Coconut processing facility to rise in Guimaras

Photo from Province of Guimaras FB page

The Province of Guimaras broke ground for a coconut processing facility at Barangay Sapal, San Lorenzo on May 19, 2023.

The 688-square-meter shared facility worth Php16 million will host several machines and equipment that will process coconuts into cooking oil.

The processing center can process up to 5,000 nuts per day.

Governor JC Rahman A. Nava said that he did not expect the groundbreaking for the facility to be done this month because he thought it would happen next year.

The groundbreaking ceremony, he said, is just a sign of the realization of the project.

The processing facility is in line with his Kabataan FIRST agenda, according to Nava, which aims to build an agri-fishery industrial village in Sapal, San Lorenzo.

Governor Nava said that the Provincial Government of Guimaras has allocated Php10 million for a water facility that will also be installed in Sapal village and an additional Php 25 million for the development of the processing center with additional contribution from the office of lone district Rep. Ma. Lucille L. Nava.

“Ginapasalamatan ko gid ang nagkalain-lain nga ahensiya sang aton gobyerno who were instrumental in facilitating the realization of this project. How timely… Sa pag-groundbreaking nagalapit na gid ang realization sang sini nga proyekto,” Governor Nava said.

Vice Governor Atty. John Edward G. Gando assured the support of the 10th Sangguniang Panlalawigan in the aspirations of Governor Nava and the continued passage of proposals that will benefit especially farmers in the Province of Guimaras.

“This facility will surely benefit our marginalized stakeholders and coconut farmers in the province. We look forward to its earliest realization,” Gando said.

Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Program Management Officer Ryan Monceda underlined the importance of the project in the realization of the vision of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) “that the establishment of the center will facilitate the production of the high quality of the white copra and refined, bleached and deodorized oil (RBDO)”.

“The establishment of this processing center will enable the coconut farmers to access new markets and improve their livelihoods,” he added.

PCA Region 6 manager Niel Nemencion challenged the Guimaras coconut farmers to grow and sustain the processing facility along with the assurance that the PCA will help the province’s coconut industry.

“Ang PCA ay tutulong na ma-improve yung ating niyog. Since 5,000 nuts per day ang kailangan natin, we need around 5,000 hectares of coconut lands. I think meron tayong 8,000 (hectares) dito sa Guimaras. I-improve lang natin through agritization, through replanting… Kailangan natin ng dedication at perseverance para ma-achieve natin para mapalago ang coconut industry sa Guimaras para ma-support ang processing facility,” ani Nemencion.

Cooperative Development Authority Assistant Secretary Virgilio Lazaga assured the support of their agency for the fulfillment of the purpose of the CFIDP.

“We are here to promote the viability and growth of the cooperatives as instrument of equity, social justice, and sustainable economic development. Tamang-tama po ito para sa pag-address ng ating layunin sa CFIDP,” Lazaga said.

The establishment of the integrated processing of coconut and downstream products is among the programs included in the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan.

The CFIDP was developed pursuant to Republic Act 11524 known as the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act which was signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte last Febraury 26, 2021.