VENDORS of fresh young coconuts or buko using multi-cabs or small trucks will be allowed to sell their products in populated areas of the metropolis.
This was disclosed yesterday by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol during the launching of the Summer Coco Festival. The festival aims to promote drinking of coconut water.
Piñol said the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will support the DA’s initiative to market fresh young coconuts (Buko) by allowing Coco Vendors on Wheels to sell buko.
MMDA Chairman Danny Lim said he will talk with the mayors of the cities in Metro Manila to allow coco vendors on wheels to sell “buko.”
The MMDA has been clearing Metro Manila streets of obstructions, including ambulant vendors who impede traffic. Lim said coco vendors on wheels should not obstruct movement of traffic on the streets.
Lim assured Piñol that he will also ask the mayors to urge restaurants and eateries in their cities to offer “buko” to their customers.
In the program designed by the DA and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), the PCA will organize the coconut farmers, to supply green coconuts which will be bought for at least P8 to P10 per piece.
Green coconuts are now sold by ambulant vendors using “karitons” for at least P35 per piece. They will be delivered to a consolidation area in Metro Manila where these will be cleaned.
He added that the program is expected to expand the market for coconut and provide an alternative source of income for coconut farmers who have suffered from very low prices of copra in recent months.
Piñol said the project is expected to provide livelihood opportunities for Metro Manila families who do not have steady sources of income, including out-of-school youths and students.
“Next week, the validation of all applicants for this program will start including the training of the vendors on proper handling and hygiene,” Piñol said.