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This Week in Boracay and Iloilo (October 2 to 8, 2022)

Iloilo public markets to go through renovations to further improve customers’ shopping experience.

By: Mira Maestrecampo | October 02, 2022
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Iloilo public market, new COVID-19 cases in Antique, international flights in Iloilo

Iloilo City is continuing to plan projects and redevelopments, like Iloilo public market, while Boracay Island slowly adapts to the new cryptocurrency exchange. Despite increasing travel mobility, international flights in Iloilo are still yet to operate.

As for updates regarding the pandemic, the national government, local government units, and the Department of Health (DOH) is still in the works of expanding vaccination among provincial and remote areas through organizing special vaccination drives.

A recent collaboration between two big companies in the Philippines also anticipates more travel.

Shopping News: Iloilo public markets to undergo redevelopments

City markets in Iloilo eyed to be improved and become modernized public markets. Iloilo, one of the country’s most progressive cities, watches its public market areas improve, be cleaner, and be fully equipped to address the needs of clients, market goers, market vendors, and stakeholders.

As for Mayor Treñas, improving the public markets will aid customers’ convenience and encourage market vendors’ competitiveness.

Iloilo public markets and facilities like the Iloilo Central Market and the Iloilo Terminal Market shall be redeveloped with a partnership between the Iloilo City government and SM Prime Holdings.

After further improvements and redevelopments, the said markets shall cater to customers with a more improved market and shopping experience while promoting local products such as unique Iloilo delicacies, agricultural products, specialty shops, and more.

Travel Updates:

International flights are not yet operating

International flights in Iloilo Airport, Cabatuan, are not yet resumed. Airline companies for two-way flights bound to nearby Asian countries like Singapore and Hong Kong have not sent any requests to Iloilo for the return of such flights.

Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. says that one airline company has recently expressed interest in catering international flights, but the airline changed its mind later.

But the Iloilo government and health sectors have been preparing for such flights to be back. Recently, the Iloilo provincial government, Iloilo Provincial Health Office, Bureau of Quarantine, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the DOH conducted an exercise simulating the screening of airline passengers. It ensures public safety and eliminates other risks brought by COVID-19 and now the new monkeypox disease.

Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia currently have domestic flight operations at the Iloilo Airport. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines used to have direct international flights from Iloilo Airport bound to Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Iloilo provincial government has a screening team that monitors domestic and foreign airline passengers at the airport.

Lifting of bike ban on board sea vessels

As for sea travel, the latest updates report that bikes are now allowed onboard Iloilo-Guimaras vessels, as announced by Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Region 6 director Jeffrey Bangsa.

The MARINA Officer has apologized to Guimaras Governor JC Rahman Nava and Iloilo Mayor Jerry P. Treñas regarding the previous ban on bicycle boarding sea vessels.

The said bicycle ban resulted from numerous complaints that MARINA has received, most passengers complaining that they experience travel inconveniences when bikes are on board fiberglass boats. After a thorough investigation, cement, water containers, sacks of rice, and other large objects also bother the passengers.

As some would know, modern fiberglass boats have a narrow passageway, and given any emergencies, the movement of passengers can be restricted and difficult.

MARINA has discussed this matter with motorboat operators, and the organization has recommended that these vessels have a designated storage area for large cargoes.

Regarding the bicycles, MARINA understands that Guimaras is known for its bike trails, and Iloilo is popularly tagged as the bike capital. Thus, Bangsa has already ordered boat operators to distinctively identify areas to secure bikes so that it would not induce hassle to the boat passengers.

Klook and GCash collaboration launches for a hassle-free travel experience.

Klook and GCash just announced their official partnership, offering a convenient and accessible travel experience for everyone in the Philippines. Klook, one of the leading travel and lifestyle platforms, officially collaborated with GCash, currently known as the country’s leading digital wallet app.

Starting on October 3, 2022, Klook Your World of Joy on GCash will launch, wherein users can access 490,000 lifestyle and travel-related products from over 1,000 destinations worldwide. Travelers and users can now access this feature conveniently through their mobile phones.

Vaccination News: DOH in hopes of increasing the vaccination rate

Under the Bakunahang Bayan: PinasLakas National Vaccination Days Campaign, the DOH Western Visayas Center for Health Development or the DOH-WV-CHD aims to increase vaccination coverage and the region’s inoculation rate by conducting a particular vaccination drive last September 26 to September 30, which took place at Robinson’s Jaro, Iloilo City.

Currently, the local government units of Region 6- Western Visayas close to a 50% target are Bacolod City and Iloilo City.

Also, the entire Region 6 is declared at minimal risk for COVID-19, and the number of cases continues to decrease.

COVID-19 Updates: Antique logs new COVID cases

Recently, 11 new COVID-19 cases in Antique have been reported, bringing 43 active cases in the province.

On the other hand, the optional wearing of face masks outdoors is currently implemented in Antique.

Specific towns in the province have updated their log of active COVID-19 cases. These towns include Pandan with eight cases, Bugasong with seven, Hamtic with five, Patnongon with four, Laua-an with three, Anini-y, Culasi, San Jose, San Remigio, Sibalom, Tobias Ferrier, and Valderama with two cases in each town, and Caluya and Libertad with one case each, bringing to a total of 43 active cases in Antique.

Antique Provincial Governor Rhodora Cadiao also announced that Antique province is still under Alert Level 2 because of the low vaccination rate.

Consumer News: Bitcoin in Boracay Island?

Visitors going to Boracay will now use Bitcoin features as the island joins under crypto adoption. As of writing, Boracay Island has over a hundred shops, hotels, resorts, restaurants, and local carinderias that accept Bitcoin lightning, thus, implementing cryptocurrency at Boracay.

In the Philippines, the Department of Information and Communications Technology shall identify digital transformation and innovations applicable in the country and utilize them to improve governance.

Unknown to many, the Philippines have been evolving and adapting to the crypto transformation and crypto literacy. Sooner, the Philippines will slowly adapt to become a global crypto hub.

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.


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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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