Region 12 coffee dubbed as the Best Robusta Coffes in the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition 2024. Aside from the top prize, four other coffee entries of the made it to the TOP 10 winners as the best Robusta and Arabica coffees.

MAKATI CITY – The coffee from Region 12 was declared this year’s best Robusta coffee in the recently concluded Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC), beating 101 other entries from all over the country in the Robusta category.

At an awarding ceremony on Sunday, June 9, Rey John Basco, a resident of Senator Ninoy Aquino in Sultan Kudarat, ranked first, finally snatching the coveted title from the Ilocos Region, which won last year’s competition.

Aside from Basco, four other titlesβ€”three in the Robusta category and one in the Arabica categoryβ€”were won by Region 12’s coffee farmer-processors.

In the Robusta category, other Region 12 awardees are Top 2 – Roan Basco, Top 5 – Denz Bert Deramos, and Top 6 – Orlando Bayuda, all residents of Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat. Meanwhile, Ylaine Joyce Giangan of Makilala, Cotabato, secured the Top 6 position in the Arabica category out of 47 entries.

In an interview, Flora Politud-Gabunales, the Regional Director of DTI-12, expressed her happiness that after many years of joining the competition, the top place was finally won by one of the local coffee farmer-processors.

β€œWe are delighted that after numerous attempts and interventions by DTI-12 and our partner agencies, one of Region 12’s coffee entries has been recognized as the best Robusta coffee in the country,” said Politud-Gabunales.

She also emphasized that the increase in the region’s coffee entries is a result of DTI’s intensive campaign and interventions, with more farmers realizing the benefits of producing fine and specialty coffee.

β€œOur campaign to produce fine Robusta and specialty Arabica coffees has led to more entries in this year’s competition. This shift from commercial to fine or specialty coffee allows farmers to sell their produce at a higher price,” added Politud-Gabunales.

Region 12 submitted 28 Robusta and one Arabica entries for this year’s competition, marking the highest number of coffee entries in the competition’s seven-year run.

The PCQC is an annual green coffee competition that aims to increase Filipino farmers’ awareness of coffee quality and encourage them to improve their competitiveness in both domestic and international markets.

The competition was organized by the Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia (BCAA), the Philippine Coffee Guild, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Coffee is one of the priority industries in Region 12, supported by DTI through the Industry Cluster Enhancement (ICE) program and the Rural Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth)β€”a project that supports the socio-economic agenda of the current administration by reducing poverty through strengthening rural enterprises, particularly in provinces with a high prevalence of poverty.

DTI-12 has also taken the lead in organizing the Kape Dose Coffee Quality Competition, now in its second year, to assist local coffee farmers with their entries to the PCQC.

Earlier this year, a resolution was secured by DTI from the Regional Development Council 12 (RDC) making the Kape Dose Coffee Quality Competition an annual institutionalized event of Region 12 that recognizes the best locally produced coffee.

The passing of RDC Resolution No. 19, series of 2024, entitled β€œSupporting the Institutionalization of Kape Dose Coffee Quality Competition as the Official Annual Activity of the Region and the β€˜Kape Dose Quality Seal,’” is a nod from the RDC, the highest policy-making body of the region, to the initiative spearheaded by DTI to promote coffee quality production and its patronage by the general coffee-drinking public.

Region 12 is the number one coffee-producing region in the country, contributing 35% to national coffee production, making it a strong contender to be the coffee capital of the Philippines.  ♦ 

Date of release: 13 June 2024