Press Release
September 26, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara called on the government to provide economic incentives to coconut farmers, especially the small-scale tillers, to encourage them to plant more trees and boost coconut production in the country.

Angara issued the call following the announcement of President Benigno S. Aquino III that quite a few American companies have pledged multi-million investments to the country's coconut industry.

"We must encourage our coconut farmers, especially the small-scale tillers, to plant more coconut trees to replace the ones that have become unproductive. To do this, we must offer incentives to make up for the waiting period before the new seedlings grow," said Angara, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

He added, "With so many Filipinos dependent on the industry living in poverty or getting by through subsistence farming, we must help this sector is attain higher productivity and profitability."

In 2010, Angara filed Senate Bill No. 2051, or the Coconut Industry Development Act, which seeks to create a corporate body known as the Philippine Coconut Industry Development Authority (PHILCIDA) in order to promote the continuous development and growth of the coconut industry.

The body shall be tasked with maximizing the earnings of small coconut farmers and their families through the implementation of new policies in processing and transportation, research and development, marketing and promotion of the coconut products.

Said bill is still pending in the Committees on Agriculture and Food, Government Corporations and Public Enterprises; Ways and Means, and Finance.

"Multi-million investments in the country's coconut industry present a big potential for economic growth. The Philippine coconut industry should capitalize on this new demand by innovating to increase coconut production and by providing support to our farmers."

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