SUPREME COURT LIFTS TRO ON P75-BILLION COCO LEVY FUNDThursday, September 28, 2017
The Supreme Court (SC) has lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) it issued in 2015 that stalled the use of the P75-billion coconut levy fund. In a 21-page decision, the SC said it has lifted effective immediately the TRO it issued on June 30, 2015, alongside the voiding of four sections of the Guidelines for Utilization of Coco Levy Funds. The court declared that sections on approval of roadmap, funding source, utilization of funds, and implementing rules are not in conformity with the law.
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is optimistic that both chambers of Congress will now come up with one unified law on the levy fund preservation and utilization to be signed by President Duterte before the year ends. Should the bill be signed by December, it would take about six months before PCA can actually utilize and implement necessary programs. The coco levy fund amounting to P75 billion is made up of taxes imposed on coconut farmers mandated by Presidential Decree 755 in 1975.