‘100M TREES FROM 2023 TO 2028’
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has directed the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to come up with a plan to rehabilitate the coconut industry as the PCA aims to plant 100 million coconut trees from 2023 to 2028.
At a meeting at Malacañang on Wednesday, Marcos and the PCA talked about the proposed Coconut Planting and Replanting Project that aims to reinvigorate the country’s coconut industry.
“There’s a big opportunity so let’s have a look at that so that we can put — we can show even just for ourselves. Kailangan natin mayroon tayong plano (We need to have a plan),” Marcos was quoted as saying in a press release Thursday.
“Hindi puwedeng basta’t ito gagawa… Kailangan maliwanag ‘yung plano. Tiyakin natin na talagang ginamit natin sa tama,” he said.
(It’s not proper that we will just do it, we need to have a clear plan, that it will be used properly.)
The President said the initiative to rehabilitate the coconut industry should continue even beyond his term.
“Why will we stop at 2028 because I’m finished? Huwag nating isipin ‘yun (Let’s not think of that). What is the ideal? How many years do we need to take to rehabilitate the coconut industry?” he asked.
“Don’t bother with political terms. Kung walang politika, walang change of administration, nakakasiguro kayo tuloy-tuloy, gaano kahaba para malagyan natin ng lahat ng mga bagong puno?” he added.
(If there’s no politics, no change of administration, we can guarantee that it will continue. How long does it need to take to have new trees?)
The PCA, for its part, is recommending for the issuance of a Memorandum Circular (MC) that will direct all concerned national government agencies and instrumentalities as well as local government units (LGUs) to undertake efforts that will support the project.
Under the replanting project, the PCA targets to plant 20 to 25 million trees annually from 2023 to 2028, or 100 million trees wherein a whole-of-nation approach is needed.
The PCA launched a massive coconut planting program to address the impact of senilities and the typhoon destruction to the sector, noting that the last time the Philippines implemented massive coconut planting program was in the ‘70s or ’80s.
Due to budgetary constraints, the agency has only managed to plant or replant about 1 to 3 million coconut trees, which is far from the estimated 34 million trees that it needs to replant.
The country remains the biggest exporter of coconut products, recording a total export value of coconut products amounting to US$3.22 billion in 2022. —Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA Integrated News