ROXAS City —Brontispa longissima, also known as the coconut leaf beetle, has already infested four towns in the province.
From Ivisan where it was first detected, the infestation has already affected young coconut trees in the municipalities of Dumarao, Dumalag and Tapaz, said Jeffrey delos Reyes, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Capiz chief.
But Delos Reyes continued assuring that there is no need for coconut farmers to worry.
The beetle infestation, he said, was minimal and will not affect much the province’s coconut industry.
The “infestation is on its early stage and the damages have no effect yet …,” he stressed.
More than 1,000 coconut trees in Dumarao, Dumalag and Tapaz were already infested by the coconut beetle.
Last month, the infestation was detected in Ivisan where about 1,000 coconut trees and 44 ornamental palm trees were attacked.
The infestation already reached Brgy. Agustin Navarra, six kilometers away from Barangays Poblacion Sur and Ondoy where the infestation was first detected.
About 700 nonbearing and 80 bearing coconut trees were infested by Brontispa in Brgy. Agustin Navarra, delos Reyes said.
Capiz has some 2.2 million coconut trees. About 1.4 million of these were on bearing stage.
Delos Reyes said the province is producing some 17,000 metric tons of copra worth about half-a-billion pesos.
Ivisan, on the other hand, has some 210,000 coconut trees; 146,000 of which were on bearing stage.
It is also the fourth coconut-producing town in Capiz, with Pilar as the first, followed by Sapian and President Roxas, delos Reyes added.
Tracing the history of coconut diseases, delos Reyes said the infestation was detected in nearby provinces of Aklan and Iloilo in 2006.
But with the help of concerned government agencies and other community sectors, it has been prevented from spreading in the province, he said.
It was on that year when palms trees in Boracay were hardly hit by the infestation, he said.
It was suspected that the pest was carried along with palm trees brought by stakeholders from other provinces, he added./PN
Clergy to rally vs RH bill
BY FELIPE V. CELINO
ROXAS City — The Catholic Church and pro-life groups in the province will hold a rally today against the passage of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill.
Participants to the rally dubbed as “Interfaith Rally Against RH Bill” will converge at the Roxas City Public Plaza at 3 p.m.
The activity was announced during yesterday’s Masses in all churches in the province.
The same activity was recently held the Eastern Visayan cities of Tacloban and Ormoc, and in Bacolod City.
In Manila, “pro-life” advocates admitted they only have two remaining cards left in opposing the RH bill’s passage: Strong lobby in Congress and street protests.
Bishops and lay people continue to appeal to congressmen to reject the RH bill, according to Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo.
Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will start the plenary discussion on the consolidated RH bill that aims to require the government to make a comprehensive range of contraceptives available to the public.
The gathering aims to inform the people in the Visayas region about the contentious issues surrounding the bill.
Also, Pabillo said the event will uncover the “true face” of the RH bill as the supposed final step “toward legalization of abortion in the Philippines.”/PN
‘Capiz has low malnutrition cases’
ROXAS City — There is a low prevalence of undernourishment in the province, according to the Provincial Nutrition Council (PNC).
Capiz ranked No. 5 in the list of provinces in Western Visayas with cases of malnutrition, with a rating of 5.51 percent.
This, authorities said, can be credited to the Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Program-Promotion for Good Nutrition (AHMP-PGN) in the province.
These were presented by the Provincial Nutrition Council on February 23 at the Hall of Governors in the Provincial Capitol here.
Based on the records of the Philippine Nutrition Council, the province was included in the Priority Number 3 Category list having low cases of children suffering from malnutrition.
Records showed the effectiveness of the campaigns and programs of the provincial government headed by Gov. Victor Tanco in combating malnutrition, officials said.
“The provincial government’s campaign against malnutrition will be further intensified in my administration. This is in line with one of (my) development agenda which is Healthy Capizeños,” said Tanco.
AHMP-PGN is a year round campaign on fighting malnutrition in the province through feeding programs, information dissemination and promotion of good nutrition and training of nutrition officers and workers in the different municipalities.
Tanco chairs t
Fire razes 2 houses
ROXAS City — Fire razed two houses in San Miguel St., Brgy. Poblacion, Mambusao town last week.
No firemen immediately responded to the alarm, making the blaze spread, police said.
Witness Richard Lacson said the fire started from the house of Perfecto Lacorte and reached the house of Teresita Nerio.
The kitchen of Nene Liva was also partially burned, police said.
It was learned that during the incident, nobody was inside Lacorte’s house — the owners were at work while their children were in school.
Firemen and fire trucks from other t
‘Hot’ logs seized
ROXAS City — Authorities intercepted allegedly illegal logs loaded on a truck in Panitan town last week.
The Panitan police led by police chief Insp. Herman Celiz seized the items on a 10-wheeler truck along Sitio Agduyugan, Brgy. Capagao, Panitan.
The truck owned by Ceasar de Jaime was loaded with 19 mahogany logs lacking pertinent documents from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Policemen also arrested truck driver John Dasig, 36, of Brgy. Timpas, Panitan, and crew members Bonifacio Degones, 62, of Brgy. Capagao and Julie Dasig, 58, also of Brgy. Timpas.
They also recovered from Julie a .45-caliber pistol loaded with a magazine with six live ammunitions.
Appropriate charges are currently being prepared against the suspects. (Felipe Celino/PN)
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