September 29, 2017 – Voting 216-7, the House of Representatives approved. on its third and final reading. a bill establishing the Coconut Farmers and Industry and Development Trust Fund (CFIDTF), hereinafter referred to as the “Trust Fund.”
The House passed House Bill 5745 or “An Act Establishing the Coconut Framers and Industry Development Trust Fund, Providing for its Management and Utilization.”
The Trust Fund will, initially, be funded with PHP20 billion to be used to accelerate the development of the coconut industry for the ultimate benefit of coconut farmers and farm workers. The Trust Fund, is to be deposited in the Bureau of Treasury.
The CFIDTF Committee, under the Office of the President, shall monitor the implementation of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan and approve disbursements out of the Trust Fund.
The Trust Fund, shall consist of the trust principal and the trust income. No portion of the Trust Fund shall accrue to the general fund of the national government. It shall be capitalized, managed, utilized and accounted for in the manner provided in the Act.
The Trust Fund shall be used exclusively for the ultimate benefit of coconut farmers and farmworkers as embodied in the CFIDTF Plan prepared under this measure. All assets and/or properties derived from all coconut-levy recovered assets; and all dividends, interest earnings and incomes that are available upon the effectivity of the Act shall form part of the initial capital of the Trust Fund.
The Trust Fund shall thereafter be augmented with all proceeds of privatization/disposition of the coconut-levy assets remitted directly thereto by the Privatization and Management Office (PMO) in accordance with the Act, including any and all forms of income, interests, earnings, yields, or any monetary benefit derived therefrom prior to the privatization/disposition of these coconut-levy assets.
In order to ensure the enduring character of the Trust Fund, the principal thereof shall be augmented by grants, donations and other lawful transfers by public or private entities.
The bill provides for the naming of nine representatives from the coconut farmers’ organization and two representatives from the coconut industry sector as members of the CFIDTF Committee. Moreover, the bill provides for the creation of an AD HOC Committee that shall prepare every 10 years a plan of programs, projects and activities to be funded by the Trust Fund, and whose members include nine representatives from the coconut farmers’ organizations.
It also mandates the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to undertake a full accounting and inventory of all coconut-levy assets; and the Commission on Audit (COA) to audit the inventory of the coconut-levy assets prepared by the PCGG.
The bill is authored by House committee on agriculture and food chairman Rep. Jose Panganiban Jr. (Party list, ANAC-IP), Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin, Reps. Karlo Alexei Nograles (1st District, Davao City), Angelina Tan (4th District, Quezon) and Feliciano Belmonte (4th District, Quezon City), among others.
Source: Office of the Speaker/Press and Public Affairs Bureau