Solon backs Davao bid for chocolate, cacao capital title

By Christine Cudis

February 10, 2021, 8:49 pm

<p>Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa</p>

Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa

MANILA – Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa expressed support for the move to recognize Davao City as the chocolate capital and Davao Region as the cacao capital of the country.

“Mindanao, especially Davao, is known to be the fruit basket of the Philippines. Whenever you think of Davao, you might picture durian, pomelo, mangosteen, tuna, President Duterte, or the Kadayawan festival. As a native of the Davao Region, I can proudly say that we are more than that,” dela Rosa said on Wednesday.

The Dabawenyo senator has co-sponsored Senate Bill No. 1741 or “An Act Declaring the City of Davao As the Chocolate Capital of the Philippines and the Entire Region XI (Davao Region) As the Cacao Capital of the Philippines,”

He said the city and region are deserving of the title as they house the Malagos Chocolate which bagged seven international awards in 2019.

Davao City's Malagos Chocolate also placed second in the 100 percent unsweetened drink category and third in the sweetened drink category of the prestigious International Chocolate Competition of the Academy of Chocolate in London in 2017.

He cited that the Philippines, which is located along the “cocoa belt”, has pioneered cacao planting in Asia, making it “a respected exporter of premium quality raw cacao and chocolate” today.

“Hindi na po Swiss o Belgian chocolate ang hahanapin ng mga chocolate lovers all over the world – Philippine or Davao chocolate na po, (Chocolate lovers will not look for Swiss or Belgian chocolates anymore, they will look for Philippine or Davao chocolate),” he added.

Dela Rosa said Davao Region has been producing 80 percent of the country’s cacao produce, while 10 percent comes from the rest of Mindanao and the remaining 10 percent from Luzon and the Visayas regions.

On Tuesday, Senator Cynthia Villar announced SBN 1741 seeking to give recognition for the pioneering, outstanding collective contribution of the cacao farmers who supply dry cacao beans to the processors and manufacturers.

Apart from Malagos Chocolate, one of the frontline brands of the Philippines in the international market, Malagos Chocolates’ cacao bean also made it to the list of the “Best 50 Beans in The World” under the Cocoa Excellence Programme in 2017.

Another multi-awarded brand is Auro Chocolates, which takes pride in its bean-to-bar process since they have cacao beans that are fully traceable in planting communities in the Philippines.

The fine cacao and chocolate were directly sourced beans from Davao farming partners.

Its commitment to quality has earned it 23 international awards including the Top 20 Best Cacao Beans Award—a first for the Philippines—in the International Cocoa Awards. (PNA)