Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said that the government should distribute the overdue coco levy fund to the coconut farmers.
“The Supreme Court has said that the money belongs to the people. Matagal na yan. By this pronouncement, it should have been given to the rightful owners,” he said during his meeting with farmers at University of the Philippines in Los Baños,Laguna last Friday.
He added that the money which was collected through a levy must be distributed to coconut farmers and growers.
According to Duterte’s spokesperson Peter Tiu Laviña, 3 out 12 million hectares or 25 percent of the country’s agriculture lands are coconut. He emphasized that there are 3.5 million coconut farmers in the country.
He pointed that the coconut industry is among the top 5 net foreign exchange earners. Philippines contributes around 59 percent share in world coconut exports.
“The Philippine government has no clear vision and plan for the holistic development of the coconut industry. Our position is that we need to return coco levy funds to the rightful owners as it is only fair and just,” Laviña said.
Moreover, Laviña stated that the country needs to have a new “Vision and Program for the revival of the coconut industry to bring equitable wealth creation,including restructuring Philippine Coconut Authority.”
source: Edge Davao