News Room | News Articles |

News Articles

Curing barn aid for tobacco growers released

SOME 884 tobacco growers in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union received curing barn assistance from the National Tobacco Administration.The ceremonial release, spearheaded by the provincial branch offices, was held in different venues in separate schedules in August.

The ceremonial release, held at the Ilocos Sur Provincial Capitol in Vigan City on August 8, was graced by Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis V. Singson, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, NTA Administrator Robert L. Seares, NTA Director Teofilo R. Quintal, and farmer leader Mario C. Cabasal.

The farmers either received P20,000 each for repair/improvement of flue-curing barn for Virginia (or air-curing shed for Burley/native) or P50,000 each for construction of new barns/sheds. Of the recipients, 27 (for the first batch) came from the municipalities of the second district, including Candon City, while 333 came from the first district.

Only one of the recipients in Candon Branch is for construction, the rest are for repair or improvement. According to Candon Branch Manager Estrella G. De Peralta they expect to distribute assistance for the second batch to additional 138 farmer beneficiaries of the total target of 350 beneficiaries.

NTA implemented the Curing Barn Assistance Program (CBAP) for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 to promote the use of the NTA-prescribed efficient curing barns/sheds, particularly the use of Venturi and Anawang furnace; and help the farmers increase their income through the production of properly cured leaf with these prescribed barns/sheds.

In his message, Administrator Seares said that the CBAP is just one of the programs designed by the agency to promote the welfare of the tobacco growers, as he exhorted local leaders to be partners of the agency in helping improve the lives of the farmers and their communities.

Governor Singson commended the agency for the call of cooperation and partnership, as he emphasized proper coordination of the provincial government and the agency through its branch offices in Candon and Vigan as a major factor in facilitating delivery of services to the public, and in ensuring growth and progress in the province.

The governor and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Governor Jeremias C. Singson, in their separate messages, were one in their gratitude to the tobacco growers, calling them "bannuar" (heroes), for having contributed a big part in the progress of the province through the share of the local government units from the excise tax collection of tobacco under Republic Act 7171.

In Ilocos Norte, Gov. Imee R. Marcos joined NTA officials headed by Administrator Seares and Director Nestor C. Casela, in personally distributing checks worth P3.7 million to 187 tobacco farmers who compose the first batch of beneficiaries.

The ceremonial release was held at the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol on August 15.

According to Ilocos Norte Branch Manager Mario E. Corpuz, all the farmer beneficiaries received the reimbursement in curing barn repair specifically in furnace conversion from conventional design to the Anawang or Venturi type.

Director Casela pointed out the yearly decline of tobacco production in the province and reminded the farmers to double their efforts in producing and growing high-quality tobacco due to consistently high demand.

In La Union, 337 tobacco growers in the province received P11.36-million curing barn assistance from the NTA. The ceremonial release, attended by 80 beneficiaries, was held at the Tobacco Farmers' Multipurpose Training Center in Bauang, La Union on August 31. This was graced by NTA Administrator Robert L. Seares, Bauang Municipal Councilor Romeo Alexander Obong, and Municipal Agriculturist Rebecca Sabado.

According to La Union Branch Manager Dr. Giovanni B. Palabay, the second batch, with 108 farmer cooperators, will receive CBAP assistance in September.

Before the release of the CBAP assistance, some farmer cooperators who were affected by typhoon "Lawin" in October 2016, received calamity aid under the P3.5-million financial assistance from the NTA in April this year.

Each of the of the 924 affected farmers from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union, received P2,000 for barn repair to help them recover from the damages caused by the typhoon.

Administrator Seares will also grace the ceremonial release of curing barn assistance to tobacco growers in Pangasinan on September 14, Isabela on September 21, Cagayan on September 22, and Abra on September 25.