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Photo courtesy of Peter Paul Philippines Corporation

by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

At 3 a.m. today, I will take off for an 8-hour land trip from Kidapawan City to Plaridel, Misamis Occidental for a meeting arranged by Cong. Diego "Nonoy" Ty with officials of a Quezon-based coconut processing firm, Peter Paul Philippines.

The company, a subsidiary of the US-based Peter Paul Inc. of Naugatuck, Connecticut, is opening up a facility in Plaridel, Misamis Occidental which would process coconut into high value products such as Virgin Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk, Dessicated Coconut, Coconut Water and others.

Established in Candelaria, Quezon in 1946 shortly after World War II and days before the July 4 Philippine Independence from the US, Peter Paul Philippines is one of the pioneering American companies in the country.

The company is moving to Mindanao as it expands its operations due to increased demand for coconut products worldwide and the scarcity of supply in Quezon and the Bicol Region.

Cong. Ty said the company is seeking the support of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) in ensuring sufficient and sustainable supply of coconuts for its operations.

Shortly after Cong. Ty and I talked by phone last week, I immediately instructed the regional officers of MinDA to coordinate with the different coconut farmers groups in the Western Mindanao Area, including the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to link them up with the new player in the region's coconut industry.

The entry of Peter Paul Philippines would provide an added market for coconut products from Mindanao which accounts for 68% of the total production of the whole country.

The area chosen by Peter Paul Philippines to set up a processing plant is also very strategic because of its proximity to the major coconut producing provinces of Mindanao.

Today, I will meet with the officers of the company to ensure that the needed support is provided to the company.

There is only one assurance that I would like to get from Peter Paul Philppines officials and that is a fair price for the produce of Mindanao's coconut farmers.

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