Senator Cynthia Villar welcomed President Duterte’s enactment of two laws recognizing the growth of the abaca and egg industries in the country.
Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. (RA) 1170 declaring the province of Catanduanes as the abaca capital of the Philippines, as well as RA 11707 making the municipality of San Jose in Batangas as the egg basket of the country.
Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, was author of the two measures which she vigorously pushed in the Senate.
With RA 1170 now a law, Villar believed it would spur the growth of the abaca industry. She noted the Philippines has long been known to be the leading producer of abaca.
“Catanduanes is the highest producer with 31.72 percent contribution in the country’s abaca production in 2020, 33.74 percent in 2019 and 33.37 percent in 2018,” Villar said.
She said Catanduanes accounted for more than 80 percent of Bicol regions’ production, with at least 21,500 hectares of land dedicated to abaca.
She emphasized that the Philippines dominated the global abaca trade as the country supplies about 87.5 percent of the world’s abaca fiber requirements, with Ecuador and Costa Rica, sharing the remaining 12.5 percent as of 2016.
The new law on abaca provides that “the state recognizes the importance of the abaca industry and its development as a driver of rural development not only because of its singular potential as a raw material that can increase the country’s export earnings tremendously and put the name of the country in the map of the world for producing the biggest volume of abaca fiber but for having provided livelihood to many small farmers in the countryside.”
On the other hand, Villar said the law declaring San Jose as egg capital will help the country attain its goal of food security and sustainability.
“This will also recognize the hardship and efforts of our egg raisers from San Jose. They will be further motivated to serve as inspiration to more farmers in the country,” she said.
“From starting as a backyard industry back in the 60s, San Jose Batangas took the lead and turned it into one of the most successful, if not the most successful industry, with the farmers evolving into ‘agripreneurs’, who continuously help innovate the agricultural practices in this small town,” Villar added.
Through the concerted efforts of the egg farmers of San Jose, Villar said the egg industry continues to be their source of increased income, which also generates thousands of direct and indirect.
San Jose is a first-class municipality with the highest egg production of at least 70,000 tons of eggs a year. R