Sen. Cynthia A. Villar filed yesterday as her first bill for the upcoming 17th Congress the measure declaring the coconut levy assets as a trust fund to benefit 3.5 million coconut farmers.
Since the Marcos administration when the levy was collected, the coconut levy assets and investments had grown to more than P79 billion.
Villar’s measure, Senate Bill 139 or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Act, seeks to provide the measures for the management and use of the trust fund, also known as the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund (CFITF). It also seeks to authorize the Privatization and Management Office (PMO) to dispose the coconut levy assets.
The Villar bill seeks the reconveyance of the titles of these assets to the Philippine government and deposit all cash assets in the trust fund.
“The trust fund shall be used exclusively for the development of he coconut industry for the ultimate benefit of coconut farmers and farm workers. (Mario Casayuran)