Iloilo City News October 2014

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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.


DILG highlights CSOs’ role in local governance


ILOILO CITY, October 31 (PIA) --- The role of civil society organizations (CSO) in local governance was this year’s highlight in the Development Talk (DevTalk) spearheaded by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-6 held Tuesday at Hotel Del Rio here.

The Development Talk, an initiative of DILG-6, has marked the celebration of the Local Government Code anniversary since 2008.

In a media release, DILG-6 Regional Director Atty. Anthony Nuyda said that strengthening the CSOs’ stake in local governance and boosting the performance of local government units are in consonance with the national theme, “Ang LGUng magaling, may nararating”.

“The CSO Summit centered on discussions related to the Grassroots Participatory Process, more popularly known as Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB),” he said.

The GPP is being implemented by various national government agencies with the DILG acting as project manager and requires CSO participation in local poverty reduction programs.

During the CSO Summit, the participants were enabled to undergo workshops to build their ownership and craft the way forward to ensure inclusive local development.

The roster of resource speakers included DILG Undersecretaries Austere Panadero and Tomasito Villarin, Department of Budget and Management Assistant Secretary Maxine Tanya Hamada and Samar 1st District Representative Mel Senen Sarmiento.

This year’s DevTalk was anchored on the local theme, “Strengthening Multi-Stakeholdership: Putting Primacy on Linkages and Partnerships in Local Governance.

Listahang Tubig' launched for better water service coverage


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 30 (PIA6)—A national survey, dubbed "Listahang Tubig” was launched through a Memorandum of Agreement signed by a tripartite team, to map out water service utilities and providers all over the country.

This survey is jointly implemented by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the National Water Resources Board, and the Local Water Utilities Administration.

In a press statement, DILG said the national survey will cover Level I to III water supply systems in 81 provinces, 143 cities, 1,491 municipalities and 42,028 barangays nationwide.

DILG Undersecretary for Local Government Austere Panadero, who led the launching here, said the data generated from the survey will be useful to concerned agencies and local government units in planning how to enable barangays without water gain access.

“We want to increase the access to potable and affordable water of people, especially the vulnerable groups in the community,” Panadero said.

He added that the survey will also help identify water point sources and location and potential danger areas for over-extraction of ground water and where watershed development efforts are needed to sustain water resources.

Under the agreement, the NWRB, as the lead agency, will set up and maintain “Listahang Tubig” web-based data base system where basic data from the water service utilities will be made available to users.

On the other hand, the LWUA shall enjoin water districts and rural water supply and sanitation associations to participate in the national survey by filling out survey forms and encoding them in the website.

The DILG, for its part, shall instruct the LGUs to appoint staff to oversee the survey activities, identify all the water service providers and encode data of the water providers without internet access, into the website.

The project is supported by the World Bank Water and Sanitation and Sanitation Program, and the Water for Resilient Economic Growth and Stability (Be Secure) Project of the U.S Agency for International Development.

Bike Festival to attract more investors

By Raymart Escopel (PN)

ILOILO City – Aside from bringing bike enthusiasts together, Iloilo’s Bike Festival is seen to attract investors as it stays true to this city’s commitment in building a sustainable and eco-friendly city.

“To become a first class and premier city, the government should be able to demonstrate a unified effort, not just in enticing investors to put in their money, but also in building a sustainable, eco-friendly city,” said Jericho Go, Megaworld senior vice president.

Megaworld Corporation and the City government inked a memorandum of agreement on Oct. 24 to formalize their partnership in holding the Iloilo Bike Festival annually for 10 years.

“We envision our township as sustainable, environment-friendly community for our future condominium residents, office workers, mall goers and visitors. We fully support Iloilo City’s bid to be the country’s bike capital,” Go noted.

He added that through the said partnership, the Bike Festival’s purpose of gathering the Iloilo community while showing commitment to a healthy and sustainable living can be solidified.

The said event aims to promote environmental awareness, promote health consciousness, support the share of road movement, promote Iloilo city as a “bikeable” city as well as a wellness, sports and tourism destination.

“Megaworld remains to be on the forefront of Iloilo City’s economic boom. Our P35-billion investment here will certainly go a long way and we never regret to be the first property giant to come here because ever since, we believe in what Iloilo is really destined for,” said Go.

For his part, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that Iloilo City is fortunate to have the Iloilo Business Park as the venue for the much-awaited event.

Mabilog added that Iloilo City will be hosting several national and international sports events next year like the Philippine Asia Pacific taekwondo International Tournament and the National PRISAA, among others.

Finally, Mabilog thanked Megaworld for not only bringing investments in Iloilo City but also for being the city government’s partner in its endeavors especially with education and disasters.

DPWH, City to ink MOU on infra coordination

By Doris C. Dumlao (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

THE Iloilo City Government and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) District Engineering Office are set to collaborate with each other regarding implementation of public works projects within the jurisdiction of the city.

The consensus was arrived at to erase future disagreements and misunderstanding on local and national projects being implemented in the city without proper coordination with the local government unit.

City Engineer Roberto Divinagracia said a memorandum of understanding is being finalized for signature of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and DPWH Engineering Director Edilbeto Tayao, together with the city engineer and district engineer Rodney Gustilo.

Divinagracia said the MOU is most likely to be signed within this week to settle the differences arising when no proper coordination is being forged between the City Engineering Office and District Engineering Office.

That way, no infra projects by the City and DPWH will commence without the approval and go signal of the mayor, Divinagracia said.

Mabilog will have to approve the start of project implementation be it a drainage system, roads or public buildings constructed within Iloilo City.

Ilonggo doctors pave way for 1st QualiMed hospital

By Doris C. Dumlao (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 26 (PIA6)—Last year it was hundred percent compliance with the full disclosure policy among the local government units in Western Visayas.

“This year so far it is only 83 percent,” said Anthony Nuyda, regional director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government-6.

He said that this is the reason the agency is focusing on campaigning for the full disclosure policy down to the barangay level. Nuyda said in a radio interview that the local government units can minimize corruption in their transactions by implementing the full disclosure policy, where documents are open for the scrutiny of the public.

Under this policy, LGUS are required to post documents on disbursements, incomes, bidding and other transactions, in areas accessible to their constituents, which may involve websites.

Nuyda said that they want the LGUs to be accountable, transparent, participative and effective, hence, they should implement the full disclosure policy.

Through public posting people will know the transactions being undertaken by their respective LGUs, and they can take active role in watching public documents, according to the DILG.

Nuyda said the DILG cannot do the job by itself and it would be of big help if the public does its share.

DILG seeks 100% compliance with full disclosure policy

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 26 (PIA6)—Last year it was hundred percent compliance with the full disclosure policy among the local government units in Western Visayas.

“This year so far it is only 83 percent,” said Anthony Nuyda, regional director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government-6.

He said that this is the reason the agency is focusing on campaigning for the full disclosure policy down to the barangay level. Nuyda said in a radio interview that the local government units can minimize corruption in their transactions by implementing the full disclosure policy, where documents are open for the scrutiny of the public.

Under this policy, LGUS are required to post documents on disbursements, incomes, bidding and other transactions, in areas accessible to their constituents, which may involve websites.

Nuyda said that they want the LGUs to be accountable, transparent, participative and effective, hence, they should implement the full disclosure policy.

Through public posting people will know the transactions being undertaken by their respective LGUs, and they can take active role in watching public documents, according to the DILG.

Nuyda said the DILG cannot do the job by itself and it would be of big help if the public does its share.

Former HK domestic worker develops app for OFWs

By Freda Mae Sorsano (

OFW Watch, a mobile app developed by former domestic worker Myrna Padilla to protect overseas Filipinos from human trafficking, now has more than 100,000 members

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Growing up in a fishing village in Bohol where she considered her family the poorest, the creator of a potentially lifesaving application for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWS) never thought she would ever be an app developer.

Myrna Padilla developed the OFW Watch app to help distressed migrant Filipino workers. According to the application's description, "OFW Watch will alert you, in complete privacy, if an OFW near you is in trouble."

The description adds, "We will recommend a course of action for you to take, such as contact the local authorities. You will decide in complete privacy and anonymously if you can act. The course of action will NEVER involve financial assistance."

Padilla says the app "connects you to other Filipinos in the area who share the same language, hometown and even profession."

OFWs may also report suspected abuse cases and missing persons through the application.

OFW Watch

Having grown up poor, Padilla said she never expected to become an app developer.

Poverty fueled her desire to become an OFW; that desire increased her vulnerability to human trafficking. That vulnerability caused her to become a victim of trafficking at 16.

“I knew then that human traffickers target those who have practically nothing; those who are in dire need. I was one of those," she shared.

While she chose not divulge details of her darker experiences abroad, Myrna said this made her more determined to be of help to her fellow Filipinos.

As an OFW, Padilla moved numerous times – from Singapore to Taiwan and finally, to Hong Kong, where she stayed for 20 years and worked as a domestic helper. During that time, she always had a "passion to serve the community" and would get involved in community service even during her day off.

The course of her future was altered when she learned how to use a computer. With constant practice and with the incessant desire to learn, she eventually created a website and ultimately, developed an application.


In 2006, Padilla went home. From being a domestic worker and a labor rights advocate in Hong Kong, Padilla now heads Davao-based Mynd Consulting, a software company that eventually developed mobile application OFW Watch.

“I applied the knowledge that I gained from the Internet for my advocacy. We developed OFW Watch,” she said.

More than an application, OFW Watch aims to uphold volunteerism and unity among OFWs, while enabling an easier way to call for help.

“All they have to do is download the application and register. Once a person becomes a member of OFW Watch, they will automatically be included in the database,” said Padilla.

The app can detect a person’s location, as well as registered OFWs near him. When a problem or an irregularity is noticed, adjacent OFWs may be moved to take action.

The OFWs' other online accounts – such as Facebook – may also be synched with OFW Watch, so once a person stops communicating, other OFWs will notice.

Domestic worker no more

According to Padilla, she discovered her hidden passion for computers through her 8-year-old ward in Hong Kong, Jonathan.

“My boss instructed me to follow Jonathan at all times. She told me, ‘Whenever he would open his computer, just watch. Don’t do anything,'” she shared.

At first, the idea of the job terrified a non-technology savvy Padilla.

“Sabi ko noon, ‘Patay.’ (I said then, 'I'm doomed.') I didn’t even have the slightest idea what a computer was,” she said.

But as soon as she watched the 8-year-old use the computer, she was hooked. “I was very amazed. Every time the little black thing was moved, there were changes in the screen,” she shared with a laugh.

“I first learned how to use a mouse, then word applications, then surfing the Net, then e-mailing."

As of now, OFW Watch has more than 100,000 members, Padilla said. This was accomplished without advertising.

“Word of mouth lang… And it’s the nature of the Filipinos to volunteer. Kaya mabilis na lumago ang miyembro ng OFW Watch (It's only by word of mouth....And it's the nature of Filipinos to volunteer, that's why the OFW Watch membership grew),” she shared.

The app may be downloaded for free on iOs from the appstore or Google Play.

Old downtown areas up in heritage conservation summit


ILOILO City is hosting the third Heritage Conservation Summit starting October 24 to 26 to discuss and exchange knowledge on revitalizing old downtown areas and best practices in heritage conservation in historic old quarters and districts in the Philippines.

The national gab is jointly organized by the Heritage Conservation Society, Iloilo City Government, and the Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council (ICCHCC) in gathering some 200 participants composed of historians, heritage conservation practitioners, academe and other concerned individuals to bring to public awareness the importance of preserving and conserving heritage structures for the future generations.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will give the keynote address while lawyer Karen Lucille Isberto of the NCCA National Committee on Monuments and Sites will answer question on the provisions of Republic Act 10066.

Calle Real in Iloilo City, the first commercial business district in Western Visayas, will be presented as a case study in the revitalization of historic business district during the summit, which will be held at the University of the Philippines Auditorium.

ICCHCC president Dr. Kristin G. Trenas will present the case study on Saturday, October 25.

The Heritage Conservation Society will be represented by chairman and beauty queen Gemma Cruz Araneta and president Ivan Anthony Henares.

Aside from Calle Real in Iloilo City, the other case studies to be discussed in the Iloilo summit are the Escolta, Manila as a premier and historic business district by Arturo Dy, president of the Escolta Commercial Association Inc.; Cebu City in the revitalization of a historic downtown by Dr. Jocelyn B. Guerra, executive director of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation; Vigan, Ilocos Sur in the revitalization of historic town by Vigan City Councilor Juan Carlo Medina; and Angeles City, Pampanga in the removal of street wires in a historic center by City Tourism Officer Dr. Richard Daen and Joy Cruz of Angeles City heritage district working committee.

Other speakers are Dr. Fernando Zialcita of the cultural heritage studies program of Ateneo de Manila, NCCA chairman Dr. Felipe de Leon Jr., and Director Jeremy Barns of the National Museum.

Panelists during the round table discussions are Dr. De Leon, Barns, Mabilog, Henares, Architect Paulo Alcazaren, HCS Trustee Angel Bautista, Trenas and Guerra to be moderated by HCS Trustee, Archt Manolo LG Noche.

CREBA optimistic about housing growth


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 23 (PIA)—Officials of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association (CREBA) said they are optimistic about the real estate market as they continue to push for reforms for the housing sector.

“The reforms are for the sustainability and growth of the housing industry,” Charlie Gorayeb, CREBA National chairman told media in a press conference.

CREBA held its 23rd National Annual Convention here in Iloilo City recently.

In that convention Gorayeb said CREBA set its five-point agenda aimed to unlock and link the sustainable and strategic approaches to keep the growth path and reinforce the commitment of industry stakeholders.

“We hope to advance land and housing as primary catalyst for economic and social progress,” he added.

The major areas in the agenda include long-term and affordable funds for socialized and economic housing; affordable homes for employees in urban areas; efficient local government housing regulation; and, a full-fledged housing and urban development department.

CREBA said the country has still a backlog of some 5.5 million housing and overcoming this will require innovative government approaches and creative strategies by the private sector.

“Our five-point agenda is doable, effective and strong package of reforms,” said Gorayeb, adding that it would redound to the benefit of the home-buying public, the government and the public sector. He admitted that there is a gap between increase in informal settlers and the bustling real estate industry, and their advocacy is always to maintain lower and affordable rate.

He said he expected that their agenda will be supported to unfold because it will clearly demonstrate how to address the housing backlog and enable them to achieve an annual production target of 500,000 housing units.

Families get housing support from European NGO

By Lydia C. Pendon

URBAN poor families in Iloilo City will be taught how to construct their own houses by European non-government organization, Hilti Foundation.

Bruno Walt, managing director of Hilti Foundation, said they are building 20 duplex housing units for beneficiaries to be selected by the Homeless People Federation. Each unit will accommodate two families.

The houses are being built at the Uswag Subdivision and Relocation Site in the village of San Isidro, Jaro.

Walt said the project started in the country of Colombia by building houses made of local materials and resilient against strong winds.

He said the two year project was tested in Bicol last year and in Estancia, Iloilo early this year with 40 units.

Each two storey duplex unit will cost some P450,000 or roughly P220,000 per family.

A memorandum of agreement was already signed on Tuesday at the relocation site between Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Walt, Ofelia Botlog of the national HPFP and Villa Mae Libutaque of TAMPE in implementing urban poor housing construction with the use of bamboo.

City eyes houses made of bamboo

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Iloilo City Government and three other groups have launched Bamboo Housing Site at the Uswag Subdivision, San Isidro Relocation Site in Jaro district.

Base on the memorandum of agreement signed Tuesday, October 21, Iloilo City, Homeless People’s Federation of the Philippines (HPFP), Technical Assistance Movement for People and Environment, and Hilti Foundation will implement urban poor housing construction with the use of local materials like bamboo.

HPFP regional coordinator Sonia Cadornigara said they were able to make another breakthrough in exploring the viability of locally available bamboo with assistance of experts from the University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños and treatment facility in UP Miagao for houses to withstand winds of up to 255 kilometers per hour.

The federation had built three demonstration housing units and the construction of 20 units is still ongoing at the relocation site in response to the city’s housing backlog.

Cadornigara said her federation had not only built houses using alternative technology of Interlocking Compressed Earth Blocks in the Uswag Subdivision, but also built more resilient communities.

Center rehabilitates juvenile delinquents


ILOILO City – There is hope for children in conflict with the law.

The Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras provides these children aged 15 years old and below 18 the ambience of home for their reformation.

Currently, the center has 33 residents from the various parts of the region. They have committed crimes such as against property and person, chastity, on special laws and other complex offenses, said center head Julian Ledesma.

Fourteen of them have attained elementary level education, three are elementary graduates, nine are high school graduates, and seven, high school level, he said.

RRCY aims to be the country’s first Center of Excellence in residential facility for children in conflict with law.

It is one of the three residential facilities of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 6 located at the five-hectare lot donated by the municipality of Nueva Valencia.

The RRCY is the only center out of the more than 30 nationwide that was conferred with a Level 2 accreditation by the Standards Bureau of the DSWD Central Office, said Ledesma.

Donations and support from local government units, academic institutions, non-government organizations and even international organizations like the United Nations Children’s Fund have brought lots of improvements to the center’s infrastructures and services benefiting residents, said Ledesma.

The center is now attracting not only local non-government organizations but also other countries. The Philippine government has recently recommended RRCY for visiting Malaysians for their studies as their government is also planning to put up a rehabilitation facility.

Ledesma said the center also boasts of the products made by the residents through their skills trainings, displayed in their showroom. Products include the center’s signature product, stone patch. Some of the precious stones used are from San Remigio, Antique.

At this time, RRCY residents are busy producing decors for the Christmas season. The products are sold and some of the proceeds generated are sent by the residents to their parents.

Ledesma said the livelihood program is part of the preparation for the reintegration of residents to their respective families or relatives and eventually, to become a productive member of the community.

Uy Gongco Corp. kicks off World Food Day in Iloilo


MANILA - The Uygongco Foundation, Inc. (UFI) has launched a school-based feeding program in Iloilo City in celebration of the World Food Day.

Hundreds of pupils in major public elementary schools in Iloilo City are beneficiaries of the program initiated by the UFI, a certified NGO and philanthropic arm of diversified conglomerate La Filipina Uy Gongco Corp.

The UFI has always been at the forefront of implementing education programs for school children. In the past, it had partnered with the Department of Education for its “Adopt-A-School” program.

It has also implemented teaching programs for teachers, school facilities improvement programs, alternative learning system programs, and technical and livelihood training for parents.

Athletes from 42 schools coming for 19th UniGames


SOME 2,300 athletes and coaches from 42 confirmed schools, and 360 technical officials, venue coordinators and utility personnel are expected to start arriving in Iloilo City this weekend for the 19th UniGames hosted by the University of San Agustin from October 21 to 28.

Participating schools are Adamson University, Ateneo de Davao University, Ateneo de Manila, Arellano University, Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion of Roxas City, Centro Escolar University-Manila, Cor Jesu College-Davao del Sur, Central Philippine University-Iloilo, De La Salle University (DLSU)-College of St. Benilde, DLSU-Cavite, DLSU-Manila, DMMA College of Southern Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Filamer Christian University, Fr. Saturnino Urios University-Butuan City, Foundation University-Dumaguete, Holy Angel University-Pampanga and Hercor College of Roxas City.

Also coming are contingents from Holy Cross of Davao, Iloilo Doctors’ College, John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University, Jose Maria College-Davao City, La Salle University-Ozamiz, Naga College Foundation, National University-Manila, Riverside College, Rizal Technological University-Mandaluyong, San Beda College, University of Mindanao-Davao City, University of Northern Philippines-Vigan City, University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta- Las Piñas City, University of San Jose-Recoletos of Cebu City, University of Immaculate Concepcion, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, and host USA-Iloilo.

From Bacolod are STI-West Negros University, Visayan Maritime Academy-Global College and University of St. La Salle.

Thirteen sports events tentatively scheduled for competition, including athletics, badminton, basketball, chess, football, karatedo, lawn tennis, sepak takraw, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball and beach volleyball.

In women’s basketball, Adamson University Lady Falcons begins its title bid with a face-off against University of Northern Philippines in Bracket A on October 22 while last year’s second runner-up De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (DLS-CSB) Lady Blazers face host-USA Iloilo in Bracket B.

Completing the opening day matches are the Ateneo de Davao facing Centro Escolar University-Manila in Bracket A while Rizal Technological University taking the Holy Cross of Davao in Bracket B.

Iloilo strengthens child protection efforts

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 17 (PIA6) - - The Iloilo provincial government through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) is strengthening its efforts on child protection through a number of activities as the country celebrates the National Children’s Month (NCM).

The PSWDO is set to hold a five-day training intended to strengthen the capacities of the Local Councils for the Protection of Children (LCPC) in the province in child protection in emergencies.

Judy Guadalupe, PSWDO Focal Person for Children, said the participants will include members of the Provincial Council for the Protection of Children and the MCPC of Ajuy, Carles, San Dionisio, Barotac Viejo and Calinog.

The training which will be held on October 27-31 is funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

On November 13 to 14, PSWDO will also convene the PCPC for a workshop on the assessment and updating of the Provincial Children’s Code which was passed in year 2007.

LGUs are mandated to establish their respective LCPC at the City, Municipal and Barangay Levels and allocate 1% of Internal Revenue Allotment for its strengthening and implementation of programs, projects and activities under Section 15 of Republic Act 9344, otherwise known as the “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006" .

Guadalupe said the Children’s Congress on November 18 will culminate the children’s month celebration in the province.

The one-day event will showcase the talents and skills of day care pupils in competitions such as draw and tell, folk dance, recitation of poem or ‘tula’, and singing.

The yearly celebration pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 267, series of 1993 emphasizes the importance of the role of the child within the Filipino family and in nation building.

Pedestrianization program attracts visitors

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Iloilo City’s pedestrianization program every Sunday afternoon at the Calle Real has attracted visitors and has showcased the Ilonggo cultural presentations of different schools.

The Sunday program started with a Zumba exercise and followed by the cultural presentations with the old heritage buildings as backdrop to the delight of revelers.

Businesses have also started to grow in Calle Real, especially for food and drinks when the commercial stores closed on Sundays.

City councilor Jason Gonzales said the pedestrianization program starting 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. every Sunday is something every Ilonggos must be proud of.

A rental fee of P200 allows business entrepreneurs to set up tents for food and drinks but definitely no selling of ukay-ukay products.

Gonzales said he is hoping Ilonggos will continue to support the program even if he may not be around anymore in 2016.

DTI-Iloilo gives consumer orgs energy saving tips

By Raymart Escopel With a report from PIA (PN)

ILOILO City – Various consumer organizations in the province were given tips on saving and conserving energy as part of the one-day capability building workshop recently conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Iloilo.

Energy saving and conservation has been one of DTI’s concentration in celebration of the 2014 Consumer Welfare Month this October in Iloilo.

Bearing the theme “Sapat na Impormasyon: Susi sa Wastong Paggamit ng Enerhiya,” DTI has partnered with the Department of Energy (DOE) in conducting various activities in line with the celebration.

The said theme also calls for consumers to choose best energy choices that will cater to their needs and requirements.

During the capability building workshop, Alexis Matel Carlos of DOE gave a talk to discuss matters of energy saving and conserving.

Likewise, Engr. Rey Maleza, EIMD supervisor of DOE-Visayas, talked about the use and safety concerns on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

After Iloilo City, DOE will head to Roxas City to conduct the same consumer advocacy campaign.

The recently conducted capability workshop was attended by consumer organizations from the towns of Tigbauan, Leon, Janiuay, New Lucena and cities of Passi and Iloilo.

Aside from the energy saving and conservation tips, the participants were also given updates about the Fair Trade Laws and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities.

DTI-Iloilo Trade and Development Division officer-in-charge Judith Degala said the workshop mainly aims to strengthen the partnership of DTI to the consumers by giving them aid implementing consumer welfare programs in their respective municipalities and stores.

Other activities to be held to highlight the 2014 Consumer Welfare Month celebration include Consumer Quiz Bee on Oct. 10 and the Diskwento Caravan which will be tentatively held on Oct. 27-28 in Calinog.

The Consumer Quiz Bee will be participated by students from public school which are beneficiaries of the Personal Computers for Public Schools program of DTI.

Meanwhile, the Diskwento Caravan in Calinog will give the consumers in the said municipality and in neighboring places to avail of products at discounted prices.

IMWG-VI to build capability to support DRRM

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 14 (PIA6) – The Information Management Working Group in Region VI will embark on a series of trainings to build its capacity to establish and maintain a data repository that would support government disaster risk reduction and management operations in case of an emergency.

The first training that covers basic and advanced MS Excel and introduction of ArcGIS slated October 21-23, 2014. The other training on GIS using ArcGIS for government partners is scheduled for November 28-29.

The trainings were set during the second meeting of the group held today, October 14 at the Jalaur Conference Room of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) here.

The trainings will be participated in by representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, Office of Civil Defense, and Philippine Information Agency.

The trainings will be supported by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), which has been in Western Visayas to coordinate the operations of UN organizations and other international groups in relation to typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), together with the Office of Civil Defense.

UN OCHA said information management seeks to aid DRRM authorities and stakeholders in making a good assessment of the situation and appropriate decisions.

Consumer orgs given updates

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 13 (PIA6) - - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)- Iloilo convened consumer organizations from the different local government units in the province and consumer welfare desks of the establishments in the city for a one-day capability building workshop.

DTI-Iloilo Trade and Development Division Officer-in-Charge Judith Degala said participants from the municipalities of Tigbauan, Leon, Janiuay, New Lucena and cities of Passi and Iloilo were updated on Fair Trade Laws and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities during the recent activity.

“Through this workshop we aim to strengthen our partnership with them by helping them in the implementation of their consumer welfare programs in their respective municipalities and stores”, Degala said.

Participants were also given tips on energy efficiency and conservation by Alexis Matel Carlos of the Department of Energy as the workshop is one of the activities prepared by DTI and DOE for the 2014 Consumer Welfare Month celebration this October in Iloilo.

Engr. Rey Maleza, EIMD Supervisor of DOE Visayas likewise briefed participants on the use and safety concerns on liquifed petroleum gas.

DOE spearheads this Consumer Welfare Month with the theme “Sapat na Impormasyon: Susi sa Wastong Paggamit ng Enerhiya” highlighting consumer education in choosing the best energy choices.

Maleza said DOE personnel are now out to conduct consumer advocacy campaign in the different places of the country. After Iloilo City they will proceed to Roxas City.

Degala said a Consumer Quiz Bee was also held on October 10 in line with the celebration. This was participated in by students from public schools that are beneficiaries of the Personal Computers for Public Schools program of the department.

Another activity slated is the Diskwento Caravan which is tentatively scheduled on October 27-28 in the municipality of Calinog in order that consumers in the area and nearby places could buy available products at discounted prices.

Traditional Iloilo fabrics revived through fashion

By Tara V. Yap

Iloilo City, Iloilo – Woven fabrics that have long been part of Iloilo’s history and culture are getting due appreciation, thanks to a recently-held fashion fair here.

“This promotes local talent by the use of local fibers. This weaves together the artisans, local designers, local fashion models, and the Ilonggo community,” said Bombette Golez Marin, Iloilo provincial tourism officer and founder of the annual fashion and trade fair.

Ilonggo fashion designers Lexter Badana, Ian Jorda, John Montinola, Joseph Aloysius Montelibano, and Binky Pitogo designed gowns and dresses made out of local fabrics.

The Iloilo Provincial Tourism Office facilitated the weavers from the towns of Miag-ao, Oton, Igbaras, Dueñas, and Badiangan to collaborate with the five designers in the infusion of local fabrics hablon, patadyong and polyhemp in their design.

Marin said the fashion and trade fair was also a way to boost the livelihood of local weavers.

Marin noted that Iloilo’s weaving industry almost died out during the late 1980s until the mid-1990s. However, the Iloilo provincial office and Western Visayas regional office Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) intervened.

“DTI taught the local weavers to use natural dyes and assist in obtaining looms and natural fibers,” said Marin.

It’s not too late to learn math


WHO says math is only for kids?

Now, with CMA Mental Arithmetic’s new program, even the oldies can enroll and improve their math skills for enhanced physical and mental health.

CMA Mental Arithmetic is an award-winning, global and fast-growing mental arithmetic education system. It offers unique learning programs which help develop one’s creativity, concentration, memory sensory, and visual math through the use of traditional abacus. Studies have shown that abacus benefits all sides of the brain making it more productive. By being productive, the brain can help avoid illnesses that usually prevail during senior year such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

With CMA Mental Arithmetic’s Adult program, even the retirees can enroll, improve their memory, prevent mental illnesses, and further learn mathematics in an unexpected fun way. The said program is available for students aging from 13 and up. However, this program also caters to young professionals, business-minded individuals and even retirees who wish to maintain a mentally fit condition despite the years spent.

It is a common fact that physical activities like walking, jogging, and running improves one’s physical conditions. As for mental health, it demands continuous learning for a more functional and healthier state. With the luxury of free time, one is encouraged to enroll at the adult program of CMA Mental Arithmetic for a productive and sociable learning. The program also involves interactive modules held in a small classroom set-up coupled with fun activities that are appropriate for the age it entertains.

The said program however, does not only focus on mental arithmetic or calculations, but centers more on its health benefits. In the end, learning how to handle math is just the tip of the iceberg.

The modules in all of CMA’s programs are the same. The pace of learning however, depends on the capability and age of the student. In addition, CMA Mental Arithmetic also boasts of its time flexibility to suit its clients’ preferred timetable demand.

Aside from its program intended for adults, CMA Mental Arithmetic offers a new program called Kindy. The said program is especially created for children aged 2 ½ to four years old and wants to experience schooling at such an early age.

Kindy offers learning in such a fun way minus the hassle of pressure. As a matter of fact, most of CMA’s activities develop each of its student’s focus, memory and skills. Moreover, it also teaches its students about the Chinese culture and heritage since they use traditional abacus as a main tool to its programs offered. Most importantly, it provides its students a venue where they can increase their speed and

accuracy in computation as well as in making right and sound decisions.

Other programs offered by CMA Mental Arithmetic include kinder aged four to seven years old and primary to those aging from seven to 13 years old.

Eight year-old Ella Parreño said that CMA made her more interested with mathematics.

“The use of the abacus made math easier for me to understand. I also learned how to focus and be patient because of CMA,” she furthered.

CMA’s benefits to its students were further testified by Melissa Salvador whose kids, Anton and Andrea, have been doing the CMA Mental Arithmetic program for six months now. She said that she has seen how much her kids enjoy mathematics lately. As a matter of fact, she noted that they always look forward to attend their classes every week and eager to share what games they played during the session as well as the things that they have learned in class.

“It helped them with their school work since they can already calculate much faster. Plus, they have been meeting new friends, too! I would highly recommend CMA to my friends,” she added.

Through CMA’s holistic mental arithmetic approach, indeed, every one of all ages can enjoy math in a different but fun ways.

For more inquiries, visit CMA Mental Arithmetic Iloilo at 2/F CBI Building, Treñas Blvd. corner Diversion Road, Mandurriao, Iloilo City. You may also contact them thru numbers (+63) 300 – 1818 and (+63) 933 – 677 – 7167.

Seniors receive P3.8M social pension in 2014

By Lydia C. Pendon

A TOTAL of 648 elderly in Iloilo City aged 77 years old and above and considered target beneficiaries in the Social Pension Program for indigent senior citizens will receive a total of P3.8 million annual allotment in 2014 divided in four quarters.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Western Visayas office said the 106 target beneficiaries in the first quarter were allotted P159,000. The number of beneficiaries was expanded to 135 in the second quarter with P263,500, and there were 138 beneficiaries in the third quarter with P316,500.

The fourth quarter beneficiaries are yet to be identified.

The 664 target beneficiaries of Lambunao, Iloilo are allotted with P3.9 million while the 535 beneficiaries of Cabatuan, Iloilo are allotted with P3.2 million for 2014.

The social pension of P500 per month for indigent senior citizens is classified through a survey by the National Housing Targeting System (NHTS) as poor and non-poor as of 2014.

The whole province of Iloilo and Iloilo City has a total 12,915 target beneficiaries for 2014 with an annual amount of P77.4 million divided in the first quarter at P3.3 million, second quarter at P7.8 million and third quarter at P4.9 million.

DSWD is also expecting additional 5,155 beneficiaries in the fourth quarter of this year.

Breaching the more than P2-million annual amount are the municipalities of Miagao with P2.2 million, San Joaquin with P2.8 million, Tigbauan with P2.5 million, Alimodian with P2.2 million, Leon with P.3 million, Janiuay with P2.8 million, Anilao with P2.2 million, Dumangas with P2.4 million, San Enrique with P2 million, and Sara with P2 million.

Korea Seed Production project to benefit Iloilo farmers

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 9 (PIA6) - - The Sinibaan Farmers Association (SFA) in Brgy. Sinibaan, Dingle, Iloilo will be the first recipient of the quality seeds produced by the Department of Agriculture 6 – Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (DA 6-WESVIARC) in Hamungaya, Jaro, Iloilo City.

The production of quality seeds such as PSB Rc 14 and NSIC Rc 214 in the 2.5 hectares demonstration farm of WESVIARC was funded by the Korea Project on International Agriculture (KOPIA) under its collaborative project with the Philippine Rice Research Institute entitled “Seed Multiplication and Dissemination of Promising Rice Cultivars in the Philippines”. KOPIA is run by the Rural Development Administration of South Korea.

DA 6 Regional Technical Director for Research, Policy Planning and Support Services Joyce Wendam said some 200 bags of rice seeds are expected to be harvested and will be distributed to SFA members and other organized farmer associations or cooperatives in the province.

Each member of the Sinibaan Farmers Association numbering to about 50 will get one bag of rice seeds and they are obliged to return the one bag to the association later.

SFA President Marlyn Daquilanea together with her members and the local officials of the town attended the KOPIA Seed Production Project Farmers Field Day on October 6 in WESVIARC. They were joined by some 35 member delegation from South Korea including officers of the RDA and KOPIA and farmers from the municipalities of San Miguel, Zarraga, Cabatuan, Barotac Nuevo and Passi City.

Also during the event, through a deed of gift, the government of South Korea turned over a transplanting machine and two units portable soil analyzer to the SFA.

Wendam urged farmer beneficiaries to take care of the project because the government of South Korea also exerted efforts in bringing these technologies to the Philippines.

According to Wendam the vision of KOPIA is to share their R& D technology which is very appropriate as the ASEAN economic integration will start in 2015 and farmers need resources to develop their commodities to be globally competitive.

The South Korea RDA launched KOPIA in 2009 to continue its agricultural cooperation with developing nations through technological support and the co-development of resources. It has centers in ten countries including the Philippines located at PhilRice in Nueva Ecija.

In his message, Dr. Jeong Eung Gi, Senior Researcher Rice Research Division, NICS RDA cited the strong bond between the Philippines and Korea which started after the Korean War in 1950’s.

Gi said as part of the agricultural cooperation, KOPIA and PhilRice launched the seed production project intended to increase the productivity and income of farmers.

He hoped that the project will bring transformation in the lives of the farmers in the rural areas of the country. He further hoped that the province of Iloilo will be able to establish a regional seeds variety service institution through the project.

“The government of Korea especially KOPIA will be your strong and everlasting partner in developing and implementing joint project in agricultural technology, research and extension so we could contribute to the regional economy,” said Gi.

Iloilo, Koronadal now sister cities

By Joel Locsin/VC (GMA News)

Iloilo City and Koronadal City in South Cotabato are now sister cities, after their respective mayors signed a sisterhood agreement on Wednesday.

The signing was part of the 14th cityhood anniversary of Koronadal highlighted by a "Negosyo Festival," the Iloilo City government said.

Signing the sisterhood agreement were Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Koronadal City Mayor Peter Miguel.

Iloilo noted Koronadal hosts many migrants from Iloilo.

"Koronadal originated from two B’laan words koron or kolon meaning cogon grass and nadal or datal meaning plain. It was formerly called Marbel which comes from B’laan word that means murky waters referring to its river," it said.

Presently, it said Koronadal is the regional center and seat of the SOCCSKSARGEN region.

More DOH-6 personnel up for better health services

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 7(PIA)—The Department of Health in Western Visayas said it is continuously beefing up health services in the region to serve the poor and the elderly.

Dr. Marlyn Convocar, DOH regional director, said that the first thing the agency has focused on is to fill in the shortage of nurses in government hospitals, through the Nurse Development Program (NDP)

Convocar said in a radio interview that they have hired 861 nurses so far.

The NDP, which was before called RN Heals, is a way of helping new nurses learn and earn within two years.

She added that NDP aims to combat the exploitation of nurses, through voluntary service wherein they earn nothing.

“DOH does not encourage nurses to work on voluntary basis. We don’t even allow it,” Convocar said.

Meanwhile, the DOH has also hired 232 midwives and together with the nurses were deployed to rural health units and barangay health stations.

With these nurses and midwives, Convocar said, the performance of the rural health units is given boost.

She said that for this year, DOH has hired 10 doctors and assigned to RHUs with no physicians.

The services of these doctors, midwives and nurses in rural areas can minimize infant and maternal deaths.

On the other hand, Norma Losanes, president of the Philippine Nurses Association in Panay, said that the NDP has helped much in filling up the shortage of nurses in government hospitals in the region.

Korea, PhilRice develop quality seeds for WV

(SMH Toreno, DA-6/PN)

ILOILO City – The Korea Project for International Agriculture (KOPIA) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) developed seed varieties to be distributed to farmers in rain-fed and irrigated lowland conditions in Western Visayas.

KOPIA funded P254, 666 for the seed production of PSB Rc 14 and NSIC Rc 214 during the wet season this year in the 2.5-hectare demonstration farm at the Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (WESVIARC) in Barangay Hamungaya, Jaro district here.

Managed by the Rural Development Administration of Korea, the KOPIA was launched in 2009 and it has centers in Vietnam, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Kenya, Brazil, Paraguay, Congo, Algeria, Cambodia and in the Philippines.

Today, 31 Korean delegates are expected to grace the KOPIA Seed Production Project Farmers Field Day at WESVIARC. There will be a field demonstration of rice combine harvester and thresher in the said seed production area.

KOPIA project leader in the Philippines Dr. Norvie L. Manigbas, center director Dr. Jeong Taek Lee, PhilRice executive eirector Eufemio T. Rasco Jr., Dr. Yeo Un Sang of the International Rice Research Institute and Dr. Jeong Eung Gi of the Rice Research Division in South Korea will discuss to farmers various seed production technologies.

Department of Agriculture regional executive director Larry P. Nacionales, Iloilo’s Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. and Iloilo City’s Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will also attend the said activity.

Around 130 participants from the towns of Dumangas, Barotac Nuevo, Dingle, Passi City, Cabatuan, and San Miguel are expected to attend the field day.

These six municipalities are also beneficiaries of the Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) Project of the DA.

Meanwhile, the KOPIA will turn over one unit of soil analyzer and rice transplanter to one farmers’ organization of the Municipality of Dingle.

Overpass with elevator soon operational


ILOILO City – The elevator at the pedestrian overpass along the Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue (Diversion Road) has been installed and will soon be operational.

The elevator is for persons with disability (PWDs) and the elderly, according to Regional Director Edilberto Tayao of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Batas Pambansa 344 seeks to enhance the mobility of PWDs by requiring buildings, institutions, establishments and public utilities to install facilities and other devices that aid them.

DPWH had tested the elevator using a generator for power and it worked well, said Tayao.

Should all go well, the elevator may be operational within a month, he said.

The overpass with elevator is the biggest project so far that the DPWH regional office has built for the PWD sector, added Tayao.

“We have already tapped PECO (Panay Electric Cooperative) for the electrical connection,” he said.

DPWH will be providing the transformer so that the city government will only have to pay for the electricity consumption.

Tayao said his department will also be installing a canopy atop the elevator to protect pedestrians.

“Nowhere in the Philippines siguro merong ganito,” said Tayao.

The installation of the canopy will only take a month at most, said the regional director.

For the elevator’s safekeeping, DPWH is presently devising a design that would include a police station near or below the overpass.

“Our only problem is the limited space under the overpass. But we are working on it,” said Tayao.

The overpass is 50.235 meters long and three meters wide, costing P19,302,321.

DILG6 lines up activities to mark LGC 23rd anniversary


ILOILO CITY, Oct. 4 (PIA6) – The Department of the Interior and Local Government Region 6 (DILG6) has lined up a series of activities in celebration of the 23rd anniversary of the Local Government Code.

These activities include the Search for Outstanding Barangay Tanod, LG Quiz, synchronized Barangay Assembly, featured exhibits, Development Talk, and launching of the scaled-up Search for Excellence in Local Governance Award.

DILG6 said in a report that the synchronized Barangay Assembly will be held on October 12.

The Search for Outstanding Barangay Tanod will culminate in an awarding ceremony along with the hand-in of incentives for the Lupong Tagapamayapa on October 13 at the SM City Mall in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Now on its second year, the LG Quiz will be held on October 17. It seeks to draw awareness on the different provisions of the Local Government Code and various projects of the DILG.

Civil society organizations, national government agencies and local government units will showcase featured exhibits on the programs and projects undertaken through collaboration and partnerships on October 21-23.

The three-day exhibit has been aptly labeled “Beinte Tres ka Duag: Pagpasanyog sang Pagbuyloganay kag Pagpakigbahinay” (Twentry-Three Acts: Fostering Partnership and Participation in Local Governance).

The Development Talk, which is annual Knowledge-Sharing Activity of the DILG Region VI, will focus on strengthening Multi-Stakeholders, partners and linkages on October 30-31, 2014 which is considered one of the sustained gains in LGU-CSO engagements.

Now on its 9th year, the scaled-up Search for Excellence in Local Governance Award or EXCELL Awards, an annual search of the DILG Region VI in partnership with the various NGAs and CSOs and Private Sectors will also be launched during the Development Talk.

This year’s theme “Ang LGUng Magaling ay may Nararating”, highlights the gains and successes of LGUs in pursuit of excellence in local governance. The whole month of engaging activities will be spearheaded by DILG6 with the aim of popularizing and mainstreaming sustained best practices in LGUs since the enactment of the Local Government Code.

DILG6 enjoined every Local Government stakeholder to participate in the LGC anniversary.

Canadian gov’t to help boost WV tourism


ILOILO City – Western Visayas tourism will further be enhanced following the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the provinces of Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Antique, and Aklan to implement three tourism initiatives.

The agreement is part of the Government of Canada’s Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED) project.

Canada has allocated P18 million for the implementation of these tourism initiatives in Region 6.

The initiatives will support local government efforts and their private sector partners in improving the competitiveness of the tourism industry through a simplified business climate, investment promotion, tourism circuit development and destination marketing, and workforce development.

“Canada recognizes that one of the challenges facing this country is to make economic growth more inclusive for communities and local governments. Through Canada’s LGSP-LED and under the leadership of DILG, the initiatives in Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Antique, and Aklan are expected to boost the competitiveness and efficiency of the local tourism economy, attract investments, generate increased revenues for the LGUs as well as jobs for the poor in these areas,” said Luke Myers, head of development cooperation of the Embassy of Canada.

Myers was here recently for the memorandum of agreement signing.

“Let me take this opportunity to thank the people of Canada, the Government of Canada for their continuing and long-standing support, which I have had the privilege to appreciate since the first time I was elected as Governor in 1992,” said Iloilo’s Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr.

Negros Occidental’s Gov. Alfredo Marañon also expressed his gratitude to DILG and optimism for the LGUs to achieve the goals of the projects.

Through the MOA, LGUs and DILG committed to collaborate for growing their local economies through tourism development. Partner-LGUs are targeting an aggregate of over P2 billion in new investments and nearly 700 new direct jobs in the tourism sector by 2016.

The local project in northern Panay (Aklan and Antique) focuses on sustainable tourism development, taking advantage of Boracay as a popular destination to also spur economic activities in nearby communities through excursions outside the island.

For Negros Occidental, the local project aims to strengthen public-private partnerships, build on its strong organic farming movement for tourism growth, and develop Bacolod-Talisay-Silay as a major hub for culture, creativity, and innovation in the province.

On the other hand, for Yolanda-affected Northern Iloilo, the local project focuses on rebuilding economic opportunities in the local tourism industry.

Tourist express elevator soon at City Hall

By Lydia C. Pendon

AN EXPRESS elevator made of glass for tourists will soon add to the features of the new Iloilo City Hall building, with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Tourism Infrastructure Economic Zone Authority allotting P15 million for it.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said he was informed by the DOT that the total project cost of the project is P15 million, and the P5 million is included in the 2015 budget to be released in 2015.

Elevator construction is expected to commence by the last quarter of 2014 and finish by June 2015.

The express elevator is made of glass, so tourists could see the beauty of the building up to the penthouse where the surrounding area and city commercial district, Plaza Libertad and the nose-shaped Iloilo River are visible.

The tourist express elevator project for visitors and tourists was suggested by Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez when he visited City Hall early this year.

‘Negros-Panay bridge a boon to tourism’


ILOILO City – A bridge linking the islands of Negros and Panay, when realized, will boost the tourism industry of Western Visayas.

Director Helen Catalbas of the Department of Tourism Region 6 yesterday commented, “It’s very good for tourism when realized. It will encourage foreign and local tourists to experience the region’s tourist destinations and appreciate our own heritage.”

The newly-installed chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC), Negros Occidental’s Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., vowed to prioritize the revival of the said proposal.

He admitted that this is a long-term project needing a feasibility study.

Marañon is eyeing the assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Korean International Cooperation Agency or any international financial organization in the conduct of the feasibility study.

“I’m pleased to learn about the priority plan of Gov. Marañon. It would also allow for a faster transport of goods to reach the tourist sites thereby having the grassroots share in the blessings of tourism,” said Catalbas. “Let’s pray the bridge project is realized soon but first let’s all work in one direction in our own respective ways to make it happen,” she said.

Catalbas is now in Paris, France representing the Philippines in the last leg of the four-country tourism road show in Europe for Southeast Asian countries sponsored by Silk Air and Singapore Airlines.

Iloilo’s Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. also backs Marañon’s plan.

However, like the new RDC chairman, Defensor said there is a need for a thorough study because it needs huge funding.

He said there is also a need to study its benefits and impact on the lives of the people of Panay and Negros and on the economy.

If realized, the governor believed the Panay-Negros Bridge would be the most expensive bridge in the country.

In 2013, Marañon coordinated with Defensor for the revival of the proposal through a joint resolution.

An earlier proposal was for a 14.5-kilometer bridge connecting Barangay Tomongtong in E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental to Banate, Iloilo

A few years back also, Iloilo City’s Rep. Jerry Treñas initiated a House resolution lobbying for the said project.

It was supported by 19 congressmen from the Visayas, including various district representatives from Western Visayas.

Treñas said the bridge will cost P53.66 billion.