LUCENA CITY: To promote the health benefits of herbal plants among its constituents, the provincial government of Quezon through the initiative of Gov. David “Jayjay” Suarez held a conference billed as “The Prospects of Herbal Plants in Quezon Province” over the weekend at Graceland Estates and Country Club in Tayabas City.
Suarez said the conference explored the business potential of herbal plants as an emerging industry in the province. The conference was aimed at discussing the existing rich diversity of herbal plant species in the province, illustrate herbal plants and its benefits, present the herbal market industry potential of Quezon and the Philippines and present some herbal by-product and its business opportunity.
“We always have to develop another source of income for our farmers, parati po pinag-uusapan ang re-cropping, pagtatanim ng gulay, kamote, cacaos sa ilalim ng ating mga niyugan [we always talk about re-cropping, planting vegetable, kamote, cacaos under coconut trees]. Why don’t we plant herbal plant, we will not only earn from it, we will also make our communities a lot healthier,” Suarez said.
Provincial agriculturist Roberto Gajo said the gaining popularity of herbal medicinal products throughout the world has given a new situation to the demand of medicinal plants on both local and international markets.
“The business potential in our province for manufacturing and producing herbal medicine is very high with enormous products available in our environment. Surely it will contribute to our province economic growth and leads the way to compete globally,” Gajo said.
Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, president of Health Futures Foundation Inc. and former Health secretary, said Quezon has the potential to be Philippine Center for Medicinal Plants and the first province with agro-industries in medicinal plants.
Other resource speakers were Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) Directoral General Isidro Sia (Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act RA 8423), Southern Luzon State University President Dr. Cecilia Gascon (Herbal Plants in Quezon Province), Chamber of Herbal Industries of the Philippines Inc. Chairman Emeritus Lito Abelarde (Positioning of the Philippines in the Global Market), New Marketlink Pharmaceutical Corp. and owner of Lagundex (Lagundi) Francis Gomez (Processing and Manufacturing Herbal Plants as Medicine), Tsaa Daloy-Premium Philippine Teas founder and Managing Director Jamir Ocampo (Herbal Tea Manufacturing and its Potential) and Ylang-Ylang Livelihood Extraction Program officer-in-charge Ma. Rosette Bagayas (Business Opportunities on Essential Oils).
The conference was attended by different municipal mayors, municipal agriculturists, municipal health officers, department heads of provincial government of Quezon, non-government organizations, academic institutions and advocates of herbal plants.