Source: Philippine Information Agency      By Carlo P. Gonzaga
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is looking at creating a 150-hectare coconut industrial complex that would include all the essential support facilities for the coconut industry, according to its Coconut Industrial Development Plan.
PCA Administrator Euclides G. Forbes is optimistic that the project will be started within the year, although the concept has yet to be approved by Malacañang.

Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director for Calabarzon Marilou Quinco-Toledo welcomed the proposal of putting up a coconut estate saying that this will encourage investments and boost the country’s coconut industry.

Toledo expressed high hopes that while other provinces are being considered as the site for the proposed complex, Quezon, being the second largest producer of coconut in the country had been chosen.

Among the five provinces in the Calabarzon region, Quezon is the only province that does not host any industrial estate.

"This would be an opportunity for Quezon to host an industrial facility and one that would directly support the province’s most significant industry,” Toledo said.

“Aside from providing direct employment, it would spark off other economic activities in the locality,” Toledo added.

The proposed project would make the Philippines the center of coconut oil market and trade in Asia and opening prospects of the Philippine coconut oil to command a good price.

Through the creation of coconut industrial estate, the government intends to move up production of coconut-derived products such as health and personal care products.

The Philippines currently exports coconut products in raw commodity and intermediate product forms.

Last year, the Philippines exported more than 1.5-million metric tons of copra, coconut oil, copra meal, desiccated coconut, coco shell charcoal, activated carbon, and coco chemicals, a slight 1.49percent increase compared to the volume exported in 2011.

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