Despite being vetoed by the President last year, the House of Representatives is positive that the new version of the Coco Levy Trust Fund bill will be enacted this year.
House Committee on Agriculture and Food chair Wilfrido Mark Enverga on Wednesday expressed confidence that his panel was able to resolve issues with the vetoed measure and stressed that they are “very careful” in formulating the new bill.
House Bill 8136 or the proposed Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act was passed on third and final reading on Monday.
“We ensured that there is a limitation of 99 years. Secondly, with regards to the broad powers given to PCA (Philippine Coconut Authority), we addressed this by delineating powers of implementing authority to the newly-constituted Board of PCA,” Enverga said, explaining the new features of the bill.
“We also established a Trust Fund Management Committee, composed of the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) and DoJ (Department of Justice),” he added.
Enverga thanked Speaker Lord Allan Velasco for including his bill as one of the House’s priority measures and for ensuring that the measure will reach the table of the President for his consideration.
Lawmakers perceived that the bill would benefit around 3.5 million coconut farmers from 68 coconut-producing provinces.
Enactment of this bill would mean investment to the coconut industry, Enverga noted.