To ensure the continuous development of the Philippine coconut industry, the National Banner Program Committee (NBPC) on Coconut recommended to both Houses of Congress the annual increase of allocated operational funds to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

The Committee passed the policy recommendation after it discussed PCA’s plans and programs concerning Republic Act (RA) 11524, or the “Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act” during a dialogue on January 31, 2023, with the new PCA Administrator Bernie Cruz.

Under RA 11524, PCA will implement the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan, which would include the development of hybrid coconut seed farms and nurseries, training farmers and their families on coconut production and processing technologies, and financial literacy. 

The Committee also suggested prioritizing coconut tissue culture and other biotechnology efforts after the intensive hybridization program of the government. The Committee then brought up the optimization of coconut value-adding processes to enable the production of Medium Chain Triglycerides from coconut. 

NBPC on Coconut Chairperson Charles Avila shared that since the Philippines is the third largest producer of coconut globally, projects aimed to increase coconut production will help the domestic industry and its export capability. 

Other than the hybridization and training programs, PCA will also implement health and medical programs for coconut farmers, which would help alleviate the situation of struggling coconut farmers. 

According to Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) Executive Director Nestor Domenden, the local coconut industry would benefit from a forward-looking plan acceptable at the level of the relevant stakeholders while remaining competitive in the international market. 

During the dialogue, the NBPC on Coconut also recommended to PCA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to expedite income generation from carbon credit projects utilizing coconut tree planting. | SMA