Keep hands off coco trees, execs told
LUCENA CITY—The administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has warned local officials in storm-ravaged areas not to meddle in the cutting of damaged coconut trees.
“May this serve as a warning—local governments have no mandate in the cutting of coconut trees. That’s usurpation of authority,” Avelino Andal, PCA administrator, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
Andal said only the PCA has the power to grant special permits to allow the cutting of damaged coconut trees even with the imposition of a nationwide ban.
On Monday, leaders of farmers’ groups met with Andal and sought his assistance in using typhoon-damaged trees.
Andal said despite the ban, the PCA will grant a special permit to allow the use of fallen trees and cutting of damaged trees and those in farms approved for conversion.
He said the PCA will distribute coconut seedlings to replace fallen trees.
Typhoon “Nina” (international name: Nock-Ten), which hit Southern Luzon last month, damaged coconut plantations in the provinces of Catanduanes, Albay, Camarines Sur, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro and Quezon, a major coconut-producing province. —DELFIN T. MALLARI JR.
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