PCA official says coconut coir useful in landslide prevention

Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Regional Manager Jose Cruz said that he is now coordinating with the departments of trade and industry (DTI) and of public works and highways (DPWH) so that the coconut coir being produced by farmers here in Western Visayas could be used as nets to prevent landslides in the mountainous parts of the region.

Cruz said that Western Visayas being the number six in the country in terms of coconut production has a large potential to supply coconut coir that could be used as nets on sloppy areas where the DPWH has road projects.

He welcomed the announcement that the DTI will be infusing some P2 billion funds for the development of coconut coir with the PCA, but Cruz said that initially he would like the coconut coir to be utilized in meeting the needs of the region.

He said that coconut coir could not only be useful in the prevention of landslides likewise with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) as artificial reefs.

The use of old tires in the fish sanctuaries is now being discouraged by marine experts because it is believed to poison the fishes, but the organic coconut coir pose no harm.

Cruz said that in the region there are around 60,000 to 70,000 coconut farmers who maintain 13 million hectares of coconut farms. He further estimated that a coconut tree could produce 42 knots of coconut coir per year on the average that could be enough to meet the needs of the region.