Isko

Isko vows to return coco levy fund to farmers

March 21, 2022 Marlon Purification 214 views

LUCENA CITY, Quezon – Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Monday vowed to expedite the return of the “Coco Levy Funds” to some 1.4 million coconut farmer-beneficiaries who have been waiting for their money for eight years now.

The 47-year-old Manila City mayor made the assurance as he and the rest of Team “Isko” returned to this province to continue their campaign sorties through a combination of motorcades and townhall meetings. Moreno was with his running mate Dr. Willie Ong, Aksyon Demokratiko senatorial bets Dr. Carl Balita, Samira Gutoc, and Jopet Sison and guest candidate John Castriciones.

“The last time we’re here in Quezon province is before the filing. Ngayon naman eto yung first day ng kampanya natin sa Quezon. Itong Quezon, Laguna, at Batangas, eto isa ito sa biktima ng monopolyo ng coconut. Hanggang ngayon talagang halos nagsidilawan na yung mga papel na hawak ng coconut farmers sa tagal ng panahon at marami sa kanila, talagang nakakalungkot, wala na sa mundo hanggang ngayon hindi pa nila nae-enjoy yung benepisyo nito,” Moreno told reporters here.

Moreno was referring to the 2014 Supreme Court decision which maintained that 24% of San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) stocks belong to the public. The 24% of SMC stocks were then valued at P74 billion and eight years after, it is now valued at around P76 billion.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed on Feb. 26, 2021, the Republic Act No. 11524 that created a trust fund for the country’s coconut farmers. Under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act (RA 11524), the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan will be crafted by the Philippine Coconut Authority. The plan will then set the directions and policies for the development and rehabilitation of the coconut industry within 50 years.

Since there is already existing law, Moreno said he intends to expedite its implementation for the benefit of coconut farmers who badly need the money, especially in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Kung anda-dyan na sa batas siguro ang pinakamabisang gagawin ng isang presidente is ipatupad lang ito ng tama. So, ako naman may mga bagay na proposal tayo sa ibang bagay dahil wala pang batas. So, kukumbinsihin pa natin ang Kongreso at Senado pero in this case kasi kung may mga batas ng umiiral, I’ll make sure that these laws are being implemented properly at nakikinabang yung mga taong dapat makinabang or benipisyaryo nung mga batas na yun lalo na sa Coco Levy Fund,” Moreno pointed out.