SEN. MARCOS BACKS BID OF COCO FARMERS TO USE P74.3B COCO LEVY FUNDS
SEN. MARCOS BACKS BID OF COCO
FARMERS TO USE P74.3B COCO LEVY FUNDS
Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. assured coconut farmers on Saturday, July
18, 2015 of his support for their efforts to ensure that the P74.3-billion coco
levy fund will be used for their benefit and the development of the country’s
offered his help during a consultation with around 500 leaders of the coconut
industry from the Southern Luzon provinces of Quezon, Laguna, Batangas,
Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate, and Catanduanes, as
well as from MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) at the Queen
Margarette Hotel in Lucena City.
Avila, spokesperson of the Confederation of Coconut Farmers Organizations of
the Philippines (CONFED), noted that coconut farmers have been pushing in vain
for a bill that would ensure the coco levy funds are used solely for the
benefit of the coconut farmers and to promote the coconut industry.
you would allow me, I volunteer to help you towards the realization of your
vision to improve the coconut industry and to ensure the fund that grew through
your hard work will not be misused,” Marcos said.
said that if used properly and prudently, the coco levy funds could help propel
coconut as the country’s premiere product, which would benefit not only the
small farmers but the entire country as well.
its decision on January 24, 2012, the Supreme Court declared that the coco levy
funds are “owned by the government to be used only for the benefit of all
coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry.”
Philippines has the potential to be world’s number one when it comes to coconut
products but we have not taken advantage of this potential,” Marcos said.
said the coco levy funds should be used to make the Philippine coconut industry
the best in the world so that the country can be “price giver”—dictating the
price of the product in the international market---instead of being a mere
chairman Efren Villasenor said his group proposed to enact a law constituting
the coconut levy funds and assets into a Coconut Industry Trust Fund (CITF),
provide an administrative structure to manage the trust funds, and ensure that
its use will benefit the coconut industry and the coconut farmers.
will await for your proposals so we can jointly develop a bill that will truly
address your concerns and aspirations,” Marcos told the coconut farmers. He
said, he will also seek the help of the four other senators of the Nacionalista
Party to help push the bill in the Senate.
coconut farmers also deplored attempts of the current administration to control
the use of coco levy funds, through Executive Orders 179 and 180. However, the
SC has issued a TRO against the twin order last June 30.
179 calls for the inventory, privatization and reconveyance in favor of the
government of all coconut levy assets, including the shares of stock in the
United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF)
Companies and CIIF Holding Companies, as well as the 5,500,000 San Miguel
Corporation shares in the name of the Presidential Commission on Good
the other hand, EO180 sought the immediate transfer and reconveyance of the
coconut levy assets to the government and use them for the Integrated Coconut
Industry Roadmap and the Roadmap for Coco Levy.
“With such a huge fund, it is not surprising
that some people would attempt to control it so it can be used for their own
agenda. We must be vigilant to ensure such efforts would not succeed,” Marcos
He said the CONFED leaders should be commended
for their timely action before the SC that stopped the implementation of the
twin executive orders. /MP