Multinational tobacco firm eyes partnership with Ilocos farmers


Multinational tobacco firm Universal Leaf Philippines Inc. is eyeing a partnership with farmers in Ilocos Norte as it seeks to expand its market.

Representatives of ULPI are to visit Ilocos Norte to discuss the possible partnership with Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos.

“We are expecting the top executives of ULPI represented by its president Winston Wi or the vice president Erwin Ang to meet with our governor in the upcoming week,” said Edwin Cariño, head of the Sustainable Development Center under the provincial government.

Cariño said ULPI is interested in entering into a contract growing scheme with tobacco farmers in the province.

He said a growing scheme contract is being considered, where tobacco farmers are assured of a ready market for their products.

Technical and financial assistance will also be provided to the interested growers.

The upcoming visit comes amid Republic Act 10351, the Sin Tax Reform Law that makes cigarettes more expensive through higher taxes on cigarette manufacturers.

Meanwhile, the National Tobacco Administration has conducted consultations and dialogues to formulate a road map for the tobacco industry.

The road map will be the NTA’s basis in implementing programs to benefit some 65,000 registered tobacco farmers in the country and those who depend on the industry.

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