In the second regular meeting of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries-National Sectoral Committee (PCAF-NSC) on Coconut on May 28, 2024, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) said that it is expecting a significant boost in the implementation of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) in the third quarter of this year.

PCA Program Management Office Acting Department Manager Kreisha Ainna Marielle Roque shared that Php 6.6 billion or 88% of the Php 7.5 billion fund has been released to the implementing agencies (IA) as of May 2024. Despite the delays in the implementation, Roque clarified that some of the agencies, such as the PCA itself, and the Agricultural Training Institute, had already started executing their designated functions under the Plan.

The PCA also informed the Committee that it is currently upgrading the National Coconut Farmers Registry System (NCFRS) to provide a more efficient service to its stakeholders. Other initiatives on expanding the registration of coconut farmers include the capacitation of field staff at the barangay level for the encoding and validation of farmer information.

On this note, the Committee asked the PCA to consider issuing an ID to all registered coconut farmers for easier authentication of eligibility when accessing grants and benefits under the CFIDP.

One of these benefits is the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation’s (PCIC) Coconut Tree Mortality Insurance Product Package for farmers, who own, rent, or operate coconut farms of five (5) hectares or less in size. Under this insurance package, eligible farmers registered in the NCFRS are given free insurance covering up to one hectare of coconut area. It also offers a built-in death benefit worth Php10,000 to compensate the family, provided that the insured farmer is not more than eighty (80) years old at the inception of insurance.

PCIC Actuarial Research and Product Valuation Department OIC-Chief Arvin Joseph Adan mentioned that they are targeting to cover 400,000 coconut farmers this year. To make this happen, all 13 PCIC Regional Field Offices and 55 Provincial Offices are actively conducting extensive information caravans and mass enrollment activities, in partnership with the PCA.

To ensure that all coconut farmers will benefit from the CFIDP, the PCAF-NSC on Coconut passed a policy resolution, recommending to the Department of Agriculture, through the PCA, the expansion of CFIDP’s program beneficiaries. All implementing agencies must also see to it that regular coconut farm workers and farmers are included as beneficiaries. | Joy Camille Luza