BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 169
ESTABLISHING EMERGENCY MEASURES TO CONTROL AND MANAGE THE SPREAD AND DAMAGE OF ASPIDIOTUS RIGIDUS IN THE PHILIPPINES AND DESIGNATING THE PHILIPPINE COCONUT AUTHORITY AS THE LEAD AGENCY FOR THE PURPOSE
WHEREAS, the Philippines is the top supplier of coconut products in the world market contributing an estimated $2 billion net foreign earnings, providing livelihood to some 3.5 million coconut farmers, and serving as economic backbone in sixty-eight (68) of the eighty (80) provinces of the country;
WHEREAS, an invasive and introduced species of scale insect, Aspidiotus rigidus, an insect pest attacking plant leaves, feeding on sap directly drawn from form the plant’s vascular system, with a distinct characteristic of secreting a waxy coating for defense which resembles fish scales, has been tremendously infesting bearing and non-bearing coconut trees and has devastated a significant number of coconut farms in the CALABARZON Region;
WHEREAS, there are verified reports of scale insect infestation in other island provinces, even in the Mindanao areas, and the pest has been attacking other high-value crops (like coffee, cacao, and mangosteen) that are cultivated under coconuts or near coconut plantations;
WHEREAS, this massive infestation of scale insect poses a very serious threat to the coconut industry and to the livelihood of those who depend thereon;
WHEREAS, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is the government agency mandated to oversee the development of the coconut industry in all its aspects and ensure that such development redound to the interests of the coconut farmers;
WHEREAS, the Local Government Units are mandated by the Local Government Code of 1991 to share the responsibility in the management and maintenance of ecological balance within their jurisdiction;
WHEREAS, if the spread of this invasive pest is not contained, it may wipe out the coconut industry not just in CALABARZON but, eventually, in the rest of the country; and
WHEREAS, to ensure the preservation and development of this vital industry, there is a need to put in place immediate and comprehensive measures to effectively control, manage and eventually eradicate the scale insect infestation and to designate the PCA as the lead agency for the purpose.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:
SECTION 1. Status of the Coconut Industry. The Philippine coconut industry is being afflicted by widespread scale insect infestation, which requires the immediate establishment and comprehensive implementation of appropriate measures and interventions.
SECTION 2. Lead Agency. The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) shall be the lead agency in the nationwide effort to control and contain the scale insect infestation in the country.
SECTION 3. Emergency Measures. The PCA, in cooperation with the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization (OPAFSAM), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), University of the Philippines in Los BaÃ±os (UPLB) and National Crop Protection Center (NCPC), with the support of the appropriate Local Government Units (LGUs), shall formulate and prescribe the necessary and appropriate emergency measures and methodologies in the treatment of infested coconut trees and other host plants, which may include mechanical, chemical, and biological measures, as well as the declaration of infested areas to be under quarantine and the establishment of checkpoints and quarantine stations to prevent the transportation of unprocessed/untreated parts of coconuts, coconut seedlings and other host/vector plants from such areas.
The Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) may deputize PCA and the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement offices to investigate and apprehend those caught violating the emergency and quarantine measures, including the confiscation of unprocessed/untreated parts of coconut, coco seedlings and seednuts, and other host/vector plants.
The PCA shall exercise such other powers as may be necessary and proper for the effective enforcement of this Order in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 1468.
SECTION 4. Prohibitions. No coconut leaves/fronds, young coconut and other raw or unprocessed/untreated coconut products, coco seedlings, and seedlings of other scale insect host plants shall be transported outside of barangays, municipalities or provinces duly declared under quarantine due to scale insect infestation, except when supported by a Permit to Transport duly issued by the PCA providing, among others, that appropriate preventive measures, such as washing and spraying of appropriate chemicals, have been instituted.
SECTION 5. Authority to Transport. The PCA shall have the exclusive authority to grant Permits to Transport for the shipment or movement of coconut planting materials from and to any points of the country.
SECTION 6. Responsibility of LGUs. The LGUs shall assist in the local implementation of emergency control and eradication measures by contributing appropriate logistical and manpower resources including the recruitment of volunteers for frontline barangay level scale insect control action team and helping in massive information dissemination campaign in their locality.
SECTION 7. Administrative Penalties. Those found violating the quarantine declaration shall be punished by:
a. First offense – confiscation of the illegally transported materials;
b. Second offense – confiscation of the illegally transported materials, and payment by the violator of a fine of One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00); and
c. Third and subsequent offenses – confiscation of the illegally transported materials, and payment by the violator of a fine of Five Thousand Pesos (P5.000).
The responsible PCA personnel found to have permitted, allowed or otherwise tolerated any violations of the provision of the emergency measures or its implementing rules or have connived or conspired with violators shall be proceeded with administratively.
SECTION 8. Support Funds for Operation. The PCA shall allocate funds to support the nationwide implementation of the emergency measures to control and manage the infestation of Aspidiotus rigidus.
SECTION 9. Implementing Guidelines. The PCA shall adopt and promulgate such implementing rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement this Order.
SECTION 10. Duration. This Order shall take effect until such time that the infestation of Aspidiotus rigidus has been controlled and managed.
SECTION 11. Separability. If any part or provision of this Order is held invalid or unconstitutional, the other parts or provisions not affected thereby shall remain valid and effective.
SECTION 12. Repeal. All issuances, orders, rules and regulations, or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with this Order are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
SECTION 13. Effectivity. This Order shall take effect immediately upon publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
DONE, in the City of Manila, this 5th day of June, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Fourteen.
(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines
By the President:
(Sgd.) PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.
Source: MalacaÃ±ang Records Office
Office of the President of the Philippines. (2014). [Executive Order]. Manila : MalacaÃ±ang Records Office.