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LGU's Update: First Tobacco Farmers Summit in Misamis Oriental

THE local government of Laguin-dingan, Misamis Oriental, the top producer of native tobacco in Mindanao, conducted its first Tobacco Farmers' Summit held at the town's gymnasium on December 21.

NTA representatives Corporate Planning Manager Rex Antonio P. Teoxon and Industrial Research Department Manager Dr. Roberto R. Bonoan, local leaders headed by Laguindingan Mayor Diosdado T. Obsioma and Municipal Agriculturist Diosdado G. Ayson, and 200 registered Batek tobacco growers from 11 tobacco-growing barangays gathered on this occasion to discuss on tobacco production, plans and programs for the tobacco growers, and other industry concerns.

Mayor Obsioma talked on the programs and projects that the local government implements for the benefit of the local growers, out of the funds from the excise tax share of the LGU.

Teoxon discussed excise tax shares of LGUs per Republic Acts 7171 (for Virginia) and 8240 (for Burley and native), while Bonoan, also the Technical Coordinator for Branch Offices, gave an update on the tobacco industry. Mercedes M. Ayco, NTA Tobacco Production and Regulation Officer assigned in the province, gave the overview of the Summit.

An open forum followed after the discussions. The farmers were happy and thankful to NTA and Laguindingan LGU for the opportunity given to them. Green T-shirts bearing the logo of NTA and LGU-Laguindingan were given to the participants.

Ayson announced that Part 2 of the summit will be the plant tour at PMFTC Buying and curing facility in Claveria, Misamis Oriental and field tour to the Virginia tobacco farms.

Ayco said that she will coordinate with PMFTC and wait for further announcements.