Deputy Speaker and ABONO partylist Rep. Conrado Estrella III has sought the passage of a bill seeking to declare Davao City as the “Chocolate and Cacao Production Capital of the Philippines”.
He cited that Davao City has gained international recognition not only for producing world class cocoa beans, which is the main ingredient in chocolate production, but also for producing world class chocolate products.
Estrella filed House Bill No. 7460 “to recognize the achievements of Davao City in attaining high volumes of quality cacao production and in producing high quality chocolate products that gained for the country’s international recognition.”
He cited that the Davao City-based Malagos Chocolate won for the country the honor of winning second place for its 100 percent unsweetened dark chocolate under drinking category, and third place for its sweetened dark chocolates in the international chocolate competition conducted in 2017 by the Academy of Chocolate in London.
Malagos has received seven major international awards for its chocolate products, he said.
Estrella noted that the City of Davao and the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Compostela Valley produced at least 81 percent of the country’s total cacao production. Citing the 2016 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), he said these areas produced 5,073 metric tons of cacao out of the 6,262.77 metric tons of cacao produced in the Philippines.
Estrella disclosed that the United States Department of Agriculture expects that global demand to reach between 4.7 million metric tons to 5 million metric tons by 2020 with an estimated 1 million metric tons deficit.
The bill seeks “to open a new frontier for higher trade and economic productivity in the country that can generate more employment, provide higher income, and improve the quality of life of our people especially in the countryside.”
The measure mandates the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to provide sustained programs for the grant of financial, technical, training, marketing and other necessary assistance to cacao farmers and entrepreneurs engaged in the production of chocolate products in Davao City and its contiguous localities.