CATARMAN, Northern Samar, April 16  — Engr. Renato Dubongco, provincial director of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in Northern Samar, has called on all coconut farmers within the province to register at their office for them to avail of the benefits provided under Republic Act 11524 or the Coconut Farmer’s Industry Trust Fund Act.

The announcement was made during PIA’s Huruhimangraw sa Panginudto radio program over TJFM on April 14, 2021.

Engr. Dubongco said that a coconut farmer refers to an owner of a coconut farm of not more than five (5) hectares who tills the land, a lease holder of not more than five (5) hectares who tills and supervises the cultivation of the coconut farm, a farm worker or laborer, whether seasonal or itinerant, engaged in the harvesting of the nuts and processing of copra as a major means of livelihood.

He explained that the government is now consolidating the benefits due to coconut farmers, especially the poor and marginalized, under various statutes and to expedite the delivery thereof to attain increased incomes for coconut farmers, alleviate poverty, and achieve social equality.

PCA is targeting 46,000 coconut farmers or more to fill up the National Coconut Farmers’ Registry System enrollment form for them to be included in the master list in preparation of the Coconut Farmers Industry Development Plan.

The coconut industry development plan will focus on increased productivity and income of coconut farmers, poverty alleviation, education, social equity, and rehabilitation of the coconut industry towards farm productivity, Engr. Dubongco said.

He added that the plan is supportive of and consistent with the socio-economic development plans and oriented towards the achievement of explicit objectives and expected results, to ensure that the utilization of Coconut Levy Funds is conducted effectively and that the coconut farmers will benefit more.

He further said the identification of beneficiaries should be completed within 90 days until June 30, 2021 and the verification of the registry shall be conducted by the Local Government Units in coordination with PCA and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to ensure its veracity.

Dubongco is calling all coconut farmers in the province to register at the PCA Provincial Office, located at UEP Zone 3, Catarman, Northern Samar or coordinate with the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO). (ldl/tbc/PIA Northern Samar)