Senate OKs bill declaring Davao City as Chocolate Capital

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 8) - Voting 22-0-1, the Senate approved on third and final reading a bill declaring Davao City as the Chocolate Capital of the Philippines.

Senate Bill No. 1741 also seeks to declare Region 11 or Davao Region as the country’s Cacao Capital.

The proposed measure recognizes cacao as a source of livelihood for many small farmers.

“The State hereby recognized the importance of cacao as a driver of rural development not only because of its singular potential as a raw material that can increase the country's export earnings tremendously and put the name of the country in the map for producing the finest chocolate beans, but for having provided livelihood to many small farmers in the countryside,” read the bill.

According to the bill’s explanatory note, cacao beans can produce cocoa nibs, cocoa liquor, cocoa cake, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and chocolate confectionary blocks.

The city in 2019 produced 2,289 metric tons of cacao, or 38 percent of the region’s contribution of the chocolate source, said the Department of Agriculture.

READ: Betting big on Philippine cacao

The Davao City-based Malagos Chocolate won second place for its 100% unsweetened dark chocolate in the drinking category and third place for its sweetened dark chocolates during the 2017 Academy of Chocolate in London.

The Davao chocolate brand also won top awards last year at the World Drinking Chocolate Competition.