The infestation of coconut scale insects, also known as ‘cocolisap,’ in plantations across four localities in Negros Occidental has already been contained after the attacks were reported earlier this month, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson disclosed yesterday.
Lacson said that during his meeting with personnel of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturalist (OPA) on Thursday, he was informed that the situation now “is in better condition than when they had started.”
“They have somehow contained some areas. I asked them, ‘Is it spreading?’ They said it’s already contained. That’s a positive sign. It’s still there, but it’s not like when it started. We were attacked, right now we’re doing counter attack, and headed to victory. That’s how I describe it,” he told reporters.
On August 15, the governor issued an executive order establishing emergency measures to control and manage the massive infestation of the coconut pest, particularly in the cities of Bago and La Carlota, as well as the municipalities of Murcia and La Castellana.
At least 5,000 trees were affected while attacks on high-value crops cultivated under coconuts were also verified.
Lacson said the pruning of infested leaves has been among the measures adopted to curb the infestation.
To implement the comprehensive measures, the governor had earlier designated the Philippine Coconut Authority as the lead agency that would collaborate with the local government units, partner agencies, and barangays, with the support of the provincial government, through the OPA.
Lacson also ordered the establishment of checkpoints and quarantine stations to prevent the transportation of unprocessed/untreated parts of coconut, coconut seedlings, and other host/vector plants.
He added that transport will only be allowed when supported by a permit to transport duly issued by the PCA, provided appropriate preventive measures, such as spraying of appropriate chemicals, have been instituted.*PNA