ARTECHE, Eastern Samar: A project that will harness the full potential of coconut will soon continue after some delays for the benefit of the people of Samar, President Aquino said on Friday.
During a speech here, President Aquino said coconut farmers in Eastern Samar have limited income because of the lack of coconut processing facilities in the province and if there are such facilities they only process coconut oil.
But he said his administration funded a project being spearheaded by an expert from Bicol State University that will harness not only coconut oil but also other coconut products to expand the farmers’ income.
“Ang problema ho kasi tila kakaunti ang ating processing plant para sa paggawa ng produkto mula sa niyog at ito yata’y natutukoy lamang sa coconut oil o sa kopra,” the President said in a speech here.
“Palagay ko alam naman po ninyo ang niyog, ultimo ‘yung bunot pinanggagalingan nang tinatawag na coco coir, may factory na yata dito ngayon ng coco coir. Meron ding coco sugar. Marami hong iba’t ibang produkto.”
The project, headed by Dr. Justino Arboleda of the Bicol State University, encountered some delays because it is funded by the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, he said.
Now that the government remedied some of the concerns, the President promised to carry out the project immediately.
Once a coconut factory is set up and becomes successful, the government could recoup its investment in three years, which could be given to other farmers’ organizations to implement a similar project, he noted.
“Kapag nga po napatunayan natin na itong proyektong panukalang ito ay talagang kagana-gana sa ating mga kababayang nagniniyog, iyong pondo mismo manganganak nang manganganak para mai-replicate at mapunta sa ating magsasaka upang tulungan silang masagad ang kanilang kita,” he said.
The factory will process not only coconut oil but also other products.