Pangilinan refiles coconut levy fund bill | Inquirer News

Pangilinan refiles coconut levy fund bill

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 07:08 PM July 01, 2019

Young coconut farmers

Young coconut farmers in Unisan, Quezon. (Photo by DELFIN T. MALLARI JR. / Inquirer Southern Luzon)

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Francis Pangilinan refiled on Monday a measure seeking to establish a trust fund for coconut farmers, although President Rodrigo Duterte had already vetoed an earlier version the bill.

READ: Duterte vetoes coco levy fund bill


The President then explained that he vetoed the bill because it lacked “vital safeguards” to avoid past mistakes and that it might be “violative of the Constitution.”


READ: Duterte explains veto: Coco levy bill lacks ‘vital safeguards’

Pangilinan said coconut farmers had long been waiting for the trust fund.

“Mahigit 40 taon nang hinihintay ito ng ating mga magniniyog. Habang tumatagal na hindi nila pinapakinabangan, tumatagal din ang pagkalugmok nila sa hirap,” he said in a statement.

[Our coconut farmers have been waiting for this for more than 40 years. The longer that they could not benefit from the fund, the longer they are weighed down by poverty.]

The levy was imposed on coconut farmers during the martial law of then President Ferdinand Marcos. It aimed to benefit contributors. However, only the cronies of Marcos were able to benefit from the fund, which then grew to about P80 billion.

Pangilinan’s bill aims to introduce mechanisms for the “disposition of some coco levy assets, management and utilization of the available coco levy funds, providing coconut farmers a say on how the fund will be managed, invested, allocated, and utilized.”


The first round of the filing of bills at the Senate, under the 18th Congress, started on Monday and will last until Thursday.

The order of filing is set according to the senators’ seniority or length of service. For the first tranche, senators can only file up to 10 bills and resolutions.

Pangilinan also filed bills aiming to establish the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR), the Department of Disaster and Emergency Management (DEM), the enactment of the National Land Use Act of 2019, and the Single-Use Plastic Regulation and Management Act.

The senator also plans to file other agriculture bills — such as the Post-Harvest Facilities Support Act, which aims to improve the lowering of post-harvest production losses, and the Expanded Crop Insurance Act, which will increase the mandatory crop insurance, especially during disasters and calamities.

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(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)


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