CSI DOWN TO MANAGEABLE LEVEL

March 9, 2015

In May 2014, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) provided an estimate of 1.1 million coconut trees infested by Coconut Scale Insect Infestation. Based on the May data, treatment of 1.3M trees was contracted to a Service Provider in June 2014. Subsequent validations brought the total infested coconut trees in CALABARZON and Basilan to 2.1 million in June. This number went up to 2.7 million in August.

Executive Order 169 established the Coconut Scale Insect Emergency Action Program (CSIEAP) that employs the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) protocol designed to reduce CSI population and prevent its spread. The general protocol involves:

  1. Harvesting and pruning of affected coconut trees;
  2. Trunk injection of systemic insecticide;
  3. Release of bio-control agents;
  4. Spraying of organic pesticide;
  5. Establishment of quarantine checkpoints; and
  6. Fertilization and intercropping.

Results of the scientific rapid ground assessment (RGA) conducted by Task Force Sagip in Calabarzon show that coconut scale insect infestations treated using the integrated pest management program (IPM) are now down to manageable levels. This means that trees that had severe infestation prior to treatment now have moderate infestation, those that have moderate infestation now have low infestation, and those with low infestation now have almost zero infestation.

A total of 1,660,756 trees were treated within the 60-day timeline. This represents 128% of the target set by Executive Order 169 in June. Treatment included leaf pruning of 1,660,756 trees, and trunk injection of 1,548,528 trees.

The treatment operations in CALABAZON for more than sixty days benefitted 8,745 affected coconut farmers and provided replacement income of P52.8 million to 27,134 barangay based workers.

To enhance a balanced eco-system for a more sustainable control of CSI in the country, a total of 538,586 biocon agents (437, 136 predators and 101,450 parasitoids) were also released in 43 sites in Batangas, Laguna, and Quezon.

A total of 1,186,242 trees in CALABARZON had been controlled (90% of the total target of 1,331,179), costing a total of Php 177 million or P149 per tree.

With the help of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Local Government Units in CALABARZON and Basilan, 23 quarantine checkpoints have been strategically established to avoid the spread of CSI in high risk areas like Bicol, Samar-Leyte, and Mindanao. A total of 3,979 interceptions have been made, where 3,103 shipments had permits while 873 had no permits and were either sent back to the place of origin or properly disposed.

From 58 CSI-hotspots before the treatment operations began, only 9 municipalities in 4 provinces remain in December 2014:

Batangas

o   Balayan

o   Calaca

Laguna

o   Bay

o   San Pablo
Quezon

o   Candelaria

o   Mauban

o   Sampaloc

o   Polilio Island

 

Basilan

o   Isabela

Taking into account the effects of Typhoon Glenda, CSI infestation was reduced to an additional 425, 600 trees. The total number of trees controlled by both treatment and Typhoon Glenda combined is 1,611,842.

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