MANILA, Philippines- Inaasahan na pangungunahan ni Pangulong Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. ang national coconut tree-planting ceremony sa darating na Hunyo 29 bilang bahagi ng ika-50 anibersaryo ng Kapistahan ng Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).
May temang “Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future of the Coconut Industry,” sa golden anniversary celebration ng PCA sa Hunyo 30 ay kikilalanin ang accomplishments o nagawa ng PCA sa loob ng 50 taon sa pagsusulong sa coconut industry sa kabila ng mga pagkabigo at hamon.
Bibigyang-diin din sa pagdiriwang ang malawak na potensiyal na patuloy na pinanghahawakan ng coconut industry sa pagsusulong ng economic development at iangat ang buhay ng coconut farmers sa bansa.
Sa kabila ng mga nakalipas na taon ng “stagnation and decline”, nananatili naman ang coconut industry bilang source ng “top dollar-earning exports” ng bansa habang nananatiling nasa pangalawang pwesto ang Pilipinas matapos ang Indonesia pagdating sa global coconut production.
Sa kabilang dako, tiniyak naman ni PCA administrator Bernie F. Cruz ang desisyon ni Pangulong Marcos na pangunahan ang national coconut tree-planting ceremony na pagkilala na rin sa kahalagahan na muling buhayin ang coconut industry sa kanyang pananaw na “agricultural development and modernization” bilang tagasulong ng economic growth at employment.
“As we communicated to the President, the ceremonial tree-planting shall not only mark our 50th founding anniversary but shall also represent the PCA currently planting the seeds for a resurgence in coconut production in the country, the impacts of which will be felt down the line during this Administration and beyond,” ayon kay Cruz.
“With increased productivity, product diversification, and engaging our farmers in higher value-adding activities, we expect in the long run to reverse the trends of declining growth rate and share to GDP of the coconut industry, and significantly increase and even double coconut farmers’ incomes,” dagdag na wika nito.
Nilikha noong Hunyo 30, 1973 sa bisa ng Presidential Decree 232, ang PCA ay “the sole government agency tasked to develop the coconut industry to its full potential in line with the new vision of a united, globally competitive and efficient coconut industry.”
“It was made an independent public corporation by virtue of Presidential Decree 961, which first codified the laws dealing with the development of the coconut and other palm oil industry in the country, as subsequently revised by Presidential Decree 1468, known as the “Revised Coconut Industry Code,” which presently serves as the PCA Charter,” ayon sa ulat.
“At present, the PCA’s core functions include improving the production and productivity of coconut farms; research and development, including market research and promotion of emerging high-value coconut products and by-products; infrastructure development, particularly of seed farms, research-based plantations, and post-harvest facilities; and institutional development of coconut farmers’ organizations and enterprises,” ayon pa rin sa ulat.
Bilang kasalukuyang Kalihim ng Department of Agriculture, si Pangulong Marcos, ang tumatayong chairman ng PCA Board, nagsisilbi naman nitong kinatawan si Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban sa isang ex-officio capacity.
Samantala, sinabi naman ni Cruz na mahalaga na pangunahan ni Pangulong Marcos ang 50th anniversary celebration of the Authority na nilikha sa ilalim ng administrasyon ng ama ni Marcos Jr. na si dating Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
“In creating the PCA, former President Marcos saw the need to integrate and coordinate, in his words, the ‘then-diffuse efforts of the Government’ on promoting the accelerated growth of the coconut and other palm oil industry. Though we have accomplished much, in many ways we continue to face similar challenges, particularly now with the implementation of the CFIDP which involves 15 implementing agencies, including the PCA,” ayon kay Cruz.
“We believe that our now-President Marcos understands this, the need to further strengthen the convergence efforts of government in order to truly revitalize the coconut industry, which is why he has chosen to give this occasion of the 50th anniversary of the PCA such importance. We are honored and eager to welcome him in this momentous event,” winika pa ni Cruz. Kris Jose