Says dev’t plan to benefit millions of farmers, modernize coco industry
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has expressed optimism over the enactment of Republic Act No. 11524 or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act which provides for the utilization of the Coco Levy Fund to benefit the country’s coconut farmers.
A co-author of the new law, Go said that the long wait is over for coconut farmers who waited decades for the measure, adding that its enactment under the Duterte Administration is a testament to President Rodrigo Duterte’s compassion and concern for Filipino farmers.
“Napakatagal pong hinintay ito ng ating mga coconut farmers. Napakaraming administrasyon ang nagdaan at, sa wakas, ngayon ay pirmado na. Patunay po ito sa malasakit ni Tatay Digong sa ating mga magsasaka,” Go said.
Go also emphasized that the enactment of the law is a fulfillment of President Duterte’s campaign promise when he ran in 2016.
“Sa lahat ng commitments namin, pag ako’y nahalal, ibabalik ko sa inyo ang pera mula coco levy sa lalong madaling panahon,” then candidate Duterte said before local farmers in Catanauan, Quezon last March 30, 2016.
“Bilang isa sa mga malalaking producers ng coconut sa mundo, napakahalaga po ng coconut industry sa ating bansa. Napakarami sa ating mga magsasaka ang nakikinabang at nakasalalay ang pamumuhay sa industriyang ito. Kaya naman po nagagalak tayo na sa wakas ay may batas na na magsusulong ng kanilang mga karapatan at kapakanan,” he added.
Signed on February 26, Republic Act No. 11524 mandates the Bureau of Treasury to transmit PhP10 billion to the trust fund in the first year; PhP10 billion in the second year; PhP15 billion in the third year; PhP15 billion in the fourth year; and PhP25 billion in the fifth year.
Around PhP5 billion from the Coco Levy Trust Fund will be utilized for the plans and programs of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan, including the training of coconut farmers and their families, and planting and replanting of hybrid coconut seedlings, among others.| – bnn