PHILIPPINE Cacao Industry Development Council (PCIDC) submitted a resolution to the Regional Development Council (RDC) to declare Davao Region as the cacao and chocolate capital of the Philippines.
Valente Turtur, president of PCIDC told SunStar through a phone interview on Saturday, March 11, he had also heard the plans of the Davao City Government to make the city the chocolate capital of the country.
“I had a talk with Tourism Regional Director Robby Alabado III, he suggested that chocolates should also be highlighted, not just the cacaos. So what I did, I just proposed ‘Cacao and Chocolate Capital’,” said Turtur.
He added he would be willing to talk with the City Government regarding the latter’s plan to make the city a chocolate capital to converge ideas and concepts with.
Turtur said his proposal is also in fairness to other provinces in the region which also produce cacao, not just Davao City.
“I’m looking for a project which would create an exclusive chocolate pasalubong center in Davao City. When tourists would visit Davao and they want to see cacao plantations or buy different kinds of chocolates, they have a specific place to go to. Somehow this would help enhance the development of our chocolate processors,” Turtur said.
Turtur also said if ever his resolution is approved, they also plan to put up a Davao chocolate chamber, where all the different kinds of Davao Region-made chocolates will be displayed.
“If we are going after being the cacao capital of the Philippines, the declaration can come from the agriculture secretary. However, declaration for chocolate capital can come from the trade and industry secretary because it is already processed or the tourism secretary. It should be institutionalized,” said Turtur.
The resolution he made was only submitted to RDC last week and he understood that it needs to go through the different governors of the region before the legislative secretary can approve of it.
“But if we see that not all governors are supportive of this proposal, maybe we can go down to city level first,” he said.
According to a data provided by the City Planning and Development Office, they are allotting P5 million for projects under the City Agriculture’s Office in relation to making Davao City as the Chocolate Capital of the Philippines. This is in relation to the city being home of the award-winning Malagos Chocolate.
Also recently, the Malagos Chocolate Museum, the first chocolate museum opened in Calinan, Davao City.
Cocoa Awards in Paris Update
It was previously reported that Davao Region will be representing the Philippines in the International Cocoa Awards in Paris, France.
Last February 22, five samples of cocoas were sent to the International Cocoa Organization and confirmation of receipt was sent back to Turtur.
Turtur said results of the contest will be on July this year. Some 50 best cacaos all over the world will be named. If ever the Philippines would win, the cacao beans will be given the opportunity to be processed in Europe as one of the best chocolates globally.
Out of the different cacao companies that applied to PCIDC to be included in the contest, only Puentespina Farms, Chokolate de San Isidro, Pilipinas Oro de Cacao, Kennemer Foods, and KVT Farms were able to be sent to Paris after deliberation and screening.