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Stronger farmers’ role in PCA pushed


SEN. CYNTHIA A. Villar is pushing for the approval of a bill that would improve the representation of farmers in the Philippine Coconut Authority.

Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, has filed Senate Bill 1913 which seeks to strengthen farmer representation in the PCA by putting six representatives from the coconut farmer sector in the 11-member PCA Board.

The measure complements the Congress-approved bill that would establish the P105-billion coconut farmers and industry trust fund and put the management of the coco levy fund under the reconstituted PCA board.

The increased representation of coconut farmers in the reconstituted PCA Board, Villar said, “will ensure the protection of farmers’ interest in the agency’s decision-making process.”

Under SB 1913, the PCA Board shall consist of four representatives of the government – the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture as chairperson; the Secretary of the Department of Finance as the vice chairperson; and the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management and the Administrator of the PCA as members.

There shall also be one representative from the coconut industry and six representatives from the coconut farmers sector as members of the proposed reconstituted PCA Board.

The farmer representation shall be divided into two representatives each for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. They shall be nominated by coconut farmers organizations or cooperatives that are active for the past three years in the farmers organizations and development or community enterprise development.

The bill requires that farmer representatives must be Filipino citizens, registered with the Coconut Farmers Registry, and have “considerable” experience and “reputable” track record in promoting coconut farmer’s interest and welfare. (Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola)