Ilocos Norte farmers benefit from tobacco excise tax share

LAOAG CITY — Farmers in Badoc, Ilocos Norte were all smiles on Thursday as they finally received farm machineries and fertilizers from their municipal government.

At least 31 tractors and 4,307 sacks of fertilizers were distributed to all of the villages, purchased using the town’s tobacco excise tax share.

“Agyamankami unay kadagitoy a traktor ken abono. Dakkel a tulong kadakami a mannalon (We are thankful for all these tractors and fertilizers. These are great help for us farmers),” said Luciano Gamayo, a resident of Barangay 13-B, Bato.

During the distribution, Municipal Agriculturist Leonora Escarda urged the farmers to take good care of the new farm machineries to ensure their long-term use.

As part of the agreement, farmer-organizations and village officials shall take charge of the maintenance of the tractors while extension workers from the Municipal Agriculture Office will monitor them when they go to the barangays.

As stated under Republic Act 7171 (An Act to Promote the Development of the Farmer in the Virginia Tobacco-Producing Provinces) local government units (LGUs) producing Virginia tobacco are entitled to a 15-percent share of the excise tax collection incremental revenue.

Under the guidelines, 30 percent of the amount is divided among the beneficiary provinces; 40 percent to the component cities and municipalities of said provinces (provided that 50 percent is divided equally among all the municipalities and cities of the beneficiary province and 50 percent to be divided according to the volume of tobacco production of tobacco-producing cities and municipalities); and 30 percent to the component cities and municipalities.

LGUs producing Burley and native tobacco, under Republic Act 8240 (An Act amending Sections 138, 140, & 142  of the National Internal Revenue Code, as Amended, and for Other Purposes), also receive a share of 15 percent of the incremental revenue.

Of this share, 10 percent will go to beneficiary provinces and 90 percent to the component cities and municipalities based on the volume of tobacco production.

Based on the Department of Budget and Management guidelines, the amounts are earmarked for cooperative, livelihood, agro-industrial and infrastructure projects aimed at enhancing the productivity and advancing the welfare of tobacco farmers. The amount shall help improve the capacity of the LGUs to deliver basic services to their constituents.

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