EO 259 Revival Pushed to Help Coconut Sector

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Coconut stakeholders are pushing for the re-implementation of Executive Order (EO) No. 259, which required the use of local coconut oil-derived surfactants in all detergent formulations as way to keep the local coconut industry afloat.

In a webinar hosted by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) on Wednesday, United Coconut Chemicals president Evelina Patino said the non-implementation of the directive led to the shutdown of two oleochemical plants, which eventually resulted in the reduction of the country’s coconut exports and an increase in the imports of petroleum-based detergent raw materials.  It also cut the local consumption of coconut oil by 150,000 metric tons after losing a steady market.  These developments further stall the growth of the industry.

In 2000, the Board of Investments moved to stop the implementation of EO 259, citing the Philippines’ signing of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT),  a legal agreement that aims to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers.  EO 259 mandates local detergent formulations to contain 20 percent coconut oil-derived surfactants, with graduated increase of 20 percent per year up to 60 percent after three years.  

Patino said the re-implementation of the EO would create an additional market for coconut oil, noting that the country’s per capita consumption for detergents was currently at 5.2 kilos annually.

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