071320 coconut
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DAVAO CITY – Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol is asking President Rodrigo Duterte to lift the Marcos-era ban on the export of mature coconuts and issue a special permit to Mindanao.

“We are re-submitting our recommendation to the President, noting that if we want to restart the economy, we can direct focus on our coconut farmers who are actually among the sectors affected by the pandemic," Piñol said, adding that, "since there is a standing order for the green and brown and young coconuts outside of the country, let’s work on that as we appeal that Mindanao be given special permit."

He said that the 1985 Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1106 should be lifted especially that the coconut farmers were greatly affected of the current coronavirus pandemic.

In August last year, immediately after taking his oath as chairman of Mindanao Development Authority, Piñol requested Executive Secretary Medialdea for the lifting of the Marcos-era decree.

He said unless the Marcos decree is lifted, coconut farmers in the country – who had been reeling from the effects of low copra prices due to the influx of other alternative cooking oils – would not be able to take advantage of the mature coconut market.

He further added that the lifting or repealing of the Marcos decree would mostly benefit coconut farmers in Mindanao.

“This is what to look at when prioritizing our programs. It will have an immediate effect where people can directly benefit and would restart the economy. My point is, if we take an immediate action on this, there will be an immediate effect. If our coconut farmers can export, they will really earn unlike if they market it locally, the price is very low,” Piñol said.

In November 2018, the Philippine Coconut Authority’s (PCA) Governing Board, chaired by Piñol who was then Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) approved a resolution that would request the interagency committee on Executive Order 1016, s. 1985 to lift the ban on mature coconut exports.

EO 1016 mandated the creation of an interagency committee which will annually update the list of prohibited products for export being implemented by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The EO stipulates that matured coconuts and coconut seedlings are some of the products that are not allowed for export.

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