“The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has been infiltrated by unscrupulous University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) elements. It is a partnership of sinister bureaucrats and mercenary scientists.
by Ducky Paredes
From the Eastwind Journal in an article, Bernie Lopes urges the government to stop the Philippine Coconut Agency which has apparently tied up with UP Los Banos to find a solution to a disease that affects our coconut industry. Bernie says that UPLB is pushing for a chemical solution to stop the disease that affects our coconuts. The article is an open letter to new appointee, Food Security Secretary Kiko Pangilinan “who earlier expressed belief in organic solutions to the coconut infestation.”
Writes Bernie, “A PCA-UPLB syndicate wants its own way, defying Pangilinan. They launched a black propaganda in the media last week, saying organic solutions to the coconut infestation have failed, when, in fact, a presentation of a successful organic pilot by Biotechnologist Edgar Maranan was presented to the media on the same day at a Rembrandt media forum.
“The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has been infiltrated by unscrupulous University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) elements. It is a partnership of sinister bureaucrats and mercenary scientists. The UPLB has good eggs and bad eggs, like most other institutions. The good eggs work for the interest of the people and the nation. The bad eggs work for themselves, justifying dubious scientific treaties to enrich themselves.
“The greatest impact of the chemical solution, even if it is considered truly effective, is not so much the curing of the disease, but the destruction of our global coconut market. Once the whole world knows our coconuts have been chemicalized, they will boycott our multi-billion copra and coconut oil instantly without a second thought. They will not verify but simply shut the door, making 25 million marginal Filipinos to go hungry.”
“In other words, the chemical solution is not a solution but the problem. Cchemicals will destroy rather than save the coconut industry. The PCA-UPLB syndicate is blind to this serious effect on the entire Philippine economy. They see only gold they can grab.
“They launched a PR barrage, giving demos of trees injected with chemical done by PCA men sporting T-shirts with chemical slogans. Their photos appeared in the newspapers doing this ‘crime’, when the chemical option has not been formally approved. In fact, there is no Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for EO169. Alas, this PR barrage has leaked into the Internet, and part of the world which buy our coconut products knows we are on the verge of injecting chemicals into our coconut trees. If we continue to proclaim this evil solution as our choice when it is not yet approved, our global market will vanish in the blink of an eye.
“The imported chemical endorsed by PCA is brand name Starkle, a neonicotinoid whose potency is 10,000 times the banned deadly DDT, according to Ted Mendoza of U.P. It affects polinators such as bees and butterflies, which can be wiped out on a massive scale and trigger a ‘food chain tsunami’ whose effects are unimaginable, especially on all our fruit trees.
“My PCA source reports that the PCA chose four scientists to do pilots on organic solutions. Of the four, three were PCA-UPLB consultants, perhaps endorsed by the syndicate, and one was an ‘outsider’ endorsed by Congressman Jesus Sacdalan, whom the syndicate could not refuse. One resigned and abandoned his pilot, two never reported their findings, implying they may have failed. But the last, the outsider beyond the clutch of the syndicate, the multi-awarded Edgar Maranan, did a successful pilot with resounding success, in spite of the fact that he was awarded the most seriously infested area in Bay, Laguna. His solution is an organic wholistic approach.”
“The PCA-UPLB gang wanted the organic solution to fail, so they can proclaim their chemical solution.
“Maranan created his own team, independent of the PCA-UPLB, composed of experts from UMALUN, a chapter of a People’s Organization in Dingalan, Aurora, who could climb coconut trees fast, make scientific assessments on the spot, and report findings real time. His pilot was in Barangay Bitin in Bay, Laguna, composed of 30 heavily infested trees. Here is quote from the Maranan pilot –“87 days after treatment, 24 trees out of 30 ‘na ang magaganda ang bunga’ (healthy fruits). 112 days after treatment, kagawad Armando Ramos harvested coconuts from 29 out of the 30 trees.”
“So far, the PCA-UPLB syndicate has convinced Kiko Pangilinan into believing that the only recourse is chemicals. Even if Pangilinan is finally convinced of the organic solution in spite of the black prop of the PCA-UPLB gang, here is the dilemma. Any large-scale solution, chemical or organic, cannot be done without the PCA, which is mandated by EO169 to act on the emergency crisis. It is not too late for PCA to opt for the Maranan organic solution. Pangilinan can actually compel them, if needed.
“The only other way is to insure the successful organic solution is implemented to save the coconut industry is to remove and replace the PCA-UPLB syndicate, a tall order even for Pangilinan. Or he can replace the members of the Task Force if they are suspected as syndicate members insisting on chemicals. Can we surrender the fate of a multi-billion industry and 25 million Filipinos in the hands of a self-serving syndicate?
“The only way is for President Aquino to order Pangilinan to cleanse the PCA or resign in the name of the national economy. DENR Secretary Paje can also step in in the name of an environmental crisis. The newly-installed head of the PCA, Romy Alarcon, is hopefully not under the clutches or even part of the syndicate, and is hopefully powerful enough to dissipate the syndicate before they get rid of him through black prop.
“It is possible for the situation to go viral within 3 to 4 months and spread like wildfire to 30 million trees, which is 18.6% or almost a fifth of our entire productive trees of 170 million, if we are too slow in containing it. The 170 million is net of the 40% declared by PCA as too old, and of the 33 million destroyed by Yolanda.
“If we do not do something quick, a disaster worse than a hundred tsunamis will be upon us. god save the filipino from this looming mega-disaster. God save us from the PCA-UPLB syndicate. This is a plea to Kiko Pangilinan not to be controlled by this powerful syndicate, and impose his will on the crisis situation.”
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My wife handles her family’s farms in the Talisayan-Medina-Gindood area in Misamis Oriental. She has also branched out by Planting mangoes and adding the Thai improvement on our Lanzones, the Longcom under the Coconuts. This article is correct. The main use of our coconuts — the meat and the water — is in the food industry, either as beverage or coconut oil. Any hint that deadly chemicals are used in growing the plant will raise fears among consumers. Remember that old belief that coconut oil was fattening until they finally found that it is a better oil than other vegetable oils. If we continue the way PCA-UPLB apparently want us to go, the world will again turn against all coconut products.
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hvp 07.01.14Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at email@example.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.