August 08, 2020 at 03:25 pm
A party-list legislator who represents Bicolanos said Saturday the government must seize the opportunity presented by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic by getting laboratory proof on the efficacy of virgin coconut oil against the disease and the use of abaca fiber for face masks.
Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. of AKO BICOL said the Departments of Trade and Industry, of Science and Technology and of Agriculture as well as the Philippine Coconut Authority must mobilize the industry and local governments to have the two products used in the fight against the disease.
Even before the pandemic, the coconut and abaca industries were already in the distressed category due to low prices abroad caused by competing products like palm oil and synthetic fibers.
In the case of the coconut industry, replantation of farms was an urgent need because the existing trees were long past their peak production capacity.
“For far too long the coconut industry has been suffering from low market prices. The global interest on buko juice as a healthy drink has not been enough,” Garbin said in a statement.
Garbin said there had been preliminary studies indicating that virgin coconut oil might be help those who suffer from COVID-19 by mitigating symptoms while abaca fibers might be suitable substitute for synthetic fibers whose prices have been increasing.
"We must seize the opportunity presented by the COVID 2019 pandemic by getting laboratory proof on the efficacy of virgin coconut oil against the diesease and the use of abaca fiber for face masks," Garbin stressed.