Pangilinan refiles bill to boost coconut industry

Pangilinan refiles bill to boost coconut industry

- Senator Kiko Pangilinan refiled the Coco Levy Trust Fund Bill in the Senate

- The bill seeks to allocate about P73 billion worth of coco levy assets into a continuous trust fund for developing the coconut industry

- Pangilinan believes that the bill can help boost the industry and increase the income of coconut farmers

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has refiled a Senate bill – the Coco Levy Trust Fund Bill – that seeks to allocate approximately P73 billion in assets for the improvement of the country’s coconut industry, promising to speed up its passage in the 17th Congress.

“Now that we have been entrusted to once again assume a seat in the Senate, we will personally make sure to expedite the deliberation and passage of this measure. Our coconut farmers have been waiting for this for more than 40 years,” said Pangilinan, the former Food Security and Agricultural Administration Presidential Assistant.

The Senate bill aims to convert coco levy assets into a continuous trust fund that will help develop and boost the coconut industry. It was co-drafted by Pangilinan during his stint in the Cabinet of previous President Benigno Aquino III in order to boost the income of the Philippines’ coconut farmers.

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Pangilinan refiles bill to boost coconut industry

Sen. Kiko Pangilinan with wife Sharon Cuneta and son and Ralph Recto with wife Gov. Vilma Santos. (Photo from philstar.com)

Aside from copra, the returning senator also wants the country’s coconut industry to focus on making more products from coconuts such as coco sugar, coco coir, coco water, and virgin coconut oil.

Under the bill, a committee focused on developing the coconut industry will be constituted comprised of the finance and agriculture secretaries, the director-general of the National Economic and Development, and administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), and representatives from the coconut farmers’ sector.

The coconut industry is known as an important aspect of the national economy of the Philippines. The country is considered by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as the largest producer of coconuts in the world. Coconuts in the Philippines are usually produced in medium-sized farms nationwide. -Kami Media

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