PhilFIDA National Task Force on the Enforcement of Fiber Quality Standards Conducts Fiber Check Inspections at Grading Baling Establishments (GBEs), Traders, and Processors in the Bicol Region

Date Posted 21 September 2023

The National Task Force on the Enforcement of Fiber Quality Standards, composed of PhilFIDA Regulatory Fiber Inspectors, conducted inspections of baled and unbaled fibers at various Grading and Baling Establishments, traders, and processors in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Sorsogon on June 5-9, 2023.

The concerned regional office had been informed of the inspection date and the list of establishments to be included. The Task Force was divided into two teams to cover the entire region over a five-day period. Team A oversaw inspections in Albay (including Tabaco, Tiwi, Sto. Domingo, Daraga, Camalig, and Legazpi City), Camarines Sur (Sagnay and Goa), and Sorsogon (Gubat, Irosin, and Casiguran). Meanwhile, Team B conducted inspections on Catanduanes Island (Virac, San Andres, Caramoran, Pandan, Bato, and Viga).

The inspection process followed specific procedures, which included reviewing stock books, selecting samples, verifying data, recording samples, unpacking bales, physically examining fibers, making findings and decisions, and engaging in discussions with the assigned fiber inspectors, classifiers, warehouse personnel, and sorters/tip-cutters. The process also involved on-site visits to the trader and processor facilities for visual assessments.

Observations indicated that abaca farmers in Camarines Sur, Albay, and Catanduanes are starting to produce more higher-grade abaca (EF, S2, and I) instead of lower grades (JK and G).

As a result of the activity, the National Task Force recommended the Reclassification of I.C Bales, Regular Conduct of Check Inspections and Monitoring at GBE/Class A Trader/Processor, Conduct Fiber Inspector Re-tooling, Campaign for the Production of High Grades and Creation of Market Linkages, Strict Enforcement of Administrative Circular No. 12 s. 2020, and Strict Enforcement of Fiber Quality Standards.

This endeavor stands as a testament to PhilFIDA’s commitment to upholding the quality standards of fibers within the region and highlights the ongoing efforts to elevate the abaca industry to new heights.