July 13, 2010 - The National Tobacco Administration (NTA) will continue to oppose any move that will result in the reduction of demand for tobacco leaf in the country unless the Philippine government puts in place effective measures that will counter the effects of such moves to the livelihood of thousands of tobacco farmers and stakeholders.
Rex Antonio P. Teoxon, department manager of the corporate planning department and officer in charge of the industrial research department of the NTA said the NTA is concerned particularly with FCTC’s Articles 9 and 10. Article 9 provides for the establishment of guidelines for testing and measuring the contents and emissions of tobacco products and for regulation of these contents and emissions. Article 10 pertains to measures requiring manufacturers and importers to disclose to government authorities information about the contents and emissions of these products.
Tobacco growers around the world are worried. No one will stop you from growing tobacco until they have an alternative that brings in the same or more money than growing tobacoo, e.g., Asian Tobacco Farmers worried Article 9 & 10 WHO FCTC..; Europe - tobacco growers are worried but no change until an alternative is found...The local tobacco industry, according to Teoxon, provides livelihood and sustenance to 2 million Filipinos including 600,000 tobacco farmers and their families. It generates more than P30-billion revenue in taxes annually which help the government fund its education, health, welfare, infrastructure and economic programs all over the country.
The Director of the FCTC tobacco framework, Laurent Huber, says that to completely implement the treaty in every country would take time, as tobacco-growing countries must find alternative income-generating industries. “We are promoting public health through the Framework Convention Alliance. ... Tobacco is still growing at this stage, there is not immediate risk,” says Huber. (WHO FCTC - developing countries need alternative to tobacco growing plus stoppage of cigarette smuggling..)
“It is our hope that reason will prevail at the WHO,” Roger Quarles, the president of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association, (an organization representing burley growers in several tobacco states in America) said. “While we agree that steps should be taken to reduce youth smoking by eliminating candy-flavored tobacco products, it would be devastating to the livelihoods of tobacco farmers everywhere in the world if these misguided and overly broad regulations are adopted as part of the FCTC." (U.S. Burley tobacco growers - WHO FCTC articles elimination of American-style cigarettes..; Canada flavor-free cigarettes law targeted by Kentucky grower ads...
In the last three years, the Philippines exported an average annual volume of 8.967 million kilos of tobacco valued at $31.994 million which consists of manufactured tobacco averaging 2.906 million kilos and unmanufactured tobacco averaging 7.029 million kilos. For the same period, the country’s average annual importation of tobacco was 81.079 million kilos valued at $299.507 million.
Under Executive Order 245, the NTA is mandated to improve the economic and living conditions of the farmers and those who depend on the industry for their livelihood. It is also tasked to promote the balanced and integrated growth of the tobacco industry to help make agriculture a solid basis for industrialization
Reference: NTA to oppose any move reducing tobacco-leaf demand,
Written by Mauricio Victa / Correspondent, Business Mirror, 7/11/2010.