El Nido tightens mango weevil control

Prevention and eradication of the MPW is a collaborative effort not only by government agencies but the mango growers and farmers. (File photo)

The municipal government of El Nido is closely monitoring the town’s entry points to ensure that mangoes from southern Palawan are prevented from gaining access to their area to prevent the spread of mango pulp weevil (MPW).

Virginia Balderas, the El Nido municipal agriculturist, said the monitoring is necessary for them to protect their mango growers.

“Sa awa naman ng Dios ay wala naman yun (MPW) dito, wag sana makarating,” she said.

The export and transportation of mangoes from MPW-affected areas in southern Palawan have not been lifted for more than three decades.

The Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Special Quarantine Order No. 20, Series of 1987, prohibits the transport of mangoes outside the province.

Balderas said that mangoes in northern Palawan are free from the MPW, and they want to keep it that way by making sure that the fruits affected by the disease will not get into El Nido.

Not only the terminals are monitored but also the town’s airport and seaport with Department of Agriculture (DA) personnel in-charge of the quarantine.

Balderas recalled an instance four years ago when a passenger bus loaded with mangoes had tried to enter El Nido from Puerto Princesa City. They confiscated the whole bus and the mangoes it was transporting.

“Kailangan talagang bantayan kasi merong negosyanteng nagpapalusot. Ang checkpoint sa Langogan ay wala naman yang pang-gabi, kaya may nahuli tayo noon, nakuha natin. Pagbaba ng bus ng mga mangga ibinaon agad natin sa lupa,” she said.

Majority of the mango growers in El Nido, she added, are shipping their products to Coron town, especially during the peak months (from April to June).

Records from Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) show that from May 1, 2018, to present, some 720 kilos of mangoes had been shipped to Coron.

“Marami-rami na rin ang ating na-isyuhan ng certifications para sa transport ng manga papuntang Coron,” Balderas said.

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