The Ambassador of Sweden to the Philippines is set to visit Iloilo City on March 22 to take a look at the metropolis’ business climate for possible investments.

His Excellency Harald Fries will have a courtesy visit at City Hall.

“He personally would like to see if it is true that Iloilo City is booming based on the reports he received from Manila. He will see the business climate, peace and order situation and how we do things here,” Mayor Jose Espinosa III said.

“Iloilo is the most improved city in the Philippines in terms of governance, and I think that is one of things they consider in visiting our city,” Espinosa added.

Iloilo City won first place in Most Improved Local Government Unit (LGU) for Highly Urbanized City in the 2018 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMI) Awards.

Espinosa said Fries’ visit will open window of opportunities to various investments in the metropolis especially that some of Swedish brands including IKEA, H&M, and Volvo are expanding in the country.

Fries is married to Filipina Susan Batungbacal-Fries. He likes binakol, pancit molo, bibingka, and mangoes. (Merianne Grace Ereñeta/Iloilo City PIO)


The Iloilo City Commission on Elections (Comelec) has designated common poster areas per district where campaign materials of national, party-lists, and local candidates will only be displayed in line with the May 13 midterm elections.

The common poster areas are at Plaza Libertad facing J.M. Basa Street for City Proper; Rizal Street facing Iloilo Supermart and Arevalo Police Station, beside Arevalo Gymnasium for Arevalo district; Jaro Plaza facing Ledi Supermarket and Andok’s Chicken for Jaro district; La Paz Plaza along Huervana Street and La Paz Police Station for La Paz district; in front of Jalandoni Memorial Elementary School, Abanilla Street for Lapuz district; Mandurriao Plaza facing 7-11 Convenience Store, Oñate for Mandurriao district; and Molo Plaza facing Molo Caltex Station and The Mansion on Locsin Street in Molo district.

City Comelec Election Assistant Jonathan Sayno said political campaign materials must only be two-feet by three-feet and must only be displayed on common poster areas.

“All campaign materials violating the common poster areas and sizes will be removed,” Sayno said.

The City Comelec has started removing illegal campaign materials February 12 when the campaign period for senatorial candidates and party-list groups began.

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Sayno said the City Comelec also removed campaign materials without “Political Advertisement Paid For” or “Political Advertisement Paid By” signs including the address of candidates.

Campaign materials that were removed were confiscated, itemized according to sizes, reported to the Comelec provincial office, and then forwarded to Regional Office which will report to Comelec Law Department or Commissioner Rowena Guanzon.

Local candidates can start posting their campaign materials on March 29.

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“I would like to remind our local candidates that you must follow the rules; and for the voters, please do not be too emotional during the campaign period to avoid dispute and choose candidates based on their qualifications and platforms,” Sayno said.

The Iloilo City Task Force on Anti-Squatting and Illegal Structure (TF Asis) also helped the City Comelec in removing illegal campaign materials.

“Some are posted along local roads and sari-sari stores where owners are complaining because they did not ask permission prior to posting,” TF Asis head Roberto Dumanil said. (Merianne Grace Ereñeta/Iloilo City PIO)


In a move to highlight the importance of reading among children, the Iloilo City Public Library (ICPL) will be conducting storytelling sessions every month starting March 8, and Read Aloud Day in line with the celebration of Public Library Day on March 9.

The monthly storytelling will kick off with children aged 4 to 10 years old.

City Librarian Marion Aguirre said this is the first time that ICPL will be conducting the monthly storytelling at second floor of City Hall.
Pupils in Iloilo City Children’s Learning Center (ICGCLC) and their parents will participate in the Public Library Day which ICPL will celebrate on March 11.

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“We want our parents and children to develop their bond through reading, and at the same time, we have noticed that bed time stories are not being practiced among kids, that is why parents will be the ones to read the stories to them,” Aguirre said.

“We have also noticed that after school, children are using cellphone. Not that we are against technology, but we should still instill to our children that through reading, it will develop their skills in reading, speaking, and will improve their communication not only towards their parents, but to people around them,” Aguirre added.

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Proclamation No. 563, s. 1959 designates March 9 as Public Library Day. (Merianne Grace Ereñeta/Iloilo City PIO)


An employee of Iloilo City Government was declared champion in the Regional Civil Registration Quiz Bee of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Western Visayas in line with the celebration Civil Registration Month in February.

Marivel Gargalicana, Registration Officer II of City Civil Registry Office (CCRO), bested 11 other representatives from local government units in Region 6 in the quiz bee held at PSA regional office here March 1.

Gargalicana earlier competed at the provincial level where she landed third place.

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She noted that only the first and second placers would compete for the regional, however, the second placer was not able to make it, thus she was tapped to compete instead.

“At first, I was hesitant to join. However, I pursued it and I did a little review and memorization of laws specifically dates, persons and everything related to civil registration. I am thankful that I brought honor to the office,” Gargalicana said.

“My job also helped me to review since my co-workers were asking things related to birth registration. And I used the information that I possess during the quiz bee,” she added.

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Gargalicana stressed birth registration plays a big role in personal needs especially that birth certificate is required in transactions.

Working for the city since February 2013, Gargalicana is in-charge of all legal instrumentations or affidavits with regard to implementation of Republic Act 9255 or allowing illegitimate children to use the surname of their father, and timely and late registration of birth. (Merianne Grace Ereñeta/Iloilo City PIO)


More visitors came to Iloilo City in 2018 as shown in the tourist arrivals with a significant increase of 15 percent compared to that of 2017.

City Tourism and Development Office (CTDO) recorded 1,241,010 tourist arrivals last year compared to 1,076,976 tourist arrivals in 2017.

“This increase in tourist arrivals only shows that more prefer to visit Iloilo City. We have a lot of places to show our rich culture and history. We have more hotels to accommodate them. And we have facilities where they can hold their conventions and seminars,” Mayor Jose Espinosa III said.

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There were 1,153,483 local tourists; 70,777 foreigners; and 16,750 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who visited the city last year.

City Tourism Officer Junel Ann Divinagracia said the metropolis has transformed from being a “festival capital” to a favorite convention destination.

“We have also noticed that unlike previous year wherein the peak of tourist arrivals was January to February due to festivals here, in 2018, the peak months were April, November, and December. This shows that people do not only come here because of festivals, but because we are the venue for meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE),” Divinagracia said.

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Iloilo City hosted the East Asian Congress (EAS) in November 2018 which was participated by countries such as Cambodia, China, Japan, Lao, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Timor-Leste.

“This increase in arrivals has impact on us economically since visitors spent on accommodation, transportation, restaurants, and souvenirs,” Divinagracia added.

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The greatest number of tourists was from the United States of America (USA) with 13,893 arrivals from January to February last year.

Divinagracia attributed this to the promotion during the Iloilo City Trade Mission in the US, and the city as alternative to Boracay during its closure. (Merianne Grace Ereñeta/Iloilo City PIO)


Publication of the vacant positions in the Iloilo City Government.

Interested and qualified applicants should signify their interest in writing. Attach the following documents to the application letter and send to the address below not later than March 25, 2019.

Fully accomplished Personal Data Sheet (PDS);
Performance rating in the present position for one (1) year, if applicable;
Photocopy of certificate of eligibility/rating/license; and
Photocopy of Transcript of Records.
QUALIFIED APPLICANTS are advised to hand in or send through courier/email their application to:

LEO M. ELEVENCIONE, Human Resource Management Office




Iloilo City successfully conducted as pilot site the 2019 First Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) held Feb. 21.

This was the assessment of Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Region 6 Director Jose Roberto Nuñez and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Dr. Renato Solidum.
“It was 100 percent successful because we have seen that all agencies participated especially the City Government, responders, and people of Iloilo City on how to prepare against disaster,” Nuñez said.

The drill was simulated in City Hall, schools West Visayas State University-La Paz and John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University-Arevalo; Barangays Sto. Niño Sur, Sto. Niño Norte, and Calaparan in Arevalo; Iloilo Mission Hospital; SM City-Iloilo; Iloilo Business Park (Megaworld); and all public schools wherein the scenario involved an 8.2 magnitude quake.

Each impact area demonstrated their actions during and after the drill in which Solidum commended the people who participated seriously.

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“I am very happy with the drill, in fact, it feels like I was watching a movie,” Solidum said.

Solidum commended the City Government for taking the challenge in leading the drill, especially that a destructive earthquake might occur in the metropolis just like the 1948 Lady Caycay considered as the second strongest in the country. 

Solidum said the drill aimed to see the preparedness of local government units (LGUs) during disaster, and it is important for the people in the community to be informed of hazards and risks.

“Disaster risk reduction is not a sole job of the government, it should be our responsibility, too, as members of the community,” Solidum added. (Merianne Grace Ereñeta/Iloilo City PIO)


The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) of the Philippines, Inc. is planning to put their satellite office in Western Visayas here in Iloilo City to help investors doing business for the Philippines and United States of America and to create more jobs for people in the metropolis.

AmCham Executive Director Ebb Hinchliffe led the delegation that paid a courtesy call to Mayor Jose Espinosa at City Hall on Feb. 18 for the exploratory talks. Continue reading AMERICAN CHAMBER EYES OFFICE IN ILOILO CITY

Tribu Ilonganon of Jalandoni Memorial National High School (JMNHS) bagged the grand prize in Dagyang tribes dance competition in this year’s 51st Iloilo Dinagyang Festival Jan. 27.

It bested seven other competing tribes in performances staged in five judging areas around the metropolis.

Tribu Ilonganon received P300,000 and trophy. They were also awarded Best in Choreography with P15,000 prize; and Best Choreographer and Best in Discipline with P10,000 each.

Ilonganon won back-to-back championship crowns in 2006 and 2007.

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Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz National High School was first runner-up and received P275,000 and trophy. It also bagged Best in Costume with P15,000; and Best Costume Designer and Best in Headdress with P10,000 each.

Tribu Panayanon of Iloilo City National High School was second runner-up and received P250,000 and trophy. It also won Best in Street Dancing with P25,000; Best in Performance and Best in Music with P15,000 each; and Best Musical Director with P10,000.

Tribu Dagatnon of Ramon Avanceña National High School was third runner-up and received P200,000 and trophy.

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Tribu Salognon of Jaro National High School was fourth runner-up and received P150,000 and trophy. (Merianne Grace Ereñeta/Iloilo City PIO)


The island-province of Guimaras won as champion in this year’s Fiesta Pilipinas: Kasadyahan Regional Cultural Competition Jan. 26 as one of the highlights of 51st Iloilo Dinagyang Festival.

Hubon Guimarasnon sang Manggahan Festival received P275,000 and trophy after besting nine other groups during performances staged in five judging areas around the metropolis.

It also bagged four minor awards including Best in Choreography, Best Choreographer, Best in Performance, and Best Costume, and received P15,000 each.

It was a back-to-back win for the group which showcased the abundance of top agricultural crops and products of San Lorenzo town. 

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It was also a three-peat for the “mango country” which was represented by Hubon Binagtong sa Manggahan of Nueva Valencia town in 2017.

Tribu Tultugan of Maasin, Iloilo was first runner-up and received P250,000 and trophy. It also bagged Best in Music and Musical Director with P10,000 prize each.

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Tribu Manughabol kang Salakayan of Miag-ao was second runner-up and received P175,000 and trophy.

Tribu Hugyaw of St. Therese MTC Colleges, Iloilo City was third runner-up and received P150,000 and trophy.

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Pintaflores of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental was named fourth runner-up and received P125,000 and trophy. It also bagged Best in Street Dancing and received P25,000. (Merianne Grace Ereñeta/Iloilo City PIO)