DILIMAN, Quezon City—Following the launch of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) in June, back-to-back episodes of “Agri Asenso” featured some of the major benefits and upcoming services to be offered by the Department of Agriculture, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), and other implementing agencies (IAs) for coconut farmers.
During a two-part interview, PCA’s Deputy Administrator for Operations Roel Rosales introduced the different components of the CFIDP and how clients can access government services under this initiative. He shared that the source of funds for the program is from the “levy” or tax collected by the government from the coconut industry in the 1970s and 1980s.
“These were collected for a long time and the Supreme Court has ruled that these shall be used as public fund. Now, the funds are dedicated especially for coconut farmers and small coconut farm workers,” explained Admin Rosales.
In turn, the coco levy will be used to fund programs and services under the CFIDP for social protection, coconut farmers organization and development, hybridization, community-based farm enterprise development, integrated coconut processing and downstream products, research projects, and support services.
Farm owners, tenants, or farm workers, who own or till coconut farms that are 5 hectares and below will be eligible to receive assistance under the CFIDP. These farmers should be included in the National Coconut Farmers Registry System.
Under social protection, a college scholarship program will be implemented for the benefit of the farmers and their children. Educational assistance will be provided to students enrolled in state universities and colleges, covering tuition fee, stipend, thesis allowance, and laptop.
Other programs under the social protection component are health and medical services through the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, crop insurance through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, and training programs through the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
Common service facilities, infrastructure development, and assistance for intercropping of cacao and coffee and integration of livestock, poultry, and dairy will also be provided. PCA will also distribute hybrid coconut seeds and planting materials that will provide higher yield in a shorter time.
These programs will be launched after the signing of the memorandum of agreement between the IAs.
Rosales’ interview on “Agri Asenso” were aired last July 2 and 9, with hosts DZRH broadcaster Henry Uri and ATI OIC-Assistant Director Antonieta Arceo. Both episodes are available for viewing at DZRH and ATI’s Facebook pages.