LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 8 (PNA) –- Except for Albay, the five other provinces of Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Sorsogon, Masbate and Catanduanes in the Bicol region are now free from the infestation of coconut scale insects, popularly known as “cocolisap,” according to an official of the Philippines Coconut Authority (PCA) regional office here.
Eduardo Bailon, PCA Bicol information officer, said this year’s infestation in Sta. Elena and Mercedes towns, both in Camarines Norte, and in Del Gallego and Sipocot towns, both in Camarines Sur have been controlled.
“So far, the most actively infested is Albay province, particularly in Barangay Banao, Guinobatan, where a total of 156 coconut trees have been affected, and in Bonga, Legazpi City, where 224 coconut trees have been confirmed infested by cocolisap,” he said.
Bailon said PCA has conducted immediate treatment of the affected trees by “pruning and trunk injection of pesticides” and monitoring in other areas in the province to ensure the infestation will not affect other coconut plantations.
“Our office has provided salt fertilizers and other technical assistance needed by the coconut farmers,” he said.
Bailon assured farmers that the infestation will be contained and treated within this month.
He added they cannot yet make any estimates on the loss to coconut production in Bicol because PCA is still monitoring the other municipalities in Albay.
“In terms of the market price of coconuts, however, it’s the same. This means that the cocolisap has no effect on the production and prices of coconuts,” Bailon said.
He said there is no reason for the coconut farmers in Albay to panic or for the declaration of an outbreak of cocolisap.
“We have curtailed the problem and local government units are also urged to help in the monitoring so we can immediately address or counter the infestation,” said Bailon. (PNA) FPV/MIKE DE LA RAMA/SSC