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This Week in Boracay and Iloilo (August 14 to 20, 2022)

The first-ever Coffee Festival Philippines will happen in Iloilo!

By: Mira Maestrecampo | August 14, 2022
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Iloilo, Travel, COVID


Investors have seen a likely interest in investing in the economy and infrastructures in the Philippines. One is collaborating on the Panay Railways project and redevelopment of markets in Iloilo. Boracay also shows a high rate of travel visits for the past month, reflecting an optimistic impact on the country’s tourism rate.

On the other hand, COVID cases and COVID positivity rates continue to increase, and availing of booster shots is further urged.

As you read, know why August is tagged as History Month in the Philippines.


Travel Updates:


Panay Railways project reinitiated

A Chinese firm retakes interest in participating in the revival of the interisland Panay Railways project, aimed to restore the railway system to full function again.

According to the Chief Operating Officer of Panay Railways Inc. (PRI), Cesar Capellan, the China Railway International Group Ltd. (CRIG), sent a letter to them in the last week of July requesting a detailed and in-depth feasibility study from the PRI for the CRIG. This way, CRIG would have a valid basis that would help their investment plan in the rebuilding project of Panay Railways.

Capellan invited CRIG to come over to Iloilo to sign and discuss the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to proceed with the restoration of Panay Railways.

In 2017, PRI and CRIG signed an MOU on the said railway project, but the memorandum expired in 2019.

With this new comeback project, the PRI aims to establish commercial centers in the terminals, develop relocation sites and services to serve the affected lessees on the properties under PRI, and the possibility of building a monorail system for Iloilo City.

But on the contrary, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas says that he no longer wants to be part of the Panay Railways operation since many residents from La Paz and Jaro District will be affected by the project. The project would mean that around a thousand houses would be displaced, and the Iloilo City Mayor worries that many people will be needed to look for relocation sites.

Treñas added that Iloilo City currently has enough public transport and road systems connecting the Panay railway that will be constructed outside the city.

Boracay tourist visits further increased.

On the other side of the island, the world-renowned Boracay is still making progress on improving its travel tourism and economic activity, logging a ballooning number of 183,096 tourists who visited the island in July. This number includes all tourists, local and foreign.

With this progress, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and local governments of Malay and Aklan province are optimistic that tourism in Boracay will further boost and increase for the rest of the year.

It is also noted that international flights to Kalibo International Airport have resumed their flights and operations.

Airlines promote more travel promo fares for travelers.

As tourists flock to Boracay’s prestigious island, incoming flights to anywhere in the Philippines have continued to increase. That said, AirAsia Philippines recently launched a month-long promo, initiating its own way of offering passengers cheap flights and airfares.

The month-long PhP88 base fare is a one-way promo fare that will be available for booking starting August 1 to September 4, 2022, for flights until March 25, 2023, applicable on selected international and domestic routes.

Domestic flights bound to Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Dumaguete, and Roxas may be booked.

AirAsia also added weekly flights in Caticlan, Iloilo, Bacolod, and Cebu for August.



Health News: COVID cases continue to increase, positivity rates getting higher


According to the Department of Health (DOH), a nationwide increase of COVID cases to 24% from July's last week to August's first week has been reported.

The records were based on the national COVID-19 Case Bulletin, which covered from July 25 to 31.

More so, the OCTA research group has also reported that 11 provinces in Visayas and Mindanao have shown ‘high’ and ‘very high’ positivity rates in COVID tests, with Capiz at 51.2% and Aklan at 36.9%.

Other areas have recorded a positivity rate of over and around 10%, with Iloilo at a 15.1% positivity rate.

A positivity rate or threshold of 5% has already been set by the World Health Organization.


Vaccination Update: ‘Undervaccinated’ or ‘Fully Immunized’?


First District Iloilo City Representative Janet Garin appeals to the DOH to clarify their definition of a ‘fully immunized person’, citing that individuals who haven’t received their booster shots yet are tagged as ‘undervaccinated’.

The Iloilo City representative says that Filipinos who are not yet inoculated with their booster shot are not fully protected; therefore, they should be classified as ‘undervaccinated’. She also said that booster shots are essential to further combat the ill effects of the virus.

Garin, previously a DOH Secretary, says that she has been appealing to the health sector, even during Health Secretary Francisco Duque’s leadership, to update the definition of the term ‘fully immunized person’, especially now that cases are still increasing. Garin has also appealed to the DOH to provide free medicines for COVID, such as paxlovid, molnupiravir, and remdesivir.


Holiday News: Here’s why August is History Month in the country


August is a month popularly known as Buwan ng Wika, wherein the Filipino language is given recognition and appreciation. And unknown to some, August is also declared as History Month or Buwan ng Kasaysayan.

This is due to Proclamation No. 339 signed by former and late President Benigno S. Aquino III last 2012.

Under the proclamation, many important historical events have happened during August, like National Heroes Day on August 30. August is also the month where the 1896 Philippine Revolution is commemorated.

Chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Dr. Rene Escalante, says that it’s serendipitous that the Philippines’ history and language are celebrated in the same month.

“Language is alive because people are aware of their history”, Escalante says. [1] He added that history is based on truth, bound to a rigorous process of disciplined and evidence-based research.



Upcoming Event: First ever Coffee Festival Philippines to be held in Iloilo


A collaboration between Iloilo City and SM Prime has already been signed for the redevelopment of Central and Terminal Markets in Iloilo City.

Iloilo City Mayor Treñas has already signed the lease agreement in partnership with SM Prime Holdings Inc., wherein SM would invest 1.5 billion to 2.5 billion in the market redevelopment project.

These modern markets shall have retail spaces and vast parking spaces, enticing more customers and igniting the tourism and business sectors. The markets will showcase all the best in Iloilo City, offering the most loved local products and Iloilo’s famous food specialties.

Micro, small, and medium businesses shall focus more on this local project.

As more businesses and local markets emerge, so are food festivals, just like the 1st Coffee Festival as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) participates in the Iloilo Business Week from August 24 to August 28.

Vice President for External Affairs of PCCI Iloilo Jerduen Dongor officially declares that the 1st Coffee Festival will be held at Festive Walk Mall in Mandurriao, Iloilo City, just by the mall’s fountain area.

In the upcoming first-ever Coffee Festival, popular coffee suppliers from all over the Philippines will come to participate in the festival, featuring all of their local coffee products.


Consumer News: NFA urges LGUs to increase palay buying capacity


Buying palay from local farmers is one significant way to maintain a certain level of rice inventory in the whole country.

The National Food Authority Region 6 (NFA 6) encourages local government units to expand their palay procurement fund to buy from local farmers at a reasonably higher price to help and support them.

Currently, the NFA buying price for palay is PhP19 per kilo.

Despite the increase in other farm-sourced products, no price adjustment has been implemented. Poverty in the country is further increasing since local farmers have no choice but to sell palay at a lower price with NFA than go on with nothing but a hungry stomach.


Visit Yoorekka Magazine for more travel and COVID-19 updates and guidelines in Boracay and Iloilo!


All details and information in this article are true and accurate as of the publication date. However, while we are making our utmost effort to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the condition surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable, and the situation is developing rapidly. Hence, some information and recommendations may have changed since this article was published. For the latest advice, visit DOH and your LGU's official websites.



Sources:
[1] https://bit.ly/3pg8JQA
[2] https://bit.ly/3pdDEwZ
[3] https://bit.ly/3QiyP1f
[4] https://bit.ly/3pdDOo5
[5] https://bit.ly/3AcDj3X
[6] https://bit.ly/3AfMkcw
[7] https://bit.ly/3Chjom7
[8] https://bit.ly/3Pjy1YH
[9] https://bit.ly/3SXmpOn
[10] https://bit.ly/3pg8JQA


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About Mira Maestrecampo
Mira - with a long surname - is a girl who dreams of becoming a news anchor someday, in God's perfect time. She loves to read books and eat different kinds of cheesy or saucy food. A coffee addict and a dog lover, she loves long hugs, hot coffee on an afternoon break with friends, or simply sleeping all day with her stuffed unicorns.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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