REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8048 (The Coconut Preservation Act of 1995), as amended by REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10593
It is hereby declared the policy of the State to conserve, protect and manage caves and cave resources as part of the country’s natural wealth. Towards this end, the State shall strengthen cooperation and exchange of information between governmental authorities and people who utilize caves and cave resources for scientific, educational, recreational, tourism and other purposes.
No coconut tree shall be cut except in the following cases and only after a permit had been issued therefor:
When the tree is sixty (60) years old in the case of tall varieties, and at least forty (40) years old for dwarf varieties;
When the tree is no longer economically productive;
When the tree is severely disease-infested and beyond rehabilitation;
When the tree is severely damaged by typhoon or lightning;
When the agricultural land devoted to coconut production shall have been converted in accordance with law into residential, commercial or industrial areas;cralawlibrary
When the land devoted to coconut production shall be converted into other agricultural uses or other agriculture-related activities in pursuance to a conversion duly applied for by the owner and approved by the proper authorities: Provided, That no conversion shall be allowed by the PCA until after it shall have been verified and certified that for a period of at least three (3) years the majority of the coconut trees have become senescent and economically unproductive or where the coconut farm is not adaptable to sound management practices on account of geographical location, topography, drainage and other conditions rendering the farm economically unproductive; and
When the tree would cause hazard to life and property.
No other causes other than those abovementioned shall be considered as a valid ground for cutting."
Definition of Terms
For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
Coconut tree refers to a tall pinnate-leaved palm bearing a large edible fruit called the coconut.
Replanting program refers to the program formulated by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to replenish the coconut trees which have been permitted to be cut by the PCA.
Permit refers to the written authorization of the PCA allowing the cutting of coconut trees.
Economically unproductive farm refers to a coconut area where the cost of farm production and maintenance is greater than the generated proceeds or income for a period of at least three (3) years.
Senescent coconut trees are coconut trees which are already overage, weak and no longer productive.
Permit to Cut
No coconut tree or trees shall be cut unless a permit therefore, upon due application being made, has been issued by the PCA pursuant to Section 6 of this Act.
Payment of Application Fee
Certification under oath from the Barangay Captain
Verification by the PCA
The applicant shall pay an application fee in the amount of One hundred pesos (P100.00) for every tree intended to be cut payable to the PCA.
No permit to cut shall be granted unless the applicant has secured from the barangay captain of the locality where the cutting will be done, a certification under oath that he/she has already planted the equivalent number of coconut trees applied for to be cut.
The PCA, in coordination with the local government unit concerned, shall verify if a replanting was implemented and regulate and oversee the fertilization and care of the newly planted coconut trees. For this purpose, it shall be incumbent upon the PCA to conduct, from time to time, on-the-spot inspections of the sites where the coconut trees have been planted.
Authority to Cut
The Philippine Coconut Authority shall have the exclusive authority to grant permit for the cutting of coconut trees. The authority may be delegated to the city or municipal mayors as the PCA may determine.
The PCA shall be vested with the authority to exercise duly delegated police powers for the proper performance of its functions and duties, to wit:
Investigate suspected violations of this Act;
Arrest and apprehend any person actually committing or attempting to commit an offense under this Act;
Arrest and apprehend possessor of coconut lumber without the necessary permit as required under this Act;
Search and seize a moving vehicle with illegally cut, gathered, collected or removed coconut lumber: Provided, That probable cause for the search is established;
Stop the transport and/or shipment of coconut lumber without authority or without legal documents in accordance with pertinent laws, regulations or policies on the matter;
Confiscate and forfeit in favor of the government the illegally cut, gathered, collected, removed, possessed or abandoned coconut lumber, as well as the machinery, equipment, implements and tools illegally used in the commission of the offense and to dispose of the same in accordance with pertinent laws, regulations or policies on the matter; and
Seek the assistance of other law enforcement agencies for the efficient and effective implementation of this Act.
The Philippine Coconut Authority shall be the lead agency to implement the provisions of this Act. For this purpose, the Philippine Coconut Authority shall prescribe the necessary rules and regulations for the immediate and effective implementation of this Act.
The PCA, in order to effectively implement the provisions of this Act, may request the assistance of any local government unit, to monitor and ensure compliance with this Act including its implementing rules and regulations
For this purpose, the PCA may deputize the Philippine National Police or other law enforcement agencies to investigate and apprehend those caught violating the provisions of this Act, including the confiscation of illegally cut coconut trees. In order to prevent wastage, the PCA shall order the immediate disposition of confiscated coconut lumber in a manner to be determined by the PCA.
The PCA shall also, in coordination, with the local government unit concerned, require the registration of all sawmills, lumberyards, coconut wood dealers and other persons or entities dealing in the processing and sawing of coconut trees.
Those found guilty of violating this Act or any rules and regulations issued pursuant hereto shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment of not less than two (2) years but not more than six (6) years, or a fine of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) but not more than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00), or both, at the discretion of the court.
If the offender is a corporation or a juridical entity, the official who ordered, or allowed the commission of the offense shall be punished with the same penalty.
If the offender is in the government service, he shall, in addition be dismissed from office.
Upon verification by the PCA that no replanting was done, the barangay captain who issued the certification shall, upon conviction, be penalized with imprisonment of not less than three (3) years but not more than seven (7) years and a fine of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) but not more than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00). Furthermore, the barangay captain concerned shall be perpetually disqualified from holding any other public office.