Samal bans mango entry

BRINGING of mango fruits and seedlings is now prohibited in the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos), according to an ordinance approved by its City Council. The ordinance took effect October 10. Noel Daquioag, information officer of Igacos, said this is contained in Resolution No. 667 series of 2011. Daquioag added that this covers all varieties of mango whether a fruit or seedling. Deputized quarantine officers in all entry points are tasked to inspect the passengers’ luggage. Daquioag said this is to avoid the entry of mango pests, specifically pulp weevil (Sternochetus frigidus) and mango seed weevil (Sternochetus mangiferae). The island city has been declared "free-from-dreaded-mango-pests" by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) through Special Quarantine Administrative Order 2. "Di man sab apektado ang atong mga vendors dinhi kay no need naman moangkat sila kay ang Samal is rich in mangoes nga gina-export pa nato (The vendors in Samal are not affected because we have enough mangoes, we even export these)," Daquioag said. Confiscated mangoes will be deposited at the entry points for safekeeping and can be retrieved by the owners as they leave the island. "Ang uban ginakaon na nila ang mangga, provided nga ibilin lang ang panit ug ang liso (Some eat the mangoes before going to the island as long as they throw away the peelings and seeds before entering the city)," Daquioag said. In Igacos, there are a total of 8,000 hectares that are planted with mango trees and that 55 percent of the island’s land area is ideal for mangoes. This survey has been done by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) together with the BPI last March 2007 up to February 2008. "Maraming mango farms dito, and part sab sa atong One Town One Product program ang pag-promote sa mangga (There are a lot of mango farms here, and part of our One Town One Product program is to promote mango)," Daquioag said. Meanwhile, lawyer Antonio Partoza, president of the Mindanao Fruit Council, said they understand that Igacos is just being protective of their mango industry. "Pinoprotektahan lang siguro nila at di rin natin sila masisisi. Pero maapektuhan talaga ang market ng mangga dito sa Davao kung ganun (They are just protective of their mango industry and we can't blame them, but our market in Davao will surely be affected by this)," Partoza said. He added that in Palawan, homegrown mangoes cannot be brought out because of the discovery of a particular pest. "Kailangan din siguro pag-aralan ng kanilang city agriculturist ang ganitong klaseng problema, baka kasi knee-jerk relflex lang ang nangyari (Their city agriculturist should study this problem more closely because the city may have just reacted in a knee-jerk manner)," Partoza said.