LAOAG CITY – Over a hundred tobacco farmers in Ilocos Norte received financial assistance from the National Tobacco Administration (NTA), last Tuesday, August 15, 2017, to help them cope with the damages brought by super typhoon “Lawin” last October 2016.
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 the checks totalling P3.7 million to 187 tobacco farmers who compose the first batch of beneficiaries.
Each received a check 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.
“Yung mga beneficiaries today na 187 farmers, sila ‘yung first batch. Mayroon pang 350 – 400 individuals na susunod na bibigyan before the year ends,” Corpuz, department manager of NTA – Ilocos Norte, said as he encouraged other typhoon victims to submit the required requirements in order to receive the same assistance.
Meanwhile, Casela, member of the NTA Board of Directors, pointed out that tobacco production in the province has been declining yearly and reminded the farmers to double their efforts in producing and growing high-quality tobacco as there is consistently a high demand for this product.
“Itultuloytayo kadi ti panangpasantaktayo iti industria ti tabako ta maysa a kangrunaan nga eksporttayo. Matulongan nga agpayso, haan laeng a ni mannalon no di pati tay pamiliana,” he said.
“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,” kinuna met ni Gov. Marcos idinto nga indagadagna kadagiti mannalon iti panagmulada latta iti tabako.
She also lauded the NTA for their initiative to conduct a seminar to discuss tobacco farmers’ benefits and services that they can avail.
“Sana magkaroon na rin ng makabuluhang tobacco farmers policy,” she said.
Among those who received financial assistance were tobacco farmers from Pasuquin , Sarrat, San Nicolas, Batac City, Banna, Nueva Era, Pinili, and Badoc.
“Dakkel a pagyamananmi ta nagdakkel a tulong daytoy para kadakami a nabagyo. Addan usarenmi a pagtarimaan kadagiti nadadael a pugonmi,” kinuna ni Constante Agustin, a farmer-leader from San Nicolas town. (Tawid News, with report of Ma. Christian A. Ramos, PGIN/CMO)