PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Coconut authority steps up surveillance of smuggling of matured coconutsby Aurora J. Casimpan
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Jan 18 (PIA) –- The stepped up surveillance of the Philippine Coconut Authority to curb reported smuggling of coconut has yielded to the recovery of a truckload of partially husked seed nuts in an abandoned truck in Allen town in Northern Samar. Reportedly, the nuts were bought in Leyte to be shipped in Luzon for China.
PCA regional manager Edilberto Nierva disclosed that for this year, the agency will be more vigilant against those engaged in the illegal transport of partially husked seed nuts.
Nierva said their office had been receiving reports that the buying of matured nuts is a booming business in Leyte backed by Chinese investors.
Coconut farmers opt to sell the nuts to Chinese nationals because of the bigger financial gains rather than process the nuts into copras which would entail production costs. Price of nut offered by illegal transporter is P 20 per nut while local traders buy the nut at P 6 per nut.
Nierva has expressed concern that partially husked nut illegally transported to China will be propagated in said country. He named Hainan province in China as the area most suitable for coconut production because of its tropical climate.
He stressed of the need to address the problem of coconut propagation outside of the country saying it might affect the coconut industry in the country specifically on the by-products of coconut.
PCA is strictly regulating applications for transport permits. Only those applications for transport of totally husked nuts are given permits since such nuts cannot be propagated.
Executive Order 1016 issued by then President Ferdinand Marcos prohibits the export of unhusked and partially husked matured coconuts.
Last year, a team composed of PCA, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine Ports Authority intercepted a total of 163,000 partially husked nuts in various ports of the region. (PIA-8)