PCA revs up treatment operations against cocolisap infestation in Zambo
In coordination with the Local Government Units (LGUs) and coconut farmers, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has intensified its campaign to contain the coconut scale insect (CSI), popularly known as “cocolisap”, plaguing the Zamboanga Peninsula.
PCA Administrator Romulo de la Rosa said that a total amount of P27.2 million was allocated for the implementation of treatment interventions, which include leaf pruning, oil-based spraying and mass rearing, and field release of biological control agents.
“We are now focusing our resources on the conduct of research and testing of alternative methods using organic solution,” de la Rosa said.
Of the total 54.6 million coconut trees in Zamboanga Peninsula, 834,474 of them or 1.53 percent are now infested with cocolisap.
“Based on our documentation, it is initially reported that 114,541 of the total infested coco trees were already pruned and 4,766 coco trees were sprayed using oil-based formulations. A total of 148,911 biocon agents were also released in the region covering about 1,500 hectares,” de la Rosa said.
“In addition to that, we have included in the allocated budget the upgrading of our biocon laboratory which is located in the PCA Provincial Office in Zamboanga City. We are also expanding it by establishing another laboratory in our PCA – Zamboanga Research Center (ZRC) as the mass production of biocon agents is now in full swing. We will also establish barangay-based biocon laboratories through the conduct of Farmer Field School (FFS) wherein the coconut farmers will be trained in the production of predators [beetles],” he added.
The PCA is also coordinating with the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in establishing quarantine checkpoints in strategically located areas to avert the spread of the infestation in other parts of Mindanao and possibly in Visayan regions.