Two provincial legislators expressed alarm at the infestation of mangoes by pulp weevils that crossed from southern to northern parts of the island province despite a P100-million fund to arrest the spread of the disease. Board Member Albert G. Rama said that a report coming from the Department of Agriculture (DA) shows that the infestation has already spread from southern Palawan to the northern towns. He called for an immediate action as this would be devastating to mango growers.
‘’We have estimated 150-200,000 trees of mango tree in the province of Palawan. Kung mamumunga lang ito, kung magpo-produce lang ito ng tig 500-1,000 kilos… at 10php per kilo this will give an income of P500 million to 1,0000 billion a year for the Province of Palawan.
However, we cannot realize itong kita na ito para sa mga farmers natin because of mango pulp weevil infestation,’’ Rama said during the privilege hour at the 126th Regular Session at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Tuesday.
When the infestation continues, there would be a possibility to declare a calamity because it affects the livelihood of people as well as the life of people in affected areas of the province. Rama explained that out of this calamity, they can conduct research and develop protocols to eradicate mango pulp weevil.
‘’Eradicate mango pulp weevil in the province of Palawan para naman pu-pwede tayong mag-export sa ibang bansa at pwede pa tayong mag-export sa ibang lugar ng pilipinas ng ating mga manga at mapakinabangang husto at makapagbigay ng kita sa ating mga magsasaka,’’ he added.
Board Member Roseller S. Pineda supported supported Rama and called the concerned agencies to really pay attention to this matter because this threat will affect the production of mango raisers. He added that in the previous year, this problem resulted to the call for the holding of a Mango Summit but it did not happen and the invited committees did not appear. However, there is a fund of almost P100 million to contain the pulp weevil problem in Palawan.
There is a big query now if the checkpoint implemented in northern Palawan is effective and what happened in the fund given to protect the mango of Palawan. Rama sought the legislature to invite the Department of Agriculture (DA) and representatives from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) to give reports on the present status of mango pulp weevil infestation in Palawan and to give insights on how to eradicate on it and if there are already protocols.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved the motion and will seek the concerned agencies’ explanation in the next session. A weevil is a pest that damages a mango pulp that caused a great loss of production in Mango industry in Palawan. Palawan was placed under quarantine through Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Special Quarantine Administrative Order No. 20 Series of 1987, which prohibits the bringing of mangoes out of Palawan.