Capiz to create "Save Coconut Task Force"

PIA Press Release 2007/09/20

Capiz to create "Save Coconut Task Force"

by A. Lumaque

Roxas City (20 September) -- A task force will be created by the Capiz provincial government to prevent entry of brontispa longissima which may infest the growing coconut industry in the province.

This was revealed by Philippine Coconut Development Authority (PCA) Provincial Coconut Development Manager Jeffrey Delos Reyes during a preliminary meeting for the creation of the task force.

Capiz Gov. Victor Tanco, Sr. is set to sign the executive order to formalize the creation of the task force that will formulate policies and strategies to maintain the province's brontispa-free status.

Brontispa is a coconut leaf beetle that feeds on the soft tissues of coconut fronds which then appear burned or scorched enough to kill the coconut. It has now infested coconut trees in three barangays of Cabatuan, Iloilo and Nueva Valencia, Guimaras.

Some coconut trees and ornamental palms in Boracay Island suffered the infestation from the nocturnal pest.

Quarantine checkpoints will also be established in the various entry roads to the province in response to the urgent request from PCA Administrator Oscar Garin for a nationwide effort to implement effective control measures towards the eradication of the spreading infestation on coconut trees and ornamental palms.

The chief provincial executive's directive was provided in a memorandum to Capiz Police Director Senior Supt. Roberto Villanueva for the implementation of the quarantine checkpoints.

"Closely coordinate with the Provincial Quarantine Office of the Bureau of Plant Industry and the PCA PCDM," said part of the directive.

Also, proper coordination will be conducted with airport and seaport authorities in the territorial jurisdiction of the province to observe and implement the quarantine measures. (PIA)

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