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MassKara Queen 2018 screening set Sept. 23 - 20- September 2018
The Search for MassKara Queen 2018 is on.

Screening for candidates will be on Sept. 23 (Sunday) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the SMX Convention Center.

The MQ 2018 pageant and coronation will be held on October 19 at the SMX Convention Center.

The pageant is open for ladies aged 17 to 22 years old, who stand at least 5’4" in height.

She must be a resident of Bacolod City. For students, she must be enrolled in any of the schools in Bacolod City.

The search is also open to residents of Negros Occidental, who has been working in Bacolod for at least one year.

Cash prizes await the winners. The new MassKara Queen will also get a chance to travel abroad with a chaperone.

Application forms are available at Outdo Media Solutions (OMS), Ground Floor East View Hotel, Circumferential Road, Bacolod City. But they will also be available during the screening, so walk-ins will also be entertained.

Along with the application form, the applicant must bring an updated bio-data, birth certificate, proof of residence, schooling, or employment, and full body and close-up 3R photos.

For inquiries, contact Carlos Peronilla or Beegee Lucero at 09157335954 or 4312541.

This year’s MassKara Queen pageant is produced by the Silver MassKara Festival Organization (SMFO) and will be handled by OMS.*/MASSKARA NEWSROOM
Mayor speaks at LEAP seminar - 20- September 2018
Mayor Evelio Leonardia addressed the League of Executive Assistants of the Philippines (LEAP) on the first day of their two-day seminar at Seda Capitol Central hotel in Bacolod City today [Sept. 20].

In his message, Leonardia also presented the Bacolod Developments which outlined the projects and priorities under his administration, as well as the awards and citations the city has received from national and international organizations.

There were 42 officers and members of LEAP who attended the seminar today. LEAP is headed by Ma. Teresa Francisco.

LEAP is an organization of administrative professionals who meet on a regular basis in an atmosphere of confidentiality, trust and openness to share each other’s career, business, family and personal experiences, their website reads.

It provides an ongoing opportunity to share and discuss with a group of peers issues that arise from being an administrative professional, it added.

The activities of LEAP serve as a platform for continuous learning to achieve both personal and professional growth, it reads.

Meanwhile, the city government is sponsoring their tour of Bacolod on Saturday [Sept. 22].*/CITY PIO
Team Bacolod gets 10 gold, 10 silver, 13 bronze medals on Day 3 of Batang Pinoy - 20- September 2018
Team Bacolod has so far won 10 gold, 10 silver and 13 bronze medals after three days in the ongoing 2018 Batang Pinoy National Championships, co-hosted by Baguio City and Benguet Province from September 17 to 21.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia congratulated the Bacolod delegation saying, "We are proud of our Batang Pinoy contingent. Finishing among the top in a field of almost 80 local government units is a reason to celebrate."

"As we are trying to inculcate the culture of excellence in our other endeavors in Bacolod City, sports and youth development must also be among our focus and priorities," he said.

"Congratulations to our medalists and all those who contributed to make this a successful campaign. Let us go ’full speed ahead’!" Leonardia added.

As of Sept. 19 [Wednesday], the athletes from Bacolod had collected the following medals:

Arnis - 4 gold, 7 silver, 4 bronze

Athletics -3 gold

Table Tennis -1 gold

Karate-do-1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze

Taekwondo - 1 gold, 2 silver, 6 bronze

Swimming - 2 bronze

About 90 athletes from Bacolod City are competing in 10 disciplines, including chess, sepak takraw, volleyball, and gymnastics.

Here are the winners:


4 Gold -Jean Valladar and Chezka Lian Borrero (3 gold - Team Single Weapon, Team Open Traditional, and Team Open Non-Traditiona) and Justin Kyle Melliza and Jean Elijah Beronio (Team Double Weapon Traditional)


3 Gold -Antonette Jay Aguillon (100-meter Dash), Arahbea Delotavo (100-meter Hurdles), and Aubrey Mae Mercado, Arahbea Delotavo, Stephanie Malate, and Antonette Jay Aguillon (4 x 100-meter Relay)


1 Gold -Micah Tanate (Junior Girls Single)


1 Gold - Reinhart Placido (12- 13 Intermediate Kata)

1 Silver -Rita Alexis Cuadra (14-15 Advance Kata)

1 Bronze -Kyle Francois Armada (14-15 Advance Kata)


1 Gold - Leigh Andee Rodriguez (Cadet Girls Kyurogi Bantamweight Division)

2 Silver -Roem Joseph Ayuban (Cadet Boys Kyurogi Fin Weight Division) and Allen Casaña (Fly Weight Division)

6 Bronze - Mariane Cabalhin (Cadet Girls Kyurogi Bantamweight Division); and Arianne Espida (Light welterweight Division); Julio Miguel Zapata (Cadet Boys Kyurogi Fin Weight Division), and Arthur Diaz (Fly Weight Division); Maria Charlize Philippe Subardiaga, Isabella Nicole Ycogo, and Lexine Gabrielle Lapu-os (Cadet Team Female Poomsae); and Maria Cahrlize Philippe Subardiaga (Cadet Individual Female Poomsae)


2 Bronze - Buste Dwayne Jalandra (200-meter Individual Medley) and Jhanna Neri (50-meter Freestyle).

The Team Bacolod delegation is accompanied by the city’s Office of Youth and Sports Development, composed of: Adrian Melocoton-head of delegation; Julian Loren Espiritu-assistant head; Geraldine Montemayor - head of Secretariat /Medic; Sandy Verba-transportation; and Mark Oliver Binguan-logistics.*/CITY PIO
Mayor led distribution of medicines to health centers - 18- September 2018
Mayor Evelio Leonardia led the distribution of medicines to various health centers in the city, at rites at the Bacolod City Government Center Friday [Sept. 14].

Joining the mayor in distributing the 1,500 pieces of assorted medicines were Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilors Em Ang, Bartolome Orola, Lady Gles Pallen and Ayesha Joy Villaflor; and Executive Assistant Butch Soliguen, head of cluster on Social Services and Barangay Affairs.

Receiving the medicines were barangay captains, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairmen, and barangay health workers (BHWs).

The medicines were donated by Iloilo 4th District Rep. Dr. Ferjenel Biron, who is also the president of Allied Care Experts (ACE) Medical Center-Bacolod.

The medicines are for high blood, asthma, arthritis, fever, heart attack, stomach acidity, and allergy.

The medicines can be availed by Bacolod residents from their respective clustered barangay health centers.*/CITY PIO
80 TESDA scholars from Bacolod finish course - 16- September 2018
A total of 80 young Bacolodnons, who are TESDA scholars, have finished their course on Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) NC II at MIRAI Empower Foundation Corp. in Barangay Tangub Bacolod City.

Their TESDA scholarship was facilitated by Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, in partnership with Senator Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara.

The graduarion rites was held at the MassKara Hall of the Bacolod City Government Center Friday [Sept. 14].

Gracing the rites were Gasataya, TESDA provincial director Jimmicio Daoaten, and MIRAI Empower Foundation Corp. president Ma. Jesusa Moldes.*
400 Kiwanis members attend Bacolod convention - 14- September 2018
More than 400 officers and members of the Kiwanis International Philippine South District are attending their 43rd Annual District Convention at the L’Fisher Hotel from Sept. 12 to 15.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia keynoted the second day [Sept. 13] of the convention, with the theme, "Eye of the Tiger: Leading by Example."

On the second day, the delegates, who came from Visayas and Mindanao, were in "Gods and Goddesses" costumes.

"Having seen you like this, when I came in I saw the enthusiasm. If there is no enthusiasm I don’t think you would have dared to come as you look now. Enthusiasm can be generated when you have that sense of participation, sense of belonging, and sense of commitment in Kiwanis. So even for that alone, I can say that this assembly is already a success," the mayor said.

Rep. Greg Gasataya keynoted their third day [Sept. 14], where they came in Safari attire. Tomorrow [Sept. 15], they will come in Great Gatsby look.

Kiwanis International president James Rochford keynoted the 2nd day of the convention.

Kiwanis International is a global community of clubs, members and partners dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time.*/CITY PIO
MassKara kiosks application starts Sept. 10 - 04- September 2018
Applications for kiosk operations at the Bacolod Public Plaza and the Bacolod City Government Center grounds for the 2018 MassKara Festival will start on September 10.

Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

They will be accommodated from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the MassKara Office, Tourism Building, San Juan Street.

The rates at the plaza are: P18,000-San Juan side, P16,000-Gonzaga side, and P14,000-Gatuslao side.

Kiosks at the Bacolod City Government Center grounds are at P20,000.

Applicants are required to submit residence certificate (cedula) along with their duly accomplished application forms and IDs.

Payment must be made with the bank. The MassKara Office does not accept payments for the kiosk, just accomplished deposit slips signifying that payment has been made with the bank.

Official receipts are issued for every application. To ensure transparency, the OR number will be used to identify the kiosks.

For inquiries, contact the MassKara Office at (034) 432-6697.*/PR
PMA to conduct entrance exams in Bacolod Sept. 9 - 04- September 2018
The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) will conduct its nationwide simultaneous Entrance Examination on Sept. 9 [Sunday]. In Bacolod City, it will be held at STI- West Negros University from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m.

Prior to the examinations, applicants can process their papers on Sept. 8 [Saturday] from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, and Sept. 9 [Sunday] from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at STI West Negros University.

There will be 40 examination centers all throughout the country.

Requirements for admission to the PMA are: natural-born Filipino citizen, minimum height of 5 feet for both male and female, physically fit and of good moral character, single and has never been married, and high school graduate (Senior High School Students [Grade 12] may apply provided that they will graduate before June 1, 2019, no administrative/criminal case, must pass the PMAEE, and should have been born from June 1, 1997 to June 1, 2002.

Successful applicants will compose the PMA Class 2023 who will be officially received in the Academy in an Oath-Taking Ceremony and Reception Rites on June 1, 2019.

The PMA Entrance Examination (PMAEE) is the first stage in the selection process for cadetship in the premier leadership training school in the country.

PMA cadet enjoys a full government scholarship. It means, they do not have to pay any single centavo during the entire years of training in the Academy where they will earn a Bachelor of Science Degree. They are also commissioned as 2LT and Ensigns in the Armed Forces of the Philippines upon graduating from the Academy.

This year marks the initial batch of Grade 12 students under the K to 12 Basic Education Program who will be graduating by 2019. They will be allowed to take the PMAEE provided that they will graduate before 01 June 2019. PMAEE applicants will also come from college-level students and 4th year High School graduates of the old curriculum.

PMA is at the forefront of the AFP modernization program because its graduates are the ones to lead the Armed Forces in the years to come. As such, Cadets are at the receiving end to the state-of-the-art training facilities and equipment in PMA: model classrooms, new cadet barracks (student dorms), computer rooms, simulation rooms, fitness center, and PMA station hospital

Online application is now closed but PMA will accommodate walk-ins on September 9, 2018.

Application forms can be downloaded from

For more information, call (074) 447-3686, (074) 447-2632 local 6751, 6752, Smart-0928-432-5578, Globe-0906-546-6989, or write the Office of Cadet Admission, Philippine Military Academy, Fort General Gregorio H del Pilar, 2602, Baguio City.*/PR
Bing, Greg inaugurate two 4-storey buildings in Bacolod City NHS - 23- August 2018
Bing, Greg inaugurate two 4-storey buildings in Bacolod City NHS Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Rep. Greg Gasataya led the inauguration and turnover of two 4-storey Senior High School buildings in Bacolod City National High School today [Aug. 23].

The two school buildings are among the four school buildings and one laboratory building with a total project cost of P131 million funded by the national government.

Leonardia said he conceptualized the project and the funding was approved when he was congressman from 2013 to 2016. His successor, Gasataya, followed up the completion of the school buildings, he added.

This shows that if the city officials work together, many projects will be completed for Bacolod, the mayor said.

Each of the 4-storey school building has 20 classrooms.

BCNHS principal Lila Arro said that Leonardia had already inaugurated the two other 4-storey school buildings and the laboratory building last year.

Joining the turnover and inauguration ceremonies were Councilors Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Em Ang, Bartolome Orola and Lady Gles Gonzales, Senior High School assistant principal Susie Araneta, and alumni president Teresita Legazpi.

Arro expressed her gratitude by saying, "Mayor has been very, very supportive not just in City High but also in other schools. Very visible, pirme na siya ’ya ga-visit sa mga schools. Kung support lang ang paga-istoyahan, wala ka gid sang ma-reklamo, very approachable and what he promised, he implemented. Thank you very much sa support ni mayor since nag-congressman siya until now nga mayor siya liwat, he has been very supportive of education, priority niya actually ang education, very thankful gid kami diri sa BCNHS."

Meanwhile, Leonardia and Gasataya have inaugurated several school buildings in several high schools last year and this year.

These are in:

*Domingo Lacson National High School in Barangay 12-two 3-storey school buildings, with 15 classrooms each, and one 4-storey school building with 20 classrooms -or a total of 50 classrooms-amounting to P97 million;

*Sum-ag National High School in Barangay Sum-ag-two 4-storey school buildings, and one two-storey school building -with a total 46 classrooms-amounting to P66 million; 3-storey, 18-classroom school building, worth P43 million;

*Luis Hervias National High School in Barangay Villamonte-3-storey, 9-classroom school building amounting to P14.9 million;

*Emiliano Lizares National High School in Barangay Granada-with 4-storey, 20-classroom school building amounting to P33.7 million;

*Mansilingan Agro-Industrial High School in Barangay Mansilingan-four-storey, 20- classroom school building worth P43 million;

*New ETCS in Barangay 16-three-storey school building worth P39 million.*/CITY PIO
City Library gets 13 new computer sets from OFWs in Saudi Arabia - 22- August 2018
The Bacolod City Public Library received 13 brand new computer sets and two printer units from the Philippine-Saudi Arabia Hiligaynon, Inc. (PINAS-SAHI) at turnover rites at the lobby of the Bacolod City Government Center today [August 22].

The equipment were turned over by PINAS- SAHI immediate past president Arman Montero and his brother, Engr. Virgilio Montero , also a past president of the group, to Councilor Cindy Rojas, City Administrator John Orola, and City Librarian Greta Memoria.

The Monteros were accompanied by their family members.

Engineer Montero said the association chose the Bacolod City Public Library as recipient to help improve the implementation of its digital literacy program.

"We saw that they lack computers so the board approved this donation," Montero said, adding that they are working on another donation of computer units to the city’s Social Development Center.

Montero said PINAS-SAHI members include professional and skilled Filipino workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who are from Western Visayas or who have roots in the region.

Montero, who had worked as a mechanical engineer in Saudi Arabia for 23 years, said those who have retired and returned to the Philippines for good like him have become members of the association for life.

Those who continue to work in Saudi Arabia, like his brother, Arman, provide financial support to the projects of PINAS-SAHI in the Philippines, he said.

He added the association has also sponsored various projects in some schools in other provinces of Western Visayas.

For her part, City Librarian Greta Memoria said the donation will boost their digital literacy program, which provides free basic computer training to senior citizens, out-of-school youth, mothers, vendors, and anyone interested to learn how to use the computer.

Since the program began in 2015, several batches have already completed the training, she added. The 12th batch of the program graduated last July 27 and the 13th batch will start on Sept. 3 until Sept. 27.

Last year, the Bacolod City Public Library was recognized as one of the five best performing public libraries in the country for providing "relevant and innovative services."/CITY PIO with PNA
Bacolod Top 8 in PH ’most competitive cities’- 16- August 2018
The City of Bacolod was declared No. 8 in the country and No. 1 in the Visayas among highly urbanized cities (HUCs), by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) during its 6th Competitiveness Summit and Awards at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila today [Aug. 16].

The ranking is based on the sum of the scores of HUCs in the "4 Pillars"-Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure, and Resiliency.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who accepted the award along with other city officials, said, "This is a big inspiration and this will even encourage us to do more and let us ride in this growth momentum."

The 10 most competitive HUCs in the country are: 1- Manila, 2- Pasay, 3- Quezon, 4- Davao, 5- Cagayan de Oro, 6 - Makati, 7- Pasig, 9 - Cebu, and 10- Muntinlupa.

"The No. 8 HUC ranking is a big leap from our No. 20 ranking last year," Councilor Em Ang, who also attended the awarding ceremony, said.

This year, a total of 1,494 LGUs participated in this initiative, according to DTI Undersecretary Rowel Barba.

Awards were given to LGUs in four categories: 3rd to 6th Class Municipalities, 1st to 2nd Class Municipalities, Component Cities, and Highly Urbanized Cities.

Likewise, based on the same scorecard of NCC, Bacolod was declared the "3rd Most Improved City" in the HUC category.

Leonardia accepted the award from NCC co-chair Guillermo Luz. Also accompanying the mayor were Rep. Greg Gasataya, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilors Cindy Rojas and Bartolome Orola, City Planning and Development Office head Mary Jean Ramos, City Treasurer Giovanni Balalilhe, Local Economic and Investment Promotions officer Jonah Javier, CDRRMO administrative officer Bernadeth Montelibano, and City Development Council vice chairman George Zulueta.

The 2018 NCC ranking shows that Bacolod improved in all four pillars from its 2017 ranking: Economic Dynamism-from No. 20 to No. 9, Government Efficiency-from No. 22 to No. 15, Infrastructure-from No. 15 to No. 6, and Resiliency-from No. 19 to No. 10.

When Leonardia stepped down as mayor in 2013 to become the congressman, Bacolod ranked No. 5 in the NCC overall ranking of cities for 2013, while ranking No. 2 in Government Efficiency.

In the following years under former mayor Monico Puentevella, Bacolod slid down to No. 20 in 2014, and No. 73 in 2015 in the overall rankings.

Leonardia said, "This is called consistency. We are getting recognized by different entities for our accomplishments."

Under the present administration, Bacolod has been awarded the Top Philippine Model City in 2017. This year, it won first runner-up in the same competition, with a special recognition as the Most Business-Friendly City.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry also recognized Bacolod as one of the 3 top national finalists in its recent competition.

Also this year, Bacolod was considered one of the four fastest- growing cities in the Philippines for property searches, according to Lamudi, an online real estate marketplace with operations in 34 countries.

Moreover, Bacolod is one of only 5 cities in the Philippines that are included in the Tholons List of Top 100 "Super Cities" in 2017. Tholons International is the leader in global outsourcing locations rankings.

Meanwhile, Secretary Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, Special Assistant to the President, was the guest speaker of the competitiveness summit, with 1,500 organizers and guests including New Zealand Ambassador David Strachan, DTI secretary Ramon Lopez, other cabinet secretaries and undersecretaries.*/CITY PIO
DDB chair turning over P10-M check to mayor for Bacolod drug rehab center- 16- August 2018
Secretary Catalino Cuy, chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), will personally turn over Friday [August 17] a check for P10 million to Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia for the construction of the P35-million Bacolod City Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center.

This represents the financial grant of DDB to the Bacolod City government. The project was proposed by the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC).

Cuy will turn over the check during the signing of memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the DDB and the city government at the Bacolod City Government Center today.

The city government will shoulder the remaining P25 million.

After Cuy and Leonardia sign the MOA, they will proceed together with DDB and Bacolod city officials to the City Agriculture Office’s Demo Farm in Barangay Alijis for the ground-breaking ceremony of the rehab center at 1:30 p.m.

Joining them are Undersecretary Earl Saavedra, executive director of DDB, and Melanie Castillo, head of DDB Budget and Finance; Rep. Greg Gasataya, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, and councilors.

The rehab center, which will have an administration building, male and female quarters, multi-purpose and mess building, and pavilion, will be constructed at the city-government owned lot at the City Agriculture Office’s Demo Farm.

It will cater to Bacolod drug surrenderers with severe substance use disorder.

Leonardia had said, "The focus of our city’s anti-drugs campaign is the barangays. We will endeavor to declare as drug-free as many of our barangays as soon as possible."*/CITY PIO
Bacolod-Japan Friendship Day set Aug. 14- 13- August 2018
The City Government of Bacolod will celebrate the annual Bacolod-Japan Friendship Day Tuesday [August 14] with a program at the Bacolod City Government Center lobby starting at 5:30 p.m.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia will lead the candle-lighting ceremonies in commemoration of the Bon Odori, a memorial day of the Japanese where they dance and use lanterns "to light the way for the spirits to come home."

City Administrator John Orola will give the welcome remarks, while Councilor Em Ang, chair of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Tourism, and Shigemi Watanabe, director of the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual, and Cultural Advancement (OISCA) in Bago City, will deliver their messages.

Other activities include the performance of the MassKara Festival dancers, Philippine folk dances, cosplay, and acoustic band. Japanese costume yukata will also be presented.

All Japanese citizens residing in Bacolod City are invited to join the celebration.

The Bacolod -Japan Friendship Day is institutionalized in the city by virtue of City Ordinance No. 08-15-758.

Under the ordinance, the Bacolod-Japan Friendship Day is being celebrated between mid-July and mid-August to coincide with the "Obon Matsuri" or the Japanese Lantern Festival.

The ordinance said that the celebration aims to strengthen the long-standing friendship between Bacolodnons and Japanese through the exchange of cultural knowledge and traditions.*CITY TOURISM OFFICE
130 PWDs join ’Angel Walk’ in Bacolod- 06- August 2018
About 130 Persons with Disability (PWDs) in Bacolod participated in the "Angel Walk" at SM City Bacolod Thursday [August 2] to mark the annual 40th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week.

The walk was spearheaded by the Federation of PWDs- Bacolod City, the city’s Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD), and SM City Bacolod.

This year’s NDPR Week, which ran from July 23 to August 3, was anchored on the theme "Kakayahan at Kasanayan Para sa Kabuhayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran."

In Bacolod, the NDPR Week was spearheaded by the Office of Councilor Em Ang, vice chair of the Bacolod City Council on Disability Affairs, the DSSD, and Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PWDAO).

Ang said the observance of the NDPR Week aims to "advocate, promote, and uphold the rights and privileges of PWDs."

Other activities included in the weeklong observance were floral offering ceremony before the statue of Apolinario Mabini at the A. Mabini Elementary School last July 23 to mark his birth anniversary, Mass and motorcade last July 27, Forum on PWD Laws at the Bacolod City Government Center last July 31, and Paralympics at the University of Saint La Salle covered court last August 3.*/CITY PIO
Bacolod among top PH fastest-growing cities- 26- July 2018
Bacolod is one of the four fastest-growing cities in the Philippines for "property searches," according to Lamudi, an online real estate marketplace with operations in 34 countries.

In their June 2018 report on Online Data and Trends among Philippine Cities, the Top 4 Cities are: Bacolod, Davao, Lapu-Lapu, and Zamboanga.

Lamudi vice president Gilles Hage informed Leonardia of this development at a meeting in a local government and business forum in Manila recently.

Hage said Lamudi is the No. 1 marketplace for real estate in the Philippines-recording and analyzing real estate demand and real estate supply. Lamudi is an innovative real estate property finder that offers a wide range of properties for sale and for rent in the Philippines, he added.

Their data come from supplies of 100,000 listings and 3,000 signed partners; and demand of 1.5 million monthly visits and 120,000 monthly leads.

Among their clients and partners are AyalaLand, Megaworld Corp., Robinsons Land, SMDC, Filinvest, AboitizLand, and Anchor Landholdings.

Upon learning of this development, Leonardia said, "Lamudi is a credible online source. The ranking means that people have now started to discover Bacolod. This data tell us that the future is in Bacolod City."

Last year, Bacolod was named the Top Philippine Model City by The Manila Times. This year, it was chosen first runner-up in the same contest, with a special recognition of "Most Business-Friendly City."

Also last year, Bacolod was named one of Top 3 Most Business-Friendly LGUs by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-the biggest business organization in the country.

In Tholons Top 100 Super Cities for 2017, Bacolod is one of only five cities in the Philippines included in the list.

"With the big players already here, and massive property developments underway, we can really say that Bacolod is surging ’full speed ahead,’" Leonardia said, referring to the theme of the 80th Year Celebration of Bacolod.*/CITY PIO
It’s ’7-11’ for Grupo Progreso- 26- July 2018
The 11 - 0 result in the Liga ng mga Barangay or Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) election process means that there is an overwhelming support for Grupo Progreso.

The unopposed candidacies in the ABC election of all 11 Bacolod barangay captains identified with Grupo Progreso simply means that a super majority of the local officials are "sympathetic" to the Leonardia administration.

This was the observation of former councilor Roberto "Bobby" Rojas, saying that it can be concluded that there is an "overwhelming support" of barangay officials for Grupo Progreso.

In the latest elections of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) it also resulted in a 7-0 win for those identified with Grupo Progreso (GP).

The three-day filing of candidacy for the ABC election ended at 5 p.m. today [Thursday, July 26], with all 11 positions having a Grupo Progreso nominee.

The lone contender for ABC president is Barangay Captain Lady Gles Gonzales of Taculing.

"It’s 11-0 in the ABC," Rojas said.

Rojas also recalled that in the recent elections of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation in Bacolod, all 7 positions were also filled up by 7 SK chairmen allied with Grupo Progreso.

"If it was 7-0 in the SK and it’s now 11-0 in the ABC then it means a ’7-11’ victory for GP in the latest elections," he quipped.

Meanwhile, the ABC election will be held on Monday [July 30]. Gonzales is thus expected to be proclaimed the ABC president and will become a councilor.*
Bacolod aiming for higher ’competitiveness’ ranking- 25- July 2018
In a move to further improve the business climate in Bacolod, a team led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia met with the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) officials recently to discuss the latest trends and innovations on how to fine-tune its "ease of doing business" and other policies related to transacting business with the public.

The NCC is a public-private body that develops strategy for the long-term competitiveness of the Philippines through policy reforms, project implementation, institution building, and performance monitoring.

Leonardia said, "We consider the NCC results as a guide in setting the direction of the city. NCC is like a compass that tells us where we are and where we are going to. Consulting with them can make our city more competitive and we can attract more investors."

The NCC, in its National Competitiveness Index (NCI), ranks cities according to four factors: Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure, and Resiliency.

When Leonardia stepped down as mayor in 2013 to become the congressman, Bacolod ranked No. 5 in the overall ranking of the NCI for 2013.

In the following years under former mayor Monico Puentevella, Bacolod slid down to No. 20 in 2014, and No. 73 in 2015.

This 2018, Leonardia aims to bring Bacolod’s rank higher.

Joining Leonardia at the NCC meeting at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Head Office in Makati City were George Zulueta, vice chair of the City Development Council (CDC), and LEIP (Local Economic and Investment Promotions) officer Jonah Javier.

On the side of NCC during the conference were Guillermo Luz, co-chairman for the private sector, who was the executive director of the Makati Business Club; program officer Lizamyl Buquid, who is also a trade and industry development specialist of DTI; and program officer Herminio Viterbo Jr. of the DTI Competitiveness Bureau.*
3 top Bacolod officials hit fake FB accounts - 25- July 2018
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, and Rep. Greg Gasataya strongly condemn the unscrupulous person or persons behind the malicious creation of fake Facebook accounts using their names.

The three top city officials warned Bacolodnons to be wary of fake social media accounts using their names to deceive the public.

On Sunday [July 22], Facebook user named "Mayor Bing Leonardia" posted a string of political innuendos against the mayor to make him look funny and ridiculous.

Leonardia maintains two official Facebook accounts: Evelio "Bing" Leonardia fan page and Bing Leonardia personal account.

In an interview, the mayor said, "I’m sure that the purpose is to discredit and destroy me. I ask the people of Bacolod to be vigilant and circumspect."

"The fact that the three of us have been victimized makes us conclude that those fake accounts are motivated by politics," the mayor added.

Leonardia appealed to those behind the fake social media accounts not to involve the public in their political attacks against him.

Likewise on Sunday, Familiaran also hit his poseur. The vice mayor posted the screenshot of Facebook user "El Cid Familiaran," with a caption "This is a FAKE account. Please do not accept a friend request from this account and report to Facebook."

The poseur posted, "Kag ikaw naman ya Monico ’Nyoks’ Puentevella, indi na mag asa nga ma re-elect ka!" referring to the former mayor belonging to another political party.

"It’s not my style of politics to attack my opponent," Familiaran stressed.

The vice mayor’s official FB accounts are: El Cid Montilla Familiaran personal account and Vice Mayor El Cid M. Familiaran fan page.

Also on the same day, Gasataya posted on his official account "Congressman Greg Gasataya" the screenshot of Facebook user "Cong. Greg Gasataya" with a note, "Warning!!! The page below is not my account. This is a fake one. Sugod na sila."

The poseur had a graphics bearing the title "Congressman Greg Gasataya Basketball" as album photo.

In a media interview, Gasataya said his office uses his social media accounts as a tool to inform the residents of Bacolod about his programs and projects.

"But once it is used to create confusion and trouble, and bring misinformation, we will not allow that. I appeal to the people to be vigilant of these fake social media accounts," he said.

Other official FB accounts of Gasataya are: Greg Gasataya, Gasataya Greg, and Congressman Greg Gasataya Basketball League.*/CITY PIO
Mayor Bing thanks PhilHealth for assurance to evaluate BOLMSH appeal for re-accreditation - 19- July 2018
Mayor Evelio Leonardia thanked the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) national office for its assurance to him to evaluate the appeal for re-accreditation of the Bacolod Our Lady of Mercy Specialty Hospital (BOLMSH), which was revoked starting March 2018.

Leonardia again wrote Dr. Roy Ferrer, acting president and chief executive officer of PhilHealth, recently to express his gratitude. "Thank you very much for your reply. Your quick response gives the City of Bacolod a glimmer of hope amidst the fear of possible closure of the BOLMSH."

"Your assurance that the appeal of BOLMSH will be acted upon based on the best interests of the public brings much comfort. Indeed, access to affordable and efficient health care is one of the essential and indispensable services [that] we, as public officials, strive to support," the mayor added.

The eventual resolution of the appeal shall also determine the plight of more than 400 employees of BOLMSH and their families, Leonardia added in his letter.

The re-accreditation of BOLMSH, now under the management of Negros Healthcare Management Systems, Inc., was withdrawn by its Regional Accreditation Committee (RAC) starting March this year.

The BOLMSH then filed for a motion for reconsideration with the RAC to grant its re-accreditation from March to December 2018.

In his first letter to Ferrer, Leonardia said the non-accreditation of the 200-bed health facility would result to its closure, which will affect its more than 400 personnel and its 231 dialysis patients.

The BOLMSH is dubbed "Hospital for the Poor" and has been the preferred health care provider of middle and low-income patients of Bacolod City, and even of the province of Negros Occidental, he said.

"As a fast-growing city, Bacolod cannot afford to lose a big hospital which caters to the low-income patients in the city and gives employment to its constituents," Leonardia wrote.

In reply, Ferrer assured Leonardia that, "I have instructed our [Regional] Accreditation Committee to discuss the appeal of BOLMSH in their next meeting, so the matter can be discussed immediately."*/CITY PIO
City releases salaries of 1,556 summer jobbers - 19- July 2018
The Bacolod city government started releasing Wednesday [July 18] the salaries of 1,556 summer jobbers under the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) of the Public Employment Service Office (PESO).

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, assisted by PESO Bacolod officer-in-charge Ma. Rebecca Balicas and SPES officer-in-charge Marian Rosenda, led the releasing of salaries.

"You are the luckier ones," Leonardia quipped, as he addressed the student-beneficiaries, stressing that of the student population in the city aging 15 to 30 years old, they are the chosen ones to avail of the program.

Each student-beneficiary received P3,000 after working for 15 days, or from May 7 to May 28, 2018.

Of the 1,556 summer jobbers, 1,411 received their salaries Wednesday [July 18], Balicas said.

She added that the next schedule of releasing for those who have not received their salaries will be on Friday [July 20] from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and Monday [July 23] from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Balicas said the SPES program aims to give opportunities to the students to find income during summer break, to prepare for anticipated needs in the next school opening.

Starlen Dela Cruz, 19, a summer jobber from Carlos Hilado Memorial State College (CHMSC) - Fortune Towne said, "This helps a lot since it gave us an opportunity to work and to buy our school needs ahead of time without asking from our parents."

Some of their duties included reporting to assigned local government offices or respective barangay councils, giving out surveys and participating in clean-up drives such as the Brigada Eskwela.

Qualified to avail of the program are students aged 15 to 30 years old, who have average passing grades during their last semester, and whose parents are considered to have low income as reflected in their Income Return Tax (ITR).*/CITY PIO
BJMP-Bacolod gets 2 new vans worth P1.6M - 18- July 2018
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Bacolod has received two brand new service vans worth P800,000 each, or a total of P1.6 million, from BJMP national headquarters.

The service vans were presented to Mayor Evelio Leonardia today [July 18] at the Bacolod City Government Center grounds by Senior Inspector Norberto Miciano, jail warden of Metro Bacolod District Jail (MDBJ)- Male Dormitory Annex in Barangay Handumanan, and Chief Inspector Ruth Garcia Estales, OIC-Jail Warden of the Metro Bacolod District Jail (MBDJ) - Special Intensive Care Area (SICA) in Barangay Taculing.

Miciano said the service vans were delivered Saturday [July 14].

Accompanying Miciano and Estales were Operations Escort JO1 Jayvee Jayson Vargas, Custodial JO2 Lizarde Gargarita, and Help Desk officer JO1 Trisha Galicia.

Joining the mayor at the presentation of the vehicles was Executive Assistant and Retired Senior Supt. Celestino Guara Jr.

Miciano said the service vehicles would be of big help to them in expediting the cases of inmates, considering that their facilities are far from the Hall of Justice where hearings are conducted.

The vehicles are a big help in securing the inmates while being transported from the district jail to the court room, he said.

Also, the number of inmates in their facilities has increased, thus the number of hearings at the Hall of Justice also increased, he added.*/CITY PIO
PhilHealth to evaluate BOLMSH appeal-Bing - 17- July 2018
The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) national office has informed Mayor Evelio Leonardia that it will evaluate the appeal for re-accreditation of the Bacolod Our Lady of Mercy Specialty Hospital (BOLMSH), which was withdrawn by its Regional Accreditation Committee starting March 2018.

Last month, Leonardia has written Dr. Roy Ferrer, acting president and chief executive officer of PhilHealth, to make an appeal, on behalf of the Bacolodnons, to grant the re-accreditation of the BOLMSH.

The BOLMSH, for its part, has filed for a motion for reconsideration to grant its re-accreditation from March to December 2018.

The mayor said the non-accreditation of the 200-bed health facility would result to its closure, which will affect its 400 personnel and its 231 dialysis patients.

The BOLMSH is dubbed "Hospital for the Poor" and has been the preferred health care provider of middle and low-income patients of Bacolod City, and even of the province of Negros Occidental, he said.

Although the case is bound by rules and procedures as prescribed by law, it is nonetheless respectfully requested that a resolution be issued by PhilHealth to prevent the closure of BOLMSH, he added.

"As a fast-growing city, Bacolod cannot afford to lose a big hospital which caters to the low-income patients in the city and gives employment to its constituents," Leonardia wrote.

In reply, Ferrer informed Leonardia that, "I have instructed our [Regional] Accreditation Committee to discuss the appeal of BOLMSH in their next meeting, so the matter can be discussed immediately."

"Rest assured that we would be acting on the appeal of the hospital based on our shared commitment to serve the best interests of our constituents we are sworn to serve."

On the third week of June, at the height of the planned closure of BOLMSH, presently managed by the Negros Healthcare Management Systems, Inc., (NHMSI), Leonardia immediately called for a dialog between PhilHealth-6 Regional Office and BOLMSH- NHMSI management.

The meeting was also attended by PhilHealth-6 regional vice president Lourdes Diocson, its legal counsel Dennis Guevara, BOLMSH-NHMSI president Dr. Nestor Amante, Councilor Em Ang, City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan, and Secretary to the Mayor Atty. Edward Joseph Cuansing.

The two parties agreed that pending resolution of the issues, BOLMSH will continue to operate until July 30, 2018. For its part, the PhilHealth Regional Office committed to request the Accreditation Committee to expedite the deliberation of the denied accreditation papers of the BOLMSH within 30 days, after the hospital file for a motion for reconsideration.*/CITY PIO
City gov’t completes distribution of 68,000 school bags to 46 schools - 16- July 2018
The Bacolod city government has completed today [July 16] the distribution of 68,000 free school bags with school supplies to pupils of 46 public elementary schools.

Today’s distribution benefited 4,017 pupils from five public schools, namely, Villa Esperanza Elementary School in Barangay Tangub-639 school bags; Pahanocoy Baybay Elementary School in Barangay Pahanocoy-567 bags; Jose J. Gonzaga Elementary School in Barangay Mansilingan-1,548 bags; Luis B. Puentevella Elementary School in Barangay Taculing-849 and Bacolod City SPED Center in Barangay 14-414 bags.

Leading the ceremonial distribution were Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, who represented Mayor Evelio Leonardia; Councilor Bartolome Orola, and Barangay Singcang-Airport Kagawad Simple Distrito.

School principal Herminio Remada Jr. said,quot;In behalf of Pahanocoy Baybay Elementary School parents and staff we would like to say thank you to the city government for giving us school supplies for the benefit of our pupils. Thank you, Mayor Bing and the rest of the City Council.quot;

Bacolod City SPED Center PTA vice president Jonalyn Abelar said, quot;Thank you gid kay Vice Mayor Familiaran, nga nag-represent kay Mayor Bing, Councilor Bart, Kagawad Distrito sa ila nga bulig. Ang gin hatag ninyo nga bulig nag bags makabulig gid ini sa amon mga kabataan.quot;*/CITY PIO
Pacquiao invites Mayor Bing to KL fight - 12- July 2018
Ring icon and Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao has once again invited Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia to his fight in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia Sunday morning [July 15].

"Once again, may I invite you to be among those few trusted friends to come into the ring with me, to carry the Philippine flag before the fight begins," Pacquiao wrote Leonardia recently.

"Your presence in the ring during my many previous title fights has always been a great morale support for me. Undoubtedly, you are among my ’lucky charms,’ but more than that, you are my friend and colleague," the boxing champion added.

Pacquiao also invited his "kumare," First Lady Elsa Leonardia, and daughter, Loren Kara, to be "part of my cheering squad at the ringside during the fight night, together with the members of my own family and friends."

The Leonardia couple arrived in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday [July 11], and proceeded to see Pacquiao at the Le Meridien Sentral Hotel, where he is training in preparation for Sunday’s fight.

A little more than a year since his last fight in Brisbane, Australia, Pacquiao will return to the ring to challenge WBA welterweight world titleholder Lucas Matthysse.

Leonardia was not able to join Pacquiao in that controversial fight that the fighting senator lost.

Meanwhile, to honor Pacquiao being the "Adopted Son of Bacolod," and as a treat of the mayor to boxing aficionados, the city government will provide three free live big screens showing the Pacquiao fight - in Barangay Handumanan gym, Barangay Villamonte gym, and the BAYS Center.*/CITY PIO
2,706 more Bacolod pupils get free school bags today - 12- July 2018
A total of 2,706 pupils from three public elementary schools in Bacolod have received free school bags with school supplies at separate distribution rites today [July 12].

Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran-who represented Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Councilor Bartolome Orola, Barangay Mandalagan Captain Arturo Parreño, SK chairperson Mary Joy Galleto, and DepEd representatives led the distribution.

Today’s recipients were pupils of Abkasa Elementary School in Barangay Mandalagan-with 684 school bags; Mandalagan Elementary School-1,546 bags; and Isla Elementary School in Barangay Villamonte-476 bags.

Mandalagan Elementary School PTA treasurer Marietta Soya said,"Dako gid ang pasalamat ko nga naghatag si Mayor Bing sini nga programa, nga gapanghatag sila sa mga kabataan. Magamit gid ni nila, kanami nga mga bags."

The city government is distributing 68,000 free school bags with school supplies to 46 public elementary schools in Bacolod. As of today, a total of 57,760 school bags have been distributed to pupils of 35 schools.

More school bags will be distributed Friday [July 13] and Monday [July 16].*/CITY PIO
Mayor Bing celebrates birthday - 10- July 2018
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia celebrated his birthday with family, friends, colleagues, local officials and barangay captains, and Grupo Progreso supporters at SMX Convention Center today [July 10].

More than 2,000 guests joined him on his special day, including his high school and college classmates.

Leading his well-wishers were First Lady Elsa Leonardia, Rep. Greg Gasataya, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilors Caesar Distrito, Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Em Ang, Elmer Sy, Ana Marie Palermo, Dindo Ramos, Bartolome Orola, and Sonya Verdeflor, and City Administrator John Orola.

Also gracing the occasion were Bago Mayor Nicholas Yulo, Victorias Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, former mayor Luzviminda "Joy" Valdez, and former councilors Carl Lopez, Bobby Rojas, and Archie Baribar.

It was also attended by 48 barangay captains of Bacolod.

Bacolodnon actor Ced Torrecarion, who currently stars in the teleserye "The Blood Sisters" of ABS-CBN, rendered a special number.

After thanking all the guests who graced his birthday celebration, Leonardia presented the Bacolod Development Plans and Priorities of his administration.

A 10-minute on-the-spot mural painting depicting Leonardia, the Bacolod City Government Center, and the people of Bacolod kicked off the program proper.

The birthday celebration also featured video greetings of several councilors, businessmen, and former officials, as well as the Bacolod City government employees.*/CITY PIO
6,851 more Bacolod pupils get free school bags today - 09 - July 2018
A total of 6,851 Grades 1 to 6 pupils from six public elementary schools in Bacolod have received free school bags with school supplies at separate distribution rites today [July 9].

The city government is distributing 68,000 free school bags with school supplies to 46 public elementary schools in Bacolod. As of today, a total of 55,054 school bags have been distributed to pupils of 32 schools.

Leading the distribution were Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Rep. Greg Gasataya, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilors Em Ang, Cindy Rojas, Elmer Sy and Bartolome Orola.

Joining them were Barangay Captains June Mark Carpio of Barangay 28, German Bullolaza of Barangay 31, Glo Ann Tambasen of Montevista, Jose Ma. Leandro De Leon of Vista Alegre, Freeman Madalag of Brgy. 27, John Malayang of Brgy. 33, Edward Yee of Brgy. 20, John Mark Petierre of Brgy. 30, Edner Gigie of Brgy. 29, Diosdado Mayo of Brgy. 22, Madeline Diaz of Brgy. 18, Jim Piramo of Brgy. 19.

They were joined by SK chairpersons Sharon Dela Cruz of Vista Alegre and Angel Jarder of Barangay Montevista, and Israel Salanga.

The recipients today were pupils of Apolinario Mabini Elementary School in Brgy. 28 with 1, 832 school bags; Graciano Lopez Jaena Elementary School in Brgy. 31 with 1,256 bags; ETCS 4 in Barangay 16 with 1,083 bags; Estefania Elementary School in Brgy. Estefania with 2,004 bags; Montevista Elementary School in Brgy.Montevista with 1,185 bags; and F. F. Gonzaga Elementary School in Brgy. Vista Alegre with 747 bags.

Jiovanne Rojo, PTA president of ETCS 4, "Salamat gid sa pag bisita diri ni Mayor kung diin siya gid ni ang nag-pasad sang sini nga eskwelahan kag gin-deklarar niya nga pangalanan niya Bacolod City Elementary School. Nagapa-thank you gid kami. May gin-wish pa si Mayor nga isa ka gym nga ipatukod nya diri sa likod. Pasalamat gid kami kay Mayor nga pa-inagurahan nya gid ini nga building sa diin nagtulog ini sang tatlo ka tuig pagkatapos sang iya termino sang pagka congressman."

Sharon Dele Cruz, SK chairperson of Barangay Vista Alegre, said, "I would like to say thank you kay Mayor Bing sa blessing, ini gina tawag namon nga blessing halin sa iya. Actually duwa na ka school ang iya nahatagan and nalipay gid ang mga kabataan subong sa iya nga blessing nga gin-hatag."

The distribution will continue in the coming days.*/CITY PIO
2 champion Bacolod softball teams thank Mayor Bing - 06- July 2018
The members of the two Negros First Little League softball teams paid a courtesy call on Mayor Evelio "Bing" Leonardia Friday [July 6], to thank him for the support of the city government, including the P500,000 financial assistance for their games in Singapore.

The two teams -the Majors and the Juniors-won the championships in their respective categories in the 2018 Asia-Pacific Regional Softball Championship in Singapore on July 1.

This earned for both teams a ticket to the 2018 Little League World Series, to be held separately in Oregon and Washington.

Joining them at the courtesy call on Leonardia were Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) -Bacolod officer-in-charge Carolina Constantino and her staff, Annie Briones, who mainly processed the passports of the two teams.

The Major League players are from Education and Training Center School (ETCS)-I, aged 11 to 12 years old, while the Junior League players are from Domingo Lacson National High School aged 13 to 14 years old.

In the Majors category, the Bacolod team sealed their finals victory with a 20-0 drubbing of Singapore.

The team, coached by Lizviminda Jalandoni, will represent the Philippines in the Little League World Series on August 8 to 15 in Portland, Oregon. They finished fifth last year.

The Juniors, mentored by Roselle Hulleza, beat Australia, 10-0, to again compete in the Little League World Series in Kirkland, Washington. They were in second place last year.

On her Facebook post, Hulleza thanked God for "hearing our prayers to win against a very strong opponent, Australia 10-0."

Hulleza also acknowledged the assistance of officials of the Province of Negros Occidental and the City of Bacolod.

Both the provincial and the city governments provided financial aids of P500,000 each for the teams.

Veteran softball coach Antonio Oquindo served as consultant of the teams.*/CITY PIO, with reports from PNA
Bacolod hosts Reg’l Dev’t Plan roadshow - 06- July 2018
The Bacolod City government hosted the roadshow of Western Visayas Regional Development Plan (WVRDP) for 2017-2022, spearheaded by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-6 today [July 6].

This was part of NEDA’s efforts to promote the implementation of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) which is a medium-term plan adopting the Duterte administrationrsquo;s 0-10 point socio-economic agenda and sustainable development goals geared towards a long-term vision for the country.

NEDA-6 assistant regional director Engr. Gilberto Altura was among the resource speakers of the event.

Bacolod City Administrator Atty. John Orola represented the city government, with George Zulueta, vice chairman of the City Development Council.

The event was also attended by Bacolod City government department and office heads, barangay officials, and representatives of non-government organizations, private sector, business, and the academe.

RDP focuses on the development challenges of the region by identifying strategies to attain specific goals, specifically targeting the macro-economy and governance, social, economic and infrastructure in Western Visayas.*/CITY PIO
10,500 more Bacolod pupils get free school bags today - 06- July 2018
On Day 5 of distribution today [July 6], a total of 10,546 Grades 1 to 6 pupils from six more public elementary schools in Bacolod have received free school bags with school supplies.

The city government is distributing 68,000 free school bags with school supplies to 46 public elementary schools in Bacolod. As of today, 46,945 school bags have been distributed to pupils of 20 schools.

Leading the ceremonial distribution today were Mayor Evelio Leonardia, First Lady Elsa Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Barangay Captains Rodolfo Pico of Mansilingan, Lady Gles Gonzales of Taculing and Jose Ma. Leandro De Leon of Vista Alegre, DepEd officials, and Israel Salanga.

The recipients today were Vista Alegre Granada Relocation Elementary School at Abada Escay in Brgy. Vista Alegre with 1,950 school bags; Asuncion L. Lizares Elementary School in Brgy. Granada-2,036 bags; Patricia Homes Elementary School in Brgy. Estefania-1,279 bags; Antonio L. Jayme Elementary School in Brgy. Mansilingan-2,986; Emilia J. Garcia Elementary School in Brgy. Alijis-1, 075; and Crispino V. Ramos Elementary School in Brgy. Taculing-1,220 bags.

School principal Lani Boscas said, "Mayor Bing, in behalf of the 38 teachers of C.V. Ramos Elementary School and pupils and parents, gapasalamat gid kami sang dako sa school supplies nga gin-hatag mo sa amon. Dako gid ini nga bulig sa mga kabataan especially na gid sa ila pamilya na kung sa diin damo ang gina kulang sa school supplies, so dako gid ni nga bulig especially nga gina-advocate ta man ang Pro-Poor Policy. Mayor madamo gid nga salamat."

Kassandra Marie Montesa, president of Supreme Pupil Government of Patricia Homes Elementary School in Barangay Estefania, also expressed her gratitude saying, "We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mayor Evelio ’Bing’ Leonardia for giving us such wonderful bags and school supplies. God bless you always and thank you."

The distribution will continue in the coming days.*/CITY PIO
City partners with BSP for knowledge network project - 05- July 2018
Mayor Evelio Leonardia signed today [July 5] a memorandum of understanding with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for its Knowledge Resource Network (KRN) program, where one of the three partners is the Bacolod City Government, specifically the Bacolod City Public Library.

Dr. Renato Sorolla, president of Carlos Hilado Memorial State College, and Bro. Joaquin Severino Martinez, president and chancellor of the University of St. La Salle, also signed the MOU for CHMSC- Fortune Towne and USLS as BSP partners.

The joint MOU signing was held at the BSP Bacolod office.

It was also attended by BSP regional director Atty. Leonides Sumbi, BSP Economical Financial Learning Center (EFLC) manager Nelia Balagapo, BSP EFLC Bacolod senior research specialist Randy Bolves, and Bacolod City Librarian Greta Memoria.

KRN aims to establish information facilities for knowledge sharing and accessibility to its partner institutions, providing materials that tackles economic, banking and financial education. This is said to support the country’s National Strategy for Financial Inclusion.

Partner institutions will spare a space in their respective libraries for the BSP publication and information materials. Access to online sources such as journal articles and references will also be available.

Leonardia said people should be more financially literate. "This program is bringing us into the promise land."

BSP has a total of 23 KRN libraries all over the country and has the biggest branch in its head office in Roxas Boulevard in Manila.*/CITY PIO
6 more Bacolod schools receiving free school bags Monday - 01- July 2018
Pupils from six more public elementary schools in Bacolod are receiving free school bags with school supplies Monday [July 2].

Mayor Evelio Leonardia and other city officials will lead the distribution of bags with school supplies to the pupils of C. L. Montelibano Elementary School and Alfredo Montelibano Elementary School at 8 a.m., ETCS (Education and Training Center School) 1 and 2 at 10 a.m., and ETCS 3 and Rizal Elementary School at 2 p.m.

Last Friday [June 29] at 8 a.m., Leonardia, Rep. Greg Gasataya, and Councilors Caesar Distrito and Bartolome Orola led the distribution of 2,923 school bags to Banago ES 1 and 2 pupils.

On the same day at 10 a.m., Leonardia, and Councilors Cindy Rojas, Caesar Distrito, Em Ang, and Renecito Novero led the distribution of 3,415 school bags to Bata ES 1 and 2 pupils.

"We are happy to see the enthusiasm of the pupils. I take it to mean that they are interested in their school work,"Leonardia said after the distribution.

The city government is distributing a total of 68,000 free school bags with school supplies to Grades 1 to 6 public elementary pupils of Bacolod.

Each bag-a backpack-contains two notebooks, two pencils, two ballpens and a ruler.

The distribution to other schools will follow in the coming days.

Leonardia said they have prioritized big elementary schools and they hope to finish the distribution in a week’s time.

There are 46 public elementary schools in Bacolod City.

The mayor earlier said he is a strong advocate for education, as his first committee when he was a councilor was the Committee on Education.*/CITY PIO
City starts distribution of 68,000 school bags - 28- June 2018
As part of the city administration’s advocacy for championing education, Mayor Evelio Leonardia and other city officials will distribute 68,000 school bags to public elementary school pupils of Bacolod starting tomorrow [June 29].

Each bag-a backpack-contains two notebooks, two pencils, two ballpens and a ruler.

The beneficiaries will be Grades 1 to 6 pupils.

At 8 a.m., the mayor will distribute the 3,000 school bags to the pupils of Banago Elementary School I and II at Banago ES I gym.

At 10 a.m., he will distribute 3,000 school bags to the pupils of Bata Elementary School I and II at Bata ES I gym.

The distribution to other schools will follow in the coming days.

Leonardia said he is a strong advocate for education, as his first committee when he was a councilor was the Committee on Education.

Early this month, Leonardia inaugurated six school buildings of Domingo Lacson National High School and Sum-ag National High School in Bacolod, amounting to P163 million.

The school buildings were facilitated by Leonardia when he was still congressman.*/CITY PIO
Bing invited to US Independence Day - 27- June 2018
Mayor Evelio Leonardia has been invited by the US Embassy in Manila to attend the commemoration of the 242nd Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America on July 3 at the Makati Shangri-la.

US Ambassador Sung Kim sent a formal invitation to Leonardia recently.

It is expected that among the dignitaries attending are diplomats, government officials, businessmen, and foreign and local media.

"We want to congratulate the American people on the occasion of their 242nd anniversary of Independence," Leonardia said.

"We are grateful to Ambassador Kim that Bacolod City is among those he considers as significant contributors to Filipino- American friendship," the mayor added.

During the MassKara Festival in October last year, US Embassy Political Section - Internal Political Unit chief Joshua Morris and political specialist Marjorie Gaddi visited Bacolod and paid Leonardia a courtesy visit at the Bacolod City Government Center.

As a mayor and former congressman, Leonardia is among the select officials often invited to diplomatic occasions.*/CITY PIO
BFP- Bacolod gets P17.5-M fire truck - 25- June 2018
The Bureau of Fire Protection- Bacolod has received a brand new P17.5-million fire truck given by the BFP national headquarters recently, as facilitated by Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

The new fire truck was presented by city fire marshal Chief Inspector Publio Ploteña to Leonardia at the Bacolod City Government Center grounds today [June 25], where his personnel demonstrated its fire-fighting capabilities.

The Austrian-made Man-Rosenbauer model fire truck has a water capacity of 4,000 liters and can reach up to the sixth floor of a building, Ploteña said.

He said the fire truck was delivered Friday [June 22].

Ploteña thanked BFP chief Director Leonard Bañago for the project.

Leonardia also thanked the BFP national headquarters for the new fire truck, which, he said, is a substantial help in the fire-fighting capabilities of the city.

This is also a boost to the thrust of the city on being business-friendly, the mayor added.

For his part, Ploteña said the new fire truck is a big help to Bacolod, especially at this time when plenty of structures and buildings are being constructed in every corner of the city.

Ploteña said the BFP-Bacolod now has 12 fire trucks, but five of them are due for repair.

The Bacolod Chamber Volunteer Fire Brigade has nine fire trucks, while the Amity Volunteer Fire Brigade has five fire trucks-or a total of 26 fire trucks in Bacolod City.

Accompanying Ploteña at the presentation of fire truck were BFP-Bacolod administrative chief SFO2 Ademar Zamora and five firefighters.*/CITY PIO
Bacolod chosen again among PH model cities - 20- June 2018
Bacolod City was named for the second straight year as among the "most livable urban centers in the country."

During the Search for the Philippine Model Cities and Municipalities 2018 of The Manila Times, the "City of Smiles" was adjudged 1st runner-up, after Davao City.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who accepted the award at ceremonies at Conrad Hotel today [June 19], said that the award "was inspiring, considering that we were competing with other big and dynamic cities, including Davao City. If we come right after Davao, that is still something to crow about. Likewise, this ranking shows how consistent we are."

Aside from the major award, Bacolod was also cited as "Most Business-Friendly City," one of the categories of the contest.

Last year, Bacolod was the grand winner in the Top Philippine Model City 2017 Awards -the first edition of the said contest of The Manila Times, the oldest newspaper in the country at 120 years old.

Leonardia received the plaque from The Manila Times president and chief executive officer Dante "Klink" Ang and chief operating officer Blanca Mercado.

Also present were Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilor Bartolome Orola, City Administrator John Orola, City Tourism Officer Ma. Elma Gerasmo, City Development Council Vice Chairman George Zulueta, Permits and Licensing head Stela Rose Rayos, LIEP (Local Economic and Investment Promotions) Officer Jonah Javier, and private secretary Edwina Javier.


Leonardia, in an interview after the awarding ceremony, said he was ecstatic. "We are very, very pleased. This, for me, is a validation and proof of consistency. Last year, we were called as the ’Top Model City’ and this time we came very close to that after Davao."

The mayor said the first runner-up finish of Bacolod further validated what people say about and experience in Bacolod.

"What is even an added incentive and inspiration is that we were given a special title as the ’Most Business-Friendly City’ by the evaluating team of The Manila Times," the mayor said.

"Bacolod is really growing, and not just growing- in fact, it’s growing very rapidly. All the big players are here now and the developments are all over. Now it can be told that ’Bacolod is the next big thing," Leonardia said.

For his part, Familiaran said, "As the vice mayor, it is an honor for me and the entire Sangguniang Panlungsod for Bacolod to receive this award, and this is inspiration for us to do better than best next year."

Councilor Orola said he "cannot express his happiness" upon learning that Bacolod City made it again to the Top Philippine Model Cities’ list. As a first-time councilor, he is very proud to accompany the mayor in receiving the award.

This only shows the spirit of team work among city officials, he added.

City Administrator Orola said, "I’m very happy that Bacolod City made it again. As you all know, the mayor, as well as the vice mayor, our Sanggunian members, officers and all those in the bureaucracy contributed to all these efforts."

"But, of course, under the leadership of Mayor Leonardia, I can see the dynamism in his leadership, I can see that the progress that is going on in Bacolod City is a manifestation and indication that Bacolod indeed is on the right track. So as the mayor says, ’damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, let us move forward."

Meanwhile, Laoag City was declared second runner-up in the said search.

The chairman of the board of judges was Atty. Lea Roque, principal and head of Tax Advisory and Compliance of P & A Grant Thornton.*/CITY PIO
Mayor thanks Megaworld for Bacolod Welcome Park - 17- June 2018
Mayor Evelio Leonardia is thanking tycoon Andrew Tan and Megaworld Corp. for accepting his personal proposal to establish a Bacolod Welcome Park along the airport access road.

Leonardia is expecting that the proposed Bacolod Welcome Park, that will have its ground-breaking on Monday [June 18], will boost the tourism potentials of Bacolod City.

"We will be the only city in the country with a Welcome Park. That is definitely going to put us in the tourism map and should increase tourist traffic. Megaworld has proven to be a good partner for progress and development," the mayor said.

"We also recognize the vital role that our fellow Bacolodnon Harold Geronimo played in pursuing this, as he is in Megaworld’s top management," the mayor added.

Leonardia said this tourism attraction will be situated in a property of Megaworld Corp. at Northill Gateway (in front of Forbes Hill) along the Bacolod-Silay Airport Access Road (BSAAR).

Leonardia said it was his dream to construct a Las Vegas- inspired welcome park in Bacolod City, because tourism, among others, is projected to become the biggest industry in the world and our city should prepare for that eventuality.

Megaworld acknowledges that the park is a landmark project in partnership with the Bacolod City government.

Bacolod City and Megaworld officials will grace the historic event, slated at 3 p.m.

The schedule was intentionally set on June 18 as the city government is celebrating the 80th year of the signing of the charter of the City of Bacolod.

Leonardia said, "It is symbolic that we are telling the world that Bacolod is opening its doors to everybody."

Once completed, Megaworld will manage the welcome area, which will have fast-food chains, souvenir shops and comfort rooms.*/CITY PIO
Mayor thanks DFA for ’Passport on Wheels’ - 17- June 2018
Mayor Evelio Leonardia thanked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for partnering with the city government to bring its Passport on Wheels program to the Bacolod City Government Center.

The DFA will hold its Passport on Wheels program on June 18-19 at the MassKara Hall at the 3rd floor of Bacolod City Government Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p. m., with about 1,000 pre-screened applicants, or 500 applicants per day.

Leonardia said, "We thank the DFA for partnering with our city government in bringing the Passport on Wheels program to Bacolod."

"Bacolodnons have been experiencing difficulty getting an online appointment to apply for or renew their passports due to the backlog in the DFA online appointment process," the mayor said.

"The Passport on Wheels is a way of extending help to our constituents who need to travel abroad especially those who will do so for work or business. It is timely that we are celebrating our 80th charter anniversary that we are also offering this service, as we continue to endeavor to deliver better, efficient, fast service to our people," the mayor added.

Councilor Em Ang, chair of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Tourism, said the Passport on Wheels is also part of the activities of the year-long commemoration of the 80th year of the signing of the charter of the City of Bacolod.

Ang stresed that DFA personnel will not entertain walk-in applicants, only those who have been pre-screened last week.

DFA Regional Consular Office Bacolod OIC Carolina Constantino said the Passport on Wheels, launched in January this year, is one of their programs to ease long lines and congestions in passport applications.

The Passport on Wheels will also assist those who cannot go online to schedule their applications, she added.*/CITY PIO
GSIS exec guest of honor at Independence Day in Bacolod - 09- June 2018
Jesus Clint Aranas, president and general manager of Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), will be the guest of honor and speaker at the 120th Independence Day celebration in Bacolod on June 12.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia said Aranas already accepted the invitation, and the organizing committee is pleased and honored.

"The president and general manager of GSIS is from Bacolod and we are very proud of that. GSIS is a vital component of our country’s sense of financial security and it is only when that economic stability is enjoyed by our government employees, and the citizenry in general, that we can truly say we have earned our independence. We find his involvement very meaningful," the mayor said.

The Independence Day celebration will start with a flag-raising ceremony at the Bacolod City Public Plaza at 6:30 a. m.

It will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Monument of Unknown Soldier, also at the Public Plaza.

A program will immediately follow at the Public Plaza stage, where Aranas will be guest of honor and speaker.

The Independence Day parade will follow starting 1:00 p.m., from the Sacred Heart Shrine (Lupit Church) to the Public Plaza.

Also expected in the celebration are Rep. Greg Gasataya, Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, top city and national government officials, war veterans, civic leaders and private citizens.

Traditionally, the Dept Ed composes the bulk of the attendees and participants.*/CITY PIO
Duterte adviser to induct Bacolod brgy captains June 16 - 07- June 2018
A top adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte will be the inducting officer and guest speaker at the mass oath-taking ceremonies of the newly elected barangay captains and kagawads of Bacolod City on June 16 at 2:00 p.m. at the SMX Convention Center Bacolod.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino has confirmed his attendance as inducting officer and guest speaker in the said affair.

Leonardia, Rep. Greg Gasataya and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran will deliver their respective messages, along with Ma. Joy Maredith Madayag, Bacolod director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

"The mass oath-taking of our barangay officials is a solemn and very significant occasion in local governance. That is why we are very pleased that no less than Malacanang’s Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino has accepted our invitation to be the inducting officer and guest speaker," Leonardia said.

"With his vast experience as mayor of Tagaytay City, national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines, and chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority, that makes him a perfect choice as guest of honor for our barangay officials," the mayor added.

Leonardia said he is friends with Tolentino, whom he knew since 1995 when they were both mayors.

For his part, Gasataya said majority of elected officials belonging to the same party means a harmonious working relationship among them, and this results to more programs and projects being implemented.

The good working relation among the congressional office, the mayor’s office, and the Sangguniang Panlungsod has resulted to more programs and projects, that cascade down to barangay level and benefit our constituents, Gasataya added.*
Mayor distributes 276 fire extinguishers to 40 schools - 06- June 2018
Mayor Evelio Leonardia led the distribution of 276 fire extinguishers to 40 public elementary and secondary schools at rites at Bacolod City National High School Tuesday [June 5].

Leonardia was joined by DepEd- Bacolod schools division superintendent Cynthia Demavivas, Executive Assistant Moises Dela Cruz, and City Fire Marshal Chief Inspector Publio Ploteña.

Last January, Leonardia also distributed 218 fire extinguishers to 54 public elementary and secondary schools.

The mayor said the number of fire extinguishers given to each school varies as these were based on the size of the school, and upon the evaluation and recommendation of the Bureau of Fire Protection.

The distribution of fire extinguishers was one of the projects of the Local School Board, chaired by Leonardia, with Councilor Renecito Novero, chair of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Education, as member.

"I cannot over-emphasized about the need for fire extinguishers because, sometimes it may look like ornamentals, but their value in case of fire is important," the mayor said.

We cannot predict when do we need these fire extinguishers, and so we want to give assurance to our students and teachers have something to help put out the fire, he added.

Leonardia said he is a strong advocate for education, as his first committee when he was a councilor was the Committee on Education.

"I assure you and I firmly believe that education should be given much priority in our local governance," he stressed.*/CITY PIO
Mayor inaugurates P163-M school buildings - 06- June 2018
Mayor Evelio Leonardia led the inauguration of six school buildings in two secondary schools in Bacolod, amounting to P163 million, at separate rites today [June 6].

At Domingo Lacson National High School, Leonardia inaugurated two 3-storey school buildings, with 15 classrooms each, and one 4-storey school building with 20 classrooms -or a total of 50 classrooms-amounting to P97 million.

At Sum-ag National High School, the mayor inaugurated two 4-storey school buildings, and one two-storey school building -with a total 46 classrooms-amounting to P66 million.

Leonardia started facilitating these projects when he was congressman, and continued by Rep. Greg Gasataya.

The mayor was joined at the turn-over and inauguration ceremonies by Mark Steven Mayo, who represented Gasataya, DepEd-Bacolod schools division superintendent Cynthia Demavivas, Executive Assistant Moises Dela Cruz, Barangay Banago Captain Ricky Mijares Jr., Domingo Lacson National High School principal Josefa Jopson, and Sum-ag National High School principal Warlito Rosareal.

These 96 classrooms will be used by Senior High School students under the K-12 program.

In his speech at Domingo Lacson NHS, Leonardia said the inauguration of 50 classrooms at one time was Vhistoric.V This is the first time in Bacolod that they inaugurated a school project amounting to P97 million, he added.

This is all because we believe in the value of education, he said.

"When I was a congressman, one of my priorities was to see to it that school facilities are developed and are improved. I started these projects when I was congressman, and I am very happy and very proud that Congressman Greg Gasataya implemented and finished this," Leonardia said.

"I told so many people already that I have seen the improvement in our educational system and even our young students, when I talk to them, they are full of confidence. So I would like to congratulate the teachers for upgrading the quality of education in Bacolod. This is what we need if we want the city to further grow. My dear teachers, our beloved students, to whoever much is given, much is also expected."

At Sum-ag NHS, Leonardia said, "This is the golden age of education."

The mayor emphasized that the lot area of Sum-ag NHS is bigger than that of the Bacolod City Government Center. "In other words, with this land area you have, you try to imagine how much more you can do here. Now it is in the hands of our DepEd and our parents for you should be part of the decision-making process here," he added.

Leonardia said he is a strong advocate for education, as his first committee when he was a councilor was the Committee on Education.*/CITY PIO
Mayor welcomes drainage master plan for Bacolod - 05- June 2018
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said it is "very good news" that the study for the comprehensive drainage system master plan for Bacolod City has already been bid out by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The mayor thanked Rep. Greg Gasataya for prioritizing this long process which started when Leonardia was still congressman. This is another case that proves that when the congressman and the mayor are working together, more programs and projects can be implemented, he added.

"The best part of this feasibility study is the integration of both the national and local drainage systems. The problem in the past was that, each agency was making plans without coordinating with each other," Leonardia emphasized.

The mayor also said that he salutes Gasataya for implementing projects which were conceptualized even before the congressman assumed office, such as the New Bacolod Economic Highway and the Araneta-Magsaysay Flyover.

"That is good governance in action," the mayor said.

Two consultants from Pertconsult International visited the mayor recently to discuss the consulting services for the conduct of the master plan and feasibility study of urban drainage and flood control in Bacolod City.

Engr. Agripino Diaz, deputy team leader and senior flood control and drainage engineer, and Engr. Jenyvee Diaz, environmental specialist, met with the mayor together with Secretary to the Mayor Atty. Edward Joseph Cuansing, City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan, City Planning and Development Office head Mary Jean Ramos, and acting Assistant City Engineer Amy Tentia to inform them of their 10-month study that is expected to be finished in March next year.

They also met with the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and Executive Assistant Jose Ma. Vargas, head of cluster on disaster management.

The two consultants had also separately met with Gasataya and DPWH- Bacolod District Engineer Abraham Villareal.

Villareal said the two consultants had conducted an ocular inspection in the city as a preliminary activity for the drainage master plan they are required to submit under their contract.

"Their study will take about 10 months to complete. But even if they have not finished their study, we could already use their findings to request for funds for implementation purposes," he said.

Villareal said their concern is that some of the drainages of the DPWH cannot pass through local roads. With the comprehensive masterplan, they can improve the drainage systems both in the national and local roads.

Villareal said the drainage master plan will greatly help in mitigating the flood problem in Bacolod.*/CITY PIO


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