State-run Legaspi Oil-Davao Coconut Oil Mill is targeting to produce 600 metric tons (MTD) of coconut oil daily.
The plant is formerly owned by the First Coconut Manufacturing Incorporated (FCMI) that was renting the facility since 2014. It was however returned to the government this year, thus now considered a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC).
The plant is actually producing 600 MTD before, however due to some problems facing the company, it only managed to produce 400 MTD of crude coconut oil at present.
“Sabi nila dati 600 MTD but right now dahil maraming nasira and everything we can only deliver as of the moment 400 MTD but we will bring it back to 600 MTD,” Jaime Jose, resident manager in an interview said.
Jose said they are targeting to achieve back the 600 MTD production in two to three months. He said within two months they will probably start operating the oil mill because presently they are just starting building up the copra. He said they are buying copra from the farmers. The copra will be processed to produce crude coconut oil.
“But even at 400 MTD marami tayong matutulungan na farmers dahil ang farmers binibenta niya single delivery kunwari isang jeep seguro mag 2 tons or 4 tons yan and our daily production could basically help 100 farmers per day para we will capacitate them pero kung gagawin naming 600 MTD mas maganda,” he said.
The facility is processing crude coconut oil with edible oil as end produce. These are exported to Europe, US and Japan.
Jose said the re-opening of the mill aims to bring the facility closer to the farmers in Davao Region. He said the operation of the said facility will minimize the middlemen who usually control the price of the copra.
He said the y will minimize the middle men by setting up buying stations in areas where there are coconut plantations. He said they are also setting up cooperatives for the farmers to be organized. He added that they are even willing of putting up a warehouse for the farmers.
“Legaspi Oil aims to help the farmers to get the right price for their produce,”
Buying stations that are currently operational are in Maco and Mati. There is also one buying station in Samal Island but is not yet operational. Presently, the buying price of copra is at P28.20 per kilo. Jose said prices vary every day and the farmers will know the prices as these will be posted at the gate of the plant.
“The buying price of the plant would be almost the same to the farm gate. Yung farmers makuha nila yung mga tamang presyo sa produce nila. Very similar in Japan as there are no middlemen in Japan,” he said.
He said the plant’s revenue as of last month is estimated to reach in billions based on their financial statement.
“Majority of our revenue is export. Ang mga oil plants kasi ay PEZA when you say you are a PEZA site dapat minimum dyan 70% of your produce is for export at hindi ka ma qualify as a PEZA site kung hindi for export ang produce mo,” he explained.
Legaspi Oil was operating under GOCC but under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III the facility faced some problems.
“I don’t know if it was mismanaged or whatever but during the time of the last administration (PNoy) medyo bumaba ang revenue niya. Binalik nila (FCMI) sa amin yung facility. It was operated as an oil mill managed by Manny Pangilinan’s group way back 2014 but apparently I don’t know what happened supposedly it is a 10 year contract,” Jose said. Maya M. Padillo