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Monday, February 26, 2018 26° Partly cloudy

Leyte to form league to protect coco sector

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By Restituto A. Cayubit

Tacloban City – The provincial government of Leyte has passed an ordinance to protect the coconut industry from the ravages of pests and diseases.

Governor Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla told Manila Bulletin that under Ordinance 2017-779 a coconut protection league will be formed to stop the “indiscriminate destruction of coconut trees.”

The ordinance noted that “the destruction of the coconut trees in Leyte will not only adversely affect the economy of the province as a primary coconut producing area but may further destroy the environment and ecology being among the most abundant of trees in this jurisdiction and consequently may result in disasters and calamities.”

The responsibility of getting rid of destroyed coconut trees falls on the municipal and barangay local government units and coconut landowners and tenants.

The provincial government will provide assistance to landowners and tenants who clean up of coconut lands and help them find alternative livelihood.

One of the functions of the coconut protection league is to “conduct massive info-campaign on coconut disease to the industry stakeholders through trainings and provincial municipal, district and barangay assembly meetings.”

The league is directed “to inspect all coconut products and alternate host capable of harboring coconut pest.”

Violators face a fine of not more than P5,000 and prison time.

The league will be headed by the governor as chairperson with the vice governor as vice chairman. The members are the chairman of the provincial board’s committee on agriculture; the Provincial ABC president, provincial agriculturist, Philippine Coconut Authority; League of Municipalities, the Department of Agriculture’s regional executive director, Philippine National Police and the Visayas State University.

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