Iloilo City News September 2013

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Iloilo City - Archived News

Seal of Iloilo City
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Iloilo City, Iloilo
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Map Locator of Iloilo City
Aerial View of Iloilo City
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Aerial View of Iloilo City
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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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.
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.


Labor dep’t sets more job fairs in W. Visayas


ILOILO City – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has scheduled eight more job fairs for prospective employees from Region 6.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis Baldoz said are encouraging jobseekers to join and participate in these job fairs until the Christmas season this year.

DOLE has slated 100 jobs fairs all over the country during this period.

In Region 6, the schedule of the job fairs are:

October – Dingle Covered Gym in Dingle, Iloilo and Dumangas Covered Gym, Dumangas, Iloilo
November – Barotac Viejo Covered Gym, Barotac Viejo Iloilo
December 8 - Iloilo City, DOLE Region 6 Office; Iloilo Provincial Capitol Lobby.
December 8 – Robinsons Place Bacolod City, DOLE Negros Occidental Field Office; San Jose, Antique; and Boracay Island, DOLE Aklan Field Office.

According to DOLE, interested job applicants are advised to go to these job fairs if they want to get a job before Christmas.

Per figures of the DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment, the department has already conducted 802 job fairs since January in the different regions.

These job fairs have assisted 496,364 job seekers, with 75,208 of them hired-on-the-spot by around 15,550 companies that joined in these job fairs.

Baldoz commended the collective efforts of the more than 1,800 public employment offices for this achievement, saying this is consistent with their function as the National Employment Facilitation Network.

The list of job fairs may be accessed through the Phil-JobNetwebsite at

Additional information may also be obtained from the nearest DOLE or public employment offices in their area.

P200K worth of shabu confiscated in buy-bust

By Kenneth Ladigohon, (ABS-CBN News Iloilo,

MANILA, Philippines – An estimated P200,000 worth of what is suspected to be shabu was confiscated in a buy-bust operation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Iloilo City Anti-illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force.

The drugs were confiscated from 25-year-old Artemio Estrecho Jr., a resident of Barangay San Nicolas La Paz in Iloilo City.

The operation was conducted at past noon Sunday in Barangay Bakhaw, Mandurriao. A poseur-buyer was able to buy two sachets of shabu worth P20,000 from Estrecho. When arrested by police, eight more sachets were confiscated from the suspect.

A total of 20 grams of shabu with a street value of P200,000 were recovered from Estrecho.

According to authorities, Estrecho served as a runner, and he was under surveillance for two weeks before the buy-bust operation was put in place.

Police have yet to determine where Estrecho gets his supply of illegal drugs.

In 2011, Estrecho was released from jail in Iloilo City after serving time also for selling illegal drugs.

NCMB conducts briefing for BPOs

(Visayan Daily Star)

The National Conciliation and Mediation Board-Regional Branch 6 conducted lectures in three Business Process Outsourcing companies in Iloilo City recently.

Lectures were held for Avatar Technology, Inc., Hinduja Global Solutions and Savant Technologies, a press release from the NCMB said.

OIC Director Hacelfeo Cuares and Supervising Labor and Employment Officer Jennifer Grace Ruiz discussed “Bridging Management Priorities and Workers’ Interest: Preventing Labor Laws Violations” and Labor-Management Cooperation and Grievance Machinery and Voluntary Arbitration on August 22-23, September 6, 13 and 18, respectively.

Representatives from the management and the employees of the companies attended the seminars, the press release said.

Koreans to convert solid waste to energy in Iloilo City


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 27 (PNA) -– A group of Korean investors have introduced a new technology that will convert solid wastes into energy out to power six megawatts derived from the processed solid wastes at the city’s Calajunan dumpsite.

The city is generating some 170 metric tons of garbage everyday collected from the six public markets, housing subdivisions, downtown business areas, shopping malls and streets.

The Iloilo City Solid Waste Management Council will include the proposed business plan of the Koreans in its next meeting after Tiger Moon, a Korean residing in Iloilo city, brought them to present their proposal to the council.

The Korean Dream Eng business proposal for the city includes a build, operate and transfer (BOT) plan to the city government after completion of 20 years of operation. Ownership of the structure is 10 to 15 percent for the city while 85 to 90 percent for the Korean investors.

All the rights on clean development mechanism (CDM) business will be transferred to the city government to support the life of local residents who live with recycling goods from the current landfill in order to assist their children’s education.

On the other hand, under the plan, Iloilo City will support the solid waste to energy project by providing the investors with a one hectare area at the city’s landfill site free of charge. With the power produced, the city will ensure a minimum sale price of US $ 0.17 per kilowatthour of electricity to Panay Electric Company.

The Korean investors are also asking for a seven-year tax exemption from the city and an import tax exemption for the plant equipment required for the project. The city will also guarantee the issuance of business related licenses and to resolve the resident’s complaints.

The Korean proposal will have to wait for the arrival of city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, chairman of the city Solid Waste Management Council, who is currently on an official travel abroad.

Construction starts for P470-M Iloilo Convention Center


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 26 (PNA) -– The contractor builder of the imposing five stories Iloilo provincial capitol handily won the bidding of the Iloilo Convention Center held last September 24, 2013 held at the Dept. of Public Works and Highways regional office here.

DPWH Regional Director Edilberto Tayao said that Hilmark Construction posts a bid price of P479 million against FF Cruz Construction of P600 million and FGurrea without a price bid to win the contract and finish the building within 270 days.

Tayao said that documents of the winning bidder were sent yesterday to the central office of the Department of Tourism-Tourism Infrastructure Economic Zone Authority (CDOT-TIEZA) and the Notice of Award and Notice to Proceed will be issued within a week to Hilmark to start the construction.

Tayao said the construction of the structure only is expected to commence October 15, 2013 to be finished in nine months by 2014 following the design of Ilonggo international architect William Coscoluella.

Additional features such as the exterior like power connections, other amenities and furnitures and the landscaping will need additional amount of some P200 million.

This will make the total amount P700 million to P800 million depending on the quality and needs of the international building inside the Iloilo Business Park of Megaworld property at the old airport area in Mandurriao district.

Tayao also admitted that the amount of P500 million was already downloaded to the DPWH long before the pork barrel scandal surfaced last August.

There is no fear that the temporary restraining order of the Supreme Court against the pork barrel will affect the convention center project as the amount was already obligated, he said.

Out of the P500 million, TIEZA downloaded P250 million and another P250 million from the priority development assistance fund of Sen Franklin M. Drilon.

Drilon assured he will look for the remaining funds to complete the new convention center with international standards including facilities in order to host two important conferences of the Asia Pacific Economic Council by October 2015 in Iloilo City as first of the international conferences to be held in Iloilo City.

Construction materials fore-homes now available in Iloilo


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 25 (PNA) -– Sturdy housing construction materials from Europe are now available in Iloilo for environment-friendly homes complemented by solar electricity.

A German company based in the Philippines is an exclusive dealer of this construction material made of Neopor from the German BASF company and produced from Izodom, Poland.

Heinz Dieter Bender, general manager of YelloBill 168 eK, said the materials are shuttering kits that will make the houses built with it especially in tropical countries, much cooler because of high efficient insulation.

The thermal coefficient can be lowered down to 0.1 KW/m²K, which means that these houses are already the so-called "passive houses" that need very low energy consumption, and even air-conditioning units are not needed anymore.

Bender said that this is not the only advantage as homes and buildings can be constructed seven times shorter than the conventional time, and these are seismic-proof up to six on Richter scale without using concrete columns for the construction.

The building and houses built with Neopor materials are also typhoon-proof, flame retardant, salt resistant, no moisture, no molds and with no insects.

Bender said it is the best idea to construct safer, cooler, quieter homes in the Philippines. If these could be used to construct the new convention center, it will be finished in a few months only.

Among the completed construction with Neopor are the 600-square meter villa in Abu Dhabi within 24 days. Also, the 10,000 square meter palace of the Royal Family of Morocco with the material and the 17,000 houses built around the world made by Izodom with BASF Neopor shuttering kits.

Bender is a resident of Mandurriao, Iloilo City for the past two years and married to an Ilongga from Leon, Iloilo for more than 30 years.

The material is coming to the Philippines through 168 YelloBill and the European Union (EU) Gateway Program for innovative technologies will take place in Tokyo to present the materials on December 2-6, 2013.

Bender said his supplier, Izodom 2000 Polska is one of only 40 European companies selected by the European Commission to present the innovative new construction technology and material.

CEO reiterates fees for electronic devices


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 24 (PNA) -– The city engineer’s office has reiterated the requirement of paying fees for electronic devises before the issuance of a building or occupancy permit by the city government.

City Engr. Roberto Divinagracia said the fees are embodied in Republic Act 9292 or the Electronics Law of 2004 and a requirement of Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) Memorandum Circular 2009-23 in the process and approval of building permits for buildings and structures required under Presidential Decree 1096 or the National Building Code of the Philippines.

As the building official of the city, Divinagracia said the fees are absolute yearly fees of P1,000 for studios, auditoriums, theater for radio and television broadcast recording, audio and video reproduction and simulation.

Also, a fee of P50 will be charged for electronic or electronically-controlled indoor and outdoor signages and display system including TV monitors and multi-media signs.

Divinagrcia said the fees will be paid at the city treasurer’s office and CEO inspection teams are fielded annually to inspect the electronic devices including the building or occupancy permit.

DSWD calls for closer generational relationships

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

ILOILO CITY, Sept. 23 (PIA6) - - The Department of Social Welfare and Development 6 recently called on implementors and leaders to initiate activities in molding inter-generational stability so as not to widen gap between generations, particularly between grandparents and grandchildren, as the country celebrates the National Family Week from September 20 to 27.

DSWD 6 Assistant Regional Director Joel Galicia said during the opening ceremonies of the week-long celebration here in Iloilo City that it is never too late to bridge the gap and teach generations their importance to one another - for the growth and development of the young and for the self-esteem and value of oneself for elderly.

He said that Lolo and Lola could continue the tradition of storytelling to the young children and on the other hand, grandchildren could teach their grandparents how to use their touchscreen or cellphones as one of the little ways to help bridge the gap from generation to another.

The theme of the 2013 National Week Family celebration “Unity Across Generations: A Strong Family, A Strong Society” or “Nagkakaisang Henerasyon: Matatag na Pamilya, Matatag na Lipunan,” focuses on inter-generational relationships among family members.

Also, Galicia said the theme is not only timely but appropriate as the government and non-government organizations’ efforts at present are focused on helping the poor families alleviate their immediate needs thereby helping strengthen family relations.

He assured that DSWD will always be supportive in operating and implementing programs, projects and activities that will efficiently and effectively contribute to the upliftment of the lives of marginalized families, particularly here in Western Visayas.

Some of the programs and activities that the agency currently implements like Parent Effectiveness Service and Family Development Session, one of the conditions of Pantawid Pamilya, intend to help strengthen family relationships, according to Galicia.

In her message, Iloilo Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Neneth Pador also encouraged families to observe the “Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day” every fourth Monday of September and spend quality time through eating meals together.

Pador said the observance of “Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day” is contained in Proclamation No. 326 issued by President Benigno Aquino in further support of the Family Week celebration that aims to give emphasis of the importance of strengthening the family through meaningful celebration and promotion of Filipino values.

Aside from Galicia and Pador, Congressman Jerry Trenas also attended the opening ceremonies. Mrs. Sally Miaque and her family from Brgy. Dungon B, Jaro district, the 2013 Regional Winner for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya also joined in the activities

Miaque took the opportunity to express her happiness and gratitude for choosing her family as this year’s regional winner of the search. She related how the program helped her family especially on the education of his youngest son.

The opening ceremonies held at Jaro Covered Gym was preceded by a Fun Walk and Hataw exercises participated in by more than three thousand Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, students, government employees and representatives of lay and civic groups and non-government organizations.

Big time bodybuilding returns to Iloilo City

By Reuel Vidal

ILOILO CITY welcomed the return of big time bodybuilding with the holding of the Western Visayas Bodybuilding competition at the Plazuela de Iloilo recently.

Mark Segovia of Aklan displayed the right symmetry and muscular definition among the athletes to walk away with the championships in the tall category and the overall.

Other champions include Florendo Cahilig, Aklan, medium category; JR Delos Santos, Bacolod, small category; and Jeansin Lagon, Capiz, in the novice category.

Champion bodybuilder, fitness enthusiast and entrepreneur Samuel John Solon said the athletes from the Visayan region came prepared and ready to share what they’ve worked hard to achieve.

“The competition was all about making the public aware of what it is like to have a fit and healthy lifestyle. It has been almost a decade since the last bodybuilding comp was held here in Iloilo City,” said Solon.

“We wanted to tap the consciousness of the people when it comes to bodybuilding. When we held WVBC in a public venue, you could see the spectators were in awe of what they saw. Many were inspired to be fit saying they want to have that kind of body.”

Solon cited Segovia and Delos Santos as the outstanding competitors of the past contest. He said that both easily won their categories because of their preparation and hard work adding that both were ripe to succeed in national competitions.

Solon explained that their primary purpose was to help the public become aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Top contenders in the medium category won by Florendo Cahilig of Aklan flex for the crowd and the judges during the Western Visayas Bodybuilding competition at the Plazuela de Iloilo, Iloilo City recently. The competition brought back big time bodybuilding competition to Iloilo after an absence of over a decade. Samuel John Solon

“It pays to be healthy and fit. You will be beautiful inside and out, physically, emotionally, socially. There’s nothing more rewarding than having the Ilonggos’ awareness tapped and seeing the athletes all in their best forms and ready for the game. This for me is what made the competition a complete success,” said Solon.

Other winners in the novice category include: 1st runner up Florendo Cahilig of Aklan, 2nd runner up Charlie Harisco of Aklan, 3rd runner up Rommel Parle of Iloilo, and 4th runner up Joey Erecillo of Iloilo.

Other winners in the small category include: 1st runner up Mark Daniel Mayag of Bacolod, 2nd runner up Charlie Harisco of Aklan, 3rd runner up Joey Erecillo of Iloilo, and 4th runner up-Mharl Madronia and Iloilo.

Other winners in the medium category include: 1st runner-up John Antiqueña of Iloilo, 2nd runner-up Moli Ferrer of Aklan, 3rd runner-up Ildefonso Buenvenida of Iloilo, and 4th runner-up John Wil De-Ala of Iloilo.

Other winners in the tall category include 1st runner-up Jeansin Lagon of Capiz, 2nd runner-up Fernando Fuentebella of Bacolod and 3rd runner-up John Mark De-Ala of Iloilo.

Organizers of the wildly successful event are Sherwin Sy, Omar Legacion, Michael Eric Cortes and Farrah Jeanne in partnership with Solon.

The judges included bodybuilding legend Roman “Dondon” Cortuna, Jr., Leandro Jivan Bermudo, Michael Eric Cortes, Diosdado Julian Rendon and Solon.

City eyes abandoned Panay railways for housing project


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 20 (PNA)-– Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has reiterated his interest in converting the railways right of way within Iloilo City as possible site for site development and housing project for landless families in the city.

The city mayor said he will seek intervention from Malacañang for possible Presidential Proclamation or conversion of the railways road right of way into relocation sites of the increasing number of informal settlers here.

Mabilog admitted that he was aware of the national government plan through former Dept. of Transportation and Communications and now Dept. of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas to convert the railways from Iloilo City to Roxas City, Capiz as an expressway or highway.

Roxas then maintained that the railway means of transportation in Panay Island is not feasible anymore due to many roads connecting the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz. The roads are the most economical, fast and with shorter way for land transportation in both provinces.

Earlier, Regional Director Ro-Ann Bacal of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) admitted that the Regional Development Council is still waiting for the submission of a public private partnership (PPP) proposal for the resuscitation of a P36 billion Panay railways project.

The project proposal includes P11.6 billion railway project from Iloilo to Roxas and some P24 billion from Roxas to Caticlan in the province of Aklan.

However, the railways renewal project in Panay Island was overtaken by the Roxas decision not to revive the railways anymore but the region must concentrate on new highways from Iloilo to Capiz.

Health and wealth go together - PIDS


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 20 (PIA6) – For the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS), health and wealth go together – that is, improvement in the economy should also redound to a more healthy Filipinos.

PIDS noted that despite a significant growth of the economy, however, the country’s overall health indicators have not commensurately improved with that growth.

The fact may seem like an unwelcome indicator but PIDS sees it as an opportunity to make health a shared wealth and an inclusive one at that.

Inclusive health means equity in health status, financing, and services to all segments of the population, including the fact that there is equality in access to health services; improvement in mortality ratio especially among disadvantages households; high investments in health facilities, services, and manpower; and adequate social health insurance programs for better health benefits.

How to address this issue and make the health sector more inclusive as the economy grows is the focus of this year’s Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) observance as reflected by its theme “Making Health More Inclusive in a Growing Economy”.

In a press statement, PIDS President Dr. Gilberto M. Llanto said that we need to address the urgent need of narrowing the gap between the richest and the poorest Filipino households in terms of health status.

Llanto added that even though the country’s economy has grown significantly through the years, “the country is still suffering from high levels of non-inclusiveness and inequities in the aspect of health”.

PIDS, the country’s leading policy think-tank institution, has brought this matter to a series of forums and seminars it conducted as part of the activities for the whole month of September. A press briefing for members of the local media is slated to be held in Iloilo City this month.

September of every year was declared as Development Policy Research Month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 247 signed on September 2, 2002, to underscore “the need for promoting, enhancing, instilling, and drawing awareness and appreciation of the importance and necessity of policy research.”

Many opportunities today could be tapped to make health more inclusive, such as by improving health financing, regulation and planning, and service delivery. The passage of the Sin Tax Law will provide additional revenues for the health sector, which the Department of Health can use to implement relevant projects.

The DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program as well as its food-for-cash and food-for-work programs can help improve access to health and alleviate poverty, according to PIDS. The passage of the new Health Insurance Law of 2013 in Congress also helps in making health more inclusive. It combines social health insurance with a medical savings account feature.

The yearly observance of the DPRM aims to gain public support and wider understanding of the importance of policy research as a tool for national development and of the activities in line with it to help advance the quality and standard of policy research in the Philippines.

Since its first observance in 2003, the annual DPRM focused on areas that the PIDS considers of national importance and therefore in need of utmost attention and support. Last year’s DPRM focused on “Regional Economic Integration and Inclusive Growth” to underscore the impact of greater regional economic integration and globalization, taking into account the impending establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

In continuity with last year’s DPRM theme, this year’s theme of “Making Health More Inclusive in a Growing Economy” focuses on analyzing the country’s health sector and making it more inclusive.

“We need a more thorough look at our health sector through research,” said Dr. Llanto as he underscored the role of their agency’s task in overall efforts to improve the health sector and make it more meaningful as the country treads the path towards inclusive growth.

Iloilo BHWs, volunteer workers assured to receive P3,000 honorarium this December

By Annabel Petinglay (PNA), HBC/AJPETINGLAY/VLO

ILOILO CITY, Sept. 19 (PNA) – The more than 5,000 barangay health workers and other volunteer workers in the province of Iloilo are now assured to receive their P3,000 honorarium this coming December with the recent approval of the Supplemental Budget No. 1 by the Iloilo Provincial Board upon the request of Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr.

Defensor, who learned of the approval Wednesday, said that he is very happy and grateful to the Iloilo Provincial Board for approving the P150,234,071.55 supplemental budget he has requested.

Of the total amount, P17 million has been allocated as honorarium for the 5,666 BHWs, Barangay Service Point Officers, Day Care Workers, and Barangay Nutrition Scholars whom the governor considers as heroes for helping carryout the several programs and projects of the Iloilo provincial government without receiving fixed salaries except their honorarium being given every Christmastime as sort of the Christmas gift to them.

Each of the volunteer worker could now expect to receive P3,000 honorarium from the provincial government depending on their schedule of release.

Iloilo City launches Dinagyang 2014


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 18 (PNA) -- The Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI) has officially launched its 46th Iloilo Dinagyang Festival celebration at the Penthouse of the new Iloilo City Hall Wednesday in the run up to the festivity on Jan 24-26, 2014.

The Dinagyang 2014’s tagline is “Bringing 'More Fun' to the World!”

The launching was held after a solemn mass at the San Jose Parish Church followed by signing of Memorandum of Agreement between the IDFI represented by President Ramon Cua Locsin, Iloilo City Government through Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and San Jose Parish Church lead by Parish Priest Raymundo Edzel Alcayaga.

Iloilo City Tourism Officer Benito Jimena said this early launching will help probable candidates to prepare earlier for the event as well as for them to invite more visitors to come in Iloilo.

Jimena said Iloilo Dinagyang has been known as Best Tourism Event in the country and this will remain as the Ilonggo’s pride.

To be more convenient, the tourism chief added that the foundation will still follow the old set-up or the carousel type where the final performing area for competing tribes of the Dinagyang Festival will be at the Freedom Grandstand.

As carousel type, Jimena said performing tribes will simultaneously perform in each of the four judging areas like Iloilo Freedom Grandstand, Quezon-Ledesma Streets, Iloilo Provincial Capitol and Ma. Clara Street, all within the city proper area.

Meanwhile, three Ati-ati tribes that were champions in previous years are expected to come back.

Jimena named them as Tribu Bola Bola of the Iloilo National High School, Tribu Pan-ay of the Fort San Pedro National High School and Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz National High School.

“This is more fun because these champions will be performing again”, he said.

Jimena said they are expecting 13 tribes to perform for the Kasadyahan competition while 12 tribes for the Ati-ati contest.

DENR, composite team to conduct MAC in celebration of Ozone Month


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 17 (PNA) --The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Office 6 and its composite team the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Iloilo City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) will be conducting the Mobile Air-Conditioning Check (MAC) on Sept. 24 in front of Shoemart (SM) City to make sure that they are in compliance.

Amy Guillergan, DENR Regional Office 6 chief of the Environmental Education, Information Section, said that this September the DENR is celebrating the Ozone Month with the aim to impress to the public the need to help in the protection of the ozone layer which is now a pressing environmental concern.

She said that because of this concern, the LTO and CENRO are joining hands with the DENR for the MAC and the implementation of the anti-smoke belching regulation.

The MAC will be conducted randomly among the taxi units that will pass by SM City if they are ozone-friendly. If found to have some violations, the composite team will require them for a re-check at the LTO and then would be required to meet the requirements.

On Sept. 25-27, there would also be an exhibit at Gaisano City here where information and education campaign materials would be displayed and made available for the public to know on how to protect the water and atmosphere and prevent further depletion of the ozone layer.

Jaro heritage building up for renovation


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 16 (PNA) -– The PNP Jaro station will have to transfer to a nearby building and give way to the renovation of the heritage structure into a museum.

This was announced by Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog on Monday after the Tourism Infrastructure Enhancement Zone Authority (TIEZA) of the Dept. of Tourism) finalized its plan for the renovation and improvement of the heritage building fronting the historic Jaro Plaza and Cathedral.

Mabilog said the PNP Jaro station will be transferred in the Jaro Puericulture Center adjacent to the old structure while the barangay hall of Benedicto, Jaro will house at the nearby Timpuyog Amnian building erected from funds of former senator Letecia Ramos Shahani.

Similarly, another building behind the heritage site will house the expanded Technical Institute of Iloilo City (TIIC) Jaro campus to absorb the many technical and vocational courses offered to students in Jaro and La Paz areas.

Mabilog said the projects under the TIEZA are expected to take off before 2015 as TIEZA is currently funding ongoing heritage renovation of seven heritage sites in the city.

These include the renovation and improvement of Plaza Libertad, Jaro Plaza and Jaro Cathedral, Molo Plaza and Molo Cathedral, Port San Pedro and the central business district in the city proper.

Iloilo paper owner sued over retrenchment

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr. (Inquirer Visayas)

ILOILO CITY–A newspaper owner and defeated mayoral candidate of Iloilo City is facing an illegal termination complaint filed by seven dismissed newspaper employees.

Seven employees of the Iloilo-based newspaper The News Today have accused businessman Rommel Ynion of illegal termination and are demanding, among others, separation pay, back wages and damages.

In a complaint filed in the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) office in Iloilo City, the seven former employees asked the NLRC to declare their dismissal as illegal.

Ynion, who ran with the populist slogan “I Love the Poor,” lost to Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in the May 2013 elections.

Aside from Ynion, also named respondents were publisher Junep Ocampo and officers of Maxposure Inc., which owns the newspaper: Jose Gerardo Villacarlos, Hernan Ynion, Michael Robert Ynion and Carlo Gene Ynion.

The complainants include news editor Maricyn de los Santos, senior reporters Montesa Caoyonan and Jennifer Rendon, photographer Ricky Alejo, marketing supervisor Ramon Salvilla, graphic designer and layout artist Ely Pineda, and delivery boy Roy Amoto.

They alleged in a position paper dated Aug. 12 that they were terminated in “bad faith.”

The complainants said they were told in a meeting in March that they would be retrenched and asked to sign a prepared voluntary resignation letter.

When they refused to sign, they received a letter on March 5 informing them that their employment would end on April 6.

They said the newspaper company gave them half of their monthly salary in May contrary to the assurance that they would be given a separation package.

Leo Solinap, an executive of the newspaper handling operations, denied that the employees were illegally terminated.

“We consulted our lawyer and we followed the required process,” he said. Solinap said the retrenchment was prompted by losses.

He said the newspaper was forced to reduce its publication frequency. From being a daily paper, The News Today now only comes out thrice weekly.

NEDA 6 orients WV local officials on RDC, NEDA


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 14 (PIA6) -- The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) In Western Visayas has oriented newly-elected and reelected officials and department heads of the six provinces and two highly urbanized cities in the region on the mandate and functions of the Regional Development Council and their agency.

NEDA 6 Development Research Division chief Cynthia Lumampao said that the orientations were conducted in Guimaras (August 2), Negros Occidental (August 8), Iloilo (August 14), Aklan (August 16), Antique (August 23) and Capiz (August 27). Similar orientations were also conducted in the cities of Bacolod (August 9) and Iloilo (August 15).

The orientation covered the following topics: overview and important roles of RDC and NEDA; mandate, functions and organizational structure, Board and attached agencies and inter-agency committees of NEDA; and, history, functions and organizational set-up of NEDA Regional Office VI in Iloilo City.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), as mandated by the Philippine Constitution, is the country’s economic development and planning agency. It consists of the NEDA Board and the NEDA Secretariat. The NEDA Board is the governing body that sets major development policy directions for the Philippines while the NEDA Secretariat serves as its research and technical support arm.

Based on Executive Order No. 325 issued in 1996, the RDC is the primary institution that sets the direction of economic and social development of the region and through which regional efforts are coordinated. The Council is also designed to be an effective institution in the region responsible for ensuring sustainable, participatory and equitable development.

Also covered were the planning and policy formulation role of NEDA, its support to efforts on strengthening the Provincial Land Use Committees and in the updating of the Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan, taking into account disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation concerns.

Another aspects of the orientation was the discussion of the various modalities for resource mobilization and guidelines for accessing Official Development Assistance (ODA) and for entering into Public-Private Partnership arrangements, strengthening of the Local Project Monitoring Committees and status of major programs and projects of the provinces, and the importance of regional and local data, the initiatives and efforts along regional databases and maps, and the need to set up the Provincial Statistical Coordination Committees.

Topping the list of concerns raised by participants during the open forum were the status of the proposed and ongoing programs or projects of local government units and environmental concerns related to project implementation especially of large-scale projects.

NEDA 6 Regional Director Ro-Ann Bacal led the resource persons who also included: Ma. Lourdes Miado, OIC-Chief of the Policy Formulation and Planning Division; Ma. Teresa Guadalupe, Supervising Economic Development Specialist of the Project Development, Investment Programming and Budgeting Division; Erlinda Chiu, OIC Chief of the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division; and, Lumampao, Chief of the Development Research Division.

Governors Samuel Gumarin (Guimaras), Alfredo Marañon, Jr. (Negros Occ.) and Victor Tanco, Sr. (Capiz) were present during the orientation while City Mayors Jed Patrick Mabilog of Iloilo and Mayor Monico Puentevella of Bacolod also personally attended the orientation and actively participated during the open forum.

Mabilog requests CCTV cameras at liquor stores


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 13 (PNA) -- Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has requested the CCTV Council to include stores selling liquor and other intoxicating drinks in the list of establishments to be installed with closed circuit television cameras.

City councilor Nielex Tupas assured to include the liquor stores as high risk establishments compelled to install CCTV cameras with an application for a Certificate of Compliance (COC) before a city business permit can be issued.

Mabilog said that young men who recently stormed a radio station along the diversion road were reportedly drunk and purchased bottles of wines before they created a rumble at the Smallville complex.

Stores are prohibited to sell liquors to minors and adults who purchased the liquors could have been deterred in the commission of crime by knowing that they are recorded in a CCTV camera, the city mayor said.

Iloilo City set to dispose unusable properties


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 12 (PNA) -– The city government here is set to dispose several unusable properties left to the elements by looking for buyers of these properties, according to city Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

First on the auction block is the 6.8 hectares lot in Ungka, Pavia, Iloilo which the Commission on Audit pegged at P2,500 per square meter selling price.

The lot host the unused housing subdivision intended for city hall employees but abandoned by the contractor several years ago.

Mabilog said the amount derive from the sale of the Pavia lot maybe used to buy another lot within the city for the construction of low cost housing units for city hall employees and for other development projects in the city.

On the other hand, former city councilor Perla Zulueta, currently the mayor’s executive assistant, has discovered two brand new but unused bulldozers rotting at the city motor pool since 1998.

The heavy equipment worth some P40 million was purchased during the time of former city mayor Mansueto Malabor more than 15 years ago.

Mabilog said that he was assured the bulldozers are still there at the city motor pool which can not be used since 1998 due to some missing parts.

The city mayor said he is still tracking the whereabouts of more equipment and tools owned by the city which are reported unusable.

14 Ilonggo athletes receive cash incentives


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 11 (PNA) -- The Iloilo City Government gave cash incentives to 14 student athletes coming from different city schools here who harvested medals during the Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission (POC-PSC) National Games Championship held in Manila from May 25 to June 2, 2013.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, who requested the City Treasurer’s Office for a P21,000 cash incentive for the 14 athletes, said the giving of incentives to these athletes who excelled in local and national sports competitions is part of the city’s sports program which encourages the youth to engage in sports and bring honor to the city.

Under the sports program, a gold medal is equivalent to a cash incentive of P1,500; silver is P1,000 and bronze, P500.00.

On Tuesday, among the arnis gold medalists who received their cash incentives were Dennis Dellomes, Kliezer Juanga and Jonnie Celendro while for pencak silat competition were Jelly Pearl Democrito and Daisy Rose Hellares.

Silver medalists were Dennis Dellomes who won two times in arnis together with Francis Ryan Davis while for pencak silat were Xyrine Diocos, Daisy Rose Hellares, Rose Mary Ann Rafa and Karen Rojo.

Other arnis bronze medalist players were Jonnie Celendro, Dennis Dellomes, Kliezer Juanga, Iresh Crizel De Leon who won twice while for pencak silat medalists were Xyrine Diocos and Cielo Jinon.

Also, bronze medalists for swimming were Casy Raybac Gumabong, Joshua Philip Gumban and Kimberly Nietes.

News Feature: Ilonggo inventor's design may revolutionize trike's side car

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

ILOILO CITY, Sept. 10 (LAF) - - An innovation of an Ilonggo inventor may revolutionize the design of the sidecar of tricycles in the country.

The innovative design of thirty-two year old Elmer Vincent Abella of Arevalo, Iloilo City was adjudged regional winner in the Industrial Design category of the 2013 Regional Invention Contest and Exbihits (RICE) in Western Visayas.

A side car attached to a motorcycle forms a tricycle, a popular means of transportation in the Philippines.

Abella’s side car, an attraction during the three-day event held at Robinson’s Place in Iloilo City, was made of mixed and composite materials and automotive finishings to mimic the sleek and elegant look even of the latest automobile design. Some of the materials used are chopped matt fiberglass, resins, woven rovings, galvanized steels and others.

The sidecar is molded to accomodate comfortably four passengers and is lighter and economical as weight was reduced by 50%, and blends all in one with the motorcycle. It has also standards and engineering parameters to ensure safety and road worthiness.

Abella said it was his dream to revolutionize the design of the tricycle’s side car as designs for motorcycles, automobiles and even houses keep on innovating but not on tricycles, it was neglected.

"I came to a point of designing a sidecar for tricycle to match with motorcycles, not only for the comfort of the passengers but also how to make it more profitable and convenient on the part of the owner and driver as their means of livelihood,” said Abella who is an Aviation Electronics technician by profession.

Abella has already sold a number of units at P35,000 financed out of his personal and family funds.

However, with his recognition from RICE, Abella is confident that he will have the opportunity to gain access to the developmental and technical assistance programs of the government through the Department of Science and Technology such as for commercialization, marketing and production of his products.

Abella only knew of the invention contest when he was informed by the patent office about it after he applied for a patent for the commercialization of his product. He first joined the RICE in 2011 with the same entry in the Creative Research Open Category and came in second among the more than 70 entries.

With his patent released, he decided to join the Industrial Design Category of this year’s invention contest wherein one of the requirement is that entries must have patents and industrial registrations.

"Before I didn’t know where to go, I thought there was no agency who nurtures inventors but this time, through this activity, I am hoping more investors will be assisted and ideas will be translated into more sophisticated products which could help our country move forward,” said Abella.

As regional winner, Abella received P20,000 cash prize, certificate of recognition, trophy and a chance to showcase and compete his design in the national level as representative of the region in the National Invention Contest and Exhibits next year.

Waterfront brgys avail themselves of medical mission


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 9 (PNA)-– Three contiguous barangays in the waterfront area of the Iloilo city proper here have availed themselves of medical mission conducted by the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines Iloilo chapter.

Margarita Hilario, FPOP board member, spearheaded the medical mission on Saturday participated in by more than 300 recipients, mostly mothers of reproductive age from Brgy. Concepcion, Veterans Village and Monica.

The mission covered free medical consultation, medicines and lectures of family planning and reproductive health.

Concepcion Brgy. Capt. Leah Berciles thanked the FPOP group and its allied volunteer organizations including barangay service point officers and barangay nutrition scholars in bringing hope and medical services to her constituents.

Four medical practitioners conducted the whole morning medical consultations.

Anti-pork campaign spreads to Iloilo

(Manila Standard Today)

A DAY after the Catholic Church urged atonement for corruption in the Philippines, protesters in Iloilo said they will also hold a prayer vigil to push for the abolition of the pork barrel system in Iloilo City, organizers said on Saturday.

Organizers said the protesters will stage a candle light prayer service against the pork barrel system in consonance with the Edsa Tayo prayer vigil at the Edsa Shrine on Sept. 11.

The Iloilo protest will be held at the Jaro Cathedral at 5:30 p.m. of Sept. 11, an hour after the Edsa Tayo service that was purposely set to end at 5 p.m. to lessen traffic congestion at the Edsa Shrine on Wednesday.

But Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino said they are ready for the rally and about 500 traffic constables will be deployed in the area for the prayer rally, including new recruits who were just inducted on Saturday.

“Wherever your regular assignments are, it’s canceled on Sept. 11. You will be at Edsa Shrine. What we will do is to secure the flow of traffic, keep the situation peaceful, ensure no one is hurt, allow the expression of sentiments, ” Tolentino told the new constables during their induction.

Tolentino said he was to meet with the Edsa Tayo organizers and representatives of the National Capital Region Police Office to iron out other details on Monday.

The NCRPO said on Saturday it had already prepared security measures for the rally on Wednesday, including another rally that militant organizations are organizing to be held at the Rizal Park on Sept. 13.

Philippine National Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac said the Quezon City Police District will be the lead agency in ensuring peace and order during Edsa Tayo, but they can call on reinforcements from other cities, if necessary.

According to its organizers, Edsa Tayo will be a non-partisan, inter-faith prayer vigil that was inspired by people’s reaction to the Million People March to Luneta last Aug. 26, which was attended by 100,000 people.

Edsa Tayo organizer Junep Ocampo said they do not really expect 100,000 people to be present at the Edsa Shrine on Wednesday, but they have received expressions of support from other places in the country.

“On Friday, Sultan Maguid Maruhom, a civil society leader in Pagadian City, said they will also hold their own inter-faith forum on the pork barrel system,” Ocampo said, adding that former socioeconomic planning secretary Solita Monsod has agreed to talk about pork barrel at the Edsa Tayo event.

“We are set to go on Sept. 11 in solidarity with Edsa Tayo,” Maruhom said in a communication posted on Facebook about the forum that will be held in front of C3 Mall on Pagadian’s main thoroughfare Rizal Ave. from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“[Our event] will be participated by many groups, the biggest are the Roman Catholic parishes, several schools run by the Diocese and many [civil society organizations]. It will be participated by sizable number of Protestant churches, Muslims and Subanens,” Maruhom said.

Aside from Pagadian and Iloilo, Ocampo said they were told there would be a similar event in Dumaguete City on the same day.

Megaworld hikes its investment in Iloilo City to P35 billion

By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo — With an additional P10-billion investment, property developer Megaworld Corp. has turned Iloilo City as its largest investment site outside of Metro Manila.

Megaworld First Vice President Jericho Go announced that it has increased investment for its 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park to P35 billion from P25 billion.

“We are committed to make Iloilo Business Park as the largest, most exciting business and tourism district in Western Visayas,” Go said.

Last May, Megaworld announced that it expanded the land area of its Iloilo Business Park located at the old airport site in Mandurriao, Iloilo City to 72 hectares.

From the initial 54-hectare lot, Megaworld acquired an additional 18 hectares from a prominent Ilonggo family who requested anonymity.

Iloilo Business Park is Megaworld’s first foray of establishing a world-class township in Western Visayas region.

It will be home to hotels, shopping centers, residential areas, buildings for business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, and the R500-million Iloilo Convention Center.

“We have exciting plans for the additional 18 hectares that we have acquired. A unique leisure, commercial and residential development concept will soon be introduced to the Ilonggo market,” Go noted.

Megaworld has also been expediting constructions as Iloilo City will possibly host two ministerial meetings of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.

Last August, Megaworld announced it has started construction of the first Courtyard hotel brand by Marriott International Inc. in Iloilo City.

Megaworld is also constructing Richmonde Hotel Iloilo, which is expected to be operational by 2015.

Mayor to create newresearch dev office


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 6 (PNA)-– Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog here is set to create and organize a new research and development office out to establish a concrete demographic profile of Iloilo City.

But Mabilog said he is not hiring new employees to man the new office but instead, will get employees from other city government offices to work on the demographic profile that will entail a comprehensive survey on city households.

The city development planning office under Jose Roni Peñalosa will initially start the new office, starting with the city government employees with no housing unit of their own.

The city chief executive said the Commission on Audit has already given the green light for the sale of the city government-owned lot in Pavia, Iloilo at P2,500 per square meter, a much lower cost of the early P3,773 per square meter.

Mabilog said the proceed from the Pavia lot sale will be used to buy another property intended for the city government employees as they are the original recipients of the low cost housing project in Pavia.

The new office will conduct a survey of the employee-recipient as beneficiary of the housing project of the city.

DOH works on new mothers with depression


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 5 (PNA)-– Depression, sometimes leading to suicide, is attacking all sectors of society including young children, women and men especially the new mothers.

However, the Depr. of Health said that depression is an illness which is treatable and preventable even if it starts at a young age affecting more women than men.

The DOH report showed that one or two new mothers out of 10 in the Philippines showed depression symptoms after childbirth.

The best cure is to make the new mother happy with self esteem and full family support.

Dr. Eunice Sermonia of the DOH regional office here said the World Health Organization report showed more than 800,000 in the world have depression cases in 17 countries and one in every 20 persons have depression.

Similarly, women posted more than 50 percent depression cases than men that often lead to suicide.

Dr. Dina Nadera, executive director of the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation, said that school children may undergo mental health resilience building with a tie-up between the community and school.

Speaking at the “Healthy Lifestyle Forum: Suicide and Depression” held at the Sarabia Manor Hotel here by DOH regional office, the foundation official contended the stigma of depression must be erased with the help of spirituality and the church, peer and family support, and positive expectancy that could give children hope and healthy self esteem.

Iloilo Tourism Exhibit at the SM City


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 4 (PNA)-- The Province of Iloilo Tourism Exhibit is now ongoing after it was opened Tuesday at the Shoemart (SM) City here.

Department of Tourism Regional Dir. Helen Catalbas said that the tourism exhibit would run for a week to showcase and entice tourists to take time and visit the different tourism sites in the province.

She said that this tourism activity is part of the project embarked for people in the region to “Experience Western Visayas first.” The project of the DOT intends to create consciousness among residents of the region to make a tour of Western Visayas first before they plan of going out to see other places.

The opening of the tourism exhibit on Tuesday had the Ritmo Tambores of Passi City and the cultural dancers of Anilao perform, giving tourists a glimpse of what they could see in Iloilo province.

Interested tourists are also being provided with the list of the “Must Experience” tourism attractions in the province which are the heritage churches, coral garden, carabao-carroza festival, weaving, pottery, metalcraft, bamboocraft, hiking, spelunking, and mountain climbing in the different towns.

There are also the waterfalls, Iloilo Golf and Country Club, island-hopping and resort-hopping that could be experienced in the province.

All set for organic agri production in WV


ILOILO CITY, Sept 3 (PNA)-– The Dept. of Agriculture reported the increasing demand for organic agriculture products which are slowly penetrating supermarket chains and restaurants due to broadening demand brought by growing health consciousness and wellness trend in the country.

Dr. Hector Peñaranda, DA regional focal person of organic agriculture, said the vast opportunities for growing organic products are just waiting in competition with the conventional farming systems.

DA and Central Philippine University in Jaro, Iloilo City organized the first Organic Agriculture Stakeholders Summit on September 3-6, 2013 participated by organization advocates of organic foods, local government units with organic agriculture program and the academe in promoting awareness on healthy and organic foods.

Peñaranda said the National Organic Agriculture Program in 2012-2016 envisions organic farming contribution of at least five percent of Philippine agricultural farm areas and consumers both national and international increasing support to Philippine organic food products by 2016.

Recent scientific discoveries further bolster the production of organic foods.

However, Philippine exports only reached a minimal reaching US $ 18 million in 2006.

The ever increasing global demand for organic food and beverages reached US $ 15.6 billion in 2009, posting an average hike of US $ 5 billion a year.

Peñaranda said there is much money in organic agriculture by growing fruits and vegetables the organic way by diverting eventually from chemical fertilizers and inputs.

These products include bananas, melons, carrots, fruit vegetables, leafy vegetables, legumes and rice.

Western Visayas is a leading agricultural advocate and organic agriculture is fast being absorbed by farmers in limiting or not using chemical fertilizers.

Mabilog seeks cooperation to prevent criminality


ILOILO CITY, Sept. 2 (PNA)-– Iloilo city Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, chairman of the regional peace and order council in Western Visayas, sought strong cooperation in the barangay to prevent or eradicate criminality.

Guest speaker at the 19th National Crime Prevention Week celebration in this city Monday, Mabilog said the region is winning the war against criminality in whatever form as peace and order is foundation of a strong community.

The opening celebration held at the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand underscores the strong community participation with a theme “Malasakit mo ang kailangan upang ang krimen ay maiwasan.”

The celebration highlighted the awarding of most outstanding and most friendly police station in the region. With cash award, certificate of recognition and trophy to the champions, the awarding was participated by Mabilog, PNP Reg. Dir. CSupt. Agrimero Cruz Jr, Napolcom Reg. Dir. Marquez Palomar, Department of Interior and Local Government Reg. Dir. Evelyn Trompeta, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Reg. Dir. Ronnie Delicana, thousands of parade participants and employees of agencies under the DILG.

The awardees as most friendly police station are the municipalities of Kalibo, Aklan as champion with Kalibo Mayor William Lachica, followed by the Cabatuan, Iloilo PNP station, Jamindan PNP and Belison PNP as consolation prize winner.

Most friendly police station in the highly urbanized and component cities are Iloilo City PNP under SSupt. Ruperto Floro as winner in two consecutive years, followed by Bago City, San Carlos City, Silay City and Bacolod City as consolation prize winners.

‘Mangroves, trees can deter returning squatters’

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will deter relocated informal settlers from returning to their old homes.

DENR regional executive director Adeluisa G. Siapnomade the recommendation during the meeting of the Iloilo-Batiano River Development Council (IBRDC) at the City Hall.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog had raised concerns that some squatters who were transferred to relocation sites are now coming back to their old enclaves. Worse, some village chiefs are making money out of the racket.

Mabilog solicited advice from council members on the possible improvements to be done in the open spaces vacated by illegal settlers along the Iloilo River.

Siapno advised that the balled vegetations, including mangroves and trees, from the Iloilo and Batiano Rivers shall be transferred to the areas evacuated by illegal settlers to prevent “professional squatters” of coming back.

The plants were uprooted from the two rivers for impeding the smooth flow of water. It is also part of the dredging works on the two bodies of water.