The Economic Development Committee (EDC) of the Regional Development Committee (RDC) XI, during its second quarter virtual meeting, expressed support for the implementation of Republic Act (RA) No.  11524 or the Coconut Famers and Industry Trust Fund Act through its effective mainstreaming in RDC XI’s planning, investment programming, and project monitoring and evaluation processes.

During the EDC’s virtual conference, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Administrator Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr. presented the salient features of RA No. 11524, which seeks to declare coconut levy assets as a trust fund to rehabilitate and modernize the country’s coconut industry. Administrator Madrigal formally sought the EDC’s assistance in ensuring the successful implementation of the provisions in the said act through an interface with the RDC XI institutional mechanism.

RA 11524 provides for the establishment of a Coconut Famers and Industry Trust Fund, sourced from taxes collected from decades back, now valued at 76 billion pesos.  Utilization of the trust fund shall be in accordance with the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP), to be formulated, in consultation with coconut farmers and their organizations, industry associations, civil society groups and government agencies.

As a manifestation of support, the Committee passed Resolution No. 3, Series of 2021, “Endorsing to RDC XI for its Approval, the Recommendation to Mainstream the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) and Trust Fund Management System as prescribed under Republic Act (RA) 11524, in RDC XI’s Planning, Investment Programming, and Results Monitoring and Evaluation Processes.”

Once the said EDC XI Resolution is adopted, appropriate mechanisms shall be put in place which shall facilitate RDC XI’s engagement during the formulation of the CIFDP and onto the monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects for the general welfare of coconut farmers and the advancement of the coconut industry, in general.

– Rowena M. Dango, NEDA XI