CATARMAN, Northern Samar– The Fraternal Order of Eagles in this province celebrated the 28th Philippine Eagles Week by helping the local coconut farmers increase their produce.

Ten coconut farmers’ associations in Northern Samar received seedlings from the Fraternal Order of Eagles on June 17 to show their support to the industry hit hard by typhoon “Nona” in 2015. (RACHEL ARNAIZ)

The “Eagles” Eastern Visayas Region 2 led by its Regional Governor James Laniwan recently turned over 1,000 coconut seedlings of the dwarf Catigan variety to 10 farmers associations from different municipalities in the province.

The recipients include the Catarman Producers Cooperative, Inc. and the Hinatad Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association in the capital town of Catarman; the Bantayan Coconut Farmers Assn. of San Roque town; Makiwalo Organic Farmers Assn. of Mondragon; Moronporon Sumoroy Farmers Assn. and San Isidro Irrigators Farmers Assn. of Bobon; Binglad Farmers Assn., and Oleras Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Laoang; Kilusan ng Pagbabago Pangkabuhayan Farmers Assn. of San Jose; and the Catubig Organic Farmers Assn. in the municipality of Catubig.

A memorandum of agreement between the Eagles, the presidents of the farmer organizations, and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) was held on June 17 during the club’s anniversary party.

Under the MOA, each beneficiary association will allot one hectare of their tended land to plant the coconut seedlings that they received.

The PCA will then establish a nursery in the allotted lands and buy the harvest of good coconuts from the farmers “based on the prevailing price”.

Northern Samar PCA Provincial Administrator Engr. Renato Dubongco lauded the Eagles for supporting the local coconut industry.

He said coconut farmers need all the support that they can get despite having recovered from the wrath of Typhoon ‘Nona’ in 2015 that drastically damaged the coconut trees in the province.

“The economy in our province largely depends on our production of coconut. Eighty percent of our people benefit – directly and indirectly – from coconut economically,” he said.

The Catigan dwarf coconut variety is expected to start yielding fruits in two years.
On June 16, 1995 then former President Fidel V. Ramos signed Proclamation No. 600 declaring the period from June 15 to 22 of every year as Philippine Eagles Week.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles – Eastern Visayas Region 2 has seven affiliate chapters in Northern Samar that include the Catarman Eagles Club; Ibabaonon Eagles Club; Norsam Eagles Club; Sumoroy Eagles Club; Masarigan Norte Eagles Club; Mandaragit Eagles Club; and the Marig-on Norte Samarnon Eagles Club.