Diabetes: Roxas City’s silent killer

By: Dr. Cesar Yap Jr.

(The author is a member of the Roxas City Council)

“ANG mga matam-is, ahay, nagapait man, ahay!” (The sweet also gets bitter)

This was my lamentation in my privilege speech during the City Council’s regular session this week.

The speech focused on rising deaths due to diabetes and the economic burdens it poses – from pocket-draining maintenance medicines, to hospitalizations, to burial problems.



Based on data from the Roxas City Health Office, deaths linked to diabetes have been increasing.

In 2015, diabetes was never included in the list of top 10 killers in the city. But it landed on the 8th spot in 2016, 7th in 2017, and 6th in 2018.

Interestingly, diabetes was not included in the top ten morbidity rate list.

Possibly, many do not follow-up with their physicians or many do not know they have the disease since it could be without symptoms during the early stage.



Diabetics may only know they have Diabetes when doctors sign their death certificates.

Perhaps, those who died of Heart Attacks, Stroke, Pneumonia, etc. (top killers) died because of complications caused by Diabetes. Go to the cemetery. Close your eyes. Pinpoint, randomly, at any grave. Chances are, Diabetes is the COD (cause of death).



Sadly, by the time diabetes is diagnosed, the pancreas, which churns out insulin, is already half-functioning.

During the free blood sugar tests sponsored by Diabetes Philippines-Capiz Chapter last July 26, 2019, three persons (all healthy looking) had blood sugars ranging from 223 to 328 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL).

They now know that they have diabetes and their lives may now be prolonged because it can be managed.



Diabetic husbands’ manhood also suffers since they have three times more chance of having erection problems.

In my erectile dysfunction lecture during the said Diabetes Philippines’ Awareness Week event, I explained that diabetes damages the blood vessels and nerves to the penile region, so much so that when a husband sees or thinks of an erotic stimulus the message cannot fully reach the penis nor the blood vessels open up for erection.

Diabetes, by nature, can be a marital relationship killer too!



Having no symptoms during the early stages, diabetes is hard to diagnose.

Once diagnosed, the pancreas is only 50 percent functioning to produce insulin.

The kidneys, heart, brain (stroke), legs (amputation), penis (erectile dysfunction) could already have diabetes-induced complications.

If detected early, the patients can maintain a happy, healthy life.




I proposed an ordinance mandating each barangay to have a Diabetes Desk that will zero in on detection, management, and control of the silent killer disease.

This should be prioritized considering the slow but sure way a patient suffers his fate of complications including death. Obviously, Dengue and Suicides need quick “cobra” actions. But the silently sweeping disease needs a heavy long term “Python’ legislative/executive measures.”



Maayo pa ang subay nakahibalo! Kay gin-unahan na nila akon brief or inyo panty sa katam-is sang inyo ihi.  

Don’t rely (read: deny) on wounds that easily heal as an excuse not to test the blood sugar despite having excessive thirst (Polydepsia), frequent urination especially at night (Polyuria), or frequent eating (polyphagia)—the three ‘P’s of Diabetes; or plus another P—Pruritus: itchiness, especially among women, of genitalia including the vagina (Fungal Candidal infections common among female Diabetics).

Finally, “Sa Diabetes, sa blood sugar test– ipakita aton kaisog, sa Diabetes, kita ang dapat magadaog. Sa Diabetes, si ‘Manoy’ (our manhood), ibalik ang iya pag tindog!”