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Promoting, Developing and  Protecting the Tobacco Growers Industry of the Philippines

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News & Events » Farmers Appeal to Solons to Save Tobacco Industry

Article obtained from the Daily Tribune (July 27, 2012)

Tobacco farmers in the Ilocos Region are appealing to senators to take  into serious consideration what would become of them when they act on the measure that seeks to impose exorbitant tax increase  on  tobacco products by as high as 708 percent.

Their sentiments were aired during a gathering of farmers’ organizations in Vigan, Ilocos Sur yesterday, where they expressed concern over their predicament, which means loss of the very livelihood they have.
The farmers stressed that a 708 percent hike is the largest tax increase in the history of the Philippines and such directly threatens their only livelihood. If this happens, they said, their families will suffer.

Sulpicio Pablo of Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur said “growing and selling tobacco is the only thing our forefathers thought us. This is only what we have.”

“I was taught by my father to plant tobacco when I was nine years old. From then on, my wife and my children have been tilling our rented land every planting season up to harvest time. This is where our daily sustenance comes from,” said the 56-year-old Pablo.

Alexander Bumatay, 52, from Cervantes, Ilocos Sur expressed hoped senators would stop the increase in excise tax on tobacco products to protect the welfare of the tobacco farmers and their dependents.

“We send our children and grandchildren to school with our income from planting tobacco; our daily sustenance also come from our income.  We hope the senators would stop the tax increase so we can sell all our produce and continue providing for our family,” Bumatay said.