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PIA Press Release

Davao included in quarantine measures vs. coconut pest

by RG Alama

Davao City (3 October) -- Metro Manila and 26 areas and provinces including Bukidnon, Zamboanga and Davao have been put under quarantine by the Department of Agriculture to combat the spread of the dreaded Coconut leaf beetle (Brontispa longgissima Gestro)

The Brontispa infestation is the most recent scourge to hit and threaten the local coconut industry, the beetle has infested more than 70,000 tall and 5,000 small coconut trees and a number of palm ornamental plants in the Philippines..

Before she left for New York, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo issued Executive Order 664 ordering the DA to "undertake emergency measures" to prevent the coconut leaf beetle from spreading to the 68 coconut-producing provinces.

Under the emergency measure, the DA's Bureau of Plant Industry has issued Special Quarantine Order No.1 which prohibits the movement of palm seedlings, plants and germinated seed nuts from the listed provinces to non-infected areas, unless such planting materials are covered by a transport permit issued by the BPI attesting that these have gone through strict quarantine measures.

The areas and provinces under Quarantine are Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Pampanga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Aurora, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, Quezon, Rizal, Southern Palawan, Albay, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Iloilo, Aklan, Guimaras, Bohol, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Zamboanga, Bukidnon and Davao.

Importation of palm seedlings, plants and germinated seed nuts are also prohibited if they come from more than two dozen countries with known and reported Brontispa infestation.

These countries are Guangdong Province of Mainland China, Hainan Islands, Hongkong and Taiwan R.O.C, Maldives, parts of Southeast Asia, namely: Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam; and Parts of Oceania, namely: American Samoa, French Polynesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Northern Mariana Island, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Western Samoa and Queensland and Northern Territory of Australia.

Vietnam, which was hit by the Brontispa scourge has committed to help the country in the fight against the beetle infestation. The commitment was forged between President Arroyo and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung during last month's bilateral meeting in Manila.

One plan is the sharing of a parasitoid agent against the beetle which was developed by Vietnam. (PIA XI) [top]

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