MANILA — In order to give way for the privatization of the coco levy funds, President Aquino recently signed two Executive Orders (EO) specifically shares in United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) Oil Mill Group.
The order mandates the sale of the coco levy assets for the improvement of the country’s coconut farm productivity.
It also targets to boost the income of coconut farmers, ensure a balanced, sustainable growth of the industry and strengthen the organization of coconut farmers in the country.
Coco levy refers to the taxes and contributions collected by businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. during the martial law years from farmes, planters and millers.
The sale has drawn interest of potential bidders such as the Philippine National Bank, East West Banking Corp., BDO Unionbank Inc., Union Bank of the Philippines and China Banking Corp.
According to Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) chair Andres Bautista, Aquino’s signing of the EOs will make the sale happen.
“A law will also be passed to complement the EOs. These EOs are supposed to jump-start the process,” said Bautista.
“We are looking to move things forward so the funds can finally be used for the benefit of farmers and the coconut industry,” he added.