Governor Arthur C. Yap has banned the serving of soft drinks at the Capitol and promoted coconut juice instead as part of efforts to uplift the struggling coco industry and for health reasons.
“I am banning the serving of soft drinks at the Capitol,” Yap told the audience of this year’s 5th Batch of Kapatid Mentor Micro-Entrepreneurs (KMME) held at Panda Tea Garden where he was the guest of honor.
When asked what would be the alternative of soft drinks, he told the Chronicle that water and coconut juice, dubbed “Mother Nature’s sports drink” by marketers, will be served instead.
Dying coco industry?
Yap’s move to prohibit soft drinks at the Capitol is seen as a big support to the coconut industry which is facing difficult times.
He said the coco industry is dying, noting that a kilo of copra costs only Php12.00/kilo. Around three coconuts are needed to make a kilo of copra, he added.
As this developed, acting provincial agriculturist Larry Pamugas and provincial Board Member Lucille Lagunay welcomed the move. Both deemed the initiative as “good news.”
Pamugas said that he already received a memorandum from the governor’s office regarding the banning of serving soft drinks at the Capitol.
A serving of fresh juice from a whole young coconut in tourist strips, such as the Sevilla’s Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge and Tarsier Sanctuary in Bilar town, and beside the St Joseph’s Cathedral is sold at P20 to P30 pesos, depending on the size.
In a report by the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), it was indicated that the main new source of demand growth in the sector is coconut water.
The report, titled “The Coconut Industry: Local and Global Perspectives,” said that products such as coconut water, milk, milk powder, and cream, have shown potential amid the growing demand for organic products and those deemed to be healthy.
“From the dominance of coconut oil as the main product for exports, the market profile has shifted into a multi-product industry with non-traditional coconut products gaining popularity especially with the growing concern for health and wellness,” the report said. (rvo)