Cutting of coconut trees banned, except in Basilan
A three-month moratorium on the cutting of coconut trees nationwide—except in Basilan—took effect on Jan. 3 as the domestic industry continues to experience depressed production volume.
According to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), the temporary ban which lasts until the end of March does not cover Basilan province and Isabela City, where there is an infestation of coconut scale insect.
PCA administrator Avelino Andal said in a statement that the exclusion of Basilan in the temporary ban would help encourage coconut lumber processors to get their supply from this province and “augment the very few lumber dealers in the affected provinces.”
He said the moratorium will be effective during the first quarter of the year while there is an ongoing review of the implementing rules of Republic Act No. 10593.
Andal was referring to the amended RA 8048 or the Coconut Preservation Act, aimed at streamlining the processes related to permits and clearances for the cutting of trees.
“We really have to impose a moratorium because the Republic Act No. 8048 is not effectively enforced,” Andal said. “It is as if the coco loggers are just making fun of us, they are not taking it seriously.”
Based on the latest information from the Philippine Statistics Authority, domestic production of nuts decreased by 6.5 percent to 10.8 million nuts when comparing the first nine months of 2016 to the same period of 2015.
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