Davao City named Philippines’ cacao capital

Robie de Guzman   •   September 8, 2020   •   566

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has officially recognized Davao City as the cacao capital of the Philippines.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar led the ceremony for the declaration in an event virtually held on Monday.

Dar said the declaration was made following the city’s consistent efforts to be the top producer of cacao beans for the entire Davao region.

From the year 2015 to 2019, Davao City has produced 2,289 metric tons of cacao, making it the biggest cacao producing area in the entire country. 

Together with five other provinces in the region namely Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao Occidental, and Davao Oriental, the region’s total contribution to national production for 2019 reached 5,960.23 MT or 70.21 percent of the total national output.

In her acceptance speech, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte thanked the cacao industry players for their efforts to produce quality beans.

“For the past few years now, Davao cacao has been recognized as among the world’s best, with our local brands making waves in international chocolate competitions, and a growing number of Filipino and foreign chocolate makers sourcing their beans here,” Duterte said.

“While it is one thing for our cacao and chocolates to be renowned internationally, to be recognized by the national government is just as important for us, for this is an affirmation and a celebration of the efforts of our cacao farmers and processors, and everyone in the cacao industry,” she added.

Mayor Sara also highlighted the contribution of the city’s cacao industry players and organic agriculture partners for Davao City to get the latest recognition. 

“I thank all of our cacao industry players and organic agriculture partners because all of your efforts have brought Davao City these accolades.”

The mayor said that the goal of local agriculture is not just to provide food on the table for each Dabawenyo, but to make it a viable and sustainable industry for our farmers and all stakeholders. 

Aside from being recognized as the country’s cacao capital, Davao City was also hailed as the regional winner for Organic Program under the local government unit category.

Duterte said these awards serve as inspiration for the city to continue to work harder for a more flourishing agricultural industry.

Dar, meanwhile, urged the stakeholders to continue its partnership with the government as he committed support to sustain Davao as the “exporting capital” of the Philippines.

He also called on the private sector to continue to partner with the government to provide farmers a sustainable livelihood and income source.

“Aside from cacao, Davao has much local agricultural produce that are brought to the global market,” he said.

“Let us work together towards a food-secure and resilient Philippines,” he added.

DA increases SRP on pork

Marje Pelayo   •   October 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has increased the suggested retail price (SRP) on pork meat.

Based on the latest administrative circular issued by the Department, the SRP for pork belly or ‘liempo’ is set at P280 per kilogram while SRP for ‘pork kasim’ is set at P260 per kilogram.

The SRP was imposed to guide consumers and meat vendors on a more reasonable price of pork.

The current SRP is higher by P70/kg as compared to the price of pork kasim in April which was at P190/kg only.

For pork belly or liempo, the price increased by P55/kg as compared to P225/kg in April this year.

“Iyong ating mga meat dealers, they’ve also incurred some additional cost para madala sa merkado ang ating mga pork, [Our meat dealers also incurred additional cost so meat could reach the market],” explained DA Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista the reason for such increase in SRP.

“That’s the reason why we felt it’s also time to adjust it because we are also taking into consideration [the needs of players in the value chain],” she said. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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Davao City to reimpose 24-hour liquor ban starting Nov. 2

Robie de Guzman   •   October 30, 2020

A 24-hour liquor ban will be reimposed in Davao City from November 2 to December 31, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

Under Executive Order No. 59, Duterte ordered the ban of sale, serving, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in public effective 5 a.m. of November 2.

The reimposition of the liquor ban stemmed from the results of City Health Office contact tracing of patients positive of the coronavirus showing their exposure during drinking sessions. 

“There is an urgent need to reimpose a 24-hour liquor ban in Davao City to prevent the exposure of individuals to the COVID-19 virus because of their unbridled drinking sessions,” Duterte said in the order. 

Mayor Sara also emphasized the necessity to reimpose the 24-hour liquor ban as another preventive step to control gatherings and stop the cases from spiking because the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMFs) has reached their full occupancy of the COVID-19.

To recall, Duterte lifted the 24-hour liquor ban on September 21 after six months of restrictive community quarantine.

The city government warned to impose a one strike rule on establishments violating the liquor ban.

The city’s Vices Regulation Unit and Barangay Council were also tasked to conduct vigorous surveillance of all restaurants, fast-food, sari-sari stores, and similar establishments and must immediately move for the closure of an establishment after a single violation is properly documented.

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‘Quinta’ damage to agri-fisheries now at P705-M – DA

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Damage to crops and livestock sector left by Typhoon Quinta has reached more than P700 million, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

“The total amount of damage and losses in agri-fisheries due to Typhoon “Quinta” has increased to Php 705.87 million from the previously-reported Php 401.73 million, with 33,545 MT of volume loss, affecting 25,483 farmers and fisherfolk with 19,971 hectares of agricultural areas in Ilocos Region, CALABARZON, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and the Zamboanga Peninsula,” the DA said in a statement Wednesday.

“Affected commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops, fisheries, livestock, irrigation, and agri-facilities,” it added.

These values are subject to further validation, the department said.

The DA said the increase in values is attributed to the updated reports in rice and corn from the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, and Zamboanga City.

It added that the DA Regional Field Offices in affected regions are thoroughly assessing and validating damage and losses in the agri-fisheries sector, and thereafter provide needed emergency assistance to affected farmers and fisherfolk.

The department said it is allocating P795-million Quick Response Fund (QRF) for the rehabilitation of affected areas;

It will also implement the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program of Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), and indemnify affected farmers through funds from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation.

A total of 30,280 bags of rice seeds; 8,071 bags of corn seeds, and 1,792 kgs of assorted vegetables from Regions I, IV-A, V, VI and IX will also be made available to affected farmers.

“The DA-DRRM Operations Center will continuously provide updates on Typhoon Quinta,” it said.

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