26 barangays in Western Visayas declared drug-free

Marje Pelayo   •   April 28, 2021   •   277

MANILA, Philippines – The Regional Oversight Committee on Dangerous Drugs in Region VI declared 26 barangays in Western Visayas as drug-free areas after they passed the screening, assessment and actual evaluations.

A barangay can be considered drug-free if authorities can prove the non-availability of illegal drug supply; absence of clandestine drug laboratory, drug den, pusher, user and drug transit activities in the area.

The 26 barangays that are now drug-free are:

Negros Occidental
1. Batea
2. Pasil
3. Sebucauan

Aklan
4. Andagao

Capiz
5. Malocloc
6. Ondoy
7. Fernandez
8. Buntod
9. Pawa
10. Malapad Cogon

Iloilo
11. Lanas
12. Abangay
13. Cau-ayan
14. F. Parcon Ward
15. Cato-ogan
16. Ubang
17. Nabitasan
18. Nanga
19. Anoring
20. Apelo
21. Apologista
22. Devera
23. Poblacion Ilaud
24. Poblacion Ilaya
25. Poblacion Market
26. Preciosa

At present, over 3,000 barangays in Western Visayas have been cleared of illegal drugs.

DOT announces Boracay now open to youths, seniors from Western Visayas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 24, 2020

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has announced that young and senior tourists from Western Visayas are now allowed to visit Boracay Island.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Boracay will reopen for tourists, ages below 21 and above 60, from Western Visayas.

“This move aims to further reinvigorate the tourism economy in the region and address the earlier clamor of Boracay tourism stakeholders to attract more tourists to the island,” she said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Thursday (July 23) approved the DOT’s recommendation to lift the ban on tourists below 21 and above 60 on Boracay island.

Puyat assured the government will continue to put the safety of the public first and will strictly implement health and safety protocol as the island reopens. She also noted that there were no reported coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on the island.

“The DOT will always put paramount concern on the safety of our people — tourists and residents alike,” she said. AAC

DPWH: 8 evacuation centers built in Western Visayas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 23, 2019

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has announced, there are now eight evacuation centers in Western Visayas.

Two evacuation centers have been completed recently and was officially turned over to the DPWH. There were already six centers that were previously turned over during the first half of the year.

According to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, the said barangays will no longer have to use schools as evacuation centers.

“Residents of Barangay Milibili, Roxas City and Barangay Igtambo in San Miguel, Iloilo no longer have to use schools as temporary shelters in times of calamities with the completion of these bigger and better disaster resilient infrastructures,” he said.

The DPWH said the evacuation centers are gender-responsive and persons with disability (PWD)-friendly. They also have an office and infirmary building, laundry and drying building, toilet and bath building. The evacuation centers can accommodate around 33 families.

Meanwhile, DPWH Region 6 is set to turn-over two more evacuation centers while another evacuation center is targeted for completion before the year ends.—AAC

Minimum wage earners in Western Visayas get pay increase

Marje Pelayo   •   July 12, 2018

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Minimum wage earners in Western Visayas get additional pay starting Thursday (July 12) after the National Wages and Productivity Commission approved on June 8 the petition for a pay hike.

From the current P323.50, workers in non-agriculture, industrial and commercial sectors will receive a P365 daily minimum wage.

Meanwhile, agricultural workers will receive a P295 daily minimum wage, an increase of P23.50 to the current P271.50 daily pay.

Plantation workers who earn P281.50 a day will start receiving a P295 daily minimum wage.

“More or less the wage increase here in Western Visayas is okay for the employee because it’s less more than the poverty threshold and afford naman ng employer,” said DOLE 6 Regional Director Atty. Johnson Cañete.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) considered in allowing the wage increase was the P289 daily poverty threshold in the province that is no longer enough due to the increasing prices of commodities and the rising inflation.

“Kung ako po ay trabahante, ang sweldo ko ay dapat hindi bababa sa poverty threshold because kung ang sweldo ko ay mababa pa sa poverty threshold parang wala rin akong trabaho na nangyayari,” explained Cañete

DOLE warns that failure to impose the minimum wage increase would mean a criminal complaint against the company. Meanwhile, newly established firms, those affected by calamities and firms who cannot afford a wage increase may file a petition.

Meanwhile, pay increase for workers in Aklan is still pending due to a moratorium on the six-month Boracay rehabilitation work but DOLE assured that they may expect the minimum wage increase by November. – Lalaine Moreno / Marje Pelayo

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