PCA allocates P235M, embarks on aggressive treatment of 'cocolisap' in Basilan

October 5, 2016 10:53 am 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 4 –- The national government is optimistic of being able to contain within 60 days the infestation of the coconut scale insects (CSI) also known as "cocolisap" in Basilan province.

Undersecretary Maia Chiara Halem Reina Valdez of the Office of the Cabinet Assistance System, said the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has embarked on aggressive treatment of coconut trees against cocolisap.

The treatment of coconut trees started September 20 and is scheduled to be completed by November 20 or for a period of 60 days.

Valdez said the PCA has already treated, through trunk injection, more than 325,000 coconut trees as of September 30.

Valdez disclosed that there are almost three million coconut trees that were infested by cocolisap in Basilan province.

“We are on track. By November (20), by end of the 60-day period, we expect to finish treating the almost three million damaged (coconut) trees in Basilan,” she added.

Roel Rosales, PCA deputy administrator for operations, said they could complete the treatment within 60 days since the local government units are assisting them by providing complementary logistic resources.

Rosales said they will deploy biological control agents, which are friendly organisms, to eliminate the remaining cocolisap after 30 days the coconut trees were treated.

“Will all these efforts, we hope that we will be able to lick the problem (on cocolisap),” Rosales added.

He said the trunk injection procedure and the chemical they are using in Basilan was tested and proven effective.

“The first successful treatment used in CALABARZON is truck injection. It was successful within 60 days. The root absorption (treatment) is still in the experimental stage and this has environmental and social concerns,” he added.

He disclosed the PCA has increased the budget to PhP235 million from PhP104 million to solve the problem of cocolisap infestation in Basilan province.

The budget includes allocation to provide livelihood assistance to the affected farmers, which Rosales said will follow after the treatment completion.

He said farmers, whose services they hired, is paid PhP15 per coconut they treated.

Valdez said around 4,600 coconut famers, who are mostly landowners, were affected by the cocolisap infestation in Basilan province.

Valdez said they have already coordinated with the security forces to enable the PCA technicians to enter and treat affected coconut trees in security concerned areas in Basilan.

She said among the security concerned areas are the towns of Al-Barka and Mohammad Ajul where 50,000 coconut trees were affected based on the record of PCA. (PNA)

LAP/TPGJR

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