Labo-labo! Banana growers urge LGUs to unify lockdown rules in Mindanao


Banana industry leaders, through the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), are calling for a uniform interpretation of guidelines as local government units in the country are on lockdown due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.

In an interview on Thursday, PBGEA executive director Stephen Antig said they have requested the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) to issue statements calling for uniform interpretation of the guidelines since the industry operates all over Mindanao.

Antig said their personnel in the field are having problems with ingress and egress because local government units have different interpretations of the guidelines that supply chains, especially food, should not be hampered.

However, he said they would continue to export their products so long as there are no logistical problems.

“We are very much into solving and alleviating the crisis in our little way as an association,” he said.

The banana industry in Mindanao covers six regions and 16 provinces with a production area of 88,000 to 90,000 hectares.

Meanwhile, Antig said they would be donating gloves, bananas, and other materials needed by front-liners, both in Mindanao and other parts of the country. (PNA)