Abaca Processing
Abaca Processing

TACLOBAN CITY, April 17 (PNA) – The Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) regional office here is seeking a Php12 million budget for 2016 to expand abaca plantation and eradicate abaca diseases that slackened local production for more than a decade.

The disease management project will get a lion share of the proposed budget with Php7.25 million. Activities include farmer’s training, abaca disease eradication, research and development, said FIDA Regional Director Wilardo O. Sinahon.

Research and Development will remain one of the top priorities with a proposed budget of Php1.33 million.

Other activities are general management and supervision (Php916,528), coordination and monitoring (Php84,200), abaca farm expansion (Php292,000), rehabilitation of old plantation (Php450,000), and extension and training services (Php90,000).

For fiber industry regulatory services, the FIDA regional office is asking for Php709,000 outlay.

“Enhancing the fiber standards and regulatory measure will maintain good quality fiber traded in both local and foreign market,” Sinahon added.

For upgrading and maintenance of existing facilities, the fiber agency seeks Php527,000 for Leyte Tissue Culture Laboratory, Php148,000 Eastern Visayas Research and Fiber Experimental Station, Php136,000 for Leyte Diagnostic Laboratory, and Php83,000 for abaca nurseries.

“For 2016, we will continue to promote the integrated development of the fiber industry in all its aspects from research production, processing, marketing and trade regulation,” Sinahon said.

FIDA also aims to sustain the growth and demand for fibers and fiber-based products, enhance production, and encourage increased domestic processing.

The budget for next year is the same as the approved budget for 2015 since the fiber agency expects Php31.89 million special funds for the post-Yolanda rehabilitation of infrastructure and livelihood.

Government agencies have been finalizing 2016 budget proposals early to beat the April 27 deadline under the new budget calendar. (PNA)