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Sunday, May 19, 2024

DA chief says new PMI facility to recharge PH tobacco industry

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Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. expressed confidence local tobacco leaves will meet the required grade needed by cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris International (PMI) for its smokeless tobacco products.

Speaking at the inauguration of the PMI’s new manufacturing facility in Batangas province, Tiu Laurel commended PMI and its local affiliate PMFTC. Inc. for fulfilling its investment commitment to President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and for its continued support of tobacco farmers.

“I understand that local leaf is being considered for inclusion in the production of smoke-free products, including heated tobacco sticks in the new manufacturing lines. I’m confident that our local tobacco leaf will be able to meet this new demand,” he said.

Tiu-Laurel said the P8.8-billion facility could revitalize the declining local tobacco leaf industry and benefit millions of Filipino farmers who depend on it.

The new facility, spanning 1.2 hectares in Tanauan City, will produce specially-designed tobacco sticks for PMI’s smoke-free products. This marks a significant step in PMI’s efforts to manufacture innovative cigarette alternatives in the Philippines.

The agriculture chief said he is optimistic that local tobacco farmers would benefit from PMI’s and PMFTC’s focus on domestic manufacturing.

PMFTC employs around 4,500 Filipinos with local leaf purchases averaging P1.8 billion annually. It also boosted tobacco exports of finished and semi-finished goods, contributed hundreds of billions to the national and local treasury in excise, VAT, income, local business tax and duties and introduced various corporate social responsibility projects.

‘Our government has always recognized PMFTC’s substantial contributions to the Philippine economy and society,” Tiu Laurel said.

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