Tag Archives: cavendish

STO. TOMAS MAYOR ERNESTO EVANGELISTA strengthens battle vs. Panama Disease


The municipality of Sto. Tomas in Davao del Norte has strengthened its battle against the Panama Disease, the deadly banana disease that has been wreaking havoc on the export Cavendish banana industry, one of the spark plugs of the town’s economy.

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Panama Disease, the most destructive plant disease that crippled the Cavendish banana industry in Panama in the 60s, is a perennial tormentor of banana farms in Davao del Norte, the Philippine capital of exportable, fresh Cavendish bananas, one of the country’s top dollar-earning exports.

The disease resurfaced in Davao del Norte in 2019 and hit several villages of Sto. Tomas, prompting Mayor Ernesto Evangelista to launch massive information campaign on Panama Disease and provide technical assistance to banana plantations hit by the destructive disease, to contain its spread.

The town’s added firepower to fight the soil-borne fungus also known as Fusarium Wilt came in the form of a P5 million fund from the Department of Agriculture to build techno-demo farms aiming to mitigate the impact of the disease.

Mayor Evangelista received the check on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, thanking DA Region Eleven Executive Director Ricardo M. Oñate, Jr. for the agency’s support to all the programs and projects extended to the agri-sector of Santo Tomas.

The fund will be spent for the establishment of techno-demo farms project of the Municipal Agriculturist’s Office (MAGRO) that aim to study the impact of soil rejuvenation for the rehabilitation of banana Cavendish farms infected by the Panama disease in the municipality of Santo Tomas.

Mayor Evangelista said his administration would now explore feasible options such as the establishment of techno-demo farms to help the banana growers.

It can be recalled that last June 23, 2020, Evangelista sent an endorsement to the Sangguniang Bayan asking for a legislation that would address the issues of price fixing, highlights best practices in pests and disease management, technology updates, maximizing benefits from trade and tariff agreements, and market standards compliance that would strengthen the local Cavendish banana industry.

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BUSINESS NEWS: Banana still top Davao export, Trade Fair in Paris, Cacao a big hit, start-up business

joanna-balanzaBanana and its by-products are still the top Davao export despite recent typhoons that ravaged the region’s major banana producing provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte.

davao gulfExport of fresh and dried bananas reached P 877, 054 million in 2013, or 46.7 percent higher compared to P 597, 849 million in 2012, data from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) 11 show.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) 11 regional director Maria Lourdes D. Lim said that eight months after the devastation of Pablo in major Cavendish banana-producing provinces like Compostela Valley in Davao region, banana farmers started to harvest and export again.

The fast recovery of the banana industry, according to Lim, contributed in the increase of banana exportation in the global market.

Business chamber joins Paris food fair  

The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) plans to send a  team in October to Paris, France for the Salon International de l’alimentation (Sial), said DCCCII president Antonio dela Cruz.

Dela Cruz bared the ‘exploratory’ mission during the recent DCCCII general membership meeting at the Seda Abreeza Hotel.

He said the Sial fair, one of the largest international food and beverage trade exhibit, would be held from October 17 to 23.

Davao City businessmen will have the chance in the food and beverage fair to to study European market trends for potential export opportunities, said Raf Vlummens, Small Business Development Center committee chair.

Dela Cruz said about 20 businessmen into agriculture and food processing will form the team to the Paris fair.

 Start-up businesses told to avail of coop loans

START-UP micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are encouraged to avail of financing packages offered by cooperatives rather than banks.

Raf Vlummens, Davao City of Chamber of Commerce and Industries Inc. (DCCCII)’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) coordinator, said cooperatives are giving easier access to financing than commercial or rural banks.

He said access to finance remains a hurdle for many start-up MSMEs since there are certain requirements they cannot comply with if they want to avail of loans from banks.

Vlummens said when MSMEs go to a bank for funding, they are required to present a three year bank statement and income statement, which the MSMEs don’t have during the start-up phase of their business.

Vlummens said under R.A. 9520, cooperatives can provide business loans to the start-up MSMEs.

He said the interest rates imposed by cooperatives are a little bit higher compared to the banks but it is much more feasible for the MSME to get funding from other financial institutions. SUNSTAR Davao

More farmers turn to cacao

More than 250 hectares will be planted to cacao in selected Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) in Davao City after seven agrarian reform beneficiary organizations inked a ten-year Cacao Production and Purchase Agreement with Kennemer Foods International, Inc.

Among the involved ARBOs include the Biao ARB Cooperative (BARBCO) in Tugbok District; Carmen Agricultural Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CAMPC) and Balacan Development Multi-Purpose Cooperative, both in Baguio District; and Suawan Proper Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Marilog District.

The other organizations that signed the agreement were the Fatima Multi-Purpose Cooperative (FMC) and Latungan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Paquibato District; and Callawa Bonggan Employees ARB Cooperative (CABEARBCO) in Buhangin.

The CPPA was recently signed during the yearly gathering of ARBs and stakeholders of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in Davao City, dubbed as “Pakiglambigit” 2014.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Ernesto B. Tan said that with this venture it is expected that at least 300 agrarian reform beneficiaries who are into cacao production shall have an increased net income of P90,000 per hectare with 1,100 trees per hectare in the next five years.

KFII President Simon Bakker said their company is engaged in the commercial farming of cacao, and has the technology, technical and management expertise, and marketing capability required to plant, cultivate, harvest, market and export cacao.

The ARBs, who will be provided with high quality cacao seedlings, will be trained and coached on the proper care, cultivation and harvesting of cacaos which shall be exclusively sold to the company.
(DARPO-Davao City/Fraulein G. Montañez)

PHILIPPINES first Asian country to export Cavendish bananas to United States

The first Asian country to export bananas to the US is the Philippines, the Philippine Embassy in the US said.

The maiden shipment consists of 7.047 metric tons of Cavendish bananas from Bukidnon.

The shipment  arrived at the Port of Long Beach, Los Angeles in California on September 9.

The bananas were exported by Dole Philippines to Dole Food Company Inc. through Mindanao International Container Terminal in Tagaloan, Misamis Oriental on August 20.

“With this shipment, we are hopeful that Philippine bananas would be able to find and satisfy a niche in the competitive US banana market,” Philippine ambassador to US Jose L. Cuisia Jr. said.

DON ANTONIO FLOIRENDO SR. – Mindanao’s banana magnate dies of pneumonia


DAVAO CITY, Philippines  – Southern Mindanao’s banana magnate Antonio Floirendo Sr. died of pneumonia at the St. Luke’s Medical Center Friday night. He was 96.Floirendo started the banana export business in the south 50 years ago.

Floirendo, who strongly pushed for the development of Southern Mindanao, was considered among the most influential persons in politics in the region.

His remains will be brought to Davao City tomorrow.

He is survived by his wife Nenita and children, former Davao Norte congressman Antonio Floirendo, Jr., Linda Lagdameo, Maricris Brias, Ricky, Vincent and Marissa.

The Floirendos own the Pearl Farm Beach Resort in Samal Island.

Recently, the Antonio Floirendo Corporation Management Company (Anflocor) entered into a joint venture with the Ayala Group of Companies for the Abreeza shopping mall complex.

Panama Disease remains a threat to Davao banana industry

Panama Disease will continue to be a scourge to the local export Cavendish banana industry in the Davao Region, its devastating effect to hound plantations during this decade.
Cavendish is a major export of the Davao Region.
Despite efforts to arrest the deadly plant disease by the Department of Agriculture and banana growers, Panama Disease which at one time crippled the banana industry in Indonesia and Malaysia and in Latin America, remains widespread in the banana plantations in the Davao Region, said Rene Dalayon, president of the Federation of Banana Cooperatives in Davao (Fedco).
Fedco is a federation of 16 banana-growing cooperatives in the Davao Region.
We can no longer control it. It’s embedded deep into the soil of many banana plantations in Davao, Dalayon told Davao City-based business reporters.
Panama Disease attacks the terminal roots of the banana plant, killing the plant in a matter of weeks.

If the disease is not contained, Dalayon said the Davao Region could go the way of Northern Australia where Panama Disease wiped out almost the entire industry in five years, despite that country’s technological advances. ROGER M. BALANZA


DAR, court order immediate installation of Madaum CARP beneficiaries

A Davao City Regional Trial Court has lifted a permanent writ of injunction it earlier issued in Civil Case No. 33,537-2010, Lapanday Foods Corporation vs. Jerome Amulata, etal, paving the way for the final distribution of 236 hectares of CARP land to 296 beneficiaries in Madaum, Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
The order of RTC Judge Omelio dealt a final death blow to legal moves by Lapanday Foods Corporation to prevent the distribution of the land to the beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Land Reform Program (CARP).
The Omelio order is the second victory for the Madaum CARP beneficiaries
In an Order issued in June 21, 2010 by Regional Director Datu Yusoph Mama, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)  regional office in the Davao Region ordered the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Davao del Norte or the designated DAR Sheriff of Davao del Norte to “immediately re-install and place, without delay, in physical possession and actual cultivation the 296 petitioners, Jerome Amulata, et al., over their petition their partition share of 236.8020, and thereafter, to ensure that they be maintained in peaceful possession and cultivation thereof, and also to cause the conduct of segregation/subdivision survey on said lands; and they may call upon the assistance of the police and/or military personnel in the implementation and enforcement of this Order.”

Lapanday Foods opposed the DAR order and filed a case in the regular court questioning jurisdiction of DAR over the case in a bid to stop the implementation and enforcement of the DAR order.



“Hereby ordered is the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Davao del Norte or the designated DAR Sheriff of Davao del Norte to “immediately re-install and place, without delay, in physical possession and actual cultivation the 296 petitioners, Jerome Amulata, et al., over their petition their partition share of 236.8020, and thereafter, to ensure that they be maintained in peaceful possession and cultivation thereof, and also to cause the conduct of segregation/subdivision survey on said lands; and they may call upon the assistance of the police and/or military personnel in the implementation and enforcement of this Order.”

DAR XI Regional Director
In Decision dated June 21, 2010 in DAR Case No. A-1100-0303-09

In a decision issued on April 26, 2011 by RTC Judge Omelio, Lapanday gained a victory. In the decision  Judge Omelio ruled that ” the DAR regional director, inclduing the PARO and even the DAR Secretary, have no jurisdiction over the petition for partition of CLOA No. 00398239 registered as TCT No. C-10507. ”
“The assailed 21 June 2010 Order and the 25 August 2010 Resolution in DAR Case No. A-1100-0305-09 is hereby declared as NULL and VOID. The Writ of preliminary injunction issued in this case is hereby likewise made permanent.”
Lapanday’s victory however was brief.
Jerome Amulata, et al., questioned the decision, and ended up with Judge Omelio reversing his decision, in his Order issued on September 11, 2011.
In the latest Order, Judge Omelio set aside his decision of April 26, 2011, and ordered the lifting of the permanent writ of injunction.
In reversing his earlier decision, Judge Robillo ruled that ” the implementation and enforcement of Comprehensive Land Reform laws is vested with the Department of Agrarian Reform headed by its Secretary and under its line agencies….which are entrusted with the regulation of activities, particularly agrarian disputes and ancillary problems coming under its special and technical skills, knowledge and training of which other government deparments are without expertise.”
The batle has been won, and what is left is the implementation of the decision of DAR dated June 21,  2010.
The story of Jerome Amulata, et. al. and their battle to recover their land is a story detailed in the decision of DAR XI regional director Dartu Yusoph Mama:
The lands subject matter of the petition consist of 570.2060 hectares, more or less, of commercial lands primarily devoted to production of export quality bananas, and located at Madaum, Tagum City, Davao Del Norte. These commercial lands, including the standing crops (bananas) and improvement found thereon, were covered and acquired by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government pursuant to Republic Act No. 6657 ,and eventually redistributed to 724 Agrarian Reform Benefeciaries (ARBs), as evidenced by Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) No.00398239, issued under Transfer Certificate of Title No. C-10527 and registered on 18 December 1996. The valuation of these lands and standing crops (bananas) and improvement found thereon was finally determined by the Honorable Supreme Court in the case of ‘Apokon Fruits Corporation (AFP) and Hijo Plantation Inc. (HPI) versus Landbank of the Philippines (LBP)’ under G.R. No. 164195, February 6, 2007.
In December 1996, these 724 ARBs formed their agrarian reform benefeciary cooperative, Hijo Agrarian Reform Benefeciaries Cooperative (HARBCO). After a two-year transition period, on or 28 December 1998, they formally entered into a Banana Sales and Marketing Agreement (BSMA), an agri-business venture agreement of contact growing, with the former operator owner of the subject lands, Hijo Plantation Inc. (HPI), whereby the cooperative (HARBCO) with its members-ARBs as laborers-farmworkers sell the export quality bananas produce thereon to their buyer, HPI, at an agreed price per box for a period of ten years, or up to Dcember 31, 2008.
Disgruntled with the execution of the BSMA, a sizeable number of these 724 ARBs spearheaded by herein petitioners, Jerome Amulata, et. al., being identified as the NO GROUP, sought to physically partition these 579 hectares of co-owned lands by taking physical possession and actual cultivation of portions of these lands in January 1999 over the vehement objection and prostation of HARBCO management, being the YES GROUP, and the buyer, HPI. Protracted and violent clashes ensued resulting to the deaths of two persons and to the physical harm, injuries and wounded of several ARBs and security guards. Judicial, quasijudicial and administrative actions were also pursued by the stakeholders on these lands. In May of 1999, herein Jerome Amulata, et. al. were ejected from their possessed areas and were never allowed to work in any portion of these lands, until in 2004, when they were able to regain their standing in their Cooperative,  and were allowed to work on the subject lands as farmworkers.



The desired partition is economically feasible and viable. The Department of Agriculture, through the Provincial Agriculturist of Davao del Norte, and the Land Bank of the Philippines, through its Regional Officer II of Davao del Norte, have favorably recommended for the partition of these 579-hectare collectively owned lands. The lands after partition shall remain to be principally devoted to production of export quality bananas. Greater productivity is attainable and achievable over the lands after partition since the lands, even if parcellarized or subdivided into individual lots after partition, the lands are susceptible of individual farming system. the partitioning petitioners as well as the other HARBCO members-ARBs have the ability, capability and willingness to cultivate and make lands productive sice they have been working and cultivating on these lands since 1970s, and continously thereafter when these lands were covered, acquired and awarded under the Comperhensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) pursuant to Republic AcT No. 6657 in 1998 by the Department of Agrarian Reform in their favor. No legal impediment nor proof of facts was ever aduced in the records of the instant case which would negate partition of these collectively CARP-awarded and owned lands. Thus, the mandatory requirement of determination of economic feasibility and soundness of partition of this commercial farm under Section 17 of DAR Administrative Order No. 09, Series of 1998, as amended, has been complied with. Finally, partition is lawfully ecognized under Executive No. 229 which states- ‘ Section 14. Collective or Individual Ownership. For lands with multiple benefeciaries, collectively or individually, at the option of the benefeciaries, provided, that in collective ownership, each benefeciary shall have an undivided share of the land held in common equivalent to not more than the applicable retention limit. The benefeciaries may collectively decide on the continued operation of the parcel/estate as a whole or to subdivided the same into individual lots and determine the manner in which such subdivision is to be implemented. “

DAR XI Regional Director
In Decision dated June 21, 2010 in DAR Case No. A-1100-0303-09


Panama Disease killing Davao bananas

Banana growers in the Davao Region are  alarmed over the onset of the dreaded Panama Disease, which has already affected several banana plantations.

“It is an industry killer and for Mindanao, an economy killer,” Alex Valoria, president of the Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), said of the destructive fungal plant disease.
The fungus, which already attacked several plantations across the region, has been identified as the recent strain Tropical Race 4. Presently, it has no cure and cannot be controlled by fungicide.
Stephen Antig, PBGEA executive-director, said the disease was spotted in Calinan in Davao City about three years ago.
It has spread to banana plantations in Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur.
The fungus is carried by humans, dogs, cats, pigs and car tires. Rainwater can also carry the fungus thus, it can spread easily from upland farms to lowland plantations.
Panama Disease destroyed the Malaysian banana industry three years ago.
In Mindanao, there are about 245,000 hectares planted to bananas with 79,300 hectares devoted to export-quality Cavendish varieties.