A BILL reconstituting the Governing Board of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to include more farmer groups has been filed at the House of Representatives (HoR), following the bicameral approval of the coco levy fund early this month.
House Bill 8079 seeks to strengthen the PCA Governing Board with the appointment of four cabinet secretaries, six representatives from among the coconut farmers and one from the coconut industry.
The bill reconstitutes the Board “to (give) farmers a stronger voice in the PCA,” co-author Representative Celso L. Lobregat told BusinessWorld in a phone interview Tuesday.
At present, the Governing Board of the PCA is led by Chairman Leoncio B. Evasco, Jr. with five board members and four deputy administrators.
If enacted, the Secretary of Agriculture will head the Board with the Administrator of the PCA serving as the vice-chairperson.
The Secretaries of Finance and Budget and Management will also be part of the Governing Board.
Among the coconut farmers will be appointed two representatives each from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
They shall be appointed by the President among four nominees from each area, as recommended by the PCA.
The representative from the coconut industry will be appointed from a list of five nominees.
Each representative will serve a total of three years with one-time reappointment.
The Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Trust Fund Act provided that the fund will be managed by a strengthened PCA Board.
As stated in the explanatory note, “To effectively implement the Law, the Bicameral Conference Committee resolved that a reconstituted PCA Board will further strengthen PCA’s financial, technical, and administrative capability.”
The bill is at the House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization. Its counterpart bill, Senate Bill 1913, is pending at the Committee on Agriculture and Food. — Charmaine A. Tadalan