Cagayan tobacco farmers expect LGU to allocate project funds from R.A. 8240
(By Roberto R. Pedro)Very much aware of the R.A 8240 - that the 15% of incremental revenue collected from the excise tax will be going back to the tobacco producing barangays/municipalities in the form of projects - Cooperative Projects, Livelihood Projects and Agro-industrial projects - Cagayan farmers expect the LGUs to allocate the funds accordingly which was released before the election.
The Act, which took effect January 01, 1997, mandates that fifteen percent (15%) of the incremental revenue collected from the excise tax on tobacco products is allocated and divided among the LGU producing Burley and Native tobacco in accordance with the volume of tobacco leaf production. The initial release comprised the accumulated shares of the LGU beneficiaries from 1997 to 2007.
This is the first year of implementation of R.A. 8240 in the province of Cagayan.
During the Information Drives conducted on September to November 2010 by the Project Management Team of the Tobacco Contract Growing Project (PMT-TCGS), the farmers were informed that the said amount will flow back to the tobacco producing barangays/municipalities.
Cagayan Governor Alvaro T. Antonio called up the Tobacco Production and Regulation Office to inform them on their plans regarding the use of the proceeds from R.A 8240.
He said farmers can prepare a resolution letter to be given to their congressman and/or mayor and indicate as to what project they intended to have which will eventually improve their quality of lives to which some did and were given a positive response.
In the Municipality of Alcala, a Farmers' Dialogue attended by private sectors, municipal agriculture officers and a total of 134 farmers,was conducted last October 12, 2010 by NTA to present the NTA Thrusts and Programs and to address issues and concerns of the tobacco industry.
Here, Hon. Teresita Antonio, Municipal Mayor of Alcala announced that they will be giving tobacco farmers twenty pieces (20) of Galvanized Iron (G.I sheet-12") per hectare of tobacco and this will be charged from the proceeds of R.A 8240, which is under the Agro-Industrial project. This can be used as material for the curing barn of tobacco farmers in order to produce good quality tobacco.
The tobacco farmers are hopeful for the full support of the LGU Officials in the implementation of the different projects from the proceeds of the R.A 8240 in their respective barangays/municipalities.