NTA backs inclusion of tobacco in agri smuggling law
MANILA, Philippines — The National Tobacco Administration (NTA) on Saturday expressed support for the inclusion of tobacco in the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.
There are two proposals for that in Congress — House Bill 3917, filed by 1st District Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand “Sandro” A. Marcos III, and Senate Bill No. 1812, filed by Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid.
Both bills would amend Sections 3 and 4 of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, which outline the crops covered by the law and the penalties for smuggling. The NTA cited the illegal trade of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
“The NTA is in solidarity with the proponents of the proposed measures as these would solutions to the curbing of tobacco smuggling and illicit tobacco trading/agricultural smuggling in the country,” the NTA said in a statement.
This would spell stiffer penalties for the large-scale smuggling of tobacco products, including cigars, cigarettes, or heated tobacco products, including a fine of twice the value of the smuggled products and imprisonment of 14 to 17 years.
“The proposed measures against illicit tobacco trade and smuggling were meant to protect the local tobacco industry and sustain and increase the Sin Tax collection for the government coffers,” the NTA said.
According to the NTA, tobacco is a high-value crop that contributes P120 billion in tax revenue, which goes to education, health, infrastructure, and more.
Tobacco farmers who follow prescribed tobacco technology get an average net income of P72,000 per hectare every harvest season.
“The tobacco industry is one of the strongest pillars of the country’s economy and the lifeblood of the North as it provides livelihood and sustenance to at least two (2) million people including the [600,000] tobacco farmers and their families,” the NTA said.
Prioritize measures vs smuggling of food, not tobacco — consumer group
Tobacco distributor backs bill vs cigarette smuggling
House bill wants tobacco smuggling classified as economic sabotage
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.