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Creation of coco farmers’ trust fund welcomed

Gregg M. Rubio (The Freeman) - May 17, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The coconut farmers in Central Visayas have conveyed their gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing Republic Act No. 11524, the law that establishes the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund.

Paterno Muñez, president of Confederation of Small Coconut Farmers Organization in Central Visayas, said the signing of RA No. 11524 is a monumental gift to the poor coconut farmers nationwide.

“In behalf of the coconut farmers of Visayas Area which I represent as leader thank very much, because this may change the mind set of coconut farmers that the coconut farming is no longer a sunset industry,” said Muñez in an open letter addressed to the President.

The coconut farmers, he said, are happy of the said law and they are waiting for the implementation.

Muñez assured the President that coconut farmers will support whatever policy or guidelines of the said law and to safeguard the allocation and the utilization of the coconut levy funds.

“The manner of distribution should be used under the existing laws and again safeguards to protect the interest of the coconut farmers and the coconut industry,” he said.

In support to the Philippine Coconut Authority’s call for nomination of farmers’ representatives in the PCA Board, Muñez has accepted his nomination for the Visayas Area.

Muñez of Tambongon, San Remigio is also the president of the Philippine Association of Small Coconut Farmers Organizations (PASCFO) in Cebu Province.

“Mr. President, my primary concern is the protection of the interest of almost 3.4 million coconut farmers and workers under the coconut industry and we have 12,500 farmer organizations and cooperatives scattered in more than 22,000 coconut-producing barangays and 68 out of 82 provinces,” Muñez said.

Muñez is also asking his co-leaders in the industry to support the RA No. 11524 the mechanism for the implementation in every coconut producing regions and provinces and give the PCA a chance first on how it is implemented.

“I will assure you my co-leaders in the coconut industry if there is issue that needs to be resolved we will bring this to the monitoring team of the PCA,” he said.  — JMD (FREEMAN)

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