THE City Government of Zamboanga has allocated P16.3 million to purchase the needed materials and pesticides to contain the spread of insects known as "cocolisap" in the city.
Cocolisap infestation has already spread to all of this city's 98 villages since it was first discovered last year.
Cocolisap is an invasive leaf-sucking insect with a scale-like waxy protective covering. It feeds on coconut, mangosteen, banana, and other palms, which can be dispersed by wind.
City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat said that among the materials they will purchase to be used in containing the spread of cocolisap are bio-pesticides, fertilizers, and sprayers.
Palacat said the funding allocation of the City Government is already being utilized while the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is still working on the release of its funds.
He said the PCA personnel had been conducting massive pruning while they follow in with massive spraying of the pruned coconuts.
The PCA and the Office of the City Agriculturist have monitored that around 800,000 coconut trees have been affected by the cocolisap in the city.
Zamboanga City has approximately 30,000 hectares planted to coconuts, or roughly three million coconut trees.
The presence of cocolisap was first reported in May 2016 in the the villages of Latuan and Dulian-Upper Bunguiao.
Palacat disclosed part of the P16.3 million will also be used to provide assistance to the affected coconut farmers.