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PIA Press Release

Veteran local chief executive sworn in as new NTA administrator

By Freddie G. Lazaro

Vigan City (24 September) -- A multi-awarded veteran local chief executive from Ilocos region was appointed as the new administrator of the National Tobacco Administration (NTA), it was reported Thursday here.

Last Wednesday, former Narvacan town Mayor Edgardo D. Zaragoza was formally sworn ? in by Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala in a simple ceremony in the agency's central office in Manila.

Prior to his appointment as NTA administrator, Zaragoza was an outgoing mayor of Narvacan town. He doesn't sought re-election in the May 10, 2010 election for his supposedly another last term as mayor of the town as he gave way to his eldest son, Zuriel Zaragoza, who was unopposed and now the incumbent mayor.

Zaragoza was first elected as mayor in Narvacan town on January 18, 1988 during the incumbency of President Corazon Aquino.He was also elected as provincial board member of Ilocos Sur in 2001. In his stint as Narvacan town mayor in two decades, Zaragoza was a grandslam awardee as outstanding local chief executive in Region One and an awardee in the national level.

Zaragoza, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), told that he is aiming to strengthen the country's tobacco industry despite the presence of intense campaign by the health sectors against cigarrete smoking.

He told that he will consider all existing programs of the tobacco agency that will encourage more farmers to engage in tobacco production.

"Tobacco is still the main cash crop in Ilocos provinces after the rice season in which there's a need to improve its production technology in order that more Filipinos will be benefited as the industry brings more excise tax to government coffers and more jobs to be generated," Zaragoza told.

Based on statistic's records, more than 2 million Filipinos annually are sourcing their income from tobacco industry.

It is also noted that the industry is the steady source of the RA 7171 tobacco excise tax fund pouring hundreds of million peso funds to all Virginia tobacco producing provinces in the country to include Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Abra. Ilocos Sur gets the biggest share from the tobacco fund considering the province as the greatest country's producer of Virginia tobacco. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]

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