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DILG Secretary Cites Iloilo City As Best Place to Live in the Philippines

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Iloilo City — Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ismael D. Sueno said “Iloilo City is the best place to live in the country.”

“Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is good. While presenting, Mayor Jed is proud to showcase Iloilo City,” Sueno said, referring to the former’s talk on Local Economic Development (LED) during the Basic Orientation for Newly-Elected Officials (NEO) Program particularly the new city mayors in Manila July 21.

The DILG head also took notice of the famous infrastructure projects such as the beautiful Esplanade and widened Diversion Road with bike lanes.

“Secretary Sueno’s statement is a recognition of Iloilo City’ growing reputation as one of most livable places. It’s a manifestation that the city is safe, peaceful and vibrant for both residents and tourists,” said Mabilog.

The mayor shared Iloilo City’s lessons, experiences and best practices for the new city chief executives to learn and even replicate in their respective areas of jurisdictions.

He also highlighted the city’s continued exponential progress and sustainable development with the hope to attract interests from prospective visitors and investors to the metropolis by the time when other cities start to talk about Iloilo as a benchmark city. (PNA) PGL/PR/CBF

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Phase 1 of P4.8-B of Bacolod Economic Highway Kicks Off

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Construction of the two-kilometer portion of Phase 1 of the PHP4.8 billion Bacolod Economic Highway (BEH) funded by the national government through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) started on Friday.

This portion of the project will cost PHP200 million, and spans the road from Barangay Mansilingan towards Barangay Felisa.

The budget includes the allocation for the right-of-way of landowners affected by the road project.

Bacolod City Lone District Rep. Greg Gasataya, who facilitated the project implementation, said the two-kilometer portion is part of the economic highway that spans 21 kilometers.

Contractor Supreme ABF was given 280 days to finish the construction, he added.

“We prioritized this area because the property of the Province of Negros Occidental is also located here and we expect more development (in this site),” he added.

The latest project followed the construction of the Phase 1’s three-kilometer Section 2 of the economic highway which started in April last year with a budget of PHP300 million.

This portion, from Barangay Sum-ag to Barangay Cabug, is expected to be completed in May this year.

Gasataya added that the construction of the six-kilometer Phase 2 will begin in April, covering areas from Barangay Vista Alegre to Barangay Estefania, with the budget of PHP400 million, including payment for the right-of-way.

The 21-kilometer BEH will cover areas across Barangays Sum-ag, Cabug, Felisa, Handumanan, Mansilingan, Estefania, Granada, Mandalagan, and Bata.

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DOH6 Enjoins Lgus to Create Local Aids Councils

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The Department of Health (DOH)-6 called on local government units in Western Visayas to establish or reactivate local AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) councils to strengthen local responses against HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS.

Dr. Elvie Villalobos, DOH-6 Infectious Disease Cluster Head, said there is a need to have functional local AIDS councils in the provincial, city, and municipal levels and tap involvement of multi-sectoral partners.

“Based on our data, the cases of HIV are increasing. Every 10 hours, a person is diagnosed with HIV in Western Visayas,” he said.

According to the DOH-6 Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), a total of 606 cases were reported in Western Visayas for the period January to November 2017.

Of the figure, 495 of the HIV cases were asymptomatic while 111 were full-blown AIDS.

Data from DOH-6 revealed that majority of the cases were males registering 586 while the remaining 20 were females.

Most of the HIV and AIDS cases were transmitted through “male having sex with male” (MSM).

In an effort to address this concern, the Population, Health and Nutrition (PHN) Sub-Committee in Region 6 crafted a resolution enjoining all provinces, cities, and municipalities in the region to reactivate their local AIDS councils (LAC) and establish their corresponding service delivery network for HIV, and ensure functionality by providing funds.

The PHN Sub-committee said that DOH has identified HIV and AIDS as among the top health priorities of the current administration and has affirmed its leadership of the country’s AIDS response in partnership with various sectors.

Likewise, DILG Memorandum Circular 2013-29 mandates for strengthening local responses toward more effective and sustained responses to HIV and AIDS through functional LAC.

The LGUs shall enact an ordinance defining the functions of the LAC, and provide financial assistance, identify multi-sectoral plans, strategies, programs, projects, and activities for the prevention of HIV, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections.

DOH-6 through the PHN Sub-Committee shall endorse the resolution to the Social Development Council (SDC) for approval and the SDC shall facilitate endorsement to the Regional Development Council (RDC)-6.

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DTI-Siquijor Resolves Consumer Complaint on Fraudulent, Deceptive Products Sold Online

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With the growing number of Filipino consumers engaging in online shopping, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here urged the public to be wary and stay away from unscrupulous businesses and to exercise their right against fraud and deceptive products.

“The advent of technology has given consumers the capacity to instantly purchase their goods online and have them delivered at their doorstep,” the DTI said as it reminds the buying public to be vigilant especially when engaging in an online transaction.

In a press release, the DTI-Siquijor Provincial Office (DTI-SPO) cited complaints on fraudulent and deceptive products online filed by a consumer, Joy Dominie “Bambi” Chan, the executive director of the Siquijor Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCII) and chair of the Siquijor Tourism Council.

Chan filed a complaint against Lazada online shopping for delivering a non-authentic product of “JBL” speaker, said Information Officer designate Jebe Magusara in that press release.

The complaint was officially addressed with the DTI scheduling a mediation where Lazada failed to show up on the first schedule, so another notice of mediation was sent.

Following the notice, Lazada agreed to change the alleged “fake” with the authentic product.

The replacement of the authentic “JBL” speaker arrived and was picked up by Chan at the LBC Larena branch on February 7, 2018.

The DTI then issued a certification of settlement between Lazada and Bambi Chan, Magusara said.

“Indeed, freedom to shop online is at our fingertips. However, with freedom comes with responsibility,” DTI said.

Consumers who have access to the internet and own a smartphone, iPad, or laptop, resort to this method because of convenience.

For safety, the DTI urged consumers to always check the website if it has a Secured Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate.

This protects information (such as credit card number, addresses, and password) sent to the website.

One red flag of a fraudulent online selling store is that the website that requires your personal information starts with http:// instead of https://.

Another warning sign is that the seller urges the customer to deposit the payment immediately before sending the products, DTI said.

With this, DTI advised consumers to pay “Cash on Delivery (COD)” as mode of payment and always keep a documentation of online purchases through print copies/screenshots for reference until receipt of the product.

Pursuant to the Protection Against Deceptive, Unfair and Unconscionable Sales Acts or Practices under Republic Act (RA) 7394, also known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines, a sales promotion activity/campaign is deemed deceptive when it promises a consumer product or service the sponsorship, approval, performance, characteristics, ingredients, accessories, uses, or benefits it does not actually have.

Based on the DTI– National Telecommunications Commission (DTI-NTC), the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed in May 2015, DTI is mandated to act upon complaints on false or deceptive sales promotion, deceitful advertisement, unserved warranty, defective gadgets, and any other complaints within the clause of the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

Here are some tips for online shoppers before completing online transactions:

  • Secure yourself. Use a computer that is not for public use, preferably a personal computer/laptop. Ensure that the computer has an updated anti-virus and anti-malware software program, and an enabled personal firewall. Use a strong password (combination of upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols) upon registration with the online merchant.
  • Transact with a reputable website/merchant/seller. Use trusted websites rather than using search engines for shopping. Determine the legitimacy/authenticity of the website.
  • Trust your instincts. When in doubt, don’t.
  • Conduct research: do comparison shopping and ask around. Visit several websites and do comparison shopping not only of the products and services, but the prices, customer service/after sales service, shipping/delivery, payment options, etc.
  • Read and understand the fine print. Check that the following information and policies are posted on the merchant’s website: About Us, Contact Us/Feedback, Privacy Policy, Shipping Policy, Customer Service/After Sales Service, Terms and Conditions, Dispute Resolution/Complaints Handling, FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)/Help.
  • Validate promotional tie-ups. Contact the establishment directly and verify the validity of the tie-up/offer with the website (e.g., group buying sites).
  • Ensure that online payment is secure and reliable. Check that the shipping information page and payment information page are secure (i.e., the website address should show a closed padlock icon; https and not only http).
  • Proceed with your transaction if you feel confident, safe and secure.
  • Online shopping need not be a struggle, it should be enjoyed – as long you feel confident, safe and secure.

There is much to explore on the internet, DTI said as it encourages the consumers to be wiser and more alert in order not be taken advantage of by unscrupulous online sellers.

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6 Barangay in Basud Town Declared Drug Free in Camarines Norte

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Six barangays in Basud were declared drug free in this province by the Provincial Oversight Committee according to Police Chief Diana R. de Vera of the Municipal Police Station of the town.

Among the barangays are Mampili, Pinagwarasan, San Pascual, Hinampacan, Tuaca and Mantugawe.

The Provincial Oversight Committee has passed a resolution declaring the six barangay and this will be elevated at the Regional Oversight Committee for validations she said.

She said that members of the Provincial Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing Operation are Provincial Officer Joyiann Ivy H. Cedo of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Provincial Administrator Alvin Tallado of the provincial government of Camarines Norte, Dra. Jocelyn Iraola, Provincial DOH Officer and Provincial Director Cerilo D. Trilles Jr. of Camarines Norte Police Provincial Office (CNPPO).

PSI de Vera said that this was announced last February 9, 2018 during the Pulong-Pulong Kontra Droga convened by Governor Edgardo Tallado participated in by municipal mayors, punong barangay and stakeholders.

De Vera said that next on the line are barangays of Mangcamagong, Binatagan and Langga.

She said that they will conduct continuous monitoring of the said barangay and programs will be in partnership with the barangay officials, local government unit and national government agencies.

Chief de Vera cited among the activities to be undertaken to ensure the sustainability of the anti- drug campaign especially in the drug free areas are the conduct of the symposium, seminar, fora, community based and livelihood programs.

The crime volume in the town which has decreased from 167 in 2016 to 131 in 2017 was attributed to the anti-drug campaign of the government.

A total of 983 persons surrendered in the town under the “Oplan Tokhang” since the start of the anti-drug campaign of the government.

With the new strategies in the implementation of Project Double Barrel through the “Oplan Tokhang” changes are being observed by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Among these are policeman who will conduct the operation should have no administrative or criminal case and stakeholders should be briefed and represented by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), media and religious sector.

She urged constituents to cooperate by giving information to help curb criminality at the locality.

Meanwhile, Municipal Mayor Adrian Davoco congratulated Punong Barangay of said areas and cited that 23 barangays more to go to become a drug free municipality.

He also assured the support of the local government unit of Basud by providing community based and livelihood programs especially for those persons who surrendered.

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