Senator Francis Pangilinan is scheduled to meet coconut farmers with small-scale operations in Bohol on Friday in a bid to raise their income by identifying needs in the industry through a forum.
Pangilinan, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, arrived in Bohol on Thursday morning to get input from coconut farmers themselves for his proposed Sagip Saka Act which was crafted to support small players in the agriculture sector in selling directly to food distributors and consumers.
â€œSeeking to bypass middlemen and consolidators, the measure also requires government to directly buy food products from accredited agricultural cooperatives, and grants tax incentives to private entities and corporations that buy directly from farmers and fisher folks’ enterprises,â€ the Senate indicated in a statement.
Prior to the forum, Pangilanan met Philippine Coconut Authority provincial manager Emil Romero and other PCA officials this morning to discuss the state of the provinceâ€™s coconut industry.
According to Romero, Pangilinan will also seek input from officials of the organization of small coconut farmers following his refiling of the coco levy bill.
Known as the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Act of 2016, the bill seeks to funnel coco levy assets worth P73 billion to the development of the countryâ€™s coconut industry.
Pangilinan is the co-chair of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization (COCAFM) and former chairman of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization under the Aquino administration. (Rey Tutas)