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PIA Press Release

CIIF cocofarm rehab program covers 3 Bicol provinces hit hardest by "Milenyo"

LEGAZPI CITY (31 October) -- The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) strongly supports the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) Oil-Mill Group's Coconut Rehabilitation Program in Bicol that was launched last October 11 at the Legazpi Oil (LegOil) compound here.

PCA Bicol regional manager Alredo Rillo expressed the agency's willingness to assist CIIF in the implementation of the Program particularly in the technical aspects and in sourcing of quality planting materials.

The Program aims to restore and help rebuild the damages to coconut tress brought about by Typhoon "Milenyo" which devastated the Bicol region, particularly the coconut farms in the provinces of Sorsogon, Albay, and Camarines Sur.

PCA has estimated the total damage to coconut at P1.07 billion, 93 per cent of which is concentrated in the said three provinces.

LegOil chairperson Josefa "Pepita" Aquino assured the coconut farmers present during the Program launching of "continuing assistance provided by the CIIF Oil Mill Group. "This project is part of its corporate social responsibility mandate to improve the lives of coconut farmers as enunciated in its commitment to the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo."

CIIF Oil Mils Group president/CEO Danilo M. Coronacion emphasized that the P3 million Coconut Rehabilitation Program is a joint project of CIIF Oil Mills, the local government units concerned, the coconut farmers' organization, and the national government agencies.

Ahon Bayan was identified as the farmers' group given the authority to choose the recipients from among the more than 290,000 coconut farmers in Bicol. Ahon Bayan will also take charge of the distribution of coconut seedlings for field planting.

The CIIF Group established the coconut nursery in its Legazpi Oil Mill compound in Barangay Arimbay, here on October 10, 2006 wherein some 200,000 seednuts will be grown to plant an estimated 1,333 hectares of coconut land through the assistance of PCA agriculturists.

During the program launching, a ceremonial field planting was conducted in Barangay Bagong San Rogue, Sto. Domingo, Albay that was attended by Albay governor Fernando V. Gonzalez and town mayor Herbie Aguas. (PCA, CIIF) [top]

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