Press Release
September 20, 2018

Villar welcomes Senate OK of bill reconstituting PCA Board on Second Reading

Sen. Cynthia Villar welcomed the approval on Second Reading of the bill giving greater representation to coconut farmers in the body tasked to manage the P105-billion coconut levy funds.

Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, authored Senate Bill 1976 or the Strengthened Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Law. This amends Presidential Decree 1468 otherwise known as the Revised Coconut Industry Code of 1978 and puts six representatives from the coconut farmer sector in the 11-member PCA Board.

In accordance with Senate Rules, the Senate will pass the bill on Third Reading next week. SB 1976 is an accompanying bill of Senate Bill 1233 or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Act, which was already submitted for the President's signature.

"This bill addresses the concern that farmers will not be adequately represented in the body that will manage the coconut levy trust fund. With six farmer-representatives in the 11-member board, it is guaranteed that the interest of the coconut farmers will be protected," Villar said.

The Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Act, puts the responsibility to manage and safeguard the coconut levy funds for the benefit of 3.5 million coconut farmers to a reconstituted PCA Board.

Villar also added that the reconstituted PCA Board will be be tasked to strictly implement the programs for the development of the coconut industry as earmarked in the bill.

Under the bill, the corporate powers and duties of PCA shall be vested in and exercised by a board of 11 members as follows:

a. Four representatives of the government, the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture as Chairperson; the Secretary of the Department of Finance as the Vice Chairperson; and as members, the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, and the Administrator of the PCA who will be appointed by the President;

b. One representative from the coconut industry; and

c. Six representatives from the coconut farmers sector, divided into two representatives each for the island groups of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao as members.

The farmer representatives must be Filipino citizens, registered with the Coconut Farmers Registry, have considerable experience and reputable track record in promoting coconut farmer's interest and welfare, and nominated by coconut farmers organizations or cooperatives that are active for the past three years in the farmers organizations and development or community enterprise development.

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