Dárlán Páléncìá Bárcélón
After a year in office, coconut farmers have yet to see a single benefit from the recovered fund as legislation of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund remains pending in the 17th Congress.
Legazpi City, [07.18.17] – The coconut farmers will organize a march on Wednesday to demand for President Rodrigo R. Duterte to fulfill his campaign promise to compel the Congress to act judiciously on the coconut levy fund, KILUS Magniniyog said in a press statement.
The march will going to demand for the fulfillment of President Duterte’s promised immediate farmers’ benefits from the coconut levy fund and the immediate passage of legislation creating the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund.
The group will also planning to take their cause on the street in the upcoming second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte to voice their demand for President’s long overdue promise to utilize the recovered coco levy fund for direct benefits of coconut farmers.
In 2016, in front of hundreds of coconut farmers, then presidential candidate Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte signed a manifesto in Catanauan, Quezon, promising them that they will benefit from the coco levy funds within his first 100 days in the office.
However, after a year in office, coconut farmers have yet to see a single benefit from the recovered fund as legislation of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund.
In 2014, 71 marchers dared to trek the arduos 1,750 kilometers in 71 days from Mindanao to Malacañang Palace demanding the government, that the principal amount of the coconut levy fund be remain deposited in the bank, while the PhP 71 billion interest be used in the development of coconut industry via research and other programs to develop the livelihood of 3.5 million coconut farmers who are still living within the poverty line.