Funds for coco farmers
I fully support the demand of the 600 Quezon province farmers who marched to Manila for the return of the P70-billion coco levy fund to coconut farmers and the resolution of their agrarian problems.
Likewise, I strongly suggest that the fund be spent to control the cocolisap (scale insects) that have infested coconut plantations in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces).
I also suggest the use of the fund to subsidize farmers whose coco farms have been devastated by the cocolisap, so they can plant alternative crops such as rambutan, coffee, rubber malapapaya and other high-value crops. Livestock raising must also be intensified by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) by providing, gratis et amore, our beleaguered farmers with goats, carabaos and cattle, so they can
begin earning again for their families.
Finally, it behooves the PCA to extend cash assistance that the farmers would need in preparing their farms for the planting of the high-value crops.
—CRISOSTOMO B. VILAR,
former vice mayor, Pagsanjan, Laguna,
chair, Coconut Planters Federation,
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