Coconut industry gets boost with a reg’l office for north Luzon
STA, BARBARA, Pangasinan, Aug. 29 (PIA) – The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) aims to boost the coconut industry with the establishment of a regional office in this town that will cover four regions in north Luzon.
Regional Manager Dennis Andres said the regional office will cover Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and Regions 1 (Ilocos), 2 (Cagayan Valley) and 3 (Central Luzon) which aims to promote the planting of coconuts and also advance it as an important economic and valuable industry, which will address food security.
“Magandang adhikain na ma-base kami para mas mapalapit ang PCA sa mga coconut farmers natin at sa sinumang interesado na magtanim ng niyog,” Andres said in his speech on Tuesday during the National Coconut Month celebration program.
Andres noticed that many Pangasineses and Ilocanos sell coconut but import it from as far as Bicol, Aurora and Quezon province and this is one situation that PCA would like to address.
In Pangasinan, the main sources of coconut are the towns of Bolinao, Anda and Aguilar.
The supply is, however, low and could only meet a fraction of the demand.
“Bakit manggagaling pa ang buko sa labas ng ating rehiyon kung pwede naman tayong magtanim ng magagandang varieties ng coconut dito,” he explained.
Andres added that PCA is also in talks with the provincial government and local government units to come up with a comprehensive plan for the development of the coconut industry in the province.
For his part, Sta. Barbara Mayor Joel Delos Santos thanked the institutions used by the government to help the lives and livelihood of his town and provincemates in this time of pandemic.
“Huwag tayong magsawang magtanim ng magtanim dahil malaki ang magiging tulong nito sa ating lahat,” Delos Santos said.
Part of the celebration of the Coconut Month is the staging of the “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” which aims to show to the people that through the planting of coconut, they could derive 1,001 products.
Meanwhile, PCA also held a virtual forum on Thursday for all stakeholders in north Luzon where opportunities and direction setting for the coconut industry were discussed.
PCA Administrator Benjamin Madrigal said aside from raising the income of the region’s coconut farmers, the production of coconut-based products, such as virgin coconut oil and coco ethyl alcohol, would complement the continuing fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“The coconut ethyl alcohol has an immune boosting capacity, namamatay ang virus because it has lauric acid that destroys the lipid membrane of the virus,” Madrigal said in the virtual forum.
He urged the stakeholders who attended to heighten people’s awareness and appreciation for the coconut industry’s promising contribution to the country’s economy and people’s well-being. (JCR/AMB/VHS/PIA Pangasinan)