Anti-poverty consultant contradicted himself
I beg to disagree with Jae de la Cruz, a senior policy consultant of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, when he averred: “The clamor of militant groups for the ‘return’ of the coco levy funds to the farmers is understandable, but it is also misguided. It is not the correct legal interpretation of the decision the Supreme Court issued last January.” (Inquirer, 4/28/12)
In the same letter De la Cruz virtually contradicted himself when he admitted that the “24 percent of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) shares that were bought with coco levy funds are ‘owned by the government to be used only for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry.’” (Underscoring supplied)
Precisely, we coconut farmers need cash to buy planting materials, fertilizers and money for clearing the land up to the time we begin to harvest the fruits of our newly planted coconut trees.
Finally, in order to launch a successful, massive coconut replanting program in our country, we coconut farmers need plenty of financial subsidy which should be taken from the coco levy.
—CRISOSTOMO B. VILAR,
vice mayor, Pagsanjan, Laguna;
chair, Cocofed, Pagsanjan Chapter
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