DA project to assure steady supply of pili OK’d

By Connie Destura LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) regional advisory board has approved for the Sorsogon Pili Enterprise Cluster a P26.21M sub-project to process quality pili oil and pili products as an intervention identified in the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan for pili -- a top commodity in the Bicol region. In a phone interview, Emily Bordado, chief information officer of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 5, said the DA-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP), together with the provincial government of Sorsogon, provided 150 grafted pili trees to the Sorsogon Pili Orchard Development Project (SPODP). SPODP is a three-hectare property in Juban, Sorsogon that assures the supply of pili in the Bicol Region. Aside from the P26.21M, LGU-Sorsogon also allocated P250,000 for the construction of a concrete port perimeter fence in the area. SPODP committed to develop one hectare into a pili orchard while DA and the local government will provide technical supervision and logistic support in implementing the project. On the other hand, the Provincial Project Management and Implementing Unit (PPMIU) of Sorsogon will take charge of the monitoring and evaluation of the orchard and consider the technical recommendations by authorized technicians, Bordado added. Rhia Belle Gatdula, of Sorsogon Pili Orchard Development Project, said the project is a good legacy for the farmers as their children, “the next generation of farmers and researchers,” would benefit from the project. Pili grows for more than 100 years. That means, two generations are assured to benefit from their harvests. Sorsogon Governor Robert Lee Rodrigueza expressed his gratitude to Gatdula for their partnership and support to the SPODP. “Hopefully, more people will be encouraged to imitate your example of loving our farmers,” he said in Filipino. PRDP is a six-year World Bank-assisted national project under the DA that aims to establish an inclusive, market-oriented and climate-smart agri-fishery sector in the countryside.