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Saturday, July 2, 2011

CAPIZ: The Home of the Sunshine Industry

          The province of Capiz is situated in the heart of the Philippine Archipelago. It is bounded by Sibuyan Sea in the north, the province of Antique in the west, and the province of Iloilo in the south. It has a total land area of 263, 319 hectares or 2,729.2 sq. km representing 13 percent of the total land area of Western Visayas and 0.9 percent of the country’s total land area. Roxas City is around 10, 196 hectares.
When Miguel Lopez de Legaspi entered Pan-ay, a town of Capiz, 1569, he made Capiz as a Spanish settlement. It was made into a separate encomienda in 1570 and was later organized as a politico-military province in 1716, embracing the neighboring island of Romblon, Nuestra de Ocampo, Tablas and Sibuyan. On April 15, 1901, the Americans established a civil government there with William Howard Taft as its first honorary municipal president. On May 12, 1991, the town of Capiz was converted into the city of Roxas in honor of its most illustrious son, Manuel A. Roxas, the first President of the Philippine Republic. In the 1954, by virtue of R.A. 1414, Capiz was separated from Aklan and was made into an independent province.
          Capiz is considered as one of the richest province in Western Visayas. It is because of its favorable climate and fertile soil. The irregular coastline of the province serve as excellent fishing grounds and sites for ports and docking facilities.
          In agriculture, the total land area cultivated for palay is 93,622 hectares (35% of the total land area); for sugarcane, 13,739 hectares; for corn, 7,100 hectares; for coconut, 7,039 hectares; and for vegetables, 3, 298 hectares. Sugarcane used to be the important, dollar-earning crop of the province but due to the imposed U.S. quota restrictions and the stiff competition in the world market, sugar production had been greatly reduced.
         The coastal waters of Capiz constitute one of the richest fishing grounds in the whole Western Visayas region – that’s why it is often called “Seafoods Capital of the Philippines”. Among its enormous catch are crustaceans, slip mouth, nemopterid, oysters, mussels, litog, diwal, and other varities of sea foods. Fishponds also abount in Capiz covering a total land area of about 20,000 hectares. Prawn raising is considered by the Capicenos as their Sunshine Industry.
         Besides farming and fishing, there are other industries such as poultry raising, livestock, handicraft, metalcraft, shellcraft, ceramics, lime processing, abaca-slipper making, food processing, fish and prawn processing, cane milling, cassava flour milling, furniture and boat making.
         Part of the higher income derived by the people from agriculture came mostly from increased rice production.
        The effective irrigation system comes from the four big rivers of Capiz namely Mambusao, Pan-ay, Badbaran, and Maayon, whose combined discharge rate of 1, 182, 000 liters per minute is enough to water all the ricefields within their area of coverage. As for the potable water used for household consumption, seven (7) out of the sixteen (16) municipalities plus the city of Roxas are served by effective waterworks system.
        The water level of the four large rivers of Capiz is maintained mainly by the vast tracts of virgin forests and forested areas along the mountain of Capiz bordering, These forests also serve as sanctuary for wildlife.
        Copper formation was discovered in Pilar in 1935. That same year, reserve deposits of manganese were found in Ivisan.
        A well-paved, thickly asphalted national highway connects the province of Capiz with Iloilo, particularly Roxas City to Iloilo City.
        Capiz has one airport in Roxas City serving passengers bound for Manila. Cebu or any part of the country.
        The province has sixteen (16) municipalities. They are Dumalag, Dumarao, Ivisan, Jamindan, Maayon, Mambusao, Pan-ay, Panit-an, Pontevedra, Pilar, Pres. Roxas, Sapian, Sigma and Tapaz.

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