Recognizing the significant contributions of coconut farmers to the country's economy, Senator Edgardo J. Angara called on the government to provide technical and entrepreneurial assistance to coconut farmers.
"Coconut farmers are beset with credit problems which hinders the growth of the coconut industry. More than 20 million Filipinos depend on coconut farming for their living," said Angara, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).
He added, "With so many Filipinos dependent on the industry living in poverty or getting by through subsistence farming, we must ensure that this sector is steered toward higher productivity and profitability."
Last year, Angara filed Senate Bill No. 2051, or the Coconut Industry Development Act, which seeks to create a corporate body known as the Philippine Coconut Industry Development Authority (PHILCIDA) in order to promote the continuous development and growth of the coconut industry.
The body shall be tasked with maximizing the earnings of small coconut farmers and their families through the implementation of new policies in processing and transportation, research and development, marketing and promotion of the coconut products.
"Multi-million investments in the country's coconut industry present a big potential for economic growth. The Philippine coconut industry shall, therefore, take advantage of the higher demand for coconut products by introducing innovations to increase coconut production and by providing support for our farmers."
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