File photo of preparation for the coconut seed nut nursery in Dumaran town. (Photo from Philippine Coconut Authority Palawan Facebook Page)

The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA)-Palawan has set up three nursery sites for 15,000 coconut seed nuts that will be given to farmers who lost their crops in Typhoon Odette. This is part of the local industry’s recovery plan after the storm.

Raul Aguilar, PCA-Palawan division chief, said Friday that 4,000 seed nuts will be given to coconut farmers in Barangay Luzviminda in Puerto Princesa City, 8,000 in Abaroan in the municipality of Roxas, and 3,000 in Dumaran town.

He said it will take three to four months for the seed nuts to be ready to be planted in areas for the rehabilitation program by the start of the rainy season.

“Ang mag-identify ng beneficiaries natin ay LGU na. Nai-turnover na namin ‘yan sa kanila. Doon pa rin magba-base sa actual damage talaga, kung sino ‘yong heavily hit talaga ng typhoon, ipa-priority natin sila. Kasi nga ang daming nasirang farm, kulang naman itong pinapatubong niyog para mabigyan sila lahat. Ganon na lang basis natin, kung sino ang heavily damaged, sila muna ang priority,” Aguilar said.

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He also stated that the 15,000 seed nuts in nurseries represent only 5% of the 490,000 coconut trees that were devastated by the typhoon in December 2021.

PCA is still waiting for the next batch of 14,000 open-pollinated seed nuts from different towns in Palawan from selected mother palms, according to Aguilar. The said number of seed nuts will be divided among three locations: 7,000 for the nursery in Puerto Princesa, 5,000 for Roxas, and 2,000 for Dumaran.

A batch of 28,800 dwarf seed nuts is also on its way from PCA’s regional office.

“Talagang napakaraming nasira na mga punong niyog kaya ang heavily damaged na ‘yan na almost 490,000 (ay) beyond recovery ‘yon. So dapat i-replace natin ‘yon, kaso medyo kulang pa rin talaga ang pondo kaya inuunti-unti pa lang natin,” he Explained.

The PCA continues to carry out the incentivized coconut planting and replanting program, in which the agency offers farmers rewards.

However, due to the typhoon’s destruction, local farmers are still having difficulty finding planting materials. Farmers are being helped by the organization, which is sourcing out in southern areas to help with the shortages in northern towns.

“Ang ginagawa na lang namin ngayon muna, para maayos ang debris, inaayos pa namin ang mga chainsaws namin na mapahiram din namin sa LGUs – kapag naayos namin ito ay i-turnover din namin sa LGU para maipanlinis sa mga natumbang puno,” Aguilar stated.

“Ang ginagawa naming coordination sa mga LGU kasi ‘yong sa RA 8048, sa coconut cutting, may share ang bawat bayan kung saan pinutol ang mga punong niyog. Iyon ang wino-work out namin sa kanila na baka ‘yong share nila, i-procure na lang din ng mga semilya ng niyog para ma-distribute sa mga affected coconut farmers,” he added.

Aguilar also mentioned that once the coconut industry development plan is signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, PCA can implement the projects under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP). The implementation is expected to happen between 2022 and 2026. The CFIDP is established under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund (CFITF) Act, or Republic Act 11524.

“Once na napirmahan ‘yon, go na ‘yon – naka-specify na kasi sa development plan kung saan gagamitin ‘yong pera para doon, galing sa coconut levy. Pero siguro halimbawa katulad nito na mayroong nangyaring bagyo, baka pwede naman siguro kumuha ng pondo roon para sa rehabilitation. Hindi pa lang natin alam kasi hindi pa napipirmahan,” he said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.