NOMINATION. The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) regional office in Palo, Leyte. The agency on Thursday (May 6, 2021) called on coconut farmers in Eastern Visayas to participate in the process of selection of PCA board representatives. (PNA file photo)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has called on coconut farmers in Eastern Visayas to participate in the process of selection of board representatives.

PCA regional manager Joel Pilapil said on Thursday Leyte and Samar provinces have to be represented in the PCA board since the region is the top coconut-producing region in the Visayas.

“We need representation in the top management since many families in the region are dependent on coconut farming. Their voice should be heard since they know what’s best for our coconut farmers," Pilapil said in a phone interview. The region has over 400,000 coconut farmers.

From the list of names nominated by farmers' groups, President Rodrigo Duterte will appoint three representatives from the three island groups – Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The deadline for nomination is on May 15.

The farmer representatives will be joined in the PCA Board by the Secretaries of Agriculture, Finance, Budget, Science and Technology, and Trade, as well as the PCA administrator.

Under Republic Act 11524 or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act, representatives must be Filipino citizens registered with the National Coconut Farmers Registry System, own not more than five hectares of land in the last 10 years, have considerable experience and reputable track record in promoting coconut farmers’ interest and welfare, and nominated by coconut farmer organizations or cooperatives that are active for the past three years in farmer organization or community enterprise development.

Eastern Visayas is one of the top coconut-producing regions in the country with 615,926 hectares planted areas producing 1.08 million nuts every year. (PNA)