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Body formed to lobby for law on PH banana council, research center

By Antonio L. Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – Banana exporters in Davao Region have formed a group to push for the passage of a law that will establish a banana council and a research and development center.

The interim body comprises six private-sector members and three from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry and local government units, Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport) region 11 president Ferdinand Marañon said.

The move comes as President Rodrigo Duterte expressed support to the formation of the Philippine Banana Industry Development Council to guide the growth and address the concerns in the industry.

MB FILE - Presindent Rodrigo Duterte delivers his message during the National Banana Congress held at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City on October 7. ROBINSON NIÑAL/ Presidential Photo / MB.COM.PH

MB FILE – Presindent Rodrigo Duterte delivers his message during the National Banana Congress held at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City on October 7. ROBINSON NIÑAL/ Presidential Photo / MB.COM.PH

During the three-day Banana Congress 2016 at the SMX Convention Center Davao, Duterte rejected a draft executive order prepared by the banana players and instead advocated for the passage of the Philippine Comprehensive Banana Act of 2017 in Congress to provide sufficient funding for the industry’s development.

“So, iyon, the proposed measure is the creation of a Banana Industry Development Council. Now it should be a law, I cannot give executive order. So, because if you need something, money or otherwise; if you need government to intervene – the legal standing has to be something like there is a law, the force of law in the creation of the banana research institute,” he said.

Industry leaders also passed a resolution during the Banana Congress “endorsing the establishment of a Philippine Banana Research and Development Center.”