New members of Mahinog Sanitary Pulis (SaPul) recently took their oath of office before Mayor Alex R. Jajalla. Among the functions of SaPul is to enforce anti coconut theft ordinance in addition to their primary responsibility to implement the Lex's Clean Mahinog Program
BEFORE you harvest coconut or sell copra in Mahinog, get a permit from the barangay of origin. Said permit would be issued by the barangay captain to prove you are the lawful owner of coconuts being harvested or sold.
This is contained under Municipal Ordinance (MO) No. 8-1988 as amended by MO No. 2008-110 that the Municipal Government of Mahinog is vigorously implementing right now.
The ordinance requires anyone to obtain first a permit from the barangay captain before harvesting coconut. The measure was aimed at both deterring coconut thieves and helping law enforcement identify stolen coconuts or copra once brought to the market or found in anyone's possession.
In an executive order, Mayor Alex R. Jajalla in effect had authorized the Sanitary Pulis (SaPul) to enforce the ordinance in addition to their primary authority to implement the Lex's Clean Mahinog program.
The mayor said this move is in answer to earful of complaints from coconut owners who had been complaining of low harvest from their plantation due to thievery.
"Without a special measure to address this problem, coconut will remain as it has been in the past the favorite resort of thieves," he added.
In applying for a permit, applicants have to disclose the following: name of declared owner of the property; address; location of property; approximate no. of coconut trees to be harvested; date of harvest, among others. The applicant shall pay a permit fee to the barangay treasurer in the amount of Twenty Pesos per harvest.
The municipal government has worked closely with copra buyers to ensure that individuals who sell copra to them has a permit earlier secured from the barangay captain.
According to the ordinance, it is the responsibility of copra buyers to report to authorities if seller has no permit. Failure to do so shall be the ground for the revocation of business permit. In case buyer has no business permit, he/she shall be penalized by a fine of One Thousand Pesos or imprisonment of ten days.
Any person without a permit found selling, transporting or possessing coconut or copra shall be fined One Hundred Pesos or imprisonment of not more than ten days for the first offense; Two Hundred Pesos or imprisonment of not more than twenty days for the second offense; Three Hundred Pesos plus confiscation of coconut or copra or imprisonment of not more than sixty days for the third and succeeding offenses. This is apart from the appropriate crimes penalized in the Revised Penal Code.
According to the mayor, the implementation of this ordinance will surely benefit coconut farmers aimed to improve their income and living condition.