The Department of Finance (DOF) said the government has set up a registry that will monitor the status of the assets acquired using the multibillion-peso coconut levy fund.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said they have established the Coco Levy Asset Registry that will serve as the repository of information and records of Coconut Levy Assets, which government estimated to be worth at least P75 billion. Dominguez is the chairman of the Trust Fund Management Committee (TFMC), a body tasked to oversee the utilization and management of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund (CFITF).

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III (DOF photo)

TFMC was created by Republic Act (RA) No. 11524, or Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act, and has been mandated to draft the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the newly enacted law.

The Bureau of the Treasury, which serves the secretariat of TFMC, was then tasked to establish the Coco Levy Asset Registry.

Dominguez said the newly created asset registry under the Treasury bureau is “equipped with checks and balances.” 

The registry also contains separate records for both Cash and Non-Cash Coco Levy Assets. Moreover, it classified the assets that are already declared with finality to belong to the government and those continuing to be subject of litigation.

“It is now the task of the Trust Fund Management Committee to properly manage the coconut levy trust fund, which is estimated at P75 billion, so that it serves our strategic development goals,” Dominguez said.

Required to be regularly updated, the asset registry shall serve as the TFMC’s records of all information related to the Coco Levy Assets, which shall be based on the initial inventory submitted by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). 

However, an initial inventory by the PCGG of Coco Levy Assets revealed that it is estimated to be worth P113.88 billion consisting of cash, shares of stock, holding and trading companies, as well as their subsidiaries. 

However, some of the assets in the PCGG inventory are still under dispute in various courts such as the Sandiganbayan, Supreme Court, and the Regional Trial Courts (RTCs).

Dominguez said the next steps to be undertaken by the TFMC should be to ensure that it performs its functions with “transparency, accountability and prudence.” 

The TFMC also includes Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra as members.

“After many years of intense political debate, it was only during the Duterte administration that the Coco Levy Law was finally enacted,” Dominguez said.

“This marks a promise fulfilled by the President who, in his 2019 SONA (State of the Nation Address), vowed to return these funds taken arbitrarily from the pockets of Filipinos back to its true owner,” he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (