MANILA – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Executive Order No. 172 “Approving the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan” on 02 June 2022.
Following the enactment of Republic Act 11524 otherwise known as the “Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act”, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) as the government agency primarily tasked to develop the coconut industry, led the crafting of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) in collaboration with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP). The CFIDP shall serve as the basis in the utilization of the coco levy fund through various programs and projects that will consolidate the benefits and ensure increased income for our coconut farmers and farm workers, alleviate them from poverty, and achieve social equality and competitiveness.
Following the law, the Plan includes national programs for social protection of coconut farmers, farm workers, and their families, farmers’ organization and development, innovative research projects and their practical application, community-based enterprises and integrated processing of coconut and downstream products. The Plan also provides directions for pre-implementation, coordination, implementation structures and mechanisms, financial and risk management, and monitoring and evaluation.
Through the guidance of the PCA Board chaired by Secretary William D. Dar of the Department of Agriculture, the PCA and CFIDP technical writers from the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) had relentlessly undertaken series of consultations with the coconut farmers and industry players, as well as conducted benchmarking, baselining, survey interviews and industry analyses, both at the national and regional levels, to be able to come up with a responsive regional and national plan anchored on the objectives stated in the law. The Plan also took into consideration the plans and programs of the Regional Development Councils (RDCs) to ensure the active involvement of the local government units in the overall plan.
After undergoing final vetting by the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), as provided for in the law, the final draft of the CFIDP was submitted to the President for approval on March 10, 2022.
In order to ensure that the entire system will be up and running upon the President’s approval of the CFIDP, PCA Administrator Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr. initiated the completion of other supporting activities alongside the crafting of the CFIDP. These include updating the farmers’ registry under the National Coconut Farmers Registry System (NCFRS) in order to have an updated list of farmer-beneficiaries of the programs, crafting of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the different Implementing Agencies that defines their responsibilities in the course of implementing their respective programs, and the drafting of Operations Manual that elaborates the operational processes of strategic interventions under the eight (8) national development programs provided in the Plan. The PCA also undertook essential institutional reforms to improve the capacity of the PCA in delivering the various activities of the CFIDP.
Likewise, PCA conducted the CFIDP pre-roll out Harmonization and Convergence Workshop with representatives/focal persons from the implementing agencies, setting points of convergence for accurate planning and targeting of interventions as well as efficient delivery of results and monitoring of expenditure and milestones. In this workshop, the implementing agencies were able to finalize their implementation strategies, identify areas of convergence, and delineate coverage to avoid duplication of support, and maximize the utilization and impact of CFIDP-related activities.
“After more than four decades of waiting, the law for the management and utilization of the coco levy fund that was enacted last year will now be finally implemented in fulfillment of President Duterte’s campaign promise to our coconut farmers. As the Duterte administration comes to a close, this shall be the lasting legacy of the President in improving the lives and the livelihood of our dear coconut farmers,” said PCA Administrator Madrigal.
With the approval of the CFIDP that is conscientiously formulated, critically evaluated, and largely acknowledged by the PCA, the implementing agencies, the local government units, the industry stakeholders and most importantly by the coconut farmers themselves, the fruits of the billion-peso coco levy fund and its judicious utilization for the benefit of coconut farmers, the contributors and owners themselves, are assured and guaranteed. ###