Press Release
February 9, 2021


Senator Ronald 'Bato' Dela Rosa strongly supports the move to make Davao City the chocolate capital and entire Davao Region the cacao capital of the country considering the world-class cacao-based products that are produced in the said areas which have won various international awards and recognition.

In co-sponsoring 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," Dela Rosa, who is a native of Davao, said that apart from the various kinds of fruits that are being harvested in the region, the province also boasts of its high-quality cacao, which is a main ingredient in producing chocolate.

"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," the Mindanaoan Senator said.

"The Davao region produces and exports banana, pineapple, mango, and coconut, among others. Recently, Davao City has also come to boast of a booming world-class cacao and chocolate industry," Dela Rosa continued.

He further noted 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.

"Cacao is one of the trees that only grow in countries located in the tropics near the equator, called the "Cocoa Belt". The Philippines, being one of these tropical countries, took advantage of its location on the map and pioneered the planting of cacao in Asia. From starting out as a pioneer cacao planter, the Philippines is now a respected exporter of premium quality raw cacao and chocolate," Dela Rosa explained.

The senator highlighted that Davao City's Malagos Chocolate bagged 7 international awards in 2019. It also placed second in the 100% 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.

"Hindi na po Swiss o Belgian chocolate ang hahanapin ng mga chocolate lovers all over the world - Philippine or Davao chocolate na po," he added.

The senator said that Davao Region has been producing 80 per cent 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, February 9, SBN 1741 was sponsored by Senator Cynthia Villar, Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform. Once approved, Dela Rosa explained, the measure will recognize the Filipino cacao farmers and growers with great respect and appreciation, worth more than what any international award could give.

"After all, it is to them that we owe the honor we enjoy today, the honor of producing chocolate that ranks among the world's best, truly deserving of chocolate's other name: 'food for the gods.' Needless to say, we are not gods, Mr. President. However, enjoying every piece of smooth, bittersweet chocolate derived from Davao cacao certainly helps us to come quite close," Dela Rosa said in closing.

News Latest News Feed