By Madelaine B. Miraflor
Having a new chair on board, the proposal of former Agriculture Chief Emmanuel Piñol to lift the ban on the exports of matured coconuts no longer sounds like a good idea to the board members of Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).
It is against the medium to long-term directions of the PCA on enhancing more value-adding activities in the coconut industry, said the new PCA Board Chair William Dar, who has replaced Piñol in August and now serves as the current Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary.
It was in November last year when Piñol first came up with the idea to lift the export ban on mature coconuts which was put in place many years ago by former President Ferdinand Marcos.
At that time, the PCA Board of Governors supported it, even approving a resolution asking the interagency committee on Executive Order (EO) 1016 to consider the move.
They believe it could be one of the solutions that could potentially solve the price crisis being felt in the coconut sector.
A few months later, around April, a group of Chinese companies signified their interest to import matured coconuts from the Philippines.
However, PCA Governing Board recently came up with a totally different decision and agreed not to lift the ban of export of matured coconuts based on the results of their consultations with various stakeholders including traders that took place within two to three months.