PCA fast tracks use of Php1-billion 2014 unspent budget for rehab

March 5, 2015 11:44 am 

TACLOBAN CITY, March 4 -– The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) still has Php1 billion unspent funds from 2014 for recovery projects in farms pounded by super typhoon Yolanda.

PCA Administrator Romulo Arancon, Jr. said they have to step up rehabilitation efforts to ensure that funding support from the central government will immediately be used for fast recovery of coconut industry.

“We have enough budget and we need to fast track the debris management through partnership of national government agencies, regional offices, and local government units,” said Arancon during his visit to Tacloban yesterday.

“The PCA has about Php1 billion carry over last year not just for removal of debris, but for replanting, intercropping, and fertilization as well.”

The Php1 billion is on top of the Php10.5-billion outlay for coconut industry from the post-Yolanda comprehensive rehabilitation and recovery plan approved late October 2014 by President Benigno C. Aquino III. Of the amount, P8.8 billion is intended for coconut-producing Eastern Visayas region.

“We hope to get that fund from CRRP this year. We’re still in the first quarter and we’re still using funds that have been carried over from 2014,” Arancon added.

The PCA rehabilitation program includes coconut timber disposal and utilization (CTDU), coconut planting and replanting with cash for work (CFW) incentives, coconut fertilization, coconut intercropping and livestock dispersal.

Coconut farmers in Eastern Visayas bore the brunt of super typhoon’s powerful winds that destroyed 33.82 million coconut trees. Of the total, 15.04 million were categorized as totally damaged, 9.06 million severely damaged, 4.98 million, slightly damaged, and 4.84 million moderately damaged.

The region is second top coconut-producing area in the country with an average yield of 1 billion nuts in the pre-Yolanda level. (PNA)

LAP/SQM/SSC

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