DPWH sets P200M for Iloilo City river projects

 

By: Lydia C. Pendon

SENATOR Franklin M. Drilon, together with City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and lone district Representative Jerry P. Treñas met last Friday officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson and Regional Director Evelyn Barroso to discuss the implementation of various river park projects worth more than P200 million starting this year.

The funds will be sourced out from the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of Drilon and DPWH regular budget for projects with some assistance from foreign agencies.

The DPWH says the priority river projects include the cleaning and removal of sunken derelicts in the river, removal of fish pens, ceasing of operations of establishments that contribute water pollution, dredging of the Iloilo River and its tributaries, and upgrading of the existing Treñas Boulevard.

Jed, Jerry give P-Noy a ‘9’

Jed, Jerry give P-Noy a ‘9’

By: Tara Yap

IN A scale of 1 to ten with one as the lowest and 10 as highest, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Rep. Jerry Treñas both gave President Benigno Simeon Aquino III a high grade in his first year in office.

“I give him a nine,” Mabilog told The Daily Guardian via text message.

“Nine on a scale of ten,” Treñas also said in a text message.

Both the local chief executive and the neophyte lawmaker credited Aquino for bringing in P1.2-billion worth of infrastructure projects through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that will spur the socio-economic growth of the city.

“As reported by Sen. Franklin Drilon and DPWH Sec. Rogelio Singson, Iloilo City is a recipient of a lot of infrastructure projects,” Treñas said.

High impact infrastructure projects this year until 2012 included the Iloilo Esplanade Project, circumferential road (C1), road widening of Jaro-Leganes road (Iloilo East Coast-Capiz Road), Jaro-Buntatala national road, and Metro Iloilo radial road.

Mabilog pointed out that Aquino is instrumental in turning over of the P300-million Rotary Park to the city government.

City Hall now owns Rotary Park

By: Lydia C. Pendon

THE more than one-hectare Rotary Park at Fort San Pedro area is now owned by the city government through Presidential Proclamation 201 issued by President Benigno Aquino III.

With the proclamation, the city government can now start development projects in the site.

The proclamation dated July 17, 2011 was signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa in behalf of the President.

The park was abandoned by the Rotary Club of Iloilo City and left to the mercy of squatters for many years.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the city will now be ready to start its multi-million peso Guimaras Iloilo Ferry Terminal project (GIFT) that involves the construction of a modern passenger terminal in the area for commuters between Iloilo City and the municipalities in Jordan and Buenavista, Guimaras.

A project study was completed by Concept Consultancy more than three years ago that calls for Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fund the modernization of the Guimaras municipal ferry terminals.

With this development, the district office of the Philippine Coast Guard will be transferred beside the perimeter fence of the Philippine Ports Authority.

PDEA urges LGUs to comply with circular on drugs

PDEA urges LGUs to comply with circular on drugs

By: Elsa S. Subong

PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency-6 Director Yogi Felimon Ruiz has asked all barangays to comply with the memo circular against dangerous drugs,

In Western Visayas, PDEA said none of the 4.050 barangays has ever complied with Memo circular 2009-09 which calls for a Unified Action Against Dangerous Drugs.

Ruiz said the circular is not a recent one, yet for the period of time, no barangay has submitted to them the requirements which he considered simple.

MC 2009-09 issued by the DILG requires all barangays to appropriate a substantial portion of their annual budgets to assist or enhance the enforcement of Republic Act 9165, or the Dangerous Drugs Act, giving priority to educational program, prevention and rehabilitation of drug dependents.

In addition to budget appropriations, Ruiz said the barangay officials are required to submit a report which identifies house clusters, work places, streets and puroks where illegal drugs transactions are taking place.

PDEA-6 legal officer Ronnie Delicana said the information will be fed to the National Drug Information System serving as a data base of existing drug situation in localities.

Another graft raps filed vs Rep. Treñas

Another graft raps

filed vs Rep. Treñas

YET ANOTHER graft case was filed against Iloilo City Rep. Jerry P. Treñas before the Office of the Ombudsman over the demolition of the old City Hall sometime in 2007.

In a three-page complaint filed Monday, radio bloctimers Jose Roy Cejar and Fernando Gabio accused Treñas of graft and corruption when he allegedly negotiated the contract for the demolition works with V. Solis Construction for P1.3 million.

The complainants claimed that the demolition initially underwent public bidding with V. Solis offering the lowest bid at P800,000.

The complainants said the demolition of the City Hall is contrary to construction industry practice as the contractor was supposed to pay the city government, not the other way around.

“It is the contractor which pays building owners because it still earns profit from the salvage (sic) materials – concrete slabs and debris, wooden beams, steels bars, iron grills, window frames, glasses, cables, galvanized sheets, wooden partitions, tiles, bricks, toilet bowls and basins, etc., all of which were fixtures of the old City Hall,” the complainants added.

The complaint also emphasized that the old City Hall was owned by the city government and the bidding was actually for the services to demolish it, not for buying the debris.

POVERTY LEVELS RISING IN REGION

POVERTY LEVELS RISING IN REGION

By: Francis Allan L. Angelo

POVERTY levels in Western Visayas increased between 2006 and 2009, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).

The NSCB said the poverty threshold in the region increased by 28.9% from 2006 to 2009, compared to only 17.8% between 2003 and 2006. Poverty threshold refers to the minimum income/expenditure required for a family/individual to meet the basic food and non-food requirements.

Basic food requirements are currently based on 100% adequacy for the Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intake (RENI) for protein and energy equivalent to an average of 2,000 kilocalories per capita and 80% adequacy for other nutrients.

Basic non-food requirements, indirectly estimated by obtaining the ratio of food to total basic expenditures from a reference group of families, cover expenditure on: 1) clothing and footwear; 2) housing; 3) fuel, light, water; 4) maintenance and minor repairs; 5) rental of occupied dwelling units; 6) medical care; 7) education; 8) transportation and communication; 9) non-durable furnishings; 10) household operations; and 11) personal care and effects.

SONA skips vital concerns – Defensor

SONA skips vital

concerns – Defensor

By: Francis Allan L. Angelo

ILOILO Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. said President Benigno Aquino III scored home his campaign against graft and corruption but came short of other vital issues in his state of the nation address (SONA) Monday.

Defensor, who attended the SONA at the Batasan Complex, said he agrees with President Aquino’s “personal campaign” against corruption but other issues were either glossed over or were not mentioned.

Defensor said he expected to hear more specifics on education and health which are vital concerns needing to be addressed by the national government.

The governor also observed a similar lack of specifics on trade promotions and economic development.

“I can’t see a clear vision on these issues of vital concern,” he added.

As regards environment, Defensor said the Aquino administration was correct in the aim of planting 1 billion trees “but we also need programs to address pollution in highly urbanized cities.”

“For example, air quality is deteriorating in the cities of Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao and Iloilo. There should be specific environmental policies towards these ends,” Defensor said.

Defensor also noted that social programs like the conditional cash transfer are sometimes coursed through local governments to reach more poor beneficiaries.

Capitol team off to Sara, puts to test firearms ban

Capitol team off to Sara,

puts to test firearms ban

By: Florence F. Hibionada

COME Thursday, a team from the Iloilo Provincial Government headed by Governor Arthur Defenor Sr. will enter the “gun-free zone” in Northern Iloilo.

The visit is an official trip with the governor expected to be secured by his usual group of security. As such, it would be the first time for Defensor to have a feel of the “lawlessness” state in the district. This, alongside the possibility of being stopped beyond the territorial boundary of Barotac Viejo and all the way towards Sara.

A gun ban is currently imposed in eight of the 11 Northern Iloilo towns with implementation ensured by a special team created by the Police Regional Office 6.

Defensor has since slammed the ban, calling on the PNP to recall it. The governor’s stance is supported by the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Iloilo Chapter.

Dismissed as “capricious and arbitrary”, members of the Iloilo Provincial Board likewise sought for the gun ban’s recall for lack of consultation.

ILOILO City Councilor Jason R. Gonzales

ILOILO City Councilor Jason R. Gonzales distributes arroz caldo with malunggay to children as part of his Barangay Feeding Program. In a span of 10 months, at least 60 villages with some 6,000 children recipients in Iloilo City have benefited from the feeding program conducted since September 2010 to June 2011.  

TO THE MAYOR’S RESCUE

TO THE MAYOR’S RESCUE. Jeffrey Celiz and Richard Sombiro – Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog’s political officer and spokesman, respectively – meet the press to deny the other day’s banner story (not in this paper) that the marriage of Mayor Mabilog to Maria Victoria Griengo in 2006 was “spurious” because there is no record of […]

Deputy Ombudsman admits fight vs corruption a failure

Deputy Ombudsman admits fight vs corruption a failure By: Dolly Yasa BACOLOD City – Atty. Pelagio Apostol, deputy ombudsman for Visayas, yesterday admitted that the campaign against corruption in government was a failure in the past administration. Apostol was here yesterday morning and called on Negros Occidental governor Alfredo Marañon for their program dubbed “caravan […]