BATARAZA, Palawan — A blessing ceremony for the pineapple building and landmark dedicated to the farmers of pineapple in Barangay Bulalacao was held here Saturday led by officials of the Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) and Mayor Abraham Ibba of the municipal government.
The ceremony was held nearly two years after the pineapple-shaped structure, which is equivalent to the height of a three-story building, was completed.
The project will serve as a monument to the major contribution of the Indigenous People (IP) of Barangay Bulalacao and the pineapple industry which lends distinction to the barangay and the Municipality of Bataraza. “This is a testament to the contribution to, and cooperation of CBNC with Barangay Bulalacao and the Municipality of Bataraza, and a manifestation of CBNC’s social consciousness and corporate social responsibility,” stated CBNC Community Relations Manager Ernesto Llacuna.
Llacuna also said the structure will become a venue for the the IPs to showcase, market, and promote their products.
“After two years [ay] may blessing na [rin] sa wakas ang instrukturang ito na hugis pinya sa Brgy. Bulalacao. This is a representation and symbol ng kasipagan ng ating mga magpipinya sa lugar na ito, at nararapat lamang na bigyan natin sila ng pagkilala upang maging inspirasyon nila [ito] sa kanilang kasipagan at mabigyan pa [sila] nang [maraming] opportunity,” said Maribel Buñi, Provincial Tourism Officer.
A first-class municipality in the southern part of the province, Bataraza has been considered a “pineapple center” in Palawan with an estimated 580 hectares of land dedicated to it.
Mayor Ibba expressed gratitude to CBNC for the project and its other contribution significant to the development of Bataraza. He also hoped for a continuous partnership with the company. “I have all our support to the company, and I hope that their operation will forever continue,” said Ibba.
Mayor Ibba also encouraged the farmers to plant more pineapples and assured them of the municipal government support.
“Sabi nga natin sa mga pineapple farmers natin dito ay plant, plant, plant more pinya,huwag silang mag-alala, nandito lang kami to support them. Ang landmark na ito ay isang sagisag na kinikilala ni CBNC at ng ating pamahalaang lokal ang kasipagan ng mga magpipinya dito,” Ibba added.
Pineapple factory to rise in Bataraza
Ibba also announced that a pineapple factory will soon rise in their town to help the farmers in their production and harvests, and to prevent the fruits from staling.
“Soon may factory na itatayo sa ating bayan, sigurado tayo wala nang mabubulok na pinya sa ating bayan. Sa mga farmers natin, walang malulugi, may gagawa na ng mga iba-ibang finished products made from pinya,” he said.
“Nakita natin ang results ng kasipagan nila (pineapple farmers), karamihan sa ating mga pineapple farmer dito ay nakita na rin natin na umunlad ang kanilang kabuhayan. Sa estado ng buhay dahil yan sa malagong pineapple farming sa ating bayan,” Ibba added.
After the blessing ceremony, a groundbreaking event followed in the area for the soon-to-rise chapel which will be funded also by CBNC.