Suicide incidents continue to rise in Iloilo province

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

DESPITE growing concerns from different sectors, incidents of suicide continue to rise in Iloilo province.

Police Colonel Roland Vilela, Iloilo police chief, revealed that there are already 67 recorded suicide incidents from January to September 2019.

It was higher compared to 52 cases from January to December 2017 and 65 cases in 2018.

Vilela presented this alarming rate as one of his issues and concerns during the session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Oct. 8.

“We wanted to help in any way we can to curb this incident,” he said.

The data showed that of the 67 incidents, 51 are males while 16 are females.

What further alarmed the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) was the age of those who died of apparent suicide.

Records showed that 22 of the 67 who elect to end their own lives prematurely through suicide have ages ranging from 10 to 19 years old.

Sixteen of the victims belonged to the 30 to 39-year-old bracket; 14 were 20 to 29 years old; 10 were 50 years old and above; and 5 were 40 to 49 years old.

Vilela acknowledged that there needs to be a further study to determine what drove the victims to end their lives.

But police investigation showed that 61 of the 67 suicide fatalities took their lives due to alleged depression; three because of family problem; two because of nervous breakdown; and own due to a third party.

Vilela said he was informed that corresponding ordinance was already filed before the SP to address these incidents.

The ordinance was authored by Board Member Carol-V Espinosa of the fifth district of Iloilo. It will tackle how to deal with mental health concerns.

“They are also planning to set up a local hotline where those who problems or anyone contemplating to end their lives could call. I think it’s important to know that even three minutes of call could make a difference in someone else’s life,” Vilela said.

For its part, the IPPO could help in profiling the victims so that authorities could get a good grasp on the situation.

The ordinance had passed first reading and is now in committee deliberation.



While women showed more tendency to suffer depression and attempt to end their lives, completed suicide are higher among men.

Globally, statistics would show that men are three to four times higher than that of females.

There could be several factors that could drove to end his life but severe depression is still the most common.

There could be other factors and illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder,  borderline personality disorder, and even eating disorder.

Authorities have acknowledged that people sometimes attempt suicide not necessarily because they want to die.

Instead, they just don’t know how and where to get help.

Since 2013, the World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is being observed every September 10 to promote awareness in a bid to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world.

In the Philippines, it was deemed that the passage of Republic Act 11036 (The Mental Health Law) could address growing concerns on mental health and suicide incidents.

The law proposes a mental health policy that aims to enhance integrated mental health services, the promotion of mental health services, protection of people who use said services, and the establishment of a Philippine mental health council.

The Department of Health has established suicide prevention hotlines in the country.

For those who need help, they could call 0917-899-8727 (USAP) and 0917-989-8727 (USAP).