LUCENA CITY, Quezon:The Philippine Coconut Authority is considering a total ban on the issuance of permit to cut coconut trees to give the coconut industry the opportunity to recover as the PCA chief vowed to address alleged irregularities plauging the agency.
PCA Administrator Billy Andal said they will soon implement a rejuvenation program for existing trees and help coconut farmers become entrepreneurs.
He added that what is “legal is becoming illegal on the ground” because of the connivance between some PCA employees and coconut lumber traders.
Andal cited the case of a coconut farmer or trader issued with permit to cut 20 trees but instead ended up cutting five to 10 times more coconut trees.
Such practice, he said, has existed for a long time and vowed to put an end to it.
Some police checkpoints, according to Andal, have become “cashpoints” because some coconut lumber traders bribe policemen at roadblocks for lacking necessary shipping permits.
Andal, before becoming the PCA administrator, was a member of the Board of Directors of Quezon Metropolitan Water Districts (QMWD) who exposed irregularities and corruption in the agency.
He also served as Quezon provincial board member in the 1990s.