Distribute coco levy fund now – Cynthia Villar
MANILA, Philippines— On the eve of the farmers’ registration deadline, Senator Cynthia urged the government to start implementing the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act even if the list of beneficiaries is not yet completed.
The deadline for registration is set to end on June 11.
“Dapat huwag maglagay ng limit sa registration e kasi it’s a continuing registration,” Villar said during Thursday’s hearing of the Senate committee on agriculture on the status of Coconut Farmers Registry.
(We should not put a limit on the registration because it’s a continuing registration.)
“So my suggestion it’s a continuing registry since we have achieved yung more than 50 percent, then we can go ahead with our coco levy fund distribution.”
“So i-implement na natin this year yung coco levy fund. Hindi na natin hihintayin matapos kasi wala namang katapusan yung registration kasi marami sila e,” the panel chair added.
(So let’s implement the coco levy fund now. Let’s not wait anymore to complete it because the registration is endless)
This way, the rest of farmer-beneficiaries would be forced to register to be entitled to benefits under the coco levy fund law.
“Kasi kung hindi sila nakalista dun they are not entitled.. lalo na dun sa scholarship at saka sa health benefit kasi yun individual yun….” Villar said.
(Because if they are not listed there, they are not entitled, especially to individual scholarships and health benefits)
“Kailangang ipamigay na yun ngayon. Yung mga nahuli e di next year,” she stressed.
(It has to be distributed now. Then let’s cover those late next year)
Villar’s remark came after Senator Risa Hontiveros echoed a proposal to extend the deadline for 90 days more or until September 9 this year.
But during the hearing, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Administrator Benjamin Madrigal Jr. informed the committee that 2.8 million farmer-beneficiaries of the estimated 3.5 million target have already registered in the program.
Madrigal said the list comprised the 2.5 million “existing validated” registered farmers as of 2018 and a little over 300,000 new registrants.
This bolstered Villar’s proposal to start implementing the law since the number is already more than 50 percent of the target beneficiaries.
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