FOR COCONUT TRUST FUND: PCA to sign pacts with 11 other agencies

    2.5M farmers. PCA is validating its database of coconut farmers expected to benefit from the fund.

    The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) will need to sign agreements with at least 11 other government agencies within 120 days to fully implement the recently enacted Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund (CFITF) Act.

    These include the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Agricultural Training Institute, National Dairy Authority, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, Cooperative Development Authority, Landbank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

    In a virtual briefing yesterday, PCA administrator Benjamin Madrigal Jr. said there are 2.5 million coconut farmers in the agency’s database but this figure has to be validated.

    The recently-passed law directs the Bureau of Treasury to transfer from the accumulated coconut levy at least P75 billion in the next five years to the CFITF: P10 billion each this year and in 2022; P15 billion each on 2023 and 2024; and P25 billion in 2025 plus any amount accruing, including interest of the coconut levy, in the special account in the general fund.

    The PCA will have to ensure coordinated implementation of the involved programs apart from the proper utilization of funds and submission of periodic reports.