A tough target

October 5, 2023 People's Tonight 159 views

THE national government, through the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), is set to plant a total of 100 million coconut trees throughout the country in the next five years.

Under its “Coconut Planting and Replanting Project,” the PCA targets to plant 20 to 25 million coconut trees annually until the end President Marcos term in 2028.

Meeting with PCA officials at Malacanang last Wednesday, Marcos ordered the crafting of a concrete plan of action designed to rehabilitate the nation’s coconut industry.

Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil said the PCA officials briefed Marcos about the agency’s programs to reinvigorate the dollar-oriented industry.

At the same time, the Chief Executive underscored the importance of continuing the rehabilitation program even beyond his six-year presidency.

Under the Philippine Constitution, President Marcos’ six-year administration, which started on June 30, 2022, ends at 12 noon on June 30, 2028.

In the view of various quarters, it’s certainly a tough target considering the many problems and challenges confronting the country’s multibillion-dollar coconut industry.

From a high of 15.86 million metric tons in 2012, local coconut production dropped to 14.73 MMT in 2018 but increased to 14.93 MMT last year, according to PCA records.

And PCA statistics also showed that coconut export earnings contributed an average of 35 percent of the country’s total agricultural export earnings from 2013 to last year.

Reinvigorating the coconut industry is, without doubt, a move in the right direction, which must be supported by every Filipino.