PLARIDEL, Misamis Occidental (PIA)—First District Rep. of Misamis Occidental Diego Ty lauded President Rodrigo R. Duterte for signing into law a measure creating a trust fund for coconut farmers.
Ty said the enactment of Republic Act (RA) 11524 or the Coconut Farmer and Industry Act or the Coconut levy trust act is a “monumental moment” for some 3.5 million coconut farmers, who own not more than five hectares of farmland, from 68 coconut-producing provinces as they have long been “denied of the fund that rightfully belongs to them.”
This law prescribes the management and utilization of the coco levy fund, the tax exacted from farmers during the Marcos Administration from 1971 to 1983 currently deposited in the national treasury, and assets acquired through the said fund for the benefit of the coconut farmers and development of the coconut industry.
“After decades-long of waiting, karon ra sa panahon ni President Duterte nga ang kwarta sa Coconut Farmers nga pagsugod P9.1 billion ug niabot na sa P75 billion. Gi-timing nga ang Peter Paul Philippines gihatag sa atoa sa Ginoo at the right time,” Ty said.
(It is only during President Duterte’s time that Coconut Farmers’ money starts at P9.1 billion and reaches P75 billion. We are fortunate that Peter Paul Philippines was given to us by the Lord at the right time)
Ty expressed hope that this “long-overdue legislation” would help change the lives of poor coconut farmers and their beneficiaries.
The Bureau of the Treasury is directed to immediately transfer P10 billion to the Trust Fund upon the enactment of RA 11524, another P10 billion for the second year, and P15 billion each for the third and fourth years.
In the fifth year, about P25 billion and any amount accruing, including interest, in the special account in the general fund will be transferred to the Trust Fund.
The law aims to increase the income of coconut farmers, alleviate poverty and promote social equity, and rehabilitate and modernize the industry towards farm productivity.
The development plan will be prepared by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and approved by the President. (SMRN/PIA Misamis Occidental)