COUNCILORS are looking into the possibility of strictly regulating the harvest or the banning of the mutilation of young leaf sheaths of abaca in the city.
This, as Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy referred to the city council committee on agriculture and fisheries Memorandum Circular No.2019-66 from the Department of Interior and Local Government that enjoined local governments to enact ordinances banning the harvesting, buying, selling and mutilating of young leaf sheaths of abaca.
The committee is chaired by Councilor Annie Daba.
The circular cites that abaca is a top export commodity in the country supplying about 85-percent of the total world abaca production. It is considered as one of the country’s high value commercial crops, contributing to an average of P3.15 billion in revenues and providing direct and indirect employment to about 1.5 million Filipinos.
According to the DILG, the practice of harvesting, buying, selling and mutilating of immature and young leaf sheaths of abaca resulted in an increased spread of abaca viral diseases, particularly the bunch-top, bract, mosaic and other microorganisms.
The DILG circular was issued in furtherance of Resolution No. 12 of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries of the Department of Agriculture, enjoining local governments of abaca-producing areas to issue their respective ordinances banning the illegal harvesting, buying, selling and mutilating of young leaf sheaths of abaca plants also known as “bakbak” or “umbak.” (SP)