Guimaras celebrates Kalubihan Festival, dev’t plan for coco industry set in motion

Guimaras Governor JC Rahman A. Nava (left) and Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Deputy Administrator Roel Rosales address the 22nd Kalubihan Festival on Aug 18, 2022. (Photos from Guimaras FB page

Coconut farmers in Guimaras converged at the Provincial Covered Gym in San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras to celebrate the 22nd Kalubihan Festival on Aug 18, 2022.

The activity is in line with the 36th National Coconut Week celebration which opened on August 15, 2022 with the theme: “Masaganang Niyugan: Katuwang Tungo sa Maunlad na Kinabukasan”.

The highlight of the celebration is the launching of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) for Western Visayas.

The CFIDP will serve as the compass for the effective implementation of the Republic Act 11524 or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act.

Under such plan are programs that will fuel the growth of the coconut industry and lift coconut farmers out of poverty.

These programs include social protection for the farmers, coconut farmers organization and development, hybridization, community-based farm enterprise development (Farm rehabilitation and improvement), integrated coconut processing and downstream products (shared facilities), support services, innovative research projects (practical Application on Coconut Processing, Production and Distribution), and monitoring and evaluation.

Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Deputy Administrator Roel Rosales said that the celebration is a tribute to the coconut industry that contributes greatly to the country’s economy.

He said that coconut is the leading dollar earner in the agricultural sector due to the coconut oil that is exported in which the Philippines dominates the market.

He challenged the coconut farmers in Guimaras to raise the level of production and like the island’s famous mango, he hopes that coconut products from Guimaras will also be exported to other countries.

“So, ang challenge po sa atin ay pag-ibayuhin natin ang pagpapalakas ng hanay ng ating mga magniniyog para kakayanin natin, mapaunlad natin ang lahat na mga programa na inilaan sa atin.

I-level up natin ang pagniniyog sa Guimaras. Sa pamamagitan ng scholarship makapagbigay ng kaalaman upang lalo nating mapataas ang uri ng ating pamumuhay,” Rosales said.

Governor JC Rahman A. Nava pledged full support for all initiatives for the improvement of the coconut industry in Guimaras.

“Ang Provincial Government, gusto ko lang i-reiterate kag ipalab-ot sa tanan nga handa kami nga magsuporta kun ano man nga inisyatibo para sa ikaayo sang coconut industry diri sa probinsiya sang Guimaras,” he stressed.

The Local Chief Executive implore the support of the concerned government agencies and the farmers to realize the plans of the Provincial Government of Guimaras for the growth of the agricultural sector in the province.