Anao is the only sixth class municipality in the province of Tarlac and is the smallest in terms of land area and population. However, it was able to showcase an excellent environmental, economic and people development intervention benefitting 1,963 households in 17 barangays.
Sometime in 1988, the Technology & Livelihood Research Center (TLRC) recommended the development of the ylang-ylang essential oil extractor project for Anao as part of the Rural Industrialization Can Happen (RICH) program when they found out that there were at least 72 flowering ylang-ylang trees around the town.
The ylang-ylang oil’s potential as a dollar earner convinced the Municipal Government of Anao to venture into the large-scale propagation of ylang-ylang. In 1990, the Municipality of Anao became one of the recipients of Pres. Corazon Aquino’s Program to Refocus Orientation to the Poor (PRO-POOR). Line agencies and the provincial government pooled their resources to support the research and development of the ylang-ylang livelihood program.
The Anao Ylang-ylang Primary Multipurpose Cooperative (AYPMPC) was formed in August 1998 to serve as the core group in the overall implementation of the program. The municipal government provides a yearly allocation of P400,000 from the 20% development fund to strengthen the program. More importantly, it has enacted an ordinance to guarantee community ownership of ylang-ylang trees planted along roads together with the transfer of appropriate and viable technology, distribution of free seedlings, and provision of marketing support.
At present, 17,400 ylang-ylang trees bloom in the municipality. The trees’ powerfully sweet fragrance purifies the air and their uniform appearance (they are pruned regularly) beautifies the town. Around 170 households earn P250 to 800/wk by selling the flowers to the local government at P50 per kilo.
One kilo of ylang-ylang flowers gives 10-12 ml of aroma that is now registered in the Intellectual Products Office (IPO). It is used as an important ingredient for perfumes to spice up products like soaps, shampoos and body oils. In fact, the local government of Anao has already launched these products in the market. The fragrance is now being tested by the International Flavors and Fragrances in New York while investment opportunity seminars are being conducted in other municipalities in the province.
This program is recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Programs in the 2000 Galing Pook Awards.