoming establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

PIDS said the AEC is expected to bring Association of Southeast Asian Nations member-countries together into a contiguous market and production base that will encourage inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the region.

Based on an advisory prepared by PIDS, the Philippines can gain from the ASEAN regional economic integration particularly in terms of reducing poverty and creating more jobs by enhancing economic transformation, encouraging more FDIs and diversifying export products.

The PIDS sustained the focus by adopting the theme of “Making Health More Inclusive in a Growing Economy” for this year’s DPRM observance.

The PIDS said that putting up a yearly observance of DPRM emphasizes the need for public support and wider understanding of the importance of policy research as a tool for national development and of the activities in line with it to help advance the quality and standard of policy research in the country.

During a press briefing held at the PIA regional office, Sept. 30, PIDS vice president Dr. Rafaelita Aldaba said that in line with this they bring the results of their studies to government to respond to the need for research and to assist the government in planning and policy formulation at the executive and legislative branches.

With the support of other stakeholders including the media, Aldaba said policy research would become more effective to this effect, that is, to work for development.

The press briefing facilitated by the Philippine Information Agency – 6 was one of the culminating activities in the nationwide observance of DPRM.