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Isabela City eyes calamity fund to fight 'cocolisap'

The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines  - The local government of Isabela City, Basilan called for the declaration of state of calamity as the area damaged by the infestation of scale insect also known as "cocolisap" widened,  said Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar.

“We are alarmed and worried that the coconut industry here will be wiped out,” Akbar said.

According to Akbar, the infestation of the scale insects has worsened from to  two to 18 barangays with coconut plantations. The city is comprised  of at least 45 barangays.

“If this will not be attended  to properl, all barangays with coconut plantation will be affected,” Akbar said.

She said that during an emergency meeting with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) local office and the city government, Task Force SICAT (Scale Insect Action Team) was formed involving all agencies in the local government to combat the massive infestation that has wiped out more than 70,000 coconut trees.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said a massive attack of the tiny-bug like insects, which  release the green figment that causes a coconut tree to wilt and die, are threatening the  coconut industry.

The local government also called to place the city under the state of calamity so the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) will allow them to release the 30- percent calamity fund to be used in combating the spread of the scale insects.

Based on the monitoring, the infestation of the ‘cocolisap’ has reached the nearby municipality of Lantawan, an area with vast coconut plantation in the province.

Akbar said the infestation contributed to the ailing coconut industry of the province which is now 70 percent planted with rubber trees.

The local official is also worried  the same pest would also attack the rubber plantation as fruit and banana trees were not spared by the pest's infestation. - Roel Pareño 

AKBAR

COCONUT

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

ISABELA CITY

MAYOR CHERRYLYN SANTOS-AKBAR

NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION MANAGEMENT COUNCIL

PHILIPPINE COCONUT AUTHORITY

ROEL PARE

SCALE INSECT ACTION TEAM

TASK FORCE

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