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The Mindanao Examiner
3/F MP Towers, Nunez St., Zamboanga City, Philippines 7000
Phone & Fax: +6362 9925480 Mobile: +63915 2756606 / +63919 3587983
ARMM, Cebu, Davao, Manila, Zamboanga Peninsula



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  1. Como podria hacer para leer la informacion que han producido en 2007 acerca del abaca. Gracias
    ps/soy profesor y esa informacion es importante para analizar el mercado mundial del abaca.

  2. Hola Profesor,

    Informacion acerca del abaca…

    Saturday, September 30, 2006
    RP To Boost Abaca Production
    ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE (Darwin Wee / 30 Sept) – The Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) in Western Mindanao has expressed optimism that it would exceed the 8,000 hectares targeted for abaca plantation in the region in three years time.

    FIDA regional director Eduardo B. Holoyohoy said the government is targeting to expand the abaca plantation to at least 50,000 hectares in different abaca production areas in the country under the National Abaca Development Program.

    “Although our initial target is 8,000 hectares, we are confident to go beyond our target abaca plantation areas to more than 10,000 hectares,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

    Mr. Holoyohoy attributed the upbeat projection after several local investors signified their interest to develop and transform idle agricultural land to abaca plantation in the region.

    He said the bulk of the expansion projects are in the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

    In Zamboanga del Norte alone, at least 7,000 hectares are expected to be fully planted with abaca within this year, he said.
    “Currently, we have 2,000 hectares in Siocon town in Zamboanga del Norte which is being funded by the Canadian mining firm TVI Resource Development Phils., Inc., under its so-called corporate social responsibility program.”
    “Another private firm has pledged to develop 5,000 hectares in Sibuco town also in Zamboanga del Norte. The proposal is yet to be presented to Agricultural Commodity Enhancement Fund,” he said.

    In addition, Mr. Holoyohoy said that there are also two private investors from Manila and Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao which are also eyeing to plant 5,000 hectares in Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur province and 2,000 hectares more in Zamboanga Sibugay.

    To maintain the abaca seedlings distribution in the region, FIDA is establishing at least two new seed banks and nurseries.
    “This is to augment the current seed stocks in Kalawit and Muntiya towns in Zamboanga del Norte. Seed banks and nurseries are very important for us to be able to realize the project. This will be the source of all the planting materials,” he said.
    He said another investor in Zamboanga Sibugay has already established a five-hectare nursery to supply the needs of its 300 hectares abaca plantations.
    Currently, Western Mindanao has about 10,000 hectares planted to abaca. In 2005, the abaca production in this region reached more than 106 tons, a 50% increase compared from the previous year.

    Mr. Holoyohoy said at least 95% of the total production of abaca in Western Mindanao comes from Sulu Archipelago. Last year, Sulu produced more than 2,500 tons of raw abaca fiber.
    Being the major abaca producing province, Sulu also has the biggest plantation of abaca in the region with a little over 5,000 hectares.
    FIDA’s planning officer Concepcion A. de Barras, said the Zamboanga Peninsula, which comprises Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Norte, do not have any abaca processing plant.
    She said the at least 80% of raw abaca fiber is delivered to Lanao del Norte province and the rest are being delivered to Leyte and in Cebu in the Central Philippines.

    The region has at least 45 buying stations of abaca and majority of it falls in the classification of Class C and Class D traders which could only supply some 25,000 kilos of abaca per year.
    She said the current buying prices of abaca in the region ranges from P33 to as high as P43 per kilo depending on the location of the farmers and where the accumulation of the fiber is done.
    There are more than 3,000 abaca farmers. She said to encourage more farmers to plant abaca; FIDA is stepping up its training program for farmers to boost abaca production in the region.
    “We are conducting an average of 20 trainings per year on basic abaca planting and techniques on fiber craft manufacturing,” she said.
    Ms. de Barras noted that the abaca industry in this region still faces the “perennial” problem such as lack of post-harvest facilities, processing, and marketing.
    “In terms of technology, the Western Mindanao region is still lagging from new machines particularly in stripping, which majority of the farmers strips the abaca manually,” she said.
    Abaca is obtained from a banana-like plant, which is known scientifically as “Musa textiles.” It is indigenous to the Philippines but is also found in Borneo, and Indonesia.
    It is also considered the strongest of natural fibers being three times stronger than cotton and two times stronger than sisal fiber. Aside from rope, abaca fibers are also being used as a major component for food packaging as in tea bags and meat casings, filter papers and cigarettes papers.
    It is also being use in tarpaulin, such as billboards, photo frames, albums, stationery, flowers, all purpose cards and decorations, among others. Abaca pulp is also use as a component in producing currency notes in some countries.
    With the new technology, abaca seeds are also being used in shampoo making and pastries, according to Ms. de Barras.
    Based on the 2006 Philippine Abaca Industry Report, the demand of abaca raw materials, which include its fibers, pulps and seeds are increasing with an average of 3% annually both local and exports consumption.
    Abaca remains as a major dollar earner, with the Philippines accounting for 85% of the world supply. Exports of raw abaca fibers and processed abaca fibers generate average annual earnings of $76 million with an estimated 1.5 million Filipinos dependent on abaca for their livelihood, the report said.
    The United States, United Kingdom, Japan, France, and South Korea are among the major markets for abaca fiber.
    Mr. Holoyohoy said local farmers should look at the great potential of planting abaca. “Abaca is a cash crop for local farmers and planting abaca will greatly help them to augment their income. We are now on the massive campaign in encouraging our farmers to help us improve production and meet the demand for both the local and the international markets,” he said. (Mindanao Examiner)

    Wednesday, June 14, 2006
    Trade Industry To Undertake Product Development Assistance For Western Mindanao SMEs
    ZAMBOANGA CITY (Lowell Vallecer / 14 Jun) The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in coordination with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Bureau of Food and Drug (BFAD), the Department of Labor (DOLE) and other members of the Region 9 Small, Medium Enterprises Core Group is set to undertake a comprehensive package of product development assistance for selected SMEs in Western Mindanao, officials said Wednesday.

    In the Philippines, an SME is defined as any business activity or enterprise engaged in industry, agriculture, or services whether single proprietorship, cooperative, partnership, or corporation.

    Officials said top caliber private designers from Manila have been contracted to facilitate the product development activities which include product clinics and one-on-one consultations on product designs; packaging and labeling; and prototype development.
    Over 24 SMEs based in the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay and Isabela City in Basilan island were identified by the Department of Trade and Industry as beneficiaries of the product development assistance package. The DOST on the other hand, targeted at least ten other SMEs.

    A stringent set of criteria such as the enterprise’s capability to produce high quality products, responsiveness to product development initiatives and other factors had been used to shortlist the SMEs prioritized for assistance this year. The SME beneficiaries of this project and their products shall be showcased during the upcoming Regional Trade Expo during the 15th Mindanao Business Conference in Zamboanga City from August 31 to September 2.

    Most of the identified SMEs are into food processing, such as bottled sardines; smoked fish; processed calamansi (Philippine lime) and mango; banana and cassava chips; noodles; virgin coconut oil; organic herbal concentrates; processed meat; and cakes and pastries. The non-food products on the other hand include fashion accessories, as well as home decors and gifts and housewares made from indigenous materials such as seashells, mother of pearl, abaca and bamboo.

    The first phase of the regional product development activity will commence on Thursday in Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte. From there, the group of designers will proceed to Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur on Saturday and in Ipil town, also in the province on Sunday until Monday. And June 20 for Zamboanga City and Isabela City SMEs. The schedule for the second phase has yet to be discussed, officials said.

    This project is part of a comprehensive assistance package through a convergence of services from different government agencies and the private sector meant to make local SMEs and their products competitive in the national and international markets. Officials said interested parties may contact Estrella del Mar at (62) 991-3237 and 991-3238 or at any DTI offices in the region.
    posted by The Mindanao Examiner at 3:58 PM 0 comments

    Tuesday, March 28, 2006
    SMEs Get Gov’t Fundings On Product Development Program
    ZAMBOANGA CITY (Darwin Wee / 28 Mar) The small-and-medium-scale- enterprises (SMEs) in Zamboanga peninsula will benefit from a half-million peso government-sponsored product development program this year, the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) regional office here said.
    Sitti Amina Jain, DTI assistant regional director, said the fund was approved last month to provide the existing and potential SME entrepreneurs in Zamboanga peninsula “with services in product and package design and development to create and sustain a competitive edge in the domestic and export markets.”
    The P500, 000-program for local products is also part of the preparations for the trade and exposition to be held during the 15th Mindanao Business Conference (Minbizcon) in Zamboanga City on August 31 to September 2.
    “The funds will be used to showcase local products to lure foreign and domestic investors and buyers in the upcoming Minbizcon,” she told the Zamboanga Journal.
    The money is intended to fund all the product development activities such as research on materials, processes, and technologies to full-scale introduction of a product to the market.

    “This includes product design and development, package design and development, product technology research and development, design andtechnical information, and design library,” Jain said.
    She said at least 48 local products under the DTI’s “one-town, one project” in Zamboanga peninsula were identified to avail of the product development program.

    Among the existing products are bottled sardines and dried fish and for the emerging products that include abaca, tiger grass for souvenir and gift items, and bamboo furniture to name a few.
    The DTI regional office will also tap two experts from the Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines and the private sectors to help provide product designs advice and improve the quality and marketability of the local products.
    “The overall objective of this project is to raise the competitiveness of the existing and emerging products in the Zamboanga peninsula. This will also enable the SME sector in the region to move towards improved standards of quality, efficiency and environmental performance in both operations and product design,” she said.
    Jain said the program is also part of the National SME Development Agenda that aims to expand promotion and assist SMEs in product quality and market.
    The SME sector is the backbone of the Philippine economy. It comprises about 99.6% of all registered firms nationwide employs, 69.9% of the labor force, and contributes 32% of the national economic output.
    posted by The Mindanao Examiner at 5:08 PM 0 comments

    Thursday, January 05, 2006
    Yakan Cloth, Now A Pride of Zamboanga
    ZAMBOANGA CITY (Darwin Wee) It all started as a hobby until her enthusiasm in weaving abaca and pineapple fibers drove her to convert it into business.

    “There is joy whenever I come up with unique and intricate, colorful designs of Yakan cloth, and it is also a very profitable business too,” the 40-year old Angie Pichay Ilul said.
    Yakan weaving in Zamboanga is also a major tourist attraction, she said.

    Although Ms. Ilul is a native of Ilocos province, she was deeply motivated by the colorful and rich Yakan culture and heritage, and tradition, aside from her husband being a true-blooded Yakan man.
    “The Yakan tradition is deep and weaving Yakan is just as deep as our belief in its culture and heritage. Yakan weaving is an art and each intricate design I make comes from the heart,” she said.
    She started her business in 1989 after working for two years in Saudi Arabia. And from her savings of about P200,000, she bought two back-strap looms, the traditional floor machine used for weaving.

    In a couple of years, she added 16 more back-strap looms and an upright loom, which is used in modern weaving, in which the weaver sits on a chair.

    Ms. Ilul’s shop, located at the Yakan village in Upper Calarian, about 7 km west of Zamboanga, is one of few that sell genuine Yakan cloth.

    About 30 Yakan families are settled in the village after migrating Zamboanga City from Basilan province in 1970.
    For the past decades, the Yakan village has been visited by Filipino and foreign tourists. Aside from Yakan cloth, the village also boasts of genuine brasswares and antiques and traditional swords used by Muslims in earlier times, and also wood carvings, pottery, ceramics and shell trinkets.
    She said the Yakans are considered among the finest weavers in the country, which use fibers from pineapple and abaca to weave the cloth. They also use herbal extracts from leaves, roots and tree barks to dye the fibers and produced colorful combinations and intricate designs famous around the world.

    “The Yakan weave is so fine that it takes a week or so to finish a meter of cloth and a simple square design takes at least two days to finish. Depending on the style and designs, the weaver must have tons of patience in dealing with the hundreds of strands of thread hanging in the looms.”
    “This is the reason why Yakan cloth commands a high price. It is because of the weaver’s craftsmanship,” Ms. Ilul said.
    Hand-weaving skills are handed down from generation to generation, she said, noting that the Yakans can create a masterpiece of an exquisite and very colorful piece of cloth.

    She said weaving has not only become part of the Yakan’s culture and heritage, but a source of pride, and livelihood too.
    Ms. Ilul explained that most of the patterns they used were inspired by their surroundings such as fish, leaves and rainbows.
    She said there are at least eight designs in the traditional Yakan-weaving styles and the famous and sought-after designs are the “kenna-kenna,” patterned after a fish and “dawen-dawen,” also pattered after the leaf of a vine.
    A pattern that resembles the human eyes, called the “pene mata-mata” and the
    the “kabang buddi,” which has a diamond-shaped design, are also in demand in the market.

    She said the “seputangan,” which means good luck and prosperity, is the most difficult to weave because of its intricate design, and is usually worn by women around their waist, or as a head cloth. The “palipattang” is patterned after the colors of the rainbow, while the “bunga-sama,” is designed like the appearance of the python.
    Almost every Yakan fabric can be described as unique since the finished materials are not exactly identical. Differences may be seen in the pattern or in the design or in the distribution of colors, she said.

    She said some of Yakan weavers have been influenced by Filipino artists and American Peace Corps volunteers, who brought about changes in the art and style of weaving. Many have since resorted to the convenience of chemical dyes.
    She said she is also weaving table cloth, placemats, purses, sling bags, wallets, pillow case, carpets, and even cellular phone pouches, and even wall decors.
    “We cater to the needs of our customers,” she said.
    To date, Ms. Ilul has at least 19 weavers and is planning to expand her trade. At present, Yakan cloth sells for about P200 per meter.
    To upgrade the skills of the Yakan weavers, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) launched a program to help them design more intricate patterns.
    “We really appreciate the government for helping us upgrade our skills through the DOST program for the development of the graphic and structure design,” she said.
    Ms. Ilul said she attends trade fairs and other weavers expo at least 7 times a year to further promote the Yakan cloth abroad. Now, more foreign firms, mostly from the hotel industry and interior designers, are buying Yakan weaves, she said.
    She also currently supplies hand-woven products to various novelty and souvenirs shops in Manila, Cebu, Davao and Gen. Santos City.

  3. To our dear readers,

    You can search for information on our archives…

    Thank you.

    Mindanao Examiner

  4. hi just want to ask where do you print your newspaper? what printing press? and how much is the cost per newspaper? thanks. godbless!

  5. pabor escribe en chavacano para canamon lejos na zamboanga city ,

    muchas gracias

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