MANILA -- Administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II said Tuesday that he is planning to use the huge chunk of the Tobacco Excise Tax in improving the lives of farmers if he gets elected in the May 9 polls.
In a statement, Roxas said the tobacco tax should go to worthwhile programs for the long-term benefit of tobacco farmers.
“We acknowledge that they (farmers) need some cash assistance, so we will provide them with the necessary help,” said Roxas.
Roxas said that the long-term programs for tobacco farmers include scholarships for children and dependents of farmers, after-harvest facilities like drying machines, and training and education on new tobacco technology.
“These will ensure that our farmers will continue farming and these will provide good profit for them… they work very hard, they sacrifice a lot but they only have little earnings,” said Roxas.
Under Republic Act 7171 and Republic Act 8240, the government allots a portion of the “sin” taxes, particularly those collected from tobacco products, to tobacco farmers.
RA 7171, entitled “An Act to promote the development of the farmers in the Virginia-tobacco producing provinces,” allots 15 percent of the total revenue from products utilizing Virginia-type tobacco to provinces producing the crop.
RA 8240, on the other hand, provides amendments to the National Internal Revenue Code to facilitate the allocation of 15 percent from the total collection of taxes from products using Burley and Native tobaccos to provinces producing the leaves.
There are about 10,000 tobacco farmers from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Abra.
From cigarettes from January to October 2015, the Bureau of Internal revenue collected P72.2 billion, which is 27.5 percent higher than the P56.7 billion reported a year ago. (Sunnex)