UCPB hails lifting of TRO vs EOs on coco levy

By Joann Villanueva

September 25, 2017, 7:43 pm

MANILA -- The United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) on Monday hailed the recent Supreme Court (SC) decision to lift the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on two Executive Orders (EOs) issued by former President Benigno Aquino in 2015 targeted for the utilization of the Coco Levy Fund.

In a statement Monday, UCPB said the lifting of the TRO against EO Nos. 179, which calls for the inventory, privatization and transfer of coco levy assets in favor of the government, and 180, directed for the dissolution of Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) holding companies with all remaining money and assets to be “transferred, deposited or delivered to the Government in accordance to with the foregoing provisions” is a welcome development.

Last week, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government will not provide financial support to UCPB beyond 2018.

The Privatization Council has set the bidding for the recapitalization of United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) in September 2015 following the issuance of the EOs but this did not push through following the issuance of the TRO in response to the petition of the Confederation of Coconut Farmers Organization of the Philippines (CONFED).

UCPB, in a statement, said the lifting of the TRO “will definitely redound to the benefit of UCPB and its clients as this will strengthen the Bank’s capital and generate more resources to improve its competitive position in the market.”

“We will be coordinating closely with the DOF (Department of Finance) for their next steps, and will provide updates to all our stakeholders as we do so,” it said.

“We would like to assure our clients that it is business as usual for the Bank while we go through each phase of this much-awaited recapitalization program and that they can look forward to a better and stronger UCPB,” it added. (PNA)