Even as Kalibo, the capital town of Aklan is the center of commerce in the province and at the same time a rice-producing municipality, it is still devoted to coconut. Its newly-elected chief executive, Mayor William Lachica is proud of this fact.
In his welcome message during the recent Coconut Celebration Month, Mayor Lachica said that the coconut industry in Kalibo, with the full support of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is helping in the production of coconuts. This is enabling coconut farmers to finance their children’s education until graduation from college.
"This should inspire our coconut farmers to exert more effort to increase coconut production and work hand-in-hand with the executive and legislative so the industry continues to flourish," Lachica told the audience, composed of coconut farmers organization members of Aklan’s 17 towns, PCA officials from offices of Western Visayas and Aklan.
Lachica appealed to PCA Regional Manager Jose Cruz and other agency officials to continue helping the coconut industry in the province.
On the other hand, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Rodson F. Mayor, who represented Gov. Carlito S. Marquez in the program, told PCA officials that Aklan is targeting to rehabilitate this year some 200 hectares of coconut plantation.
Mayor said Aklan will also assist in the inter-cropping of some 250 hectares, and will provide some 1,000 bags of fertilizer.
Mayor also extolled the health benefits of coconut farmers. He told the audience of the benefits of drinking coconut water based on his personal experience.
"Let us continue planting coconuts so more people will benefit and have added income," Mayor pointed out.
Aklan is chosen as the venue of this year’s celebration because in Western Visayas, it has the biggest coconut cover, according to PCA Regional Manager Jose S. Cruz. (Venus G. Villanueva) /MP