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PCA Warns: criminal raps for illegal cutting of coco trees in Region 8

by admin   |   Posted on Monday, February 11th, 2019

(file photo)

TACLOBAN, Philippines — Eastern Visayas is among the top producers of coconut in the Philippines, accounting for 12 percent of the country’s total production according to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

For this reason, the PCA is calling on coconut farmers in Eastern Visayas to stop cutting down coconut trees without the agency’s prior approval.

The PCA warned that violators may be slapped with criminal charges.  

“Ang liability ni farmer na magputol, criminal offense po yan. Makukulong po kayo diyan. Makakasuhan po kayo,” said PCA manager Jeffrey delos Reyes.

At present, the agency has confiscated 44 chainsaws from six provinces in the region. Respective owners of the seized equipment are also facing charges.

“So yung mga chainsaw na nakita niyo confiscated yun. May mga kaso yan. So, it was confiscated in favor of the government kasi sila ang culprit,” Delos Reyes said.

The PCA manager explained under the law, a permit to cut some coconut trees may be issued if and when it is 60 years old, and deemed economically unproductive, severely disease-infested beyond rehabilitation, and would cause hazard to life and property.

One of the requirements for the tree-cutting permit is a certification from the barangay captain. Once approved by the PCA, the application shall be posted at the barangay hall for seven days.

The applicant shall pay the PCA an application fee of P150 for every tree that will be cut:  P100 for the cutting services and P50 for the replacement tree.

Other than chainsaws, the PCA also seized several coco lumbers from sellers who failed to produce permits. —Jenelyn Gaquit-Valles

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Duterte appoints ex-Air Force Chief Gerard Kintanar as new PCA head

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, December 24th, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte confers the Philippine Legion of Honor (PLOH) with the Degree of Commander to outgoing Philippine Air Force (PAF) Commanding General Lieutenant General Galileo Gerard Kintanar, Jr. during the PAF Change of Command Ceremony at the PAF Multipurpose Gym, Villamor Air Base (VAB) in Pasay City on December 21, 2018. Assisting the President is Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. | PCOO\Rey Baniquet

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed newly retired commanding general of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Lt. General Galileo Gerard Kintanar as head of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

The President announced his appointment of Kintanar on Friday (December 21) during the change of command and the celebration of the founding anniversary of PAF at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

“Just a few months but sabi ko, kailangan ko ng tao. And I am eyeing you. So when the time comes, and if I can get the mechanisms of how the money will be distributed to the beneficiaries, and if I look for somebody na talagang makita ko na ang pera ng Pilipino hindi mawawala, it should be the retired Gen. Kintanar” the President said.

Kintanar is the latest former military official being appointed to a position in the government under the Duterte administration.

As head of the PCA, Kintanar will oversee the progress of President Duterte’s promise of distributing the billion-peso Coco Levy Fund to coconut farmers.

In line with this, President Duterte asks the board members of the PCA to file their courtesy resignations to give Kintanar a free hand in assigning the members of his office.

Kintanar submitted his resignation 13 months earlier than his mandatory date of retirement supposedly on January 2020. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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DA blames smuggling for copra price drop

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

MAKATI CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) revealed there is a close competition in the local production of coconut oil—the primary byproduct of copra—in the market.

PCA Administrator Romulo Dela Rosa said the country’s coconut oil is now being pushed back by palm oil and soybean oil which are cheaper and do not require importation tariffs under the ASEAN Integration. ASEAN Integration allows member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to freely bring in their products to other member states free of taxes. In case of palm oil production, Malaysia and Indonesia own the largest palm plantation among the ASEAN countries.

“Kung maganda ang harvest ng soya at maganda rin ang production ng palm oil, necessarily bababa yung presyo nila. It will pull down coconut oil…because international prices ang nagdedetermine nyan,” explained Dela Rosa.

(If the harvest of soya is good and the production of palm oil is doing well, their prices will necessarily go down. It will pull down coconut oil…because international prices determine the price of coconut oil.)

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, on the other hand, claimed that smuggling is the reason behind the drop in prices of copra in the country.

“I found out that the reason why copra prices have gone down is that there’s so much smuggling of copra from the southern countries,” revealed Piñol.

However, Secretary Piñol said that as much as he wanted to act on the matter, his hands are tied as there is no executive order yet that would formalize the transfer of PCA under the control of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Meanwhile, PCA is now planning to encourage more investors to revive the country’s coconut industry and venture into other byproducts other than coconut oil.

Other products where PCA eyes more revenue including coco water, virgin coconut oil, coco flour, and biodiesel. With these additional products, the PCA believes that the price of coconut in the market will bounce back.

At present, 90 percent of the country’s copra production is made into coconut oil and around three million of the country’s farmers are into the coconut industry. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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