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Coconut smuggling threatens Samar

By NINFA B QUIRANTE, PIA Samar
December 19, 2011

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Smuggling of whole coconuts may damage the coconut industry in Samar.

This is the emerging issue that has gripped PCA these past few days, according to a coconut development officer.

While the coconut farmers are a bit offbeat due to the high price of copra, buyers of whole nuts are having a heyday buying and smuggling them which PCA believe is to China.

“If this continues, after some ten years, Philippine coconut industry will die a natural death,” said Samar Provincial Coconut Development Manager Emiberto Acasio.

“Our market is swarmed with cheap products from China, and Filipino businessmen can not compete with the low price, many had to close shop, now we have to protect the industry so as not to be usurped by China, God forbid,” he added.

He observed that in Paranas, a lady is reportedly buying whole nuts which the PCA suspects is smuggling them to China through other clandestine ports where there is no coast guard.

“We have waited for the lady to register with us before she can establish her buying station, but until now, she has not shown up at PCA-Samar provincial office,” Acasio said.

The law requires that coconut buyers in nuts and lumber should register with the PCA, secure permit and secure transport clearance from the regional office to regulate this activity that could harm the industry in the future.