BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Negros Occidental is now putting in place emergency measures to control and manage the spread of the false coconut scale, or the aspidiotus regidus, which is described by scientific journals as a “serious coconut pest”.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, through Executive Order 23-26, Series of 2023, will be implementing these measures including designating the Philippine Coconut Authority as the lead agency for the purpose.
The PCA, under the EO, will have the authority to grant permits to transport coconut materials to and from any point in the country.
The agency is also tasked to allocate funds to support the nationwide implementation of the emergency measures to control and manage the coconut pest infestation. The PCA is further tasked to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations in the implementation of the EO when necessary.
The governor, in the EO, said that the province currently has about five million coconut trees, half of which are fruit-bearing with a potential income of P18.7 million, which could provide livelihood to about 14,000 coconut farmers and their families and dependents.
The EO said there are already verified reports of the false coconut scale infestation in the cities of La Carlota, and Bago, as well as in the municipalities of La Castellana, and Murcia. The pest has also started attacking high valued crops that are cultivated under coconuts.