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The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in Palawan has lined up a P17 million portfolio of priority projects in 2022 that will be funded by the coco levy fund.

Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent signing of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP), which effectively released the long-disputed coco levy funds back to the farmers, the PCA said they have already marked their priority projects for the province.

PCA division chief Raul Aguilar told Palawan News on Thursday that their focus during the first-year implementation are the construction of a post-harvest facility for intercrops in Taytay and Brooke’s Point amounting to P5 million each, and the establishment of a coconut product processing facility in Rizal town with a P7 million budget allocation.

The approval of the CFIDP will allow the release of the trust funds created through Republic Act 11524 or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund (CFITF) Act. The law recovered coco levy assets, which were declared state-owned by the Supreme Court less than 10 years ago.

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“This is in coordination with DPWH which is the implementing agency for the construction of the above-mentioned facilities. Hindi pa confirmed (schedule), wala rin kasing definite schedule kung kailan download ‘yong funds sa DPWH,” Aguilar said in a text message.

PCA Palawan has a total of 11 proposed projects with a P57 million budget within five years of implementation starting in 2022. Every five years, the PCA must craft the proposed programs under CFIDP.

Aside from facilities, PCA previously stated that its aim is also to utilize all coconut elements in various products through the use of the programs supported by RA 11524.

“Lahat ‘yon ay sa shared facilities – bale 11 so far (projects with five years) ‘di ko pa alam kung mabawasan,” he said.

The CFIDP will define the direction and policies for the industry’s development and rehabilitation for the next 50 years. The Bureau of Treasury had been tasked to transfer from the accumulated coconut levy at least P75 billion in the next five years to the CFITF.

The funding will be disbursed following the CFIDP, wherein P10 B each will be allocated for the first and second year, while P15 B each for the third and fourth year. PCA has a P25 B allocation in the fifth year, with which, the plans will be reviewed annually to adjust to emerging trends and needs of the coconut sector.

The agriculture department believes that CFIDP will also increase the contribution of the coconut subsector to total agricultural gross value added (GVA) and sustain the country’s status as the world’s number one exporter of coconut products.

PCA Administrator Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr. said the coco levy fund will now be utilized and implemented after more than four decades of waiting. Coconut is planted in 3.6 million hectares, mostly in 69 provinces, according to PCA data.

The initiatives will assist the over 30,000 coconut farmers in Palawan who have enrolled with the National Coconut Farmers Registry System (NCFRS). Only those coconut growers who would benefit from the initiatives under RA 11524 are registered under NCFRS.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.