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Tax ‘reform’ will see tobacco farmers and workers lose their livelihoods

| December 24, 2012

The Philippines’ state-run Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has courses to help tobacco farmers and workers thrown out of their jobs because of the effects of the country’s new tobacco and alcohol regime, according to a story in The Philippines Star.

TESDA director general, Joel Villanueva, said in a statement that the agency had training programs in place for tobacco farmers and workers who were set to lose their jobs due to the expected decline in cigarette consumption caused by tax-induced higher prices.

Villanueva said TESDA had courses in place that were relevant to helping farm workers develop new skills and get their foot in the door of new jobs or livelihood opportunities.

He said the courses, related to agriculture, horticulture, agri-fisheries and food manufacturing, among others, could help farm workers shift gears without necessarily displacing them from the work they had known for many years.

President Benigno Aquino vetoed a provision in the tax reform law that would have required manufacturers to buy at least 15 per cent of their tobacco from locally-grown sources.

The requirement apparently would have been in conflict with the National Treatment on Internal Taxation and Regulation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Category: Breaking News

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