DA assures alternative livelihood for tobacco farmers in response to Anti-Smoking Law implementation
QUEZON CITY, June 17 (PIA) — In light of the looming decline in tobacco production due to the implementation of the Anti-Smoking Law, the Department of Agriculture (DA) assured tobacco farmers on Friday of alternative livelihood to augment their income and mitigate consequential effects of the tobacco control measures provided by the said law.
In the Communication and News Exchange (CNEX) Forum held at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) auditorium, DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said tobacco farmers who will be affected by the tobacco industry meltdown will be given livelihoodprojects made possible through the DA, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) national convergence initiative.
The National Convergence Initiative (NCI), created through Joint DA-DAR-DENR Memorandum Circular 01, series of 1999, is tasked to develop and operationalize a common framework for sustainable rural development (SRD) that will facilitate the convergence of the resources of the three agencies to maximize the impact on countryside development.
“The convergence was created in response to the poverty reduction goals of the government,” DENR Secretary Ramon Paje said.
“Definitely, the tobacco industry will be affected by the (anti-smoking) law, however, we have alternative livelihood programs to help the tobacco farmers directly affected by the decline in tobacco production,” Usec. Puyat said.
“Through the DA, DAR and DENR convergence, livelihood programs are created to help affected farmers. In one of our sites in Ilocos, nabigyan namin ng alternatibong pangkabuhayan ang mga farmers, tulad ng pagtatanim ng ibang produkto maliban sa tabako, ” (In one of our sites in Ilocos, we were able to provide farmers with alternative livelihood, like planting alternative crops other than tobacco) Puyat added.
Also present in the forum were Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma, DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, and PIA Director-General Atty. Jose A. Fabia. (OTM/JPL- PIA GHQ/PIA-MIMAROPA)) (by Jayson P. Leguiab)