Aquino orders inventory of Coco Levy assets, dissolution of CIIF holding companies

By on March 20, 2015

Pres. Benigno Aquino III presides the NDRRMC briefing for Supertyphoon 'Ruby' (International name 'Hagupit') (Malacanang Photo Bureau)
Pres. Benigno Aquino III  (Malacanang Photo Bureau)

MANILA — President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the inventory of Coco Levy assets within the next two months.

Section 3 of Executive Order (EO) No. 179, signed for the President by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on March 18, 2015, directs the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to identify and account all known Coco Levy assets with the help of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).

It also requires PCGG to submit a certified report of the said assets to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr), the Commission on Audit (COA), and the Office of the President.

The EO also tasked the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG), to “determine whether it is to the best interest of the Government to privatize any non-cash Coco Levy Asset/GOCC” and to recommend the mode of divestment “taking into account the need to generate maximum cash recovery and the implications of such divestments on the coconut industry.”

Proceeds of the said privatization move was directed to be deposited in the Special Account in the General Fund for Coco Levies (Coco Levy SAGF).

Similarly, EO 180, signed by Ochoa for the President Wednesday, also directed for the dissolution of Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) holding companies with all remaining money and assets to be “transferred, deposited or delivered to the Government in accordance to with the foregoing provisions.”

In September 2012, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that the government owns 31 percent share in San Miguel Corp. (SMC) since these were bought by cronies of former President Ferdinand Marcos using coconut levy or taxes collected from coconut farmers during the Marcos government.

The Aquino government remains supportive to the proposal of coconut farmers to exclude the Coco Levy Fund from the annual budget of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

Aquino, earlier, said they continue to formulate programs for the sector, with participation by coconut farmers’ group, to determine how the Fund would be used to lift the lives of the farmers.