MIMAROPA Cacao Industry Council. In the photo are the elected officials together with the speakers from Davao Region. (First row, L-R) Vice Chairperson from private Sector Lenlie Lecaroz, Marinduque; Regional Technical Director (RTD) Engr. Elmer Ferry(representative of Executive Director Atty. Cipriano Santiago, automatically designated as Vice Chairperson from government sector); DTI-Davao Assistant Regional Director Engr. Edwin Banquerigo; Chairperson Engr. Bernardo Sampayan, Palawan; Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao (CIDAMI) Executive Director Valente Turtur; Member Sandra dela Cruz, Palawan. Other members are (Second row, L-R) Rustico Yap, Marinduque; Danton Arevalo, Romblon; Salvador Alfonso, Oriental Mindoro; Representative from Provincial Agriculturist Office of Marinduque, Armando Pedrigal; Celso Salgado, Occidental Mindoro; Lucien Landicho, Occidental Mindoro; Jesus Dimapilis, Occidental Mindoro. Not in the photo are Angelita Andao and Eric Concepcion elected members from Puerto Princesa City and DTI-4B representative and designated Secretary of the council, Hazel Salvador.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) MIMAROPA has successfully created its Regional Cacao Industry Council during the recently concluded Regional Cacao Investment Forum held last August 17-19 at Ramada Central Hotel, Binondo, Manila.The creation of the council was a joint effort of the DA-High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and private sectors involved in the cacao industry.
The council’s elected Chairman was Engineer Bernardo Sampayan, a cacao grower from Palawan province and his Vice Chairman is Mr. Lenlie Lencaroz, a cacao nursery operator from Marinduque. The two aforementioned officials were nominated by the 12 members of the council, who were chosen by their home provinces and chartered city.
Executive Director Atty.Cipriano Santiago was automatically designated as the Vice Chairperson from the government sector and Ms. Hazel Salvador of DTI assumed as Secretary.
Regional HVCDP Corazon Sinnung was thankful upon forming the council because they will now be working hand in hand with the private sectors.
“Hindi na po kami mahihirapan na tugunan ang mga problema sa cacao dahil nandiyan na po kayo, na mismong nakakaalam ng mga problema sa cacao, upang kami ay tulungan,” she expressed.
The council was patterned with the DTI Davao Region’s format, which was also used to create councils in other regions of the country. Assistant Regional Director Engr. Edwin Banquerigo and Mr. Valente Turtur, Executive Director of Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao (CIDAMI), spearheaded the creation of the council. They also discussed why there is a need to strengthen the cacao industry.
ARD Banquerigo tackled the Philippine Cacao Industry Roadmap and Industry Situationer, the harmonized roadmap converge from the three previously existing national roadmaps for cacao. While Turtur presented the Cacao 101: Basics on Cacao Production.
“The inclusive growth for cacao industry is 90%...suitable for intercropping…market driven…has a low start-up cost…and able for year round augmentation,” ARD Banquerigo explained.
“The country should have a council in every province so that the budget for cacao will not concentrate in Davao Region, it should be well distributed to all regions to address the shortage,” Turtur added.
Currently, the country is in deficit of 44 thousands MT from the global demand despite having a high potential of growing the crop. The Department of Agriculture believes that through forming associated councils per region will address the issue and make cacao production sufficient enough to supply the international demand.
In the next years, the region is geared to produce 14,000 MT of fermented cacao beans to supply the national target of 100,000 MT by 2022.
Other highlights of the event include presentations of the following topics: Cacao Program of Plantation de Sikawate/ Roadmap, Marketing Opportunities for Cacao, Palawan Cacao Lievelihood Project, Credit Financing Scheme, New Financing Product of Small Business Corporation, Empowering Small Farmer Through Integrated Farming, International Quality Standards of Cacao Beans, Market and Technology Updates on Cacao Processing and Production Presentation of Allied Botanical Corporation.
DTI, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) also presented their programs and activities in support of the cacao industry.