ILOILO CITY - Graduation ceremony has been conducted for the 207 former drug dependents who have successfully completed their three-month rehabilitation sessions and activities under the Iloilo City Government’s Community-based Rehabilitation Program.  Drug surrenderers received their certificate during their graduation held at the Department of Education (DepEd) Diamond Jubillee Hall on January 12, 2017.

The graduation was not the end of the change to come among the former drug dependents who chose to start a new life free of the substance.  The graduates will undergo another three months of skills training at the Technical Institute of Iloilo City (TIIC), a technical-vocational school run by the city government in coordination with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
“We will provide them with trainings and livelihood assistance depending on what they choose such as carpentry, welding, food preparation, etc.” said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.
Dr. Bernabe Caspe, City Health Officer also said that the rehab program will continue.  The graduates still have to report weekly for the after-care services like random drug testing and counselling.  The community change centers where the rehabilitation is conducted are manned with medical practitioners like doctors, psychologists and nurses. There are also volunteers from the religious groups to help in the values formation of the drug dependents as part of working out on their hope to change.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog called on the other drug dependents to take advantage of the rehabilitation program which is offered for free.

“Soon there will be another batch of drug dependents that will be rehabilitated.  There are already districts that have a list of new batch.  This will continue as long as there are surrenderers,” said Mabilog.

The graduation was also graced with the presence of other distinguished guests namely DILG Asst. Regional Director Maria Calpiza J. Sardua; Heads of religious institutions lead by Rev. Msgr. Meliton B. Oso, PC which among others composes the Ugnayan ng Barangay at mga Simbahan(UBAS) Technical Working Group and Pastor Joeven B. Labaña representing the religious volunteers; PDEA Regional Director Gil T. Pabilona; ICPO Director Senior Supt. Remus Zacarias Canieso; and PNP Director Chief Supt. Jose L. Gentiles. City Councilors namely Jeffrey P. Ganzon, Inday Lee Perla Zulueta and Jay G. Treñas III who delivered the message of Congressman Jerry P. Treñas expressed their utmost support by gracing also the event with their presence.

The community-based rehabilitation program of Iloilo City serves as an inspiration and a replicable program for other local government units being the first in the region as said by Mariecelle B. Zamora, DILG Local Government Operations Officer and confirmed by Mayor Mabilog during the press conference which followed after the graduation.

The P7-million worth rehabilitation program dubbed as “Crossroads” was conceived when President Duterte’s war on drugs brought about 2,400 drug users to surrender.  The city government was challenged then to launch the program on September 2016 where the community-based rehab centers were established in the city’s seven districts./RIO Christine S. Palma, DILG6

Iloilo Province, Iloilo City, San Jose de Buenavista, Antique and Tubungan, Iloilo are this year’s Best Performing LGUs in the Region. The accolade was given by the Department of the Interior and Local Government Region VI through the annual search for Excellence in Local Governance (EXCELL) Awards.

EXCELL Awards recognizes LGUs with exemplary accomplishments in the fields of Administrative, Social, Economic and Environmental Governance. It looks into the LGU’s compliance to the different mandates and requirements of various national government agencies, innovative best practices, governance awards received, and compliance to full disclosure police.

This year, the Province of Iloilo was declared as the Best Performing Province and was subsequently declared as Hall of Fame after winning the Best Performing Province for three consecutive years. The Province of Iloilo also bagged the special awards on Excellence in Economic Governance, Excellence in Social Governance and Excellence in Environmental Governance. The Province of Capiz was announced as the 1st Runner-up, Best Performing Province and Champion, Excellence in Administrative Governance. Likewise, the Province of Aklan was proclaimed as the 2nd Runner-up, Best Performing Province.

For City Category, the City of Iloilo was pronounced as the Best Performing City after being adjudged to have excelled in the areas of Economic, Social and Administrative Governance. The City of Passi, Iloilo was declared as 1st Runner-up, Best Performing City and Champion, Excellence in Environmental Governance. While the City of Roxas, Capiz was named as 2nd Runner-up, Best Performing City.

For 1st-3rd Class Municipality Category, the Municipality of San Jose de Buenavista, Antique was declared as Best Performing1st-3rd Class Municipality. It also took home all four (4) special awards that includes Excellence in Administrative Governance, Excellence in Social Governance, Excellence in Economic Governance, and Excellence in Environmental Governance. The Municipalities of Kalibo, Aklan and Oton, Iloilo were recognized as the 1st Runner-up and 2nd Runner-up, Best Performing1st-3rd Class Municipality respectively.

For 4th-6th Class Municipality Category the Municipality of Tubungan, Iloilo was awarded as the Best Performing 4th-6th Class Municipality. It also received all four (4) special awards that includes Excellence in Administrative Governance, Excellence in Social Governance, Excellence in Economic Governance, and Excellence in Environmental Governance. The Municipalities of Bingawan and Mina, Iloilo were recognized as the 1st Runner-up and 2nd Runner-up, Best Performing 4th-6th Class Municipality, respectively.

The 2016 Excellence in Local Governance (EXCELL) Awards covers the LGU Performance from January 1, 2015-December 31, 2015 and was assessed by the Representatives of various national government agencies and civil society organizations.

The awarding ceremony was conducted last December 21, 2016 during the annual PAGDAYAW with a theme Pagpupugay at Pasasalamat sa Matino, Mahusay, at Maaasahang Pamahalaang Lokal. (LGOO V Ildefonso M. Orquejo, Jr., DILG6)

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In an effort to laud and sustain the drive for good governance, the Department will once again conduct the Pagdayaw which is an annual tradition recognizing the commendable performance and novelty of the local government units and the DILG personnel towards excellence in local governance. The theme “Pagpupugay at Pasasalamat sa Matino, Mahusay at Maasahang Pamahalaang Lokal” captures the celebration of the Department’s milestones in embarking into the process of leading Local Government Units to a meaningful change. The said event will be held on December 20-21, 2016 at Puntavilla Resort, Arevalo, Iloilo City.

Distinctive of its mandate, DILG Region VI greatly promotes best practices and exemplary performance through its awards system such as EXCELL and the PISAN Awards.  The awards system has proven that excellence is attained regardless of political differences, job descriptions and responsibilities. 

Pagdayaw will encapsulate the year-end program review and assessment as a genuine description of bringing together the regional management and personnel for the annual year-end assessment, a venue to recognize best effort and excellent performance of the employees and the LGU/local functionaries in the implementation of programs and projects.  Personnel who have retired from service will also be honored and recognized in a testimonial program during the Pagdayaw.

Aside from the DILG personnel and the LGU awardees, Pagdayaw will also be graced by the presence of the evaluators of the Regional Awards Committee (RAC), DILG retirees, partner academe, Civil Society Organizations, Donor Agencies and the media.

One of the activities to be included in the Pagdayaw is the conduct of information dissemination on Federalism.  The DILG has been tasked to head-start the advocacy on Federalism as the next logical step after decentralization.  The DILG has flexed its arm in all the facets of governance as the challenge continues in sustaining the drive for good local governance.

An action planning session shall likewise be conducted to solicit participation and commitment from the personnel for the programs specifically on the strengthening of the Local Peace and Order Councils and their Secretariats in its fight against illegal drugs.

The Department has taken the frontline in the implementation of various peace and order programs as a support to the current thrusts of the Duterte administration. Year 2016 has been a transition year for the Department as new programs and projects were introduced by the present administration. /RIO Christine S. Palma, DILG6

The 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) is observed annually from November 25 to December 12. The objective of this annual event with its year’s theme “VAW-Free Community Starts with Me” is to raise awareness among all stakeholders that VAW is a public issue of national concern. It supports the Philippine Government’s goal to protect the human rights of women and its commitment to address all forms of VAW, consistent with the Magna Carta of Women.  

RA 9262 or Elimination of Violence Against Women and Their Children is a law to ensure protection of women all women and their children shall be protected from all forms of violence.  Several advocacy programs regarding elimination of violence against women were conducted in the past years to all Regional Office personnel, especially in the women workforce.

This year, the 18-day Campaign to End Violence Against Women, included in its program of activities an advocacy forum that reached out to the offenders and victims of violence as well.  A forum was held on November 9, 2016 at the BJMP Iloilo District Jail in Nanga, Pototan entitled RA 9262 VAWC Offenders:  “Pamatian ang Kasugu-an”.   It was an educational outreach and behavior shaping mechanism to primarily prevent recurrence of the same offense by the VAWC Offenders. The audience were thr inmates of the said district jail both perpetrators and victims.  A two-hour lecture and open forum was delivered by C/Insp. Joem C. Malong  Regional Chief, Women’s and Children’s Desk, Camp Delgado, PNP Regional Office VI.

It was a successful forum considering that not all perpetrators are aware of the VAWC law and not all victims are willing to cooperate or report an incident of violence primarily because of several issues such as the following:  It is a quarrel between husband and wife; Victims cannot afford to lose a husband who provides for the living of the family; Barangay VAW Desks are too far from the place of incident; Barangay VAW Desks do not have competent processors; Barangay VAW Desks are not functional.

It is believed that the forum have helped in the information dissemination even if perpetrators are already incarcerated and victims even jailed.