Duterte vetoes coco levy fund bill
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has vetoed the measure seeking to create a P100-billion trust fund for coconut farmers.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed this development on Friday.
Malacañang, however, has yet explain why Duterte vetoed the bill.
The bill had to go through the bicameral conference committee twice as the Palace raised issues with the composition of the council that will manage the fund, and the lack of sunset provisions for the funding for coconut farmers.
The Palace wanted more government offices than farmer – representatives to be part of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) board, which will manage the fund.
Under the second bicam-approved version of the bill, the board will now be composed of eight government agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, Landbank and the Development Bank of the Philippines.
Earlier, Duterte also vetoed the bill seeking to strengthen the PCA.
In the letter addressed to the Senate dated February 8, Duterte said the bill “regrettably lacks vital safeguards to avoid the repetition of painful mistakes in the past.” / gsg
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