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PIA Press Release

Abra tackles unregulated outflow of tobacco, palay

by Maritess Beņas

Bangued, Abra (15 February) -- The newly re-organized Provincial Law Enforcement Coordinating Council is readily responding to the current needs and problems of two national agencies here, the National Tobacco Administration and the National Food Authority.

For the concerns of the NTA, Ms. Esmeralda G. Valera, OIC-Manager had called the attention of the police and the local chief executives for their support in the monitoring and proper documentation of tobacco production in the province.

This is very much needed in order to determine the actual volume of tobacco production as it affects the computation of the share of the LGUs in the excise taxes as provided for in RA 7171. The actual volume of tobacco production serves as the basis in the computation of the share of the LGUs in the excise taxes which could be established only with the recorded sales volume per municipality or province.

Much of Abra's tobacco production are reportedly fled via the exits in Brgy. Gayaman, Luba and in Brgy. Nanangdoan, Pilar directly to the neighboring provinces of Ilocos Sur and La Union which deprives the province its real and actual share in the sin taxes.

Provincial Director P/Supt. Alexander A. Pumecha, who initiated the PLECC reorganization, gave his assurance of support by fielding more of his men for the conduct of checkpoints in all points of exits in Abra for the proper documentation of the province's tobacco production.

On the other hand, NFA Assistant Manager Marjo E. Bolante raised the concern on the complaints aired by some of the palay and rice traders in the province due to the unregulated outflow of palay from Abra. The province is not self-sufficient in terms of grains requirement, and the outflow of grains, most particularly rice or palay be regulated, he said.

He pointed out that while we should appreciate the exercise of free enterprise, we need to consider first and foremost, our grains requirement in the province before selling them outside and later on buying from outside during the lean months at a much higher price than when we sell them outside.

Bolante furnished the APPO a copy of the original certificate of registration for the grains retailers and wholesalers for their reference and information so that they could better and more effectively monitor the inflow and outflow of grains in Abra especially that of clean rice and palay.

Meanwhile, It was agreed that the PLECC regular monthly meeting will be held every last Wednesday of the month. Member agencies are reminded of the next monthly meeting on March 26, 2008 to be held at the DPWH District office. (PIA-Abra) [top]

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