Samar official lauds central gov’t aid for coco industry recovery

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, Aug. 15 (PNA) – The provincial government here thanked the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) for its continuing support to the recovery of Samar’s coconut industry that has been reeling from the impacts of super typhoon Yolanda.

Governor Sharee Ann Tan-delos Santos said the local government has been getting funds to process fallen trees into logs, debris clearing, replanting, fertilization and intercropping.

“We really appreciate Secretary Francisco Pangilinan’s effort to help us in the recovery and rehabilitation phase,” Tan-de los Santos said.

The local government received Php 23 million from the central government last March to boost rehabilitation activities.

Pangilinan is the head of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, the agency that oversees PCA.

Recipients of coconut rehabilitation projects are the Yolanda-hit towns of Samar such as Pinabacdao, Sta. Rita, Marabut and Basey.

As of April 2015, there were 84,000 coconut trees that should be processed into logs. Participating farmers got monetary incentives for taking part of recovery activities.

The PCA is also distributing coconut seedlings to recipients for massive replanting.

Pangilinan is set to visit Pinabacdao town to formally turn over seed nuts.

Along with the rehabilitation is the inter-cropping in between the coconut trees so that farmers would earn while waiting for coconut trees to produce nuts.

“We cannot wait for seven years to harvest the coconut,” the governor said. The province has 2,000-hectare target areas for coconut tree planting and intercropping.

The world’s strongest tropical cyclone in 2013 made landfall its landfall in coconut-producing communities in Eastern Visayas. (PNA)