Coco Levy Trust Fund Bill passage last wish of Ka Tanny Tanada

May 27, 2018

MANILA – The fight for the Coco Levy Trust Fund took some of the spotlight today, May 27, during the 26th death anniversary of Senator Lorenzo “Ka Tanny” Tañada.

Speaking at a commemoration event at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, former Quezon Representative Oscar “Ka Oca” Santos shared the late senator’s last request of him in behalf of the coconut farmers.

“Huwag pabayaan ang mga magniniyog,” Ka Oca shared, citing Ka Tanny during the short program remembering the latter’s fight for freedom, democracy, and justice.

Ka Tanny and his son former Senator Wigberto “Ka Bobby” Tañada, along with Ka Oca, have been at the forefront of the fight for a Coco Levy Trust Fund, as well as better rights and support for coconut farmers and industry, for many decades.

Also present in the event was Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, who is the principal author of the Coco Levy Trust Fund Bill at the Senate.

“Three generations of former and now incumbent senators have campaigned and fought hard for both court action and meaningful legislation to correct the decades’ long injustice wrought on the coconut farmers. The struggle continues,” said Pangilinan.

As presidential adviser on food security and agricultural modernization in the last administration, Pangilinan championed the coconut farmers’ cause, recognizing the need to reclaim the stolen levies that has only enriched the late dictator and his cronies.

The bill passed third reading at the Senate last March 19, 2018, after undergoing crucial amendments. Pangilinan staunchly defended the farmers’ version, but it lost during the amendments. After the Senate voted on the bill removing farmers’ participation in the planning, use, and monitor of the more than P70-billion coco levy fund, Ka Bobby Tañada said that the bill “has lost its soul.”

Senator Pangilinan said he will push for the original version submitted by the farmers at the bicameral conference.

A version that removed the five-hectare ownership limit was passed on third reading by the House of Representatives last September 2017.

The bicameral conference on the Coco Levy Trust Fund Bill has not yet been scheduled.