Duterte orders creation of development plan for coco levy farmers

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 08 2022 04:43 PM

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the creation of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP), which seeks to provide a blueprint to improve the welfare of some 2.7 million coconut farmers and boost the country's coconut industry. 

Executive Order No. 172, signed on June 2 but only made public Wednesday, institutionalizes the development scheme which was borne out of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act. 

Based on the law, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), through the CFIDP, must create national programs for the following: 

- Protection of coconut farmers and their families
- Coconut farmers' organization and growth 
- Research and development for the local coconut market and their distribution processes
- Processing of coconut and downstream products
- Community-based enterprises

The development plan, under the law, compels the PCA to consult with coconut farmers and their organizations, industry associations, and several government agencies stakeholders in the coconut industry, among others, to implement policies for the "development and rehabilitation" within 50 years.

"There is a need to approve the CFIDP to increase overall productivity and income of coconut farmers and alleviate poverty, and achieve the twin objectives of rehabilitating and modernizing the coconut industry to attain social equity," the EO read.

The scheme will be reviewed annually but must be updated every five years to "ensure strategies and programs are responsive to evolving industry needs." 

The Department of Agriculture had described the development plan as a "guide in the utilization of the trust fund.

Duterte signed the Coco Levy Trust Fund Act last year to efficiently use the multibillion-peso coconut levy fund.

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