TACLOBAN CITY – small coconut farmers in Eastern Visayas demand cash distribution thru social benefits of coconut levy fund worth P56.5 billion which remitted to the National Treasury last September 12, 2012.
“We are opposing the roadmap design by NAPC (National Anti-Poverty Commission) wherein P11 billion of coco levy fund plan to utilize for 4 programs which indentified – CARPER, 4Ps, LTI (land tenure improvement) because this programs has regular government allocations,” says Nestor Lebico, Secretary-General of Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas (SAGUPA-SB).
In pursuing utilizing the coco levy fund, small coco farmers in Eastern Visayas is supporting three (3) House Bills filed in Congress by Anakpawis Partylist related to coco levy fund and coco levy industry. These are House Bill Nos. 3443, 0469 and 5070. A bill is also pending at the Senate. All these house bills seek the establishment of a body that will be dominated by small coco farmer representatives specifically the Coconut Levy Funds Administration and Management Act.
“We call for financing of coconut industry development projects from initiatives of small coco farmers and their organizations/cooperatives, programs that would provide loan facilities, industry research and development programs, construction and development of post-harvest facilities, inventions and innovations of machineries and equipment for the development of high-quality coconut and improvement of coconut production, livelihood program meant to provide additional incomes, institution-building programs and skills training,” added Lebico.
“Coco Levy fund Ibalik sa Amin,” ends Lebico.###