President Benigno S. Aquino III vowed to further develop the country's coconut industry now that it has become one of the country's best economic assets given the great demand by other countries of its various byproducts.
In his speech during his meeting with local leaders and the community here Monday, President Aquino said his administration will continue to look for more economic opportunities for the province of Quezon especially on its thriving coconut industry.
"Kung dati sadyang binabalewala ang potensyal ng inyong probinsya, ngayon talagang binibigyang-lakas natin ang inyong mga industriya upang ang bawat taga-Quezon ay kayang makamit anuman ang kanyang mga pangarap sa buhay," he said.
Prior to his visit in Catanauan Central Elementary School where Team PNoy also held one of its campaign sorties in Quezon, President Aquino toured a coconut water plantation operated by Peter Paul Philippine Corporation's in Candelaria.
According to the President, PPPC at present does not only provide jobs for more than 2,000 people but also gives tremendous support to the livelihood of about 2,500 coconut farmers which only underscores the great economic potential behind the coconut industry.
President Aquino noted that in 2009, only 484,000 liters were being exported by our country whereas, in 2010, it increased to as much 1.81 million liters and was even pegged at 16 million liters as of 2011.
"Ano po ang naging susi dito? Pinag-aralan natin kung ano ang lakas ng inyong lalawigan at wala tayong sinayang na panahon upang ang pakinabang ng industriya ng pagniniyog ay umabot sa mga taga-Quezon," the President added.
President Aquino also mentioned that the demand was also great for coco coir fiber especially from countries like Japan, China, Germany, and the United States, among others, since it is now being used to prevent soil erosion.
"Tayo na po mismo ang naubusan ng coco coir. Baka gusto niyo hong paramihin pa ang ating puno ng niyog para matakpan ang kakulangan nito. Hudyat po itong dapat pa talaga nating palaguin ang ating industriya ng niyog," President Aquino said.
Aquino also rolled out several infrastructure and irrigation projects in Quezon including an 82-million peso budget already earmarked to supply water for some 1,100 hectares of rice fields in the towns of Burdeos, Polillo, Infanta, Tiaong, Pagbilao, Tayabas, Mauban, Perez, San Francisco, Ginayangan, and Lucena.
The President told the residents of Quezon Province that the almost P15-billion saved by the Department of Public Works and Highways from its budget will be used to fund more road projects in their locality.
These include the eight-kilometer Lucena diversion Talao-Talao port road project, the 16 farm-to-market road projects in Calauag, Gumaca, and Tagkawayan, and the 60-kilometer South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) extension project from Batangas to Lucena, that aim to cut travel time for motorists, tourists, and delivery of goods.