Press Release
October 9, 2018

on the Coco Levy Resolution

Mr. President, first of all, I'd like to manifest that the reason why I voted no is as follows: during my campaign, one of the things that I promised our constituents was for the farmers to not only benefit from the coco levy fund but should also have the biggest say on how they will be able to benefit from this and have control of this. This was a promise I made to them and I would like to stand firm on keeping that. Now, with regard to the open-ended policy on the funding for coconut farmers, I believe that--yes it will be an additional expense for the government--but the Philippines is also probably the third largest coconut exporter in the world and I think that with the proper management, the money will be well-spent, dahil ang tatanda na rin talaga ng ating mga coconut trees sa bansa na kailangan ding palitan at kasama dito ang pagre-rehabilitate niyan...I'm confident anyway that since this resolution was passed, it will go back and certain amendments will be made. At the end of the day, I will still vote for it if the choice is between them not getting any control of the fund that rightfully belongs to them. I will, in the end, of course, support that they benefit from that money that really belongs to them. Ito po'y pera nila at talagang dapat mapunta sa kanila, pero sana sila rin ang may pinakamalaking desisyon kung paano ito gagastusin para sa kanila. Maraming salamat po.

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