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LGUs aid tobacco growers with proceeds from RA 8240

THE different Local Government Units (LGUs) in the province have allotted the biggest portion of their total shares from the collection of excise taxes on locally manufactured cigarettes, pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 8240, as amended by RA 10351, for the benefit of their tobacco farmers.

Among the projects implemented amounting to P87,236,610 were programs that will provide inputs, training and other support to tobacco farmers; programs that will provide financial support for tobacco farmers; livelihood programs and projects; infrastructure projects, such as farm-to-market roads; and agro-industrial projects. The proposals of said projects were approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), as per implementing guidelines of the New Sin Tax Law (RA 10351).

Before the release of funds for projects, the Local Chief Executives, along with the City/Municipal Agricultural Officer or Municipal Planning Officer, and NTA Cagayan, conducted their own consultative meetings with the tobacco farmers.

The total amount of proceeds from the RA 8240 was presented by the local officials to the tobacco farmers so they can plan and recommend the projects that can help them with their farming activities and other projects, that will redound to the development of the tobacco-producing communities.

Among the 15 tobacco-producing municipalities in the province, 11 shared the proceeds of the excise tax based on projects and budget approved by the DBM. The Mayors, who provided assistance to the tobacco farmers are Criselda Antonio of Alcala; Dr. Leonardo Pattung of Baggao; Matthew Nolasco of Gattaran; Atty. Carmelo Villacete of Piat; Atty. Joel Ruma of Rizal; Andrew Vincent R. Pagurayan of Sto. Niño; Atty. Jefferson P. Soriano of Tuguegarao City; Atty. Nicanor C. De Leon of Amulung; Meynard Carag of Solana; Atty. Francisco N. Mamba Jr. of Tuao; and Marilyn Taguinod of Peñablanca.

Registered tobacco farmers in Tuguegarao City
receive from City Mayor Jefferson P. Soriano
the replica of the check for livelihood projects thru
funds from RA 8240.

The Chief Executives helped their tobacco farmers in different strategies. The LGUs of Tuguegarao City, Alcala, Amulung, Piat, Tuao, Baggao, Solana, and Gattaran supported the needs of their tobacco farmers based on their consultation meetings. They provided financial assistance for farm labor, Livelihood Assistance Program, infrastructure projects such as farm-to-market roads, construction of box culverts, construction of curing sheds (provisions of GI sheets for roofing materials in Piat), training course, livelihood projects (provision of Hybrid corn seeds in Tuguegarao City), provision of fertilizers and provision of irrigation facilities. The LGU of Alcala, thru its Municipal and Agricultural Officer and Municipal Development and Planning Officer, provided projects in consultation with the cooperative officials and tobacco farmers. The LGUs of Rizal and Peñablanca utilized their funds for the construction of farm-to-market roads, while the LGU of Sto. Niño used the fund for Livestock Dispersal Project.

The tobacco farmers during the consultations expressed their gratitude to their local leaders for their support to the industry, which is the major source of their livelihood. The gesture of support and generosity of the Mayors has been appreciated by the NTA Management headed by Administrator Edgardo D. Zaragoza. In return, the mayors during the awarding in separate occasions of the financial support and other livelihood projects to the farmer beneficiaries, recognized the effort of NTA Cagayan, headed by Dr. Corazon R. Riazonda, in coordinating with the LGUS, for the accomplishment of their various projects and programs.