NEWS: Priest running for mayor wants to establish banana export zone

By Cha Monforte

jan 18 

Fr. Emerson “Em-Em” Luego, the priest who is now running for mayor, wants to establish a banana export zone in Santo Tomas, Davao del Norte if he is fortunate to win a people’s mandate.

            “Since my town is fueled by the cavendish banana industry, an export zone may as well be established to serve as a central economic zone where terminal facilities, dropping areas open to all banana buyers and satellite offices where payments of banana exports would be made right at Sto. Tomas,” he explained in an interview.

            He said that at present banana growers and workers have to content themselves in going either to Panabo City or Davao City to get payments of their banana exports.

Recent provincial statistics indicated that that town contributed over a third of the Davao del Norte’s export banana production placing second to Panabo City with its over 4,000 hectares of banana plantations. Davao del Norte is No. 1 producer of export bananas, followed by Compostela Valley .

            “Sto. Tomas has no barangay that has no cavendish banana growing,” he said, adding that “because of this, it is appropriate to launch a banana festival” in yearly tribute to the vast benefits given by the industry to the income and livelihood of town’s people.

             He said that the town needs road improvement to beef up the banana industry saying that if the government has been subsidizing other agricultural products, “why not also give subsidy to the banana as an agricultural product through infrastructure?”

He added that banana industry players, big and small, can be tapped to generate resources to introduce developments to Sto. Tomas such as counterparts in the establishment of a public hospital, or a public college or in massively launching adopt-the-school program. (Cha Monforte/ Rural Urban News)

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