Piñol to meet with airlines to seek help in bringing fruits from Mindanao to Luzon, Visayas

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 Aug) – Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chairman Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol is set to meet with airline executives from AirAsia, Philippines Airlines, and Cebu Pacific on Wednesday morning here to negotiate for cargo allocation for the fruits from Mindanao on their Davao-Manila-Davao, Davao-Iloilo-Davao, and Davao-Clark-Davao flights.

Secretary Manny Piñol upon assuming leadership of MinDA last 19 August 2019. MindaNews file photo by GG BUENO

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) public relations head Adrian Tamayo said on Tuesday that the secretary would also ask for a special price for the shipment of fruits to help growers in Mindanao to find new markets amid the excess in supply that brought prices down.

“This will come as the support of the airlines to Mindanao farmers,” Tamayo said.

Budget airline Cebu Pacific services air routes from Davao to Iloilo, Manila, and Clark; while AirAsia and PAL fly from Davao to Manila and Clark.

Tamayo said that also on Wednesday, Piñol would lead the first island-wide fruit growers meeting at the MinDA office located at the old airport here to discuss the supply volume for the sale of their fruits in other parts of the country, logistics, and infrastructure requirements of the farmers, following the success of the first-ever MinDA Fruit Festival along Session Road in Baguio City last August 24 to 25 where 20 tons of fruits were sold out on the opening day of the festival.

He added they hope all fruit growers, through their leaders, will be represented during the meeting.

On his Facebook post, Piñol said they plan to replicate similar activity in Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Bicol and Cagayan Valley. Among the fruits that will be sold there include durian, mangosteen, rambutan, pineapple, lacatan banana, passion fruit, sweet water or aromatic coconut, pomelo and guyabano.

“To undertake these activities, MinDA wishes to have an accurate assessment of the fruit production of Mindanao. MinDA also intends to assess the financing, logistical and infrastructure requirements of Mindanao fruit growers to develop the industry further,” the secretary added.

Last August 23, the C-130 and C-295 aircrafts of the Philippine Air Force transported 22 tons of fruits from Davao to Clark. The fruits were then loaded on two refrigerated vans en route to Baguio for the fruit festival, a joint project of MinDA and the City Government of Baguio. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)