Aquino urged to issue EO on coco levy fund | Inquirer Business

Aquino urged to issue EO on coco levy fund

An umbrella group of coconut farmers is calling on President Aquino to issue an executive order that would enable them to use the coco levy fund while awaiting action from Congress on what to do with it.

The Kilusan para sa Ugnayan ng mga Samahang Magniniyog on Tuesday resolved that an EO had to be issued to ensure that all coconut farmers, especially small holders, would benefit from the coco levy fund.

Kilusan Magniniyog is convened by the National Confederation of Small Farmers and Fishers Organizations, which lists 62 organizations as its members.


In a meeting held Tuesday at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, the farmers said they wanted the coco levy kitty to be instituted as a perpetual trust fund.


Jose Marie T. Faustino, executive director of the Coconut Industry Reform Movement, said the farmers groups also agreed that the trust fund should be used for efforts that would provide aid to farmers, ramp up productivity and develop coco-based enterprises in the rural areas.

The farmers groups arrived on these resolutions following a discussion led by former senator Wigberto Tañada Jr., who is currently convenor of the Free Trade Alliance.

Tanada said that aside from the P70 billion, additional amounts might be made available if relevant cases pending with the Supreme Court were resolved.

“There may be some P20 billion that could come from the 24-percent block of CIIF shares in San Miguel Corp.,” he said.

Tañada was referring to some 753.8 million shares in SMC held by the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF), the ownership of which the courts ruled in favor of the government.

According to Kilusan Magniniyog, the coconut industry and the farmers themselves were in so much need of immediate benefits from the coco levy funds that an EO might be a way to realize this while awaiting for Congress to pass a relevant law.


The farmers are backing proposals on a so-called Coconut Farmers’ Trust Fund Act, which was filed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate last May.

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TAGS: Business, coconut levy fund, executive order, president Aquino iii

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