Why the Yellow Force stopping its Distribution?

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President Rodrigo R. Duterte wants to finally put an end to the P74 billion in Coconut Levy funds by distributing the money to the coconut farmers and their families, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the Duterte administration is urging the Congress to pass a new legislation governing the so-called coco levy funds once the Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order (TRO) is lifted.

Dominguez, who was agriculture chief in the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino, explained a law is needed to facilitate the release of funds to farmers in coconut-producing areas.
The finance chief said the funds could also be used to support programs for farmers as well as scholarships for their dependents in state colleges and universities.

“I’ve discussed this with the President and we believe that legislation is necessary to utilize the coco levy funds for the benefit of farmers in the coconut areas. The coco levy fund right now is a little bit over R74 billion,” Dominguez said.

Currently, Dominguez said there “is a TRO in the Supreme Court and we will have to wait once it is lifted, and he wants to manage the funds but its utilization can only be by law.

“I will support using these funds to provide scholarships, maybe in the state schools and colleges in the areas, and of course other kinds of support for the coconut-producing communities,” he added.
In an earlier forum, Dominguez said investment in education had been discussed at a recent Cabinet meeting, and the President has expressed in that session his preference for it to be used for the exclusive benefit of coconut farmers and their families.

“We have discussed that at the Cabinet, and, you know, it’s quite a complicated issue, but we are going to make sure that the funds in the national treasury …. will be used exclusively for the benefit of the coconut farmers,” Dominguez said.

But this will require new legislation, he said, because the fund is already with the Bureau of the Treasury and thus cannot be spent without congressional approval or a new law.

The coco levy funds, which was collected from coconut farmers during the former Marcos administration, has been locked up for decades in legal cases over ownership issues.

“How it will be used is the question,” he said. “We have suggested (at the Cabinet meeting) that one of the uses will be (the setting up of a) permanent fund for providing scholarships for people in the coconut areas based on the theory that, you know, education is what brings people up.”

Sources: mb.com.ph

Direct Link: http://business.mb.com.ph/2016/10/31/duterte-wants-coco-levy-funds-released/

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