QFUC, Quezon PLGU break ground for PRDP’s biggest enterprise
The Quezon Federation and Union of Cooperatives (QFUC) commenced the construction of their Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) processing facility last June 23 in Pagbilao, Quezon. This is the biggest Enterprise Development (I-REAP) subproject of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in the whole country.
“The potential for Quezon-based products is huge. That is why the provincial government is really eager to develop and create added value to coconut so our farmers will also see their lives elevated,” Governor Danilo Suarez of Quezon stated during the groundbreaking activity. He also shared that he is already in talks with mall operators to establish selling areas for Quezon products.
Supported by the provincial government of Quezon, this P24 million infrastructure component of the VCO processing and marketing subproject will house state-of-the-art equipment to produce export-quality products for both domestic and international markets. Currently, the group produces their Primero branded VCO products via tolling to other companies. The whole subproject costs P70 million which includes the 20% equity (either cash or in kind) from QFUC.
Chairperson Sammuel Sardua of QFUC stated that individuals and organizations in the VCO Value Chain would be benefitted from this processing facility once completed. “Our factory will allow us to support additional jobs for the people of Quezon and also buy more coconuts from farmer-members of different QFUC-affiliated cooperatives in the province,” he added.
“This enterprise signifies the continuous commitment of the Department in the coconut industry. This is especially true since our health and scientific professionals are looking into the effectiveness of VCO against the COVID-19,” Regional Executive Director Arnel de Mesa, CESO IV of Department of Agriculture – CALABARZON said. He is also the concurrent cluster director of the South Luzon Project Support Office.
Aside from the construction of this processing facility, which is targeted to be finished by the first quarter of 2021, other items that have already been transferred to QFUC were hauling truck and generator set. The remaining items such as machinery and equipment will also be procured.
Also present during the groundbreaking activity were Vice Governor Samuel Nantes of Quezon and Mayor Shierre Ann Palicpic of Pagbilao. From the side of PRDP CALABARZON, there were Regional Project Director Felix Ramos and Regional Deputy Project Director Abelardo Bragas ### (Lawrence Albert A. Bariring, DA-PRDP CALABARZON RPCO InfoACE Unit)