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New PCA Board outlines priorities

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Coconut Authority bared that its newly reconstituted Board has agreed to prioritize the crafting of Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan.

DA-PCA Administrator Benjamin Madrigal, Jr. on Friday said the CFIDP, which will be submitted to the Office of the President for approval within 120 days, was among their most urgent activities during the Board’s first meeting on March 15.

In December 2020, the DA supported the proposed legislation of both chambers of Congress creating a coconut industry trust fund from the proceeds of the coconut levy.

The DA said the trust fund will be disbursed in accordance with the CFIDP, which is also mandated to complete the coconut farmers registry. The Plan will be reviewed annually.

By virtue of Republic Act No. 11524, also known as the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act, the PCA Board now chaired by Agriculture Secretary William Dar, and assisted by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez as vice-chair — designated a corporate secretary and created a transition committee chaired by the Department of Trade and Industry to help provide overall direction to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach to pursue plans for the development of the country’s coconut industry.

Meanwhile, Dominguez underscored the allocation of the multi-billion coconut levy fund that will revitalize the coconut sector and leads to President Rodrigo Duterte’s vision for agricultural modernization and financial inclusion for all Filipinos.

“The P75-billion coconut levy fund will now directly benefit the country’s 2.5 million small coconut farmers and their families, by way of a trust fund to be used for yielding more value-added coconut products and unleashing the full economic potentials of this industry,” Dominguez said.*PNA

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