Brooke’s Point upbeat on coconut investments

Brooke’s Point Mayor Mary Jean Feliciano believes that the planned expansion of Cardinal Agri Products Inc. (CAPI) will provide more jobs to her constituents, especially the indigenous people and the unemployed.

The coconut processing plant’s expansion in Brooke’s Point town will provide more jobs to locals and will benefit the coconut industry in Palawan, an official said on Wednesday.

Cardinal Agri Products, Inc. (CAPI) is a diversified agribusiness enterprise with coconut processing plant in Brooke’s Point, Palawan. CAPI and the GMA Network Inc. are both affiliate of FLG Management & Development Corporation (FLG MDC), a leading business group in the country in areas of media, shipping, power and logistics.

Edilberto Nicolas, provincial manager of Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) said that the company is now producing virgin coconut oil (VCO), coconut flour and has started to venture into making skim milk. He said that once it will expands and fully operate, it will significantly benefit the host municipality and its nearby towns.

“Nag-produce na sila ng VCO at coconut flour, ito namang skim milk ay bago pa lang nila at ito ay binibenta nila locally or as export,” he added.

One of the planned expansion of the company is the processing of coconut husk into coco coir and other by-products by the use of decorticating machines, said Nicolas.

Another significant contribution of the company in the locality is that it serves as buyer of nuts at P5 to P7 per kilo or P10-P14 per nut. This is an advantage on the part of the coconut farmer than to process their nuts into traditional copra that has lower price, depending on the buying price of copra, Cardinal Agri’s buying price likewise fluctuates and dipped to only P3.50 per kilo when the copra price also plunged to P15 per kilo. Today, that the copra has a buying price of P20-22 per kilo, the company’s buying price for whole nut is at P5 per kilo, he said.

Nicolas explained that processing nuts into copra will incur more cost on the part of the coconut farmers, since it will involve coconut harvesting, unhusking and opening of nuts, removing of coconut meat or pagtitilad, and drying, yet the copra’s buying price is lower compared that of the buying price of Cardinal Agri for unhusked nuts.

Nicolas told Palawan News that among the towns that Cardinal Agri sourced its nuts are  Aborlan, Quezon, Narra, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza and Sofronio Española, and it is still expanding to get supplies of their nuts from nearby towns. He said that during his recent visit to the company sometime this April 2018, he can see more than 200 employees, excluding workers in the processing plants. He accompanied PCA Administrator Romulo dela Rosa during the visit.

“Malaki at malawak ng loob ng planta, siguro ay mga two hectares pa, at mga kagamitan nila sa planta ay mga stainless. Sa nakikita ko ay hindi lang 200 ang empleyado nila, hindi pa kasama ang mga workers sa planta niyan,” he said.

Brooke’s Point Mayor Mary Jean Feliciano told Palawan News that she is happy with the contribution of Cardinal Agri in her town especially in providing jobs to her constituents. She said that hundreds of locals will be accommodated once the company will go full-blast.

“Ang bayan ng Brooke’s Point kahit pa walang industriya na maninira ng kalikasan, ay nagkakaroon pa rin ng kabuhayan.  Nandyan ang coconut processing na nakapagbigay ng trabaho. Kahit 20 percent palang ang kanilang operations ay meron nang 700 na workers na nabigyan ng trabaho. Pag mag-100 percent na ay siguro aabot sa 5,000 workers, pati na ang ating mga mahihirap na katutubo. Sabihan na natin sila na bumaba na sila, kasi marami nang trabaho dito,” said Mayor Feliciano.

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