A Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) official in Bohol expressed optimism that the recent promotion of the virgin coconut oil (VCO) for its health benefits including its usage as adjunctive therapy for COVID-19 will help boost the province’s coconut industry.
According to PCA Bohol manager Emiliano Romero, increased sales of VCO would add a stable revenue stream for the coconut industry while prices of copra remain erratic.
“Makatabang ni sa coconut industry kay hibaw ta na ang copras—although karon mahal ang presyo—pero dili man gud permanente na taas, mo saka kanaog. Pero kaning VCO more or less stable,” said Romero.
Romero thanked both Rep. Alexie Tutor of the third district and Rep. Aris Aumentado of the second district who have both promoted the VCO as a dietary supplement for its antiviral properties.
Tutor is the House of Representative’s health committee vice chair while Aumentado is the chairperson of the science and technology committee.
“Kadtong move ni congressman Aris and Alexie na pag promote, maayo na na move to help support the campaign para sa mga taw na way kwarta, maka-lessen sa impact sa COVID-19 ang paggamit sa virgin coconut oil,” Romero said.
According to Romero, there has been a noted increase in the sale of VCO products in the province.
“Actually daghan kaayo ang mo gamit aning atoang virgin coconut oil, gani dali ra kaayo mahurot sa atong mga display sa ICM, sa Plaza Marcela, ug sa Alturas,” said Romero.
More coconut farmers have also expressed interest in venturing into the VCO business.
Romero said that the PCA offers free training and seminars for cooperatives interested to learn the production process of VCO.
There are VCO processing facilities in the towns of Corella and Bilar, which has started to export its products, while another is set to start in Loboc.
“Ang sa Loboc gi suportahan sila sa ilang munisipyo gigam-an sila og building, unya ang PCA nagprovide sa mga machineries na magamit sa pag gama og virgin coconut oil,” said Romero.
In December last year, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announced that a study it conducted showed that VCO helped reduce the symptoms of probable and suspect COVID-19 cases.
Filipino scientists led by Dr. Fabian Dayrit, Ateneo chemistry professor and president of the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines, also found that VCO decreased coronavirus count by 60 to 90 percent for mild to moderate cases of COVID 19. (R. Tutas)