SMALL and big banana industry players needed to unite through the creation of a Banana Industry Development Council, an official of Philexport said.
During the weekly Habi at Kape press conference on Wednesday, October 4, at Abreeza Ayala Malls, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) executive director Marizon Loreto said although the small banana players are represented by the Mindanao Banana Farmers and Exporters Association Inc. (MBFEA) and the bigger players by the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), she said the industry needs a unifying council.
“This is the only industry that does not have any single body that should be the voice of the industry… Nothing puts them in the right context of having just one voice to address all the concerns of this particular sector,” Loreto said.
She added there had been bills passed with the intention of protecting the industry but had caused comments and oppositions from different parties.
“I’m not saying that the council is the best solution there is but if you have only one voice to speak of your concerns, this will bring forth all the aspirations and the sentiments of the players,” she said.
She also cited as an example the cacao and rubber industries that already have their own respective councils which speak in behalf of the entire industry.
In a separate event, Loreto also said they are looking into reviewing the previously proposed bill and to revise what needs to be revised as some companies though the bill to be too ‘regulatory’.
During the National Banana Congress 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte did not sign the executive order proposed by the banana industry players regarding the creation of the council and a research center. This is because of lack of adequate funding from the government for this specific project.