PHILIPPINE COCONUT AUTHORITY 2004 RESEARCH ACCOMPLISHMENT HIGHLIGHTS

 
 
 

  CADANG-CADANG DISEASE CONTAINMENT AND ACCREDITATION PROGRAM VIROLOGY-BIOCHEMISTRY DIVISION

ENTOMOLOGY-EPIDEMIOLOGY DIVISION

IN COLLABORATION WITH

RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT & EXTENSION BRANCH

TRADE & MARKETS DEVELOPMENT BRANCH

PCA REGIONS IVA, V, & VIII

 

 

Component 1. Identification and Accreditation of Disease-free Areas

Disease-free areas have already been identified (Batangas, Laguna and Cavite ) following the guidelines of the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures. These areas can serve as sources of coconut products for export particularly young tender coconut (buko). To protect the disease-free areas from contamination, the Bureau of Plant Industry-Plant Quarantine Service together with PCA needs to strengthen quarantine checkpoints to better monitor and inspect coconut products coming from diseased areas.

Joint PCA-BPI Seminar-Workshop on Plant Quarantine Procedures relative to PCAs Cadang-cadang Disease Containment and Accreditation Program

 

A seminar workshop was conducted early in the year to orient and familiarize the PCA fieldmen with quarantine rules, regulations and procedures for monitoring and inspection to guide them in field monitoring and inspection. The 3-day Seminar-Workshop consisted of a Plenary session where the legal, technical and scientific bases for quarantine rules, regulations and procedures relative to Cadang-cadang were presented to provide a comprehensive background for the participants. Resource persons for the Plenary session included quarantine experts from the BPI and technical and legal experts from PCA.

The subsequent workshop brainstormed the proposed amendments to BPI Administrative Order No.15 series of 1988, issues relative to the implementation of RA 8048, domestic and international quarantine requirements for coconut, possible joint PCA-BPI quarantine activities, establishment of quarantine checkpoints and training.

From the activities of the Seminar-Workshop, the participants came out with a proposed Policy Declaration on Cadang-cadang as a manageable disease in the light of new scientific and technological breakthroughs. To concretize this proposed Policy Declaration, an Administrative Order further modifying BPI AO 15, series of 1988 was drafted incorporating the results of recent research and its implications to Cadang-cadang containment as well as harmonizing with other existing laws such as RA 8048.

Effective implementation of the proposed Administrative Order require, quarantine checkpoints to be identified outside disease boundaries to prevent any coconut material capable of transferring the Cadang-cadang disease to be transported from infected areas to non-infected areas. Checkpoints were identified in Quezon, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Samar and Biliran and validated by the PCA PCDMs and Agriculturists as well as BPI Quarantine Officers from these regions.

Quarantine-related responsibilities for PCA and BPI were also identified as well as activities that can be jointly implemented by the two regulatory agencies. Along this line a training on quarantine implementation with particular emphasis on Cadang-cadang containment was proposed for PCA and LGU personnel who could be deputized by BPI to provide assistance and manpower in the strict implementation of quarantine rules, regulations and procedures at quarantine checkpoints.

Joint PCA-BPI Seminar-Workshop on the Implementing Strategies for BPI Quarantine Administrative Order No. 13 s. of 2004, relative to the deputation of PCA and LGU personnel as Quarantine Officers

On May 20, 2004, the Department of Agriculture Secretary Luis P. Lorenzo signed BPI Quarantine Administrative Order No 13 series of 2004 on “Rules and Regulations Further Modifying BPI Administrative Order No. 15 series of 1988 entitled ‘Declaring the Cadang-cadang a Manageable Disease and Providing for a Containment and Quarantine Control program in Affected Areas' To effectively sustain the implementation of this new Administrative Order and to provide technical assistance to quarantine officers, deputation of PCA and LGU personnel by the BPI Director was incorporated in the said AO. Such deputized personnel can provide additional manpower in the strict implementation of quarantine rules, regulations and procedures particularly at plant quarantine checkpoints to be established in accordance with the proposed AO.

A Seminar-Workshop was conducted to train PCA and LGU personnel to familiarize them with quarantine protocol at plant quarantine checkpoints and to identify specific functions that they will perform as deputized quarantine officers.

The seminar workshop was composed of three modules. The first module dealt with the presentation by PCA of background information on the Cadang-cadang disease and the on-going Cadang-cadang disease containment and accreditation program that led to the preparation and eventually, approval of BPI Quarantine Administrative Order No. 13, series of 2004. BPI also presented the historical perspective of plant quarantine in the Philippines as well as the plant quarantine systems and operations as practiced by the BPI PQS and harmonization of local quarantine systems with international quarantine standards.

The second module was a workshop wherein the participants provided additional inputs for the refinement of a draft implementing guidelines for BPI Q AO No. 13, series of 2004 facilitated by PCA and BPI-PQS. National and local agencies and Local Government Units tasked with the enforcement of BPI Q AO No. 13, series of 2004 were identified and their responsibilities spelled out. Appropriate procedures for land-based and seaport-based quarantine checkpoints were formulated to provide a clear step by step protocol in the enforcement of the said Administrative Order.

The third module was the Field Exercise that included the application of the formulated guidelines in a simulated quarantine operation at seaport. This exercise was conducted at the Port of Tabaco City, Albay. At the end of the exercise, the participants evaluated the proposed quarantine protocol based on their experience during the exercise and gave recommendations and suggestions for the strict enforcement of Administrative Order No. 13, series of 2004.

During the Workshop, concerns were raised about the conflicting provisions of PD 1433 and BPI Q AO No. 13, series of 2004, particularly on the issue of penalty i.e. fines to be imposed for violations of the provisions of AO No. 13. It was the opinion of legal minds that the amount of fines that can be imposed on violators as stated in the AO and its implementing guidelines should not be more than the allowable fines stated in PD 1433.

It was also noted that there was no Section in the AO to define certain terms used in the AO such as indexed palms, seasoned lumber, deputation. Although such a section was included in the proposed implementing guidelines, the AO should be amended to include aforementioned section. There was also no Section identifying the buffer zones to protect disease free areas from invasion of the disease. The identification of buffer zones should be included in accordance with International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures. As with the issue of definition of terms, identification of buffer zone should be in both AO and implementing guidelines.

Particular concern expressed by personnel who would be deputized was the risk accompanying enforcement of quarantine regulations in areas where resistance to such regulations is expected. It was explained that there are standard procedures to be followed in the enforcement of quarantine regulations. It was emphasized that the approach to resistance should be diplomatic and not confrontational to prevent untoward incidents.

Similarly, the issue of enforcement of Administrative Order 13, series of 2004 in coastal and island municipalities and barangays was raised by those assigned in island municipalities and barangays where quarantine checkpoints are to be established. With the long coastline of these areas, violators can easily slip from the authorities thus endangering the coconuts in the ports of entry especially so if the prohibited coconut materials are not apprehended at the point of origin. It was emphasized that the enforcement of quarantine is really not an easy task and would entail cooperation of the local government units more so in coastal and island municipalities and barangays. It was suggested that massive information campaigns be made to make the local governments aware of the need to enforce quarantine regulations. It is also important that resolutions at the barangay and municipal levels on the adoption of quarantine regulations as embodied in AO 13 be passed so that vigilance on the transport of prohibited coconut materials can be observed in all areas.

In accordance with the new BPI Quarantine Administrative Order, assay of Makapuno palms planted in the Bicol region has been started. This is to facilitate the transport of Makapuno nuts for processing into food products to areas outside of the Bicol area such as Laguna and Batangas.

Component 2. Establishment of Buffer Zones in Luzon and Visayas

  Survey on the proposed buffer zone to be established in Quezon province were started in December, 2003. Survey sites along the Pagbilao to Real route were marked and initial observations and leaf sampling has been started.

Component 3. Eradication of Cadang-cadang and Rehabilitation of Disease-devastated Areas

  A Rehabilitation Program for Cadang-cadang affected areas in Regions IVA (Quezon), V (Albay, Camarines Sur I & II, Camarines Norte, Sorsogon, Masbate and Catanduanes) and VIII ( Samar and Biliran) was prepared for implementation in 2005. The Program involves the cutting of diseased palms and replanting with high yielding, early bearing varieties free of Cadang-cadang .

Dr. MJB Rodriguez participated in the following meetings at PCA Central Office where she prepared the documents needed in addressing the issues raised particularly by the Taiwan government.

•  Proposed amendment to Section 11 of RA 8048 regarding the cutting of Cadang-cadang infected palms (January 6, 2004).

•  Phytosanitary measures required by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Institute for Quarantine (BAPHIQ) of Taiwan in relation to the Cadang-cadang disease (December 9, 2004).

 

UPDATES

NOVEMBER 2005

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