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DA chief says GARECO’s P600- million refinery could spur palm oil industry development

Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel Jr. and PCA Administrator Dr. Dexter Buted commended privately-held Garcia Refinery Corp. on the inauguration of its P600-million palm oil refinery, the first in Mindanao that could spur further development of the palm oil industry in the country.

“The establishment of the first palm oil refinery in the SOCCSKSARGEN Region underscores the immense potential for growth and development within the palm oil sector. This embodies the aspiration of the industry stakeholders to become a dynamic, innovative, and self-sufficient industry that provides benefits and stable supply of vegetable oils for the country,” said the agri chief.

SOCCSKSARGEN refers to a region in Mindanao that groups South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City.

“The new GARECO refinery brings more than just infrastructure; it brings hope and opportunities. It will create job opportunities for local communities in SOCCSKSARGEN, providing employment to oil palm farmers, laborers, and other stakeholders involved in the palm oil value chain. It is likewise poised to stimulate economic growth in the region, thereby enhancing the quality of life for many,” he added.

The palm oil refinery, funded with loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines, will produce high-quality palm oil derivatives such as palm olein, palm stearin, margarine, and other products for both the local and international markets.

GARECO had formed partnerships with 63 farmers to manage a total 3,065 hectares of farm land planted to palm oil trees. The potential supplier of palm oil nuts is much bigger since Sultan Kudarat alone palm oil trees have been planted on 14,000 hectares of farm land.

Sec. Tiu Laurel said the DA, through the Philippine Coconut Authority, “is committed to proactively nurture the growth and development of the palm oil industry.” He said the 5-year Palm Oil Roadmap has recently been updated to support the industry.

“The Department is committed to collaborating closely with stakeholders, including the private sector partners such as GARECO, in addressing challenges, promoting innovation, and ensuring the inclusive growth of the Philippine