Skip to main content

Solon Hails Spain for Aid to RP's Abaca Industry - PIA

Virac, Catanduanes (28 May) -- Outgoing Rep. Joseph Santiago of the lone district of this abaca-rich island province has cited the Spanish government for its P30 million grant for the building up of the Philippines' abaca industry that he said remains an enormous potential driver of economic growth in the countryside.

Abaca (Musa textilis Nee) or Manila hemp, a fiber crop indigenous to the Philippines, as a main source of strong natural fibers for domestic and international markets, brings an annual US$.6 million to the country.

The fund assistance released late last year to the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) by the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para Desarollo (AECID), was used for the acquisition of mechanized abaca-stripping machines as part of the aggressive abaca development program being undertaken by the government.

The amount covers this province, noted as the "abaca capital of the Philippines," and Caraga, also a promising abaca producing region in Mindanao.

Out of the grant, nine of Catanduanes' abaca-producing municipalities initially receive one unit each of the machine, Santiago said.

The mechanized stripping of abaca allows us to increase daily fiber output 10 to 20 times compared to what we produce from manual peeling," Santiago who would vacate his congressional seat on June 30 after completing a nine-year term said.

He ran for governor of the province but lost to incumbent Gov. Joseph Cua.

To fully develop the abaca industry, Santiago stressed the need to exploit all possible commercial uses of the plant's fiber, and enlarge its domestic as well as export markets.

Some 136,000 hectares nationwide are planted to abaca. Over 82,000 farmers directly subsist on abaca production. Annually, they produce some 70,000 metric tons of fiber, of which about 25 percent is shipped abroad, according to the FIDA.

Catanduanes is the country's largest producer of abaca, accounting for 20 percent of national output. Abaca provides livelihood to some 23,500 farmers in the province, where around 23,600 hectares are devoted to growing the plant.

FIDA said the production, however, dwindled to only 8,646 metric tons in January to May 2009 because of the series of typhoons that hit the province and the effects of plant diseases.

With the spread of two main viruses, abaca mosaic and abaca bunchy top, that inhibit growth, weaken the fibers, and result in profit loss among small abaca farmers.

The FIDA however in coordination with the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) and the Biotechnology Program Implementation Unit (BPIU), all attached agencies of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has been making use of the expertise of abaca experts in genetically engineering an abaca plant that are resistant to these diseases.

Former Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap has approved a budget for this project before he left the Department to run for congressman unchallenged in Bohol.

Dr. Vermando Aquino of the UP-Diliman (UPD) National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB) and Dr. Evalour Aspuria of the UP- Los Banos (UPLB) Department of Horticulture are into the project that was started in January this year and would be completed by 2011.

According to Aquino, who has been studying the abaca bunchy-top virus (ABTV) since 1997, he and Dr. Aspuria are working on isolating genes from the pathogens and inserting them directly into the abaca's DNA.

Once the genes are "expressed" by the abaca, the abaca will likely resist infection. Even with the reduced production, however, Catanduanes remains the country's top abaca-producing province, the FIDA said.

After Catanduanes, the other top producers are Southern Leyte, Leyte, Davao Oriental, Northern Samar, Davao del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Samar, Sulu, and Sorsogon.

Abaca is a species of banana native to the Philippines and cultivated in 26 provinces in Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Mindanao.

The abaca plant grows 20 feet tall and is harvested mainly for its large leaves and stems that produce natural fiber.

Used to make twines, ropes and carpets, abaca fiber also has multiple applications as raw material for various functional and decorative products.

The fiber is used in clothing material and handicraft like bags and baskets. The pulp is processed into tea bags, coffee filter, vacuum cleaner bags, currency notes and other specialty paper.

Abaca-based furniture and fixtures -- from settees to lounge chairs, from dividers to coffee tables, and from sofas to loveseats -- are also widely recognized for their elegance in Europe and North America.

Studies have likewise identified abaca enzymes for use in high-value cosmetic and dietary products. (PNA Bicol)

by Danny O. Calleja
Source: Philippine Information Agency - 28 May 2010

Popular posts from this blog

2008 Civil Service Examination Passers - Examination Passers

Civil Service Examination - Subprofessional
CSC RO V - Rawis, Legazpi City
Date: November 16, 2008 Seq # Examinee No. Examinee Name 1 582872ABALON, MARIAN DOROTHY O 2 586574ABRAGAN, MICHAEL FRANCIS F 3 586733ACAL, KAREN KAYE I 4 586575ACERON, MILANDRO B 5 582785ADOPTANTE, ANGELO LESTER N 6 582766AGUILAR, JEROSS R 7 582952AGUILAR, RORY S 8 586835ALPARAN, OLIVE A 9 586847ALVAREZ, MICHAELSON Y 10 582594ALVAREZ, SEYCHELLE M 11 582572ANGELES, MIRALYN A 12 582669ARCILLA, ARMIE A 13 582904ARCOS, EDEN R 14 582790ATIGA, RIENA M 15 586625AUREUS, EDGAR MANUEL A 16 582761AVENIDO, PRECIOUS B 17 582942AZORES, MYLA E 18 586762BAESA, MARC EDWIN S 19 582559BAEZA, ROWEL G 20 582682BAGHERI, CHERRYMAE C 21 586783BALINGBING, MAY ANN A 22 586661BARBONIO, EUGENE P 23 582812BARRAMEDA, LESLIE H 24 586558

Arcilla, Political Law Bar Examiner - CT

A Viracnon has done it again. For four Sundays of September, law graduates undergo the most important rite of passage in the legal profession: the BAR examinations. The Bar is a rigorous test of eight subjects, each testing the graduates’ knowledge, reasoning and writing abilities. One of the examiners in the 2008 Bar Exam is Atty. Juanito Gianan Arcilla of Marcelo Alberto, Virac. Atty. Arcilla prepared the Bar questions on Political and International Law. The said exam consisted of the following subjects and its corresponding weighted average: Political and International Law (15%), Labor and Social Legislation (10%), Civil Law (15%), Taxation (15%), Mercantile Law (15%), Criminal Law (10%), Remedial Law (20%), and Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (5%) for a total of 100%. Examiners are deemed experts in their respective fields, and are chosen on the basis on their contributions to legal education. Other examiners of the 2008 Bar were Atty. Salvador Poquiz (Labor and Social Le…

Catanduanes Needs P2.5B to Build Concrete Road - BM

VIRAC, Catanduanes—A long-standing joke here is that if the government had indeed used funds to build roads from pre-martial law days, this island province could have sunk below sea level by now. But the joke is apparently becoming true as the province’s 11 towns are now enjoying concrete roads as funds for the road network continue to pour. Gov. Joseph Cua said road concreting of the province’s 317-kilometer-long circumferential road is almost 45-percent complete and that the second phase of the program under a soft-loan contract with the Japanese International Cooperating Agency (Jica) may be realized by next year. The province’s nonconcreted highway roads, however, have been regravelled and are passable. Cua said the province is hoping the concreting of the national highways would be attended by the national government, saying that in times of disasters such as typhoons, supplies of aids in affected areas are done by boat. This, however, can only be done in good weather. Cata…

10 CSU Graduates Top Bicol Placers in Teachers Exams

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 16 (PNA) -- The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced here Wednesday that 10 graduates of the Catanduanes State University (CSU) landed at the top 10 among those who passed the recent Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) in Bicol. The PRC identified the top 10 passers as Carlito T. Gelito, Joan S. Guerrero, Jinky Lou T. Sarmiento, Ronald A. Teves, Ian Lopez, Eddie Cadag, Donna Nerisse Sapico, Aizel Cerillo, Melvin Fernandez and Daniel L. Alfaro. Gelito placed 3rd in the regional and 10th in the national levels; Guerrero, 4th with 85.80 percent; Sarmiento, 4th with 85.80 percent; Teves, 4th placer with 85.80 percent; Lopez, 5th with 85.60 percent; Cadag, 6th with 85.40 percent; Sapico, 6th with 85.40 percent; Cerillo, 7th with 85.20 percent; Fernandez, 8th with 85 percent and; Alfaro, 9th with 84.80 percent. The PRC, through its Board for Professional Teachers, also honors top 10 placers in the regional level of the LET examinations separately fr…

Virac’s Jamela Arcilla 9th in Nursing Board

A daughter of Virac placed 9th in the Nurse Licensure Examination given by the Professional Regulation Commission’s Board of Nursing last July 2010, with 82 graduates of the Catanduanes State Colleges also passing the exam. Jamela Montoya Arcilla, a 2010 BS Nursing cum laude graduate of Far Eastern University, garnered a rating of 84.80 percent to land in the top ten list. Only 37,679 out of 91,008 (41.40%) passed the nursing board exam. A daughter of Atty. Felipe Panti Arcilla Jr. of Gogon Sirangan, Virac, and the former Isabelita Lulu Montoya of Sta. Ana, Pampanga, Jamela is a graduate of Virac Central Elementary School (2002) and Catanduanes National High School (2006). She was also the Clinical Excellence Awardee during the pinning ceremonies of the FEU Institute of Nursing Batch 2010. Also hurdling the nursing board on his first try is Eldon Valeza Tabuzo, son of Engr. and Mrs. Elmo Tabuzo of Calatagan, Virac. A product of the Catanduanes State Colleges Elementary Laboratory …