Second of two parts

WITH the signing of Republic Act (RA) 11524, creating the "Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund," by President Rodrigo Duterte early this year, hopes are high that the coconut sector will now be provided adequate financial resources to address the perennial problems that hound the coconut industry. The law finally allowed the release of the coconut levy fund and a "Coconut Trust Fund" (CTF) was created for this purpose. It further stipulated that the transfer of the P75-billion worth of coconut levy fund will be released within a five-year time frame based on the following schedule: P10 billion for the first year, another P10 billion for the second year, P15 billion for the third year, another P15 billion for the fourth year and P25 billion for the fifth year. The CTF will have a lifetime of 50 years and it can welcome assistance or investments from the private sector and other interested parties.

The use of the fund from the CTF will be contingent upon the formulation of the "Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan" (CFIDP). In turn, the plan will have to secure the "buy in" of the major stakeholders in the sector. The task of leading the formulation of the plan is assigned to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

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