29 January 2021
Ahikam Pasion, Philippines News Agency
DAGUPAN CITY – The Pangasinan provincial government has turned over two tobacco curing barns to San Manuel and Balungao towns that were funded from the tobacco excise tax in 2016.
In an interview on Friday, provincial agriculturist Dalisay Moya clarified the tobacco curing barns are not for the exclusive use of tobacco farmers.
“Hindi lang tobacco farms ang makikinabang dito, pati na rin ang iba pang agricultural sector tulad ng mga nagtatanim ng palay at mais, rural-based organizations, and even the municipal agriculture offices (Aside from tobacco farmers, other agricultural sectors like the rice and corn farmers, rural-based organizations, and even municipal agriculture offices would benefit from these structures),” Moya said.
The curing barn is a facility intended for preparing tobacco leaves for consumption.
The funding for the construction of the curing barns worth PHP10 million, was taken from the PHP27.6 million tobacco excise tax in 2016. The provincial government also utilized the Tobacco Excise Tax to distribute hand tractors and water pumps to farmers in the province.
Moya assured more projects to benefit Pangasinense farmers are underway.
“Patuloy po ang pamimili ng provincial government ng palay sa small farmers, habang ang mga irrigation projects, post-harvest development projects, at technology transfer ay nagpapatuloy din (The provincial government is continuously buying palay from small farmers, while irrigation projects, post-harvest development projects, and technology transfer are also continuing), she said.
Governor Amado Espino III, in his speech during the turn-over on Thursday, said the project is to support farmers in Pangasinan and ease their economic woes.
Prior to the construction of the barns, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved Resolutions No. 2013-2021 and 2014-2021 respectively, authorizing governor Espino to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the municipalities of Balungao and San Manuel for the construction of said barns.
A pact regarding the turnover of the facilities was also signed by Espino and San Manuel Mayor Kenneth Marco Perez, Vice Mayor Alain Jerico Perez, and Vice Mayor Philipp Peralta of Balungao town. (PNA)