Aquino cites P3-B savings on coco-based road, flood control projects

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 27 2011 05:39 PM | Updated as of Jan 28 2011 01:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino cited on Thursday how the coconet technology used in road and flood control projects could save the government around P3 billion.

“A recent meeting with a company called Coconet has introduced to us the possibility of using coconut coir instead of concrete to line our roads and some bodies of water to prevent flooding," he said during the Aquino during the awarding ceremony of the Philippine Quality Awards in Malacañang.

"This will save us more than P3 billion in road maintenance, while at the same time uplifting the lives of coconut farmers. And this came from our resourcefulness—a P3-billion idea,” the President added as he joined in recognizing the Filipino creativity at the event.

The President said Filipino creativity can even extend to names of some business establishments like barbershops “Sylvester Salon” and “Scissors Palace".

This year’s recipients of the Philippine Quality Awards include Sunpower Philippines Manufacturing Limited, Mariwasa Siam Manufacturing Inc. and RCM Manufacturing Inc. They were cited for achieving “exceptional performance in overall organizational processes.”

The President thanked the companies for contributing to the economy and challenged them to do more. “Thank you for contributing to the growth of our local industries, which leads to more jobs and better lives for our countrymen,” Aquino said.

Coconet

The coconet technology taps cocofiber or coconets made from coconut husks and replaces the use of concrete in constructing creeksides and embankments to prevent flooding.

In August 2010, Public Works secretary Rogelio had noted that the cost of using coconet is only a third of the cost of applying concrete.

Coconut-based geotextiles, manufactured mainly in the Bicol region, reduces soil erosion since it is known for its absorption abilities. Singson had said the Philippines is exporting cocofiber to China, Japan, Germany and Malaysia.

The Philippines is the world’s largest producer of coconuts but the Filipino coconut farmer is among the poorest of the tillers of the soil.

The coconet technology was one of the finalists that made it to the World Challenge contest of UK-based broadcasting firm BBC in 2010. - from report of Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News