The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food conducted a Public Hearing on S.B. 455 (Recto), S.B.2467 (Aquino IV), S.B. 2126 (Villar), Petition for Indirect Initiative (Kilos Magniniyog), and S.R. 30 (Recto) on the “ Coconut Farmers and Industry Fund” on Monday, December 15, 2014, at 9:00 A.M. at the Senate of the Philippines Committee Rooms 2 & 3.
Senator Cynthia A.Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food and Senator Ralph G. Recto, author of one of bills and a senate resolution, dialoged with the various resource persons towards the resolutions of the following issues, these are:
Trust fund as a perpetual fund or its total utilization
Trust principal to be invested in government bonds only
Chairmanship and composition of the trust fund committee
Crafting, coverage and restriction of the coconut industry plan
The coconut farmers groups who are present are: Mr. Eduardo Mora of the Pambansang Kaisahan ng mga Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (PKMP); Mr. Jose Marie Faustino, Executive Director , Coconut Industry Reform Movement (COIR) and Representative Kilos Magniniyog; Mr. Rene Cerella, National President, Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA); Mr. Rafael Mariano, National Chairperson, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP); Mr. Nestor Villanueva, National Chairman, Coco Levy Funds Ibalik sa Amin (CLAIM); Mr. Bert Autor, President Bicol Coconut Planters Association, Inc. (BICPAI).
Resource persons from government and coco levy companies who came were:
Chairman Andres Bautista of the Presidential and Commissioner Richard Amurao, Commission on Good Government; Undersecretary Jazmin Banal of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization; Administrator Romulo Arancon, Jr. of the Philippine Coconut Authority; Chairperson Jose Eliseo Rocamora of the National Anti-Poverty Commission and Director Dominic Mariano of the Bureau of Treasury.
Other resource persons are Toni Angeli Coo OIC of the Privatization and Management Office, DOF; Atty. Christian Castillo, Legal Counsel of the Governance Commission of Government Owned and Controlled Corporations; Mr. Nhedem Amiel Sarne Division Chief of NEDA; State Counsel Rosalie Cumla, DOJ;
Mr. Jose Alfonso Poblete, President and CEO of Coconut Industry Investment Fund- Oil Mills Group; Atty. Alfredo Tumacder, Jr. President of COCOLIFE; and Atty. Ildefonso Jimenez, Corporate Secretary, United Coconut Planters Bank.
From the academe and the industry, the following are present- Mr. Benigno Peczon, Ph.D., President, Coalition of Agriculture Modernization of the Philippines, (CAMP); Ms. Gloria Castro, Adviser, National Alliance of Coco Industry Scholars (NACS); Mr. Edwin Erni, President, Save the Coconut Foundation, Inc. (SCFI); among others.
A technical working group will be constituted to draft the content of the substitute senate bill from January 5-15, 2014. All those present were asked to submit their position paper before January 5, 2015.