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PIA Press Release

Sec. Yap graces 1st Region 8 Coco Summit

By Gay B. Gaspay Tacloban City, Leyte (27 August) -- Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Arthur C. Yap is scheduled to grace the 1st Regional Coconut Summit to be held in Tacloban City on August 29-30, 2008 at Hotel Alejandro.

Secretary Yap will be the keynote speaker during the summit proper, Chairman of the Promotions Committee of the 1st Regional Coconut Summit and Officer-in-Charge Provincial Science & Technology Director John Glenn Ocana of DOST-8, disclosed in an interview with PIA.

According to Ocana, the 2-day regional coconut summit will be the 1st time to be held in Eastern Visayas, and will be attended by coconut farmers, coconut growers, miller, processors, academe and stakeholders in region 8.

The summit will tackle issues on problems confronting the coconut industry in the region and will find possible solutions to identified problems. Highlight of said summit PD Ocana added will touch on the proposed House Bill of An Waray Partylist Representative Cong. Florencio G. Noel called the Phillippine Coconut Industry Code.

A Press Conference is scheduled on August 28, 2008 at the An Waray Office located at Fatima Village, Tacloban City. The summit envisions to create an opportunity to discuss coconut industry concerns in Eastern Visayas.

First reg'l coconut summit

For the first time, all industry stakeholders in the Region will converge to discuss the concern of the coconut industry.

Organized by an interagency group composed of the Philippine Coconut Authority Region 8, Department of Agriculture, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Agrarian Reform, the First Regional Coconut Summit has been made possible because of the support of Waray Partylist Representative Hon. Florencio Gabriel "Bembem" G. Noel, 5th District of Leyte Congresswoman Carmen Cari and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).

This was learned from PCA 8 Manager Ed Nierva who disclosed that the summit is a good opportunity for the coconut industry stakeholders to meet, discuss the concerns of the industry and to make recommendations and resolutions for the improvement and development of the sector.

Invited to attend the Summit are about 100 coconut farmer leaders, copra traders and millers, coconut processors and members of the academe from the different provinces of Eastern Visayas, who will sit together for a series of plenary session, workshops and fora at Hotel Alejandro, Tacloban City, Director Nierva added.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap will grace the Summit as the Keynote Speaker, Director Nierva informed.

Furthermore, Director Nierva said that Representative Bembem Noel will be present during the Summit to listen to the concerns of the coconut industry stakeholders.

"We are lucky that Congressman Noel is working for the development of the sector," Director Nierva said. Whatever recommendations the sectors will make will be incorporated in Congressman Noel's proposed House Bill, The Philippine Coconut Industry Code.

The proposed bill of Congressman Noel will greatly impact on the lives of the 1.7 million dependents of the coconut industry in Region 8 including the coconut farmers, landowners and land-less farmer workers, Director Nierva underscored.

When reached, Congressman Noel confirmed that he will listen intently to the Summit proceedings and recommendations for possible inclusion in his proposed bill. Congressman Noel has announced after his re-election that he will work for the development of the coconut industry not only in the Region but also in the whole country. Truly enough, Representative Noel has made the development of the agriculture industry, particularly the coconut sector, his priority program.

In a related story, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Regional Manager Edilberto Nierva in the recently held presscon at Leyte Park revealed that region-8 is one of the top three coconut producing region in the country this days and produces a good quality of coconut meat. He likewise said that the region has 31 percent of the total area were planted with 71.7 million coconut trees.

He hopes that with the cooperation of the different agencies such as the Department of Science & Technology (DOST), the An Waray Partylist, Department of Agriculture (DA), German Technical Cooperation-Environment & Rural Dev't Program (GTZ-ENRDP) and others, a more productive coconut industry will produce more quality one after the summit. (PIA-8) [top]

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