The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Coconut Authority (DA-PCA) enjoins the active participation of coconut farmers and farmer groups in the ongoing regional and provincial consultation on the proposed nomination and selection process for the three (3) farmer representatives, one each from the three island groupings, in the PCA Board.
File photo (taken in 2019)
On March 15, a day after Republic Act No. 11524, otherwise known as the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act, took effect, the six government representatives of the reconstituted PCA Board met virtually to discuss the specific action items as required by the new law.
One of the urgent matters discussed was the proposed nomination and selection process for the farmer representatives, who will complete the newly reconstituted PCA Board.
The RA 11524 mandates that the PCA Board government representatives coordinate with the DA-PCA in the promulgation of the nomination and screening process for the farmer representatives, within thirty (30) days from the effectivity of the law. While there is no designated timeline on the designation of farmer representatives as approved by the President, the PCA hopes to have the three (3) farmer representatives to the PCA Board the soonest time possible.
The RA 11524 requires that the farmer representatives meet the following qualifications:
- Filipino citizens registered with the DA-PCA’s National Coconut Farmers Registry System (NCFRS);
- Own not more than five (5) hectares of land in the last ten (10) years;
- Have considerable experience and reputable track record in promoting coconut farmers’ interest and welfare; and
- Nominated by coconut farmer organizations or cooperatives that are active for the past three (3) years in farmer organization or community enterprise development.
The RA 11524 requires that the farmer representatives be appointed by the President of the Philippines from a list of four (4) nominees from each island grouping.
The proposed nomination and selection process by the DA-PCA involves the collective voting of coconut farmers as a coconut farmer organization, association, or a cooperative, from provincial to regional and eventually, island-wide nomination.
“We already have forwarded the copy of the proposed nomination and selection process to our farmer groups through our regional and provincial offices. The DA-PCA is committed in ensuring the active participation of coconut farmers and farmer groups in the proposed nomination and selection process to obtain firsthand their comments, recommendations, and hopefully, approval,” DA-PCA Administrator Benjamin Madrigal, Jr. said.
“We encourage our coconut farmers, as the direct beneficiaries of RA 11524, to ensure that they participate in the consultation and more particularly, in the nomination process – to ensure that we get the most qualified farmer-representatives,” he added.
To ensure a fair and legally watertight nomination and selection process, the DA-PCA will organize provincial and regional nomination and screening committees who will be the facilitators of the process. These shall be composed of representatives from the Provincial and Regional Agricultural and Fishery Councils, local government units (LGU), Bureau of Rural Workers, Cooperative Development Authority, and CFA representatives who cannot be nominated and who cannot nominate and vote in the provincial and regional levels.
A protest mechanism will also be in place to allow submission of oppositions or appeals involving particular nominee(s). ###