Coconut farmers want Foundation to manage coco levy funds

October 9, 2012 10:02 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 9 — Coconut farmers are pushing for a law that would create the Philippine Coconut Farmers' Foundation (PCFF) that would be tasked to manage the coconut levy funds to ensure coconut farmers will be the sole beneficiaries.

The Philippine Association of Small Coconut Farmers Organization (PASCFO), the Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Samahang Magsasaka at Manggagawa sa Niyugan (PKSMMN), and the Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED) in a press conference at the Sulu Hotel in Quezon City Tuesday, agreed that there is a need for a law that would mandate the PCFF to manage the said funds.

Hence, they declared a manifesto calling for a new law – A Republic Act- creating a mechanism for the beneficial utilization of coco levy funds after the Supreme Court ruled with finality that the coco levy funds and assets which consists primarily of the (billion peso levy fund) San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) shares and their accumulated dividends be used to rehabilitate the coconut industry.

Charles Avila, former Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Administrator and current National Chairman of the PASCFO said that SC's decision does not provide guidelines for the management and use of the coconut levy funds.

Under the proposed foundation, the coconut farmers agreed that it should be run by a 15-person Board of Trustees appointed by the President consisting of eight to represent the governmentsector provided the the PCA Administrator shall be a Trustee. The seven other should come from the coconut industry provided that the three largest nationwide coconut farmers' organization shall have one nominee each.

The depository bank– United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) if it remains such– shall have one nominee as well as the coconut industry umbrella organization United Coconut Association of the Philippines, Inc. (UCAP). Other nationwide coconut farmer organizations duly recognized and accredited by the Philippine Coconut Authority may also be represented in the Board.(PNA)

FPV/SDT/PJN

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