Iloilo City News October 2016

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Iloilo City - Archived News

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Seal of Iloilo City
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Iloilo City, Iloilo
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Map Locator of Iloilo City
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Aerial View of Iloilo City
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Aerial View of Iloilo City
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How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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Molo Church, Iloilo City
Iloilo dinagyang festival.jpg
The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan.
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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
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Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.

Contents

Prov’l gov’t mulls new government center

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

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 31 (PIA6) --- The provincial government here will build a new government center as part of its plan to develop its properties surrounding the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.

Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr., in his 2016 State of the Province Address (SOPA), said they will establish a government center with mini-parks and a multi-level parking.

“We are planning to engage the services of Architect Paulo Alcazaren, the talent behind the Singapore River Quay and the Iloilo Esplanade for this massive undertaking,” he said.

He said this will be operated as an economic enterprise primarily for people working in or dealing with the Iloilo Provincial Government and the Iloilo Hall of Justice.

“With this, we hope to solve a bad and ever-worsening problem in the city – parking,” he said.

Meanwhile, the governor also said that the old Iloilo Provincial Jail will reopen its doors as the home of the Western Visayas Regional Museum.

“A repository of our collective memories pleasant, painful, triumphal, and trivial, mediocre, and monumental,” he said.

He said that this achievement would not have been possible without the support of the National Museum.

“The institution and its leadership have invested time, talent, and resources to help transform a penitentiary into a palace of culture and history,” he added.

Iloilo City gov't to rehab congested cemetery in 2017

(PNA), BNB/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The city government here will resort to rehabilitating its oldest and congested cemetery while it is still scouting for a site that can be utilized as another cemetery.

Engineer Noel Hechanova, city environment and natural resources office (CENRO) head, said that they plan to convert portion of the Tanza cemetery into bone boxes and tombs starting 2017.

The rehabilitation will initially cover the portion along Delgado to Mabolo-Delgado streets that will involve around 500 niches. Since they will be converted into bone boxes then the result would be around 1,000 to 1,200 niches, Hechanova said.

He disclosed that the total project cost is PHP1 million although the city government has allotted PHP2 million for its implementation.

They will start first with 200 niches as pilot phase. Depending on the result, they may go full blast with the construction of the remaining 900 boxes and niches.

Bones that will be exhumed will be placed in a temporary area also within the cemetery.

The Tanza cemetery is one of the three local government-managed cemeteries in this city. The others are in Quintin Salas in Jaro district and in Lapaz district.

Tanza cemetery is the oldest and most congested with its more than 7,000 capacity already full. Monthly, around 30 dead bodies are being buried in this cemetery.

“At the rate with which we are going, maybe it can still last for five more years,” Hechanova said.

Hechanova added that they will go massive with their information drive starting Nov. 1 to inform relatives of those who might be affected by the rehab project.

Nonetheless, they are also looking at the Quintin Salas cemetery for a similar project since it is not too congested.

It is also timely for city residents to consider cremation as option, he said.

Meantime, as thousands are expected to flock at these municipal cemeteries this Undas, Hechanova is urging the public to always follow the guidelines implemented by concerned government agencies.

On the part of the CENRO, he reminded that anti-littering ordinance is imposed. He said that that usually it takes a day for them to clean the Tanza cemetery alone.

Prov’l gov’t okays ‘weekend tienda’ at Casa Real

By Jaime S. Cabag, Jr.

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) – The Regional Development Council (RDC) Region VI management board has won the nod of the provincial government to put at the Casa Real and Iloilo Provincial Capitol grounds the “Weekend Tienda Sa Iloilo” which will be launched on November 26.

The approval was made during the Executive-Legislative Conference between Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan held Oct. 18 the Board Room of the Governor’s Office.

NEDA-6 Regional Director Ro-Ann Bacal, also the board chairperson, has said Casa Real and the Capitol grounds would be an ideal venue for the daytime weekend market, which seeks to provide markets for local Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) including homegrown and hobbyist producers.

The weekend tienda will be launched next month and will bring to the fore homegrown food products, handcrafted gift items, artworks of local artists, and organic and certified natural farm fresh poultry, vegetables, fruits, fisheries and aquaculture products from the various municipalities of Iloilo. It will also serve as a venue that would endeavor to make the best of Ilonggo cuisine and delicacies available to local and foreign visitors, both foreign and from other parts of the country. The RDC-6 management board is working out the preparations for the weekend market to provide the best possible market opportunity for local MSME products which are part of the sector that has been recognized to have contributed significantly to the region’s economy.

Following the approval, Gov. Defensor also directed concerned offices of the provincial government to extend the needed support to the activity. (JSC/PIA6)

BFAR to provide fish snack carts to selected fisherfolks in Western Visayas

(PNA), FPV/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- Ten selected fisherfolks from various areas in Western Visayas will benefit from the fish snack cart facility provided by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

BFAR director for Western Visayas Remia Aparri said the provision of fish snack cart is part of their post-harvest and marketing project where the recipient is identified with the help of the local government unit.

Recipients are trained on value-adding of fishery products, she added.

The first cart was released to a recipient in Tigbauan, Iloilo on Monday,while the remaining carts are yet to be distributed to their beneficiaries to include one from Iloilo City, five from Capiz, three from Negros Occidental and two in Aklan.

“We piloted this in Capiz and since we found it to be effective, we decided to have it replicated in other areas,” Aparri said.

Aside from snack cart, BFAR also provides hook and line equipment to fisherfolks identified by their LGUs.


DOT eyes growing Malaysian tourist market

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA) --- With the increasing number of tourists coming from Malaysia every year, the Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 is keen on tapping more into the Malaysian market to increase tourist arrivals in Western Visayas.

In a media release, DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said Malaysia is one of the region’s fastest growing foreign tourist market since 2014.

“In 2013 there were only 5,970 Malaysian tourist arrivals in Western Visayas and this number grew to 20,296 in 2014, the year when DOT-6 and Western Visayas local government units and private stakeholders embarked on the First Tourism Business Mission in Singapore and Malaysia,” Catalbas said.

She said that the number of Malaysian tourist arrivals in Region 6 reached 36,419 in 2015.

In 2015, DOT-6 hosted Santai Travel Magazine editor and photographer who featured Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City and Sipalay City, Negros Occidental on the cover and at least eight inside pages of the publication.

Recently, a familiarization tour for Malaysian bloggers and media in Bacolod City was hosted by DOT-6 which enabled the group to visit the top tourist spots around Negros Occidental and cover the famous Masskara Festival.

The tour was part of the agreement between DOT -6 and the Philippine Department of Tourism-Malaysia Office.

Catalbas emphasized that familiarization tours are ideal avenues to showcase the region’s tourism destinations and products.

“With the help of media and travel bloggers, we can stir curiosity among Malaysian travelers and other nationalities as well to visit Western Visayas because the information given are about firsthand experiences,” she added.


City gov’t eyes youth development office, council

(PNA), LAP/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 25 (PNA) -- The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) here will soon deliberate on the proposed creation of an office that will look into various youth-related activities in the city.

On Tuesday, councilor Lady Julie Grace L. Baronda, through her counterpart boy councilor Joshua David Terania, pushed for the passage of an ordinance leading to the creation of the Iloilo City Youth Development Office.

Terania who is from the Iloilo Scholastic Academy, Inc. was chosen as one of the city officials in line with the Boys’ and Girls’ Week celebration here.

“The Iloilo City Youth Development Office would be primarily responsible for the activities of the youth,” Terania noted during the introduction of the proposal at the SP regular session.

Baronda likewise pushed for the creation of the Iloilo City Youth Development Council that will give accreditation to youth-serving organizations in the city.

The committees on good government, youth and sports development and appropriation will soon convene to discuss the proposals.

PAGASA info materials now available in Hiligaynon language

(PNA), CVL/PGL/CBFERRER/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 24 (PNA) -- Information materials on tropical cyclones and what to do in case they happen have been translated into the Hiligaynon language to make it more understandable to local residents.

The materials came from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). The state-run weather bureau tied up with the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino for the translation while the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Be Secure Project funded the production of the materials.

Elisea Gozun, USAID Be Secure Project Climate Resiliency team leader, pointed out that the translated information materials will help Ilonggos easily understand PAGASA advisories and the necessary action they need to take whenever there are typhoons.

“The first thing we did was to simplify it and make it more graphical. So we have been able to do that and that has been pretested and found acceptable,” she said.

Gozun emphasized the importance for people to read or hear such information in their local languages to avoid misinterpretation.

The materials were presented before stakeholders last Friday for pretesting.

Aside from Hiligaynon, the materials were also translated from English to Filipino, Chavacano, Waray, Cebuano and Bisaya.

PAGASA hopes to make the materials available to the public before the end of the month.

Preparations underway for 1st Agri-Aqua Investment Forum in Iloilo

(PNA), LAP/PGL/CBFERRER/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 24 (PNA) -- Preparation is now underway for the 1st Agri-Aqua Investment Forum that will be held on November 9-10 here.

Dubbed as “Grow Western Visayas: Accelerating Investment for Global Markets,” the two-day forum will gather around 300 participants composed of investors, processors and farmers in Panay island.

Hosted by the Panay Organic Producers Association (POPA) in partnership with the Iloilo provincial government and selected national government agencies, the forum aims to bring together national and international business people who are inclined to invest in the agriculture industry in Iloilo and its neighboring provinces and invite successful entrepreneurs from the different parts of the country to share their ideas with local investors.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) one of the partners of POPA, is currently helping through providing the names of some successful entrepreneurs in some parts of the country who could share their ideas to the local entrepreneurs and producers here.

NEDA-6 director Ro-ann Bacal suggested that local investors and producers could touch base with the already established partners from other parts of the country who have excelled in their production and start growing.

Part of the program include the sharing of ideas of speakers who are already successful in specific commodities to include coffee, cacao, fruits and vegetables, livestock, poultry, swine and farmed seafood.

“The idea is really not only to bring in more investors in the region, but for our own investors to start growing and expanding and exploring the markets that other successful agri entrepreneurs have taken advantage of,” Bacal further said.

DPWH to activate “Lakbay-Alalay” program on Oct 28

(PNA), FPV/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Western Visayas is now ready for the observance of All Saints Day and All Souls Day with its “Lakbay-Alalay” program all set to commence Friday next week.

DPWH 6 regional information officer Vivian Tan said that upon the directive of Secretary Mark A. Villar, regional director Wenceslao M. Leaño already instructed district engineers of DPWH 6 to “ensure that proper signage and warning signs are provided on all on-going construction projects in their respective areas of jurisdictions.”

Also, legible informational and directional signs must be installed in visible locations along national roads, pavement markings must be reflectorized and road sections are well-maintained and free from potholes.

They are also advised to provide traffic advisory for alternate routes by-passing traffic congested areas and road sections where construction activities are on-going, Tan added.

Villar in his order also said that proper coordination with concerned agencies such as Land Transportation Office (LTO), Philippine National Police (PNP) and officials of the Local Government Units (LGUs).Lakbay-Alalay will culminate noontime of November 2, 2016.

City Halloween goes mythical, superheroes

(PNA), PGL/PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct 22 (PNA) -- Iloilo City Hall offices and employees will be transformed into mythical creatures and superheroes for “Shock, Rattle and Roll” in celebration of its annual Halloween event on October 24-28,2016.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said the yearly endeavor promotes unity and cooperation among employees, families, loved ones and the public in support of the city's programs.

The city chief executive also wanted the undertaking to become a tourism attraction showcasing Ilonggos’ skills and talents in creativity and craftsmanship in decorating arts.

They are enjoined to participate in various contests for Offices Teamwork Decoration, Frontliners’ Costume; and Parent-Child Costume on Oct. 28 at 8:30am and “Trick or Treat” activity at 10:30am-12nn , which is open to the public, expected to attract almost a thousand children.

Offices have started decorating their respective areas along hallways of various concepts while front desk personnel will be encouraged to wear masks in character or donned costume during the judging.

Ground floor will welcome doors to mythological magnificence and wonders with Maria Makiling, second floor with Super Inday and the Golden Bibe, third floor with Dyesebel, fourth floor with Amaya, fifth floor with Encantadia, sixth floor with Mulawin and seventh floor with Enteng Kabisote.

Php2.9-B tourism road projects completed in Western Visayas

(PNA), LAP/PGL/CBFERRER/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 21 (PNA) -- Some Php 2,979,400,000 worth of tourism road projects covered by the convergence program of Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Western Visayas are already completed.

The almost Php3 billion fund was utilized for 59 road projects with 339.5 kilometers of road that were distributed in the different parts of the region and were implemented from 2012-2015.

Iloilo City has the highest number of projects with 13; Negros Occidental, 11; Iloilo province, eight; Aklan, seven; Guimaras and Bacolod City, six each; and four each in Capiz and Antique.

This 2016-2017, the Php1,755,058,000 approved budget for 22 projects covering 102.17 kilometers of road is yet to be started.

The 22 projects include 11 road projects for Iloilo Province, three road projects for each of the provinces of Aklan, Antique and Guimaras and one project for each of the province of Capiz and City of Iloilo.

On Wednesday, the regional offices of DOT and DPWH spearheaded a consultation dialogue with tourism stakeholders to identify priority areas to be included in the 2018-2022 tourism road project.

DOT-6 regional director Helen Catalbas pointed out the importance of Tourism Road Infrastructure Project Prioritization Criteria (TRIPPC) as one of the biggest tourism programs that benefited the grassroots level.

Iloilo City all set for Freedom Cycle on Oct. 22

(PNA), PGL/MADE LOS SANTOS/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The biking community in this city is all set for the 19-kilometer Freedom Cycle, October 22, 4PM.

The ride will start and end at The Atria in Mandurriao district.

An initiative of both the private and public sectors here, the event is in line with the goal of making the City of Love friendly to bikers and pedestrians.

Councilor Magdalane Candice Tupas said the fun ride is timely as it is good for the environment. It is also an activity that is expected to inspire Ilonggos to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

The Freedom Cycle is sponsored by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), a non-governmental organization based in Germany that promotes freedom.

Tupas said FNF’s sponsorship to the sports activity indicates the NGO’s recognition of the city’s initiatives to make the metro friendly to bikers and pedestrians.

"FNF wants to contribute in urban mobility; they want to show the Philippines that in Iloilo City we have a road sharing program, and we support ordinances for bicycle enthusiasts," she said.

Pablo Nava IV, Federation of Iloilo Cycling Organization president, said the group will deploy around 94 marshals from the FICO’s 33 member groups.

The ride is open to all, and registration is free of charge.

Tupas said pre-registration is on-going at her office, The FitStop, and Iloilo Sports Development Office. On-site registration will start at 1PM. Around 1,000 bikers are expected to attend the event.

Rommel Castro, Iloilo City Sports coordinator, urged Ilonggos to join in the activity and help in the promotion of road sharing in Iloilo City.

Castro said the government has been laying infrastructures, like the Diversion Road bike lane, to accommodate bikers.

There are also legislations to institutionalize government support in terms of biking promotion projects and programs.

To promote road sharing among public utility vehicle drivers, the city included in the Iloilo City Bike Council representatives of PUV drivers, he said.

Western Visayas’ ‘Panublion’ hits Php7.5-M sales

(PNA), PGL/PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct 19 (PNA) -- The ‘Panublion’ Regional Trade Fair 2016 almost tripled its sales compared with the Php2 million sales in 2015.

The DTI VI reported a total sales of Php7,587,879.00, inclusive of cash sales, booked orders and orders under negotiation, based on the weeklong product exhibit at SM City Iloilo from Oct. 10 to 16, 2016.

The trade fair showcased the good quality products of MSMEs from Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Guimaras and Negros Occidental. These globally competitive products underwent product development, enhancement, packaging and labeling.

The exhibit included a variety of creations ranging from gifts, housewares and decors, fashion accessories of indigenous fibers like piña, abaca, raffia, unique furnishings and novelty items.

There was also a wide array of selection of fresh and processed foods.

The ‘Panublion’ Regional Trade Fair not only exhibited the products but likewise the skills that distinctly created the product which this region is known for. Aside from this, there are also green products in focus, the Shared Service Facility alley and Product Standards display.

In this year’s trade fair, the DTI VI gave emphasis on product development efforts geared towards use of raw materials that would showcase Western Visayas’ native products reflective of the strengths of each province.

Applications for YSEALI fellowships now open

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA) --- The program application for the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI) professional and academic fellowships is now open for its 2017 Spring cohort.

For the Professional Fellowship, YSEALI members and young professionals aged 25 to 35 are invited to apply in four distinct fields namely Legislative Process and Governance, Civic Engagement, Environmental Sustainability, and Economic Empowerment.

The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program is a professional development exchange program for the best and brightest community leaders from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) working in the fields of civic engagement, NGO management, economic empowerment, governance, legislative process, environmental and natural resources management.

The Professional Fellows Program provides participants a month-long fellowship at United States (U.S.)-based non-profit or other organizations, government offices, or legislative bodies.

Fellows will work with community leaders to enhance their practical expertise, leadership skills and professional contacts to address issues in their home communities.

The application deadline for the Economic Empowerment fellowship is on November 15, while applications for the Legislative Process and Governance, Civic Engagement, and Environmental Sustainability are until December 1.

Meanwhile, YSEALI members aged 18-25 are invited to apply in the Academic Fellowships in its three core themes namely Civic Engagement, Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, and Environmental Issues.

YSEALI Academic Fellows take part in five-week academic institutes, held on the campus of a U.S. university or college, will include an academic residency, leadership development, an educational study tour, local community service activities, and opportunities to engage with American peers.

The program concludes in Washington, D.C. to allow for engagement with policymakers, governmental representatives, businesses, and think tanks.

Deadline for applications for the Academic Fellowship is on October 23, 2016.

Application forms and additional information can be found on the YSEALI page of the US Embassy Manila website (https://ph.usembassy.gov).

Iloilo City allots Php25-M to improve traffic

(PNA), JFM/PGL/MADE LOS SANTOS/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Iloilo City Government allotted Php25 million in its 2017 Budget to further improve the metro’s traffic and transport system, according to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Mabilog said the budget will be used to put up a fixed speed gun and CCTV cameras in a portion of Benigno Aquino Ave. or Diversion Road to monitor speed limit of motorists.

The system will be installed along UP Visayas-Infante flyover to Sambag in Jaro district.

The call for an improved traffic system and compliance to the city’s speed limit ordinance intensified after a fatal road accident along Diversion Road involving a sports car.

The incident left a student dead and the driver wounded.

Mabilog said the city would need Php100 million to install a transport system that is as efficient as Davao City’s Intelligent Transport System (ITS).

The system includes the installation of a fixed camera with speed gun. The data captured by the speed gun through a camera is received in a command center.

But the city can’t afford the system yet as it has other priorities, thus, only a portion of Diversion will be installed with the speed limit gadgets.

He also called on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to re-install the speed limit signage it removed to give way to the road expansion.

As early as 2015, there were speed limit signages in Diversion following the passage of the city’s speed limit ordinance.

Community Change Centers bring hope

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- Lives are slowly transforming with the Iloilo Change Centers dubbed as The Crossroads, for drug dependents, managed by the city government, through the city health office.

A press release from the City Information Office said that some clients have expressed the change they have experienced as they struggled to be free from drugs.

“When I joined the center my ways have become better and I regained the trust and respect of my family,” one of the clients said.

Another one said that during his participation in the rehabilitation efforts at the center, he became healthy again and his family is attentive to him.

“Now I have hope and dreams again and I am no longer an outcast,” the client said.

The rehabilitation drop in centers are located in the Arevalo District Gym, Bgy. Zamora Gym, City Proper, Jaro district Gym at the Jaro Plaza, Bgy. Railway Gym, La Paz, Bo. Obrero Gym in Lapuz, Bgy Katilingban Gym, Molo and Bgy. Onate Gym, Mandurriao.

“This is part of the city’s sustainable anti-drug programs to rehabilitate and treat those who choose to have second chance and reform their lives from the ill effects of illegal drugs,” Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog said.

The rehabilitation drop in centers conduct a holistic approach which involves a daily counselling on spiritual and psycho-social, physical and sports activities and provision of Vitamins B-complex and C to treat patients for at least six months, and a one year care follow-up.

The City Health Office said a weekly random drug test is set to begin next week to determine if the patients indeed have stopped using drugs.

DOST-6 opens nationwide online consultancy

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA)—The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) here has joined the country in the One Expert program to help people seeking technical expertise for their problems.

A DOST press release said that One Expert is an interactive web-based nation-wide pool of consultants that can give clients online advice to enhance the competitiveness of their organizations, in terms of better profitability, adherence to quality standards and government regulations.

The consultants are science and technology experts, comprising the country’s scientists, researchers, engineers and inventors from both public and private sectors.

The One Expert portal also offers various programs for livelihood projects and business enterprise.

Areas covered are food safety, energy efficiency, cleaner production, product packaging and productivity improvement.

“One Expert deploys resource persons for lectures, conferences, on-site and firm-level trainings and other technical assistance,” the release said.

The portal has an android mobile app available for download at the Google Playstore for those who wish to avail anywhere they are in the Philippines.

DOST-6 said One Expert works with all kinds pf clients, from the local government units, government agencies, NGOs/CSOs, MSMEs. Cooperatives, academe, the professional sectors and scientific societies.

DPWH improves access roads to 3 tourism destinations in Iloilo’s first district

(PNA), FPV/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 14 (PNA) -- Construction has already started for three road infrastructure projects leading to various tourism destinations in the first district of Iloilo.

The projects, worth some PHP476.213 million, by the Department of Tourism (DOT)- Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Convergence Program on Enhancing Tourism Access, will improve accessibility in the towns of Miagao, Igbaras and Tubungan.

The PHP146.587 million concreting of the Malagyan-Tigmalapad road leading to the Sinuhutan Cave and Tinagong Dagat Lake in Miagao is now at 17.50 percent as of end of September this year.

On the other hand, the concreting and improvement of the Igbaras-Passi-Igcabugao-Igbolo road leading to Igcabugao Cave in Igbaras posted an 18.25 percent accomplishment.

The construction and improvement of the Tubungan-Igtuble-San Remegio road that leads to the tourism and agriculture center is now 29 percent completed.

These three projects are among the 11 big ticket projects, to already include non-convergence projects, that are implemented by the DPWH in Western Visayas. These are infrastructure worth more than PHP150 million.

Other big ticket projects are in Aklan, Guimaras and Antique with one each; Capiz with two and three more in Iloilo.

Iloilo City eyes Php2.1-B 2017 budget

(PNA), LAP/PGL/PR/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 13 (PNA) -- The city government here is eyeing a Php2.1-billion budget for its 2017 Executive Budget, an increase of Php600 million from this year’s Php1.5 billion.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog credited the city’s sound fiscal standing to good governance as well as influx of investments in the metropolis, which translate to higher revenue collections, and in turn help deliver projects, programs and public services to the people.

“Our concerted efforts given have produced positive results. The success of our peace and order, anti-drug campaign, streamlining of permit processing, City Hall efficiency and investors’ confidence all contributed to achieve our proposed budget,” stressed Mabilog.

“We have attracted more investments and our revenues are up. This explains what the City Government has been doing successfully and the current development. We have to continue to do our jobs to have more investors. More than the awards we get, the additional budget means a lot,” he added.

The Executive Budget was submitted to the City Council for approval before the October 16 deadline.

Meanwhile, the mayor noted the city stands to lose some Php26-million Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share because of adjustment and creation of more cities taking their portions of such fund.

Western Visayas ranks 5th with highest MSMEs in the country

(PNA), FPV/PGL/CBFERRER/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 11 (PNA) -- Western Visayas ranked fifth among 18 regions in the country with high number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Blesila Lantayona said.

“I am always of the impression that the people in region six are very entrepreneurial,” she said.

However, Lantayona said that although the region has already the “entrepreneurial spirit,” there is still a need to improve the MSMEs through coaching and mentorship.

She underscored that MSMEs generate 62 percent of the total jobs in the country.

“We need quality MSMEs to improve entrepreneurial level. I personally believe that this coaching and mentorship will really improve the standing of our MSMEs,” she added.

Lantayona likewise underscored the need for government agencies and the private sectors to unite to further provide projects and programs to help the MSMEs improve.

She said that MSMEs could be further developed through the right mindset and business know-how so they will be able to really scale up their businesses.

With this, she urged the government machinery and private sectors in the region to help DTI in improving the skills and knowledge of the MSMEs.

Lantayona was here in this city on Monday for the grand launching of the three-day “Negosyo, Konsumer At Iba Pa” (NKATBP) in Western Visayas.

DOT meets with tour operators, local tourism on additional flights at Iloilo airport

(PNA), LAP/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 10 (PNA) -- Additional flights at the Iloilo International Airport are being worked out but will not be regular international flights like Hong Kong and Singapore.

Tourism regional director for Western Visayas, Atty. Helen Catalbas, said that she will be meeting with local tour operators and the tourism offices of the city and provincial governments on Tuesday to discuss the finalization of additional flights.

“This is not like the Hong Kong or Singapore regular flights. This is going to be chartered. It will depend on the marketing of the partner tour operator from the originating market,” she explained.

She added, though, that chartered flights area a good start for regular flights.

The target markets include Korea and China.

Currently, Cebu Pacific served the Iloilo to Hong Kong flight every Thursday and Sunday and Iloilo to Singapore every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

‘Weekend Tienda Sa Iloilo’ preps on

(JCM/JSC/PIA6)

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) – The Regional Development Council (RDC) Region VI is making preparations to put up a “Weekend Tienda Sa Iloilo” here starting next month to facilitate markets for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and other home-grown products as well as generate jobs. The weekend tienda will also serve as a venue that would endeavor to make the best of Ilonggo cuisine and delicacies available to local and foreign visitors.

The RDC-6 committee led by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) 6 Regional Director Ro-Ann Bacal is also working out the venue of the weekend market to provide the best possible location for the MSME products which have been recognized to have contributed significantly to the region’s economy.

RDC member-agencies and private and business organizations comprise the Committee spearheading the project.

It is a street market or bazaar that opens only during daytime on weekends as distinguished from weekend night markets.

The Iloilo weekend tienda , according to NEDA-6, will put on display and sale homegrown food products, handcrafted gift items, artworks of local artists, and organic and certified natural farm fresh poultry, vegetables, fruits, fisheries and aquaculture products from the various municipalities in the province of Iloilo.

It was learned that about 16,000 micro enterprises and small and medium businesses exist in the region as of 2015. NEDA said assisting them in coming up with better services and a good variety of products by improving the processes of production and packaging will help them become economically self-sufficient and build successful or profitable undertakings.

DA eyes 1M hectares as rice expansion area

By Lydia C. Pendon

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) is eyeing a doable expansion of rice areas by one million hectares throughout the country, rehabilitation of existing irrigation facilities, and the provision of appropriate irrigation system to rice rainfed areas.

This was said by DA Regional Director Emelyn Recoter during the celebration of World Food Day on October 5 in Iloilo City through a poster making contest participated by selected 15 elementary grades pupils in the city and province of Iloilo.

Recoter reiterated the thrust of President Rodrigo Duterte to attain food security and self-sufficiency, and the need for consideration the climate change phenomenon.

The “Munlad na Agrikultura sa Nayon (Mana)” is a special project of the DA that would espouse and enhanced provision of agricultural investments and services to empower greater number of farmers and fisherfolks.

Aside from expansion of rice areas, the project is eyeing the rehabilitation of El Niño damaged areas and mitigation plan for La Niña.

The El Niño recovery program is aimed at providing immediate assistance to damaged agricultural areas, identify the gaps, and provide interventions to attain full recovery.

On the mitigation plan, DA would indentify vulnerable areas prone to damage brought by El Niña as well as associated risks and mitigations.

DA is pushing for brown rice or the unpolished rice consumption in Western Visayas as an effective way to solve four major problems of the Filipinos: undernourishment, farmer’s low income, rice self-sufficiency and hunger.

Recoter said that brown rice, locally known as “pinawa,” is the whole grain form of rice since only the outer hull is removed in milling. The intact brand is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than white milled rice.

Its nutritional content helps in the prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Any rice variety can be made into brown rice but DA recommends the varieties which are soft and with good eating quality.

Recoter said the consumption of brown rice will help the country attain rice sufficiency since the milling recovery is 10 percent higher compared to white rice. This will also help increase the farmers’ income.

2016 Panublion trade fair to showcase WV’s best products

(PNA), LAP/PGL/CBFERRER/CBF

ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- This year’s Panublion Trade Fair will showcase the best products of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Western Visayas.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-6 will open the Panublion trade fair on October 10 at the SM City here as part of the activities in celebration of the National Consumer Welfare Month this October.

DTI-6 regional director Rebecca M. Rascon said they are hoping that more people from the different parts of the region will buy products of the MSMEs so they could generate more sales.

Last year’s Panublion trade fair was conducted outside Region 6 and participating MSMEs only generated around Php3 million.

“We are hoping that people here in Western Visayas will appreciate the products of their fellowmen and buy them because they are the best products that our MSMEs have created,” she said.

The seven-day trade fair will specifically showcase products of MSMEs from Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Guimaras and even Negros Occidental.

DTI-Iloilo director Diosdado Cadena Jr. pointed out that the products that will be showcased by the MSMEs are of good quality that it could even be sold in the global market since the participants underwent product development, enhancement, packaging and labeling.

DTI here invited 40 merchandisers or buyers outside the region who will visit the Panublion Fair.

“Hopefully they will order products,” Rascon further said.

DTI to hold ‘Negosyo Konsumer at iba pa’ in Western Visayas

(PNA), FPV/PGL/CBFERRER/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct 6 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here in Western Visayas will launch the “Negosyo, Konsumer At Iba Pa” (NKATBP) mainly to bring the services of DTI closer to the people.

The three-day event slated October 10-12 will gather around 500 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region.

DTI-6 regional director Rebecca Rascon said that MSMEs and consumers will now have the chance to experience the breakthrough event for free that brings together the services of DTI closer to the people.

She said that other functional groups of DTI were not found here in the region.

“This time, in order that the public will have the knowledge and could avail the services of DTI, we are doing this NKATBP,” she said.

Specifically, the four functional groups are Product Promotions group, Consumer Protection group, Industry and Investment group and the Regional Operations Group (ROG) of DTI here.

The Negosyo, Konsyumer ATBP serves as a strategy to showcase programs and projects dedicated to consumers and the development of businesses through an integrated delivery of various assistance being extended by different units of the DTI.

The services include four pillars of the 2011-2016 SME Development Plan, which are enabling business environment, access to finance, access to market and productivity and efficiency.

Series of activities will be conducted that includes sessions and discussions of different investment topics, buying missions, among others.

Aside from the grand opening on the first day, the 2016 Panublion Regional Fair will be launched and Negosyo Center in the town of Pavia, Iloilo.

DTI secretary Ramon Lopez is expected to grace the activity.

DOH: Exclusive breastfeeding modern-day family planning

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

ILOILO CITY (PIA) --- Exclusive breastfeeding is a modern and natural method for birth spacing, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

In a media release, Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell Ubial said that women who are into exclusive breastfeeding can plan their future and are able to provide proper nutrition, education, and health to themselves and to their families.

She stressed the significance of breastfeeding from birth up to the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary feeding six months and beyond, as an evidence-based lifesaving intervention known to reduce newborn and under-five child deaths.

Breastfeeding also assures that infants receive the most appropriate nutrition to help them reach optimum growth and development in the first 1,000 days of life.

DOH revealed that only 24.7 percent of infants reaching six months are being exclusively breastfed (National Nutrition Survey 2015) which contribute to infant deaths worldwide.

The 2012 World Health Assembly Resolution aims to increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months to at least 50 percent by 2025.

Despite of the low rates, DOH has succeeded in initiating breastfeeding during the 1st hour after birth with an accomplishment of 67 percent (2014 FHSIS Final Report).

In addition, the country also achieved a 70 percent rate on implementing Unang Yakap or the Essential Newborn Protocol Care to ensure the survival of newborns through time-bound interventions within the first hour of their lives, including breastfeeding initiation.

DOH recently commemorated the annual Breastfeeding and Family Planning Summit underscoring the theme “Breastfeeding and Family Planning: Keys to Sustainable Development.”

It aimed to highlight its significance in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in poverty, nutrition, good health and well-being through its impact on infant, child, and woman’s health.

Western Visayas ready to showcase potentials during travel exchange bloggers post tours

(PNA), FPV/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 4 (PNA) -- Four tourism sites in Negros Occidental, Iloilo and Guimaras were part of the proposed post tour destinations of the 2016 Travel Bloggers Exchange (TBEX) Asia Pacific 2016.

The regional office of the Department of Tourism (DOT) here in a statement said that TBEX is “a huge platform for travel writers, bloggers, new media content creators, social media experts and other industry professionals from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific to meet and participate on a series of meetings, educational seminars and presentations, non-formal social media events and familiarization tours.”

The four destinations that were subjected to validation are the Bacolod Heritage Tour, Ancestral House Tour in Negros Occidental, Iloilo Heritage Tour and Island Hopping in Guimaras.

Regional director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas said that “bloggers can provide first-hand information of tourist sites/events.” Their detailed information will give visitors “a clear image of the place they are about to visit.”

“Western Visayas is indeed now in the big league in promoting tourism destinations and products. We are on the right track and we will continue to explore opportunities to further strengthen the tourism industry and improve the quality of life of our people through tourism,” Catalbas said.

The TBEX Asia Pacific 2016 is an initiative of the Department of Tourism and the Tourism Promotions Board. It will be held October 13-16, 2016 in Manila.

DA-6 promotes brown rice to public elementary schools pupils in Iloilo City

(PNA), LAP/PGLENA/CBF

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 3 (PNA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) through its regional agri-fishery information section (RAFIS) has gone massive with its brown rice advocacy by tapping public elementary school pupils through a feeding program.

On Monday, the RAFIS brought the feeding program to Rizal Elementary School here, the second recipient since the advocacy was launched. The first feeding program was held in Bonifacio Elementary School also in this city.

RAFIS head Juvy Gaton said that schools were chosen in random and dependent on the willingness of the school. She added that while the pupils may not understand the nutritional value of brown rice, their teachers and even parents who are around will know.

She hoped that the Department of Education (DepEd) will partner with them in the advocacy.

She explained that brown rice is more nutritious, hence it is being promoted to address the malnutrition problem. It is high in protein, dietary fiber, Vitamin B, minerals, anti-oxidants, Thiamin and other essential oils that could help prevent heart diseases.

It can also help prevent diabetes because it has low glycemic index.

The utilization of brown rice could also increase the rice sufficiency program of the government because its milling recovery is higher by 10 percent when compared with white rice or pigmented rice.

Any palay variety can be converted into brown rice. It only has to pass through single milling process unlike with the well-milled rice, thus, it is also energy-efficient and environment-friendly.

The Iloilo Rice Processing Complex in Pototan, Iloilo currently caters to the demand for brown rice.

The advocacy is part of the DA’s Be Riceponsible Campaign that was started by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). The campaign will end this October.

October activities promote statistics

By Lilibeth A. French (JCM/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) -- As the country celebrates the 27thNational Statistics Month this October, the Regional Statistics Committee 6 (RSC 6) will promote and instill anew region-wide awareness and appreciation of the importance and value of statistics to the different sectors of society.

Philippine Statistics Authority 6 Director and Regional Statistics Committee 6 (RSC 6) Vice Chairperson Fred Sollesta in a PIA interview emphasized the importance of statistics to an individual and government.

“Most of us are not aware but we use statistics daily so that we will be informed of what will be our decision, like how we budget our meager resources for one month, we use statistics,” said Sollesta.

He added that for government it uses statistics to monitor the attainment of development goals and to make decisions on health, education, employment and other fields, among others.

This year, Sollesta said the celebration will highlight the critical role of statistics in monitoring the country’s progress in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals with this year’s theme “Sustainable Development: Making Statistics Count”.

To further stimulate the awareness of the public and elicit their cooperation and support to the celebration and in upgrading the quality and standards of statistics, RSC 6 has prepared a month-long activities which will kick-off with a program and the opening of the Statistical Exhibits at Robinson’s Place Iloilo on October 10. The exhibit will run until October 23.

Ilonggo Assistant National Statistician Candido J. Astrologo will be the keynote speaker during the opening ceremonies. Astrologo hails from Lapaz.

The next day, October 11, a Public Forum on Ambisyon Natin will be held at the Central Philippine University. Two fora are set on October 14 - Forum on SDGs at the RDC Hall of NEDA and the 2015 POPCEN Dissemination Forum.

Statistical contests for students will also take place such as the Statistical Analysis Contest for Tertiary Students on October 20 and Statistics Quiz for Secondary students on October 21 at the RDC Hall, NEDA.

The Statistical Bulletin Board contest participated in by RSC 6 member agencies will start from October 1 to 31. Judging is set on October 20 to 26.

Winners in the various contests will be announced during the closing and awarding ceremonies on October 27. It will be hosted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Iloilo Business Park leads the way for progress in Western Visayas

By Theresa S. Samaniego (Philippine Daily Inquirer) 12:16 am

The city of Love is set to wear a new hat.

While a famed destination among tourists be cause of its rich culture and heritage, the City of Iloilo is becoming a highly favored destination among local and foreign investors and locators, all of whom have sought to tap the lucrative prospects offered by the city.

Positioned to be a highly conducive area for doing business, Iloilo City has since piqued the interest of potential investors, most especially after several of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings have been held there last year, which highlighted the capacity of the province and its people in providing the requirements of industries and businesses.

Potential spotted

One developer, however, has long seen the huge potential held by the city, even before the country’s hosting of the Apec.

That realty firm, in fact, has been pouring in fresh investments to build new complexes, structures and a township, which it believed could help boost the potential of Iloilo City to be come a Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) destination in the region.

Indeed, the entry of the country’s largest and highly respected property developer Megaworld Corp. has helped put the province in a better position to take on a more crucial role towards nation building and to become a more significant contributor to the country’s overall economic growth.

Known for developing large scale integrated urban townships, Megaworld’s commitment to develop the province as the next top destination not only for tourists but more so for investors started with the company’s acquisition and development of a 72-hectare lot which is currently being developed into a first-class live-work-play community.

The initial phase of development saw the establishment of the Department of Tourism’s Iloilo Convention Center (ICon), which stood on a 1.7-ha lot donated by property giant Megaworld. This facility is strategically located right within the upcoming modern financial center that the company is now building in the province. The Iloilo Convention Center is now open to all exhibitions both local and international conventions.

Modern financial hub

But what makes Megaworld’s entry into the province even more promising was due to its vision and commitment to build Iloilo City’s modern future financial center.

And with the entire area almost sold out, it won’t be far too long before a complete transformation of the province into a highly desirable financial hub can be achieved.

With an interesting mix of locators and investors, the Iloilo Business Park is set to welcome various banks, companies, local enterprises, offices and even the micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs). Nine hectares of the entire township have been allocated for the commercial district.

“There has been a strong interest from various sectors, particularly financial and banking, to establish their businesses in Iloilo Business Park. Since we announced the township being envisioned as Iloilo City’s new central business district or CBD, everyone wants their presence here,” explained Iloilo Business Park Marketing Head Jennifer Palmares-Fong.

The said commercial district, which will rise within the southern part of the township near the iconic Iloilo River, is envisioned to be one of the busiest districts in the park once it’s completed.

“Aside from banks and financial institutions, other commercial businesses like car and furniture showrooms as well as regional headquarters of corporations are welcome to the financial district of Iloilo Business Park,” Palmares-Fong added.

It should also be noted that the entry of Megaworld did not only see the construction of critical infrastructure and developments that will boost economic activities in the province. It also saw a steady appreciation of land values within the area, thus ensuring a wise investment.

According to Megaworld, the company started selling the lots at P47,000 per square meter in 2013. Today, the lots, which ranged from 611 square meters to 1,735 square meters, are now sold at P70,000, up 49 percent from its original price a couple of years ago.

Lifestyle, tourism hubs

What was the former site of the Old Mandurriao Airport is meanwhile being developed become the biggest business, lifestyle and tourism hub in Western Visayas. The park will also be home to two business hotels, Richmonde Hotel Iloilo which was opened in time for the hosting of Apec meetings last year, and the Courtyard by the globally renowned Marriott group.

This early, both hotels have already earned recognition and awards from various groups. The up and coming Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Iloilo Business Park received two awards namely Best Hotel Development and Best Hotel Interior Design at the 2016 Philippines Property Awards.

Last year, the 149-room Richmonde Hotel Iloilo was also given the same accolade as ‘Highly Commended’ for Best Hotel Interior Design at the 2015 Philippines Property Awards.

“Having two award-winning hotels in Iloilo Business Park is a testament of how Megaworld has alleviated the standards of hotel lifestyle in Iloilo City. This is a first-class city that deserves first-class hotels,” said Megaworld Senior Vice President Jericho P. Go.

“Iloilo City is now ready to host huge local and international conventions and events because these two award-winning hotels sandwiching the Iloilo Convention Center will be able to provide the amenities and services that visitors and guests deserve. We see Iloilo City as the rising MICE destination in the country,” Go added.

Much like the property giant’s previous developments, the Iloilo Business Park will feature state-of-the-art BPO office towers; luxury residential condominiums including The Palladium, the tallest residential tower in Western Visayas; the Festive Walk Mall; and The Street of Festive Walk, a 1.1-km commercial and retail strip.

Indeed, only better things can be expected ahead with the active presence of Megaworld.

As this prime real estate developer continues with its proposed projects, it will no longer be surprising to hear the City of Iloilo becoming the next best destination not only for investors but also for potential homebuyers. The province is definitely in for a complete turnaround, one that is centered on quality progress and inclusive, sustainable growth.