Makabayan to House: Probe all LGUs getting tobacco tax

>> Thursday, August 3, 2017

LAOAG CITY -- The regional chapter of Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan, the political party that includes the progressive partylists – Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party, Anakpawis, Act Teachers and Kabataan, called on their associates in the House of Representatives to amend House Resolution No. 1126, to include all provinces receiving share from Republic Act 7171.
 “Tobacco farmers in Ilocos welcome the support of our leaders in the House. However, we find the resolution wanting. While it is good that inquiry on Imee Marcos’s anomalous use of RA 7171 funds is being tackled by the House, we think that it is only appropriate that investigation on the benefits received by tobacco farmers must include all local governments receiving share from the law,” said Lenville Salvador, Makabayan regional coordinator for Ilocos-La Union.
HR 1126 seeks to direct the committee on good governance and public accountability to conduct an inquiry on the utilization of the tobacco excise tax and determination of the tangible benefits acquired by tobacco farmers in Ilocos Norte. Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, is the principal author of the resolution.
 “The corruption and misuse of the RA 7171 funds is not isolated in Ilocos Norte, it is widespread and deep-seated practice among local government officials, thus, to make the funds really work for the farmers, our legislators should not leave any stone unturned, and pursue charges to all those who violated the law’s provisions,” Salvador said.
He also disclosed that Makabayan Ilocos with regional farmers’ federation STOP Exploitation is planning to lobby for review and amendment of RA 7171.
The said lobby intends to put provisions that automatically allocate the bulk of LGU shares to projects that directly go to agricultural production, mechanization and post-harvest benefits such as production incentives.


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