COCO LEVY. Roel Rosales (right), the deputy administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority in Davao Region (PCA-11), says during a press conference in Davao City Thursday (Dec. 1, 2022) that some PHP250 million worth of intervention is allotted to the Davao Region coconut farmers as startup services. The amount is sourced from the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Program fund worth PHP5 billion. (PNA photo by Che Palicte)

DAVAO CITY – The Philippine Coconut Authority in Davao Region (PCA-11) has allotted around PHP250 million worth of intervention for the coconut farmers’ startup services in the area.

In a press briefing Thursday, Roel Rosales, PCA-11 deputy administrator, said the amount was sourced out from the PHP5-billion Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Program (CFIDP) fund for this year.

Rosales said the amount was taken from the PHP75 billion coco levy fund that will be distributed to an estimated 2.5 million coconut farmers in the country.

"The interventions from other agencies are not yet included (in that amount). They are about to start the rollout next year because we started [the rollout) late," he said.

Approved in June this year, the enactment of Republic Act 11524, or the “Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act”, tasked the PCA to develop the coconut industry, and led to the crafting of the CFIDP in collaboration with the Development Academy of the Philippines.

The CFIDP serves as the basis for the use of the coco levy fund through various programs and projects that would consolidate the benefits and ensure increased income for coconut farmers and farm workers, alleviate them from poverty, and achieve social equality and competitiveness.

"The intent here is to bring it to the farmers, that's why we launched the first CFIDP rollout in Davao Oriental. We are trying to bring the message that the services are now made available for our coconut farmers in the region," Rosales explained.

He also urged the private sector to collaborate with government agencies to further help the coconut farmers.

"We need the help of the private sector in terms of marketing, and we need the micro, small and medium enterprises to have good prices for our local products," Rosales said.

Juvy Alayon, PCA-11 regional manager, noted that in Region 11 alone, around 300,000 hectares of land are planted with coconut trees.

Alayon said the region produces around 2.5 million metric tons of coconut every month. (PNA)