The government representatives of the reconstituted board of the Philippine Coconut Authority held its first official meeting on March 15, 2021. Agriculture Secretary William Dar, the PCA Board chairperson presided over the meeting.
By virtue of Republic Act No. 11524, otherwise known as the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act, the PCA Board is now composed of the following:
- Secretary of the Department of Agriculture as Chairperson;
- Secretary of the Department of Finance as Vice-Chairperson;
- Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management as Member;
- Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry as Member;
- Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology as Member; and
- Administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority as Member;
In addition to the above-listed board members, three (3) coconut farmer representatives – one each from the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, will also join the PCA Board. As provided for in the law, ‘they shall be appointed by the President from a list of four nominees for each island grouping.’ These farmer-representatives will be selected through a nomination and selection process in consultation with their respective organizations or associations.
During the meeting, the DA-PCA Management presented to the Board various action items that need immediate attention due to given timelines mandated in the law, such as the proposed selection process for farmer representatives that need to be coordinated by the Board with the PCA management within thirty (30) days; the completion of the Coconut Farmers Registry within ninety (90) days; the crafting of Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) that needs to be submitted to the President for approval within one hundred twenty (120) days; and the forging of Memorandum of Agreement between the PCA Board and government agencies involved in the allocation of funds and implementation of the programs within the same period.
The Board approved in principle the general concept of the nomination and selection process for the farmer representatives in the Board. This concept shall further be referred to the farmer organizations nationwide for consultation through the regional and provincial fora already established by the PCA to get significant inputs from the farmers themselves before the detailed procedure is finalized.
DA-PCA Administrator Benjamin Madrigal, Jr. assures the farmer beneficiaries that the Authority is committed to meeting the deadlines set by the law to ensure the timely delivery of the benefits they so deserved in the implementation of the Act. “With the leadership and guidance of the newly reconstituted and strengthened PCA Board, we are confident that transformative reforms toward the modernization and industrialization of the coconut industry with direct benefits to our dear coconut farmers envisioned in RA 11524 will finally be a reality,” Madrigal added. ###