Sunday, 20th September 2020

By Ralph John Mijares


ROXAS CITY—The Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) spreads faster among Filipinos nowadays, a doctor recently said during the 31st International AIDS Candlelight Memorial at the Villareal Stadium poolside here.

Dr. Evelyn Bolido, medical specialist of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), said that there is one new HIV victim every two hours, citing data from the Department of Health (DOH).

Sometime before 2007, one new Filipino got the virus every 24 hours.


Bolido described the trend as "fast and furious."

As of December 2013, there is an estimated 32,000 Filipinos in the country living with HIV, but only about 15,000 are aware while more than 17,000 are either unaware or unwilling to have themselves examined.

As per DOH's data as of December 2013, Iloilo has the highest number of HIV cases in Western Visayas with 208, followed by Negros Occidental with 172; Capiz with 39; Aklan, 32; Antique, 10; and Guimaras, 6.

Bolido added that nine out of 10 HIV cases are males because of their risky sexual behaviors.

The common transmission of the virus happens among homosexuals, she said.

Young professionals usually engage in risky sexual behaviors, she added.

Bolido encouraged HIV victims to have a healthy lifestyle, to drink moderately, and to consult with professional health workers to prolong their lives.

Also, HIV screening is made available at the Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital and City Health Office (CHO) for victims or those who suspect that they have the virus.

She said that the only way to tell if a person has HIV is through blood testing.


Bolido stressed that confidentiality is observed in such cases.

While the virus can develop within two weeks to three months, it can take years to manifest for those with stronger immune systems.

HIV weakens the immune system which can make patients more vulnerable to tuberculosis (which is hard to cure even if the patient has undergone treatment for six to nine months); chronic pneumonia; chronic fever; oral thrush, and prolonged diarrhea possibly to the point of excreting blood.

The candlelight memorial was celebrated by the Capiz Shells with the provincial and city health offices.

Formed by both the PHO and CHO in 2010, Capiz Shells is composed of gays from all walks of life who spread awareness about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV and safe sex, among others.

The International AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) Candlelight Memorial, an annual event since 1983, is the oldest HIV and AIDS awareness campaign in the world which also honors victims who succumbed to the disease. HIV is the virus that can cause AIDS.

Published in May 26 - June 1

By Ralph John Mijares


ROXAS CITY—Engr. Leodegario Labao, Jr. may have been found innocent in the murder of Mambusao Vice-Mayor Abel Martinez; but the alleged “mastermind” also lost his position as mayor of Mambusao town.

Judge Domingo Casiple, Jr. of Branch 21 of the Regional Trial Court in Mambusao, Capiz junked the murder case against Labao because of “absence of probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest.”

The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. C-13-1318-04: Murder with the Use of Unlicensed Firearm.

Then, in an en banc resolution promulgated May 21, the Commission on Elections declared the proclamation of Labao as mayor of Mambusao “null and void” because he was considered “fugitive from justice.”

The resolution stated that Labao was a “fugitive from justice” because he fl ed “to avoid persecution” after being charged with murder.

Labao was once tagged as mastermind in the murder of Martinez by Roger Loredo, one of the murder suspects.

Despite his alleged link to the crime, Labao who ran under the National Unity Party, won against Sharon Grace Martinez-Martelino, Martinez’s daughter who ran with the Liberal Party in the 2013 elections.

In October 2013, Mr. Ludovico Martelino, Jr., Sharon Grace’s husband, petitioned to disqualify Labao.

As per Sec. 44 of the Local Government Code, the vice-mayor will replace the mayor if there is a permanent vacancy.

Published in May 26 - June 1

THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Office 6 recently urged the officers and members of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Capiz Chapter to adopt an area for mangrove reforestation.

The proposal was done by DENR 6 Director Jim Sampulna before local tri-media practitioners in a recent media interview on climate change and other environment-related issues and concerns in this city.

Sampulna challenged KBP members to “adopt 100 to 1,000-hectare site for mangrove plantation which you can say was realized thru the efforts and cooperation of the KBP.”

He added that an area will be identified and seedlings will be provided by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) if the broadcasters only are willing to take part. He stressed that planting trees as climate-change mitigating measure is everyone’s shared responsibility.


The proposal was as offshoot of the broadcasters’ active involvement in mangrove tree-planting activities dubbed “Broad castreeing,” which has already planted about 7,500 mangrove propagules at the Cadimahan River in Lawis Baybay and and Palina Greenbelt Ecopark in Bgy. Cagay.

A tie-up project of the KBP and Department of Interior and Local Government, Broadcastreeing seeks to help realize the 2011 to 2016 National Greening Program target of about 1.5 billion trees planted in an estimated 1.5 million hectares of lands in public domain.

Prospective adopted mangrove reforestation site may also be used by the broadcasters as rest area and venue for team building activities, Sampulna said. (Alex Lumaque)


Published in May 26 - June 1

DAO, CAPIZ—The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) recently turned over two typhoonproof classrooms to the Magtanop Elementary School in Bgy. Matagnop here.

Ms. Lourdes Estonina, teacher-in-charge, said that the new classrooms are for the Grade 5 and 6 pupils.

Situated in Brgy. Magtanop in Dao town, the school only had makeshift classrooms for its Grade 5 and 6 classes, according to Marlon Destreza, Dao district supervisor.

Destreza said that said make-shift classrooms made of bamboo, GI sheets, and wood are not only dilapidated but also not well-ventilated.

The newly built classrooms are made of concrete.

Destreza said that a conducive learning environment can improve a pupil’s academic performance.

Mr. Nelson Cabangon, NGCP’s corporate affairs head, said that the construction of the new classrooms forms part of their social responsibility activities.


Published in May 19 - 25
Monday, 19 May 2014 00:00

One drug suspect escapes PDEA bust

By Ralph John Mijares
With report from Bombo Radyo Roxas


ROXAS CITY—A drug suspect was able to escape the buy bust operation led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region 6 on May 20 at the Philippine Railway St., Brgy. IX this city.

Elias Basoy, Jr., 30, and resident of said place, is still at large at this writing.

Those arrested were: Christian Salazar, 27; Elmer Basoy, 26, and his live-in partner Rosalie Eribal, 25; Lemuel Fantinalgo, 23; and Joelito Dela Peña, 18.

The operation was conducted in the house of the live-in partners. One sachet of suspected shabu and several pieces of drug paraphernalia were recovered.

Arrested suspects are in the custody of the city PNP.

A drug test was later conducted on the arrested suspects.

Of the five, only Eribal tested negative.

For said operation, PDEA worked with the city police and the local government unit.

Published in May 19 - 25

BURIAS, MAMBUSAO, CAPIZ—It was skills transfer at its best.

On May 19–20, 2014, Dr. Emelita Solante, director of the Extension Institute of the Capiz State University (CapSU) and training-in-charge of CapSU’s Mushroom Production project shared her expertise to four participants from the St. Dominic College of Asia (SDCA) at the Mushroom Training Center (MTC) here.

For two days, Solante taught mushroom culture to Dr. Nilda Balsicas, vice-president for academic affairs and research; Dr. Zenaida Sadiwa, community development officer; Mr. Gydion Nicolie Batuigas, OIC-program chair for nursing; and Mr. Nelson Capagngan, farm manager, all of SDCA.

According to Solante, the participants benefited much owing to their interest and enthusiasm to learn.

After lecturing on the basic concepts involved in mushroom culture, Solante taught the participants hands-on on the different stages involved in oyster mushroom production.

First, they were taught the preparation of pure mushroom culture which includes the preparation of pure culture media; preparation of grain spawn or mother spawn; and preparation of fruiting bags which covers the mixing of substrates, composting, bagging, pasteurization, inoculation and incubation.

According to Solante, pasteurization kills harmful microorganisms, which usually takes six hours; inoculation allows the grain spawn to be added to the pasteurized fruiting bag.

Incubation, also called spawn run, then, allows the substrate to be “colonized” by the micro-organism, which usually takes not less than 45 days.

Solante also taught them on mushroom growing practices. Among other practices, Solante stressed that the mushroom grower should practice cleanliness in each of the processes involved. From the preparation of the culture media where the mushrooms will be grown up to the fruiting stage, the grower must see to it that the entire growing area is free of possible contaminants.

She also advised them to observe sanitary practices in order to ward off mushroom fl ies which infest mushrooms during fruiting stage.

At the end of the training, each of the four participants was required to produce three fruiting bags which will be ready for fruiting after two months.

They were also awarded certificates.

The training drew favorable responses. For one, Dr. Balsicas noted the nitty-gritty of the processes involved in mushroom production, citing how trial and error in their hands-on activities made them learn it best.

For her part, Dr. Sadiwa found the inoculation procedure to be very meticulous even as she recognized its importance in the production.

The offi cials said that in the coming months, SDCA will seek to replicate the technology in their own school.

They added that they are also willing to transfer the skills to their own constituents in Cavite.

For trainings and reservations, interested parties can contact Dr. Emelita Solante, MTS training-incharge, at 0917-726-5682.

Published in May 19 - 25

By Ralph John Mijares and Edalyn Acta


ROXAS CITY—The police director of this city recently warned the public not to be tricked by members of ‘budolbudol.’

According to Police Supt. Julio Gustilo, Jr., Roxas City police chief, members of the said group usually prey on those people making bank transactions.

Gustilo said that people who go to the bank should not entertain any stranger who approaches them.

The police chief advised that it is best to tag along or be accompanied by a family member or a companion when making bank transactions.

As per the group’s modus operandi, one of them will start talking to a victim; or another asks to buy food for him or give him something.

Gustilo said that they do not really use hypnotic powers to make their victims give them money; they are just good at sweet-talking.

“Maayo (sila) mag-istorya (kag) maayo magpasakay (They are con artists, very good at sweettalking people), Gustilo said.

Gustilo said that if ever the public encounter such suspicious behaviors, they should immediately call (the attention of) the cops.

According to Gustilo, four individuals have already been victimized by budol-budol in Roxas City. The suspects in incidents recently reported in this city are belonging to the same group.


Published in May 12 - 18
Monday, 12 May 2014 00:00

Street- food vendors promote tourism

ROXAS CITY—Some 34 street vendors from around Capiz joined a two-day street foods culinary workshop led by the Department of Tourism (DOT) 6 and Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Offi ce (PTCAO) recently here.

The initiative trained participants on hygiene, kitchen safety and sanitation, plating and presentation which are important elements in providing quality street foods and quality service to customers.

According to Mr. Alphonsus Tesoro, PTCAO head, it also sought to develop Capiznon street foods and popularize existing ready-to-eat foods and drinks sold in public places.

It also forms part of PTCAO’s “Experience Capiz” campaign that also introduced food as a tourist come-on aside from the various cultural, historical, natural and religious attractions in the province.

The participants’ output were evaluated by Iloilo-based chefs Ramlu Villaluna and Aryll Juanitas. (Alex Lumaque)

Published in May 12 - 18

THREE Liberal Party (LP) members recently expressed interest in becoming their party’s bet for Capiz governor in the 2016 elections.politicians

In The Capiz Times interview, incumbent Pilar Mayor Gideon Patricio, so far the latest aspirant from said party, indicated his desire to run for governor of the province in 2016.

“If given the chance, I want to serve the whole province,” Patricio said in Hiligaynon. Patricio said that he will run for governor if LP wants him and added that he would remain loyal even if not.

Previously, Capiz’s First District Rep. Antonio del Rosario and Vice Gov. Esteban Evan Contreras II also declared their interest plans on separate media interviews.

Meanwhile, businessman Joel Longares, who hails from Mambusao town, also recently interviewed The Capiz Times to announce that he will seek the governorship in 2016 with or without a political party.

Longares said that he is not asking to be affi liated with any political party and would not mind running as an independent candidate. Longares said he will run for governor for “the people of Capiz.”

Under the National Unity Party in 2013, Longares was defeated by LP’s Victor Tanco, Sr. who is currently serving in his last term. (R. J. Mijares & Edalyn Acta)

Published in May 12 - 18
Monday, 05 May 2014 00:00

MRWD owes 1B; operating on loss

By Ralph John Mijares


ROXAS CITY—The Metro Roxas Water District (MRWD) has incurred one billion pesos in debt for its various expansion and improvement projects.

According to Engr. Gonzalo Glen Delgado, MRWD general manager, as of March 31, the water utility has a debt of P1,089,737,518.95. Every month, MRWD pays some P10 million, but only off the loan's interest.

Saying that MRWD is operating on loss, Delgado said that their monthly collections are just enough to compensate for their operation expenses.

A significant part of MRWD's expenses is electricity, Delgado said.

MRWD also pays the Capiz Electric Cooperative P3.8 million monthly for the electricity consumed in the water treatment plant in Paslang, Bgy. Salocon in Panitan town.

MRWD Information Officer Dante Arcangeles said that in January 2000, MRWD's former board of directors loaned P710 million from the Local Water Utilities Association (LWUA).


When it was found that more funds were needed, MRWD fi led for additional P193 million.

Arcangeles also said that the current loan balance consists of the loan principal and the accumulated interest.

He added that when LWUA took control in March 2005, the MRWD had not paid its loan from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2010 in order to save money.

For his part, Delgado said that MRWD is not passing on to the consumers the loan payment.

The only basis on charging the consumers is their monthly water consumption, he stressed.

According to Delgado, MRWD is also availing itself of loan takeouts.

Loan takeouts are done when a bank pays off the principal amount in behalf of the payor and charges the latter at a lower interest rate than its original payee.

Published in May 5 - 11

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