Ilocos Norte tobacco farmers receive P3.7-M in financial assistance

Aug 17, 2017 ...

Over a hundred tobacco farmers in Ilocos Norte received financial assistance from the National Tobacco Administration (NTA), last Tuesday, August 15, 2017, to compensate for damages to the farmers' curing barns.

NTA Officials Dr. Robert L. Seares, M.D, Nestor C. Casela, and Mario E. Corpuz, together with Ilocos Norte Governor Imee. R. Marcos, personally distributed checks worth a total of P3.7 million to 187 tobacco farmers who compose the first batch of beneficiaries.

Each received a check for an amount ranging from P20,000 to P50,000, with P10,000 as a subsidy and the rest as a loan payable from two to five years, at a minimum interest.

Through this, the NTA aims to help the farmers cope with the damages brought by super typhoon "Lawin" last October 2016.

Through cash loans and subsidies, NTA aims to extend help to the affected victims of

Corpuz, department manager of NTA – Ilocos Norte, explained, "Pagkatapos kasi ng typhoon 'Lawin' nagkaroon ng assessment ang NTA sa tulong ng  mgaextension workers namin na strategically-located sa mga munisipyo na nagtatanim ng tobacco. In-assess nila kung ano ang extent ng damage, particularly sa curing barn, kasi 'yun yung structure na madaling masira 'pag may bagyo.

"Yung mga beneficiaries today na 187 farmers, sila 'yung first batch. Mayroon pang 350 – 400 individuals na susunod na bibigyan before the year ends,"he added, still encouraging other typhoon victims to submit requirements in order to receive the same assistance.

Meanwhile, Mr. Casela, member of the NTA Board of Directors, pointed out the yearly decline of tobacco production in the province and reminded the farmers to double their efforts in producing and growing high-quality tobacco due to consistently high demand.

"Itultuloytayo kadi ti panangpasantaktayo ti industriya ti tabako a kas iso ti makatulong kadatayo, ken iso ti maysa a kangrunaan a maiks-export. Ket no 'export' ti kinunam, dolyar iti sumrek. Matulungan nga agpayso haan laeng a ni mannalon no di ket pati tay pamilyana," he stated.

(Tuloy-tuloy sana ang pag-papaunlad sa industriya ng tabako kasi nakakatulong ito sa atin. Isa rin ito sa mga kauna-unanhang nae-export. At kung sinabi nating 'export,' dolyar na ang pumapasok. Matutulungang talaga 'di lang ang magsasaka kundi pati na rin ang kanyang pamilya.)

Governor Marcos also encouraged tobacco farmers, "ang sabi nila, palugi na ang negosyo sa tobacco, pero sa tingin ko dapat magtanim pa rin kasi kitang-kita na nag-aangkat tayo ng tobacco galing China o Vietnam."

She also lauded the NTA for their initiative to conduct a seminar this week that shall discuss tobacco farmers' benefits and services they can avail.

"Tuwang-tuwa ako kasi magkakaroon pa ng meeting ang ating mga NTA administrators sa Biyernes. Sana magkaroon na rin ng makabuluhang tobacco farmers policy.

"Inaasahan kong tuloy-tuloy ang pagtulong dahil ang sabi nga 'wag daw mahiya at humingi kung may kailangan," Governor Marcos added.

Farmer Leader of San Nicolas town, Mr. Constante Agustin, also acknowledged the support from the NTA, saying "dakkel a pagyaman a ta nagdakkel a tulong daytoy para kadami aglalo kadagitay nabagyo. Nairanta daytoy a mausar a pag-repair iti tobacco curing barns."

Among the tobacco farmers who received financial assistance were those from Pasuquin town, Sarrat, San Nicolas, Batac City, Banna, Nueva Era, Pinili, and Badoc

by Ma. Christian A. Ramos



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