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Permits for cutting of coco trees suspended in Ph

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Coconut Authority Region 6 (PCA 6) has temporarily suspended the issuance of permits on cutting of coconut trees in line with the moratorium which is now in effect across the country.
The moratorium on cutting of coconut trees was signed by PCA Administrator Bill Andal last December 23, 2016 and took effect January 3 this year nationwide. However, due to infestation of Coconut Scale Insect or Cocolisap, Basilan province and Isabela City were exempted from the ban which will last until April 2, 2017.
Elmer Sira, Coconut Production and Regulations Officer III of PCA Region 6 said there is an ongoing review of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 10593 amending Republic Act 8048 or the Coconut Preservation Act of 1995.
“The moratorium will be a help in the review of the existing policies intended to further strengthen and streamline the processes involved in the implementation and enforcement of the two laws which aimed at protecting and preserving the coconut trees in the country,” said Sira.
Violators during the prohibition period will be imposed with a fine. However, Sira said there are four possible exemptions from the coconut tree-cutting ban.
Exempted are cutting of trees for the following reasons: clearing for land use conversion by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Agrarian Reform; typhoon damage; severe infestation of trees and beyond recovery; and, pose hazard to life and property.
To date, Sira is expecting that permits acquired before January 3 were already served.
Latest available data from PCA 6 indicated that Western Visayas has about 17,720,291 coconut trees planted in the different provinces of the region. Of the total number, 10,003,400, are fruit bearing, 6,825,706 are non-bearing coconut trees and some 891,185 are considered senile or trees 60 year old or older.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.