LAOAG CITY — Finally, the long wait is over for Ilocos Norte farmers as the province’s share in tobacco excise tax under Republic Act 7171 and RA 8240 for 2013 has been released.
In an urgent appropriation ordinance certified as urgent by Governor Imee Marcos, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan unanimously approved on Monday a total amount of PHP401,269,600 from the province’s share for various development undertakings, projects and services here.
Also, another appropriation ordinance pegged at PHP1,365,526 from the province’s share in burley and native tobacco excise tax has been approved on the same day for the purchase of medicines for the effective provision of health services in the entire province.
Last March, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced the release of tobacco excise tax shares of tobacco-producing provinces from the 2013 collection of taxes on locally manufactured Virginia-type cigarettes, burley and native tobacco.
Of the total PHP10.69 billion tobacco excise tax share, the Batac City local government unit is among the top 10 LGUs with the highest share amounting to PHP178,024, 130. Others include Candon City, Cabugao, Narvacan, Sta.Cruz, San Juan, Santiago, Sinait and Magsingal in Ilocos Sur and Balaoan in La Union.
Based on the guidelines, the amount shall be utilized for projects meant to increase the productivity and income of farmers.
Under Republic Act No. 7171, LGUs producing locally manufactured Virginia-type cigarettes are entitled to 15 percent of national tax collections. 30 percent will be divided among the beneficiary provinces, 40 percent among component cities and municipalities, and 30 percent to the component cities and municipalities to be computed based on the volume of tobacco production.
Meanwhile, under Republic Act No. 8240, LGUs producing burley and native tobacco will also receive a share of 15 percent from excise tax collections in 2013. 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.
Since the enactment of Republic Act 7171, or “An Act to Promote the Development of the Farmers in the Virginia Tobacco-Producing Provinces,” in 1992, Ilocos farmers get a fair share in the appropriation of the tobacco excise tax where the provincial government used most of its tobacco fund to construct farm-to-market roads and rehabilitate agricultural facilities, including asphalting of roads and construction of new bridges.
Also, the previous releases of the tobacco excise tax were used for the construction of communal irrigation system, and the acquisition of tobacco barns and purchase of fertilizers and supplies. PNA/northboundasia.com