Saturday, January 28, 2012
On Coco Levy: Better late than never
We commend the Supreme Court's upholding of a ruling of the government’s re-conveyance of the 24 percent block of shares in San Miguel Corp. (SMC) acquired through coconut levy funds and registered in the names of the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) and its holding companies. While we would have wanted the entire amount of the coconut levy to go to the coconut farmers, the said amount will still be a big boost to the industry.
The next challenge would be to come up with a system that would ensure that the freed-up coco levy would go to their rightful beneficiaries. We are now studying the crafting of legislation that would ensure the proper implementation of disbursement.
The coco levy fund is needed for replanting that will improve the yield of coconuts and give the industry a much-needed boost.
The Philippine Coconut Authority reports that while the country’s coconut industry contributes 59 percent to the world’s total export of coconut products, most of the trees are aging and dying, unable to produce quality nuts.
We must end decades of injustice by ensuring that the funds are plowed back to programs that will raise the incomes of our coconut farmers and improve their profitability.
Image Source: Inquirer.net