Go seeks release of excise tax proceeds to tobacco farmers

Go seeks release of excise tax proceeds to tobacco farmers

MANILA – Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to grant the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the authority to release the shares of local government units (LGUs) from the collection of excise tax on locally manufactured Virginia-type cigarettes for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

Go said the tobacco excise tax shares received by the beneficiary LGUs will encourage required economic activity in the agricultural sector, specifically in the tobacco industry in light of recent natural disasters that hit tobacco-producing provinces.

“Dahil po sa mga nakaraang kalamidad, naapektuhan ang produksyon ng ating mga magsasaka, kabilang na ang mga tobacco farmers. Marami sa kanilang mga pananim ang hindi napakinabangan (Due to recent calamities, the production of our farmers, including tobacco farmers, was affected. Many of their crops were rendered useless),” Go said in a news release on Sunday.

“Sa tulong po nito, mabibigyan natin ng suporta ang mga LGUs upang matulungan ang kanilang mga magsasaka na makabangon mula sa mga problemang kanilang kinaharap (With the help of excise tax shares, we can provide support to LGUs to help their farmers recover from the problems they face,” he added.

Section 3 of Republic Act 7171 provides that the financial support given by the national government for the beneficiary provinces will be constituted and collected from the proceeds of 15 percent of the excise taxes on locally manufactured Virginia-type cigarettes.

The funds allotted will be divided among the beneficiary provinces pro rata according to the volume of Virginia tobacco production.

On the other hand, RA 8240, as amended by RA 10351, provides that 15 percent of the incremental revenue collected from the excise tax on tobacco products will be allocated and divided among the provinces producing burley and native tobacco in accordance with the volume of tobacco leaf production.

Notably, the shares of LGUs from fiscal years 2018 and 2019 for collection of excise taxes on locally manufactured Virginia-type cigarettes and Burley and native tobacco amount to PHP24.8 billion and PHP21.27 billion, respectively.

Earlier, Go thanked the agricultural workforce for working hard to help ensure the nation’s economic recovery amid the ongoing pandemic.

He urged the government to further promote their welfare and safeguard their well-being, particularly small-scale farmers.

Go also assured agricultural workers that they may reach out to his office should they need any form of support or assistance.

He told them that the Duterte administration is committed to ending the ongoing crisis and helping communities attain population protection through its vaccination efforts.

“Kung may maitutulong kami sa inyo, magsabi lang kayo. Huwag kayong mahiya lumapit sa amin dahil trabaho namin ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na magserbisyo sa inyo. Patuloy din tayong magbayanihan at magmalasakit sa ating kapwa upang malampasan natin ang mga pagsubok na hinaharap natin (If we can help you, just say so. Don’t be shy to come to us because it is my and President Rodrigo’s Duterte’s job to serve you. Let us continue to help and show compassion to our neighbors so that we can overcome the trials we face,” Go said. (PNA)

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