The Bernie Lopez article was blogged in the Internet. PCAs Task Force Sagip, which is mandated to find solutions as soon as possible to the current infestation of 2.1 million coconut trees nationwide (and growing), replied to the article, and Bernie Lopez gave a rebuttal to the Sagip reply. Shown below is the original reply of Sagip. Bernie V. Lopez firstname.lastname@example.org. Bernie Lopez article – http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/06/massive-infestation 02. PCA Task Force Sagip reply – http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/07/pca-task-force 03. Bernie Lopez rebuttal (shown below) – http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/07/pcas-reply Permission is granted to re-publish with credits and notification. Disclaimer – the views in this article are those of the author’s alone.
BERNIE LOPEZ REBUTTAL TOTask Force Sagip – PCA DOST DA UPLB DILG PNP Task Force on the Coconut Scale Insect Infestation
Quotes of my original article are in BLACK. The task force reply is in BLUE. My rebuttal to their reply is in BOLD RED.
A Clarification of the FactsThe PCA, DA,DOST, UPLB Task Force wish to respond to the issues raised in the article and in the hope that matters may be clarified and the public may better informed and better involved. “Today, we are facing the greatest agricultural crisis in Philippine history. The Coconut Industry, which supports 25 million Filipinos (PCA), is slowly dying because of a massive insect infestation. To date, it has claimed 2 million trees, mainly in the CALABARZON area and in Zamboanga. It is spreading rapidly and everyone is in panic. The 2 Million trees are in various stages of infestation and it is expected that a significant number of these trees will recover. It cannot be said therefore that the pest has claimed 2 million trees as the article suggests. The word ‘claimed’ covers such various stages of infestation. This is unnecessary nitty gritty argumentation There are no verified reports of the infestation reaching Zamboanga.
The data on Zamboanga came from my coconut sources. This is subject to verification, in spite of your denial. PCA SHOULD HAVE DONE RESEARCH ON THE EXTENT OF INFESTATION A LONG TIME AGO AND INFORMED THE PUBLIC, INSTEAD OF THE PUBLIC COMING OUT WITH ITS OWN DATA WHICH PCA NOW DENIES. THE INFESTATION STARTED YEARS AGO, IN 2009-2010. YOUR REACTION IS TOO SLOW. THERE ARE PEOPLE FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR WHO ARE IN PANIC. IF YOU GIVE A ROSY PICTURE AND THERE IS A DISASTER COMING, YOU ARE MAKING IT WORSE. IT’S BETTER TO GIVE THE TRUE PICTURE. “The DA-PCA has come up with an ‘emergency’ chemical ‘solution’ to save the coconut industry when it will actually kill the coconut industry. Why does the DA-PCA insist on the chemical option? Simple, it brings them big bucks. They will risk the entire industry for their big bucks”
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is endorsing both chemical and organic protocols/solutions. We are not insisting on a solution relying only on the use of chemicals.
The use of “BOTH” chemical and organic solutions is UNACCEPTABLE. THERE ARE PCA-UPLB PEOPLE TRYING TO SUPPRESS THE ORGANIC SOLUTIONS IN FAVOR OF THE DEADLY CHEMICAL.President Aquino and Mr. Pangilinan, if this gets to you – THE CHEMICAL SOLUTION WILL DESTROY THE INDUSTRY. THE IMPACT IS PSYCHOLOGICAL MORE THAN ENVIRONMENTAL. ONCE BUYERS OF OUR COCONUTS KNOW WE ARE USING CHEMICALS, ONCE THEY SEE US IN NICE CHEMICAL T-SHIRTS ON YOUTUBE IMPREGNATING COCO TREE TRUNKS, EVEN IF IT DOES NOT MAKE THE FRUIT TOXIC, THEY WILL NO LONGER BUY OUR COPRA AND COCO OIL. OUR GLOBAL MARKET WILL GO PFFFT IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE. FORGET THE CHEMICAL OPTION. PCA STILL FAILS TO SEE THE POINT. CHEMICALS WILL NOT SAVE BUT DESTROY OUR COCONUT INDUSTRY. CHEMICALS MAY SAVE TREES BUT IT MAY KILL THE GLOBAL MARKET. The measures that the PCA is implementing are geared towards saving the 2.1 million trees affected. Only Php 38.5 million of the Php750 million budget on the project is allocated for the purchase of pesticides. Not all organic means are inexpensive. In fact, treatment requires 2-3 sprays of organic pesticide priced at 26 pesos per spray or 51 pesos for a minimum of 2 sprayings while chemical injection will cost 29 pesos per tree.
Php 38.5 million is not enough. Php 29 pesos per tree for the chemical option multiplied by 2.1 million trees equals Php 60.9 million, almost double of your budget. You got your figures all wrong. My sources even say your figure is understated. It is more like Php 50 per tree, although this can be disputed. These figures do not include transport, labor, equipment costs, just chemicals.PRICE COMPARISON OF CHEMICALS VERSUS ORGANIC IS USELESS AND ABSURD IF THE CHEMICAL OPTION WILL DESTROY THE INDUSTRY AND ITS GLOBAL MARKET.
The pesticide recommended by the PCA-PCAARRD-DOST and UPLB is certified by the Fertilizers and Pesticides Authority (FPA). It is certified for use in coconuts as research data revealed that it is safe for the environment. It has also passed the public safety requirements before certification.
IF YOU ARE PASSING THE BUCK TO THE FPA FOR APPROVING THE CHEMICAL, LET ME JOIN YOU. IF THEY APPROVED THE DEADLY IMPORTED NEONICOTINOID (BRAND NAME STARKLE) WHICH A U.P. SCIENTIST SAID WAS 10,000 TIMES MORE POTENT THAT DDT, THEN FPA SHOULD ALSO BE INVESTIGATED. FPA HAS APPROVED MANY DRUGS BANNED ABROAD. STARKLE IS NOT SAFE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.Field tests and laboratory analysis conducted by the DOST-PCAARRD, PCA, UPLB research team has shown that 51 days after the injection of chemicals into the trunk, there are no traceable chemical residue in the coconut meat and coconut water.
Before treatment with the chemical pesticide, the approved protocol requires that all farmers, under the supervision of the PCA technicians and the LGU agriculturists and barangay task force members, should harvest all harvestable nuts. The next harvest shall only be done 60 days after treatment.
YOU STILL DON’T GET IT. EVEN IF YOU CHEMICALIZE ONLY A FEW TREES, EVEN IF YOU SHOUT TO THE HIGH HEAVENS THAT NO CHEMICAL RESIDUE IS PRESENT AFTER 51 DAYS (WHICH IS DOUBTFUL AND HAS TO BE CONFIRMED BY AN INDEPENDENT GROUP), IF IT GETS OUT IN THE INTERNET THAT WE INJECT CHEMCIALS INTO OUR TREES, OUR COCO BUYERS WILL DISAPPEAR.
THE HIGHLY TECHNICAL CHEMICAL PROTOCOL IS SUBJECT TO HUMAN ERRORS ON THE FARMER AND BARANGAY LEVELS. ONE MISTAKE AND WE CAN SPREAD THE DEADLY CHEMICAL ELSEWHERE. A U.P. SCIENTIST SAYS THE CHEMICAL CAN INFECT POLLINATORS SUCH AS BEES AND BUTTERFLIES. IF THE CHEMICAL SPREADS THROUGH POLLINATORS, WE MAY SEE A MASSIVE EFFECT ALSO ON OUR PRECIOUS FRUIT TREES SUCH AS MANGOES. THE CHEMICAL CAN IN FACT DISRUPT THE ENTIRE FOOD CHAIN.
13 percent of the coconut tree population (to be treated) does not represent the entire coconut industry and therefore the vast majority of coconut derived products will not lose their international organic certificates.
WANNA BET IT WILL. THERE ARE NO ASSURANCE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS WILL KNOW WHAT TREES WERE TREATED AND WHAT COCONUT SUGAR WERE DERIVED FROM NON-CHEMICAL TREES.“Vendors complain that chemicalized trees produce sour juice, which is no longer sellable.” According to tests conducted by DOST-PCAARRD, PCA, and UPLB research team, no chemical residue was found in any part of the tree after 51 days from the day the chemical was injected. WHOM WILL WE BELIEVE – THE VENDORS COMPLAINING THEY ARE LOSING THEIR CUSTOMERS AND THE CUSTOMERS THEMSELVES SAYING THE JUICE HAS SOURED, OR YOUR MULTI-SECTORAL STUDIES? AS WE SIT HERE AND ARGUE, THE INFESTATION SPREADS, MAYBE EVEN RAPIDLY AT A POINT. THE MORE WE DELAY WITH THE ORGANIC SOLUTION, THE MORE TREES TO TREAT, THE MORE EXPENSIVE. IF IT GOES VIRAL, WE MAY GET 50 MILLION TREES INFECTED IN THREE MONTHS. HAVE YOU SEEN AN ‘ALGAE BLOOM’ OR A ‘GRASSHOPPER STORM’? THIS IS NOW AN ‘INSECT BLOOM’. “The infestation began in 2009. Until lately, with its chemical solution, PCA had done nothing to contain the infestation.”
It is untrue that the PCA has done nothing to control the infestation. In fact, numerous studies have been conducted since the infestation began. These, however, have been sporadic in nature. It was through the previous studies of the Task Force that PCA has based the protocol currently being implemented area-wide.
YOU HAVE NOT SUCCEEDED IN FINDING A SOLUTION UNTIL NOW, 4 YEARS AFTER? “NUMEROUS STUDIES” ARE USELESS IF YOU FAIL TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM FAST. YOU EVEN ADMIT STUDIES ARE “SPORADIC”. YOU ARE TOO SLOW ON A POTENTIAL AGRI CRISIS LOOMING. YOU FAILED TO SEE THE URGENCY. PRESIDENT AQUINO PROMULGATED EO169 TO PRESSURE YOU TO MOVE. THEN WHEN YOU WERE PRESSURED, YOU CHOSE THE WRONG OPTION AFTER ADMITTING YOUR STUDIES WERE SPORADIC.
The trunk injection of trees is not imposed on certified organic farms and those undergoing the process of certification. Organic approach is available and if they wish, they are allowed to do their own treatment.
YOU WENT ON A WILD MEDIA RAMPAGE ABOUT YOUR CHEMICAL TREATMENT, NOT KNOWING IT IS NO GOOD. YOU EVEN HAD T-SHIRTS. YOU MADE IT TO THE FRONT PAGE IN NEWSPAPERS, TV NEWS. YOU HAD A SUCCESSFUL PR ON A SOLUTION WHICH WILL FAIL. YOU IN FACT STARTED SPREADING GLOBALLY YOUR CHEMICAL CRIME. THIS EARLY, YOU HAVE ALREADY AFFECTED THE MINDS OF OUR COPRA AND COCO OIL BUYERS.ARE YOU WILLING TO RISK THE LIVES OF 25 MILLION FILIPINOS WHO DEPEND ON THE COCONUT INDUSTRY WITH YOUR CHEMICALS? THEIR DESTINY IS IN YOUR HANDS. IF OUR COCO INDUSTRY DIES, IT WILL BE A DISASTER BIGGER IN IMPACT THAN A HUNDRED TSUNAMIS, WHICH CAN KILL A FEW TENS OF THOUSANDS. HERE WE ARE TALKING OF MILLIONS. DEAR PRESIDENT AQUINO, DEAR MR. PANGILINAN, PLEASE THINK OF THE FATE OF MILLIONS OF MARGINAL FILIPINOS.
Task Force Sagip
PCA DOST DA UPLB DILG PNP Task Force on the Coconut Scale Insect Infestation
Julie Ann Dionne L. TancioOffice of the Presidential Assistant for Food Seurity and Agricultural Modernization.
***********************SIDE BAR – NEGATIVE EMOTIONS CAN CAUSE CANCER New studies are emerging that relates cancer to depression, anger, hatred, jealousy. Negative emotions somehow weaken the immunity system which in turn creates the preconditions for cancer cells. The physical manifestations of negative emotions are numerous – cold sweat, ulcers, palpitation, insomnia, rise in blood pressure, which all affect the immunity system. The most devastating are 1) depression, and 2) hatred. Everyone has cancer cells. They are within us, lurking, waiting for our defense mechanisms to let their guard down. And these mechanisms are intertwined with our emotions and attitudes.
And the cure for cancer, if the cause is spiritual or emotional is the exact opposite. The opposite of depression is inner peace or happiness. The opposite of anger is forgiveness and love. The opposite of hatred is good will. By sheer will power, and with the help of prayer for peace and spiritual strength, we can reverse hatred into love. It may be hard at first, but the big factor is the grace from the Lord. When you make this feat, the impact on your health, on your body, is total.
I have said this story many times in so many ways, a true story told by Sister Raquel Reodica, RVM. A woman developed breast cancer two weeks after she discovered her husband cheating on her. She went to Sister Raquel to be healed. Sister Raquel said she could never be healed if she did not forgive. Her hatred was so intense that she could not forgive. After a year, when her cancer reached stage 4, when she was about to die, by sheer power of the will, aided by the desire to survive, and with a lot of prayer, she finally forgave. Within two weeks, she was healed. Relationships are the single greatest killer of the modern age, the single greatest cause of cancer. A cancer epidemic is right now sweeping the planet. Making a retreat or a pilgrimage can cure cancer.Lord teach me Your ways turn my hatred into forgiveness my anger into patience my indifference into sensitivity my selfishness into generosity my arrogance into humility Lord give me Your light let me not grope in darkness Lord give me Your inner peace rescue me from the storm inside me eastwind careers and fortunes are small victories big battles are with people and relationships a humble home of harmony is better than a palace of discord eastwind establish a personal relationship with Jesus talk to Him casually in your quiet moments instead of reciting a formal prayer ask favors as if He was your brother forge an intimacy and converse with Him He is near you and listens to your heart sister Raquel
free download, e-book on stories of healinghttp://www.sisterraquel.com/2008/09/archive07-e-books-and-healing-stories/