This is a reaction to Sen. Joker Arroyo’s commentary titled “Coconut farmers facing a new evil” (Inquirer, 11/19/12).
As far as I can remember, coconut farmers were issued cocofund receipts corresponding to the 55 centavo-levy per every 100 kilos of copra sold to traders. Also, we were given shares of stocks in the United Coconut Planters Bank and San Miguel Corp. But until now we have not received any cash dividend from our shares of stocks. Many of us, coconut farmers, have held on to our stock certificates. On my part, though, I sold some of my shares but I still have in my possession about 50 of them.
I am certain that many coconut farmers have died, while the rest are old and sickly. When will we get back our shares in the coco levy? Until when shall we have to wait to get back our shares?
To quote Senator Arroyo, “The farmers were betrayed once by the martial law government, they should not be betrayed twice, this time by the administration.”
—CRISOSTOMO B. VILAR, vice mayor, Pagsanjan, Laguna; chair, Cocofed, Pagsanjan