ABACA PRODUCTION in the eight months to August rose 9.9% year on year to 44,796.21 metric tons (MT), according to the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA).

PhilFIDA Executive Director Kennedy T. Costales said in a social media post that the rise in output came despite the uncertainties of the pandemic.
The Bicol Region was the top producer of abaca fiber, accounting for 32.4% or 14,525.97 MT.

However, the abaca output of Bicol Region in the eight months declined 2.9% year on year.

The province of Catanduanes accounted for 83.8% of the regional total, with its output of 12,179.46 MT up 1.4% year on year.

Other top abaca-producing regions were the Davao Region with 19.5% or 8,728.57 MT, Caraga with 13.4% or 5,991.80 MT, and Northern Mindanao with 12.4% or 5,540.69 MT.

Abaca fiber is used in the production of specialty paper, furniture and fixtures, face masks, bags, cosmetics, and skin care products, among others.

Mr. Costales said other fibers posted production gains during the period.

Coir, or coconut fiber, production rose 35.5% to 14,630.88 MT. Davao Region accounted for 62.8% or 9,181.88 MT of the national total.

Production of raffia, a palm fiber, rose 49.7% year on year in the eight months to August to 26.85 MT. Bohol accounted for 51.4% or 13.79 MT of total output.

Output of Salago, whose fibers are made into rope, paper and resin, rose 26.1% to 165 MT. Cebu accounted for 47% or 77.63 MT of total production.

Piña fiber output for the period increased 270.5% to 14.3 MT. South Cotabato accounted for 96.6% or 13.82 MT of overall production.

Production of musa, of the banana family, rose 13.9% to 1,052.50 MT. Camarines Sur was the top producer with 47.5% or 499.50 MT of the total. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave