Army-initiated banana fiber industry going full blast in Compostela Valley

By Anthony S. Allada

The banana fiber industry initiated by the 66th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in New Bataan, Compostela Valley is going full blast next month after the two machines and stock room are now operational.

This was the revelation of Lt. Col. Antonino Florendo, commander of the 66th Infantry Battalion based in New Bataan.

Florendo said the livelihood project ceased to operate for a couple of weeks due to mechanical problem of the machines and now that they are already fixed they can resume the operation that will benefit more Peace and Development Volunteers (PDV) in the area.

He said the idea of putting up a banana fiber industry was hatched when 10th Infantry Division commander Major Gen.  Jorge Segovia noticed the vast banana plantation in New Bataan and neighboring areas.

With this, Segovia tapped the AZTROPEX, an international exporter of banana products, into coming up with a joint undertaking to provide livelihood project to the people of New Bataan, thus the start of the banana fiber-making industry.

The banana fiber production as a livelihood project for the PDVs of New Bataan started last October 28, 2010 when Aztropex conducted a one-day Banana Fiber Production Seminar at the Executive Building of New Bataan which was attended by the soldiers, LGU including the officials from 15 barangays of New Bataan.

As early as this year, the banana fiber industry earned 1,333 dollars equivalent to P60,000 as proceeds of its first exportation to Japan.


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