SC sacks Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong over links to Napoles 23-Sep-14, 2:27 PM | Brian Maglungsod, | With Trish Roque, Radyo5

US and Arab allies launch first strikes on Islamic State fighters in Syria 23-Sep-14, 11:34 PM | Phil Stewart and Tom Perry, Reuters

Philippines courting ExxonMobil, Turkish firm to invest in upstream oil, gas exploration 23-Sep-14, 4:27 PM | Euan Paulo C. Añonuevo,

Scuffles as Hong Kong students escalate democracy strike 23-Sep-14, 8:27 PM | Agence France-Presse

7 companies qualify as possible manager of Mt. Apo geothermal plants' output 23-Sep-14, 3:43 PM | Euan Paulo C. Añonuevo,

AUDIO | Bangsamoro hearing: proponents told to clarify issues on wealth- and power-sharing 23-Sep-14, 6:45 PM | Raul Otieco, Radyo5 | Ernie Reyes,


Falcata tree still a top earner for tree farmers in Davao Region

Falcata tree. FROM ALIBABA.COM
The online news portal of TV5

DAVAO CITY - Planting and growing falcata trees still generates a lot of income for many tree farmers in the Davao Region.

This was made clear by the forest division chief Alfredo Zarasate of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to consultants of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) during a recent workshop of the National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP), a joint project of JICA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Zarasate, who also sits as chairman of the wood industry cluster, said the demand for falcata has remained strong among factories in Mindanao that uses this soft wood specie in the manufacture of plywood and paper.

“There’s still a big demand for falcata and tree farmers are still planting and expanding their tree plantations to meet this demand from wood manufacturing plants in Mindanao,” Zarasate told JICA consultants.

The wood cluster chairman cited manufacturing firms like Alcantara and Sons which is still buying big volumes of falcata from tree farmers for its plywood production.

Zarasate also cited the banana industry which is urging tree farmers to grow more falcata for its huge demand for banana poles in the banana plantations.

According to Zarasate, the region is running out of supply of naturally-grown wood trees which might not last in the years ahead. This tight supply is moving DENR to encourage more tree plantations in the Davao region with private firms investing in tree plantations.

“We like to see more tree plantations run by the private sector to meet the increasing demand for more wood by various industries,” Zarasate said.

In the National Greening Program of the government, the DENR is determined to see more planting programs for indigenous species like molave, lawaan, narra, and acacia, Zarasate said.

“These are the natural species we like to propagate in this national tree program as part of our efforts on reforestation” he said.

Tree farmers, on the other hand, have began losing interest in the planting of Gmelina trees due to its low market demand in the wood industry, but in the near future this demand is still expected to recover depending on the market conditions in the Davao Region, Zarasate said.


The wood industry cluster is now under the second phase of the Davao Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project or DICCEP-2, a joint project of JICA and DTI which started five years ago.