A Palawan solon has requested the Department of Agriculture (DA) to conduct a special mango industry roadmap forum to find a far-reaching solution to the decades-long mango pulp weevil (MPW) problem besetting the local mango industry.
The request came in the form of a proposed resolution filed Tuesday by Board Member Roseller Pineda of the 1st Palawan District at the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Pineda told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Tuesday afternoon that he was pushing for the meeting to be held in Palawan since DA Secretary Emmanuel Pinol is now conducting a series of mango industry roadmap forum in different regions in the country to address issues raised by mango farmers and growers.
“Through this forum, perhaps the DA can now help Palawan resolve its mango pulp weevil problem by presenting current available technologies to mango growers.
“The mango industry in the province has already lost millions if not billions of pesos because we are unable to market our produce,” Pineda said.
He said Pinol is “fully aware” of the infestation that has been perennially pestering Palawan mango farmers, and has in fact, said in February this year, that the DA will provide them an irradiation machine that can detect and get rid of the weevils.
“It is with utmost urgency that the province of Palawan be included in the selected venues for the mango industry roadmap forum for our farmers and growers to finally have the chance to market their produce,” Pineda said.
The board member stated he is saddened by the fact that until now, nothing has happened to eradicate the mango pulp weevil problem, and that local mango produce are losing against those traded in from other provinces.
According to Justin McKinley, Adam Sparks, Valerien Pede, and Bart Duff in the “An Economic Assessment of the Impact of Mango Pulp Weevil on the Agricultural Sector of Palawan, Philippines” study, since 1987, the province has been prohibited by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to export its locally-produced mangoes.
This was done to prevent the spread of the pest through the declaration of BPI Administrative Order Number 20.
The study said the administrative order was the reason the growth of the Palawan mango industry was restricted to the province.
“Evidence of the MPW was first discovered in southern Palawan when a survey of 33 mango-producing Filipino provinces was administered. Palawan is the only province in the Philippines under mango quarantine,” the study claimed. (PNA)